Presentation on theme: "About Eric READINGS 1. Understanding Capital * Alison Blunt and Jane Wills (2001) ’Class,"— Presentation transcript:
About Eric READINGS 1. Understanding Capital * Alison Blunt and Jane Wills (2001) ’Class, capital and space: Marxist geographies’, Chapter 2 in A. Blunt and J. Wills Dissident Geographies: An Introduction to Radical Ideas and Practice. London: Prentice Hall. pp (N.B. only the first part of the chapter).(P&CC) * Eric Swyngedouw (2000), ‘The Marxian alternative: historical-geographical materialism and the political economy of capitalism’, Chapter 4 in E. Shepperd and T. Barnes (eds) A Companion to Economic Geography. Oxford: Blackwell. pp (P&CC) * Ray Hudson (2001), ‘Placing Production in Its Theoretical Contexts’,Chapter 2 in R. Hudson Producing Places New York: Guilford. pp (SR) * Background Notes on Marxist Political Economy.
Full text for those that miss the class Now that you have gotten through some basic literature, what I say next can start to be put in context
Thesis for the class Trade is not new, currency is not new. This literature is not anti-trade, -currency, or -technology, per se. However, our global systems for capital accumulation are having radical impacts on societies and environments at paces and scales not seen before, sometimes in unjust and unsustainable ways. We need to critically evaluate our systems to understand root causes of change and have a chance to alter our path. This requires critiquing political economic drivers of TES relations, not just science. Currency from a land with an intact commons
This is not an entire course devoted to political economy, and is mostly political economy of the environment What is Political Economy? Political economy is a holistic approach to understanding society from a materialist and systems perspective - practical to be interdisciplinary (geographers) A split from economic techniques Classical political economy - Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx Historical-geographical materialism (David Harvey, Eric Swyngedouw on water)
A synthesis of philosophical materialism and dialectics. All things are composed of material, and all phenomena are the result of material interactions, so understanding the systems (esp. economics and production) for resource capture and use reveals much about the roots of past, present, and future conditions (social, environmental, etc.). Dialectic referring to the exchange of arguments / counter-arguments advocating propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses). Outcome of such debates may not simply be the refutation a point of view, but a synthesis or combination of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. Practically speaking, good for getting at root causes of issues and examining / challenging paradigms.
Why this works for setting-up my science: Silt and Kava
Marx’s theory labeled “historical materialism” “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (Marx, The Communist Manifesto, 1848) What does this mean for environments around the world? E.G. “Fair trade coffee’s” shade, pesticide, land use, fertilizer Classes, economic systems and nation states are increasingly connected through globalization Reducing environment to the cheapest input, not best environment or foundation of its people. Environmental quality is externalized as lower class needs are marginalized and locus of control is shifts Shell?, Starbucks? Can’t separate people and the environment.
A new way condition?
“connectivity” reflected in markets and transportation systems
SARS Unanticipated consequences of “connectivity” reflected in markets and transportation systems
Adam Smith. Letter to David Hume. [Dated Kirkaldy, 16th June, 1776] Glasgow University 30,000 years of evolution
II. ROOTS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CITIES & REGIONS:CONCEPTS 1.Understanding Capital and the promise of emancipation and a middle class in Smith’s “surplus capital” and division of labour to get there, parallels, the rise of nation-states and fall of kings (“no taxation w/o rep.”, Fr. Rev.)
Does this systematic colonial and uneven process still continue today in political and economic relations? Diamonds, not diamond watches System inputs?: Slaves, mechanism, then “grabs,” now means of production (RP, Italy), today modern capital a solvent (Ophuls) a. The nature of capitalist production b. Capital accumulation, landscapes transformed by circuits of capital
2.The Geography of Capitalist Accumulation: Some Key Concepts a.The production of space and scale, landscapes, local? systematic uneven development, & spatial divisions of labour b.'The Urban Question': Marxist theories of urbanization under capitalism & his version of division of labour, in & bn nations. 50%, globalization -- a system or coincidence?
s The production of space & scale, landscapes, systematic uneven development, & spatial divisions of labour CQ Ecological changes and consequences?
Locally and internationally -- M prime -- For the system to work, who can participate in Smith’s dream of emancipation (Polo in RP)? Class struggle is systematic? Does somewhat have to stay behind? Environmental ramifications? earth.google CNMI and China sweatshops Watts and petroleum at the “point of production” Without social controls -- “Race to the bottom” in environment and labor inputs! Steel/rivers and socks!
3.“But didn’t ancient China trade?!” Theorizing the Transition: Transformation of Contemporary Capitalism Scale (tech), economies of scale -- surplus not craftsmanship Rostow V. positions in systems, global division of labour, and “comparative advantage” V. environmental exhaustion & being “stuck” Institutions? WTO no WERO -- globalization of capital accumulation philosophy Alternatives, isolation and globalization, and connectivity?
Some important “new” questions have emerged in recent years The role of science subsumed in political economy or vice-versa through sustainability? Understanding these relationships can help us understand and predict ROOT causes of environmental degradation and social and environmental injustice. Your next literature’s focus, along with technology.
We can use this political economy lens to critique the environment. Are our economic and technological systems ecologically and social just and sustainable?
The Rise of Urban and Regional Political Economy A product of the last 30 years Exploded onto the academic scene in the 1970s and reflected in a series of new academic journals - Antipode, Capital and Class, Review of Radical Political Economics, IJURR, RIPE etc. The demise of Fordism and the deep structural changes in the economy and society triggered the development of whole new ways of theorizing about urban and regional change Led to a rediscovery of the Marxist tradition in western social science and the development of a marxist-based urban and regional political economy
Marxist Political Economy (con’t) Production - both a technical and a social process Specific ways of organizing production are socially produced and historically specific and not, in some sense, natural (e.g. the labour process)
Application of human labour Means of production Instruments of labour (tools) Objects of labour (“raw” materials) Natural world Use values Purposive (organized) work The Labour Process in General Terms
Application of human labour (for a wage by workers) Means of Production Instruments of labour (tools) Objects of labour (“raw” materials) (controlled by capitalists) Natural world (property owned by capitalists) Commodities (sold by capitalist for exchange value) Purposive work (organized by capitalist) The Capitalist Labour Process
The Nature of Production and Consumption Basic Marxist Categories –Labour process –Forces of Production, Instruments of production Technical division of labour –Means of Production, –Social Relations of Production –Economic Base/Superstructure –Mode of Production
NATURE SOCIETY LEGAL POLITICAL RELATIONS SOCIAL RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION TECHNICAL DIVISION OF LABOUR SUPERSTRUCTUREECONOMIC BASE OBJECTS OF LABOUR e.g. raw materials, land MEANS OF PRODUCTION FORCES OF PRODUCTION MODE OF PRODUCTION (e.g. Feudal, capitalist etc ) MEANS OF LABOUR: Technology
The Nature of Production and Consumption Production and Consumption: Expanded Reproduction of Capital “Self-globalizing” -- not a good or bad people, not an emphasis on agency, but on systems that need to be growing to be healthy Engineers stop engineering and start finding new markets Globalization of “High Consumption” has ramifications in energy, environment, social justice, governance, land use, etc. worth investigation
The Nature of Production and Consumption (con’t) Dynamic of society and social change –Struggle and conflict between classes that includes their environments! e.g. the wage bargain –The contradiction between the forces and social relations of production are the key mechanism of historical change of society and environment –A role for socialism, alternatives to liberal democracies based on markets? The role of free markets (next literature)?!
Ecological and public health ramifications of this organization of this process (technological, labour, natural resources). For example, NPR towards end of industrial revolution in Europe and start the second wave…NPR Killer Fog of 1952
Luxury consumption Reproduction of labour power Production of values and surplus value Means of production (intermediate inputs and machinery) Dept. I Luxury goods Dept. III Wage goods Dept. II Labour power Constant productivity of labour The Relations in Marx’s “Reproduction on an Expanded Scale” Capital, Vol. 2 Nature
NATURE SOCIETY LEGAL POLITICAL RELATIONS SOCIAL RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION TECHNICAL DIVISION OF LABOUR SUPERSTRUCTUREECONOMIC BASE OBJECTS OF LABOUR e.g. raw materials, land MEANS OF PRODUCTION FORCES OF PRODUCTION MODE OF PRODUCTION (e.g. Feudal, capitalist etc ) MEANS OF LABOUR: MACHINERY BUILDINGS
Marxist Political Economy: Introductory Comments Economics and economic geography are inherently ideological neoclassical economics market exchange the individual consumer sovereignty harmony/consensus equilibrium a neutral state marxist political economy production/labour process class relations profit/capital accumulation conflict/ antagonistic class relations dynamic disequilibrium/uneven development/crisis capitalist state embodying class interests Competing Discourses Market Economy Capitalism
UNDERSTANDING CAPITAL The Rise of Urban and Regional Political Economy What is Political Economy? Marxist Political Economy: Introductory Comments The Basic Concepts of Marxist Analysis: The Nature of Production (in General) The Nature of Capitalist Production
The Rise of Urban and Regional Political Economy What is Political Economy? Ricardo, Smith, et al. The split between econ and pol econ Marxist (M prime systems based) “Radical” Political Economy CQ The Capitalist Production and Impacts on Equity directly and via Nature?
The Nature of Production and Consumption Basic Marxist Categories –labour process –Forces of Production, instruments of production technical division of labour –Means of Production, –Social Relations of Production –Economic Base/Superstructure –Mode of Production Production and Consumption: Expanded Reproduction of Capital