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4 comments

1 freetoken  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 4:13:06pm

Very nicely done.

2 RogueOne  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 4:36:13pm

FTA:

In this short RSA Animate, radical sociologist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism, towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that could be responsible, just and humane.

from the “Can’t We All Just Get Along” theory of economics. The answer to the gentleman’s question is, “No”. OTOH, I like the graphics and the homage to UPS.

3 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 5:33:44pm

Interesting and fun. It has one problem though.

Capitalism is just a tool. There is nothing inherently good or evil about it. It can only do wat the users direct it to do and no more.

So blaming this crisis on ‘capitalism’ (I put it in quotes because I don’t believe our economic system has much capitalism as most finance, in my opinion, has much to do with investing) is rather like blaming guns for violence. They aren’t and it isn’t.

The problem is an ethical problem. It seems to be impossible for many people to say “enough.” Without the ability to limit yourself to “enough’ you can’t help but do something wrong.

4 Bob Levin  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 10:58:23pm

Outside of the terrific animation, I can’t even believe this. He starts out speaking logically and descriptively about the various ways that people have explained this crisis, and by the time he’s gone about 10 minutes he completely abandons all logic and reason, proclaims all is crap, and wants to throw financiers in jail—or so the final animation goes.

To make matters worse, he cites the Grundrisse—which isn’t even a completed work. Marx changed his methodology after his chapter on the Asiatic Mode of Production, realizing that he didn’t have the formula for the direction of history—because the history of Asia does not progress through his phases of slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and so on.

Harvey ends up saying that too much capital is concentrated in the hands of the rich, a cliche if there ever was a cliche, so let’s eliminate the part about thinking in a new way. So, as everyone already agrees, even the most ardent conservative economist, if too much capital is in the hands of too few people, you have to figure out a way to make it circulate throughout the economy.

Which leads to two more cliches, either you give tax breaks as an incentive for investment, or you just take the money away and redistribute it.

He completely left out the technological innovations that have taken place, such as personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, all of which, for a while, allowed the pace of capital circulation to increase, which creates wealth. This simple technological consideration actually does move the thought process out of cliches—because capital now moves at the speed of light. It can’t go any faster. This fact is one of the contributing factors to this crisis.

But hey, let’s just take the shortcut—stop thinking, and call capitalism ‘crap’.
Nothing like taking a worn out mid-nineteenth century theory and calling it ‘new thinking’.


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