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The Enigma of Capital

Department of Geography public lecture

Date: Monday 26 April 2010
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue:  Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor David Harvey
Chair: Professor Michael Storper

For three centuries the capitalist system has shaped western society and conditioned the lives of its people. Capitalism is cyclical – and increasingly bankrupt. Boom-and-bust is its model. Laying bare the follies of the international financial system, eminent academic David Harvey looks at the nature of capitalism and why it's time to call a halt to its unbridled excesses.

He examines the vast flows of money that surge round the world in daily volumes well in excess of the sum of all its economies. He looks at the cycles of boom and bust in the world's housing and stock markets and shows that periodic episodes of meltdown are not only inevitable in the capitalist system but essential to its survival.

The essence of capitalism is its amorality and lawlessness and to talk of a regulated, ethical capitalism is to make a fundamental error. The Enigma of Capital considers how crises of the current sort can best be contained within the constraints of capitalism, and makes the case for a social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane.

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School and former Professor of Geography at Johns Hopkins and Oxford Universities. The author of numerous books, he was awarded the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1995 and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the world's most cited academic geographer and his course on Marx's Capital has been downloaded by well over 250,000 people since mid-2008: http://davidharvey.org/

This event celebrates Professor Harvey's new book The Enigma of Capital.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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