On David Harvey

Topics: Marxism, Capitalism, Geography Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: December 9, 2010
David Harvey is a classical marxist concerned with inequality and the theoretical bridge between social theory and geography. Argues from a historical materialist perspective – how the society reproduces itself.

Harvey on space:

For Harvey, social practices and process create spaces and these spaces in turn, constrain, enable and alter those practices and process – what Ed Soja called a “socio-spatial dialectic”. Constant relationship between society and geography and they both influence eachother. This means that Harvey has long rejected the polar belief that space has no social effects or that it has effects in itself – what Sack called “spatial seperatism”. Harvey believes in what he refers to as “active moments”. Space, the material form that processes assume ‘on the ground’ as buildings, infrastructure etc is both cause and effect in/of social life – an ‘active moment’ in human affairs. A socio-spatial dialectic.

Link between Marx and Harvey.
Harvey is greatly inspired by Marx’ work and takes his starting point in Marx’ perception of capitalism as a contradictory economic system with three ‘logics’: accumulation for accumulation, competition between rival producers to gain market share and technological innovation in production processes and products. This trinity will eventually lead to internal contradictions explained in Capital and end in a crisis of over-accumulation. (Due to technological improvement and pressure/competition from rivals, it is rational in a capitalist system to replace workers for capital/machinery, but if all companies become more and more capital-intensive and since the workers are a large part of consumers as well, a crisis in inevitable.)

In this context, in the Limits to Capital Harvey shows how investments in buildings, infrastructure and roads (space) can provide capitalism with a mechanism for crisis displacement. The capitalist system tend to switch from current production to long-term fixed capital investment in...
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