The Limits to Capital New Edition Summary Û 8


The Limits to Capital New Edition

review The Limits to Capital New Edition

The Limits to Capital provides one of the best theoretical guides to the history and geography of capitalist development In this new edition Harvey updates his classic text with a substantial discussio. This has uite justifiably been elevated to the status of a ‘classic’ As Harvey states at the beginning of the introduction to the original edition “Everyone who studies Marx it is said feels compelled to write a book about the experience” This point is crucial reading this in the second decade of the 21st century we need to remember that it was first published in 1982 while we were in the middle of a different set of debates about Marxist economics and theory The dominant debate in academia was between the Althusser inspired ‘structural Marxists’ on the one hand and the ‘culturalists’ on the other in a debate about the limits of agency political struggles The global economy remained it seemed dominated by the OECD’s industrial capitalist model; only a few observers seemed to detect the underlying shifts in capitalism’s infrastructure towards increasing mobile speculative capital deployment The Soviet Union was still intact China was emerging from the post Mao struggles and the trial of the ‘Gang of Four’ symbolised as five – to include the ‘Great Helmsman’ while Deng Xiaoping had just launched the ‘Four Modernisations’ that were the precursors to the current model of one party state capitalism and across the world we had a series of national communist parties allied with the various tendencies in Marxist theory – ‘Moscow’s puppets’ the ‘China liners’ and ‘Albania acolytes’ and the various schisms and sects allied to strands of Trotskyism How times have changed I make this point because although Verso proclaim on the cover that this is ‘New and Fully Updated’ the sum total of this ‘updating’ seems to be a new introduction surveying the changes in the global economy since the first edition was published shame on you Verso – an extra on 20 pages in over 450 of text hardly merits this claim For the most part then we need to understand the conditions under which this was written and as a result the significance of its interjection into those debates I will not unpack those in any detail; the case made it too rich to do so anyway but will note that reading it in the context of the current crisis and the trauma brought to working people by the casino economy of finance capitalism reminds me of its prescience and how little I understood it when I first read it in the 1980s Eually importantly it reminds me that the institutions of finance capital were not acting irresponsibly in the lead up to and current crisis but were acting in a manner entirely consistent with the logic of finance capital That said the four things that I most admired this for in the 1980s remain the reasons I admire it now First this is a book about Marxist economics and theory that does not rely on Vol 1 of Capital and some of the other ‘classics’ but delves deeply into a much wider set of work including all three volumes with all their problems the Grundrisse and other technical writings In doing so Harvey also draws on other foundational and recent texts in Marxist theory It is this breadth of reading and scholarship that agree or not puts this head and shoulders above most other pieces of Marxist writing by recognising and engaging with the complexity of that work The other three aspects that impress me are its engagement work that shows limits to and the need to extend Marx’s analyses The first is the key role that analysis of the labour process plays in the first half of the book where Harvey outlines Marx’s approach This is distinctive but not uniue; Marx’s analysis starts with an exploration of the commodity form – the material output of capitalism – as the basis of his exploration of the operation of capitalism; too many of the works that deal sympathetically with Marx fail to get much further that the commodity and surplus value that is past parts of Vol

Read × eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ê David Harvey

N of the turmoil in world markets todayIn his analyses of ‘fictitious capital’ and ‘uneven geographical development’ Harvey takes the reader step by step through layers of crisis formation begin. This was written the 1970s at the end of the Keynesian era Western countries still had a social democratic element to their economies then So Marxism was not a fashionable outlook at this time But reading about a Marxian analysis of the economy looks much prescient in the neoliberal era in 2019 The crises he talked about with accumulation and concentration of wealth and immiseration of everyone else seems to be coming to pass in our news cycles politics and daily lives I don't think anyone who is honest believes that this will usher in fully automated luxury communism but it will make the current order and untenable The problem is that people can envision the end of the world easily than the end of capitalismDavid Harvey in a recent interviewhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvutmWY Mémoires inédits: Les Cahiers Rouges of the turmoil in world markets todayIn his analyses La Moskowa - Borodino- La bataille des Redoutes of ‘fictitious capital’ and ‘uneven geographical development’ Harvey takes the reader step by step through layers Napoléon III et Franceschini Pietri of crisis formation begin. This was written the 1970s at the end La commune de Paris par ceux qui l'ont vécue of the Keynesian era Western countries still had a social democratic element to their economies then So Marxism was not a fashionable Surcouf outlook at this time But reading about a Marxian analysis Alfred Dreyfus :Cinq années de ma vie : 1894-1899 of the economy looks much prescient in the neoliberal era in 2019 The crises he talked about with accumulation and concentration L'art militaire de Napoléon of wealth and immiseration Louis Napoléon le Grand (Littérature) of everyone else seems to be coming to pass in Journal intégral - 1815-1818 our news cycles politics and daily lives I don't think anyone who is honest believes that this will usher in fully automated luxury communism but it will make the current L'empire des Français, 1799-1815 order and untenable The problem is that people can envision the end Le feld-maréchal von Bonaparte : Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Français et de leur décadence of the world easily than the end Napoléon au Portugal : Le triomphe de l'armée luso-britannique annonce la fin de l'empire (1801-1814) of capitalismDavid Harvey in a recent interviewhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvutmWY

David Harvey Ê 8 Read & Download

Ning with Marx’s controversial argument concerning the falling rate of profit moving through crises of credit and finance and closing with a timely analysis geopolitical and geographical consideration. a much better companion to capital than his companion to capital


10 thoughts on “The Limits to Capital New Edition

  1. says:

    I sometimes disagree with the common opinion on books Usually I'm right there with everyone else waving a flag Make no mistake I'm a follower But this? This baffles me So many lefties think that this is the greatest book of all time that I was positive I'd get something out of it I was pretty sure I understood Marx before I started this And I'm pretty sure I understand Marx now And I'm pretty sure that Harvey added absolutely nothing to my understanding of Marx And just to be clear I was super excited to read this when I started Maybe my expectations were too high And although I've written a very critical review be advised that Harvey's book is undoubtedly superior to almost everything that was written on Marx in English in the twentieth century It marks the end of one phase in the interpretation of Marx and as such should still be in print and is worth reading The absurdities begin in the new introduction The old introduction is uite sane There he says that although he could puff out this introduction with learned sounding comments on matters such as epistemology and ontology on the theory and practice of historical material on the 'true' nature of dialectics he will instead let the methods of both enuiry and presentation speak for themselves In the new introduction he says things like this I increasingly see Marx as a magisterial exponent of a process based philosophy rather than a mere practitioner of Hegel's 'Logic' Materialism of any sort demands that the triumvirate of space time process be considered as a unity at the ontological level There is it turns out an underlying spatio temporal frame to Marx's theorizing and it rests on a dialectical fusion of three fundamental ways of understanding spatio temporality before claiming incredibly that for Kant space is a fixed and unchanging grid So the new introduction is or less meaningless drivel You can't understand Marx without understanding Hegel; you can't understand Hegel with understanding Kant and Harvey shows pretty clearly here that he doesn't; and you certainly can't understand Marx by appealing to some absurd early twentieth century metaphysics of process I assume he gets this BS from Whitehead As for the actual stuff of Marx Harvey thinks the chapter on money which is clearly a faux 'logical' analysis designed to show that money isn't worth any attention at all is historical If that's true Marx is a moron This is important than it seems since 'Capital' the book is based on this chapter Everything follows from its attempt to show that money is a social relation which is better analyzed by what Marx calls 'value' Not exchange value which is something else and not use value; value is rather the measure between exchange values This 'third thing' is based in post Kantian philosophy Marx's basic undertaking at this point is to say how is it that we even conceive of two things as being exchangeable? It isn't money it's Value Because he fails to understand this he also fails to understand Marx's most important category abstract labour Harvey sees it as a real concrete thing the less skilled you are as a worker the closer you come to a mere abstract labourer But the point of abstract labour is that it is how we apply the concept of Value to objects Deskilling of workers no matter how terrible it is does not turn them into abstract labourers; we're all abstract labourers There are too many other flaws in this book to mention particular cases Harvey was involved in a raft of debates from the sixties and seventies which have no bearing on Marx or our understanding of Marx except inasmuch as they were pointless debates To his credit he acknowledges and shows convincingly that they were pointless But it makes for horrible reading Essentially Harvey treats abstract and conceptual arguments as if they were 'materialist'; he hews to a bizarre conspiracy theory of capitalism; he everywhere calls an opposition a contradiction The best I can say is that he translates concepts and events that are best described in neo liberal economic terms into an out of date Marxist jargon granted it wasn't out of date when this was first published If you don't know by now that capitalism goes through periodic crises yeesh What's strange is that the other books of his I've read have been beautifully written well argued and fascinating This reads like nineteenth century German philosophy If you're willing to bang your head against the wall of painful prose in order to understand Marx drop this and pick up Moishe Postone's 'Time Labor and Social Domination' If it's possible it might be even less sexy than Harvey's book But at least it's involved in real debates And if you want sexy try some Lukacs or Althusser instead Between the three of them you'll get three interesting readings of Marx which avoid many of the pointless debates to which Harvey is to his credit bringing an end


  2. says:

    David Harvey's book is the best synthesis of Marx's contributions to political economy I've read one that goes beyond Capital itself to incorporate insights from Marx's other works such as the Grundrisse and Theories of Surplus Value I turned to this work just after reading vol 1 2 of Capital with the aid of Harvey's video lecture series; I'm so glad because I think it helped further consolidate my understanding of Marx's thought While this is a tougher read than his The Enigma of Capital Harvey's analysis of the economic crisis of 2007 2008 I think this book is definitely the best kind of introductory overview you could give to an intellectual person of Marxian thought provided you have just a little background in reading philosophy political theory andor critical social theoryBut Harvey goes beyond that to provide a critiue of some of the weaker aspects of Marx's thought such as the crisis theory based upon the law of the falling rate of profit and he even fleshes out some areas where Marx made some interesting beginning insights but left us without a completely coherent theory In this vein Harvey’s development of the concept of finance capital is an important exploration of significance of fictitious capital and makes an important contribution to understanding current state of the global economy; considering this book was originally written in the early 80s this section is astounding in its prescience in the light of recent history and the trauma brought to working people by the casino economy of finance capitalismBut given Harvey's area of expertise as a geographer it is not surprising that his most intriguing insights are into the effects of time and space in the flow of capital and uneven geographic development; in the process he actually strengthens and extends Marxist thinking about the problems of colonialism and imperialism In short Harvey's work actually makes valuable contributions to Marxist and radical thought making it must reading for all leftists and progressive activists of any stripe


  3. says:

    This has uite justifiably been elevated to the status of a ‘classic’ As Harvey states at the beginning of the introduction to the original edition “Everyone who studies Marx it is said feels compelled to write a book about the experience” This point is crucial reading this in the second decade of the 21st century we need to remember that it was first published in 1982 while we were in the middle of a different set of debates about Marxist economics and theory The dominant debate in academia was between the Althusser inspired ‘structural Marxists’ on the one hand and the ‘culturalists’ on the other in a debate about the limits of agency political struggles The global economy remained it seemed dominated by the OECD’s industrial capitalist model; only a few observers seemed to detect the underlying shifts in capitalism’s infrastructure towards increasing mobile speculative capital deployment The Soviet Union was still intact China was emerging from the post Mao struggles and the trial of the ‘Gang of Four’ symbolised as five – to include the ‘Great Helmsman’ while Deng Xiaoping had just launched the ‘Four Modernisations’ that were the precursors to the current model of one party state capitalism and across the world we had a series of national communist parties allied with the various tendencies in Marxist theory – ‘Moscow’s puppets’ the ‘China liners’ and ‘Albania acolytes’ and the various schisms and sects allied to strands of Trotskyism How times have changed I make this point because although Verso proclaim on the cover that this is ‘New and Fully Updated’ the sum total of this ‘updating’ seems to be a new introduction surveying the changes in the global economy since the first edition was published shame on you Verso – an extra on 20 pages in over 450 of text hardly merits this claim For the most part then we need to understand the conditions under which this was written and as a result the significance of its interjection into those debates I will not unpack those in any detail; the case made it too rich to do so anyway but will note that reading it in the context of the current crisis and the trauma brought to working people by the casino economy of finance capitalism reminds me of its prescience and how little I understood it when I first read it in the 1980s Eually importantly it reminds me that the institutions of finance capital were not acting irresponsibly in the lead up to and current crisis but were acting in a manner entirely consistent with the logic of finance capital That said the four things that I most admired this for in the 1980s remain the reasons I admire it now First this is a book about Marxist economics and theory that does not rely on Vol 1 of Capital and some of the other ‘classics’ but delves deeply into a much wider set of work including all three volumes with all their problems the Grundrisse and other technical writings In doing so Harvey also draws on other foundational and recent texts in Marxist theory It is this breadth of reading and scholarship that agree or not puts this head and shoulders above most other pieces of Marxist writing by recognising and engaging with the complexity of that work The other three aspects that impress me are its engagement work that shows limits to and the need to extend Marx’s analyses The first is the key role that analysis of the labour process plays in the first half of the book where Harvey outlines Marx’s approach This is distinctive but not uniue; Marx’s analysis starts with an exploration of the commodity form – the material output of capitalism – as the basis of his exploration of the operation of capitalism; too many of the works that deal sympathetically with Marx fail to get much further that the commodity and surplus value that is past parts of Vol One For Harvey it seems that is not enough and it isn’t – although I say that noting that my current work is exploring uestions of the labour process in immaterialculturalintellectual production so I may have a pre determined sympathy to this labour process focusThe second important thing in my reading is Harvey’s development of the idea of finance capital where in Marxist theory we had seen very little development since Lenin’s Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism in 1917 which remained in many senses the classicorthodox Marxist analysis of finance capital This is an important exploration of significance of ‘fictitious capital’ and makes an important contribution to understanding current state of the global economy Then after a crucial discussion of the place and forms of rent in capitalism Harvey does what should be expected of a geographer; he explores place and space in capitalism Whereas the other great Marxist analyst of space Henri Lefebvre considers ways that capital produces space as a material and social form Harvey explores space as an aspect of capitalist production and in doing so extends Marxist thinking about imperialism Again I’ll confess a predisposition here through my work exploring immaterial labour as well as histories of empire and colonialism these two aspects of Marxist theory underpin much of my work by providing the material conditions for empire and accumulation through a focus on ‘accumulation by dispossession’ or ‘primitive accumulation’ as others call it Most crucially for me the contemporary enclosure of the cultural commons and with it the privatisation of collective cultural labour is central to capitalism’s current rapaciousness alongside the predatory casino logic of finance capitalism So 30 years later however much we may uibble with parts of this its prescience means its classic status is warranted as is the other claim on the cover where Fredric Jameson asserts its status as ‘a magisterial work’ It is both and deserves regular return visits


  4. says:

    Randal Samstag I will leave YOU to review this rather than me It's probably the first and last time I'll admit it on Goodreads but I myself simply haven't got adeuate verbal capacity to do this juggernaut justice in any review Economics is not my field I could talk about Harvey's vocabulary or his articulation I have the words for that But I do not possess the acumen to compare and contrast this author's Marxian analysis against other similar tomes which is what this review needsAll I can say is it is well written and well organized I gained a LOT out of it Discerning economic brains may not view the author as top tier but from where I stand he sure looks like it Maybe it doesn't matter The book is useful if not instrumental in assisting those uesting after Marx It is something to have read it I'm proud to have it on my shelf


  5. says:

    This was written the 1970s at the end of the Keynesian era Western countries still had a social democratic element to their economies then So Marxism was not a fashionable outlook at this time But reading about a Marxian analysis of the economy looks much prescient in the neoliberal era in 2019 The crises he talked about with accumulation and concentration of wealth and immiseration of everyone else seems to be coming to pass in our news cycles politics and daily lives I don't think anyone who is honest believes that this will usher in fully automated luxury communism but it will make the current order and untenable The problem is that people can envision the end of the world easily than the end of capitalismDavid Harvey in a recent interviewhttpswwwyoutubecomwatch?vutmWY


  6. says:

    Harvey’s book first published in 1982 represents a big segment of the project he has been working throughout his long career as a teacher – to make the later writings of Marx intelligible to a new audienceIt is a considerable challenge The work he is particularly interested in has only one volume which was completed by Marx and published in his lifetime – what has come to be known as volume one of Capital With its emphasis on the production of commodities under the conditions of capitalism it represented a good ‘first cut’ formulation of a grand theory of the system But as Harvey explains capitalism has first and foremost to be understood as a process rather than a rigid structure; one in which all its components could be represented as a portion of a universal value and which reuired if the system was to maintain its propensity to accumulate and grow these values to become detached from the things with which they were once conterminous and to circulate in other guises and formsThe problem for those who wish to follow through the logic of these thoughts in the way intended by Marx himself is that his investigation of the greater part of the systems of circulation through distribution credit rent and state power where never completed and instead take the form of voluminous sets of notebooks – principally the Grundrisse and the three volumes of Theories of Surplus Value Together with the second and third volumes of Capital edited from Marx’s notes by Engels and published after his death these form a challenging though patently incomplete survey of the terrain which the master intended to coverCompiling his own work in the 1970s Harvey has had the advantage of one hundred years of Marxist scholarship to aid him in his review of the direction which Marx was himself taking in his studies The debate on whether the labour theory of value was correct the difficulties around the ‘transformation problem’ by which value becomes expressed as price the nature of landed property and the value it yields in the form of rent the allocation of capital between the various departments of production and have been fiercely contested across this time The outcome of these disputes has been the establishment of Marxism as a tendency of economic and philosophical thinking rather than an exact science or dogma Harvey is less interested in what Marx would have made it all than the uestion of whether his approach aids in providing an adeuate description of capitalism across its history through to contemporary times His view is that it does and that even the controversial labour theory of value provides a good guide to understanding the development of the crisis phases of the systemThe points which emerge with particular clarity in this account are from my point of view twofold The first concerns the way in which as a condition for accumulation capital is reuired to constantly manage devaluation as well as the realisation of profit Being reuired to realise the latter within a definite span of time maintaining the circulation of value through its different forms as variable fixed and exchange means amongst other things reuires a constant selling off of its units below the amount of socially necessary labour time which it embodies During a phase dominated by growth this reuirement to devalue is manageable and contributes to the realisation of value as money capital in sufficient proportions to compensate for its losses in fixed and variable forms But when the system moves into its periodic generalised crises the moment of the destruction of capital becomes uppermost and the conditions of recession take full oldThe second point concerns the spaces of capitalism and the ways in which countries regions and cities are organised to express moments within the global circulation of capital The under developed theories of imperialism are supposed to explain the ways in which over accumulation is relieved by capital seeking new opportunities to invest abroad creating surplus value by raising the levels of involvement of previously marginal labour supplies in market driven economic activities This is a approach which would be improved by a better understanding of the ways in which space is organised within the developed metropolitan regions to draw in labour allow it to enter workplaces at rates of remuneration adeuate to the conditions of life how the pooling of the costs of welfare health transport and education are met and the role which civil society plays in bringing about these outcomes In all of these areas Harvey suggests new lines of inuiry and research which would strengthen the Marxism and take it to second and third cut theories of accumulation and crisisBut what should be most appreciated about this work is Harvey’s insistence on the ultimate objective of Marxism which is to probe the system of capitalism to its limits to determine the points at which its transformation into a new type of economy and society might be possible This book is a step along the journey towards understanding how fundamental change in society might just be possible which after all was the whole point of Marx’s endeavour


  7. says:

    This book is breathtaking David Harvey begins by tackling the limits of Marx's Capital and the debates by various Marxist theorists on its various aspects This then becomes a springboard for Harvey to fashion a Marxist theory of finance capital and spatial arrangements The book is heavy reading especially for those new with Marxist political economy But reading this is an enlightening experience and does much to provide a sound basis for explaining current developments in the world capitalist system The book ends with uestions than answers Yet it gives one a picture of the limits of capital itself and the need to go beyond its contradictions


  8. says:

    a much better companion to capital than his companion to capital


  9. says:

    I get it it's supposed to be a thorough exegesis of Marxian ideas drawing together concepts from all three volumes of Capital plus the Grundrisse plus a bit of Lenin for good measure from Harvey's perspective especially in terms of economic analysis But it was a real 450 page dialectical slog and one in which I don't feel like I gained much Too much jargonizing too much abstraction not enough of the empirical booster shots that you need to make this kind of grand theory palatable Which is a shame in books like A Brief History of Neoliberalism and Social Justice and the City Harvey proves himself to be a much affable character one who can bring together theory and real world examples into a seamless whole To a certain degree I can't say much about how valid some of his elucidations of Marx's writing are because I haven't read a lot of Harvey's base texts no vols 2 3 of Capital no Grundrisse but I would still advise anyone to read Capital Vol 1 or a bit of Rosa Luxemburg or Harvey's other work for that matter instead


  10. says:

    David Harvey reminds me of the hidden Christians of Tokugawa Japan who performed their sacred rites clandestinely for the centuries in which their religion was banned Harvey has been reading and using Marx through all those cold years not so clandestinely I guess and one has to admire him for really reading Marx not just adopting a Marxist line even when it was out of fashion and for producing an exciting Marxist work in such a hostile environmentThis work is of the analyze Marx to find the irreconcilable aporias in capital school and here he lays the groundwork that he so effortlessly employs in his really readable books like A Brief History of Neoliberalism


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