A couple of recently filmed talks by David Harvey have gone up over the last couple of weeks – one a lecture at the University of Warwick here in the UK and one as a discussant at the UrbanRise conference in Athens.
In both Harvey elucidates on a number of the contradictions of capital as he sees them. As part of this he talks at some length about the properties of money, and alternative forms of money which could act against the concentration accumulation of wealth and social power by losing value if they weren’t put quickly back into circulation. These ideas are new to me and I think particularly interesting.
Discussions of money in anti-capitalist circles have always appeared under three or four categories. Firstly are the frankly bizarre notions of doing away with money altogether and returning to some sort of barter economy. Second are the seemingly misguided ideas about local currencies, where the defining feature seems to be their disconnect from the world of high finance and ‘casino capitalism’. Third is the digital currency Bitcoin, which I have to confess I have virtually no substantial knowledge of at all. The fourth doesn’t really have anything to do with the money form or its content, rather its (re)distribution through taxation, public investment and so on.
Below are the two talks, both pretty much cover the same ground, so take your pick.