The second episode of Left Out "Taking Power in a Climate of Chaos" is coming soon! Here is a clip of our guest, Christian Parenti, speaking about climate justice and its roots in the historical development of capitalism.
In this episode, we sat down with Christian Parenti to discuss climate change and our current political landscape. Parenti is a sociologist trained at the London School of Economics and is currently an economics professor at John Jay College (CUNY). He’s written extensively on the connection between climate change and geopolitical conflict around the globe and has reported from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. His writing has appeared in Fortune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Middle East Report, London Review of Books, Mother Jones, and The Nation (where he is Contributing Editor).
In 2011 he authored the book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and The New Geography of Violence , which explored how climate change is already causing violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism. His latest piece of work is featured in Anthropocene or Capitalocene?: Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism, alongside a collection of provocative essays on nature and power, humanity, and capitalism framed within a politics of hope that signal the possibilities for transcending capitalism.
In our interview, we were able to ask Christian what it was like to straddle the realm between academia and journalism; prospects of climate catastrophe; climate change and climate justice; and the role of both politics and the state in any real solutions for a way forward.
David Harvey is arguably the most influential living geographer, as well as one of the world’s leading Marxist scholars. He is among the most cited intellectuals of all time across the humanities and social sciences.
Harvey currently works as distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at CUNY, where he has been teaching Marx’s “Capital: Critique of Political Economy” for more than four decades. His course on Marx’s Capital has been downloaded by over two million people internationally since appearing online in 2008.
His latest book, Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason makes the core of Karl Marx’s thinking in the three volumes of Capital clear and accessible for the lay reader, without compromising their depth and complexity.
As Harvey argues in our interview, most people who read Capital often stop after the 1,152 pages of Volume I, which is very problematic if you want to understand the workings of capital as a totality. We ask Harvey why understanding all three volumes of Capital is so crucial, and why technological, economic and industrial change over the last 150 years makes Marx’s analysis more relevant now than ever.
In the last half of the discussion, we probe into whether it’s necessary for social movements today to develop a stronger institutional basis for understanding how capital and capitalism works, and ask Harvey what the Left most focus on to effectively organize for a better economy and society.
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