How capital operates and where the world and China are going: a conversation by David Harvey and Paik Nak-chung
David HARVEY and PAIK Nak-chung
ABSTRACT The conversation first takes up the theme of David Harvey’s public lecture in Seoul, “Realization Crises and the Transformation of Everyday Life.” Harvey stresses that the relative neglect of Volume 2 of Marx’s Capital has prevented scholars and activists from paying due attention to the crucial importance of value realization for the reproduction of capital. The discussion then moves on to the city as both a site of production and of liberation struggles, a topic so far largely neglected in the Marxist tradition. Regarding the neoliberal phase of capitalism, Harvey calls it a “new imperialism” characterized by “accumulation by dispossession” as its guiding principle. Paik agrees to that distinguishing feature as compared to the immediately preceding phase where creation and appropriation of surplus value were more prominent, but suggests that “accumulation by dispossession” may have been an essential attribute of capitalism from the sixteenth century on. After ranging over a variety of topics, the conversation looks at the latest developments in Chinese economy, how they may illustrate Harvey’s notion of capital’s “spatial fix,” yet what other potentialities may yet be found in China’s diverse and complex reality.
David Harvey earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and is currently Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His close studies of Marx's works and his reflections on the importance of place (and more recently “nature”) have received much attention and acclaim across the humanities and social sciences. His highly influential books include Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution (2013); Social Justice and the City (2009); A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005); The New Imperialism (2005), among others.
Paik Nak-chung, a literary critic, received a PhD in English Literature at Harvard University. He taught at Seoul National University until his retirement in 2003. In 1966 he founded the Korean literary-intellectual journal The Changbi Quarterly, remaining its editor for fifty years. He has been active in South Korea’s democracy movement and in the civilian endeavors to promote reconciliation between the two Koreas. He authored many volumes of literary and social criticism, with three collections translated into Chinese and one into English. Currently he is co-chair of Korea Peace Forum as well as an emeritus professor at Seoul National University.