The deepest economic crisis in eighty years prompted a shallow revival of Marxism. During the panicky period between the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and the official end of the American recession in the summer of 2009, several mainstream journals, displaying a less than sincere mixture of broadmindedness and chagrin, hailed Marx as a neglected seer of capitalist crisis. The trendspotting Foreign Policy led the way, with a cover story on Marx for its Next Big Thing issue, enticing readers with a promise of star treatment: ‘Lights. Camera. Action. Das Kapital. Now.’

Benjamin Kunkel reviews The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism and A Companion to Marx’s ‘Capital’ both by David Harvey in the LRB.

Readers Comments

  1. This is a miraculous essay – it should make clearer at the opening that it is also a review of Harvey's Limits To Capital (1982), and puts Harvey's work in the context of his background as a geographer, of Marxist crisis theory generally, and of what’s actually going on in the present crisis, including bourgeois accounts of it. Brilliant! If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to read Harvey but wonder what the fuss is about, just read this essay.

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