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Violence, Global Unrest and Advanced Capitalism

(And Why Wile E. Coyote Never Catches Roadrunner)

Daniel Briggs

Over the last five years or so, we have witnessed increasing forms of violence and unrest across the world. In the media, these depictions are presented as actions of resistance to oppressive regimes and corrupt politics, yet are, at the same time, deliberately detached from a global politik which is collapsing in numerous ways: the manifestations evident in market instability, and increasing austerity, unemployment and social inequality; a sign perhaps that the orgy of globalisation is reaching its climax. Some of all this was reflected in what we saw across English cities during the summer of 2011 and in this article, I discuss these riots and why they might have happened and the State response. Perhaps more importantly, I show how they should be reconsidered alongside other forms of violence and dissatisfaction against oppressive regimes and corrupt politics as a collective response to a global system on the brink of collapse as a result of its never-ending pursuit of rampant profit at the expense of millions of people. I relate this fruitless quest of profit to Wile E. Coyote’s incessant pursuit of Roadrunner.

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Mavericks

Harvey, Graeber, and the reunification of anarchism and Marxism in world anthropology

Don Kalb

New books discussed in this article:

Graeber, David. 2011. Debt: The first 5,000 years. New York: Melville House.

Graeber, David. 2013. The democracy project: A history, a crisis, a movement. London: Allan Lane.

Harvey, David. 2011. The enigma of capital and the crises of capitalism. London: Profile Books.

Harvey, David. 2012. Rebel cities: From the right to the city to the urban revolution. London: Verso.

Harvey, David. 2013. A companion to Marx’s Capital, volume 2. London: Verso.

Lazar, Sian. 2008. El Alto, rebel city: Self and citizenship in Andean Bolivia. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press.