Destructive Capitalism, an Investigation on the Inner Logic of Capital

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Virginia Tech

This research, while centered upon capital development, will concentrate its efforts on explaining the urgent contingencies behind its destructive aspects.

If capitalism in order to advance must destroy the past, what are the sources and effects of this inexorable tension between creation and destruction? Moreover, what are the principles of this contradictory logic that determines destruction in order to make progress?

This research will not investigate the totality of the destructive history behind capitalism. The time frame in analysis only covers the emergence of neo-liberalism at the beginning of the 1970s until today. This particular choice responds to the fact that neo-liberalism in itself is a strong example of the more destructive aspects of capitalist practice. I will not focus this research on a particular place, or a particular society. Instead, I will treat the topic from two theoretical perspectives, Joseph Schumpeter's notion of creative destruction and David Harvey's theory of geographical uneven development, along with his theorization of the spatial/temporal fix. Questions of space and development associated with capital will also integrate this research.

What this research will show is that the inexorable confluence between creation and destruction in capitalist practices to counter the overwhelming perspective of capitalism, as a progressive force in social terms, is an eminently political task that requires, not only imagination, but also, the necessary connection between apparent unconnected issues in order to unravel the perplexities of contemporary political and social thought.

Creative Destruction, Capitalism, David Harvey, Joseph Alois Schumpeter