chapter  12
16 Pages

Making the critique of capitalism fit for the present crisis

WithArne Johan Vetlesen

This chapter argues blind spots in the Marx-inspired account of the crises facing present day capitalism offered by David Harvey. Harvey's response is worth quoting in extenso: Capital cannot, unfortunately, change the way it slices and dices nature up into commodity forms and private property rights. To challenge this would be to challenge the functioning of the economic engine of capitalism itself and to deny the applicability of capital's economic rationality to social life. The chapter shows that Colin Crouch's trilogy has to do with a stubborn predilection in Western Marxism for privileging the capital labour relation over the capital nature one. To be sure, the notion of decoupling is intriguing; a godsend to neoliberals and Blairite social democrats alike, and most welcome to CEOs and shareholders, that there is no need for the boat called capitalism either to be rocked or to change its current course.