The Geography of Marxism
Date Written: 02/03/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22183
David Harvey is a geographer and a Marxist. A collection of his works titled The Ways of the World was recently published in paperback. A collection pulled from his writing and lectures, the works are insightful, both in their approach to the world and the manner in which he combines geography and Marxism.
Geography is more than just places on the planet and their representation on a map. It is also an examination of how humans and their interactions with the earth and with each other affect the planet's ecology, climate and future. Buildings, roads, resource extraction, industry and population are but a few of the factors that go into the study of modern geography. The economy of capitalism influences them all. Therefore, a Marxist analysis provides a critical look at the nature of the influence capitalism plays. It is quite often not very pretty. However, once one accepts the approach, many things that made little sense before become clearer.
That is the beauty of Marxism. It clarifies phenomena that was once confusing, sometimes plain nonsensical, often inhuman, and always obfuscated. When David Harvey is providing the analysis, his explanations are straightforward and clear. Of course, his word is not the final one, but what he adds to any debate on economics, politics and the world we live in almost always provokes conversation. Not always polite, mind you, but always thought-provoking. Ideally, those conversations and debates create a new synthesis from which a better understanding of our situation can evolve. One such essay in this book is titled "The New Imperialism." Harvey's similarly titled book and this essay have instigated a necessary and useful discussion regarding the nature of imperialism in the twenty-first century. Likewise, his essay on the shift from what he terms managerialism to entrepreneurialism in the administration of capitalist cities enables progressive and Left grassroots organizations with an understanding that can help fight the bankers' and developers' plans for urban United States.