One of a series of interesting animations produced by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and intended to ‘bring discourse to life’, looks at the crises of capitalism. David Harvey explores some of the origins of systemic crises before calling for discussion and debate to change our mode of thinking from his perspective as a radical political economist.
Perhaps his analysis does not shed particularly new light on the subject, but the arguments and rationale are presented in a crystal clear fashion and the animation is really quite stunning.
About the bringing about of a new social order, there’s not a great deal of sign of that – not yet, anyway – but the necessary debate and discussion is certainly taking place encouraged not just via the RSA but also right across the blogosphere, where the outlines of an alternative society are being debated daily. What is perhaps missing is a sense of ideas being taken forward in the fashion that would provide confidence that that new society is actually coming. What there is, is a sense of fragmentation: some consensus over individual initiatives, but not really the sense that things are being grasped with the cohesion, vision and political organisation required to deliver in practice the responsible, just and humane, alternative society for which Harvey articulates the need.
The ideas are out there; but a political organisation confident enough, radical enough and non-dependent enough to seize them in an ideologically integrated way continues to be lacking.