The Limits to Capital
Verso Books, 2006 - 478 pages
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 discussion of the turmoil in world markets today.
In his analyses of 'fictitious capital' and 'uneven geographical development' Harvey takes the reader step by step through layers of crisis formation, beginning 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 considerations.
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LibraryThing ReviewAvis d'utilisateur - LibraryThing
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 quite 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 enquiry 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 more 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 more 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...
Review: The Limits to CapitalAvis d'utilisateur - Goodreads
A demanding though rewarding read. I would recommend some basic knowledge of economic/Marxist terms before starting the book.
CLASS RELATIONS AND THE CAPITALIST PRINCIPLE OF ACCUMULATION
Appendix the theory of value
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