Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism

David Harvey
May 26, 2015 Mimar Sinan University speech notes

The danger in Marx’s work is that it has dangerous things inside. This book can also be a dangerous book; a look at the Marx Project. Marx is misunderstood in many ways. The right wing and the left wing can misjudge Marx. The right wing condemns the danger of communism, while the left wing approaches dogmatically and misunderstood Marx.

What can we learn from Marx? What can we do at our own pace? There is a distinction looking how Marx succeeded. How do we look at it? How do we understand? The period Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto was important, commenting on what was happening at the time, not thinking about the present. Our aim is to see how we will carry it today. Marx’s texts are not like religious texts dying, it doesn’t have a validity date. What can we look at Marx? Marx wasn’t able to finish everything. How do we reflect these elements on a day-to-day basis?

After the 1970s, capital, the world; began to resemble like Marx analyzed. For example, I talked to people who work 80 hours a week. They are people who have been removed from their time, their places in life. These are the things that Marx’s Capital refers to in the first word. My purpose is to understand Marx, “New Imperialism”, “Capitalism”, “17 Contradictions and the End of Capitalism” … the use of capital and the transformation of urban at the same time. (Asi Cities, Hope Cities ..)

The 2007 crisis was about how we could manage capital. What was the target in this book? What does it mean to be anti-capitalist in the first place? Many people say, “I am anti-capitalist.” But what does that really mean? This rationality is based on an analysis, the rationality of opposition to capitalism. In fact, we can talk about the contradiction of Capitalism in 57 different cases. But I chose to take 17 in the book. I’m going to talk about some of these.

Usage value- swap value

I’m talking about the housing sector in the book. Uses and swap values ​​are worth it. It can be given to various peoples and can set a barter value. Usage value is important for the appearance of the housing. In 2007 it reached another position. 14 million people in America have lost their assets; these are the segments that society generally excludes; African Americans, Latin Americans, etc. These people have lost about 70-80%. The World Bank has confirmed these rates. There have been sections that have been destroyed from this system since 1930. This contradiction can not be taken into account with any social workforce and money.

There is also a contradictory relationship between value-representation (money). The relationship between this value and money is not understandable without a comprehension of use-exchange.

Social work is a social relationship. It does not have direct measurement, so money is the main issue instead. He is deceiving what he represents. For example, maps. Maps show a truth but at the same time it’s lying. Map estimates, for example. The world is not what we see in our maps, but it is a representation of the world. The corruptions happen in the world geography. The areas that are green in the maps may have lost these properties today, but we do not know that. The map is destroying what he represents. That’s the money. “Your accumulation of richness” gives rise to a class of capital. They are related to each other. These contradictions are increasingly out of control. The housing market crisis (2007) shows this. Capital is now in the mortgage sector. There has always been a struggle between the state and the people holding special gratuities.

These contradictions may change over time. For example, changing technologic devices. This change is not really caused by the individual; it is caused by a rivalry between the sectors. When new technology products are introduced to the market, they are convinced that they need it, even if they do not use it, and so consumption of the products is ensured. This is not only limited to technology products. This generation is a “Prozac generation”. When the drug was first removed, it could not be sold because there was no suitable disease. But later a new disease was created to increase the use of the medicine and everyone is using Prozac.

“If there is a contradiction, this is actually the contradiction of the capital,” Marx said.

What contradictions were there in 2008? How does the capital reach a spot and stay there? Sometimes contradictions can suddenly emerge. For example, in the 1930s new capitalism emerged, the same in the 1970s. This was the neoliberalism that emerged today. The capital is still in crisis. We see how capitalism changes itself, a new form. There is also a danger that threatens to sustain this process.

The period in which Marx lived was a period when the labor-capital contradiction was in the forefront. But the capital learned how to deal with it. There is a situation that is incomparable with the 1840s. What disappointed the socialists was that they still did not think that the workforce could destroy everything.

3 points at the end of the book; Endless growth. Globally, capital is growing at & 2.5% every year. If you can grow 4-5% this is very good. Consider the crises of the 1970s. It is a period when the accumulation of large capital starts to live. The growth of China, the gradual disappearance of the Soviets, the growth of a global workforce integrated with the system … In fact, capital fails to grow. Also unsuccessful in urbanization. The construction of new buildings in Istanbul is based on the last 10-15 years. China ranks first in the world in cement production, while the US ranks first in cement consumption. For example, what percentage of this growth will continue? The capital actually has no place to grow. The city theme, for example, produces itself through “speculation and asset value”. There is a conversion. People began to lodge on the rents instead of staying on their property.

The speculative explosion in Turkey is like the case of Spain five years ago. What can be put here instead of conjoint growth? I discuss the question “What is the manufacturer’s investment?” In my book. This issue did not bother Marx at the time. This is now the most critical of our day. This leads us to the second turquoise; “ENVIRONMENT”. What will happen to nature in sustainable urbanization? For example, the shoreline of Izmir is always full of housing. It’s like trying to copy the USA. But the United States is not the right place to copy it.

Issue 3 is actually related to the second. Technical issue. We’re talking about aesthetic sociability. What we see in the land, we are being driven away from them. We can say “universal alienation”. The capital reveals the alienation. Their roots go deeper. Building meaningful life has become difficult. This is also happening in new technologies in consumption. Another question is; The Protestant of the last 15 years, was a mass protest on earth, and was about the qualities of city life. (2013, Brazil, Great Britain, Stockholm, Occupy Meets movements …) An area of ​​political opposition to restructuring and alienation was created. Both from nature to alienation and from people. Travel Park protests, alienation at the same time. It’s not just blocking an AVM. When it comes to the question, Marx talks about the dilemma between production and the realization of value. Capital speaks of the fact that the 1st cild is from the production and the second is the casting of the fiirstid. Without actual production we can not understand that. This is the seventh contradiction in my book. In the 2nd volume, the production value does not conflict with time and space. Where is the value produced, by whom? For example; Apple. The production is done in China. The capital contribution of the company that produces these products in China is 3%. Apple sells it at other points in the world and the capital turnover rate is 20%. Production value is made in China, it takes place in USA. This unbalanced distribution of capital accumulation affects the environment.


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