Video: David Harvey -- `The crises of capitalism'

On April 26, 2010, Marxist geographer professor David Harvey spoke to the the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) to explain how capitalism came to dominate the world and why it resulted in the current financial crisis. He asks: is it time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order?

Taking a long view of the current crisis, Professor Harvey exposes the follies of the international financial system, looking closely at the nature of capitalism, how it works and why sometimes it doesn’t.

Examining the cycles of boom and bust in the world’s housing and stock markets, and the vast flows of money that surge round the world daily, David Harvey shows that periodic episodes of meltdown are not only inevitable in the capitalist system but, in fact, are essential to its survival. Harvey argues that the essence of capitalism is its amorality and lawlessness and to talk of a regulated, ethical capitalism is to make a fundamental error.

Can crises of the current sort be contained within the constraints of capitalism? Or is it time to make the case for a social order that would allow us to live within a different type of system -- one that really could be responsible, just and humane?

David Harvey, a distinguished professor in the Graduate Centre of City University of New York and is the author of numerous books, including The Enigma of Capital, David Harvey (Profile Books, 2010) -- Buy now.