This is fascinating. An animated illustration of a talk by David Harvey explaining the post-2007 financial meltdown in Marxist terms. To summarise: when Mervyn King refers to “systemic risk”, what he means is “the internal contradictions of capital accumulation”, comrade.
Even if you’re not in the market for a Marxist explanation for the crisis, this is still an exhilarating ten-minute ride, and as a critique a lot of it rings true. For example:
- the promotion of home ownership in the US and UK as a means of discouraging debt-laden employees from going on strike;
- the declining proportion of national income paid out in wages since the 1970s – a decline which is then compensated for by increasing consumer debt;
- the suggestion that capitalism never resolves its crises: it just moves them around geographically (so that the resolution of a financial crisis in the US contributes to a sovereign debt crisis in Europe);
- the systematic favouring of the City over industry in the UK since the 1950s, under both the Conservatives and Labour, and the damage caused to our economy as a result.
You can also download the finished illustration for the princely sum of 59p from its creators, Cognitive Media.