Official Post from Prof Steve Keen: Theresa May has been busy setting rules on UK migration after Brexit. Freedom of movement was, of course, one of the contentious issues that led to Brexit in the first place. In this week’s Debunking Economics Podcast Phil Dobbie talks to Prof Steve Keen about the pros and cons of migration, where y
Tagged with “economics” (4)
I’m a big picture guy and so am more inclined to structural explanations. Yet one reason I love ROS is the way Chris in his humane narratives and conversations
always reminds me to see the
people in our crazy dramas. Still, sometimes I’m happy to tune in as I’m waking up on a Saturday morning in Tokyo and hear a structural thinker such as Mr. Blyth. His description of some of the key political economic post WWII shifts make a lot of sense, and yet I am left to wonder what he would say if he took a slightly longer view and placed the logic of capital within the greater logic of ecology.
As I see it, humanity is still struggling with two seismic shifts related to our more fundamentally existential connection with energy that have caused local and global crisis for some time and yet we rarely talk about them. An energy regime change to fossil fuels has, first, led most of humanity to leave century old occupations involved with food production and, second, led us into urban and suburban built environments. Don’t these grand dramas deserve a lot more consideration?
Furthermore, what economic theory, accepting valuation through market based realization, has failed to grasp, and what is missing from Mr. Blyth’s narrative, is the extraordinary role of energy, that makes it different than all other inputs. It’s calculated that one barrel of oil has the caloric content of 10 years of human physical labour. So how can it be valued at $20 at $50 or even $100 a barrel? Well, it has been and is it not this abundantly cheap caloric energy, this highly value adding input, that contributed greatly to the rise of the middle class and the welfare states? And hasn’t it been the rising extraction costs, and now the costs of climate change that also contributed greatly to shrinking profit margins, declining GDP and the active class warfare since the 70s we call neoliberalism?
We haven’t really come to terms with all the temporal, spacial, environmental and social impacts of this energy regime change that began with coal and steam during the industrial revolution and moved to oil and gas in the 20th century and now we are at the start of a new energy regime change that will again disrupt everything. Ecology/Energy sustains all life, is life, and it directs our economies, even if market mechanisms often distort this. Isn’t energy driven change and crises, rather than Trump, the deep structural yet mostly unvoiced source of our angst?
Recorded on 2 April 2014 in Old Theatre, Old Building.
You thought capitalism was permanent? Think again. Leading Marxist thinker Professor David Harvey unravels the contradictions at the heart of capitalism – its drive, for example, to accumulate capital beyond the means of investing it.
David Harvey (@profdavidharvey) is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York. This event marks the publication of Professor Harvey’s new book, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism.
Speakers: Professor Lord Meghnad Desai; Professor David Harvey; Professor Leo Panitch Chair: Professor David Held
This event was recorded on 18 November 2008 in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building This event brings together leading social and political thinkers to debate the contemporary meaning and relevance of Marx’s legacy on the occasion of the republication of The Communist Manifesto, with an introduction by David Harvey. Meghnad Desai is emeritus professor of economics at LSE. David Harvey is professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Leo Panitch is professor of political science at York University, Ontario.