The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis this Time

(paper prepared for the American Sociological Association Meetings in Atlanta, August 16th, 2010)

David Harvey, 2010

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Writing The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism.[2. Harvey, D., 2010, The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism, London, Profile Books.] I found that conventional versions of the Marxian theory of crisis formation were inadequate and that it was necessary to take a fresh look at the arguments on crisis formation laid out in Capital and, even more importantly, in The Grundrisse. In the latter work Marx argues that the circulation and accumulation of capital cannot abide limits. When it encounters limits it works assiduously to convert them into barriers that can be transcended or by-passed. This focuses our attention upon those points in the circulation of capital where potential limits, blockages and barriers might arise, since these can produce crises of one sort or another.

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