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Examine the claims made by Sociologist David Harvey when he asks if it is time to look...

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lcowan6 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:16 AM via web

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Examine the claims made by Sociologist David Harvey when he asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism.

Address:  http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/2010/06/28/rsa-animate-crisis-capitalism/

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that Harvey's point is a compelling one.  The recent financial crises that began in the latter part of the last decade and are continuing around the world into this one begs the question of whether or not a capitalist system is worthwhile.  Harvey makes the argument that for so long, the "boom" and "bust" cycle of capitalism was always accepted as intrinsic to it.  The question that he poses is whether or not this is something to actually embrace.  For Harvey, the problem that is ongoing now is not people questioning capitalism, but rather believing that the capitalist system is fine and there was some level of human error that contributed to the way things are now.  Harvey asserts that the problem is that people are not examining if the system, itself is wrong:

What happened was the leading hedge  fund owners got personal remunerations of  three billion dollars each in one year! Now I thought it was obscene and insane a few years  ago when they got two hundred and fifty million, but they're now hauling in three billion. Now that's not a world I want to live in and if you want to live in it be my guest. I don't see us debating and discussing this.

In the final analysis, Harvey's point is that the recent global economic crisis should be used as an opportunity to question if capitalism represents a "world in which we want to live in."  The issues of capitalism and the hardship that it brings on to people should be something to be debated as we enter into a globalized world where more people suffer under capitalism's tenets than ever before.  For Harvey, this is the critical question that he raises and one that is not answered.

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