Data released by the anti-poverty charity Oxfam suggests that the world’s wealthiest 80 people are on track to own more than the poorer half of the world’s population (some 3.5 billion) by 2016. That’s not a reflection of a glitch in our economic system, says David Harvey, professor at the City University of New York. That’s our economic system at work; indeed, that’s our economic system in “recovery.”
Distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at the CUNY Graduate Center, Harvey argues that poverty and inequality can’t be explained away or blamed on personal problems, or what President Obama in his State of the Union address called the “loopholes that lead to inequality.” Inequality is what our economic system produces, and the cost of it can be measured in the despair many feel, and in our bitter relationships to ourselves, each other and the planet.
“It’s almost impossible to be really human,” says Harvey, in a world that measures life in earnings and wealth and productivity only.
Centuries after the enclosure of the “commons” (land used by those without property), today’s society packages just about every aspect of existence up for pricing and selling, even our own knowledge. But just as feudalism contained within it the seeds of private enterprise, so too, within capitalism, Harvey sees the shoots of what might come next.
“We are going to see responses, which are not only outbreaks of fury and anger at the nature of the system, but also start to become locally constructing an alternative,” he told “The Laura Flanders Show.” To make needed change, we’re going to need utopian visions (one of Harvey’s is a world without money), and new forms of political opposition. Leer más…