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Thread started 09/24/17 4:09am

deebee

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Russell Brand talks capitalism and Marxism with Prof David Harvey

One of my favourite thinkers, David Harvey, was on Russell Brand's Under the Skin podcast series this week, and they just uploaded the video. Harvey writes about capitalism from a Marxist perspective, and he's done a lot to try and open up what's interesting and useful about that perspective today to as wide an audience as possible in his recent books and his online webinar about Capital. His work is terrific, in my view: clear, engaged, non-dogmatic and informed - exactly what I think academics should aspire to in their contributions to public debate.

What I like about the discussion here is how engaged and energetic it is about the limits of our present system and how we might transform it. Brand is often to be found ruminating about radical change to the status quo, but in what tends to be an idealistic and often slightly naive way. Here, though, Harvey's like his older, wiser uncle, who encourages the idealism, but also points him towards the sharpened tools of analysis that can help make sense of it all. I'm not fully convinced that everything came through clearly, and they could've done with pausing at a few points to explain some key ideas, but it struck me as the sort of conversation that might pique a few people's interest - so I thought I'd share it.



There's also a podcast version here or here, if you prefer to listen on the move.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #1 posted 09/24/17 7:18am

SuperFurryAnim
al

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Friends ex worked as Russell's assistant. He is a carefully contrived character.
What are you outraged about today? CNN has not told you yet?
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Reply #2 posted 09/24/17 7:27am

OnlyNDaUsa

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if Russell is opposed to capitalism or pro-marxism he is a fool or assumes he would be among the elite who would be above the effects of such. all examples of working marxism there is nearly no middle class...there is a large lower class and a tiny elite... oh but someone said that is not true...LOL

I stand with Ben and the Moderators!
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Reply #3 posted 09/24/17 8:28am

nd33

OnlyNDaUsa said:

if Russell is opposed to capitalism or pro-marxism he is a fool or assumes he would be among the elite who would be above the effects of such. all examples of working marxism there is nearly no middle class...there is a large lower class and a tiny elite... oh but someone said that is not true...LOL



The middle class is already dying with the shitty version of capitalism we're using right now.
Music, sweet music, I wish I could caress and...kiss, kiss...
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Reply #4 posted 09/24/17 10:06am

SuperFurryAnim
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Russell plays a character is a lot different behind the scenes. What was funny his assistant had the Kate Perry look.
What are you outraged about today? CNN has not told you yet?
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Reply #5 posted 09/24/17 10:26am

2freaky4church
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Only, God, you and your word salad. Brown greens with no dressing.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #6 posted 09/24/17 10:30am

2freaky4church
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Deebee knows the names.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #7 posted 09/24/17 1:53pm

poppys

OnlyNDaUsa said:

if Russell is opposed to capitalism or pro-marxism he is a fool or assumes he would be among the elite who would be above the effects of such. all examples of working marxism there is nearly no middle class...there is a large lower class and a tiny elite... oh but someone said that is not true...LOL

But you did not view the video.

"if you can't clap on the one, then don't clap at all"
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Reply #8 posted 09/25/17 11:42am

2freaky4church
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Here's capitalism: I'm rich I have vast power. I'm poor I'm crushed like a roach.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #9 posted 09/25/17 11:50am

OnlyNDaUsa

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2freaky4church1 said:

Here's capitalism: I'm rich I have vast power. I'm poor I'm crushed like a roach.

socialism everyone's a roach

I stand with Ben and the Moderators!
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Reply #10 posted 09/25/17 12:23pm

2freaky4church
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I give you some pie, you give me some pudding. Socialism.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #11 posted 09/25/17 12:41pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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2freaky4church1 said:

I give you some pie, you give me some pudding. Socialism.

if resources were not an issue (they always are) and if there were a very high buy-in and very wise leaders then it could work but that is just not going to happen. Once the reward is the same no matter how much one works then there is no longer the same incentive to do better.

socialism will always fail.

I stand with Ben and the Moderators!
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Reply #12 posted 09/25/17 12:52pm

deebee

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SuperFurryAnimal said:

Friends ex worked as Russell's assistant. He is a carefully contrived character.

I had his ex-plumber's concubine's dog in the back of my rickshaw once. "He's got a lot of stubble, that Brand fella. How does it feel when you lick his face?", I asked. He said, "Ruff!" confused

[Edited 9/25/17 12:53pm]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #13 posted 09/25/17 1:17pm

poppys

deebee said:

SuperFurryAnimal said:

Friends ex worked as Russell's assistant. He is a carefully contrived character.

I had his ex-plumber's concubine's dog in the back of my rickshaw once. "He's got a lot of stubble, that Brand fella. How does it feel when you lick his face?", I asked. He said, "Ruff!" confused

cool

Haven't had a chance to watch this yet.

"if you can't clap on the one, then don't clap at all"
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Reply #14 posted 09/25/17 2:19pm

deebee

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I don't particularly want to get into a back and forth with the Goofy Gang, because I consider that futile and immensely boring, but I will clear up a couple of the hoary old misconceptions that always rear their head whenever the dreaded M-word is spoken, and which are particularly out of place in relation to this interview.

In the discussion, David Harvey IS NOT promoting some kind of worked-out alternative system that will replace capitalism, much less advocating some kind of Soviet-style statist political programme. He makes that clear during the interview for anyone who actually watches it. In the second question he's asked (less than 5 mins into the clip), he points out that Marx's major work - Capital - which is the subject of the book he's written and is there to discuss, is NOT an agenda for some kind of communist alternative; it's an analysis of capitalism. (In actuality, there's precisely one sentence on communism in the whole book!) His own book is about 'boiling down' and making accessible the main ideas in that method of analysis of the capitalism and seeing how these can help us understand the dynamics of the societies in which we're living in today. Using that method, we can perhaps gain a useful insight into issues like inequality, environmental degradation, how technology affect our lives, how social ills like racism come about, etc. The term 'Marxism' refers to that method of social and economic analysis.

Now, of course, Harvey wants to see an alternative to capitalism and a political movement to bring that into being - as do I. But making mention of Marxism isn't code for invoking a preordained political programme to get to that - or even what the destination would necessarily be. When people impute advocacy of some kind of Soviet statist agenda to those of us interested in thinking about alternatives - even if we might designate those alternatives 'socialist' as an affirmation of some core egalitarian principles - they're simply talking out of their arse. Most of us don't know what exactly the alternative would look like, and we'd all agree that it shouldn't involve mimicking the failed Soviet model, least of all its authoritarian mode of political rule. Harvey himself, in his work, posits ideas from socialists, anarcho-syndicalists, 'Third Worldist' radicals, environmentalists, existentialists, and those involved in various social movements to try and piece together what a better system might look like - and that, to me, is an worthwhile endeavour.

I rather think a discussion around some of those kind of issues - perhaps prompted by anything that crops up in the clip - might be more interesting than watching the unfalteringly gormless 'usual suspects' parade their ignorance by burping out half-baked pronouncements that have almost no relation to what's discussed in the interview at the top of the page. Do chip in if that seems worth a go; I just wanted to clear those few things up. cool

[Edited 9/25/17 15:13pm]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #15 posted 09/25/17 2:28pm

deebee

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poppys said:

deebee said:

I had his ex-plumber's concubine's dog in the back of my rickshaw once. "He's got a lot of stubble, that Brand fella. How does it feel when you lick his face?", I asked. He said, "Ruff!" confused

cool

Haven't had a chance to watch this yet.

It's worth a look. David Harvey's a really interesting guy to me, and he's good at communicating his ideas. He also seems to be getting more prolific - and active - as he gets older (he's 81), which gives me a bit of hope that life as an ageing lefty might yet be fun! lol

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #16 posted 09/26/17 9:05am

2freaky4church
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Only, tell me, why are you poor if you are such a good capitalist?

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #17 posted 09/26/17 9:10am

2freaky4church
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Deebee, you hip to Michael Hudson?

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #18 posted 09/26/17 9:12am

OnlyNDaUsa

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2freaky4church1 said:

Only, tell me, why are you poor if you are such a good capitalist?

why assume that?

I stand with Ben and the Moderators!
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Reply #19 posted 09/26/17 9:26am

2freaky4church
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Then give me some money.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #20 posted 09/26/17 9:34am

deebee

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2freaky4church1 said:

Deebee, you hip to Michael Hudson?

I've noticed that he crops up on various Left channels, but I confess I haven't listen to/read anything by him. What does he have to say? Happy to be recommended any good clips.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #21 posted 09/26/17 9:38am

2freaky4church
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Dude is a beast.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #22 posted 09/26/17 9:44am

poppys

"Goofy Gang" lol

"if you can't clap on the one, then don't clap at all"
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Reply #23 posted 09/26/17 9:45am

OnlyNDaUsa

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2freaky4church1 said:

Then give me some money.

come over and I will

I stand with Ben and the Moderators!
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Reply #24 posted 09/26/17 10:42am

2freaky4church
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Goofy gang?

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #25 posted 09/26/17 1:36pm

poppys

2freaky4church1 said:

Goofy gang?

Reply #14, also M-word.

"if you can't clap on the one, then don't clap at all"
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Forums > Politics & Religion > Russell Brand talks capitalism and Marxism with Prof David Harvey