This is a remarkable talk, and once again David Harvey nails it. What’s more, the RSA animation crew make the talk that much more powerful and entertaining—there’s really a there there with this kind of visualization.
Hat tip to both Matt Gold and Brian Lamb for the link.
David Harvey confuses everything. He uses a lot of words and says very little. The whole situation is very, very simple. We have to produce shit that we want. We have an engine called capitalism that is very efficient. Why is it efficient? Because it is cruel, and that’s why it works. It works on misery of the workers but it works very well. It also encourages entrepreneurship in hopes to escape the misery. High efficiency means high levels of misery. That’s the first part. So we produce all this shit… This is not a zero sum game, if we all work together really hard, we produce more shit… and everyone is miserable doing it… but it’s efficient. The alternative Marx produces you can find anywhere where people are comfortable; they don’t do shit, they sit around all day and don’t feel that they need to work.
The second part has to do with distribution of wealth generated from our activities. This is a zero sum game. If one person gets more, the other person gets less. So you can have a capitalist economic engine, and a more equitable distribution engine. On the other hand, when we are done producing the people who control the wealth from our activity are a very certain group of people who did not produce the products, these are CEOs, financial managers, and so on. Further, we have created financial leeches that can take even more money from the producers through the so-called credit system which is simply put a system of leeching money from our pockets to privatized institution for absolutely no really good reason whatsoever. The financial industry is a tax that we pay to private institutions for financial “protection”. We have to expunge these parasites. Unfortunately, they control the host. And doing any sort of surgery on the host is likely to kill the host.
So we are paralysed. We neither have the knowledge on how to do the surgery, nor the will. It’s draining the life out of the host as we speak and while it does so it becomes more powerful… Because with each failure the host makes decisions which only strengthen the leeches, because the host is afraid of losing power and control over his system.
But ultimately, the question in this realm is who gets what… how is the wealth distributed after the products have been produced. If it is distributed to the super rich, then we get taxed by the banks and the rich just to use money… that is an additional tax on top of the inflation tax.
Further, if we play this whole game of let’s make capitalism even more efficient by outshoring, etc. Then as a direct result our quality of life will go down as we are in competition with people who are quite a bit more miserable than we are… and we will have to make ourselves more miserable to compete with them… Until a new equilibrium is found, which will divide the pie over more people… True this will produce a bigger pie as well, but I think it will generate more consumers that vie for the products than it will produce more products; increased productivity < increased demand… Anyway, the rich don't give a rat's ass… they want more profits and more power, this is their only reason for existence.
The politicians are owned by those with power. Those with power are the ones who have money. They want more money and could care less about the other issues. In that we are being forced to compete with people in the industrial age, capitalism is taking us back where we were 175 years ago in the factories of London. Where no one cares about worker health, environmental effects, etc.
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William Faulkner would be proud!
Why’d you tag this with “video games”? Curious to hear your thoughts on the connection.