Why Marx Still Matters


The Tribune has the interview with David Harvey Why Marx Still Matters. This is from March 05, 2020.

On the second centenary of Karl Marx’s birth, global capitalism is stumbling from crisis to crisis. In the wake of the financial crash, interest in Marx’s ideas has blossomed once again. This should come as no surprise: they remain vital to understanding not only the dynamics of capitalism itself but the manner in which it structures our modern world.

I was glad I read this article. It gives me a better understanding of what I should seek to learn.

Before I read the article, I had these thoughts about people commenting on it. These thoughts are still valid, but there was so much more in the article than I imagined.

The Communist Manifesto is not the great economic criticism that gets people to study what Karl Marx said. Read Das Kapital, and tell me what you think.

It is hard enough to identify and describe what is wrong with a system. It is much, much harder to figure out how to fix what is wrong. I have learned to forgive people who accomplish the first task, but fail at the second.

I admire people who concentrate on the successful part of someone’s work, and then try to do a better job on the part that was not successful.

I think I am a victim of what the interviewee had to say about Marx’s three volumes.

Dan Denvir: You differ with other Marx scholars in that you pay a lot of attention to volumes two and three, in addition to volume one. Why is that?

David Harvey: It’s clear that in Marx’s mind, he had an idea of the totality of the circulation of capital. His plan was to break it down into these three component parts in the three volumes. So I just follow what Marx says he’s doing. Now, the problem of course, is that volumes two and three were never completed, and they aren’t as satisfactory as volume one, which is a literary masterpiece. So I can understand why, if people want to read Marx with a certain sense of joy and fun, that they would stick with volume one. But I’m saying, ‘No, if you really want to understand what his conception of capital is, then you can’t understand it as just being about production. It’s about circulation. It’s about getting it to market and selling it, then it’s about distributing the profits.’

This is certainly something I didn’t know. My initial remarks to the comments on the post on Facebook about not having solutions might have been moderated a little.

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