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Readings in historico-geographical materialism Castree, Noel 1992

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READINGS IN HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM by NOEL CASTREE B.A. (Hons.), The University of Oxford, 1989 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1992 © Noel Castree, 1992  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  la'  e  r  The University of Britis Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  0^C  Abstract  As the twentieth century comes to a close Marxism, as an intellectual and political force, is widely considered to be in a state of terminal decline. In the Englishspeaking world Marxism is often seen as essentially an economistic discourse, unable to deal with questions of power and subjectivity that have recently become the focus of so much academic concern. In this thesis I contest that view by exploring the cultural theory contained in David Harvey's 'historico-geographical materialism'. Harvey, perhaps the leading exponent of geographically inflected materialist analysis, has produced a considerable amount of work exploring how capital entails a particular mode of sociation that is consequential for our very subjectivities. Yet his work, I contend, is little understood. In an account that is both exegetical and critical I seek to illuminate the central aspects of Harvey's interventions into the cultural realm and suggest the limits of his contrual of what I call 'the subject of capital' in making sense of the complexities of late twentieth century societies. As such this thesis is more than simply a meditation on the work of one individual. It is also a critical investigation of a particular kind of Marxism 'classical' Marxism - and an evaluation of where, today, that venerable problematic leaves those trying to make sense of our subjection in contemporary society.  ii  CONTENTS  Abstract^  ii  List of Figures^  iii  List of Plates^  iv  Acknowledgements^  v  Introduction^  1  Part I Readings in Historico-Geographical Materialism: Defining a Political -Intellectual Project Prologue^  13  1. A foreword to historico-geographical materialism^  21  2. From modern legislators to postmodern interpreters: the aestheticization ^44 of ethics? 3. The aesthetic subject?  ^  73  4. Historico-geographical materialism at the fin-de-siecle  ^  116  Part II Readings in Historico-Geographical Materialism: the Subject of Capital  Prologue  ^  160  5. Theory-history-science: the value theory of labour 6. The subject of capital  ^ iii  ^  173 216  7. Critique, norm and utopia  ^  253  Part III Other Maps  8. Marxist geography and geographies of Marxism: towards a reconsider- ^287 ation of cultural-geographic materialism Bibliography^  307  iv  List of Figures  Figure^  Page  Figure 1^Harvey's general model of cultural and political change ^77 Figure 2^Harvey's specific model of cultural and political change ^77 Figure 3^Contemporary Anglo-American human geography ^135 Figure 4^Soja's tripartite history of human geography^291 Figure 5^Human geography and Western Marxism ^ 294  v  List of Plates  Page  Plate^  Plate 1 The rear of the main tribune of the Zeppelin Field, Nuremburg ^101 Plate 2 The cathedral of light, Nuremburg^  vi  101  Acknowledgements I would like to extend my deepest thanks to Derek Gregory. I could not have hoped for a better supervisor throughout the course of my MA programme. Not only has been immensely generous with his time and his ideas, but has frequently supplemented my intellectual diet with less cerebral ingredients to be found in pitchers and on plates. I am particularly grateful for his relaxed style of supervision: he offered important guidance when I sought it , but has had enough confidence in me to let me pursue questions in directions of my own choosing. I also want to thank Cole Harris for giving his time to be the second reader for this thesis. To the various faculty whose courses I have attended over the last two years I also extend my thanks for what has been a stimulating programme. But, of course, the academic pursuits would not have been nearly so enjoyable were it not for the company of Dave, Dan, Jock, Steve and the other graduates in the Department, not to mention those 'vortexers' at 3339 West 8th avenue. While we might not always see eye to eye, I want to thank the Alemania soccer club for allowing me the privelege of my first ever divisional championship and the most enjoyable season of my life! It is to Marie-Noel, however, who I owe the most for making this last year the best possible one in which to write a thesis.  vii  INTRODUCTION  This thesis is situated at the intersection of a concern with three discourses: Marxism, 'culture' [with a small c], and human geography [in both the disciplinary and the lived sense]. The first two may seem somewhat antithetical: Marxism has lost favour on the left and even been declared to be in terminal crisis, while an interest in the domain of 'culture' has burgeoned these last few years and become a general signifier for the pursuit of questions outside the supposedly iron grip of capitalist economic determinations. Within Anglophone human geography these two aspects of the wider intellectual zeitgeist have made themselves increasingly apparent. The development of a much more ecumenical critical community within the discipline over the last decade or so has been a positive achievement, and one that has taken place in part through an critique of Marxist geography, which was, in my view, the first really substantial critical paradigm to enter the discipline)  But in this perfectly proper concern to elucidate the spaces not inhabited solely, or even partly, by capitalism, we may also be in danger of thinking that we have 'dealt' with Marxism, that we know what it is about and can thus be confident in pigeonholing it as, for example, as essentially economistic discourse which is thus, inter alia , ill equipped to deal with putatively 'cultural' questions. Such a view implicitly portays capitalism as an economic system which does not, then, possess its own 'cultural' forms connected immediately or even apparently connected to the imperatives of production. At worst this leads to the grossest kind of caricature, which treats Marxism [with a capital M and in the singular] as a more or less singular and coherent body of thought without attending to the complex intellectual  l During the early 1970s of course.  1  divisions which have for a long time distinguished different Marxisms, not all of which are economistic discourses. Unfortunately, this tendency is encouraged when practitioners such as David Harvey let their concern about the shift away from historical materialism manifest itself in overly strident form. The Condition of Postmodernity [subtitled, let us recall, An Inquiry Into The Origins of Cultural Change] has, quite rightly, elicited a hostile response from several feminists because of the apparent exorbitancy of the claims to know articulated within the text. Harvey's somewhat intemperate style of argumentation leads him to make the boldest of connections between political-economic and cultural change, which instead of advancing rather defeats his own cause by making it seem as if the economy literally drives all else before it with a relentless, transcendent logic.  Many of these arguments have come together in the so-called 'new cultural geography'. On the left of the spectrum encompassed by this admittedly elusive designation, what is notable is how little interest there has been in materialist analysis. Peter Jackson, for example, in his survey Maps of Meaning, accords historical materialism a somewhat confusing place in the agenda of a new cultural geography through a curiously anemic and insubstantial invocation of Raymond Williams and Antonio Gramsci. 2 We might attribute this in part to the fact that much of the Marxist geography that has preceded the recent interest in 'culture' has been largely concerned with the structure of the space economy , a situation commensurate with the view that Marx was essentially a political-economic theorist. But such a view is quite drastically one-sided: Harvey, for one, sees the critical theory erected by Marx as potentially productive of elements of a cultural theory of capitalism and, in the volume Consciousness and the Urban Experience  2 1989, London: Unwin Hyman  2  for example, has offered a sophisticated and carefully argued attempt to make interventions into the 'cultural' realm. Moreover, the view that Marxism is a purely economic discourse fails to attend to the continental tradition of what Perry Anderson called 'Western Marxism', a reworking of Marx in the direction of cultural and political theory. 3  As originally conceived this thesis was to have been a grand survey of what we might, then, call a 'cultural-geographic materialism'. My own interests are in the constitution of subjectivity and the temporal and spatial contours of being, concerns not usually thought to be those of materialist inquiry. Looking around the discipline of Anglophone human geography it seemed to me that it was the work of David Harvey that offered the most ambitious, substantial, rigorous and critically engaged theoretical account of the 'centring' of subjects within the historical geography of capitalism. Coincidentally, his Marxism is a peculiarly classical version, one that, as far as Harvey is concerned at least, holds close to the original writings of Marx. Harvey thus seemed to offer a double opportunity: to investigate, through a geographical imagination, how capital colonizes our very subjectivities and to scrutinize the validity of Harvey's reading of that process; and to thus also assess the precepts of that version of Marxism which is usually seen, by its detractors, as 'outdated' and dogmatic, hence the epithet 'orthodox' Marxism. This done, I had then intended to move away from Harvey's 'orthodox' Marxism and to do so by showing how it cannot be made to stand for Marxism tout court . In particular I wanted to pay attention to a body of materialist theory which addresses more centrally than Marx ever did cultural-political questions, the discourse of Western Marxism. The contours of Western Marxism are peculiarly continental European  3 Perry  Anderson, 1989, Considerations on Western Marxism, 2nd edition, London: Verso  3  ones and it was my contention that an attention to its historical geography might explain why the versions of materialist inquiry inhabiting a narrowly Anglophone human geography have seemed so weak when it comes to addressing politicocultural issues.  It soon became clear, however, that this project was much too ambitious for a master's thesis. What remains is a study of central aspects of the 'cultural theory' contained in David Harvey's 'historico-geographical materialism'. As such this thesis is, to appropriate Harvey's own felicitous words from the Introduction to The Limits to Capital, "but a pale apology for a magnificent conception." But the more I thought about Harvey's work the more I came to believe that an in-depth and careful study of his Marxism would be a valuable exercise. I say this for a number of reasons.  As I looked around the discipline for aids in making sense of Harvey's work, I was at once suprised and dismayed at how little critical attention there was to the materialist reading of the subject with which I was concerned. At first I thought this was a fluke, and so I proceeded apace with my own reading of Consciousness and the Urban Experience, The Condition of Postmodernity and other essays. But the more I read the more it became clear that the dialectical nature of Harvey's Marxism demanded that one attend to his work as a whole. Looking around for critical exegeses of his more 'economic' writings, like the magisterial Limits to Capital, I was once again struck by the almost total absence of rigorous and sustained critique of Harvey's work within the discipline. Aside from a few cursory book reviews at the back of journals, most of the essays dealing with his work seemed unwilling to engage in-depth with the particularities of Harvey's Marxism: instead, what is still, ten years later, the most detailed critique of Harvey's Marxism, 4  Duncan and Ley's 'Structural Marxism in Human Geography', seemed to me to miss the specificity of historico-geographical materialism and to trade in accusations [such as economic determinism, reductionism, functionalism, teleology, theoreticism] that I find somewhat inaccurate and unhelpful.  I do not think this absence of truly careful critical engagement is peculiar to Harvey's work, although the intellectual achievement that his four theoretical treatises and numerous essays represent makes the absence quite astonishing. It may well be that Anglophone human geography is marked by an intellectual culture where there is no sense of duty to truly engage with substantive research within the discipline: if the journals are anything to go by, one looks in vain for spaces devoted to essay-length book reviews that permit detailed critical exegeses of the work of others. 4 This thesis is, then, as much an elaboration of the defining features of Harvey's Marxism as such, its central intellectual and political claims and the bases for them, as it is a study of its 'cultural' inflections.  In particular, it is an account of historico-geographical materialism as a critical theory of society. As Christopher Norris notes, the 1980s and '90s have been marked by a certain ennui with theory, both on the left and on the right, and on both sides of the Atlantic. While some leftists have withdrawn into 'theory' as the historical landscape has seemed to offer less hope for social change [in an era of Thatcher, Reagan and Bush], so others have seen it as insufficiently sensitive and robust to make sense of the complexities of the current social formation. On the right, that disillusion with the powers of Marxist theory has frequently been a cause for celebration, and an opportunity to reassert the argument that the free market 4 See, in this regard, the comments of Derek Gregory, 1991, Editorial: 'Gossip Column', Society and  Space, 9, pp 1-4  5  and capitalism are best suited for distributing goods and wealth; the more recent collapse of Russian and East European communism is taken to be the greatest testament to the folly of trying to enact 'progressive' change. Yet Harvey remains commited to historico-geographical materialism as a critical theory of capitalism and so insists that its raison d'etre is to promote the transcendence of that particular system. Theory is not, then, for Harvey some detached, meta-physical pursuit but a practical , political exercise that arises out of a scientific and historically and empirically grounded study of the workings of the capitalist mode of production: it is not a moralistic or evaluative theory, but a critical theory in the Hegelian sense of the former word [of which more anon]. Indeed, it is my contention that the concepts of critique , theory, science and history from a quartet that frame Harvey's project and are essential for understanding what it is about  This is not a hagiographic study. It arises, rather, out a desire to make plain with care and rigour the tenets of historical materialism at a time when, with the collapse of communism, capitalism is occupying new geographical spaces and embracing new populations. It is thus implicitly an account of a version of Marxism generally seen as passé: classical Marxism. I offer it as an encouragement to step inside Harvey's problematic in its specificity. However, I leave it up to the reader to decide on the power and cogency of his Marxism: my intention is merely to at least begin to provide adequate materials for making a reasoned, rather than caricatured and impulsive, assessment. There is, clearly, a hermeneutic involved here: mine is not a 'neutral' account; it is, rather, a representation of Harvey's representation of Marx. This is, however, unavoidable.  The study is organized in three parts. Parts I and II weave a discussion of the nature of Harvey's intellectual-political project with an elucidation of its 'cultural' 6  problematics, specifically regarding the subject. Part I can be seen as an attempt to define the 'external' boundaries of Harvey's Marxism, by focussing on recent 'cultural' changes of a capitalist and non-capitalist nature. It is simultaneously an investigation of what I am very crudely going to call one 'half' of Harvey's conception of the subject, focussed on Harvey's notion of 'time-space compression' and his designation of what I call the aesthetic subject . The vehicle I use is Harvey's most recent and most notorious intervention into those classical 'superstructures' of Marxian theory, The Condition of Postmodernity. I focus on this book because of the widespread critical attention it has received and because it deals with an issue that is much discussed right now and which, I will show, seems to have a direct bearing on the claims of Harvey's Marxism: the supposed transition to a 'postmodern' era.  In the Prologue to the first Part I introduce the themes that structure the following chapters. I suggest that Harvey's critical theory relies on a conception of critique that can, apparently, be traced back to the foundational philosophies of the Enlightement. While many of the intellectual claims that come under the label of postmodernism pose a challenge to such a foundational stance, Harvey's response is to subvert them by seeing postmodernism as part of an historical condition - postmodernity - which his Marxism can explain. In particular, Harvey provocatively suggests that postmodernity is synonymous with an aesthetic turn, and that it is the aestheticization of our very subjectivities that explains the ills of the postmodern era.  In chapter 1 I explore the meaning of the concept of critique by tracing its genealogy back through Marx to Hegel, Kant and the Enlightenment. In chapter 2 I use this 'foreword to historico-geographical materialism' to show how the concept 7  seemingly influences the way Harvey prosecutes his case against postmodernism. Harvey's polemical critique of postmodern philosophy creates the impression that he sees his materialism as adequate to grasp the gyrations of Society tout court ; that is, Harvey seems resolutely foundationa/ist and hence blithely insensitive to other visions of the social. Chapter 3, which I title 'The Aesthetic Subject?', reaches the basis of Harvey's critique of postmodernism, his designation of postmodernity as an historical condition which involves a transformation in our subjectivities. Through an examination of Harvey's conception of fascism in pre-second World War Germany and, specifically, the figure of Martin Heidegger I try to show the logic of Harvey's critique of postmodernity through his reading of the aesthetic subject, and conclude that it is flawed in serious ways. That said, and despite the frequently tendentious nature of some of the theoretical and historical claims made within The Condition of Postmodernity, I also suggest that the apparent exorbitancy of Harvey's claims to know overshadow some genuine historical insights that might be productive of future research on a materialist reading of the subject. I end chapter 3 with a summary of the trajectory of my overall argument. I argue that when the target is The Condition of Postmodernity the charge that Harvey's is a foundational discourse seems warranted and conclude by offering a 'first cut' at Harvey's overall intellectual and political project on the basis of that particular book.  In chapter 4 I move away from postmodernism/ity to consider other important contemporary challenges to Harvey's claims to know. I convene my discussion around what has been called the crisis of Marxism", which I locate at the intersection of three concurrent developments: a move to 'post-Marxism', a renewed interest on the left in civil society and political democracy, and, third, the revolutions' in the USSR and Eastern Europe. While I take each of these 8  challenges seriously, I try to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the limits of Harvey's Marxism than is evident in The Condition of Postmodernity in particular by focussing on the sense of theory within Harvey's work and this constitutes my 'second cut' at his overall project. I insist on the specificity of The Condition of Postmodernity within the larger corpus of Harvey's writings and argue that its polemical tones obscure Harvey's more measured interventions in his work prior to that book. I conclude that when historico-geographical materialism is treated specifically as a critical theory of capitalism then, in principle, it is still directly  relevant to a critical study of contemporary history, but that this must, of course, be demonstrated in the course of actually making sense of that history. On this basis I conclude Part I.  Having suggested the 'external' bounds' of Harvey's Marxism, in Part II I go 'inside' it to elaborate of aspects of his 'cultural-geographic materialism' as articulated prior to The Condition of Postmodernity. Herein, I suggest, lie Harvey's most careful and cogent theoretical statements on the question of the subject within the historical geography of capitalism. His interventions here form, on my terms, the other 'half' of his materialist reading of the subject. As a necessary prelude to what follows a Prologue summarizes Harvey's 'mature' view of Marxism as a critical theory 5 , and this comprises my third and final 'cut' in defining its nature and purpose according to Harvey's self-understanding. This final cut introduces the concepts of science and history which, when added to critique and theory, form a quartet of terms that frame Harvey's project; what follows is a suggestive elaboration of that summary. Chapter 5 presents the epistemological and 5 By which I mean the view embodied in his most recent works rather than in Social Justice and the  City, but with the exception of The Condition of Postmodernitv. The last exclusion is not because I think that book can be divorced from the trajectory of Harvey's recent work,but because its intellectual precepts are less clearly articulated and its central theses polemically argued, so that what I take to be Harvey's 'normal' way of proceeding is lost in the rhetoric of this particular text.  9  procedural tenets that underpin that critical theory. Following Benhabib's seminal reconstruction of the foundations of Marx's historical materialism 6 which, I suggest, speaks to Harvey's concerns, I divide the next two chapters according to her identification of the two moments of that theory: a diagnostic and an anticipatory moment. Chapter 6 arrives at the source of my concern, the centring of subjects as specifically class subjects within the historical geography of capitalism. Chapter 7 is unusual in that it pursues this question of subjectivity into the anticipatory realm. I ask the most simple but must fundamental of questions: what is the purpose of historico-geographical materialism, what, in particular, is the vision of subjecthood it strives for? In so doing I engage a discussion of the normative precepts of Harvey's Marxism, a topic that, as far as I know, has not been dealt with elsewhere.  The thesis concludes with a single essay that forms Part III, where I seek to contextualize Harvey's particular brand of Marxism by counterposing it to a wider Marxian tradition, Western Marxism. If Part II can be seen as illuminating the strengths and limits of Harvey's most cogent interventions on the question of subjectivity, then chapter 8 can be seen as a provisional exploration of how classical Marxism can be extended in directions that Harvey cannot take precisely because he is faithful to that classical problematic. My intention is to suggest that geographers have a much wider discursive tradition to attend to if they wish to think seriously about materialist cultural analysis.  A note on my use of the term 'subject' is warranted here. The question of the constitution of subjectivity is high on the intellectual agenda right now, and frequently associated with attempts to offer 'deep' accounts of identity ['the  6 Seyla Benhabib, 1986, Critique, Norm and Utopia, New York: Columbia University Press  10  subject'], as offered by certain brands of psycho-analytical theory for example. I use the term in a much less specific and much more general sense to embody diverse aspects of perception of self and others and of personal and interpersonal modes of thought and action. This may seem inadmissably loose. In my defence it will be part of my argument that Harvey's own interventions into questions of 'the subject' are modest and open-ended and hence eschew definitive accounts of being  This thesis, while largely exegetical, is critical too. If I am able to show that Harvey's Marxism has more to it than is commonly supposed, and in doing so encourage a closer critical attention to what it is he has to say, then I will have achieved something of value. In particular, I insist throughout that, on its own terms Harvey's is an historical science and is thus open to public discussion, to reasoned conjecture and refutation of each of its open ended theoretical formulations. This, it seems to me, is the condition of possibility for any critical theory: dogmatism can lead only to the dead-end of ignorance and is thus incapable of speaking to those whose interests it purports to serve.  11  PART I  READINGS IN HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM: DEFINING AN INTELLECTUAL-POLITICAL PROJECT  12  PROLOGUE  CRITIQUE AND CRISIS  In a recent consideration of the possible political responses to the challenges posed by what he sees as the shift to a regime of flexible accumulation and 'the postmodern turn' in contemporary culture and politics, David Harvey has argued as follows:  "Every established order tends to produce," Bourdieu [1977:164] writes, "the naturalization of its own arbitrariness." The "most important and best concealed" mechanism for doing so is "the dialectic of the objective chances and the agent's aspirations, out of which arise the sense of limits, commonly called the sense of reality" which is "the basis of the most ineradicable adherence to the established order."  This is a key insight. It helps explain how even the most critical theorist can so easily end up reproducing "adherence to the established order." It explains...the impossibility of any radical and transforming...practice in advance of any radical transformation in social relations. The insight compels scepticism towards those who have recently embraced post-modernism...as a radical and liberating break with the past. There is strong evidence that postmodernity is nothing more than the cultural clothing of flexible accumulation. 1  Far from presaging the possibility of a revolutionary and emancipatory politics that Harvey so clearly wants, the postmodern condition is seen as one where the dissolution of the capitalist economic system seems further away than ever:  1 David Harvey, 1989, 'Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanisation: Reflections on Postmodernism in the American City,' in David Harvey The Urban Experience, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p 273  13  While capitalism is always in a state of pre-socialism, it is scarcely on anyone's agenda these days to think about something as daring as the transition to socialism. Bourdieu [1977:168], perhaps, provides a clue as to why: "the critique which brings the undiscussed into discussion, the unformulated into formulation, has as the condition of its possibility objective crisis, which in breaking the immediate fit between subjective structures and the objective structures, destroys self-evidence practically." Only under conditions of crisis do we have the power to think radically new thoughts because it then becomes impossible to reproduce "the naturalization of our own arbitrariness."2  In particular, Harvey's concern is that the postmodern turn is synonymous with an aesthetic turn in intellectual, political and cultural life, an aestheticization that blocks a cognitively rational critique of its own origins in the dynamics of capital accumulation. As such it serves not only to mystify and naturalize the ongoing operation of capitalism: it also brings with it all manner of dangers. Drawing parallels with Nazi Germany, Harvey's fear is that under conditions of 'time-space compression' postmodernity licenses the re-emergence of an aestheticized kespolitics which can be powerfully articulated through hypostatized notions of place . Postmodernity, then, far from being radically new, is in vital respects a continuation of modernity, a continuity that Harvey locates in the enduring logic of the capitalist mode of production.  I begin with these provocative remarks not only because they say much about the subject of the following chapters, but because they also address an issue that has come to occupy a central place in contemporary intellectual debate: the supposed transition from a modern to a postmodern world. Even if capitalism is not in a state of fundamental crisis, there is a general recognition within the academic  2 Ibid. 275  14  community that the last two decades have been years marked by a series of ruptures, as the tapestry of the postwar era has been unravelled and reconfigured. The period since the late 60s/early 70s has witnessed a transformation, perhaps even as Harvey says a sea-change, in economic, socio-political, cultural and intellectual practices, now commonly referred to by an [often confusing] mixture of terms such as post-modernism, post-industrialism and post-Fordism. Indeed, such is the proliferation of discourse around the various 'posts' that, as Gregory wryly observes, "...their constant repetition threatens to dull the sensibilities." 3  Zygmunt Bauman has recently sketched the contours of one of these crises, that of the role of the intellectual in Western societies. 4 His account is of interest because it raises a series of questions about the role of the modern intellectual in a 'post-modern world' which appear to feed directly into the intellectual and political project contained within Harvey's most recent, and most notorious book The Condition of Postmodernity. 5  Bauman argues that until recently intellectuals have seen their role as providing an "...authoritative solution to questions of cognitive truth, moral judgement and aesthetic taste", as being what he calls legislators  .  6  However, in  recent years this role has been brought into question by three developments. First, as the 'self-evidence' of Western superiority that marked and disfigured the era of modernity has dissipated, there has been a realization that the universalizing pretensions of modern intellectuals in fact amount to a peculiarly Occidental 3 Derek Gregory, 1989, The Crisis of Modernity? Human Geography and Critical Social Theory,' in  Peet and Thrift [eds.] New Models in Geography Vol. II, London: Unwin Hyman, p 348  4 Zigmunt Bauman, 1988, 'Is There A 'Postmodern Sociology'?', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 5,  no. 2, pp 217-239  5 Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989 6 Bauman op. cit. 219  15  perspective which cannot speak for other, non-Western visions of the world. Secondly, the state, which in the post-war era enlisted intellectuals in the service of its legitimation, no longer requires such services today. Under the altered conditions of late capitalism, "the weapon of legitimation has been replaced with two mutually complementary weapons: this of seduction and that of repression .  '  7  Neither weapon is new, of course, and Bauman makes it clear that both have a long history. But it is their intensification that is novel as we approach the fin-desiecle , particularly so the weapon of seduction: "Market dependency is guaranteed and self-perpetuating once men and women, now consumers, cannot proceed with the buisness of life without turning themselves to the logic of the market." 8 Bauman's central claim here, I take it, is that as the market has increasingly colonized civil society - that sphere which, in Hegel's paradigmatic account, should be neither reducible to the state nor to the dull compulsion of the economy - it has found, as it were, the means of its own legitimation. Under conditions of seduction, then, there is neither need nor room "for those hard-core intellectuals ... supplying proof that what is being done is universally correct and absolutely true..." 9 Third, and corresponding to these developments, modern intellectuals have lost their hold on and right to define culture: "Whatever their other ambitions, modern intellectuals always saw culture - or, rather, Culture - as their private property; they made it, they lived in it, they even gave it its name."  10  Although only the privileged  few could reach the summits of cultural good taste and propriety, it was the intellectuals who defined the standards of what culture was all about, standards to be striven for, if not usually attained, by the masses. As such culture was an arena for securing societal integration, and thus the modern intellectual indispensable for 7 Ibid. 221 8 lbid. 9 lbid.  lolbid. 224  16  the powers that be. Today, however, culture has not so much been expropriated from the intellectuals as moved beyond them: "Instead it is gallery owners, publishers, TV managers and other 'capitalists' or 'bureaucrats' who are in control ... [as] the culture consumption game has grown to unheard of proportions ..."1 1  In short, the modern intellectuals' claims to universality, authority and exclusivity - to legislative reason - have foundered in the face of social transformations that demand a reorientation of the intellectual role. In a world now seen as an irreducible plurality of cultures, voices and language games the proselytizing intellectual is redundant. For Bauman, then, the concept of 'postmodernity' stands for the " 'coming out' of the intellectuals"  12 ,  and one  response to this questioning of the legislative role is for intellectuals to become interpreters , brokers between different visions of the world.  Bauman's account of intellectual crisis is not, of course, uncontroversial. But I have recounted it at such length because it points to something that has undoubtedly preoccupied the minds of many academics in recent years and which figures prominently in what follows:  The concepts of modernity and postmodernity stand for two sharply different contexts in which the intellectual role is performed; and two distinct strategies which develop in response to them...  In particular  11 Ibid. 12 Ibid. 218  17  ...they raise a series of questions about the contemporary meaning and scope of the process of critique. 13  POSTMODERN CRITIQUE?  How does all this relate to Harvey? In one sense Bauman's account seems distant from Harvey's concerns and from his Marxism. For it is clear in his depiction of the intellectual crisis denoted under the sign of 'postmodernity' that his modern intellectuals are those commited to the established order, those wedded to the legitimation of state and capital. Hence the specificity of the plight of what Crook calls the 'modernist radical' is not addressed in Bauman's account of the modern intellectual. 14 However, as Bauman has pointed out elsewhere, what both radical and conservative modern intellectuals share is a commitment to universality, to bringing the gyrations of society within a single and grand discursive framework.  15  What is interesting is the different way in which Bauman deals with each party under conditions of 'postmodernity.' Let me elaborate.  In a provocative maneouvre, Bauman argues that those recent social transformations which pose a challenge to those status quo modern intellectuals in fact represent an opportunity for the modernist radical: an opportunity for no less than the renewal for the modern project. Rather than licensing the interpretive 13 Zigmunt Bauman, 1987, Legislators and Interpreters, Cambridge: Polity Press, p 3  "Stephen Crook, 1991, Modernist Radicalism and its Aftermath: Foundationalism and AntiFoundationalism in Radical Social Theory, London: Routledge. Crook defines modernist radicalism by three criteria: that it embody a 'theory of ideology' "which will articulate its generic superiority to mere opinion or common sense"; that its diagnostic claims regarding modernity be conducted under the sign of 'science; and that it "claims to achieve a uniquely powerful 'unity of theory and practice" licensing an anticipatory-utopian programme of social change. The similarities and differences with Harvey's Marxism are, as we shall see, instructive. 15Zygmunt Bauman, 1991, Modernity and Ambivalence, Cambridge: Polity Press. See chapter two in particular where Bauman locates the 'dream of legislative reason' in seventeenth century West European society, embdodied in the work of the Philosophers such as Kant.  18  stance, for Bauman 'postmodern society' offers a new object of investigation and a continuing opportunity to expose " ... the ties linking visible biographies to invisible societal processes, on understanding what makes society tick ...if possible in a more 'emancipating' way." 16 The increasing colonization of the life world by the market and the expansion of a cultural sphere underpinned by capital demand the continuation of a critical discourse adequate to grasp the totalizations of capital, a critical pedagogy that addresses men and women as citizens .  Seen like this, Bauman's thesis sheds considerable light on Harvey's reading of the condition of postmodernity. Harvey also appears to seek a renewal of modernist radicalism, and specifically of historico-geographical materialism, and insists that postmodernity is an historical condition that a more or less classical Marxism can comprehend. But by seeing postmodernity in this generalized historical way he fails to address a series of recent intellectual developments which we can, for the moment, bring under the label postmodernism - that speak to the crisis of the modernist radical, or, more properly in Harvey's case, the modern Marxist intellectual. And it will be part of my argument that in being insufficiently discriminating about various work that comes under the label postmodernism, and in eliding it with postmodernity , Harvey detracts from the valuable historical insights his book contains and draws warranted but, unfortunately, unduly large attention to the negative consequences of his intellectual claims to know .  In the following three chapters I want to confront and situate Harvey's intellectual and political project in the realm of the aesthetic, and think about what it might mean for the practice of a critical human geography. This may seem a rather  16 Bauman, 1988, op. cit. p 234  19  unusual focus, but I hope to show how a consideration of the aesthetic illuminates key aspects of Harvey's intellectual and political project as contained in The Condition of Postmodernity. Moreover, not only is Harvey one of a very few geographers to take the aesthetic beyond its traditional home in spheres of art and literature, but, as Eagleton insists, a consideration of the aesthetic tells us much about what the concepts of modernity and postmodernity might mean. I proceed in two stages. I want first to follow Gregory's reconstruction of the intellectual lineage of Harvey's Marxism, what he calls "a sort of a foreword to historico-geographical materialism" 17 , in order to understand why Harvey sees postmodernism and postmodernity in such pathological terms. Harvey is commited to a critical human geography - in both the disciplinary and the lived sense - and so, like Gregory, I want first to consider what it means to practice a critical style of thought. Following Benhabib's seminal reconstruction of the foundations of critical theory, I will suggest that Harvey's critical project rests on a conjuncture of 'critique' and 'crisis'. I want then to show, in chapters 3 and 4 how this conjunction inflects Harvey's reading of postmodernism and postmodernity respectively, in particular his assessment that the postmodern turn is simultaneously an aesthetic turn. Equating the postmodern with aestheticism is hardly new, but giving the latter an insistently geographical dimension certainly is and it is here that, I think, one of the most interesting and illuminating aspects of Harvey's argument lies. However, I also want to insist that, while extremely suggestive, Harvey's theoretical insights be made responsible to the ground of history, to concrete historical investigation, and that because The Condition of Postmodernity is argued at several removes from that terrain it suffers a series of strategic weaknesses that leave the purpose and intent of Harvey's Marxism open to misinterpretation and even dismissal.  17Gregory op. cit. p 7  20  Chapter 1  A FOREWORD TO HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM  It will be my contention in this and later chapters that the central distinguishing feature of Harvey's Marxism is that it is particularly and peculiarly 'classical' in its cast. Marx, as Harvey insists, was a child of the Enlightenment and )  so, following Gregory, I want to offer a series of vignettes of the Enlightenment project and the concept of critique in order to show how each illuminates Harvey's own intellectual and political project and his reading of postmodernity.  THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE POTENTIALS OF MODERNITY  As Habermas points out, following Reinhart Koselleck's analysis of the early bourgeois Enlightenment, 'critique' has an extremely complex genealogy, originating in Greek but since then accreting a host of different meanings. In late seventeenth-century Europe critique was bound up in judgements regarding the proper interpretation of religious texts, particularly the Bible. But it was also located outside the sphere of religious authority in the nascent civil society that emerged towards the end of the period of the absolutist state. Beginning with the philological criticism of the Humanists, critique, in Habemias's words,  ... finally learned to understand itself as critique in the theoretical and practical critique of the philosophers. At that time critique became practically synonymous with reason... It was the medium for ascertaining the right insofar as it corresponded to the just in accord with the laws of nature - just as it was the energy, which restlessly drives argument forward, and finally turns it against itself. The participants in this great 1 See The Condition, p 29 for example.  21  enterprise were called "Les Philosophes", and Kant proudly called himself a philosopher 2  On the eve of the French Revolution critique, the activity of reason, increasingly freed from the strictures of church and state, uses this freedom to reflect back on those spheres from which it was emancipated: "now on its own authority [critique] transcends the limits which it once drew for itself." 3 As Kant put it in his 1871 Preface to the Critique of Pure Reason, Our Age is the age of criticism to which all must submit. Religion through its sanctity and legislation through its majesty may seek to exempt themselves from it. But they then awaken just suspicion and cannot claim honest respect which reason only grants to that which has been able to sustain the test of free and public examination 4  This politicization of critique and its articulation and embodiment in a public sphere beyond the writ of the powers that be was not simply a maneouvre of "Les Philosophes", a sort of normative ideal of the intellectuals. For Kant insisted that the activity of reason somehow manifested itself, tantalizingly, on the ground of history , on what seemed to be the dawn of a new age: "In salons, clubs and coffee houses a new moral authority - the "public" - found its earliest institutions." 5 But Kant was not Marx and his conception of reason was hardly accountable to the specificities of social formation.  In Habermas's seminal account of the "public sphere" the discovery of the force of 'reason' is located squarely within the development of early bourgeois  2Jiirgen Habermas, 1974, Theory and Practice, London: Heinemann, p 212-213 3 Seyla Benhabib, 1986, op. cit. p 20 4 lmmanuel Kant, 1965, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. N K Smith, New York: St. Martin's Press, p 9 5 Ernst Cassirer, 1955, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, Boston: Beacon Press, p 13  22  society. 6 In this period Habermas suggests that the public sphere possessed a utopian potential that was, however, never realized in practice. In Nancy Fraser's words, ... at one level the idea of a public sphere designated an institutional mechanism for "rationalizing" political domination by rendering states accountable to [some of] the citizenry. At another level, it designated a specific kind of discursive interaction. Here the public sphere connoted the ideal of unrestricted rational discussion of public matters. The discussion was to be open and accessible to all; merely private interests were to be inadmissable; inequalities of status were to be bracketed; and discussants were to deliberate as peers. The result of such discussion would be "public opinion" in the strong sense of a consensus about the common good?  The reality, of course, was that this ideal was increasingly subverted as the eighteenth century progressed: not only was the public of the public sphere essentially a bourgeois [not of mention patriarchal] constituency, but as nonbourgeois groups gained access to the public sphere so the bourgeois definition of the 'common' good was increasingly challenged, and in place of the ideal of a truly public discussion Habermas shows how civil society became fragmented into competing groups of class actors.  I make so much of all this because it is clearly Marx's critique of political economy that lies behind Habermas's account of the public sphere, a critique that, I think, finds a very direct articulation in Harvey's historico-geographical materialism. And I mean this both in terms of Harvey's diagnosis of postmodernity and his response to it. Harvey sees Marx's and his own work as a continuation of the 6 Jiirgen Habermas, 1989, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Cambridge, Mass: MIT  Press 7 Nancy Fraser, 1991, 'Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually  Existing Democracy', Social Text, Winter, pp 56-81  23  Enlightenment and so calls for a renewal of the Enlightenment project, and of a specifically modern form of Marxism. And I think this involves him in an implicit commitment not only to the ideal of a public sphere - whose inflections I will question in chapter 7 - but also to the renewal of a space within the present social formation from which critique of that social order can be launched. I will want to question the inflections of that space. However, as Gregory rightly argues, "between critique in the Enlightenment sense and critique in Marx's sense stand two figures: Kant [1724-1804] and Hegel [1770-1831]." It is thus appropriate to turn to each of them in seeking to understand quite what Harvey's own version of the Enlightenment entails.  THE KANTIAN IMAGINARY  Kant is, of course, considered to be among the very greatest of modern European philosophers, the ultimate system builder and systematizer. His three critiques - the Critique of Pure Reason [1781], Critique of Practical Reason [1788] and Critique of Judgement [1790] - represent not simply an attempt to give a definitive account of reason and its place in the development of humanity solely within the realm of philosophy, but also and equally in the realm of life. Kant's philosophy is, quite simply, an all encompassing system. 8 Precisely for this reason his work presents the utmost difficulties of interpretation: its sheer scale and complexity mean that there are, one can say without exaggeration, no accepted interpretations of Kant's thought. 9 For this reason I want to avoid the dishonesty of claiming to provide a 'neutral' narrative of Kant's philosophy. Instead, I want to 8 Which  is not, however, the same a saying that Kant's works comprised a watertight and coherent whole. 9 Compare, for example, the very different introductions to Kant's thought offered by Roger Scruton jKant, 1982, Oxford: Oxford University Press] and Korner's classic little book Kant, 1955, Harmondsworth:Pelican Books.  24  follow Eagleton's account of the Kantian imaginary, not because I think it is the last word, but because it contains some extremely insightful and suggestive theses about Kantian critique which speak directly to Harvey's concerns about the aestheticization of politics. Let me stress that I cannot do justice to Eagleton's argument here which is characterized by a remarkable degree of subtlety, sensitivity and intelligence which is rather lost in what follows. What follows is, nevertheless, difficult and I apologise now for what is doubtless the inscrutability of some of Kant's thinking. But I think Eagleton's analysis suggests how Kantian philosphy can be made to connect with the more 'mundane' logics of everyday life.  Kant's differentiation of the cognitive, the moral and the aesthetic spheres was a seminal one, and represents, at least for Habermas, one of the achievements and potentials of modernity. For Kant the Enlightenment was a process of maturity. As Gregory puts it, "the Enlightment image of the 'republic of letters' carried within it the notion of public discussion ... in which reason moved 'outwards' from one person to another ..." Kant, on the contrary, insisted that reason resided inside thinking subjects and his project of maturity was one of releasing individuals from their chronic reliance on others so that they could harness their own powers of reason. Kant's public sphere, then, was an ethico-political community united by the rationality common to all subjects.  However, achieving maturity was far from simple, let alone inevitable. For Kant the freedom that resides in the activity of reason could not be found in the phenomenal world of material activity and Nature. Displaced, it takes up its home in the realm of practical reason:  25  To act morally for Kant is to set aside all desire, interest and inclination, identifying one's rational will instead with a rule which one can propose to oneself as a universal law. What makes an action moral is something it manifests over and above any particular quality and effect, namely its willed conformity to universal law. To be free and rational - in short, to be a subject - means to be entirely selfdetermining, obeying only such laws as I propose to myself, and treating myself and my action as an end rather than a means. Free subjectivity is thus a noumenal affair ... Freedom cannot be directly captured in a concept or image and must be known practically rather than theoretically. I know I am free because I catch myself acting that way out of the corner of my eye. The moral subject inhabits the intelligible rather than material sphere, though it must constantly strive in mysterious fashion to materialize its values in the actual world. 10  But if, as Kant insisted, one cannot derive values from facts, if one cannot map the moral-noumenal into the cognitive-phenomenal, then Kant's noumenal realm is in danger of becoming implausible. As Eagleton says, "If," "it safeguards moral dignity from the marketplace, it does so only by removing it to a place so remote as to be effectively out of sight." 11 The result is that Kant resorted to the aesthetic as "a mediatory zone which will bring this order of pure intelligibility home to felt experience." 12 For in the Critique of Judgement the empirical world seems to offer a glimpse of purposiveness that conforms to the ends of practical reason. Let me elaborate.  For Kant the pleasure of the aesthetic is the sensation of delight that the serendipitous occurrence of certain phenomena should display a 'purposive unity' which, while it cannot be cognitively grasped, seems as if it conforms spontaneously to some law. It thus, in Eagleton's words, laTerry Eagleton, 1990, The Ideology of the Aesthetic, Oxford: Basil Blackwell , p 78-79 "Ibid. 82 12 Ibid. 83  26  addresses itself to what we might call our capacity for cognition in general, revealing to us in a kind of Heideggerian 'pre-understanding' that the world is the kind of place we can in principle comprehend ... Some of the pleasure of the aesthetic, then, arises from a quick sense of the world's delightful conformity to our capacities: instead of pressing ahead to subsume to some concept the sensuous manifold we confront, we just reap enjoyment from the general formal possibility of doing so. The imagination creates a purposive synthesis, but without feeling the need for a theoretical detour. If the aesthetic yields us no knowledge, then, it proffers us something arguably deeper: the consciousness, beyond all theoretical demonstration, that we are at home in the world because the world is somehow mysteriously designed to suit our capacities. 13  And yet for Kant the ramifications of the aesthetic do not stop here. For if the experience of beauty is an experience of the world's purposive unity with us, the experience of the sublime is a thoroughly trangressive one, that forcibly reminds us of "the limits of our dwarfish imaginations" and admonishes us "that the world as infinite totality is not ours to know." 14 However, for Kant this ruptural experience leads not to despair. Rather, "when the imagination is forced up traumatically against its own limits, it finds itself straining beyond them in a movement of negative transcendence; and the giddy feeling of unboundedness which then results yields us a negative presentation of the infinity of moral Reason." 15 This 'suprasensory realm', nothing less than the law of Reason, is not, Kant argues, hopelessly beyond us, but immanent within us: a project that drives practical reason into the lofty realm of 'culture'. This idealized cultural domain is one of noncoercive consensus, a site where our individual difference is in fact a difference in  13 Ibid. 85 14 Ibid. 89 15 lbid. 91  27  unity, where we are all citizens on the basis of our 'most intimate subjectivity', our capacity for reason.  All this may seem to be light years away from Harvey, but the distance is more apparent than real. With qualifications, Harvey acknowledges Kant's understanding of the aesthetic as a necessary bridge between "the worlds of objective science ['pure reason'] and subjective moral judgement ['practical reason']" 16 But he also sees it as an extremely problematic one: The aesthetic responses to conditions of time-space compression are important and have been so ever since the eighteenth century separation of scientific knowledge from moral judgement opened up a distinctive role for them. The confidence of an era can be assessed by the width of the gap between scientific and moral reasoning. In periods of confusion and uncertainty the turn to aesthetics ... becomes more pronounced. Since phases of time-space compression are disruptive, we can expect the turn to aesthetics and to the forces of culture as both explanation and loci of active struggle to be particularly acute. 17  The contrast with Kant is, I hope, obvious. While Kant saw the aesthetic as ushering Reason into the world, Harvey's fear is that it represents, rather, the triumph of irrationality: the triumph of aesthetics over ethics. For Harvey reason lies not in the aesthetic but in an organic conjunction of science and morality, in particular that version of science that, unlike positivism, sees no contradiction within a theory that is both cognitively diagnostic and anticipatory, scientific and moral: Marxism. In other words, Harvey places the aesthetic squarely outside his own project and his Marxism, and I will say more about the implications of his reading of Kant for his diagnosis of postmodernism and postmodernity anon. For 16The Condition of Postmodernitv, p 207  17 Ibid. 327  28  now, though, let me hint at how, through Kant, Harvey seeks to show the historical continuities between modernity and its supposed transcendence, even antithesis, postmodernity, by looking at Eagleton's own materialist reading of what is behind the Kantian imaginary.  Let me make it clear straight away that Eagleton does not see Kant as a dupe nor as an active supporter of the bourgeoisie, a class that was, in any case, still relatively nascent in his time. Eagleton's concern, rather, is to highlight the ways in which Kant's thought already disclosed "some of the emergent problems and contradictions of the emergent middle class order"  18 ,  albeit in oblique and  attenuated form.  We might say that for Eagleton Kant's philosophy both mystifies and is yet mimetic of an emergent bourgeois society. It thus, however unconsciously, serves to legitimize that order, but on the register of the non-cognitive. In certain prebourgeois societies, Eagleton argues, ethics were historically grounded in the subject's social location. In bourgeois society, however, such a system inevitably runs into crisis: in a society riven by class division an historicised ethics can hardly promote social cohesion. Instead,  Ethical norms float free ... If one can return no social answer to the question of how one ought to behave, then virtuous behaviour ... must become an end in itself. So/len [the ought, NC] is removed from the sphere of historical action an analysis; one  must behave in a particular way simply because one must 19 .  18 Eagleton op. cit. 76 19 1bid. 81  29  Against the alarming truth of the bourgeois order, Kant's noumenal realm offers us a consoling sense of our unity as humans, our belonging to some "intimate Gemeinschaft," but at a suitable remove from material life. But if, as Eagleton insists, ideology cannot function without articulation in the phenomenal realm, then Kant's aesthetic cleverly connects noumenal and phenomenal realms in such a way that the kingdom of Reason that unites us is not quite phenomenal at all, and certainly not to be understood as residing in the spheres of market or state: "the aesthetic is in no way cognitive, but it has about it something of the form and structure of the rational; it thus unites us with all the authority of a law, but at a more affective, intuitive level. What brings us together as subjects is not knowledge but an ineffable reciprocity of feeling. " 20  The experience of beauty assures us that, whatever the other privations and alienations of our phenomenal lives, our subjecthood has a larger meaning, that, after all, we do matter, we do belong together. While the "chastening, humiliating power" of the sublime instills a reverence and submissiveness, but for an object Reason - which is finally, exubrantly, immanent within ourselves. For Eagleton this dialectic of subject and object is, not suprisingly, ideology writ large , securing at a stroke both subjecthood and a universal subjectivity in such a way that both are displaced from the depradations of the market. The adjective is accurate, for Kant's aesthetic in fact  reproduces something of the very social logic [he] is out to resist. Kant's selfless aesthetic judge, absolved from all sensual motivation, is among other things a spiritualized version of the abstract, serialized subject of the market place, who cancels the concrete differences between himself and others as thoroughly as does the levelling, homogenizing commodity. In matters of taste, as of commodity 20 Ibid. 75  30  transactions, all individuals are indifferently exhangeable; and culture is thus part of the problem to which it offers itself as a solution. 21  While supposedly harnessing the autonomous powers of individuals, Kant's Reason seems, in the end, to efface their very differences. On the one hand, the freedom of the subject seems to mimick the 'freedom' of the market where the money form liberates individuals in its spending, yet reduces all their differences to the cold calculus of commodity exchange. On the other, the limits on that freedom the dazzling illuminations of the sublime - seem to map our phenomenal subjection to a capitalist system that is larger than ourselves into the twilight zone of aesthetic sensiblity where we stand in awe before a Reason we cannot fully grasp. The Kantian project of culture thus becomes for Eagleton an essentially mythic one, a project in which Reason is not reflected to the ground of history - to our own concrete thoughts and actions within an historically specific context - but to a noumenal realm that conceals and reflects the very material subjections it seeks to overcome.  The formal and organic connections that Eagleton draws between Kant's thought and his social context will doubtless be too stark for many. But they reverberate strongly with Harvey's reading of postmodernism and postmodernity. However, that reading and his solution to the social ills he perceives cannot be understood without thinking about the legacy of Hegel.  HEGEL, HISTORY AND THE RATIONAL STATE  21 Ibid. 97-98  31  If Kant and Hegel are frequently mentioned in the same breath it is because Kant's moral philosophy was the focus of much of Hegel's critical energies throughout his lifetime. Bewildering though the complexities of Hegel's thought are, we might say, for our present purposes, that Hegel's philosophy was an objection to the bifurcations [Entweiung] and naturalizations that characterized Kant's thought and which - importantly - found an organic echo in the modern world . Hegel's own project was the transcendence through immanence [Aufhebung ] of this state of affairs and the realization of reason in a unified ethical community [Sittlichkeit] that embodied what were only potentials within modern civil society.  As Benhabib argues, Hegel rejected Kant's dualism between action and intention. Instead, practical reason takes place within a materially embedded, intersubjective social world and Hegel's aim was to disclose "the structure of that middle ... between the noumenal world of freedom and the phenomenal world of causality ... which he comes to call Geist ." 22 That is, beings are "structures of unifying unity in movement" and so "their past is a decisive aspect of their present . " 23  Unlike Kant's critique, then, reason had a motility that was profoundly historical  ; where Kant's ideal ethical community floated in the noumenal realm, Hegel's dialectical reason shattered such distinctions and posited a Sittlichkeit that was immanent within modernity . As Gregory puts it, "Hegel's most basic point was that  Being was unintelligible without its opposite: that the movement which he called Becoming was inscribed into the very 'nature' of Being."  24  To this extent Hegel's is  a very radical critique of Kant, subjecting Kantian reason itself to critique by  22 Benhabib op. cit. 84 23 Seyla Benhabib, 1987, 'Translator's introduction to Herbert Marcuse, Hegel's Ontology and the  Theory of Historicity, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press 24Gregory op. cit. 20  32  sundering the very distinctions which, Hegel argues, in fact make Kant philosophy possible. To this extent also it is a critique of modernity.  As Habermas argues, one of Hegel's achievements was to have a provided "a conceptual framework that is ... terminologically adequate to modern society." 25 In particular, the distinction to which he refers is that between civil society and the state. In Hegel's early work the former was very much associated with the modern economy and his identification of economic life as a crucial moment in the constitution of society was, indeed, a seminal one. In terms suggestive of Marx's later work, Hegel showed an acute awareness of how the modern economy introduced a series of alienations into social life that divided subjects off from the objective world. His immanent critique consisted in showing how political economy could usher reason into the world and reconcile civil society to the state in an organic community of free individuals. 26 Thus, unlike Kant's nether world of noumena and phenomena, Hegel's moral community was, in Gregory's words, "to be derived from what was rational in the existing situation and they were to be embodied in concrete institutions." 27  This abbreviated reading of Hegel's sheds some light on Harvey's own, ambivalent, reading of Hegel. On the one hand the radicalism of Hegel's philosophy is extended and transcended by Marx, as I will make clear shortly, and these Hegelian threads find there way into Harvey's own Marxism, not least in his adherence to a dialectical philosophy of internal relations [see chapters 4 and 5]. On the other hand, Harvey reaches an interpretation of Hegel's understanding of  25.JUrgen Habermas, 1987, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press, p 51 26Charles  Taylor, 1979, Hegel and Modern Society, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p 109  27Gregory op. cit. p 23  33  the relation between civil society and state that is common on the left. That is to say that Harvey sees Hegel's critique of political economy as subverted by a celebration of the state that, strangely, disrupts the dialectic of Being and Becoming and, instead, hypostatizes the former. Thus Benhabib, for example, likewise argues that despite its claims to dialectical immanence Hegel's conception of Sittlichkeit is a conservative, anti-modern utopia that reverts to a version of the Greek polls and is thus in fact historically disconnected from the potentials of modernity. 28 But what makes Harvey's objection so original is the geographical inflection that he seeks to give it. For Harvey, as Gregory puts it,  In so far as Hegel's philosophy conceives of itself as the midwife of history, assisting in the fullest realization of reason in the world then its terminus necesarily entails not only the 'end' of that history but the subordination of temporality to the territoriality of the state 29 .  Thus Harvey clearly wants to resist attempts "to privelege the spatialization of time [Being] over the annihilation of space by time [Becoming]", a trend he sees as consistent with postmodernism/ity. Because what is behind them is "the restoration of the Hegelian notion of the state and the resurrection of geopolitics." 30 Where Hegel's rational state was "ominously reminiscent of the Prussia of his own time" 31 , so some of the concerns of postmodernism can be seen to connect with a wider turn to geopolitics within postmodernity. The originality of this objection becomes all the more obvious when one considers Soja's agenda for social theory consists of reasserting space as part of a distinctively postmodern geography. Soja's is  28 Benhabib op. cit. p 102 29Gregory op. cit. p 25 30 Harvey op. cit. 273 31 David Harvey, 1981, The Spatial Fix: Hegel, von Thunen, Marx', Antipode , vol. 13, no. 3, pp 1-12  34  not, in fact, a project that far removed from Harvey's own,  32  but I think Harvey's  concern is an insightful corrective, although I will want to insist that his pathological views of both postmodernity and postmodernism are asymmetrical and overstated.  With this reading of Hegel in mind I think the following captures much of Harvey's concern about the postmodern: Marx...restored historical time...to primacy of place in social theory, in part as a reaction to Hegel's spatialized conception of the 'ethical state' as the endpoint of teleological history. The introduction of the state - a spatialization - poses intriguing questions for social theory for, as Lefebvre points out, "the state crushes time by reducing differences to repetitions of circularities..." If "this modern state imposes itself as the stable centre - definitively - of societies and spaces", the geopolitical argument has to resort...to aesthetic rather than to social values in search for its legitimacy. 33  Let me explain the logic of this passage and how it brings together Harvey's explicit reading of Hegel with his largely implicit reading of Kant. The Kantian aesthetic is now spatialized - Hegel's Being - and opposed to the Enlightenment project - Becoming - with its concern for cognitively grounded reason and for ethics. And it is around this series of oppositions Harvey effects his critique of postmodernism: aesthetics and ethics, Being and Becoming, space/place and time become polarities that allow Harvey to separate off the Enlightenment project from the postmodern. Together, these oppositions are folded into a dichotomy that forms a central, and I think problematic, leitmotif, of his text as a whole between social theory and aesthetic theory:  32 See  Derek Gregory , 1990, 'Chinatown Part III? Soja and the Missing Spaces of Social Theory',  Strategies, no. 3, pp 40-105  33 The Condition, p 273  35  One of the more startling schisms in our intellectual heritage concern[s] conceptions of time and space. Social theorists ... typically privelege time over space in their formulations. Aesthetic theory, on the other hand, is deeply concerned with "the spatialization of time"... By playing these two currents of thought off against one another, we can, perhaps, better understand the ways in which politico-economic change informs cultural practices  Or, put schematically, Social Theory^  Aesthetic Theory  Time^ Becoming^  Space Being  Aesthetics Ethics^ Narrative Image34  And it is with Harvey's own reworking of social theory, of Marx's historical materialism, in a decidedly geographical direction, that we arrive at a more complete understanding of his diagnosis of the condition of postmodernity.  MARX. HARVEY AND HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM  Marx's intellectual and political legacy is so vast and ramified that attempts to discover the 'real' Marx are looked upon with considerable suspicion. I am suspicious of them too, and I think that attempts to be definitive about Marx are chimerical, not least because interpretation is always coloured by our present  34 1 gratefully borrow this diagram from Gregory, The Aesthetic Turn ...'  36  preoccupations. But nor do I think we can indulge in an interpretive free-for-all; there are limits. The limits I set myself here are those set by Harvey's own reading of Marx, what I take to be his reasoned reconstruction of historical materialism in a geographical direction. This is, in fact, the tack I take throughout the thesis. It is by no means a fool-proof one of course, for why is my understanding of Harvey's understanding of Marx free from my own preoccupations? Interpretation always involves a hermeneutic between reader and read, and so I can only hope that my account of Marx is one that Harvey himself would concur with. To assist me I draw on the materials of others, and I begin here by drawing on Benhabib's rigorous analysis of the foundations of Marx's social theory.  According to Benhabib, Marx's project relied on a conjunction between "critique" and "crisis", re-establishing the classical Greek sense of critique as "the subjective evaluation or decision concerning a conflictual or controversial process - a crisis, ...(as a] connection betwen social disturbance ... and subjective judgement upon this process." 35 And to understand Marxian critique in this sense, she argues, we need to trace its genealogy in Hegel's critique of Kant. In particular, she divides the work of Hegel and Marx into two stages which, respectively, highlight the organic link between what she terms their "immanent" and "defetishising" critiques of modern society, and seeks to show how it was Marx's materialism that distinguished his mature science out as a deeply concrete and historical one.  Marx, of course, subtitled nearly everything he wrote a "critique". Following Hegel, Benhabib argues, the young Marx sought to differentiate the specificity of  35Benhabib op. cit. p 20  37  his own critique from mere "criticism", that which stands outside the object it criticizes and asserts ideal norms against the realities of the world. According to Marx, his own critique refuses to stand outside the object it criticizes, and it was thus not what Benhabib, hinting at Hegel's critique of Kant, calls a mode of criteriological inquiry. As she puts, the criteria Marx's early critique presupposes are not different from the ones by which its object - later to become the capitalist mode of production - judges itself. Rather, "it presupposes that what is investigated is already a social reality that has its own self-interpretation."  36  The echoes of  Hegelian immanent critique, the dialectic of subject and object, the location of reason in history, are obvious here. But where Marx rejects Kant's ahistorical "transcendent utopia", neither does he mimic Hegel's Aufhebung . As he puts it Hegel's chief mistake consists in the fact that he conceives of the contradiction in appearence as being unity in essence i.e. in the Idea , whereas it certainly is something more profound in its essence, namely an essential contradiction  .  37  Despite the obvious parallels to Hegel's diagnosis of Entzweiung , Marx's early account of the antagonisms of bourgeois civil society clearly signals his later analysis in Capital of the inherently complex and contradictory nature of the capitalist mode of production, fissures generated, not in terms set by idealism, but by the concrete practices of real individuals entering into very particular sets of social relations.  Nevertheless, Benhabib insists, something of Hegel's principle of essential unity can be found in the young Marx's normative precepts. The dream of the future which the present contains is for Marx two things: what Benhabib calls "the 36  Ibid. 33  37 Karl Marx, Critique of Heqel's Philosophy of the Right, quoted in Benhabib ibid. 38  38  universalization of the political" and "the socialization of the universal." Let me expand. Marx criticizes the instrumentalism of a political sphere which serves the interests of the bourgeoisie alone. For him, democracy should be "both form and content", that is that societal democracy - the universalization of the political - is necessary and thus, as a corollary, a transformation of the existing social system. The implication of this is, in fact, an elimination of the distinction between the political sphere - the site of formal rights - and the social sphere: "in a true democracy the state disappears" - the socialization of the universal - where the 'citizens' of the bourgeois era become more truly citizens in the classical Greek sense,unalienated, free and equal human beings. Hence, in Benhabib's words, "social life itself would become the genuine expression of universal and common interests ..." 38  It is in those later works, most notably Capital, that Benhabib sees a second sense of Marxian critique, defetishising critique, by which she means an analysis that reveals the given to be not a natural fact but to actively conceal its social and historical constitution, and thus its capacity for alteration. Its origins lie in Hegel's re-evaluation of modernity, particularly in the Phenomenology of Spirit where, contra the anti-modernism of his earlier notion of Sittlichkeit , Hegel "shows that modern individualism denies the context out of which it emerges, namely, the interaction of self and other." 39 That context is, in other words, a history viewed as "the activity of a collective ... subject" whose consciousness, Benhabib argues, Hegel models upon the category of labour , the singular activity of work . Its endpoint is the reappropriation by that subject of what it once let go of itself.  38 Ibid. 39 40 -  39 Ibid.  44  39  Benhabib insists that this standpoint involves a seminal conjunction that reaches its fullest development in Marx: between critique and crisis . What individuals experience as lived crises, as the privations and alienations that litter daily existence, critique locates their origin in a systemic imperative that reaches beyond the perspective and comprehension of most individuals. Thus the philosopher-observer - Hegel - takes the viewpoint of what Benhabib calls "transsubjectivity" to make sense of the "intersubjective" nature of daily life, and thus offers the potential to eliminate crisis by transforming the very conditions generating them. That the Hegel of the Philosophy of the Right does not follow the path opened up by his own thinking - choosing instead to moderate rather than overcome crises - is a choice that the Marx of Capital opposes. For Benhabib, Marx's is a "crisis theory", aimed not at crisis moderation but crisis diagnosis and immanent transcendence:  The fundamental achievement of Marx's critical theory of capitalism is the view that the two perspectives of intersubjectivity and transsubjectivity are constitutive of capitalist society, and that the task of the theorist is to indicate how concrete individuals can come to "reappropriate" what is justifiably theirs. The task of [critique] is to show how transubjectivity can become intersubjectivity ... Unlike Hegel, Marx does not reify the logic of transubjectivity, but shows it to be a consequence of a form of life dominated by the law of the valorization of capital 40  In Das Kapital, of course, Marx provided the paradigmatic theoretical framework for locating lived crisis within the systemic tendencies of the capitalist mode of production. Critique belonged now not to the philosophers, whose promethean understandings could never change, only reify, the world, but to the historian of capitalism. Labour is not some feature of humanity beholden to Geist,  40 Ibid. 103-104  40  as suggested in parts of Hegel, but a complex and historically specific phenomena whose constitution and activity form the basis for understanding precisely how capitalism functions and how it does so 'behind the backs' of those very individuals who make it tick in the first place.  Marx's immanent critique of political economy - which shows that the norms of bourgeois society [freedom, equality, liberty] are potentials which have not been realized - is organically tied to his defetishizing of it as ideology by reflecting it to its ground in class divided society. The onset of periodic crisis is central here, because it is In such moments of crisis [that] both the irrationality of the system and its transitoriness reveal themselves. The irrationality of the system manifests itself as a discrepancy between the potential wealth of society and the actual misery of individuals, while its transitoriness becomes apparent to individuals who struggle for its transformation.'"  To this extent, the future manifests itself in moments of crisis, and the ultimate aim of Marx's diagnosis of capitalist society - his immanent and defetishizing critiques is to pursue the unity of critique and crisis to the point where the former can inform the experience of working people in an anticipatory moment :  The critique of capitalism, which brings to light the internal contradictoriness of the system, has the purpose of explaining how and why this internal contradiction gives rise to oppositional demands and struggles which cannot be satisfied by the system as it is at present. The function of critique is not therapy and healing of the wounds of the ethical as in Hegel's case, but crisis diagnosis, enabling and encouraging future social transformation. 42 41 lbid. 109 42 Ibid.  41  What that future society will be Marx is reticent to say in his later works, but it is clearly one where individuals have control of a system - economic, social and political - of their own making, one that is not subject to or even mediated through the state or economy.  We might say that the conjunction of critique and crisis is the flashpoint of Harvey's diagnosis of postmodernity, but in a rather different sense to Benhabib's understanding of that conjunction in Marx. To reiterate Harvey, "While capitalism is always in a state of pre-socialism, it is scarcely on anyone's agenda these days to think about something as daring as the transition to socialism": while Harvey is insistent that since the early 1970s capitalism has undergone a chronic crisis of accumulation 43 , his thesis is that, with a remarkable tenacity that has marked capitalism since Marx's day 44 , the system is currently reorganizing its basal structures and along with it those classical 'superstructures' that help mystify and legitimate capitalism's continued existence. The current 'crisis' of capitalism, then, is not an occasion for an unabashed anticipatory-utopian critique, but it is an occasion for insisting on the continued power and relevance of Marx's diagnosis of capitalism. Put differently, we can say that the experiential ruptures that individuals have experienced over the last two decades - represented for Harvey by postmodernism - can only be understood by reference to a wider systemic rupture - the advent of postmodernity - in which those experiential transformations are implicated.  43See, for example, his apocalyptic essay The Geopolitics of Capitalism', in Gregory and Urry [eds],  1986, Social Relations and Spatial Structures, London: Macmillan  44 Leading Marx, of course, to revise in his later life some of his early, heady predictions of immanent  social revolution in Europe .  42  Where does the aesthetic fit into all this and into Marx's critical social theory? Marx himself devoted relatively little time to aesthetic questions, although as commentators like Eagleton have so eloquently made clear there is much in Marx's normative vision that is profoundly aesthetic. Although other inheritors of Marx's legacy, such as Adorno, Benjamin and Marcuse, have made brilliantly suggestive forays into the aesthetic realm, the most notable feature of Harvey's own project is how anti-aesthetic it is. There are no considerations of a revolutionary aesthetic in Harvey's consideration of postmodernity. Instead his critique is firmly situated in the cognitive/moral spheres, and the aesthetic is decisively distanced from that critique yet subject to its strictures by being placed as the object of critique: if postmodernity is an aesthetic turn then historico-geographical materialism seeks at once to diagnose and oppose it. Implicit in this, implicit in Harvey's call for a renewal of the Enlightenment project, is, I think, a commitment to reopening a space within the present social order for articulating the claims of reason, a space with at least some relative autonomy from the invasions of the market, and the university - the locus of the intellectuals - is surely one site he has in mind. What is not, however, clear is whether Harvey's vision of a renewed 'public sphere' within actually existing capitalism is truly a public space at all, or just a site for the articulation of Marxist claims to reason. And so it is to Harvey's understanding of the intellectuals - postmodernism - under actually existing capitalism - the condition of postmodemity - that I now want to turn. 45  45 Let me say immediately that the phenomena that Harvey brings under the label 'postmodernism' are  broader than I allow him here. However, and as I hope will become clear, Harvey's concern for the aestheticization of geopolitics relies partly on a reading of Kant and Hegel that he seeks, very directly, to bring to bear on the intellectual projects of those 'postmodernists' Jean Francois Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard and Richard Rorty. It is this sense of 'postmodernism' as an intellectual project that I work with in my discussion.  43  Chapter 2  FROM LEGISLATORS TO INTERPRETERS: THE AESTHETICIZATION OF ETHICS?  READING POSTMODERNISM  The title of Harvey's book is clearly a rebuttal of Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition published in 1979. 1 As Callinicos notes, this book enjoys a certain definitive status in discussions of postmodernity because of its breadth [it weaves together Postmodern art, poststructuralist philosophy and the theory of the postindustrial society], and also because Lyotard is one of a very few philosophers who openly designates his work as 'postmodern'. 2 Indeed, Lyotard's biography represents all that Harvey seeks to oppose: commited to [a form of] Marxism during the 1950s, Lyotard had come by the late '70s to reject it and stand 'incredulous' at its meta-theoretical claims. That the debate over postmodernism has overlapped, even fused, with that over post-Marxism is not suprising, but the bulk of Harvey's critical attention to academics in The Condition of Postmodernity is confined to those [for example, Lyotard and Foucault] who have made a decisive break with Marxism.  There is a copious literature on The Postmodern Condition and I do not want to repeat the many insightful comments that have already been made about it. Instead, I want briefly to outline those aspects of Lyotard's argument that are germane to Harvey's critique. For Lyotard the 'postmodern' concerns developing a 1 Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984 2 Alex Callinicos, 1989, Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique, Cambridge: Polity Press, p3  44  new epistemology responding to new conditions of knowledge, and the main focus of his book concerns the differences between the grand narratives of traditional philosophy and social theory, the practice and legitimation of contemporary science, and what he calls 'postmodern science' which he defends as a preferable form of knowledge. The term 'modern' ...designates any science that legitimates itself with reference to a metadiscourse...making an explicit appeal to some grand narrative, such as the dialectics of the Spirit, the hermeneutics of meaning [or] the emancipation of the rational...subject. 3  Postmodernism denotes incredulity towards meta-narratives and their legitimating function. Against the "terror" of meta-theory and its totalizing, coercive tendencies, Lyotard, drawing on Wittgenstein's notion of language games, argues that all discourses can never be ultimately True but only engage in a linguistic competition. The game develops as different actors equipped with different discourses create temporary and precarious rules and through their creative and innovative utterances and skillful moves in the game attempt to outplay each other. Different language games are thus governed by different criteria and rules and none is to be priveleged: " All we can do is gaze in wonderment at the diversity of discursive species..." . 4 Lyotard celebrates this plurality of language games and rejects those modes of philosophical discourse which seek to legislate between different validity claims. Rather than engaging in totalizing theory Lyotard calls for more localized, heterogenous petit recits . On this basis Lyotard sees us as entering a new epoch which, as Honneth puts it  3 Lyotard op. cit. p xxiii 4 Ibid. 26  45  offers the chance of anarchically overcoming, in fact shattering the rationalistic shackles in which the modern sciences have held the creative aesthetic potentials of the social language game prisoner. 5  In this new epoch the very nature of critique changes: no longer anchored philosophically, it becomes more pragmatic, contextual and local, a form of 'criticism without philosophy.' 6 And the social and political role of intellectuals changes correspondingly.  The Postmodern Condition is, I would argue, in fact a very specific, even idiosyncratic contribution to the debate on postmodernism and can only be properly understood in relation to Lyotard's other works. What is, however, unusual and, I will argue, problematic, is that Harvey takes the themes of The Postmodern Condition, as he reads them, to be emblematic of postmodernism tout court . I say unusual because I want to insist that Lyotard cannot be made to stand for postmodernism, and because, even more strangely, Lyotard comes in for little scrutiny within the body of Harvey's text. Like his reading of Kant, Harvey's reading of Lyotard is largely implicit, and it is also, I would argue, drastically one-sided.  For those unfamiliar with the corpus of Lyotard's work and its complexity, The Postmodern Condition seems, at worst, to be a rather trivial book which would be inconsequential but for the influence it has undoubtedly had in the debates on postmodernism. In particular, and most obviously, it seems to license the grossest type of intellectual and political relativism; and, the corollary of this is, apparently, the subsumption of history and politics to aesthetics . Harvey sees Lyotard in this 5 Axel Honneth, 1985, 'An Aversion Against the Universal: Commentary on Lyotard's The  Postmodern Condition', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 5, no. 2, p153 6 N Fraser and L Nicholson, 1988, 'Social Criticism Without Philosophy: An Encounter Between  Feminism and Postmodernism', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 5, no. 2, p373  46  way too, but transposes those criticisms onto the work of other philosophers, variously termed 'post-structuralist' or 'pragmatist', as well. And both themes are structured around the binary oppositions, to which I pointed earlier, that Harvey erects to effect his critique and which, as we shall see, form problematic leit motifs of his text.  Harvey is clearly disturbed by the intellectual and political relativism that the work of many postmodern writers seems to imply. Thus, Lyotard's epistemological critique of meta-narrative, Derrida's denial of an objective reality outside language, Foucault's archeologies and genealogies, and Rorty's lambasting of philosophy as the mirror of nature are all of a piece:  Postmodern philosophers tell us not only to accept but even to revel in the fragmentation and the cacophony of voices through which the dilemmas of the modern world are understood. Obsessed with deconstructing and delegitimating they can only end in condemning their own validity claims to the point where nothing remains of any basis for reasoned action?  If academic and political discourse is only so many language games and if, as Lyotard suggests, these language games are incommensurable, then, for Harvey, at worst we are led into "total political silence" and at best an ineffective and, as we shall see, even dangerous and reactionary localism. 8  But what makes this drift to relativism doubly disturbing in the work of Lyotard et. al. is its corollary, the 'aestheticization of politics', a claim which, while a commonplace of certain left perspectives on postmodernism, is by no means a  7 Harvey op. cit. p116 8 Ibid. 117  47  commonplace within the wider debates on postmodernism. Certainly, Lyotard's notion of a language game has a very specific aesthetic cast to it, what Honneth calls an "aesthetic model." 9 In the language game, it seems, "the pleasurable experience of speech, with its richness of invention at its centre, Lyotard puts at the foundation of his analysis." 1 ° As Lyotard puts it, "A move can be made for the sheer pleasure of its invention ... Great joy is had in the endless invention of turns of phrase, of words and meanings ..." 11 In other words language games can exist not to establish rational interchange between different linguistic communities but to play with language in a potentially endless act of aesthetic pleasure. Put like this, Lyotards gaming raises the spectre that anything goes, that whimsical pleasure rather than morality and reason will govern discourse, fulfilling Wittgenstein's dictum that 'ethics and aesthetics are one'.  12  In short, for Harvey Lyotard is  emblematic of those present day "... cracks in the intellectual edifice that opens the way to the empowerment of aesthetics over ethics",  13  the precursor and epitome of  which was Heidegger's Being and Time that put the aesthetic at the very core of its concerns.  Similarly, the work of Foucault and Rorty seems, in different ways, to invite the aesthetic to make its home in everyday discourse. Eagleton, for example, argues that the notion of power in some of Foucault's works embodies an aesthetic edge which  9 Honneth op. cit. p 155  lolbid. 56 11 Lyotard op. cit. p 10 12 Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1963, Tractatus Looico-Philosophicus, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, p146-^147 13 Harvey op. cit. p 357  48  ...is in fact one of the more disturbing facets of [his] work. It is coupled with the insinuation one can sometimes detect in his writing, when he is considering the brutal violence of the ancien regimes , that such violence is in some way morally preferable to the pacified, tabulated, transparent subject of the humanist epoch. 14  In the work of Rorty we also seem to find an explicit call for the celebration of the aesthetic. Challenging the essentialist notion of humanity that underpins traditional ethical theory, Rorty calls for 'the aesthetic life.' As Shusterman understands it, this involves a quest for self-enlargement, "the desire to embrace more and more possibilities, to be constantly learning, to give oneself over entirely to curiosity" in an "aesthetic search for novel experiences." 15 If the work of Harvey's postmodern philosophers is seen like this then his objection to the aesthetic, it seems to me, is two fold. In the first place, the aesthetic, because it is defined negatively as the non-cognitive, is, by definition to be opposed; it is, in other words, a faculty that intrinsically cannot make sense of, and thereby even implicitly obscures, the ground of history. In the second place, Harvey's fear is not just that the turn to aesthetics is increasing, but that the turn away from Enlightment meta-narrative is synonymous with the abandonment of a universal reason and its replacement with an equally universal embrace of aesthetics. Put differently, we might ask why Harvey chooses to see the critique of meta-narrative as synonymous with its absolute abandonment and replacement by its antithesis, aesthetic? Gregory suggests that the answer might lie in Harvey's reading of Kant. Quoting Stanley Rosen, he argues that  if one were to attempt to identify a single development "which would symbolize the distinctiveness of the French philosophical scene in the 1980s, compared  14 Terry Eagleton op. cit. p 388 15 Richard Shusterman, 1988, 'Postmodern Aestheticism: A New Moral Philosophy?', Theory, Culture  and Society, vol. 5, no. 2, p 337  49  with the entire preceding period since the second world war, then the obvious choice would be the upsurge of interest in Kant." There can be no doubt about the importance of Kant to Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and a number of other thinkers whose views Harvey is concerned to contest...Not only is Kant the indispensable reference point for understanding postmodernism," he claims, but "postmodernism is essentially Kantian." 16  It is, so Harvey seems to imply, the very universality of Kant's three faculties of reason - particularly the aesthetic which, on some readings of Kant, exerts a binding force - that means that, inevitably, when the balance between them is disrupted one or other will come to dominate . The echoes with Eagleton's reconstruction of Kant are instructive here. Just as, on Eagleton's account, Kant's aesthetic was the central faculty that brought reason into the world without ever, in fact, entangling itself in the realm of real history, so for Harvey the postmodernist philosophers seem likewise to prioritize the aesthetic sensibility to the point where it swallows up and thereby cancels out the other classical regions of modernity. If, like Kant's sublime, there is something about the aesthetic that is essentially undefinable, ungraspable by cognitive concepts, then how, Harvey seems to ask, can the great joy had in the endless inventions of turns of phrase lead anywhere other than to nihilism? For if we are unable to define what we do how can we communicate with others and so ever discover what it is that might bind us together? While we indulge in the joy of language games capitalism proceeds apace, and we have absolutely nothing to say about it.  Harvey's double reading of postmodern philosophy - as relativist and aestheticist - thus constitutes a vitriolic condemnation of it. And I think Harvey's concerns are quite understandable. A number of other authors, as I hinted above, 16 Gregory, op. cit. Stanley Rosen, 1987, Hermeneutics as Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press  50  have objected to the work of Lyotard et. al. in like fashion and counterposed it in stark terms to the Enlightenment project. In Lyotard's work the contrast is, after all, made quite explicit, for The Postmodern Condition is among other things an attack on Marx's and, in the present day, Habermas's formulation of that project. Where Marx and Habermas see modernity as an incomplete project that can still still be salvaged for the greater good, Lyotard wants to abandon it all together.  17  However, as Harvey has acknowledged elsewhere, what we see in others we see through some fairly well honed theoretical lenses. And, it seems to me, it is Harvey's own Marxist perspective that colours his view of the work of Lyotard et. al. so deeply that he is unable to see it other than in pathological terms. I want to elaborate on this point and where its importance might lie for the continued credibility of Harvey's own project, by taking issue with the way he conjoins the aesthetic and the political, and I do so by looking, once again, at the work of Lyotard.  As Christopher Norris has pointed out, following Paul de Man, Kant's intellectual legacy can be roughly divided into two main lines of descent:  ... the one leading [via Schiller and Coleridge] to a mystified form of aesthetic ontology that priveleges metaphor or symbol as images of an ultimate reconciliation between subject and object, mind and nature, time and eternity, while the other gives rise to a critical hermeneutics that resists the premature conflation of realms and maintains .. a vigilant awareness of the dangers attendant upon any such failure to respect the powers and limits of the various faculties. 18  17Although Habermas does not of course see that project in classically Marxist terms, far from it. 18Christopher Norris, 1990, What's Wrona With Postmodernism?, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, p 19  51  I want to suggest that, despite the undoubted incipient nihilism in Lyotard's recent work, his overall project is still a deeply moral and political one , but in a way quite different from modern moral and political projects like Harvey's. And to understand that project requires, I think, that we place Lyotard broadly within the second branch of Kant's legacy.  Where Harvey detects in Lyotard et. al. the potential omnipotence of the aesthetic, I think that Lyotard's reading of Kant leads him to insist on the absolute differences - le differend - between what he calls "phrase regimes". In L e Diffêrend 19 we find explicit what was only implicit in The Postmodern Condition: in Carroll's words, ... the aesthetic - especially when it has the paraesthetic form of the sublime - is a kind of critical safeguard against the dogmatism of the theoretical in general. The sublime serves to push philosophy and politics into a reflexive critical mode, to defer indefinitely the imposition of an end on the historical-political process. By emphasizing the gap between Idea and concept, the notion of the sublime in the historical-political highlights the tension between the desire to surpass "what is presentable" for something beyond presentation, as well as the critical awareness that no concept of the social is adequate to the Idea of freedom and none, therefore, can be considered to embody it. 20  This is a complex passage so let me try to pick out its logic.  Carroll designates Lyotard's work [and that of Foucault and Derrida] as paraesthetic in order to highlight the way in which his work uses the aesthetic to go beyond itself and raise a series of questions for the practice of theory without, 19Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990 20 David Carroll, 1987, Paraesthetics: Foucault-Lvotard-Derrida, New York: Methuen, p 182-183. Italics  added.  52  however, reproducing or colonizing the theoretical/cognitive phrase. It is a virtue of The Postmodern Condition, overlooked by Harvey, that it opposes the principle of legitimation that resides in modern meta-narrative, a principle found not only in certain versions of Marxism, but also in that modern scientific establishment that classical Marxism locates in the 'superstructure' of bourgeois society. I say a virtue because if, according to Carroll, one had to identify a core concern animating Lyotard's philosophy it would be a commitment to heteronomy : to promoting the right, as it were, to deviate from the norm, to question and oppose the totalizations of meta-narrative and the way they set limits to what is legitimate and what is illegitimate. This is somewhat different from Harvey's accusation that Lyotard is a relativist. What is interesting is how Lyotard uses the aesthetic to illuminate this heteronomous space.  In Le Differend Lyotard insists on the importance of Kant's division of the faculties to his own project qua divisions, and rejects the teleology that drives those divisions towards some grand synthesis or final end. Lyotard's notion of a "phrase" is very elusive and difficult to grasp. It is not to be equated with Kant's distinctions, but shares with them a sense of the ineffable differences between various practices that Lyotard sought to capture in the notion of a language game in The Postmodern Condition. Lyotard draws on Kant's later essays - on freedom, democracy and progress [a sort of nascent Critique of Political Judgement] - to investigate the modalities of the political outside its determination by the cognitive: and he does so by an analogy with the aesthetic. He relates the political and the aesthetic analogically because, he argues, Kant's later writings appeal to speculative reason - Ideas - not to determinate theoretical judgement, and thus the aesthetic of  53  the Third Critique serves as a kind of "a model for judgement which must operate in the absence of models." 21  For Lyotard one cannot appeal to present or past events in order to find warrant for enlightenened visions such as progress or emancipation. To imagine otherwise is, as Norris puts it, "to confuse the two 'phrase-regimes' of cognitive and speculative reason." 22 Thus to see 'great historical events', such as the French Revolution, as a sign of history's immanent culmination is not only folly but dangerous, implementing political 'enthusiasm' in the realm of real world affairs with potentially totalizing consequences. Instead, Lyotard argues, we should see political judgement as a distinct 'phrase-regime', one best understood by analogy with the aesthetic, in particular the sublime. For Lyotard great historical events are best seen as sublime spectacles, exceeding our capacity to define and grasp them definitively. Thus,  The sublime ... stands as a priveleged trope for everything that teases philosophy out of thought, that resists the application of determinant concepts, or compels us to recognize that those Ideas of Reason [like Kant's 'republican contract] may never be born out by the course of actual historical events 2 3  Or, in the words of Carroll, "Lyotard ... follows Kant's position that there can only be an Idea of justice, community, mutual understanding, and the like which can serve as a regulative ideal, but which cannot generate substantive criteria or universal judgements in specific cases: 24 The great ideals of the moderns belong then, in  21 Ibid. 177 22 Norris op. cit. p 8 23 Ibid. 11 24 Carroll op. cit. p 169  54  the realm of speculative reason, and the application of political and social theory is a dangerous "transcendental illusion".  There is much more to Lyotard than I have had the space to deal with here. But I hope I have made it clear that it is not Lyotard's first intention to promote relativism - even if that is, I think, a difficulty of his project - let alone to aestheticize politics - even if his analogue of aesthetic and speculative judgement threatens to collapse into a dumbfounded quiesence before the sublime. And I would, like Carroll, use Lyotard as an emblem in this regard for the work of Foucault and Derrida, among others. As Dick Howard has said, it is usually the most rigorous of thinkers who are therefore most contradictory and ambivalent , and ambivalent Lyotard, Foucault and Derrida certainly are. Harvey's mistake it seems to me is to dwell on the negative aspects of postmodern thought and then equate it with postmodernism tout court.  Contra Harvey's interpretation of postmodernism, Lyotard - like Harvey wants to maintain the differentiation of the faculties. The proper object of Harvey's concern, then, should be how Lyotard handles that differentiation not with how he supposedly collapses distinctions and prioritizes the aesthetic. For it seems to me that the real weakness of Lyotard's position from Harvey's perspective is that it severs all ties between political/social theory and political/social events. The upshot, as Norris notes, is that "Marxism can only retain its viability as a discourse of political justice in so far as it appeals to Ideas of Reason [e.g. the Idea of a 'republican social contract'], and renounces any form of cognitive appeal to determinate class interests, revolutionary movements etc." 25 This is, clearly, a  25Norris op. cit. p27  55  genuine problem. Lyotard's incipient relativism lies exactly here then, in that his refusal to totalize history and leave it be, also leaves it open to any kind of argumentation whatsoever. Hence we can understand Eagleton's concern that, on the terrain of history, Lyotard's insistence on heterogeneity means that "there can be no difference between truth, authority and seductiveness." 26 There is thus an ambivalence in Lyotard because his genuine concern for diffOrance turns into a sort of formal principle for heterogeneity which, because of its very formality and remove from the realm of history is quite unable, in fact unwilling, to make any decisions about which constituencies should be permitted to flourish within that realm.  How are we to respond to this? One way is to follow Harvey and re-occupy history with the Marxist meta-narrative. But this threatens to marginalize other, equally valid and powerful cognitive theories, and in doing so to discredit the imperialism of such a Marxism and draw attention away from some of the genuine and important historical insights it contains. I will say more about the latter in the next chapter. For now I want to pursue this discussion of Harvey's perspective on postmodernism by showing how some of the work that has appeared under its sign poses a challenge to the apparent exclusivity of Harvey's claims to know. However, in chapter 4 I also want to offer a more nuanced account of the nature of those claims to know than is captured in the blanket condemnation that Harvey and his Marxism are foundational and that it is thus blind to other visions of the world. I say this because I do not think Deutsche, Massey and Rose are correct in arguing that Harvey's Marxism is incapable of admitting other critical visions and nothing else . Instead, I want to argue in chapter 4 and in chapter 7 that - notably at the diagnostic  26 Eagleton op. cit. p 396  56  level - the 'classical' cast of Harvey's Marxism does indeed marginalize other critical positions in its vision of history and that this is the dominant trend of his thought. I say dominant because I would also insist that Harvey is also attentive to axes of social inequality other than class - notably, if implicitly, at the anticipatory level - but that because, ultimately, his Marxism cannot successfully integrate these concerns at, so to speak, the overall 'structural' level, his project is marked, more accurately, by an irresolvable ambivalence.  That said I think we can understand the vigour of the responses of Deutsche et. al. to The Condition of Postmodernity. Because, more than any of Harvey's previous works [with, perhaps the exception of Social Justice and the City] it is characterized by a tone and sheer ambition of argument that mark it out as a text whose claims to know are, quite simply, exorbitant . I suggest that Harvey's recent stridency should be understood in light of what Foster calls a "postmodernism of reaction" and its conjunction with the current 'crisis of Marxism'. I pursue the former in the following pages but leave a consideration of the latter until chapter 4. I do so because, I think, Harvey folds the first into the second and so postmodernism tout court is the source of all or most of the current insidious challenges to historical materialism. While subject to insights articulated under a 'postmodern' label, the current crisis of Marxism has more diverse origins than Harvey's account of postmodernism/ity suggests. For Harvey, however, the conjunction of postmodernism and the 'crisis of Marxism' seems to be largely one of cause and effect, a view that leads him into a response to postmodernism whose bellicosity runs roughshod over some of the genuine insights that come under [and outside] the postmodern label. And the origin of some of those insights is, I would submit, Lyotard's work.  57  As Fraser and Nicholson argue The Postmodern Condition has provided a sign under which a host of critical claims to reason can find a voice. While they find Lyotard's attack on meta-narrative as salutary, they object to his rejection of all large historical narratives. For Fraser and Nicholson, then, Lyotard ... throws out the baby of large historical narrative with the bathwater of philosophical meta-narrative and the baby of social theoretical analysis of large-scale inequalities with the bathwater of reductive Marxian class theory. 27  Like Carroll, then, they see in Lyotard a timely critique of the exclusivity of modern theory, but are less sanguine about where Lyotard leaves us and insist, instead, on bringing his lessons home to the cognitive realm. There is now a large body of work by feminists that engages critically and constructively with postmodernism and poststructuralism. 28 Jane Flax, for example, in her recent Thinking Fragments has sought to constructively engage the work of Lyotard and others with feminism and psychoanalysis. What is more, Marxist and Marxisant thought has itself benefitted from an engagement with the work of Harvey's postmodern thinkers. 29 I insisted earlier that Lyotard cannot be made to stand for postmodernism tout court in the way that Harvey implicitly makes him do so. I have offered a different reading of Lyotard than that offered by Harvey, yet also used some of Lyotard's themes as emblems of postmodernism in general. But I hope I have also made it clear that the transposition from Lyotard to, for example, Fraser and Nicholson, does not leave Lyotard in tact. Postmodernism may indeed be said, at the most general level, to be about the articulation of difference . But it is clear by now, as the debate over postmodernism has developed, that that concern can be 27 Fraser and Nicholson op. cit. p 16 28see, for example, the recent work of Weedon, Kathy Ferguson, and Sabina Lovibond 29See, forexample, Michael Ryan, Marxism and Deconstruction, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University  Press  58  taken in several directions and we are beholden to investigate what that 'postmodern' sensibility means in the work of different authors and constituencies . Because they use the same word they do not necessarily mean the same thing.  This semantic problem is partly at the root of Harvey's elisions and insensitivities over postmodernism. Given the sheer multiplicity of ways and contexts in which the term 'postmodernism' has been used there is considerable confusion over what it means. At worst, this definitional problem obscures debate altogether, leading one source to observe of postmodernism, "This word has no meaning; use it as often as possible," an assessment many would doubtless endorse. 30 Somewhat more accurately, if equally cutting, Graham suggests that "  post-modernism is a hydra-headed monster and a chameleon, impossible to  characterise without entering into life-threatening contradictions." 31 Or, as Hassan so eloquently puts it, the term 'postmodernism' has "shifted from awkward neologism to derelict cliché without ever attaining to the dignity of a concept." 32  The only way to respond to this situation, it seems to me, is to eshew any search for a general definition of postmodernism. It is not a concept that permits of a single and singular definition, but a sign that has been used in a variety of ways whose differences need to be respected. Hence, in their recent attempt to survey the theory and politics of postmodernism, Boyne and Rattansi wisely insist on tracing the variegated texts and contexts in which the term 'postmodernism' figures. 33 Moreover, as Andreas Huyssen has so convincingly argued, we must  30 The Modern Day Dictionary of Received Ideas, cited in Featherstone, 1988, 'In Pursuit of the  Postmodern', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 5, no. 2, p195 31 Julie Graham, 1988, 'Postmodernism and Marxism', Antipode , vol. 20, no. 1, p 62 32 lbrahim Hassan, 1985, The Culture of Postmodernism', Theory, Culture and Society , 2:3, p 119 33 Roy Boyne and All Rattansi, 1990, Postmodernism and Society, London: Macmillan, chapter 1  59  also attend to the geography of postmodernism , the varying national contexts for the production and reception of postmodern discourse. 34 Yet Harvey, although he pays some attention to these differences [he talks for example about postmodern art, cinema, lterature and architecture], is concerned to establish the formal and organic similarities between them. So much so that, I think, he virtually obliterates the differences altogether.  At the very least, Harvey needs to recognise and take seriously Foster's well known distinction between a postmodernism of 'resistance' and one of 'reaction'. It is clearly the latter that is Harvey's target, but it does not exhaust the postmodern nor can all of Harvey's targets, such as Lyotard, be legitimately seen in this way. A postmodernism of resistance does not necessarily mean some purely local and ineffectual critical project35 , and the intellectual support elements of feminism have received from postmodernism is a testament to that fact.  Harvey, I am sure, would now acknowledge this 36 . But in The Condition of Postmodernity the term 'postmodernism' is deployed in such a general and generalized way as an essentially conservative phenomenon that it quite simply and inexcusably overlooks those critical intellectual projects that have appropriated the postmodern label. I say inexcusable not, most obviously, because of the insensitivity of omitting from consideration this resistant, critical postmodernism, but because several versions of it, more profoundly, challenge the very nature of Harvey's own project . Moreover, in Deutsche's powerful account, those omissions are not in Gregory's words, simply the misfortunes of an unwary 34Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, chapter 10 35 A point argued convincingly by Meaghan Morris, 1992, The Man in the Mirror: David Harvey's  'Condition' of Postmodernity', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 9, pp 253-279  36See Harvey, unpublished a, below  60  traveller in a strange land, ['culture' NC]: they are, rather, the direct and, so to speak, structural consequence of a particular 'way of knowing', or, even more precisely, of a particular way of claiming to know." 37 They are, in other words, apparently an outworking of Bauman's dream of legislative reason.  Deutshe's assessment of The Condition of Postmodernity will, no doubt, become a standard reference-point for discussions of the book and so I do not want to repeat her argument here. It is enough to say that she shows very effectively that Harvey's lapses and silences on feminism and postmodern feminist aesthetics  38  seems to bespeak a more deep-seated impulse to totalize the social. As she puts it,  Totalizing visions of society such as Harvey's are precisely, to borrow Bruno's phrase, "dreams of unity". Claiming to discover, rather than construct a reality that forms the absolute foundation of social unity, the subject of Harvey's discourse generates the illusion that he stands outside, not in the world. His identity then owes nothing either to his real situation or to the objects he studies. In the act of denying the discursive character of those objects, such depictions also disavow the condition of subjectivity as a partial and situated position, positing instead an autonomomous subject who observes social conflicts from a priveleged and unconflicted place. 39  The resonances with Benhabib's reconstruction of the foundations of critical theory are instructive here. For it is Benhabib's contention that the position of transsubjectivity which she attributes to Marx and which derives directly from Hegel and indirectly from Kant, finds its social realization in the denial of human plurality. The monological subject position of the theorist finds its apotheosis in a vision of the social that denies the complexities of lived experience, the way the individuals  37 Gregory, unpublished, op. cit.p 1 38 In particular Deutsche points to Harvey's misreading of the work of Cindy Sherman. 39 Deutsche op. cit. p7  61  are discerned in complex ways. 40 It is as if the world-historical scale of crisis demands an equally totalizing response in the form of critique which, however, oversteps itself and covertly substitutes the crisis of one , albeit crucially important social system - capitalism - for a crisis of the social tout court.  I pursue Benhabib's argument in more detail regarding the anticiaptory foundations of Harvey's Marxism in chapter 7. For now, however, I let it stand because I do think that her reading of Marx can be made to intersect with Deutsche's of Harvey concerning the diagnostic moment of Harvey's Marxism. That is to say, and to reiterate, that the urge to totalize the social and suture history around political economy is the dominant - though not only - aspect of Harvey's historico-geographical materialism. Quite where this criticism of Harvey's claims to reason leaves his Marxism I will discuss in the chapter 4. For now, though, let me insist that, as a minimum condition , those critical projects that have appropriated the postmodern label alter the project of classical Marxism in something like the way signalled by Graham:  Our project is not to subsume the issues that engage the minds of others to the issue of class, but to relate class to these issues. In a world where class does not determine everything else but is related to everything else through a process of mutual constitution, it is our job as Marxists to construct the connections between class and everything else in the form of a discourse.'"  40The word is deliberately evocative of Paul Smith's Discerning the Subject [Minneapolis: University  of Minnesota Press, 1988] where he argues that subjects must be seen as inhabitating a space that is the intersection of a host of discourses and social forces and that, therefore, when thinking about social transformation it is invidious to suture strategies of opposition around a single subject position, such as class. 41 Julie Graham, 1988, 'Postmodernism and Marxism', Antipode, vol. 20, no. 1, p 62. I say minimum condition because I am not convinced that the problems can be resolved as simply as Graham suggests.  62  I say minimum condition because I am not convinced that the problems can be resolved as simply as Graham seems to suggest. But I would agree with her that the most constructive challenges to Marxism that designate themselves postmodern, are those which do not, as Bauman fears, reduce Marxism's intellectual and political agenda to a reticent, interpretive one, where social analysis is replaced by some hermeneutical interchange [although certain versions of Marxism would certainly benefit from the latter]. The real, and the most difficult task, it seems to me, is to bring 'strong' versions of Marxism into a constructive engagement with other critical paradigms. That this has rarely occurred without one or other side of the encounter perceiving a loss of intellectual identity is a testament to the difficulty of that task. As Gregory puts it, ... if there is no privelelged vantage point, no singular place of reflection, no unambiguous closure, no unitary logic, then how can we make the lives of other people intelligible to us - how can we bring them within the horizon of our own [limited] sensibilities and competences - without in some way being invasive, colonizing, even violent? 42  AESTHETICISM AND A "POSTMODERNISM OF REACTION"  Harvey's insensitivities about postmodernism have, understandably, generated an often heated response. In addition to Deutsche's concerted attack on Harvey's claims to know, both Massey and Rose have presented readings of The Condition of Postmodernity almost as intemperate as Harvey's perspective on that condition. While understandable, however, I think that such a response is unfortunate if it is taken to be a definitive reading of Harvey's account of  42 Derek Gregory, 1991, 'Interventions in the Historical Geography of Modernity: Social Theory,  Spatiality and the Politics of Representation', Geografiska Annaler,, 73B: 1, p 20  63  postmodernism and postmodernity. For it is surely wrong to see The Condition of Postmodernity as the articulation of a particular Marxist will to knowledge and nothing else. I do not for a minute think that, when pressed, Deutshe et. al. would argue that their critiques exhaust the issues. But I do think that the exorbitancy of the claims to know articulated within the book draws attention away from the genuine historical insights it might hold and encourages and equally exorbitant critique.  In this regard Harvey's pathological portrayal of postmodernism does, it seems to me, latch on to a phenomena with a real historical existence: Foster's "postmodernism of reaction". I am uncomfortable with such neat and tidy designations and, as I intimated earlier, think we must attend to the specificities of discourse expounded under the postmodern label if we are to engage in a responsible discussion. That said, Foster's distinction is useful, if only because it alerts us to those anti-progressive, conservative 'postmodern' intellectual projects that seek to deflect attention away, or to directly obfuscate real social inequalities and injustices. In this sense it seems to me that a proper target of Harvey's concern would less obviously be Lyotard and more properly be someone like Baudrillard. It is, then to the specificities of Baudrillard's work that I turn as a prelude to investigating how Harvey's account of the condition of postmodernity might illuminate the course of our recent history.  We might, with only a little exaggeration, see Baudrillard as the high priest of the kind of postmodernism that Harvey fears. This is not to say that Baudrillard's work has no value whatsoever, or that it does not articulate some justifiable concerns. But his work has elicited, with some justification, the most  64  hostile responses to postmodernism on the left. 43 Thus, if we compare Baudrillard with other 'postmodernists' we would be hard pushed to object to Norris's assessment that "none of them has maintained such an extreme oppositional stance toward every last truth claim, every form or vestige of enlightened critical thought" as Baudrillard has. 44  Poster, in introducing Baudrillard's work, sees its importance as shattering the claims to reason of the Enlightenment and its legacy and alerting us to the fact that these times do not permit of old fashoined ldeologiekritik . 45 But if this is all Baudrillard bequeathes us it is not particularly original nor insightful. Lyotard, as I have suggested makes a similar argument but seeks to avoid its nihilistic consequences, while Foucault, for example, also eschews meta-theory but with a brilliance, historical acuity and seriousness of purpose that, as far as I can tell, is absent from Baudrillard's work. But what, then, is Baudrillard about?  In The Mirror of Production Baudrillard launched a now well known assault on Marxian meta-theory and its conceptual apparatus. Reacting, in particular, to Althusser's iron-cast demarcation between science and ideology, Baudrillard argued that any discourse preserving the Platonic distinction between doxa and episteme , truth and illusion, was an anachronism inappropriate to these  new times. It is not, however, clear what these new 'postmodern times' consist of since, although Baudrillard's recent works are meditations on that question, they treat recent history with an interpretive freedom that would make a professional historian blanche. We can say that the era of postmodernity is for Baudrillard an era 43 WhiCh  is not of course to say that it does not have its admirers on the left too. See Ann Game's recent work, for example. "Christopher Norris, 1990, 'Baudrillard and the Politics of Postmodernism', in Boyne and Rattansi op. cit. p 120 45Mark Poster [ed], 1988, Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge: Polity Press  65  of hyper-reality, one where the image is so all- pervasive that it is no longer possible to make distinctions between truth and illusion, science and ideology. Instead, " ... reality itself, entirely impregnated by an aesthetic which [is] inseperable from its own structure, has been confused with its own image." 46 The loss of critique thus goes hand in hand with a quiesence before the hyper-real and the aesthetic sensibility comes to reign supreme in the world of human affairs.  Now there is no doubt that Baudrillard's diagnosis of postmodernity does indeed identify something of profound importance about the gyrations of late capitalist societies. The last twenty five years or so have seen some remarkable transformations in the nature of mass entertainment, the media and what Adorno famously called 'the culture industry'. And these transformations are consequential for the way we see both the world and ourselves. But what these transformations demand is a response that tries to understand them. Baudrillard's response, in contrast, is explicitly nihilistic and his debt to Nietzschenot far behind. As Habermas has argued, the Nietzschean claim to relativism presents a dilemma, a 'performative contradiction', that finds its resolution in the turn to aesthetics. For how, on his own nihilistic terms, can Baudrillard 'prove' that the world we now live in is one that is beyond the claims of theory without relying on a theory of his own? One way to avoid this contradiction, Habermas argues, is to collapse the distinction between philosophy and literature, since "consistency requirements ... lose their authority or are at least subordinated to other demands - of an aesthetic nature, for example - if logic loses its conventional primacy over rhetoric."  47  Baudrillard's  writing can thus be seen as an extreme case of what Callinicos, citing Jacques  46 Baudrillard, 1986, Simulations p 150-152 47J1irgen Habermas, 1987, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press, p  188  66  Bouveresse, calls "a type of work which attempts, with a very relative degree of success, to compensate for the absence of properly philosophical argument by means of literary effects  ... "  48  But we might, even more provocatively, follow Callinicos a step further and suggest that Baudrillard's account of postmodernity is mimetic of a postmodern condition that seeks to mask its complicity with and origins in the capitalist mode of production. In this sense the images and signs of Baudrillard's postmodernity would not be the mark of a world beyond the claims of Marxist theory, but symptoms of that very commodity fetishism which Marx diagnosed over a century ago as endemic to capitalism's survival. The commodity, Marx said, is a very queer thing, "abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties", and something of the power of what Featherstone calls "the aestheticization of everyday life" becomes apparent here. 49 For in Baudrillard's aestheticized world not only are we unable to cognitively grasp what it is we do, but we sensuously revel in the aesthetic object - the commodity - echoing Eagleton's concern about the Kantian imaginary.  Here, at last, I think Harvey's reading of postmodernism finds some degree of purchase. Although I have very crudely mapped Baudrillard into an equally crude image of late capitalism, I think Baudrillard's aestheticism is a genuine problem and one we ought, like Harvey, to resist. And let us be clear that it is aestheticism that we are talking about, by which I mean, following Megill, the belief that aesthetic sensibilities should form the dominant dimension of human  48Callinicos op. cit. 147 49 Mike Featherstone, 1991, Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, London: Sage, p 65  67  existence. 50 This is emphatically not the same as aesthetics, the academic and artistic investigation and manipulation of aesthetic material. The two, to be sure, frequently merge, in both a left and a right direction. But it is the former, seen negatively as complicit with the operations of capital, that is the proper target of Harvey's critique. In failing to make the distinction Harvey not only glosses over critical feminist aesthetics, as Deutsche notes, but ignores the importance of aesthetics to the very Marxist tradition of which he is part, a move which seems to me to impoverish Marxism's reach and relevance. Aesthetic theory is not primarily about the spatialization of time nor is it necessarily unconcerned about developing the potentials within march of history. For Harvey to suggest otherwise would be egregious, except that this move arises out of his equation of social theory with the cognitive and moral faculties, and their equation with Becoming, for intellectual reasons that I hope I have by now made clear.  Nevertheless, I would agree with a number of authors, within and outside the Marxist tradition, that the fin-de-siecle can be said to be characterized by a certain aestheticism, and one which is by no means new. There is, after all, a tradition going back to through Adorno and Benjamin, and through Simmel and Kracaeur to Baudelaire, that points up the centrality of the aesthetic sensibility within the sphere of commodity consumption. And it is here, if we recall Bauman's account, that we can understand why he, like Harvey, wants a continuation of the project of modernist radicalism. For the weapon of seduction [a concept that, in fact, he borrows from Baudrillard in order to parody] cannot be just one more reason for the abandonment of critique: on the contrary, the expansion of the market,within which  50Alan Megill, 1985, Prophets of Extremity, Berkeley: University of California Press, p 2  68  the rise of seduction is imbricated, demands our most serious and strenuous efforts to insist on the continued relevance of materialist inquiry.  51  I agree. I think we have a duty to insist on the need for Marxism, for critique, and for the role of theory in elucidating the culture of late capitalism. Not because of some dogmatic faith in Marxist categories [Marx's legacy is, in any case, both too rich and too ramified to be reduced to 'classical' Marxism], not because we wish to legislate on the nature of the social [the engagement of postmodernism and feminism powerfully undercuts that oppressive and naive practice], but because there are social forces operative today whose consequences remain as oppressive and destructive as ever. What's more, in the absence of a commitment to a cognitive account of social life, even the best intentioned of projects [Lyotard] can leave us marooned, while the most banal [Baudrillard] can sink us into the mire of an aestheticized politics.  To this extent I concur with Harvey's desire to re-establish Marxism within the universities which, no matter what assaults have been launched against them by the New Right and corporate interests - in fact precisely because of those assaults - remain crucially important spaces within the present social order for the articulation of a critical project like Marxism. Should we be teaching students, people who will go on to secure among the most important positions within future society, that our world is so hyper-real that we can say nothing of depth or profundity about it? Or do we insist on the importance of bringing theory and history into engagement within critical programmes that show us there is still so much to be done if the world is to be made a safe and pleasant place for all? Put like this  51 Although, let me be clear, Bauman is not by any means an unreconstructed Marxist.  69  the options are, I realize, greatly overstated. The academy is not being swamped by some insidious postmodern challenge. But the issues are nonetheless real for 'strong' versions of Marxism, as they have had to contend not only with some extreme challenges under the 'postmodern' label, but also with, as I suggested earlier, a frequently overlapping but specific 'crisis of Marxism.' That Harvey folds the former into the latter is disingenuous, as I make clear in chapter 4. Nonetheless, Harvey is right to point up the incipient aestheticism of 'reactionary postmodernism' and its abandonment of critique, even as he overstates the case.  But if this perceived aestheticism is to be anything other than an accusation made by Marxist and other left-wing intellectuals then, as Callinicos insists, it must be subject "to the discipline of an empirical exploration of socioeconomic processes." 52 I now want to turn, then, to Harvey's historical account - to the condition of postmodernity- to understand how his reading of postmodernism arises from his understanding of this wider condition. This will involve me in an apparently strange shift of argument away from aestheticism in a culture of consumption towards an aestheticism centred on the state and articulated through nationalist and localist politics . But it is not a shift of my own making: it resides, rather, in a slippage in Harvey's overall argument. In order to set the scene for what follows I need to make two points.  First Harvey's linkage of postmodernism and postmodernity around the question of aestheticism is asymmetrical. What I mean by this is that his account of the former does not neatly map into the latter. In particular, and as I hope my discussion of postmodernism has made clear, Harvey can marshall little evidence  52Callinicos op. cit. p 151  70  that postmodernism is synonymous with the turn to an aestheticized geopolitics . Indeed, the geographical inflection Harvey's gives to the aesthetic is conspicuously absent from his reading of postmodernism. And in many ways this is understandable, for in the links Harvey makes between Kant and his postmodern philosophers there is little evidence that the aesthetic is spatialized in the work of the latter. The "aesthetic theory" of Lyotard et. al., if one would call it that, is hardly concerned with the spatialization of time. This spatialization of the aesthetic, rather, an assumption that Harvey makes. The consumption culture of late capitalism may well be marked by a regressive aestheticism but Harvey does not pursue the geographical implications of this insight very far, although I think they could be dialectically developed onto the terrain of what Harvey, following Lefebvre, calls "spatial practices". This is, however, a relatively undeveloped aspect of his cultural theory and one which might, I suggest, be fruitfully pursued.  Secondly, the terrain on which Harvey does pursue the question of an aestheticized geopolitics, and which finds suggestive justification on the ground of history, involves not the culture of consumption of late capitalism, but the question of the state, nationalism and localism. And its intellectual roots are found in Harvey's reading of Hegel. Where Harvey wants, rather arbitrarily, to bring themes regarding the aesthetic from both Kant and Hegel together in a grand diagnosis, his account of postmodernism and postmodernity respectively in fact holds them apart.  It is my contention, then, that The Condition of Postmodernity contains two , albeit dialectically related, main strands which comprise Harvey's cultural theory, which both entail paticular accounts of the nature of subjectivity. The one concerned with the aestheticism of a culture of consumption , which is implicit in 71  Harvey's account of postmodernism, but which is never really elaborated by him as an historical condition in its geographical aspects. The other, in contrast, is concerned with the aestheticism of a nationalistic and localistic politicA a theme not found in the postmodern philosophers Harvey cites [although I think it certainly can be found in other 'postmodern' projects] but which found its apogee on the historical-geographical landscape in the Third Reich and which, Harvey contends, is showing signs of reappearing today in the era of postmodernity. It is this focus on fascism that, I think, makes Harvey's account worthy of close scrutiny, for its implications are clearly too important to be lightly passed over.  72  Chapter 3  THE AESTHETIC SUBJECT?  INTELLECTUALS. POLITICS AND FASCISM IN THE TRANSITION TO POSTMODERNITY  Like Jameson before him, Harvey has sought to subvert the supposed radical novelty of postmodernism by seeing it as part of an historical condition postmodernity - that can be explained in terms of one of the very meta-narratives Marxism - it seeks to challenge. Moreover, that condition is in vital respects continuous with modernity and it is here that Harvey seeks to establish the links between the two, in particular through the figure of Martin Heidegger. By drawing parallels between Heidegger and Lyotard et. al., Harvey seeks not only to undermine the supposed novelty of postmodern discourse. He also, more radically, wants to point up the political dangers inherent in the postmodern turn by using Heidegger's proximity to National Socialism and the aestheticization of geopolitics that both preached. Put differently, Heidegger is for Harvey an emblem of the dangers of the aesthetic subject, whose collective embodiment was the German fascist state. I have already noted how few of Harvey's postmodern philosophers can be said to preach such geopolitical thought, although Foucault and Derrida are undoubtedly indebted in important ways to Heidegger. But that is not to say that other aspects of our present times cannot be thought of in terms of an aestheticized geopolitics.  Harvey's concern with Heidegger follows partly from his reading of Hegel. As he argues, Heidegger 73  ...proclaimed the permanence of Being over the transitoriness of Becoming...his investigations led him away from the universals of modernism and of the JudaeoChristian tradition, and back to the intense and creative nationalism of pre-Socratic Greek thought. All metaphysics and philosophy, he declared, are given their meaning only in relation to the destiny of the people. 1  And to articulate this national project, Harvey continues, he proposed a myth of rootedness in place and environmentally bound traditions, expressed by the great will of the state, as the only secure foundation for political and social action...(in) his allegiance to the principles [if not practices] of Nazism...the aestheticization of politics through which production of such all consuming myths [of which Nazism was but one] was the tragic side of the modernist project 2  When related to German fascism, Harvey's opposition to Heidegger raises intruiging questions about the role of an aestheticized subjectivity within the realm of practical politics . For Harvey's worry over the aesthetic is not simply that it helps obfuscate capitalist social relations, in the way it does in the work of Lyotard et. al. On top of this he is making a series of other important claims I think. In the first place, if with fascism the aesthetic is spatialized then this opens up an important avenue for thinking about the political forms of landscape representation  3  Secondly, Harvey's analysis implies a strong claim about the importance of this aestheticized representation by inserting it directly into the programme of a specific political movement which in 1933 was elected to state power. This suggests that the 'representation of space' 4 is not merely incidental to Nazism but much more 1 Harvey op. cit. p 208 2 Ibid. 35 3 See Appendix I 4 Harvey's discussion of this question of representation is not phrased in terms of landscape  representation, with its specific and restrictive connotations [see Cosgrove's work, for example], but is broadened into a discussion of the "representation of space". The term is Lefebvre's denoting the  74  central to its articulation as a political force. Thirdly, however, in pursuing the point Harvey goes further than this. Unlike other Marxists concerned with culturalgeographic questions, Harvey wants to go beyond seeing the representation of space as merely one aspect of some ideological superstructure. More profoundly, he tentatively suggests that crises of cultural and political representation have an insistently spatial dimension to them since the coordinates of space and time are the very matrices through which the materiality of life under capitalism is expressed and negotiated.  All this said, it might properly be asked how Harvey gets from the Third Reich to postmodernity, not least because it has been a central theme of historians of Nazism that the former was an exceptional phenomena. Harvey, however, echews this exceptionality thesis. His concern, rather, is to show how the aestheticization of geopolitics is a strategy compatible with a range of conservative postions and which reaches its apogee in Germany of the 1930s and 40s. In next few pages I reconstruct Harvey's historical account of the aestheticization of geopolitics and the aestheticization of the subjectivity it presupposes. I then want to subject it to critical scrutiny. I do so firstly by examining the linkages Harvey seeks to make between political-economic crisis and experiential crisis - particularly of the intellectuals - by dwelling on the figure of Martin Heidegger. Then I pursue the geographical inflections of that conjunction of systemic and lived crisis further by examining Harvey's wider thesis concerning German fascism and the location of aestheticized geopolitical strategies in the state. I conclude that there is much in Harvey's thesis that is extremely suggestive and deserves to be pursued in an analysis of our present times, but that his argument is conducted at such a general human perception of space under historically specific conditions in the very broadest sense. See Table 3.1 page 220 of The Condition.  75  level that it is open to dismissal on empirical grounds. I end the chapter by recapitulating my overall argument and suggesting how a proper attention to the concrete historical geography of postmodernism and postmodernity would illuminate some of Harvey's insights.  THE CONDITION OF POSTMODERNITY  Basal Foundations: Economic Crisis and Time-Space Compression  As Gregory rightly says, when Harvey  writes about the 'condition of postmodernity' he is trying to convey a double image. He means to evoke both a particular experience of space and time...and, behind that, the basal condition...that has made such an experience...possible: namely a series of turbulent changes in the space economy of late capitalism 5  As Deutsche implies, Harvey's account is effectively a base-superstructure models [Figures 1 and 2]. Contradictions inherent in the processes of capital accumulation mean that the economy is prone to periodic and often severe crises of overaccumulation and these crises produce transformations in the organisation of the accumulation process. Harvey uses the language of the Regulation School to conceptualise these changes. While always insisting on the fundamental importance of the rules of capitalist accumulation, Harvey discusses the particular ensemble of economic, social and political relations at given historical moments in terms of regimes of accumulation and modes of social regulation. In these terms he 5 Gregory , unpublished, op. cit. p 7 6 Deutsche op. cit. Certainly, Harvey is explicit that he wants to introduce some degree of economic  determination into the explanation of cultural and political life, as he makes clear when he scorns those who hold "Cultural life...to be outside rather than within the embrace of...capitalist logic" [p 344 The Condition].  76  charts the recent transition from a Fordist regime of accumulation to one of socalled flexible accumulation.  Figure 2  Figure 1  Crisis of Cultural and Political Representation  Politics  Culture  7  T Time-Space Compression  Experience of Space and Time  i  I  Economic Base  Economic Crisis  Harvey's general model of cultural and political change  ^  Harvey's specific model  During periods of economic crisis, of transition between regimes of accumulation, Harvey argues that there is a resultant phase of 'time-space compression', a revolution in the objective qualities of time and space such that "we are forced to alter, sometimes in quite radical ways, how we represent the world to ourselves" 7 . This is perhaps the most original aspect of Harvey's model and he seeks to give this phenomenon a theoretical importance and clarity that, he argues, has been missing from previous accounts 8 . This time-space compression is correspondingly registered in our experience of those magnitudes. On the premise that time and space are fundamental dimensions through which we 7 Harvey op. cit. p 240 8 David Harvey, 1991, op. cit. p 426  77  experience and negotiate the world around us, Harvey argues that phases of timespace compression force us to adjust, quite radically, our existing notions of time and space creating a crisis of representation. And it is precisely this crisis that ushers in new cultural and political practices to make sense of it.  This reading is correct as far as it goes. But there is more to Harvey's argument than Deutsche indicates. In the first place, Harvey links the transformation in the objective qualities of time and space to political and cultural practices by utilising Bourdieu's concept of the habitus G. The habitus has both a vertical and a horizontal dimension. In a 'vertical' dimension it is "the system of internalised dispositions that mediate between social structures and practical activity, being shaped by the former and regulating the latter" 10 . Horizontally, as Gregory puts it "Bourdieu intends the habitus to harmonize and homologize social practices from one sphere of social life to another" 11 . Thus "the concept of the habitus...is a way of elucidating the coherence of social life." Harvey uses this concept "to capture (this] coherence...in a particular frame: the experience of space and time" 12 . It is, during phases of 'time-space compression', Harvey argues, that the habitus becomes dislocated.  In the second place - and this, as we shall see, is crucial for understanding Harvey's portrayal of the aestheticization of geopolitics - Harvey seeks to lend this disorientation a profoundly geographical dimension. For Harvey, the economic sea change that has occurred since the early '70s is not just an 9 The following reading is indebted to Gregory, unpublished, 'Modernity, Postmodernity and the  Politics of Space'. See Pierre Bourdieu, 1977, Outline of a Theory of Practice [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press] and Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste [London: 1984] 10 Bourdieu cited in Gregory, ibid. 24 11 Ibid. 25 12 Ibid.  78  assault on the rigidities of Fordism, but a synonymous "crisis of temporal and spatial form" the resolution of which is marked by a new "spatial fix" which lies behind that intensified experience of space and time that distinguishes the condition of postmodernity 13 . Thus, Gregory argues that for Harvey the contemporary crisis of representation is "in large measure a crisis of the geographical imagination." [italics added] 14 and this is what makes his account so original.  And it is here that Harvey makes the material connections to Heidegger's work by presenting the audacious thesis that, to put it crudely, Heidegger's intellectual condition - like the postmodern intellectual and political condition - is the symptom of a dislocated habitus . In this way he tries to show that not only were Heidegger's ideas aestheticized in a context of space-time transformation, but that that aesthetic was articulated in a fixing, a spatialization of time. These twin themes are captured in a remarkable passage from Heidegger's Metaphysics:  From a metaphysical viewpoint, Russia and America are the same: the same dreary technological frenzy, the same unrestricted organization of the average man. At a time when the furthermost corner of the globe has been conquered by technology and opened to economic exploitation; when any incident whatsoever...can be communicated to the rest of the world at any desired speed; when the assassination of a King in France and a Symphony in Tokyo can be experienced simultaneously; when time has ceased to be anything other than velocity, instantaneousness and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from the lives of all peoples...then, yes, through all this turmoil a question still haunts us like a spectre: What for? Whither? What then? 15 13 Harvey, The Condition, op. cit. p196 14 Ibid.  15 Cited in Harvey, ibid. 208  79  There is more than a little similarity here to Marx's diagnosis of the ennervating experience of capitalist society, where all that it is solid melts into air. However, this only half of the story Harvey wants to tell. In order to place the aestheticization of geopolitics fully within Harvey's Marxian framework we must consider the other : the role of the state.  The State. Capital and Strategies of Legitimation  According to Harvey the aestheticization of politics cannot simply be understood as a set of ideas generated in the final instance out of the material base; they also need to be inserted within the institutional framework of the state through which they are articulated. Not suprisingly, for Harvey the state cannot be considered separately from the dynamics of capitalist accumulation. As with his acount of those dynamics, his discussion of the state operates at two levels. At the level of abstract theory, Harvey inserts the state into his discussion of capitalist modernization. He argues that  The state...forms a[n]...organizing principle through which a ruling class can seek to impose its will not only upon its opponents but upon the anarchical flux, change and uncertainty to which capitalist modernity is always prone. The state is a territorial entity struggling to impose its will upon a fluid and spatially open process of capital circulation....lt also depends on taxation and credit markets, so that states can be disciplined by the circulation process at the same time as they can seek to promote particular strategies of capital accumulation.  To do so effectively the state must construct...a definition of public interests over and above the class and sectarian interests and struggles that are contained within its  80  borders. It must, in short, legitimize itself. It is therefore bound to engage to some degree in the aestheticization of poltics 16  The state, then, has relative autonomy in its mediating role between the interests of capital and labour within a given national territory, as it grapples with the dialectic between space and place under a mode of production where the annihilation of space by time proceeds apace. But in this role it must also legitimize itself through political strategies that ensure not only its own survival but also the social conditions that ensure the continued reproduction of capital, strategies which Gramsci, Poulantzas and Habermas have all in their different ways made so much of. 17  This abstract discussion is concretized in Harvey's analysis of the transition from Fordism to flexible accumulation. And it is at this level that he seeks to draw out the similarities between the legitimating strategies of states under a condition of postmodernity and those pursued by the European states of the 1930s of which, of course, Nazi Germany was one. Given that states are territorially organised at a national level [although there are also, of course, important intra-national urban and regional state bodies operating at smaller spatial scales], then, Harvey suggests, spatial competition has intensified as governments attempt not only to attract new  16 David Harvey, op. cit. 108 17 In particular see Antonio Gramsci, 1971, Prison Notebooks, London: Lawrence and Wishart, and  Jurgen Habermas Legitimation Crisis, although it is important to note that Habermas has shifted his position somewhat since he wrote this book. Poulantzas is of more immediate interest in the context of this paper because of his Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism where he offers a Marxian account of fascist dictatorship. Of all his works this book has, unfortunately, received the least attention. For two excellent reviews, however, see Jane Caplan Theories of Fascism: Nicos Poulantzas as Historian' [History Workshop Journal , vol. 4, no. 1, 1976] and Anson Rabinbach 'Poulantzas and the Problem of Fascism' [New German Critique , Spring 1978]. For Harvey's fullest and most sophisicated theoretical account of the role of finance capital in the process of capital accumulation see The Limits to Capital, chapter10.  81  capital but also to defend jobs. 18 Where such competition cannot lead to the resolution of economic crisis the stage is set for geopolitical confrontation. And this is precisely what, Harvey argues, happened in 1930s Europe, "that tortured prelude to a global inter-capitalist war that did more to transform the historical geogrphy of the world than any other sequence of events in history." "Can", he has dramatically asked elsewhere, "that happen again?" 19 , calling to mind Tom Nairn's striking statement that "uneven development is a politely academic way of saying war."  20  In  answer he observes that  The serious diminution of the power of individual nation states over fiscal and monetary policies...has not been matched by any parallel shift in the internationalization of politics. Indeed, there are abundant signs that localism and nationalism have become stronger precisely because of the quest that place always offer in the midst of all the shifting that flexible accumulation implies. The resurgence of geopolitics and of faith in charismatic politics [Thatcher's Falklands War, Reagan's invasion of Grenada] fits only  18 1 am not trying to suggest that Harvey prioritizes the national state or international competition. In fact, taken as a whole, the various discussions of the state scattered throughout his earlier work testifies to his concern to elucidating the complex mosaic of state action: compare, for exampe, his account of the geopolitics of capital [ see Gregory and Urry (eds) Social Relations and Spatial Structures, chapter 7, London: Macmillan, 1985] with his essay on urban class alliances [in The Urban Experience, chapter 5]. Harvey's argument regarding international competition goes something as follows: Under the impulse to speed up capital circulation times to Marx's "twinkling of an eye", finance capital has come to play a key part in overcoming the rigidites of Fordism. This new hypermobility of capital, Harvey argues, has entailed a shift towards the empowerment of finance capital vis-a-vis the nation state. It has also "entrained rapid shifts in the [geographical] patterning of uneven development" ['Flexible Accumulation Through Urbanization', p 261]: the search for a new spatial fix as one means of overcoming the problems of Fordism is concomitant with a crucial paradox, namely that "capital builds a physical landscape appropriate to its own condition at a particular moment in time, only to have to destroy it in the course of crisis, at a subsequent point in time" [ Harvey, 1981,The Urban Process Under Capitalism', in Dear and Scott [eds] Urban Development and Urban Planning in Capitalist Society, London: Methuen, p 114]. That is, space can only be overcome by creating new space, by making new investments in geographically fixed capital while devaluing other, older investments made under the previous regime of accumulation. Industrial boom and crisis is, after all, place specific. Hence the startling rise of new industrial complexes since 1973 [not only in 'virgin' areas such as California with its agglomerations of hi-tech industry, but also in previously depressed areas like New England] is, Harvey argues, matched by the equally rapid decline of other, previously prosperous industrial regions [such as the West Midlands]. 19 David Harvey, 1985, The Geopolitics of Capitalism", in Gregory and Urry [eds] Social Relations and Spatial Structures. London: Macmillan, p 160 20Tom Nairn, 19??,  82  too well with a world that is increasingly nourished...by a vast flux of ephemeral images 21  and in doing so he intends the echoes of Nazi Lebensraum - the ultimate expression of an aestheticized geopolitics - to be not far behind. 22  But this aestheticized nationalism is also complemented internally by an aestheticized domestic policy, realized most fully in the neo-conservative regimes of Thatcher and Reagan. Faced with fiscal crisis, itself the result of economic crisis, the resulting state policies [notably the rolling back of the welfare state] have, Harvey suggests, been legitimated by a radical shift in the political centre:  Since the political success of neo-conservatism can hardly be attributed to its...economic achievements several commentators have attributed its rise to a general shift from the collective norms and values that were hegemonic...[in] the 1950s and 1960s, towards a much more competetive individualism as the central value in an entrepreneurial culture.. 2 3  The nadir of this loss of colllective conscience is the obfuscation of social and economic problems. For Harvey the years of Reagan, Thatcher and Bush have been years when rational argument has been thrown out of the window and replaced by an embrace of sheer legerdemain. And this has gone hand in hand with the increasing power of the image and a refusal to get behind such images and their mystifications. Reagan is, for Harvey, the key example of this kind of obsession with form rather than content:  21 David Harvey, The Condition..., p 306 22See Harvey 1985, p. cit. p 160 23 Harvey op. cit. p171  83  The election of an ex-movie actor, Ronald Reagan, to one of the most powerful positions in the world put a new gloss on the possibilities of a mediatized politics shaped by images alone. His image, ...carefully crafted and orchestrated...as a tough but warm, avuncular, and well-meaning person who had an abiding faith in the greatness and goodness of America, bulit an aura of charismatic politics. Carey Williams described it as...'the friendly face of fascism.' 24 "  In sum, then, the postmodern political and cultural condition, far from signalling a radical break with the past, is firmly imbricated in the continuation of capitalist society. Understood in this way Harvey's final assessment of 'Fordist modernism' and 'flexible postmodernism towards the end of his book, is that the two are not polarities but "the interpenetration of opposed tendencies within capitalism as a whole, " 25 a view fully commensurate with Harvey's commitment to a holistic mode of thought.  Having reconstructed Harvey's historical argument in some detail I want now to engage in a constructive critique of it in order to develop some of the provocative and insightful claims that Harvey makes and to subject them to critical scrutiny.  THE AESTHETIC CONDITION  Structures and Agents: Heidegger. Aestheticism and Time-Space Compression  It may seem strange that Harvey chooses Martin Heidegger as his key exemplar of the experiential crisis wrought by time-space compression. Although there were two great waves of controversy in post-war Germany over Heidegger's  24 Ibid. 330 25Harvey op. cit. p 338  84  role in the Nazi Party, the consensus has, until very recently, been that "that Heidegger's 'fling' with National Socialism had been episodic and insincere" and that the charges raised against him were "thinly veiled efforts to discredit a philosophy on the basis of considerations that were clearly 'extraneous to thought' ".  28  In any case there are a host of other more 'obvious', if less eminent, targets, anti-  modern German intellectuals whose work was more clearly intended to support the Nazi endeavour and which clearly embody aestheticized notions of place, such as Oswald Spengler27 .  However, Harvey's use of Heidegger is not as odd as it appears. In the first place, there has recently been an intense revival of interest in Heidegger's Nazi sympathies. Thanks to the in-depth studies by Victor Farias and particularly by Hugo Ott, it now seems indisputable that Heidegger's involvement with the Nazi Party was far more extensive than previously thought 28 . But the question of the relationship between his philosophy and politics is more vexed. As Wolin observes, "That philosophy and political conduct stand in necessary association with one another is by no means a self-evident truth in the annals of cultural history"  29 .  Of all his statements during the era of the Third Reich it is Heidegger's 1933 Rectoral Address, the Rektoratsrede, that has perhaps been the focus of most concern. The fact that it was a public speech, not a philosophical treatise, has allowed Heidegger apologists to suggest that it was an incidental rather than 26 Richard Wolin, 1990, The Politics of Being, New York; Columbia University Press, Preface p xii 27There are a plethora of studies of Spengler focussing on his anti-modern, anti-liberal writings and  his celebration of the indissolubility of the Volk and the German State. For a more nuanced account that suggests a synthesis of modern and anti-moden themes in Spengler's work see Jeffrey Herf, 1984, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 28 See also Otto Poggeler, 1987, Martin Heidegger's Path of Thinking, New Jersey: Atlantic Highlands Press 29Wolin op. cit. p10  85  essential aspect of Heidegger's thought, an unfortunate symptom of his flirtation with Fascism. This may well be true, but it is difficult to believe that a philosopher of Heidegger's stature, whose philosophical writings were clearly compatible, in however general a sense, with the programme of the Nazi Party, could completely divorce a pedagogic statement from his intellectual concerns, and this is precisely the point that Richard Wolin has recently made. He argues of the Rektoratsrede that, On the one hand, it is precisely the innovative mixture of existential categories and Nazi oratory that prevents the address from degenerating into one of the standard professions of faith - so fashionable at the time - in the virtues of the National Revolution. On the other hand it is at the same seamless interlacing of philosophical and political motifs that creates the impression that the categorical framework of Being and Time had found its consummate historical embodiment in the total state of Adolf Hitler. 3  In fact, it is generally agreed among recent commentators on Heidegger's thought that his involvement with the Nazi Party cannot be pristinely disconnected from his philosophizing. Hence Chytry, Wolin and Zimmerman, for example, all insist on the necessity of making some kind of connection between the Heidegger of Being and Time [1927] and Heidegger the "Rector-Fuhrer " of Freiburg University. 31 The real question then of course becomes what kind of connection?  I do not want to enter into an elaboration of Being and Time or of Heidegger's writings of the 1930s: the recent works of Chytry et. al. do that concisely and and lucidly. And lucidity is important because Heidegger's philosophy is characterized by language and concepts of the utmost difficulty -  °  3 Ibid. 86 31 Josef Chytry, 1989, The Aesthetic State: A Quest in Modern German Thought, Berkeley: University  of California Press, chapter 10; Michael Zimmerman, 1990, Heideoaer's Confrontation With Modernity, Bloomington: Indiana University Press  86  indeed some would say it is obscurantist 32 - that makes the connections between his thought and his social context at best highly attenuated. It is just those kind of oblique connections that Eagleton tries to make in his reading of Heidegger, and his account of the politics of Being makes a convincing case of how Heidegger's aestheticism served, in Kantian fashion, as a mystificatory doctrine. 33 The connections between Kant and Heidegger are indeed both direct and illuminating, 34 but Harvey is more concerned with an aestheticized geopolitics specifically the role of the nation-state - than is Eagleton, hence his appeal to Hegel.  Heidegger's debt to Hegel is small in comparison to his debt to other thinkers, especially Hi5Iderlin and Nietzsche. But as Chytry argues both thinkers shared the ideal of an "aesthetic state", by which he means a unified social and political community that accords primacy to the aesthetic dimension in human consciousness. Harvey does not pick up on this aesthetic dimension within Hegel's thought, but Heidegger certainly did: as Chytry and Allan Megill point out, Heidegger's vision of the coming to presence of Being as it developed in his thought was a profoundly aestheticist one, that shared with Hegel's views on Greek art a belief in the truth value of aesthetic sensibility. Indeed, in the late Heidegger art and the aesthetic become of supreme importance in his vision of human community.  It would be invidious to point up Harvey's misreading of the content of Heidegger's concept of Being, since he clearly has no other interest in it than as a 32 George Steiner concisely outlines the nature and philosophical context of the difficulties  Heidegger's vocabularly presents in his Heidedper, London: Fontana, 1978, part I 33 Eagleton op. cit. chapter 11 34 His Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics being only the most obvious example.  87  general figure for stasis. But it is nevertheless worth pursuing the connections between Heidegger's politics and his political philosophy, which is just what Wolin attempts to do in The Politics of Being. Wolin sees in the Heidegger of the 1930s a convergence between a growing interest in art and the aesthetic, and what was to become Heidegger's lifelong preoccupation with the overcoming of Western metaphysics and history. His account of Heidegger's conception of the state speaks to Harvey's concerns in this regard, the most important categorical innovation to appear in Heidegger's thought during the mid-1930s - and a concept that is indispensable for understanding his political thought during these years - is that of the 'work'...of which the state-work [Staatswerk] (was one). It is the "work" that provides the locus, that facilitates the the "clearing", for the allimportant encounter between beings and Being, between what is finite and the truth 35  As Heidegger puts it, a central way "in which truth occurs is the act that founds a political state  " 36 ,  and with this claim, Wolin argues "we have arrived at the  threshold of Heidegger's political philosophy proper: viz., the role played by the state in the setting to work of truth -37 In particular, .  Heidegger's theory of the state as a "work" is modelled upon his theory of the work of art...in Heidegger's view both works of art and the state are examples of the "settingto-work of truth". In essence the state becomes a giant work of art like the work of art it participates in the revelation of truth...however, the idea of basing political judgements on analogy with aesthetic judgements is an extremely tenuous proposition...we must question the attempt to transpose aesthetico-metaphysical criteria to the realm of political life proper. 38  35Wolin op. cit. p 112 36 Heidegger cited in Wolin ibid. 113 37 lbid. 113 38Wolin op. cit. p117  88  So far so good. It would be possible to multiply examples of these thematic similarities between Heidegger's philosophy and the practices of the Nazi Party. But where Wolin wants to connect philsophy to politics, Harvey wants to ground the two in political economy, and thus furnish some organic connections.  It would clearly be folly to deny that Heidegger's social context had no influence on the course of his philosophizing. Certainly, in Wolin's view, the  personal and metaphysical crisis that Heidegger experienced around 1929 coincided with world-crisis: the stock market crash of the same year and the depression that followed in its wake. As the recent testimony of Otto Poggeler indicates, this was a turn of events that would have far-reaching implications for the future development of his thought. The immediate consequence of this portentous interweaving of personal and historical destinies was an intensive preoccupation on Heidegger's part with the critique of modernity that was first adumbrated in Being and Time. From this point hence, Heidegger's reflections on the meaning of Being were intimately wedded to pressing historical questions concerning the destiny of the West and the crisis of European Dasein. He regarded Germany's historical role as a "nation in the middle" if a solution to the crisis was to be found. 39  In his interesting account of German "reactionary modernism", Jeffrey Herf also contextualises Heidegger's thought but, additionally places it alongside that of a number of other "anti-modern" philosophers, such as Spengler and Ernst Junger, as part of a genre, locating their millenial opposition to Western Zivilization in Germany's late and dramatic entry into the modern international economy. And, following Herf, Zimmerman suggests that it is Heidegger's intelectual debt to Junger is a mediating link that concretizes the otherwise oblique connections between his philsoophy and his support for Nazism, for Junger's political philsophy 39 lbid. 71  89  was much less obviously distanced from his political aspirations than was Heidegger's. 40  Situating Heidegger's thought in a wider social context like this is certainly suggestive of Harvey's wider argument about the negative consequences of timespace compression. That argument is given a sharper edge by the fact that there are striking parallels between Heidegger's writings and those of other European thinkers during the turbulent years of the early 1930s. In what is an intensely geographical account, Russell Berman has recently shown how the capitalist modernization that underpins Harvey's time-space compression feeds into the turn to aestheticism in the writing of two members of the pre-war literate with large erstwhile differences41 . In his 1907 essay on the Italian villa, Rudolph Borchardt strongly attacked bourgeois modernization and its encroachment into rural Italy. Reacting to the bourgeois notion of auratic art, which liberal middle-class tourists brought to bare on their experience of rural Italy, Borchardt  postulates an exigency of form, rooted in the soil and tradition...and articulates a cultural criticism of the present by conjuring up an image of the distant past" [In particular] "the villa is the victory of form over chaos, power over nature. It is attractive not, as the tourist might believe, because of some aesthetic intent; rather it becomes aesthetic precisely because of its organic relation with the landscape and the power manifested in its form...The prioritization of architectural form goes hand in hand with an appreciation for stable social structures...[therefore] Borchardt breaks with traditional nineteenth century culture in dual fashion: he [replaces] the autonomous work of art...with an aestheticization of social relations, and he rejects the idea of liberal progress in the name of a constant stability" [italics added] 42  40 Herf and Zimmerman op. cit.  41 Russell Berman, 1989, The Aestheticization of Politics: Walter Benjamin on Fascism and the Avant  Garde', in Berman, Modern Culture and Critical Theory, Wisconsin: Wisconsin University Press, pp 2741 . 42 Ibid. 29-30  90  Writing twenty years later, the D. H. Lawrence of Lady Chatterley's Lover, bemoaning the loss of "Shakespeare's England" to the landscsapes of industrial capitalism, calls for what Berman describes as "an objective regeneration of a lost substance which is defined in terms of a primal glow, an auratic magic, that manages to redeem the atomistic individualism of capitalist alienation in a unity that is both biological and divine. Only an authentic, phallic sexuality...ensures humanity's integration into the natural cosmos, the organic rhythms of which were echoed in the genuine traditions of the people" [italics added] 43 . Despite their erstwhile differences then,  both Lawrence and Borchardt mobilize aesthetic material - for Lawrence aura, for Borchardt form - as substitutes for explicitly public discussion, or, better: they try to resolve the political tensions of modernity through a practice of denial and aestheticization...What Lawrence and Borchardt ultimately share then is a project of repression based on what Walter Benjamin later called an 'aestheticization of politics.' 44  I make so much of Berman's account because it seems to bear directly and powerfully on the argument that Harvey is trying to make. Firstly, it suggests that the aestheticization of politics in intellectual discourse is not a peculiarly German phenomenon. Secondly, that two men so radically distanced in almost every conceivable way should respond to capitalist modernization in such thematically similar ways is extremely suggestive of Harvey's wider argument about time-space compression. Thirdly, the excerpts from Borchardt and Lawrence point to the remarkably geographical inflection of their aesthetic material: in both  43 Ibid. 31  " Ibid. 35  91  cases hypostatized representations of space are central to their diagnosis of modernity and prognosis of how to respond to it. However, interestingly enough, Berman's argument also points to two very problematic tensions in Harvey's thesis which I want to develop in the next section. Firstly, it is precisely the differences between Borchardt and Lawrence that mean they cannot be assimilated to one another. To be sure, both men mobilize what in Harvey's terms is an aestheticized geopolitics. But, in political terms Borchardt is decidedly right wing, where Lawrence is not. Indeed, Borchardt's arguments are in many ways emblematic of the Italian landowning class that did so much to bring Mussolini and the Italian fascisti to power. In other words, Harvey should discriminate between what Megill calls different modes of aestheticism . However, in The Condition of Postmodernity his argument is that the aestheticization of politics is an overwhelmingly conservative phenomena, not just historically [which, given the realities of fascism, is an understandable charge] but, more contentiously, as a logical outcome of the state's role in capitalist society [page 14 above; see next section].  Secondly, that Borchardt was writing in 1907 raises the serious question of periodization for Harvey's argument. In terms of the crisis model that Harvey wants to erect, the case of Lawrence, like that of Heidegger, is most suggestive, given the proximity of their writings to the slump of 1929 onwards. However, how is one to make a satisfactory analytical separation of their work from Borchardt's, or for that matter from the work of a host of right wing commentators writing across several decades who sought to aestheticize politics? 45 It seems to me that one needs to 45 For example, there is a rich crop of highly conservative writings by German intellectuals stretching all the way back to the 1870s which would fall under Harvey's rubric of the aestheticization of politics as Geoffrey Eley makes clear in Blackbourn and Eley, 1984, The Peculiarities of German History, Oxford: Oxford University Press.  92  make such discriminations, and provide the theoretical concepts to do so, in order to pursue Harvey's insight about the potential dangers of an aestheticized geopolitics. It is clear, then, that however suggestive the accounts of Harvey and Berman are, they posit only the loosest connections between individual biography and capitalist modernization. And so the question arises of Harvey's more specific thesis regarding the dislocation of the habitus captured in the frame of a shifting experience of space and time. In some ways Harvey's appropriation of Bourdieu's concept is remarkably unhelpful. Not only does the habitus appear as an abstract theoretical category, but one is never quite sure what the habitus is supposed to be since Harvey makes no attempt to explore its meaning. It would, however, be foolish to dismiss its usage, for in his elaboration of the concept Bourdieu has argued that the habitus can be a valuable way of thinking about how people, from Heidegger to the person in the street, make sense of their world.  In the first place, the habitus is not, according to Bourdieu, a high level generalization of theoretical applicability only. In fact, Bourdieu's work is distinguished by an attempt to operationalize the habitus empirically: not only has he undertaken a large scale study of the French social formation but also a specific study of Heidegger. 46 Secondly, given that the habitus is the system of internalized dispositions that mediate between social structures and practical activity, being shaped by the former and regulating the latter" 47 then, as Gregory observes, "It is supposed to be reducible neither to the imperative of structures nor to the intentionality of agents" 48 . This is a bold but important claim. Marxists 46 Pierre Bourdieu, 1988, L'Ontoloaie politique de Martin Heideqqer, Paris: Editions de Minuit. 47 Roger Brubaker, 1985, 'Rethinking Classical Theory: the Sociological Vision of Pierre Bourdieu',  Theory and Society, vol.14, p 758. "Gregory, The Aesthetic Turn...'  93  commentators have long suffered the charge that their supposedly basesuperstructure approach leaves no space for agency. Is, then , the concept of the habitus a way out of this problem?  Despite his claims to the contrary, it is not at all clear even in Bourdieu's work whether the habitus is a genuinely recursive formulation, and his critics claim that the concept is ultimately reductionist. What is clear is that in Harvey's account the habitus, far from mediating between structures and agents, dances to the tune of the economy. Heidegger's experiential crisis appears as a determinate outcome of economic crisis which helps naturalize the arbitrariness of the capitalist order with a seemingly relentless logic. What Harvey's account desperately needs is an analysis of social formation, not only to concretize his thesis but also to show how people make their own history, of how the undiscussed is brought into discussion. In this regard we might say that the concept of time-space compression is too underdetermined, by which I mean that it is at once too general and too lacking in historical content to be a tool of critical inquiry. As I shall argue in chapter 5, Harvey's earlier, less polemical work is much more careful to ensure that its theoretical abstractions have a strong degree of historical purchase.  Harvey's determinism is thus a problem, to be sure. But this should not prejudice us against the second part of Harvey's formulation of the habitus - the centrality of the magnitudes of space and time - for this may amount to throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. This focus on the experience of space and time is, I think, an important and original insight to the debates on modernity and postmodernity 49 , although by no means new to Harvey's Marxism. I thus want to 49 1t also echoes the focus of a non-geographer - Fredric Jameson - on the importance of 'cognitive  mapping.' See chapter ? of his recent Postmodernism or the Cultural logic of Late Capitalism, Durham: Duke University Press  94  focus once again on what Harvey says about Heidegger and how time-space compression translates into particular representations of space, in order to hint at the possibilites and perils of Harvey's account.  For Harvey, as I argued earlier, the objective qualities of space and time are defined by the dynamics of capitalist accumulation. Although Gregory may be correct to note of the Harvey of Social Justice that his sense of the "geographical imagination respected the overdetermination of the sign-process and the multiple ways in which spaces could be coded and decoded" 50 , in The Condition the nuances are less evident. Heidegger's celebration of the indissolubility of the Volk and the German State is, evidently, a direct consequence of his crisis of the geographical imagination. I do not want to deny the salience and importance of this geographical inflection; quite the opposite in fact. The hypostatization of space is very clear in Heidegger's writing and this has a series of important political ramifications, particularly when used to give warrant to a movement like Nazism. What is disturbing, however, is Harvey's lack of sensitivity to the overdetemiination of the thought process. The economic dimension is clearly important, but in a sense Harvey wants to have his cake and eat it. For if the economy defines time and space and if time and space are central to how we make sense of the world, then what is to be said of those innumerable experiences, thoughts and actions that are not coded in directly economic terms nor in terms of temporal and spatial coordinates? Are they to be marginalized? And if so with what justification? And, in any case, are 'time' and 'space' only experienced through an economic coding? 51  50 Ibid. 21 5 1 I am thinking here, for example, of Klaus Thelweit's remarkable, and remarkably geographical,  pyschoanalytic account of how the mentalite of male officers of the Freikorps depended on gendered [feminized] conceptions of nature and landscape: Male Fantasies, volumes I and II, 1987, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.  95  Lest these questions appear glib, let me exemplify. It is clear that Heidegger's conception of Being can be interpreted as having distinct spatial and temporal codings. Yet how one is one to link that conception to Heidegger's changing experience of space and time is a very vexed question. It is as if Harvey has worked forward from the economy, identified Being as broadly compatible with the thesis of time-space compression and then used Heidegger's proven affiliation with the Nazis to argue that his political philosophy was the logical precursor of his politics. I would be more reticent about establishing these organic connections. Like Bourdieu it seems to me that Heidegger's thought is best seen as "polyvalent", spinning off in several directions. 52 Hence Wolin, for example, does not see Heidegger's philosophy arising directly out his economic and political context, but as being in a kind of dialectical interplay with it. For Heidegger, argues Wolin, saw the Nazi Party during the 1930s as one possible way of articulating his own philosophical project on the ground of history. Seen like this, and bearing in mind Heidegger's later realization that the Nazis could not fulfil his vision, Being and Time and other works cannot be seen as direct products of social context but arose out of the conjuncture of social context, the particularities of Heidegger's personal make-up and his engagement as an intellectual with a whole tradition of Western philosophical discourse 53 .  Ultimately, of course, this is not an argument that one can somehow 'prove', just as is extremely difficult to 'test' Harvey's argument. One obviously does not straightforwardly measure time and space, all other relevant factors and then tote up the final score and the thought of trying to do so is the stuff of intellectual comedy. 52 Pierre Bourdieu, 1988, op. cit. 53 There are, of course, a host of philosophical exegeses which interpret Heidegger's conception of  Being in purely philosophical terms. As an example see Eugene Kaelin, 1988, Heideqqer's Being and Time, Tallahassee: The Florida State University Press. Kaelin has some interesting discussion of time and space which, appear virtually incommensurable with the argument Harvey wants to construct.  96  But this should also not encourage us to shy away from big questions and it is to one of these that I now turn to examine fascism as a political movment embedded in the state apparatus.  The Aesthetic State? Geopolitics and National Socialism  It was Walter Benjamin in his essay "The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction" who coined the phrase "the aestheticization of politics". Unlike Harvey, who prefers Marx's account of Napoleon III, Benjamin's analysis arises out of an understanding of fascism tout court specifically Italian Fascism 54 . For Benjamin, fascism is characterized by three features: (1) the context of capitalist modernization; (2) the association with capitalist property structures; and (3) the strategy of aestheticization. As Berman points out the first two are compatible with orthodox Marxists accounts of fascism; the third, however, is not. Benjamin's insight arose very much from his engagement with the critical potentials of art which animated much of his work: his perspective was that auratic art is incompatible with justice 55 . As Berman puts it His critique of fascism transfers his aesthetic judgement into the political realm; the closed order of the organic work of art, which he regards as deception that imposes an ennervated passivity on the bourgeois recipient, is disassociated from a specifically aesthetic realm [e.g. the museum] and transplanted into a political practice that demands however the same passivity. The traditional sphere of autonomous art has grown obsolete in a "proletarian context, but the associated modes of behaviour 54That said, Benjamin's source - an unidentified manifesto by Marinetti - and his textual analysis are  problematic in a series of ways, as Berman makes clear [Berman, op. cit.]. For more on Benjamin's attitudes towards fascism see Ansgar Hillach, 1987, The Aesthetics of Politics: Walter Benjamin's "Theories of German Fascism"', New German Critique Spring, pp 76-91 . However, Benjamin was, of course, no stranger to Second Empire Paris nor to its aesthetes. 55Benjamin's views on art and politics cannot of course be reduced to this formula and altered quite considerably over the course of his lifetime. See Terry Eagleton, 1990, The Marxist Rabbi', in The Ideology of the Aesthetic, op. cit.  97  silence, inaction, passivity - are reorganized around the fascist state...which can therefore be regarded as the fascist work of art... 56  This is a key insight. It suggests the immense power of the aesthetic when disseminated throughout the wider social body, as it undoubtedly was in Nazi Germany 57 . But I also want to argue that certain representations of space were, in Germany, a central and particularly powerful means of its articulation. I shall look briefly at two examples of the representation of space in Nazi Germany. The first architecture - is of immediate interest to geographers given the recent focus on landscape representation 58 . The second - film - is less familiar. I use it not only to suggest a wider agenda for thinking about space [as Harvey does], but also because the film medium became increasingly important as a means of mass communication - and thus political communication - during the 1930s, as Benjamin well knew. Both suggest that the visual , as in Harvey's terms the spatialization of time, is an important medium for the aesthetic.  Architecture was a major concern of the Nazi Party: against the "Bolshevism" of the Bauhaus, a new nationalist view of architecture would proclaim "the word in stone", such that "architecture was a truly political weapon" 59 . As Duncan points out, the built environment by its very fixity and palpability is an important medium of symbolic communication 60 . Certainly, the Nazis undertook an extensive and impressive programme of public building, constructing a number of monumental structures, such as The Chancellory in Berlin, that attested to the greatness of the  56Berman op. cit. p 38 57 See, for example, Zimmerman op. cit. and Anson Rabinach The Aesthetics of Production in the  Third Reich' in G L Mosse fed} , International Fascism, London: Sage Publications, 1979  58 It is also a key language for the articulation of postmodernism. 59 Robert Taylor, 1974, The Word in Stone, Berkeley: University of California Berkeley Press, p 84 60Duncan, 1990, The Landscape as Text, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p 2  98  Party and The German People. I do not want to suggest that National Socialist architecture was homogenous: as both Taylor and Barbara Lane show this was far from being the case 61 . But two broad themes did unite this architectural programme. One was that architecture be specifically 'Germanic'. The second was that the various 'Germanic' features pursued [e.g. community architecture, vo/kisch architecture] were in one way or another idealized mythologies that drew on absolutized and uncontestable historical references such as the Volk and the Fatherland.  Perhaps the singularly most impressive example of the power of Nazi architecture was the Zeppelin Field at Nuremburg [Plates 1 and 2], one of a number of huge new stadia built for the holding of mass political rallies. Designed by Speer, the field was a huge meeting place nearly half a mile square. Around three of its sides were stands for the public, rising up above a central square where uniformed soldiers were stood in impeccable brigade blocks that mimicked the precise contours of the field itself. And then, along the fourth side the centrepiece of the Field's design: a monumental stone tribune with collonades rising up sheer from the level of the field between which were draped huge flags emblazoned with the German swastika. At its centre the senior party members congregated on a massive platform set forward from the wall into the crowd and toward which all eyes were drawn as Hitler addressed them in their tens of thousands. The sense of awe that this spectacle engendered was deliberately and skillfully enhanced by holding rallies in the evenings when the central platform was briliantly illuminated in an almost divine radiance, behind which the collonades reached up spectacularly into  61 Barbara Miller Lane, 1968, Architecture and Politics in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945,  Berkely: University of California Press. See also Robert Hughes, 1981, The Shock of the New, New York: Alfred A Knopff, p 99  99  the sky as arc lights shone upwards between them. In the broadest sense the intent, both Taylor and Lane argue, was to create a sense of Germanic unity focussed around the person of the Fuhrer who stood God-like before The People as both their mentor and representative 62 . Nuremburg is also the focus of my attention to film. For, as Berman notes, Leni Riefenstahl's cinematic account of the 1934 Nazi Party convention is "One of the few aesthetic monuments of German fascism that have attracted serious critical scrutiny" 63 Rather than offering an ideological-critical stance towards Triumph of the Will, Berman, more interestingly I think, investigates the rhetorical grounding of Riefenstahl's film as emblematic of the politics of fascist representation: in the cloudy heavens emerges an airplane...bearing the body of the divine leader, the guarantor of national resurrection, whose arrival on earth signifies the miraculous incarnation of the will triumphant. Henceforth history is overcome, and the jubilant folk rejoices in a redeemed present provided by the presence in flesh and blood of the visible saviour. The point is not that Hitler lands in Nuremberg but that he is seen. "Wir wollen unsren Fuhrer sehen [We want to see our leaded", cries the crowd, and... Triumph of the Will defines itself as the proper medium of a fascist privileging of sight and visual representation. 64  This is clearly a provocative thesis and Berman is not seeking to develop a watertight argument. His reasoning is, rather, suggestive: the privileging of the visual is suggested by the belief that Hitler's oratorical success was due to the unique power of his eyes and, secondly, by the "self-effacing signature of the cinema" - the glimpse of a shadow of the photographic apparatus during the film announces the age of film and the priority of visual representation as the rhetorical device of fascism" 65 . "  62 This account is, of course, somewhat idealized and exaggerated and one of course wonders if  intent was matched by effect.  63 Russell Berman, Written Right Across Their Faces: Leni Riefenstahl, Ernst Junger, and Fascist  Modernism', in Berman op. cit.  64 lbid. 99-101 65 lbid. 101  100  Plate 1: The rear of the main tribune of the Zeppelin Field, Nuremberg [Source: R Hughes, 1989, The Shock of the New, NY: Holmes & Meier]  Plate 2: The cathedral of light, Nuremburg [Source: R Hughes, 1989, The Shock of the New, NY: Holmes and Meier]  101  Left like this both examples are of limited value, of course, being descriptively suggestive but conspicuously lacking in conceptual and explanatory content. But there is, I am suggesting, an important and fascinating history to be written of the linkages between aestheticism, the representation of space/place, the tropes of such representation, and visuality, and the interconnections of all these with political economy.  It is clearly no fault of Harvey's that he does not give us all that. But if the visual really was a key medium of communication, as both examples tentatively suggest, then two questions arise that bear directly on Harvey's argument about the aesthetic state and about the aesthetic subject. Firstly, how were the ideological aims of the Nazis realized in terms of securing public support? After all, if fascist modernism in Germany is, like postmodernism, a historical condition, then it betokens us to ask how people make this history. An answer to this question requires, then, some analysis of social formation. It is clearly not enough to suggest, as Harvey does, that time-space compression predisposes people towards the acceptance of aesthetic strategies. 66 For, given the fact that people are differentiated in complex and cross-cutting ways into various social groups, then the concept of compression - derived from Harvey's abstract model of [two] class structure - is a theoretical category that needs empirical grounding. And it needs a grounding that goes beyond a single member of the intellectual elite - Heidegger for if anything sustained the radical policies of the Nazi's it was the support of ordinary people 67 .  66 Or that aesthetic theory prioritizes space over time. 67This reminds one of Lefebvre's observation in La Production de L'espace that many of the changes  that were registered in the consciousness of the artistic and literary avant garde around 1914 - when, as he put it, "a certain space was shattered" - were certainly not registered in the popular imagination where for many little seemed to change.  102  Harvey does in fact acknowledge this. He tentatively suggests that it was "the white-collar workers who formed the backbone of German Nazism" 68 . His argument is that this strata lack "the reassuring support of a moral tradition that they could call their own" 69 and thus "movements of localism, nationalism...and myth can be of the greatest significance" 70 to them. However, there are a number of problems with this argument which is in any case so vague that one is not quite sure what Harvey means. In the first place, the question of who supported the Nazi Party is more complex and nuanced than this and, indeed, varied over the thirteen years of Nazi rule 71 . For example, Tim Mason has convincingly shown the importance of traditional working class support 72 . There are, of course, interesting links to be made here with Harvey's other, related, explanation for the rise of localism and nationalism 73 : the fight by the working class to retain jobs against foreign competition in the context of economic crisis. Second, I would suggest that Harvey's argument about white collar support rests on a thinly veiled attempt to make [weak] connections with postmodernity. For this group is emblematic for Harvey of a wider "cultural mass" whose shaky identity is established by the accumulation of cultural capital. It is no mistake that this analysis of fascism hints at the recent rise of a so-called 'service' or 'new-class' of consumers who supposedly underpin the shift to postmodernism 74 . I say weak not only because the 68 Harvey op. cit. p 34 69 H Speier, 1986, German White Collar Workers and the Rise of Hitler, New Haven: Laredo. 70 Harvey op. cit. p 348  71 Indeed, given the lack of bibliographic references to literature on fascism one suspects that Harvey's knowledge of the subject is rather limited. 72Tim Mason, 1977, 'National Socialism and the Working Class', New German Critique, Summer, pp 49-93. In fact, there is till heated debate over who supported the Nazi's and for what reasons. For a concise overview see Ian Kershaw, 1989, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 2nd edition, London: Edward Arnold. For a careful critique of Mason's position see David Abraham, 1978, 'Nazism and the Working Class', Radical History Review, vol. 18, Fall, pp 161165 . 73The first being time-space compression. 74 For different interpretations of this familiar thesis see Callinicos op. cit. and Lash and Urry, 1985, The End of Organized Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press  103  connections Harvey makes are very loose, but also because they ignore, ironically, an important question of historical geography: the extent to which fascism is a peculiarly German phenomenon. I do not want to rehearse the debates over fascism and the peculiarites of German history 75 , nor do I in fact want to deny that, whatever the difficulties of defining fascism 76 , there are not similarites to be drawn between Germany and other instances. However, it does seem important to investigate in more detail than Harvey does the particular historical conditions that make fascism possible and explain its popularity.  The second corollary of accepting the importance of aestheticized representations of space to the Nazis is the issue Harvey raises in his account of the state: is such aestheticization a necessary part of strategies of legitimation and if so how is it linked to economic relations? It seems indisputable that the Nazi Party aestheticized politics to a degree not seen before or since 1932 and that those politics were very firmly implicated in the legitimation of the German state and capitalism as it operated in Germany. Harvey is thus correct to identify the importance of the aesthetic. However, it is a moot point whether or not such aestheticization is necessary. Much depends of course on what we take that word to mean. When Harvey argues that the capitalist state [in general] is bound to aestheticize politics to some degree I take him to mean that the use of myth, untruths, caricatures, stereotypes, idealizations and so on are used to a greater or lesser extent depending on the circumstances of the state in question. But what this  misses, crucially, is the exceptional form of the fascist state and its strategies of legitimation. And the lacuna is crucial because it allows Harvey to draw parallels  75See Blackburn and Eley op. cit. 76There is a vast literature on this issue alone, intersecting with definitional issues over the meaning of  'dictatorship' and 'totalitarianism'.  104  between modern fascism and the condition of postmodernity, and thus paint the latter in unusually pathological, even apocalyptic, terms.  This question of exceptionality is central to a discussion of the relationship between the fascist state and capitalism. This relationship is a major focus of concern in the debate over National Socialism and debates over fascism more generally. Predictably debate has become polarized. Why, it has been asked, should the German populace embrace the sentiments of an aestheticized politics to such an extreme degree? On the one hand there are economistic explanations, of which the starkest are those of the 1930s Comintern and of East German historians during the1960s 77 . A key theme of these writings is that the fascist state arises in the context of economic crisis. Against these Marxist accounts others deny the primacy or even the relevance of the economy 78 . And then somewhere inbetween are those who acknowledge the importance of economy but argue that the Third Reich was increasingly characterized by the primacy of politics 79 .  Seen in this context Harvey's account falls broadly into the first category. While the fascist state is not assimilable to capital it nevertheless seems to serve its interests, in particular at moments of economic crisis when the established order is threatened. It would be easy to repeat here many of the criticisms made earlier about Harvey's account of Heidegger [of determinism, economism etc.] Rather than  77 But for a recent and outstandingly sophisticated and subtle exposition that works out of but transcends this tradition using Poulantzas see David Abraham, 1981, The Collapse of the Weimar Republic: Political Economy and Crisis, Princeton: Princeton University Press. 79 For example, Henry Turner, 1976, 'Fascism and Modernization' in Walter Laquer [ed] Fascism: A Reader's Guide, London: Wildwood House 79 For example, Tim Mason, 1968, The Primacy of Politics - Politics and Economics in National Socialist Germany' in R Woolf Fed] The Nature of Fascism, New York: Vintage Books. For an excellent overview of these debates see J Hiden and J Farquharson, 1983, Explaining Hitler's Germany: Historians and the Third Reich, London: Batsford  105  do this I want, more constructively, to read Harvey through the lens of one of the most sophisticated Marxian accounts of National Socialism, that of Nicos Poulantzas in his Fascism and Dictatorship. I do this because Poulantzas, contra Harvey, establishes the fascist state as exceptional while still retaining a Marxian problematic and in this sense Harvey's argument has, I think, much to gain.  Poulantzas identifies German [and Italian] fascism as one form of what he calls the "exceptional capitalist state", that is of regimes corresponding to or articulating various types of political crisis under capitalism, other cases being military dictatorship and Bonapartism. In particular, Poulantzas is concerned to contest three prevailing postwar interpretations of German fascism on the Left: that it is the direct agent of capital; that, alternatively, it is the mediator between capital and labour; or, thirdly, that it is a dictatorship of the petty bourgeoisie. Instead, Poulantzas insists that all three interpretations correspond to crucial elements of fascism but which, when separated, are torn out of context.  Poulantzas begins by arguing that fascism cannot be dissociated from the onset of what he calls monopoly capitalism and thus from fundamental changes in the relations of production. With most orthodox Marxist accounts of fascism this point retains the valuable insight that Nazism would not have occurred without Germany's imbrication in an international economy whose gyrations affected the very fabric of German society in startlingly disruptive ways. In the second place, Poulantzas insists that the state is always relatively autonomous from capital, but that this general observation is inadequate to depict fascism, whose specificity consists in the exceptional degree of that autonomy that it possesses vis-avis both economic interests and civil society. This perspective thus scuppers, for example, Thalheimer's influential theory that the fascist state is the broker in a rather 106  predictable game of class equilibrium where, for all intents and purposes, the state soothes the populace in the interests of capital. Instead, the rapid intrusion of monopoly capital relations must be understood as having engendered a political crisis by disrupting the map of class relations and the relative power of various class fractions within the political sphere. In other words, the exceptionality of the fascist state cannot be understood without examining the peculiarly tense conjuncture of class struggle in which it arises. I quote at some length, Throughout the rise of fascism and after the conquest of power, fascism ... characteristically has a relative autonomy from both the power bloc [i.e. the politically dominant classes and/or class fractions, conceived of as an instable alliance] and the fraction of big monopoly capital, whose hegemony [i.e. relative dominance within the alliance] it has established. This relative autonomy stems from two sets of factors: (a) from the internal contradictions among the classes and fractions of the classes in the power alliance, i.e. from its internal political crisis: the relative autonomy necessary to reorganize this bloc and establish within it the hegemony of the fraction of big monopoly capital; (b) from the contradictions between the dominant classes and fractions and the dominated classes, i.e. from the political crisis of the ensemble of the social formation, and from the complex relation between fascism and the dominated classes. This relation is precisely what makes fascism indispensable to mediate a reestablishment of political domination and hegemony. 80  Poulantzas's theoretical approach is, of course, heavily indebted to Althusser, and although I am not particularly concerned here to recommend his implicit invocation of structural totality, I think that Poulantzas insistence on (1) the overdetermination of the political, and (2) his elaboration of that overdetermination by deploying a range of mid-level theoretical constructs to move him from an abstract and insufficiently discriminating discussion of mode of production and the 80 Poulantzas op. cit. p 85-86.  107  relatively autonomous state that highlights the commonalities among capitalist states, towards an analysis of social formation that necessarily illuminates the specificity of fascism, is salutary.  Indeed, some of Poulantzas's objections can be made to speak to Harvey. Where Harvey's model of the state remains generalized, Poulantzas insists on the need discern different forms of the capitalist state. In particular, his epochal depiction of the fascist state as possessing extreme autonomy is, as Rabinbach puts it, "a valuable counterpoint to the pretentious diagnosis of imminent fascism now current in France and ... Germany." 81 Where Harvey's model of capital is also of a general, systemic nature, Poulantzas emphasizes the complex of interests within and between different class fractions and how these make competing demands on the state. 82 And where Harvey says little about labour, Poulantzas invocation of Gramsci's notion of hegemony points up the complex relationship of fascism to different fractions of the populace and the fact that its ideological programme simply cannot be read off either from economic crisis or from singular economic interests83 . In short, "it is not the politics of fascism that produces class domination by [capital] ... but rather the primacy of fascist politics and integration that secures the existing social domination of ... classes at the expense of [their] political power." 84  I have been unable to do justice to Poulantzas's account, but my general point is clear enough: it possessses a theoretical precision and clarity that it seems 81 Rabinbach op. cit. p 162. 82 It  is in fact now clear that many National Socialist policies, even during peace time, were very damaging to the interests of many large industrialists. 83 As Ernst Bloch, for example, pointed out, the uniqueness of Nazism lay in its remarkable political synthesis, precariously balancing traditional and modern elements. 84 Rabinbach op. cit.  108  to me is invaluable if Harvey's own concerns are to be pursued. Moreover, my implicit insistence throughout that theory be fashioned in light of empirical inquiry is not a philistine's plea for an appeal to 'the facts'. Rather, the reason I see these comments as part of a constructive critique of The Condition of Postmodernity is precisely because - and I know Harvey would agree [see chapter 5] - theory and history stand in necessary and constitutive relation . Without this necessary connection any critical theory quite simply becomes redundant.  THE CONDITION OF POSTMODERNITY: A REPRISE  Many of the perils and possibilities of Harvey's account of Heidegger, fascism and aestheticism could be made to speak to an analysis of our present times. I have tried to argue that Harvey's use of the concept of time-space compression - with which he wants to make the links between fascist modernism and an increasing aestheticization of geopolitics and subjectivity under conditions of postmodernity - is too general and too generalized to serve as anything other than a heuristic. In fact I would argue that the concept lacks a theoretical rigour and clarity that is normally characteristic of Harvey's work [see chapters 5 and 6] and is deployed with less care than Harvey takes to be characteristic of Marx's mode of theorizing.  How, then, are we to explain Harvey's use of it? I think it is important to note that entire corpus of Harvey's work is strong on what, to reiterate Benhabib, we can call the systemic perspective on capitalism, and this is particularly clear in Harvey's conception of postmodernity, which is seen as no less than an historical condition . With the exception of his two essays on nineteenth century Paris, I think it is fair to say Harvey's work has been less concerned to illuminate how the systemic 109  imperatives of capital play themselves out in Benhabib's realm of "intersubjectivity", the perspective of lived experience . And it is this asymmetry which, I think, structures Harvey's account of fascist modernity and of postrnodernity. Lacking the theoretical and empirical resources to make truly cogent links between economic transformations and the experiential ruptures that accompany them, the concept of time-space compression is [somewhat pragmatically?] introduced as a mediating link that, nevertheless, allows some connections to be made. Hence appropriate quotes can be introduced in the work of Heidegger and the fascists in parallel with Lyotard et. al. and Reagan/Thatcher that are evocative of an experiential crisis of time and space and which thus serve to suggest the imbrication of the gyrations of capital within our very subjectivites.  I suggested at the end of my discussion of postmodernism that Harvey's account of modernity and postmodernity in fact contained two arguments which he elides. The first is a concern with aestheticism in the sphere of consumption , and which, using Baudrillard as an example, I suggested could be made to link to some of the 'reactionary' intellectual projects that label themselves 'postmodern'. More interestingly that concern could be developed in its geographical aspects in a host of ways, suggested in some of the columns of Harvey's 'grid of spatial practices' 85 However, Harvey does not pursue those links in The Condition of Postmodernity and in fact he is hard pushed to find geographical inflections in the aesthetic material he considers under the label 'postmodernism' The second, dialectically related to the first, is a concern with aestheticism in the realm of the state , a concern pursued in its geographical aspects through Harvey's identification of the dangers of an aestheticized geopolitics. Both are valid concerns, but their integrity is lost by  85 Harvey, The Condition..., p 220-221.  110  the elision Harvey frequently makes between them. And it is, I think, the concept of time-space compression that allows him to make that elision. Let me explain.  It is the very generality of the concept time-space compression that permits Harvey to make provocative comparisons between the aestheticism of Heidegger and fascism and Lyotard et. al. and Reagan/Thatcher, without really specifying the important differences between them. Rather like Benjamin's original notion of "the aestheticization of politics", Harvey's time-space compression is a portmanteau category that in some ways conceals more than it reveals. Do not get me wrong, I want to insist that a focus on the experiential aspects of time and space and their imbrication in the march of capital are crucial concerns that should be pursued. But in The Condition of Postmodernity those themes need to be specified in relation to different, albeit inextricably related, aspects of life under capitalism. Thus, for example, Harvey arrives at an evaluation of Heidegger and the rise of National Socialism from two different perspectives yet seeks to fold the former into the latter. Heidegger's 'crisis of the geographical imagination' predisposed him towards a support of the Nazis; yet Harvey's reading of the aesthetic state arises less from a concern with time-space compression than from an account of the rise of spatial competition between nation states in the context of an international crisis of capital accumulation.  Which brings me to the possibilities contained in Harvey's reading of an aestheticized geopolitics, one of the most original insights of his book. It would be easy to deny the links between fascism and tendencies within 'postmodernity': democracy is alive and well, many would say, just look at Eastern Europe and its vindication of the power of popular dissent. But it would also be easy to point out the opposite: to a renewed neo-Nazism in unified Germany, to the increased popularity 111  of Le Pen in France, to Mussollini's daughter taking up her father's place in the Italian parliament. But this seems to me to miss the point. A concern with an aestheticized geopolitics is not a concern with some inevitable development following from the mutations of capital. Nor can geopolitical concerns ever be given a solely economic inflection. It is, rather, to alert ourselves to a liability within late capitalist society whose strength and modes of realization depends, not on a relentless system logic, but on the the concrete actions of individuals and groups making decisions within a history that, to be sure, they make, but never under conditions solely of their own making and which thereby inevitably escapes their complete control.  To this extent I should perhaps register an objection to my own criticisms of Harvey's reading of fascist modernity and of postmodernity. For I have in a sense taken Harvey too seriously and yet not seriously enough. Too seriously because the theoretical and empirical lacunae that I point too are ones which Harvey would I think acknowledge [see chapter 3] but which in any case he is deliberately not concerned to elucidate in The Condition of Postmodernity. And not seriously enough because I think we must attend to the rationale behind his attempt to make general and bold historical linkages between modernity and postmodernity that are incapable of making truly concrete connections with phenomena such as the thought of Heidegger and the postmodernists, and of fascism and present day geopolitics. That rationale is, I would submit, an explicit concern to draw our attention to the systemic tendencies within capitalism, to point up some of the quite palpable similarities between what we do today and what we have done in the past. And Harvey does this in order to insist, quite rightly I think, that whatever the novelties of our times we are not in a qualitatively new era and that a theoretical  112  analysis of the capitalist mode of production necessarily alerts us to our partial subjection to a a series of social processes larger than ourselves.  CRITIQUE OR INTERPRETATION?  We are now in a better position to answer a question with which I began in the Prologue: under conditions of 'postmodernity' must the modern intellectual, must Harvey's historico-geographical materialism, eschew the legislative stance and settle instead for the role of interpreter? My answer is a 'first cut' and will alter in light of the following chapters, but it has run something as follows. The exorbitancy of the claims to know contained in The Condition of Postmodernity apparently bespeaks a totalizing impulse that has a genealogy going back to Kant and which is in keeping with the classical notion of critique. Postmodernism cannot be seen as essentially regressive and in fact such a perspective conceals powerful intellectual and political challenges to Harvey's own project. Must then Harvey's Marxism be declared bankrupt and suitably brought down to size? I have withheld from endorsing the former position because I think Harvey's rendition of modernity and postmodernity - slack as it is in essential ways - contains some insights that, when properly specified in concrete historical context, could be productive of powerful insights for a geographically materialist reading of the subject. That said I do not think that Harvey's proper insistence that attention to the systemic mutations of capitalism is of continued importance is sufficient to serve as an apologetics for his insensitivites and silences over postmodernism. The reponse of Deutsche et. al. to The Condition of Postmodernity has, quite rightly, been one of shock: historico-geographical materialism must, it seems, develop a degree of modesty. Capitalism may well be a global system that demands an equally total 113  critique, but historico-geographical materialism is not capable of elucidating the space of the social in toto , even if capital does indeed penetrate to a greater or lesser extent our very subjectivities. There is, in other words, still a necessity for social analysis, but the theoretical lenses through which such inquiry is conducted must be responsive to the fact that they may be brought into crisis when confronted with other visions of the social. The question then becomes: what would be the consequences of an encounter between historico-geographical materialism and other critical theories and what would such an encounter look like?  This is a question I now turn to address in chapter four. To find an answer requires, I would suggest, an attention to an aspect of the intellectual zeitgeist which provides us with a further reason for Harvey's vitriolic response to postmodernism/ity: a specific "crisis of Marxism". The Condition of Postmodernity is, let us remember, a polemic [which in the Greek means war] a vigorous response to what Harvey sees as the abandonment of Marxian theory  86  The last few years  have indeed been particularly hard times for orthodox Marxism and I think we must see this fact as being partly responsible for Harvey's over-strenuous attempts to explain postmodernity in terms of that which it supposedly transcends, Marxism. But this crisis of historical materialism has been precipitated, I think, by an unprecedented conjunction of several intellectual and social developments. That Harvey sutures the origins of that crisis solely around 'postmodernism' is unfortunate because it fails to pay attention to a number of features on the current historical landscape, features that Harvey's reading of postmodernity overlooks, which give us reason to be suspect of unabashed meta-theoretical claims about the social. But such intellectual claims always take place within a specific context -  86See the penultimate chapter of The Condition of Postmodernity, The crisis of historical materialism'.  114  most frequently that of an academic discipline - and so I want to contextualize what follows within the discipline of geography, the site where our diverse claims to reason are articulated and contested and where Harvey's Marxism was first voiced some twenty years ago.  115  Chapter 4  HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM AT THE FIN-DE-SECLE  The title of this chapter, adapted from Martin Jay's thoughtful little essay 'Finde-siècle Socialism', may, as Jay notes of his own piece, seem "perversely oxymoronic". 1 For the term fin-de-siècle is normally associated with the mood of anxiety pervading the decadent elements of late-19th century bourgeois culture, a time when historical materialism as an intellectual and political theory was still in its early youth. But times have changed. As we approach the end of the twentieth century it seems quite appropriate to register a mood of despair within Anglophone Marxist circles. 2 The term fin-de-siècle Marxism might then be used to designate a very real aspect of the intellectual and political zeitgeist : a specific "crisis of Marxism", in which the central tenets of classical historical materialism have been stringently challenged, and, worse still, even rejected by some of its former adherents.  There is, we should note, nothing new in such a "crisis". The notion of a "crisis of Marxism" can be located as far back as 1898 in the writing of Thomas Masaryk and traced through the critiques of Eduard Bernstein and Georges Sorel written shortly thereafter. Indeed, we might respond to the current crisis by denying that it possesses any specificity at all: Marxism, we might argue, has in its various forms always been in a state of crisis, if by crisis we mean that it has had to face 1 Martin Jay, 1988, Fin-de-siacle Socialism and Other Essays, Berkeley: University of California Press. 2And what follows is specifically about the Anglo-American experience; as Perry Anderson has  argued , Continental Marxism experienced extreme challenges to its founding claims during the late '60s/early 70s  116  extremely strong challenges to its precepts. Since the founding of the Second International, and the later introduction of Marx's ideas into the modern academy, one can trace an almost continuous stream of books and articles attacking historical materialism. On this view, then, there is no need to take the current round of critiques any more seriously than those of yesteryear.  One could argue this, but to do so would be both blasé and irresponsible. For the current challenges to 'orthodox' versions of Marxism are of such weight that I think we might follow Aronowitz in justifiably declaring that they should be distinguished from their antecedents. 3 When I say weight, I mean two things. On the one hand, the sheer intellectual and political power of alternative paradigms of the social which have emerged over the last two decades. On the other, the sheer number of challenges to historical materialism which mark our present moment, be they intellectual or historical ones. It is the concatenation of the two which gives the current "crisis" its intensity.  In what follows I want to locate Harvey's historico-geographical materialism within the horizon of this crisis, a crisis whose origins cannot simply be folded into postmodernism/ity and somehow dismissed. Instead, I want to place the "crisis of historical materialism" at the intersection of three, frequently overlapping, features of the zeitgeist . In doing so I intend to reflect further on the sense in which historico-geographical materialism is a critical theory . I dwelt on the former term in the last essay and continue that focus here. But I also want to pay a little more attention to the sense of theory within Harvey's project: most of Harvey's writing has, after all, been of a theoretical nature and it as a social theorist that Harvey's  3 Stanley  Aronowitz, 1981, The Crisis in Historical Materialism, London: Macmillan  117  Marxist credentials have been established. What, I ask, do the phenomena precipitating the current crisis of Marxism, mean for the continuation of historicogeographical materialism as a critical theory of society?  The phenomena I consider are, first, a widespread intellectual move towards "post-Marxism', second, the recent renewed interest in the potentials of political democracy, and, third, and more contentiously, the collapse of Soviet and East European communism. Together, these three aspects of the current intellectual and historical landscape seem to me to embrace the major sources of 'external' opposition to a classical Marxist position. For my present purposes they also share an opposition to the model of the subject articulated within historico-geographical materialism, and insist, instead, upon what is fashionably called the 'politics of identity'.  I consider each aspect in turn. I end the chapter by reflecting on how these various challenges impact upon the claims of Harvey's Marxism and this constitutes a 'second cut' to my assessment of historico-geographical materialism. For some of course these challenges would seem inimical to his project. I, however, disagree. Through a more nuanced reading of Harvey's intellectual claims to know as articulated prior to The Condition of Postmodernity, and through a less apocalyptic assessment of the recent challenges to Marxism, I try instead to arrive at a realistic appraisal of where the future of his project might lie.  However, in order to understand where Harvey's project might go I need to provide an additional gloss on the account of it offered in the last chapter. And so I begin by stepping back in time and setting historico-geographical materialism within the context in which it arose. It may seem strange that Harvey first turned to 118  Marxism at a time when many of the current intellectual and historical challenges to it were starting to emerge. To understand this turn we have to attend to the specific disciplinary context of human geography, its introversion and its domination by a an empiricist/positivist problematic. In turn Harvey's Marxian response was equally wide ranging in its compass, seeking no less than a wholescale paradigm change within the discipline, and hence one might want to argue that The Condition of Postmodernity merely represents the culmination of a foundationalist discourse instituted by Harvey some two decades ago. However, I argue that Harvey's early critique of spatial science had a specific object - capitalism - and that throughout the corpus of Harvey's work this object has always been the explicitly recognized limit of argument.  FROM SPATIAL SCIENCE TO A MARXIST SCIENCE OF HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY  The story of how mid-century Anglo-American human geography was remodelled as a 'spatial science' has been told many times. Simplifying drastically, we might say that spatial science was characterized by the intersection of three features. First, the claim to disclose a systematic order within the landscape, pursued with the languages of geometry and mathematics and articulated through laws and models, most often of the economic landscape. Second, a reliance on the authority of science to legitimate the validity of these ordering visions, particularly through an emulation of the methods of the natural sciences. And third, and most particularly in the form of location theory, at the heart of spatial science was the presupposition of the rational subject . But, of course, this was a very particular kind of rationality, one that in its universal claims to reason naturalized ends and  119  enlisted human geography in the allocation of means as a putatively 'technical' rather than 'practical' science.  Historical materialism was not, of course, the only platform from which the critique of spatial science was launched during the early 1970s, but it offered perhaps the most powerful and cogent attacks. That the emergent Marxist geography of this period owes much of its identity to a critique of spatial science finds no better illustration than Harvey himself. His Explanation in Geography [1969] was both the high-point and the end-point of the dominance of spatial science within the discipline, and a mere four years after its publication he came to repudiate the philosophical and methodological precepts that underpinned its vision of science. But it is also important to situate this early Marxian critique within the wider social and political culture that human geography found itself: the unpopularity of the Vietnam War, urban unrest in the UK and America, an ascendent civil rights movement, and, in the early '70s, intense concern about the question of global population and resources.  Harvey's Social Justice and the City was, of course, the landmark statement of this urge to restructure human geography. It highlighted with unmatched intensity a desire to fashion a critical human geography that could transcend the dead-end of spatial science and address pressing questions of social justice. Social Justice and the City was, then, much more than simply a personal intellectual journey. In an observation that should have as much force and relevance today as it did twenty years ago, Harvey mapped out what was at stake:  There is an ecological problem, an urban problem, an international trade problem, and yet we seem incapable of saying of depth or profundity about any of them.  120  When we do say anything it appears trite and rather ludicrous...lt is the emerging objective social conditions and our patent inability to cope with them that essentially explains he necessity for a revolution in geographic thought. 4  I think it is worth recalling Harvey's vision of what that "revolution" should entail and the disciplinary and wider context into which it was projected, because it will raise questions later about how far that context has genuinely been superceeded in our present moment. It seems to me that Harvey's 'Revolutionary and Counterrevolutionary Theory in Geography' is still a classic statement in this regard and repays re-reading.  Schematically speaking there are, Harvey argued, three kinds of theory: (i) Status quo theory, which "is grounded in the reality it seeks to portray" and thus perpetuates that reality (ii) counter-revolutionary theory, which appears to be grounded in the reality it portrays but is in fact divorced from it and actively conceals it [the similarites with Harvey's view of 'postmodern' theory is instructive] and, (iii) revolutionary theory, "firmly grounded in the reality it seeks to represent" but which is aimed at transforming that reality by offering "real choices for future moments in the social process by identifying immanent choices in an existing situation. The implementation of theses choices serves to validate the theory and to provide the grounds for the formulation of new theory."  5  While Harvey was still "a Marxist of sorts" at this time, I think there are some very direct links between his conception of revolutionary theory and Marx's notion of historical materialism as a theory whose ultimate purpose and vindication is the cause of working class emancipation . This concern crystallizes out more explicitly 4 David Harvey, 1973, Social Justice and the City, London: Edward Arnold, p129 5 David Harvey, 1974, Social Justice and the City, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2nd edition, pp 150-151  121  in Harvey's later work, notably The Limits to Capital,. but it seems to me that some of its essential constituents are already evident in Social Justice and the City. Let me exemplify by dwelling on Harvey's reading of the problem of ghetto formation which captures in condensed form many of the characteristic concerns of Harvey's critical project.  The ghetto, Harvey argued, is a major social problem of US cities. How, he asked, are we to understand it? In answer Harvey invokes Engels' account of the significance of Marx's theory of surplus value: Marx, Engels argued, was to Smith and Ricardo what Lavoisier was to Priestly. Where Priestly interpreted his discoveries in terms of the old phlogiston theory, Lavoisier, observing the same phenomena but in a different way, interpreted Priestley's discoveries correctly as being not "dephlogisticated air", but oxygen. Similarly, if we look at the problem of ghetto formation we see the deployment of theoretical perspectives which, while identifying phenomena which are quite real, nonetheless fail to address the true causes of ghetto development. Neither the ecological theories of Park and Burgess nor the urban land-use theories of Alonso and Muth are able to address the social processes that determine that some social groups are geographically marginalized while others have the power to command space. While traditional interpretations of the ghetto are thus able to devise policies that ameliorate the problems of ghetto they are, so to speak, structurally incapable of conceiving how to eliminate ghettos. They lack, in other words, the conceptual and theoretical vocabularly to make sense of ghetto formation. We thus need a revolution in geographic thought, Harvey argued, because so much existing geographic theory naturalizes the arbitrariness of the order it seeks to 'explain'.  122  For Harvey, Marx's revolutionary theory was, then, critical in a number of distinctive ways. Theory is not some promethean pursuit: it provides a map with which to identify sets of wider social processes out of the chaos of our immediate impressions:  Without theory we cannot hope for controlled, consistent, and rational explanation of events. Without theory we can scarcely claim to know our own identity. It seems to me therefore that theory construction on a broad and imaginative scale must be our first priority... 6  Theory cannot be formulated in abstraction: it must "be forged realistically with respect to the events and actions as they unfold around us." 7 Theory is not just "a task specific to a group of people called 'intellectuals'" 8 , but, in Norris's words, "it has 'consequences' beyond the professional or academic sphere. " 9 Norris has two things in mind here I think. First, a critical theory is critical because it shatters the taken for granted and has the potential to disrupt the schemas by which ordinary individuals make sense of their lives. As Eagleton pithily puts it,  Children make the best theorists, since they have not yet been educated into accepting our routine social practices as 'natural' ... Where does capitalism come from, mummy?' is therefore the prototypical theoretical question, one which usually recieves what one might term a Wittgensteinian reply: This is just the way we do things dear.' It is those children that remain discontent with this shabby parental response who tend to grow up to be emancipatory theorists, unable to conquer their amazement at what everyone else seems to take for granted. 10  6 David Harvey, 1969, Explanation in Geography, London: Edward Arnold, p 321 7 lbid. 145 8 Ibid. 149 9Norris op. cit. p 5 10Terry Eagleton, quoted in Norris ibid. 5  123  Second, theory is critical in that the concepts and ideas it embodies are explicitly geared toward changing the material conditions out of which they arise. Marxian theory is for the Harvey of Social Justice and the City a practical theory , intended to assist an oppressed segment of the population in its own transformation as part of a revolutionary political movment. It is thus not a moralistic theory, that preaches social change in the absence of social conditions which could make such a transformation possible. The power of critique is secured by the cogency of theoretical insight, and critical theory for Harvey is thus at once organically diagnostic and normative, its prospective orientation arising immanently out of objective insight. Critical theory is, in other words, resolutely relevant, practical, applied  The distance between Social Justice and the practices of spatial science is, I hope, obvious. Harvey's revolutionary theory can be seen as an early immanent and defetishizing critique of quantitative geography. It pointed up the practical consequences of the theories of spatial science in reproducing the established order and thus naturalizing under the guise of science those promises of modern society [social justice, freedom, equality] which appeared to be fulfilled but which in fact floated rhetorically above the conditions engendered by a capitalist system. Social Justice and the City thus sought to socialize the abstract landscapes of spatial science and show how geographic space cannot be understood outside its relation to social process. And it thus also disputed the notion of the subject that inhered in that geometric vision: the subject of Harvey's nascent Marxism was an active one, a subject that made history and thus, with the aid of critical theoretical understanding, could use 'reason' - not to be sure the reason of a homo economicus , but reason arising out of a rigorous understanding of the operations  124  of capitalism - to understand the process of that making and harness it towards more radical ends. 11  Looking back these still seem to me to be immensely important achievements which have indelibly altered the shape of human geography, and I will want to think about their contemporary relevance in the last part of the chapter. Social Justice and the City might, strange as it may seem, be considered among the first critiques of the legislative stance of geographical and urban science, a powerful attack on its claims to universality, authority and exclusivity and the equally ubiquitous social system within which it was imbricated. But we must, of course, also attend to the fact that this critique was, apparently, launched in an equally foundationalist way.  The limits to historico-geographical materialism  As Gregory has recently pointed out, Harvey's early filiations with Marxism share some unmistakable similarities to spatial science in terms of his claims to know. As he puts it, Harvey's concern was to pursue "a recognizably scientific geography which could analyse the structure of the space economy. This triple emphasis helps to account for his interest in Marx's own writings and what I take to be his proximity to a tradition of more or less 'classical' Marxism ..."  12  Gregory is  quite correct: Harvey does see historical-geographical materialism as a science [see chapters 3 and 4] and much of his work has been concerned with the structural dynamics of capital accumulation. But there is nothing intrinsically  11 Although in his substantive work since Social Justice and the City Harvey has, as I intimated in chapter 1, been more concerned with elucidating the systemic conditions within which agents live their lives. 12 Derek Gregory, 1992, 'Noah's Ark? Social Theory and Human Geography', p 10  125  negative about a 'scientific' discourse: the real issue is the way in which scientific claims to know are prosecuted.  As Martin Jay argues in his examination of Marxism and Totality, the concept of a coherent structure within which the economic is invariably the essential level of determination has been at the heart of nearly all versions of Marxism from the original work of Marx to the extremes of Althusserian structuralism. As Jay puts it, "to distinguish totality from either an infinity or an aggregate, it was necessary to specify its external boundaries or limits and identify the coherence of its internal structure. The former generally meant isolating something called "history" or "society" from something else called "nature", and then restricting the category of totality only to the former." 13 Jay's point is, of course, is that when the boundaries are drawn in such an undiscriminating fashion the logic of history or society become reduced to the forces engendered by the march of capital and the specificity of other types of social oppression is overlooked. Totality becomes, then, what Robert Young calls the "theoretical burden" of historical materialism.  14  The concept of totality is central to Harvey's work too I think, capturing the sense in which capitalist production sets in train a ramified series of determinations that implicate it, in different forms , within apparently diverse arenas of social practice that are not immediately or apparently related to the production process. This is clearly the logic structuring The Condition of Postmodernity, an historical condition Harvey wants to see in terms of a "structured whole", a "totality of politicaleconomic and cultural-ideological relations." 15 And this is, let us make no mistake,  13Jay op. cit. p 2 14 Robert Young, 1991, White Mythologies, London: Routledge, p 24 15 Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, p 339  126  an ontological claim, a claim about a major aspect of social being , although one, we should note, that arises out of analysis rather than prior to it. Although Harvey has, perhaps wisely, rarely talked in explicitly ontological terms since Social Justice and the City, there is I think a strong thread of continuity between the closing pages of that book where, for Marx, "reality is a totality of internally related parts" 16 and, for example, Harvey's recent comments on dialectical modes of thought. 17  Seen like this one can perhaps understand how Graham's recent objections to Marxian theory might register a wider suspicion of Harvey's claims to know. After citing the equation by Harvey of theory with meta-narative 18 she concludes that  the term meta-narrative refers not only to reductionist representations of history [e.g. 'the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle'] but to the specific form of essentialism known as teleology, in which the universe - or a part of it is governed by a grand design. That design is the essence of history; history is a reflection [or phenomenon] of the design. The reflection may be faint or bold, faithful or distorted, but it is ultimately governed by and subordinate to its essence. Our explanations of historical events are laid out on the template of the meta-narrative and stray from its outlines to only a limited extent. 19  Through a blend of discourse theory and a radicalization of Althusser's concept of "overdetermination', Graham seeks to disrupt the internal and external boundaries of totality by presenting a vision of history and society that it is irreducibly plural and which cannot be captured in terms of one grand discursive framework. 20 16Harvey op. cit. p 288 17 David Harvey, unpublished b, 'A Geographer's Guide to Dialectical Thinking' 18 Harvey, 1987, 'Three Myths in Search of a Reality in Urban Studies', Society and Space, 5, p 375 19 Graham, op. cit. p 56 20 1n this she follows Resnick and Wolffs Knowledge and Class, Chicago: Chicago University Press,  1987  127  Now I want to register a strong objection to Graham's reading of Harvey, because it seems to me that she is imprecise in her attribution to him of essentialism and teleology. In particular, she confuses totality with totalization . Let me assure you that I am not suggesting either that historico-geographical materialism does not prioritize the economic determinations of social life, or that the cast of Harvey's Marxism does not 'structurally' marginalize non-Marxian critical theories. I am not, in other words, about to make a very special kind of pleading. But my own reading of Harvey's claims to know is more nuanced than Graham's and it will I hope become clear why it makes a difference to the way we conceive of his project and evaluate its future.  It is convenient that throughout his writings Harvey has offered frequent statements on his understanding of the nature and purpose of Marxism. Let me dwell briefly on the most recent, the introduction to a collection of his previous essays. At first blush Harvey appears to make some bold claims about the reach of Marxian theory, by which he means  a theoretical framework that has the potential to put all ... partial views together not simply as a composite vision but as a cognitive map that shows how each view can itself be explained by and integrated into some grander conception of what the city as a whole, what the urban process in general, is all about. 21  But upon closer inspection we see that the views he seeks to transcend are not other critical perspectives on the constitution of urban society, but those of the various practitioners of technical-instrumental reason within the urban context [architects, engineers, planners etc]. A little later, however, explaining why he 21 David Harvey, 1989, 'Introduction' to The Urban Experience, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p 2  128  turned to Marxian theory in the early '70s Harvey, points to the potential of that theory to  get at matters as diverse as built environment formation and architectural design, street culture and micro-politics, urban economy and politics as well as the role of urbanization in the rich and complex historical geography of capitalism. 22  Once again, this is, indeed, a confident claim. But let us note that it makes to explicit attempt to explain the sense in which urban space and politics is, for example, gendered and racially constituted, nor to encompass theories who pursue these issues outside the Marxian fold. It would be quite possible to multiply examples like this. Despite the claims of Graham, and Deutsche, I am in fact sceptical that Harvey's project is intended, consciously or otherwise, to subsume or denigrate other critical visions: one looks in vain within Harvey's various statements on his Marxism for claims of this kind. As Harvey avers in the Introduction to The Limits to Capital, all history is not just the history of class struggle. 23  What, then, is the object of Harvey's concern? The answer, it seems to me, is quite clear. As Harvey and Scott put it, we think of the production of holistic theory as a project of understanding the totalizing behaviours of capitalism" 24 , or as Harvey put it several years ago, " my ambition ... [is] to progress towards a definitive Marxian interpretation of the urban process under capitalism  . " 25  Let us dwell on  the wording: a Marxian intepretation of the urban process under capitalism. The statement is quite explicit: it is capitalism as a specific social system with distinct 22 Ibid. 3 23 Harvey, 1982, op. cit. p 24 24 David Harvey and Allen Scott, 1989, in W Macmillan [ed.] Remodelling Geography, London:  Macmillan 25 David Harvey, 1985, 'Introduction' to Consciousness and the Urban Experience, Oxford: Basil  Blackwell, p xi  129  articulations and modes of oppression that is the focus of Harvey's theorizing. From The Limits to Capital to the two Studies in the History and Theory of Urbanization it is quite evident that Harvey is examining the production of space within the capitalist mode of production. While the observation would in other circumstances be remarkably trite, I think it needs restating because Graham and Deutsche [and Massey and Rose too I think] generalize historico-geographical materialism to the theory of the Social and thus erect a straw argument with which to pick a fight. Now, as I argued in chapter 1, seeing Harvey in this way is understandable when the focus of critique in The Condition of Postmodernity whose tone of argumentation is less measured than his previous work. But when this book is set within the larger corpus of Harvey's work I think we must dispute the accusation of Graham et al. and arrive at a more precise reading. Harvey does indeed want to tell a big story, but this is not the same as making it the only story in the book.  The real problem, it seems to me, the proper source of concern for Graham, Deutsche and others, is Harvey's failure to take seriously the problematic consequences for his theoretical concepts and statements of an engagement with other, non-Marxian critical theories. Let me explain. Prior to the critical reviews of The Condition of Postmodernity Harvey's work is marked by a relative silence about the details of non-Marxian critical theories. And yet Harvey advocates an "emancipatory socialist project" 26 that can integrate different social practices, but he does so in a way that seems to leave the classical paradigm of historical materialism in tact . The implication, it seems, is that capitalism can be studied in a 'pure' form, using concepts developed by Marx, which can then be brought into a  26 Harvey, 1989, op. cit. p 16  130  larger critical agenda with those visions of social life that do not subscribe to political economy.  This view seems borne out by Harvey's recent reply to Deutsche, Massey and Rose, which amounts to Harvey's most explicit engagement with elements of nonMarxist scholarship. Let me pick out two of Harvey's objections to Deutsche's reading of his project which bear on the argument I am seeking to make. Harvey, in disputing what he sees as Deutsche's generalized concept of difference, follows Haraway's point that "it is not difference which maters, but significant difference and therein lies a whole host of interesting questions to be answered..."  27  This is a  valuable point, rejecting the tendency of some to fall into an "essentialism of difference" that fails to discriminate between different intellectual and political movements and to argue that there are good reasons for preferring some over others. Second, Harvey argues that his concern in The Condition of Postmodernity was to elucidate "the dialectic of commonality and difference", by which he means the way in which many of the differences between individuals and groups in terms of, for example, gender and race, are brought into a common relationship by the invasive gyrations of capital. This is also an extremely valuable point, a timely reminder that, in Jim Cronin's words,  The essence of capitalism is to be color blind, but capitalism does very well by blackpoverty and racially based wage differentials and has profitted enormously from production regimes based upon coerced labor that were justified on grounds of race. Capitalism is not equvalent to patriarchy either, but it has adapted itself so closely to it, structured its labor markets so insistently along sexual lines, modelled its ideology and organizations on partiarchal definitions of authority and behaviour, that in the present the two are [inextricably connected 27 David Harvey, unpublished a, 'Postmodern Morality Plays', p 7 28Jim Cronin, 1990, 'After the Cold War', Socialist Review, 2, p 25  131  In this sense Harvey's political project might less accurately be seen as Marxist and more properly seen as form of socialism , in particular a kind of popular frontism advocated by such thinkers as Eric Hobsbawm, where a class-based project is brought into alliance with other social movemements along a common front to attack capitalism.  But, if I am correct, then it is here I think that the problem of Harvey's vision lies. First, the commonality in difference that Harvey seeks to pursue is theorized from the perspective of historical materialism. Secondly, then, the integrity of nonclass based forms of oppression is lost because they are not present at the start of analysis . Third, Harvey is only really interested in those non-Marxian critical visions that seek to join a movement against capitalism. For radical feminists and the extremer versions of race theory, for deep ecologists and local social movements operating against specific institutions and practices, this vision of the social is, then, inherently exclusionary . Moreover, it legitmates a continued focus on the 'pure' operation of capitalism, without acknowledging the sense in which certain versions of feminism, for example, would radically transform the nature of Harvey's fundamental theoretical concepts at the start of analysis . 29 It is in these three senses that I think Harvey's Marxism is not simply or solely legislative, but ambivalent . 30 Not in the normal sense of that word where one's commitments are equally divided, but in the sense that while Harvey acknowledges, for example, the claims of feminism, his commitment to Marxism prevents him from giving such 29For some constructive insights on this issue see Linda Nicholson, 1986, Gender and History: Limits  of Social Theory in the Me of the Family [ New York: Columbia University Press], and, particularly, Nancy Fraser, 1989, Unruly Practices [Mineapolis: University of Minnesota Press]. 30 lndeed Bauman sees ambivalence more generally as a sort of subliminal condition of modernity, a 'normal' and unavoidable consequences of the quest for order, the desire to define objects of analysis. Ambivalence is, as he puts it, the after ego of classification. Zigmunt Bauman, 1991, Modernity and Ambivalence, Cambridge: Polity Press.  132  movements a real integrity of their own , outside his own project. Marxism is, in other words, the lens through which Harvey sees other critical theories and his project thus appears , to all intents and purposes, a foundational one. This is, I think, precisely the problem of The Condition of Postmodernity.  This, it seems to me, should be the real target of the critiques of Graham et. al. Harvey's historico-geographical materialism is a theory about the operation of capitalism and it is this exclusive focus that renders Harvey's diagnosis of late twentieth century society problematic. We might say, then, that the foundationalism of Harvey's Marxism resides not in its claim to master the Social, but in its inability to integrate or even ackowledge other visions of society at the level of his theoretical concepts and statements. But this does not, I am going to insist, render historico-geographical materialism redundant or incapacitate it, nor is it a failure unique to classical Marxism. And nor is it, I will argue, a 'devastating' criticism - as some would no doubt like it to be - insofar as it does not permit of any easy resolution.  I will say more about the last claim towards the end of the chapter. I want now to turn away from Harvey's Marxism towards the first of those challenges to it: 'postMarxism'. Times have changed since Harvey first launched his Marxian critique of spatial science. For what the lacuna of classical Marxism have encouraged is the development of other critical paradigms whose integrity is measured in terms of their distance from it even as their identity owes much to a critique of that tradition.  133  'POSTMARXIST' GEOGRAPHIES  I do not want to engage in definitional disputes over this term: like 'postmodernism', the term 'post-Marxism' has been used in a number of ways in different contexts and thus defies fixed definition. Instead I use it as a general signifier for those critical visions of the social which are beyond Marxism, not in the mundane sense that they simply repudiate it, but in the sense that their intellectual and political claims owe something to a critique of Marxism; Marxism is, then, literally anterior to them. 31 Derek Gregory has recently sought to map this intellectual terrain within the field of human geography. His account is of interest because it embodies a conception of social theory that speaks to the concerns of the broad terrain that I call post-Marxist.  This broader shift within intellectual and political circles over the last two decades, away from Marxist modes of thought, can be seen in the way that the concerns of a critical human geography have become enriched through diversification. But it is important, as Gregory insists, to register the seminal importance of historical materialism in shaping the tenor of this emergent critical agenda, which is why he places it in a tense rather than simply antithetical relationship with classical Marxism and historico-geographical materialism [Figure 3]. I cannot do justice to the details of Gregory's intellectual map here, but let me pick out some of its more prominent contours.  The 1980s saw, of course, a shift away from Marxism as the pre-eminent critical paradigm within Anglo-American human geography. The earliest objections 31 Once again, as in the case of 'postmodernism', any proper discussion of 'post-Marxism' would have  to attend to the different texts and contexts in which the term is used.  134  Figure 3  Classical Marxism ^  Human Geography  iI Western Marxism^-----------> Hist-geog. materialism ••••••■■•■•••■■•■•••■■•■•••■••■■■■■••■■•■•■■••■■••••••■■■■•■■••■••■•■•••■■■■■■•••■■•■■■■■■■■••■■■■•■••••••■■■■■■■■■■•■■•••■■■••••■•••■■■■■  Structuration theory _ _ ._ .... Post-modernism - - - - -  ^ .... — -- Feminist theory - --. . -^... _ -_.- - _ __ Post-structuralism/colonialism  Contemporary Anglo-American human geography [taken from Gregory unpublished op. cit.]  were that it was too 'structural', leaving little space for human 'agency', and that political economy could do little to elucidate the specificity of female spaces of production. The early interest in structuration theory and feminism, then, owed much to their proximity to historical materialism: Giddens, whatever his proclamations to the contrary, is indebted to Marx in important ways, while the first signs of a feminist geography were located within the broader horizon of socialist feminism. But they have moved beyond Marxism in important ways too. As the '80s progressed structuration theory became tied to a much more ecumenical range of concerns than Marxism, including feminism, while feminist geographers began to explore the various spaces in which the exclusion of woman took place. Moreover, this entailed a 'reverse mapping', an integration of spatial problematics within structuration and feminist theory in such a way as to disrupt the aspatial precepts on which they turned. The impact has been singular, for together, Gregory argues,  135  they have raised serious questions about the vantage points adopted by human geography and other humanities and social sciences and, indeed, subverted the optics of representation on which these Olympean discourses have traditionally relied. More particulally they have revealed the duplicity of the text and the image, and many writers ar now much more sceptical about the ways in which the conventional vocabularies of human geography and social theory act, as Thrift puts it, to complete the incomplete, to structure the partially structured [and] to order the only partly ordered." 32  Specifically, they can be traced through to two more recent intellectual responses to classical social theory, on the one hand postmodernism, on the other poststructuralism and post-colonialism, which turn, respectively, around a crisis of representation and an crisis of authorization.  The injection of a spatial sensibility into structuration theory might, in some ways, be said to have prefigured the crisis of represenation that is articulated in recent filiations with postmodernism within the discipline. 33 For if, as Giddens suggests, places are penetrated by social forces that are stretched, unstably, across global space, then the concept of 'society' becomes problematic and we are immediately confronted with the question of how to "comprehend .. and somehow bring into presence these intricate, multiple and compound geographies which mix 'presence' and 'absence' in such volatile ways." 34 At the most general level the nascent interest in postmodernism within the discipline radicalizes this sensibility, questioning theoretical discourses that claim to capture social life within a single, overarching frame. On the other hand, post-structuralism and post-colonialism have been pursued this sensibility in a somewhat different direction. For previous  32Gregory op. cit. p 20 33 Micheal Dear, 1988, The Postmodern Challenge', 34 lbid. 18  136  TIBG: NS, no. 3, pp 34-56  feminisms are now seen as essentialist, substituting 'woman' for the the multiple fractures and fault lines that divide women, most particularly white, Western females from non-Western women of colour. To this extent the earliest feminisms shared with Marxism a deep ethnocentrism , exposing a particular strategy of authorization. Post-strucutralism and post-colonialism thus beg the question: "by what right and on whose authority does one claim to speak for others...?" 35  This is all much too brief, I realize, and a much more discriminating intellectual map is needed to do justice to the intricacies of the current politico-intellectual landscape of the discipline. But I think it points to the emergence of a larger, stronger, more ecumenical critical community within human geography. This is, to be sure, an immensely important achievement, particularly during a period when we have seen a veritable "counter-revolution" 36 within social life under the auspices of Thatcher and Reagan. It has enlarged our understanding of the constitution of societies, alerted us to their multiple agencies, and begun to clarify how their geographies make a difference to our conception of what they are and how we should respond to them. In the most general sense, this awakening to the complexity of what we study and our own positioning in regard to it urges a reconfiguration our more traditional understanding of social theory, not in the sense of abandoning critique to an interpretive free for all, but in insisting, more explicitly than we have done in the past, the need, in Gregory's words, to work with social theory.  This is why Gregory chooses to see social theory as "a series of overlapping, contending and colliding discourses that seek, in various ways and for various 35 Ibid. 22 36 Norris op. cit. p 2  137  purposes, to reflect explicitly on the constitution of social life and to make social practices intelligible." 37 Discourses , because this term alerts us to the situatedness of our claims to know in particular historico-geographical contexts. And these discourse seek to make social life intelligible because this does not privelege one putatvely 'scientific' way of working over another. Social theory must be worked with, then, because the situatedness of various claims to know makes it incumbent upon us to be vigilant about the limits of those claims and sensitive to the differing contexts in which their practical consequences can be justifiably and defensibly worked through and articulated. Proceeding in this way does not, of course, provide any ultimate solutions or grand resolutions, but it instills a necessary degree of modesty and caution into the way we draw boundaries around the objects of our inquiry.  THE SPACES OF RADICAL DEMOCRACY  Many of these concerns have been taken in a rather different, that is to say more politically grounded and applied, direction outside the discipline, in terms of a re-evaluation on the left of the potentials of civil society and of liberal political democracy. Intellectually this interest has been registered most prominently in the work of Laclau and Moufee, Bowles and Gintis, Feher and Heller, Claude Lefort, and Noberto Bobbio. But what makes this interest more than just an academic trend is that it converges at key points with recent political history, most particularly in the form of the so-called 'new social movements' of the 1980s and '90s. What is distinctive about these intellectual and social concerns is that they have arrived at where they are through an immanent critique of the tradition inaugurated by Marx:  371bid. 1  138  intellectually a critique of Marxist theory, socially through a critique of the fortunes of socialism as the pre-eminent radical programme of the post-war left.  If Laclau and Mouffe's Hegemony and Socialist Strategy 38 is, among stalwart Marxists like Norman Geras 39 , the most notorious instance of this intellectual interest in radical democracy it is because of their Althusserian Marxist past. On the one hand Hegemony and Socialist Strategy can be seen as a personalized and thus especially powerful proof of the glaring lacunae of Marxism; on the other, it is for detractors a sign of Laclau and Mouffe's, and indeed much of the recent 'left's', intellectual bankruptcy.  The substantive argument of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy has been presented in a number of ways, but I simply want to stress the how it impacts upon notions of theory, agency, and strategy within a Marxism like Harvey's. Laclau and Mouffe present a 'Copernican revolution' in Marxist theory and central to this are the concepts of discourse, as the medium of all social identities and struggles, and democracy , as a historically specific institution of the social in terms of which all emancipatory struggles must henceforth situate themselves. A brief resume of these concepts will serve as an introduction to their thought and a precursor to discussing the practical political agenda which Hegemony and Socialist Strategy articulates.  The concept of discourse has been a perplexing one within recent theoretical debates and Laclau and Mouffe's own understanding of the idea synthesizes  38 London: Verso, 1986 39Who attacks the book with some savagery. See Geras, 1990, Discourses of Extremity, London:  Verso  139  different readings. They use the term generically to designate a differential or relational concept of meaning in which meaning is produced as a result of practices that establish relations between signs. But those practices are themselves meaningful and so discursively articulated. Thus discourse becomes the general medium of the 'being of objects'. Construing social objects in this way has, for Laclau and Mouffe, two valuable implications. First, since all social identity is defined differentially it is potentially transformable and so 'precarious'. Second, since the 'field of discursivity' everywhere exceeds the partial fixation of meaning achieved within the definition of particular social objects, the possibility of rearticulation is ever present. To understand why Laclau and Mouffe see social life in this way is to understand their proximity to Marxism, for their concept of discourse clearly undermines the assumption of epistemological realism that they attribute to most versions of Marxian theory:  The incomplete character of every totality necessarily leads us to abandon, as a terrain of analysis, the premise of "Society" as a sutured and self-defined totality. There is no single underlying principle fixing - and hence constituting - the whole field of differences. 40  Correspondingly, the working class cannot constitute the single, strong historical agent Marxism sets it up as, and thus the strategy of left politics must alter accordingly. For if subjects are discerned within a complex and shifting discursive field, then identity cannot be fixed and 'true interests' become a chimera.  To derive anything of political value from this philosophical discussion Laclau and Mouffe rightly insist that it be historicized: the potential exorbitancy of discursive meaning is limited and concretized by being tied to a particular political 4°Laclau and Mouffe op. cit. p 126  140  discourse emerging in 18th century Europe, that is democracy, a "new mode of institution of the social". Democracy is, Laclau and Mouffe are right to argue, a seminal and positive innovation within the discursive history of the West. It is for them a space for articulating antagonisms through a principle of equivalence, a site for contesting relations of subordination through the irreducible plurality of social objects. The political logic of this speculative reconstruction of Western democracy is twofold. On the one hand the principle of equivalence undermines the primacy of class struggle. Second, it brings the class movement onto the same level as 'new social movements' which are conceptualized in a unitary fashion in terms of the extension of the equivalence principle. The task of the left, then, is to radicalize the anti-establishment lessons of Marxism by deepening and expanding liberal democracy in the direction of a radical and plural democracy. This is a 'hegemonic' task insofar as the unity between various different struggles must be constructed and worked for, not 'revealed' through meta-theoretical analysis: identity becomes labile and a site of contest, not fixed and static.  Despite the protestations of the likes of Geras, Laclau and Mouffe's project is most certainly a commited one. In the rush to defend Marxism, detractors from Hegemony and Socialist Strategy have, perhaps, failed to attend to what it is that gives the book its political resonance. Whatever the lacunae of their rendition of Western democracy and its potentials, Laclau and Mouffe articulate a quite real and substantial set of concerns that have emerged within socialist and a broader left politics over the last two decades. As Laclau has pointed out in an earlier essay, most of the variants of socialist politics as they have existed within the major European democracies of the post-war era shared a faith in the role of the working class. Even in its most ecumenical forms such politics has placed class struggle at the head of its agenda. However, since the early 1970s that claim to primacy has 141  been brought into question, in particular by two developments. On the one hand, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the working class as a sociological category: its place within late twentieth century Western society is not at all selfevident. On the other hand, the political place of the working class is also unclear because of the proliferation of social movements whose struggles are not primarily focussed on the question of class. 41  The burgeoning interest in so-called 'new social movements' during the '80s and '90s has, it is frequently argued, revealed the emergence of a style of social struggle quite different to that of the 'old left', with its faith in class emancipation, and the 'new left' of the '60s onwards which, while more sensitive to the multiple sources of oppression within society, still held out faith in the transforming power of a mass movement to overthrow the system. To simplify, we might say that the 'new social movements' have  rediscovered the plural sites of civil society, now understood as far more than the economic market place. Rather than seeking a perfectly unitarian political identity, its practitioners are willing to play different roles in different contexts... Rather than seeking an ultimate explanation for all oppression ... they've sought to yoke together a series of relatively autonomous struggles in a loose and unhierarchical bloc or coalition.42  I think it is important to note how much this rather celebratory description relies on a caricature of socialism, which in either its 'old' or 'new' forms articulated a political programme more complex and pragmatic than seeking some grand overthrow of 'the system'. But it does capture two important developments in the recent history of  41 Ernesto Laclau, 1987, 'Class War and After,  Marxism Today, April, pp 30-33  42Jay op. cit. p 8  142  left politics. First the widening of its concerns, embodied in the now familiar list of political movements [feminist, anti-racist, gay and lesbian, green, anti-nuclear, antiimperialist] which contest the primacy of class. Second, its reassessment of the potentials inherent within liberal political democracy: that is to say, a finer sensibility to what can be achieved within the limits of the present system. 43  It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of these developments. Habermas, it seems to me, has for a long time been right to insist that modernity is more than the sum parts of Capital and that the complex differentiations of late twentieth century society are not only achievements in themselves but also offer potentials for change in a host of arenas. Marx, most notoriously in The Communist Manifesto, underestimated the social consequences of the "bourgeois revolution" he diagnosed: his evaluation of bourgeois democracy as a site of purely formal rights paid insufficient attention to the important gains this has permitted groups located within civil society, a relatively autonomous sphere not reducible to the colonizations of capital. 44 As Claude Lefort argued many years ago, civil society has relative autonomy from both the economy and the state, and embodies important freedoms of speech and action which can be used to address representatives in the political sphere in the interests of social change. 45 Another way of characterizing 'new social movements' is, then, to say that they have led to a re-evaluation of the potentials, not just of political democracy, but of civil society too. Civil society then becomes a site where diverse groups can, as Jay puts it, articulate "reactions of a communicatively rationalized life-world against the 43The most celebrated example here is generally the German Greens. 44This view of Marx's attitude toward the society ushered in by the bourgeoisie is quite common on  the left. See, for example, Dick Howard's recent essay 'Rediscovering the Left', Praxis International , vol. 10, no. 3/4, 1991, pp 193-204. 45See Chapter 7 of Dick Howard's The Marxian Legacy [2nd edition, Minneapolis: Minnesota Univeristy Press, 1988] for an overview of Lefort's work.  143  incursions of an instrumentally rationalized state and market" 46 , and from which they can make incursions into these two spheres in the cause of modifying them.  These concerns are as yet tangential to critical human geography I think, in the sense that, as Hepple rightly argues, it has had little interest in applied political practice within a range of sites within the existing social order. This is a generalization of course and so open to dispute. But I think it is fair to say that much of the critical theoretical work within the discipline has been long on diagnosis and rather short on normative recommendations. As Hepple points out, too often critical human geographers have seen applied work as being ineffectual and simply compromised as status quo practice. 47 This is implicit in Harvey's work I think. Like Marx, Harvey has little interest in bourgeois democracy, while his interest in 'civil society' resides in its ability to provide a site from which to transcend the capitalist economic system to which it is tied through critique (see chapter 7]. In The Condition of Postmodernity this is, as I argued, quite clear, albeit implicitly: a renewal of the Enlightenment project entails launching a meta-critique of capitalism, not working within its confines.  All this said I think we also have to ask some serious questions about the consequences of focussing on new social movements in such a way that socialism and class politics are seen as rather pass6.  48  Whatever the manifold social and  46Jay op. cit. p13. This is, for example, a position partly defended by Claus Offe, 1987, 'Challenging the Boundaries of Institutional Politics: Social Movements since the 1960s', in Charles Maier [ed.) Changing Boundaries of the Political, New York: Cambridge University Press. See also the recent writings of Andrew Arato, Jean Cohen and John Keane. 47 Leslie Hepple, unpublished manuscript, 'Human Geography and Political Practice', paper presented at 48Which is not, of course a position adhered to by all celebrants of these movements. See, for example, lawrence VVilde's discussion of how many new social movements connect directly into a Marxian critique of capitalism: Lawrence Wilde, 1990, 'Class Analysis and the Politics of New Social Movements', Capital and Class , no. 42, Winter, pp 55-79.  144  political benefits they have generated, a large question has hung over them: to what extent have they transformed the centres of power that are the concern of Marxists? To take one example, to what extent have the new social movements helped radicalize democracy in the sense advocated by authors like Laclau and Mouffe? Now in one sense of course this question could be seen as invidious, merely reasserting a concern for large social structures against new social movements which sought an alternative to such grand visions. But, like Wood, one cannot help noticing that, despite "great advances in representative institutions, civil liberties and so on", neither the new social movements nor their utilization of the democratic apparatus have "redistributed social power ... between appropriators and producers", at least not in a fundamental way. 49 As Wood insists, we must see the potentials of liberal democracy as circumscribed by its separation from economic power, that is that the form of liberal democracy places 'structural limits' on the possibilities for redistributing power. In Osborne's succinct words, "within capitalist societies, democracy is and has always been restricted to highly specific social spheres." 50  At this point we might reflect on the formalism of Laclau and Mouffe's conception of radical democracy. In the absence of cogent social and institutional analysis, they effectively equate the social with the political. Just as social identities are fluid and plural so their political programmes are equal and equivalent . But this perspective cannot then account for why certain articulatory practices "are more central than others and therefore more likely to succeed in hegemonising a political  49 Ellen Meiskens Wood, 1988, 'Capitalism and Human Emancipation', New Left Review, no. 167, pp  1-21  50 Peter Osborne, 1991, 'Radicalism Without Limit', in Osborne [ed] Socialism and the Limits of  Liberalism, London: Verso, p 214  145  space." 51 Laclau and Mouffe's conjoining of a conception of discourse with a sweeping history of political democracy entails a loss of meaning, a refusal to allow for the way in which certain structures of interest are materially embedded and more powerful than others. This, it seems to me, is a critical weakness  52 .  Not  because it allows them to reject an a priori universal social agent and to insist on the need to broaden on a more equal basis the politics of the left: they are right to do that. But because in doing so they are unable to address real social questions about theory, agency and strategy.  From the orthodox Marxist perspective "it is the structural centrality of waged labour to the reproduction of capital ... which gives it its centrality to the struggle for socialism [human emancipation on the basis of the collective determination of the pattern of economic life], not some a priori moral privelege." 53 In other words, a study of history provides us with materials to make theoretical judgements about the world. Now history is not, of course, some 'neutral' terrian where we can look to 'test' our various knowledge claims; we always view it through particular theoretical lenses. But in retaining a belief in the need for empirical validation of theoretical concepts we at least keep open the possibility for a process of sustained mutual criticism between different positions. This possibility is, it seems to me, lost in Laclau and Mouffe's effective abandonment of even a minimal degree of epistemological realism.  But if history is the ground on which theory finds its raison d'etre - as am going to argue it does for Harvey - then one of the most pressing concerns for Marxism 51 Nicos Mouzelis, 1988, "Marxism or Postmarxism?', New Left Review, no. 67, pp 107-23 52The similarities with, for example, a thinker like Bobbio work are instructive: see Toni Negri's review  of Bobbio's Future of Democracy and Which Socialism? in Capital and Class, 1989, no. 37, pp 156161. 53 0sborne op. cit. p 220  146  has to be the 'loss' of the working class, the loss of an identifiable historical agent potentially empowered to make radical changes to the fabric of society. We may well agree with Marx that capitalism is a class mode of production, but how are we to understand the contradictions of recent social formations where 'objective' working class interests seem, to put it mildly, opaque? Marx had a fine sensitivity to how historical events apparently brought his theoretical account of mode of production into crisis, 54 but the question has become particularly pressing for contemporary Marxists. David Selbourne, for example, has convincingly shown how the private interests of labour tie it indissolubly to the interests of capital, using post-war labour politics in Britain to exemplify this collaborative imperative. 55 More generally, Adam Przeworski, analyzing Western social democracy, has argued with great rigour and clarity that while social democratic parties will never establish socialism except through gradual reform, the chances of achieving mass support except through the programmes and organizations of social democracy are slim.  56  This is a real problem for contemporary Marxian theorists, so much so that McCarney argues that it is the origin of the 'real' crisis of Marxism: without a revolutionary agent Marxism for McCarney loses its rationale.  57  And if  contemporary society offers all manner of attractions for working people then Marxism, and Harvey's historico-geographical materialism, must pay attention to the reasons for and consequences of the collapse of Soviet and East European Communism.  54See, in this regard, Christopher Norris's brilliant reading of Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis  Bonaparte: Norris, 1990, op. cit., pp 30-38.  55 David Selbourne, 1987, Left Behind: Journeys in British Politics, London: Jonathan Cape 56Adam Przeworski, 1985, Capitalism and Social Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 57Joseph McCarney, 1990, Social Theory and the Crisis of Marxism, London: Verso  147  MARXISM AFTER THE FALL: IN THE TRACKS OF DEEP SPACE  Efforts to capture the scale of the 'revolutions' USSR and the six European regimes 58 have, in Callinicos's apt words, "long since passed into platitude." 59 The collapse of communism had many causes, both 'formal' and 'efficient', which are currently the focus of intense concern. But we might agree with Bauman that perhaps the gravest and least curable among them, and the most likely to be proved congenital was irrelevance : 60 The communist state was, commentators and both the right and the left now seem to agree, a dictatorship over needs , pretending to achieve a unity of society by imposing it 'vertically' upon its citizens and thus atomizing any attempts by groups outside the state to constitute themselves 'horizontally'. As Dick Howard poignantly puts it, reflecting back on his first engagements with intellectuals from the East in the late '60s,  What we thought was "left" was for them support of the established order; what they took as "radical" was for us support of the principles of our own order. A classical illustration took place when ... a delegation from Berlin SDS ... [met] with student rebels in Prague in early 1968. The Western left was busy discovering Marxism; the Czechs were concerned with such "formal" freedoms as the right to demonstrate publicly or to form associations free from the tutelage of the authorities. 61  The 'Eastern revolutions' can in this sense be seen as a truly ground shaking articulation of democracy, not as 'formal' political rights, but as a truly popular power that has changed history on a remarkable scale. Precisely because the communist state is the origin of dictatorship it "attracts, condenses, politicizes and 58 13oland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania. 59Alex Callinicos, 1991, The Revenge of History: Marxism and the East European Revolutions,  Pennsylvania: Penn. State Press, p 1 Bauman, 1991, 'Communism: A Post-Mortem', Praxis International , vol.10, no. 3/4, p 185 61 Howard, 1991 op. cit. p 194 60Zygmunt  148  turns against itself ... popular disaffection" which, as Tony Cliff predicted forty years ago, results in "an immense crisis ... in which the extra-bureaucratic classes ... mobilize behind their own demands." 62  It goes without saying that for some, particularly those on the right, the collapse of communism signifies the death of Marxism. The equation of the two is a venerable one, most forcefully articulated in Popper's magisterial The Open Society and its Enemies And it is not without warrant, for elements of the Western post-war Marxian camp saw fit to defend the fortunes of 'actually existing socialism', most notably Eric Hobsbawm. But in its most recent form the equation is frequently quite tendentious, failing to make vital distinctions between the revolutionary socialist tradition embodied in Marxian social theory and the practices of Stalinist state communism. Many on the Marxist left have long recognized the problems of the latter63 , and in fact greeted with great joy the events on the continent. I think, then, that we might do well to avoid equating 'actually existing socialism' with Marxism. The more important, and productive task is to try and make sense of the revolutions in such a way as to understand how far the social systems being implanted in their wake can satisfy the aspirations they articulated.  This task is clearly beyond the reach of this essay, but we might at least begin by noting that what was remarkable about the revolutions was the sheer number and range of demands they articulated. They were not revolutions of a single movement like that of 1917 Russia. It became apparent during the age of  62Tony Cliff, 1988, State Capitalism in Russia, London, p 276. 63 One thinks , for example, of Chris Harman, who, over twenty five years, has produced exemplary  critical analyses of the Soviet state system.  149  perestroika that the peoples of communist Russia and Europe were far poorer than had previously been thought, and that their supposedly 'socialized' economic systems were more accurately characterized as cumbersome, even chronically inefficient, bureaucratized production complexes that had difficulty catering for even basic human needs. But the revolutions were about far more than raising standards of living. They were also about free speech and action, about ethnic identity, about religious belief, about local empowerment and regional autonomy, themes which have converged most graphically and destructively in what was formerly Yugoslavia.  If, then, state communism dissolved the qualitative differences within society they have now reasserted themselves. In the wake of 'the Fall' we cannot, it seems to me, unselfconsciously see the revolutions as having cleared the historical ground for a 'true' socialist revolution that will get it right this time. But, then again, very few Marxists would argue this position. What we could more fruitfully propose, is that many of the differences that inhere in society are being brought into a common relation by the implantation an extremely powerful production system: capitalism. This claim cannot be established a priori of course: it demands empirical validation. But it is not simply the claim of a beleaguered Marxist camp anxious to reassert itself. For it is an irony that the most triumphal declarations of the 'death of Marxism', those issuing from the right, are made in the name of the triumph of capitalism as the historically superior determinate social system to communism.  The new regimes in Eastern Europe and the old USSR are by no means all the same, of course, but it is reasonably safe to say that the language of the free market has gained a particular currency within them over the last two years: the 150  economic policies of Hungary, Poland and Yeltsin's Russia are only the most explicit examples. There are several ways in which one could respond to these developments. On the one hand they promise, in what will undoubtedly be a long and hard struggle, to bring individuals economic and political freedoms which they never knew under the communist regimes, freedoms which offer to bring with them personal prosperity. In its most radical version this view finds warrant in Francis Fukuyama's controversial essay 'The End of History?': with the end of communism economic and political liberalism have triumphed, capitalism has won, and the market represents the culmination, the end, of global history. 64 The market has negative side effects to be sure, but with minimal social planning social inequalities can be ameliorated while the mass of the population enjoy prosperity. 65  But, then again, we might want to use the lessons of our Western experience to make sense of the potentials of the market for peoples of the new states. As Bauman says of the last two decades in the West, The most seminal of privatizations ... Ms that of human problems and of the responsibility for their resolution. The politics that reduced its acknowledged responsibilities to the matters of public safety and otherwise declared its retreat from the tasks of social management, effectively de-socialized the ills of society and translated social injustice as individual ineptitude or neglect. Such politics is insufficiently attractive to awaken the citizen in a consumer; its stakes are not impressive enough to make it an object of the kind of anger that would be amenable to collectivization. In the ... society of consumers, failure rebounds in guilt and shame , not in political protest. 66  64 Francis Fukuyama, 1989, The End of History?', The National Interest, Summer, 1-21 661-his re-evaluation of the market is increasingly common and widespread: compare, for example, the  arguments of Brit David Miller [Market. State‘ and Community, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989] with Italian theorist Roberto Unger's False Necessity [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 19871. 66Bauman op. cit. p 189  151  Or, as Howard more emphatically puts it, capitalism is the enemy of democracy, seeking the elimination of division because "it can only control the effects of its constant revolutionizing of social relations by reducing them all, ultimately, to identical quantitative form." 67 Both views are somewhat overstated of course, but one cannot but be impressed by how, time and again, in country after Western country over the last twenty years, the restructuring of industry has gone hand in hand with political and ideological retrenchment, and social changes where certain new class fractions do very well off new manufacturing and service occupations while the living standards of those at the bottom of the social scale have visibly decreased. Capitalism is, it seems, invasive, colonizing, even violent.  But, if we accept the thesis that capitalism is still a quite central and decisive aspect of our existence, then our Western experience offers more than a point of comparison with the possible future of the Eastern states: for the collapse of communism has meant the penetration of capitalism into even wider geographical territories than ever before, and can be seen to mark the point at which capitalism has truly become a global system. Far from marking the end of history, the globalization of capital surely represents the making of history on an unprecedented scale, the generalization of its benefits to more people, but also, vitally, the generalization of its miseries too. Some twenty years after the publication of Social Justice and the City it is thus arguably more appropriate than ever to ask the kinds of questions about the world that Marxism allows us to ask.  And I think that we have to insist that this globalization also entails the making of geography . As we approach the end of the twentieth century we have  67 Howard op. cit. p 200  152  discovered, in Neil Smith felicitous words, "deep space", that is "the relativity of terrestial space, the space of everyday life in all its scales from the global to the local and the architectural in which, to use Dorren Massey's metaphor, different layers of life and social landscape are sedimented onto and into each other." 68 But this is much more than a metaphor: it is not uncoincidental that the wider interest in space by social theorists, what Gregory calls 'the discourse of geography', is, as Smith goes on, "historically consonant with the reconfiguration and reproblematization of geographical space in the post-postwar world." 69 As Harvey, Massey, Smith and others have so brilliantly shown, capitalism is about what Lefebvre famously called "the production of space", it is, as Smith puts it, "a fundamentally geographical project." And today capitalism is, it would seem, etching new historical geographies across the globe which entail massive creative destruction:  Gentrification and homelesness increasingly etch the simultaneously global contours of deep space in restructuring urban centres throughout the West. The regional scales of production are equally restructured through both de-industrialization and reinvestment in new industrial spaces from Silicon Valley to Taipei. The agricultural regions of the Great Plains in the US are being fragmented amidst a tumultuous economic and financial, environmental and climatic crisis on the production of nature  But it may be at the global scale that his reconfiguration of space is most clamorous. And nowhere is this ... as profoundly destructive than in the so-called Third World. While the 1970s, and indeed the 1980s, witnesed the partial integration of several Third World economies and their strong states [the NICs] into global capitalism, it also attested to the unprecedented destruction of daily life elsewhere. The Sahel famine of 1968-74, the chronic famine in Sudan and Ethiopia throughout the 1980s, the 68 Neil Smith, 1990, 'Afterword' to Uneven Development: The Beginning of Geography', Oxford: Basil  Blackwell, p 160-161 69 Ibid. 177  153  local, national nad international wars that rend the post-colonial landscapes of Southern and Central Africa ... have been the most apparent signs of the ghettoization of sub-Saharan Africa within this restructuring of global space. 70  If capitalism is a globalizing and invasive system, then, whatever our politics , we must, surely, respond to its historical geography in such a way as to free ourselves from the manifest constraints it imposes.  It seems to me that the elucidation of the production of space under capitalism by Harvey and others has been of inestimable importance, not just within the discipline of geography, but, increasingly, outside it too. Whatever the more outlandish theses about the end of history or the move to a 'post-industrial society' might claim, capitalism is still with us and is still far from healthy. Marx diagnosed capitalism as an economic system periodically prone to chronic crisis of capital overaccumulation, disrupting social relations and melting solids into air, and it seems difficult to deny that it is just this crisis tendency that has manifested itself in the historical geography of the last two decades. Indeed, on balance Marxist or Marxisant scholarship has been a crucial component of the attempts to understand what this historical geography has been all about. But how is one to pursue a materialist analysis of capitalism at the fin-de-siecle in such a way as to be sensitive to the historical and intellectual challenges to its knowledge claims?  FIN-DE-SECLE HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM  If it is clear how the three moments of the fin-de-siècle I have detailed impact upon the claims of Harvey's Marxism, it is less obvious how one should respond to  70 lbid .164  154  them. If they make visible a vast array of extra-capitalistic events and processes that call for a different critique than Marx made of political economy is this grounds for rejecting historico-geographical materialism or altering its most fundamental concepts? There are, it seems to me, three extant responses to this question which I have already touched upon in the preceding pages. Few on the Anglophone left would, I think, want to abandon materialist inquiry or deny that capitalism is still with us; some form of Marxism is clearly relevant. But the challenges I have outlined all in different ways bring the tenets of a classical version of Marxism into crisis: one cannot retain a 'pure' focus on capitalism without taking seriously the way it interacts with and draws upon non-capitalistic processes and concerns. As Harvey himself puts it The treatment of difference and 'otherness' [is] not ... something to be added on to more fundamental Marxist categories [like class and productive forces], but [1]s something that should be omni-present from the very beginning in any attempt to grasp the dialectics of social change. 71  What, then, does this mean for the practice of historico-geographical materialism? Short of a wholescale reorientation of Harvey's project towards integrating Marxism with non-Marxian theory, one could hardly expect him to bring this insight to bear at the level of substantive theory. A second response, then, is to be 'non-essentialist' in the sense conveyed by Graham where class is simply one chosen "entry point" in what is an overdetermined social totality. But this is rather too urbane, embodying an optimistic faith that Marxian and non-Marxian theory can co-exist in mutually enriching equivalence. Moreover, it underestimates the difficulties of escaping the urge to finalize perspectives, not least in the way that it offers its own narrative of the social. A third response, then, seems to me much 71 The Condition of Postmodernity, p 355  155  more realistic and much more constructive. Spivak has argued that Marxist, feminist and other discourses be kept irreducibly discontinuous through a logic of "strategic essentialism':  Since one cannot not be essentialist, why not look at the ways in which one is essentialist, carve out a representative essentialist position, and then do politics according to the old rules while remembering the dangers in this. 72  In this sense one might then attend to how, in Sparke's words,  class is a limited concept which from one perspective must be deployed, but which from others has necessarily to be brought into crisis. More generally this means remembering that while the politico-explanatory projects of marxism and feminism are predicated on specific interpretations of social essence, specific founding accounts of what constitutes the materiality of social life, these accounts themselves are based upon inescapably inadequate representations of materiality. 73  I find this a particularly useful and constructive perspective. It permits a continued focus on capitalism as a specific social system, shaping global history and centring subjects in particular [class] ways. Yet it does not necessarily confine us, in Gregory's words, "to our own eccentric worlds." 74 It implies instead a continued and rigorous process of work to self-consciously expose the ways in which we complete the incomplete, structure the partially structured and order the only partly ordered. One cannot therefore resolve the dilemma presented by essentialism, but one can most certainly work with the lacunae it exposes.  72Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 1990, The Postcolonial Critic, Routledge: New York, p 45. Interestingly enough, another discussant of these issues reaches a similar conclusion: Stephen White, 1991, Political Theory and Postmodernism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; cf Gregory op. cit. also. 73Matthew Sparke, 1991, Temporary Topics, unpublished MA thesis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, p 110 74 Derek Gregory, 1991, 'Interventions in ...', op. cit. p 20  156  However, we should not be overly sanguine about the possibilities offered by this way of working: some paradigms are so opposed that the capacity for a 'conversation' between different essentialist positions that it implies cannot be presupposed. However, if we are commited to a a broad left agenda then clearly we must presuppose some common terrain on which to work. And it seems to me that the ground upon which we ultimately stand is that of history , of actual events as they unfold around us and by us . Now I emphatically do not mean to imply that history is a 'neutral' terrain that stands pristinely outside us. History can never, of course, be a neutral 'court of appeal' where we look for 'the facts', but any theory that claims to be critical must offer a cogent cognitive account of some aspect of social life. The criteria by which we view the latter will differ, as my invocation of 'strategic essentialism' makes clear, but for us not to be confined to our own eccentric worlds we must, indeed we do , assume some common ground on which communication about our various claims to reason takes place. And it will be my argument that, at least within its own paradigmatic confines, Harvey's historicogeographical materialism is resolutely responsible to historico-empirical validation. To this extent, at least, the theoretical concepts with which it makes sense of capitalism are open to public discussion, criticism, and evaluation.  Louis Althusser, that most rigorous and inconsistent of Marxists, insisted that the phrase "the crisis of Marxism", must be given "a completely different sense from collapse and defeat." Instead, we must say that, "At last the crisis of Marxism has exploded! At last it is in full view! At last something vital and alive can be liberated  157  by this crisis and in this crisis." 75 In what follows I attempt, as clearly and as rigorously as I can, to reconstruct what I will call Harvey's elaboration of a culturalgeographic materialism, embodied in works written prior to The Condition of Postmodernity. Most certainly, I do so because I believe capitalism to be with us more than ever, and want to investigate the resources Harvey offers for making sense of it. But I also have two other considerations in mind to which I referred in the Introduction: the lack of concern among recent analysts of 'culture' to explore the particular culture of capitalism; and the conspicuous absense within human geography of a close investigation of Harvey's work.  with these points in mind I turn to an elucidation of the 'cultural' problematics of historico-geographical materialism, to a reconstruction of Harvey's Marxism which is I hope commensurate with his own self-understanding. While exegetical I hope my account contains some new insights for those familiar with Harvey's more 'economic' writings, and that it will also raise questions for those confident that they have reached a definitive reading of his Marxism tout court .  75 Louis Althusser, 1979, The Crisis of Marxism', in P Camiller and J Rothschild trans., Power and  Opposition in Post-Revolutionary Societies, London: Ink Links, p 225, 229  158  PART II  READINGS IN HISTORICO-GEOGRAPHICAL MATERIALISM: THE SUBJECT OF CAPITAL  159  PROLOGUE In his recent overview of Marxist theory extant in the West, Alex Callinicos distinguishes between Hegelian, Althusserian or structuralist, and analytical Marxism. 1 For those familiar with contemporary Marxist thought Callinicos's tripartite division would seem more or less accurate, as too would his view of the relations between them: Althusser vanquished Hegelian Marxism thus paving the way for his own dissolution by the analytical Marxists. Harvey is not a Hegelian Marxist by any means, if that term is, as is often the case with critics, used to indicate some teleological and totalizing view of world history.  2  He is, rather, a  classical Marxist who utilizes the best impulses of Hegel's thinking, notably a commitment to immanent and defetishizing critique, dialectical thought, a philosophy of internal relations and an insistence that theory be responsible to history. 3 I am not, however, about to elaborate on the Hegelianism of Harvey's Marxism. I invoke Callinicos's distinctions because I want to insist on the specificity of Harvey's Marxism and it is useful in doing so to begin by outlining what kind of Marxism it is not. In this way we might, at the very beginning, avoid making errors that creep in when we fail to discriminate between quite different Marxist traditions.  What is distinctive about Harvey's Marxism, I would suggest, is how little indebted it is to other readings of Marx. Most of his work reflects a careful, considered and creative reading of Marx in the original: reading Capital is and has for him long been preferred to, for example, Reading Capital. With the exception of  1 AIex Callinicos [ed], 1989, Marxist Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 2-6. We might, depending on what our purposes were, assimilate the second to the broader tradition of Western Marxism. 2 See Duncan and Ley, op. cit. 3Although Hegel's sense of 'history' was, of course, quite different to Marx's who, in the well known phrase, 'turned him on his head'.  160  the work of Bertell Oilman and Henri Lefebvre, 4 I think it is safe to say that Harvey draws upon virtually no other Marxist theorist at the substantive level save Marx himself. This position is, I think, quite unusual among contemporary Anglophone Marxian theorists: not only do relatively few appropriate Marx in an 'unreconstructed' way, but they frequently appropriate him through the interpretations provided by earlier heirs of Marx's legacy. Even on this very general specification of Harvey's Marxism it is possible to differentiate it from Callinicos's two other designations. It is, I think, safe to say that Harvey would see both Althusserian and rational choice Marxism as radical reworkings of Marx they thus mark a departure with his own project. 5 But let me be a little more specific.  Althusser, like Harvey, claimed, of course, to be drawing out the 'real' Marx, but his project was to erect a Marxist philosophy and, like much of Western Marxism, it was cast at some remove from a cognitive theory of history. 6 This is the first sense in which it differs from Harvey's conception of Marxism. In the second place, Althusser's reconstruction of Marxism consisted of a peculiar blend of structuralist epistemology and conventionalism: his notion of structural causality is quite divorced from Harvey's relational holism, not least in its repudiation of the Hegelian tenets of the latter, 7 while his iron-clad distinction between ideology and science prefigured the dissolution of his own project as, ironically, a form of  4 Harvey has read a good deal of Lefebvre's work and its influence is often quite obvious. 011man's  Alienation has provided Harvey with a reading of totality and a philosophy of internal relations inaugurated in Social Justice [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 1980) 5 Derek Sayer, whose accountof Marx in his The Violence of Abstraction [1987, Oxford: Basil  Blackwell] is remarkably close to Harvey's, opposes his account, interestingly enough, to that of Cohen. 6 Although Althusser's colleague, Etienne Balibar, of course sought to take some of his metatheoretical distinctions and make them operable at the level of research oriented theory. See the essays in their co-authored Reading Capital. 7 01Iman's interpretation of a philosophy of internal relations on which Harvey draws is, on 011man's account, derived from Hegel.  161  idealism. 8 But if Althusser is now out of favour, the recent effloresence of analytical Marxism in the US and UK testifies to his ongoing influence as a rigorous Marxist thinker. With Gerald Cohen's Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence, 9 Anglophone Marxism announced a commitment to new standards of rigour and clarity of thought, seeking to sift the wheat from the chaff in Marx's thought through the methods of Anglophone analytical philosophy and, latterly in the work of Roemer and Wright, with the tools of mainstream social science. Harvey sees himself as a rigorous thinker too, I hope to show, but his science proceeds through 'classical' concepts such as the labour theory of value which most analytical Marxists have abandoned in the form that Harvey retains them. Moreover, some analytical Marxists have moved so far away from the precepts central to Harvey's thought that they have been accused of being closet empiricists. 10  I will elaborate no further on these differences here: this brief discussion simply sets the scene for elucidating the specificity of Harvey's critical theory and I would urge the interested reader to make direct comparisons with the two other bodies of Marxism Callinicos identifies. My basic point, to be elaborated further in the next few pages, is that Harvey sees Marxism as a critical theory which is at once scientific and historico-empirical, and that as a corollary it is a deeply openended mode of enquiry. It is not a philosophy of history seeking warrant by appeals to abstract principles of ontology, although like any critical theory it unavoidably has what we call 'philosophical' presuppositions; for Harvey the point is that a 9 For two seminal critiques in this regard see Norman Geras, 'Althusser's Marxism: An Assessment',  and Andre Glucksmann,'A Ventriloquist Structur.alism', both in Western Marxism: A Critical Reader, London: New Left Books, 1977, pp 232-272 and 273-314 9 1978, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Cohen in fact makes his debt to Atthusser explicit in the early pages of the book. 10See Micheal Burawoy's review Of John Elster's Making Sense of Marx, in Sociological Review, vol. 17, no. 3, 1991, and Joseph McCarney's critical interrogation of his work, [McCarney, op. cit., chapter 1]  162  study of history is the ultimate proving ground for theoretical concepts, Marxism is for him an historical science. But this does not make historico-geographical materialism a form of empiricism inferring patterns from phenomenal forms; theoretical labour, rather, requires an effort of imagination and ingenuity to identify general causal processes whose historical existence is not immediately apparent. For Harvey this vision of Marxism can be considered 'classical' insofar as it is for him commensurate with Marx's practices. Other Anglophone commentators have insisted on the specificity of this conception of Marxism too, notably Callinicos, McCarney, and Derek Sayer, and there are some direct similarities between all four thinkers.  It is, I think, appropriate to register at this point how past interpretations of Harvey's and Marx's work have failed to attend to the specificity of this vision of Marxism [although whether Harvey follows through his claims to the actual practice of his Marxism is a different matter]. Duncan and Ley's critique of the work of Harvey [and others] as a form of structural Marxism attribute to him a series of unabashed meta-theoretical claims that might be levelled at Althusser, but which are not a part of Harvey's reading of Marx. On the other hand, Graham's charges about essentialism and teleology seem to me more accurately levelled at a version of Marxism to which Callinicos does not refer, that of the Second International. Graham's arguments are pitched at an implicitly philosophical level identifying Harvey's Marxism as a theory of History, reminiscent of the dogmatic 'diamat' formulations of Stalin, but not of the Marx Harvey seeks to identify with. All this said, the fact that Harvey is a 'classical' Marxist has the unfortunate consequence of subjecting it to the view that it is inherently outdated: because it is old it is thus illequipped to deal with contemporary history. However, as McCarney insists newer  163  is not necessarily better, and we would do well to avoid pre-judging a body of thought in light of prevailing fashions.  With the previous paragraphs in mind, and as a prelude to a more detailed examination of Harvey's 'classical' Marxism, I want now to bring my earlier discussion of revolutionary theory up to date by outlining Harvey's present day understanding of historico-geographical materialism as a critical theory of capitalist society. I do so by adding two facets to the discussion of critique and theory only alluded to earlier: the questions of history and science . Together these themes comprise a quartet that frame Harvey's work, and they provide a background with which to approach the next three chapters. This chapter can be thus seen to comprise my third and final 'cut' at defining historico-geographical materialism, although I make absolutely no claims that it is a definitive account.  I argued in chapter 1 that Harvey's critical project relies on a conjunction of critique and crisis. I hold to that claim, and would suggest that since The Limits to Capital it has been a central aspect of his work. Several years after the tentative 'socialist formulations' presented in Social Justice and the City, Harvey arrived, through a closer reading of Marx, at a cogent theory of capitalism as a system endemically prone to crisis: with each temporal-spatial fix that crisis, while temporarily delayed, was ultimately generalized to wider pastures and populations. At moments of systemic crisis, then, theory has the potential to illuminate its origins for those subject to its consequences and so assist them in their collective selftransformation:  It is open to human ingenuity and political action to convert crises into catalytic though traumatic moments in human progress, rather than letting them dissolve into  164  barbarism ... to seize the moment of crisis Ms the opportunity for creative revolutionary change ... 11  However, it is important to reiterate that this is clearly not a form of revolutionary chiliasm reminiscent of the Second International. The Limits to Capital and other essays identify tendencies within the structure of capitalism: whether or not crisis will be a moment for a positive transformation of social relations is a contingent matter, depending on the particularities of class matrix, culture, past history and so on; 'progress' is a question of human ingeniuty and political action. In the second place capitalism embodies forces whose articulation can overcome or stymie crisis, which is precisely one of Harvey's central points in his diagnosis of the condition of postmodernity. And third, crises are periodic and hence there are long periods of relative stability of capitalist relations. Critique, then, is as much about pursuing a theoretical analysis of capitalism during periods of quiescence as at moments of rupture, and the account of the subject I pursue in chapter 5 is about precisely how capital centres individuals within its social relations.  Theory is, then, to reiterate once more, practical, providing a "cognitive map ... for finding our way in a complex and changeable environment." 12 It must thus, of necessity, arise from experience and action, from an engagement with the world. But, it might reasonably be said, this all sounds much too easy, for how is the encompassing vision of theory to inform the complexities and contradictions of our local, context-laden experiences? In response Harvey suggests that there are always in fact a series of tensions between theory and practice, betwen theory and  11 David Harvey, 1985, op. cit. p 133 12 Harvey, 1989, "Introduction' to The Urban Experience, p 2  165  history; in other words, we must have a certain modesty about the powers of theory and this arises directly out of its scientific status. Let me elaborate.  It is quite clear that Harvey sees historico-geographical materialism as a science, and his theory as a distinctively scientific theory. 'Science' is, as Gregory rightly notes, a "weasel-word: within the humanities and social sciences it is much used [and abused] as term of approbation or condemnation, made to stand to a system of knowledge to which we should aspire ..." 13 On Harvey's understanding of Marx, his claims to scientific theory rest not on faith but on clearly defined reasons open to disproof. I cannot do justice to Harvey's conception of science here, but let me briefly pick out some themes as a prelude to the chapters that follow.  In the first place historico-geographical materialism is for Harvey scientific because it is engaged in the elucidation of objective social processes . There is nothing new here of course and this general claim is common to most Western versions of 'science'. But it does not, we should note, entail a naive form of epistemological realism: representation always intervenes, and the use of Marxian rather than, say, positivist categories, clearly makes a difference to our account of the world. 14 Yet the problem of representation cannot disable us: at some stage, Harvey insists, we must perforce choose one or other language and use it to make sense of the world, and to this extent we must also insist that at some level our theoretical categories idenitify actual material processes within the world.  15  13Gregory, 'Noah's Ark? ...', op. cit. p 2 14 For Harvey's recent meditations on the problems of representation see Harvey 1989 op. cit. and  unpublished b. 15 Harvey, 'Introduction', op. cit. p 7-8  166  But, in the second place, this identification is not achieved by standing outside history and society as a detached observer. Rather, Harvey sees his Marxism as scientific because it places itself inside history. 'Objectivity' is not secured by some putatively 'neutral' stance, as claimed by positivism; rather, "the categories themselves are born out of an actual historical experience."  16  The  categories of historico-geographical materialism are thus, in 011man's words, a part of the story they tell, and thus immanent to it . 17 This is, I think, a very distinctive epistemological claim: the validity of theoretical statements is established in part by the fact that, while they are abstractions from the concrete details of everyday life in different times and places, those abstractions nevertheless at some point have real historical existence.  Thirdly, those categories are scientific because they identify underlying processes that are not immediately apparent on the level of surface appearances: science is, then, the labour of elucidating these processes from behind the fetishisms with which we ordinarily conceal them, a defetishising critique. As Marx put it, if everything were as it appears on the surface then there would be no need for science. " 18 This is also a distinctive, and well known, claim of Marxist epistemology. But it has also I think be misunderstood and so I want to try to establish the specificity of Harvey's conception of what has come to be called the 'essence-phenomena' relationship.  Fourthly, if Marxist categories are to explain those underlying processes and their connection to surface appearance then they must, Harvey argues,  16 Ibid. 3; Harvey, The Limits, p 450 17 OIIman, op. cit., chapter 1 18Quoted in Harvey, 'Introduction', op. cit. p 10  167  combine in a "coherent and consistent' way and embody an "explanatory power" which becomes apparent in the using of those concepts to understand real world phenomena. 1 g 'Proof' cannot be established by appealing to 'facts', especially when dealing with mystified processes, and so 'testing' in the conventional sense is redundant.  These four points go some way to providing an overview of Harvey's notion of Marxism as a science. However, as they stand they offer no guarantees against theory becoming a closed process seeking to somehow offer up definitive results. Harvey is in fact insistent that historico-geographical materialism is a deeply openended science, because it embodies ways of working that preclude closure. Central here is the dialectical mode of reasoning that he and Marx employ. The notion of dialectics has been the source of much confusion within and without Marxian circles, but Harvey follows Oilman I think in making a series of discriminations about the term that help specify and clarify his own understanding. For our present purposes two senses of the word are relevant: the dialectic as method and the dialectic as a way of conceiving of the operation of capitalism. Harvey says of the dialectical method:  the oppositions implanted within the abstract conceptual apparatus are used to spin out new lines of argument. We reach out dialectically [rather than inwardly and deuctively] to probe uncharted seas from a few seemingly secure islands of known concepts. Different starting points yield different perspectives. What appears as a secure conceptual apparatus from one vantage point turns out to be partial and onesided on further investigation. 21  19 Harvey, 'Introduction', op. cit. p 8 and p10. 20See 011man's excellent discussion on the Marxian dialectic, op. cit. chapter s 4 and 5 21 Harvey, 'Introduction', op. cit. p 11  168  20  As  For Harvey, then, scientific theory is inherently open-ended, implying constant challenges to even the most basic of theoretical concepts: in Marx's famous words "there is no royal road to science and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its step paths have chance of gaining its luminous summits." 22  But, Harvey continues, concepts alter not only in light of the results of a dialectical method of theorizing, but in light of history and experience too. He has two things in mind here. Firstly, the nature of the subject matter is inherently complex and contradictory, a condition secured in part by the supposition that capitalism is an internally related system. In other words a dialectical view of capitalism has as its corollary an essential "shifting [of] concepts and findings." 23 Secondly, there is always a certain difference between "theory, abstractly formulated, and history, concretely recorded." 24 Indeed, Harvey is insistent that much Marxian theory, including his own, has been rather slow to refashion theoretical concepts in light of the historical transformations of the last two decades. 25  I think that for Harvey these various strictures against the closure of theory amount to more than simply safeguards against the premature use of theory as an intellectual and political tool. More emphaticatically, they bespeak a modesty about the powers of theory which is articulated as the specificity of the theoretical endeavour . This point, on Harvey's reading of Marx, is at odds with many interpretations of Marxian theory, such as Duncan and Ley's and Graham's which  22Capital, vol. I: quoted in Harvey 1982, p 1 23 Harvey, op. cit., unpublishedb. This is what Harvey calls the 'strong version' of dialectics. 24 Harvey, The Limits, p xiv 25See Harvey and Scott, 1989, 'Notes on a Project to Remodel Contemporary Human Geography', in W Macmillan [ed.] Remodelling Geography, London: Macmillan  169  attribute to Harvey the belief that theory can almost serve as a deus ex machine for intellectual and political practice. " We cannot, as Harvey insists in the closing pages of The Limits to Capital,  ... hope to explain everything there is, nor even procure a full understanding of singular events. These are not the tasks which theory should address. The aim, rather, is to create frameworks for understanding, an elaborated conceptual apparatus, with which to grasp the most significant relationships at work within the intricate dynamics of social transformation 2 6  Theory, then, is a specific endeavour, but we should not over-stretch the point: it must ultimately inform historical and political practice. But for Harvey it does so in a relationship of "creative tension". While theory sheds light on history and practice, it cannot subsume them: "Premature insistence on the unity of theory and historical practice can lead to paralysis and stasis, sometimes to totally erroneous formulations."27 The last senstence of The Limits I think captures Harvey's sense of theory and, indeed, the sense of his critical project as such:  The mutual development of theory and of historical and geographical reconstruction, all projected into the fires of political practice, forms the intellectual crucible out of which new strategies for the sane reconstruction of society can emerge. The urgency of that task, in a world beset by all manner of insane danger ... surely needs no demonstration. If capitalism has reached such limits, it is surely for us to find ways to transcend the limits to capital itself. 25  I hope that I have made it clear that the four coordinates with which I have chosen to map Harvey's Marxism are not be conceived of as separate individuals. 26 Harvey, The Limits, p 451 27 Ibid. 28Ibid.  170  For Harvey I think that each is thoroughly implicated in the others: thus a critique of capitalism is "only by accident non-vacuous" unless backed by "scientific understanding", yet scienitific theory is meaningless unless it arises from an engagement with history; attempts to sunder the ties between them fundamentally alters each of the terms. Let me now set Harvey's current understanding of his Marxism in full context by ending this prologue with a summary of the trajectory of my three cuts at his project.  I argued in chapter 1 that Harvey's critical theory appeared to be a foundational one, legislating a particular reading of current cultural and economic transformations. Moreover, in the absence of clearly and carefully phrased statements about the reach of Marxism vis-a-vis other critical theories, and in light of the absence of detailed historical exemplification of theoretical concepts, The Condition of Postmodernity appears, at worst and despite Harvey's best intentions, to be rather dogmatic, bespeaking a 'dream of unity.' I sought then to explain Harvey's lapses and silences in the following terms: his inattention to non-Marxian theory in his reading of postmodernism/ity might, I suggested, be due less to some blithe totalizing impulse, and more to the current 'crisis of Marxism', hence his concern to re-assert Marxian theory; his inattention to concrete history might, I argued, be seen to arise from a concern to identify and alert us to general social processes behind the complexities of everyday life, not from an ignorance of the way that empirical inquiry might bring his theoretical concpets into question. In chapter 2 I pursued these themes further. I suggested there that while Harvey is indeed concerned to make some very general claims about the constitution of society, that concern arises from an analysis of what he sees as a specific social system - capitalism - with globalizing behaviours, and not from a concern to master the Social tout court . Thus, if we place The Condition of Postmodernity within the 171  larger corpus of Harvey's writings we see that, far from seeking to totalize Society it is an account of the totality of capitalism. However, I then argued that this exclusive focus on capitalism nevertheless implicitly excludes non-Marxian theory and forms of political practice, and that these other concerns must be considered as central aspects of a critical human geography, in both the disciplinary and lived sense. This then led to me to arrive at the conclusion that historico-geographical materialism must be considered strictly as a critical theory of capitalist society and hence judged on those specific terms.  Chapters 1 and 2 might be seen as delimiting the 'external' boundaires of Harvey's Marxism. I have sought in this chapter to pursue the 'internal' dimensions further by spelling out how the specificity of Harvey's critical theory entails a particular conception of science and its accountability to historically [and geographically] identifiable social processes and practices. But I have also offered a 'neutral', 'descriptive' sketch of Harvey's project as it stands today, taking his statements at face value rather than subjecting them to critical scrutiny. I do this in order to make clear Harvey's programmatic self-understanding of Marx and of his own Marxism, and hence I use this prologue as a 'best presentation' of Harvey's project, a background series of claims against which to measure the next three chapters. In what follows I attempt to trace these claims through to the level of substantive theorizing. I am therefore engaging in an internal examination of historico-geographical materialism by taking it on its own terms. I cannot, however, pursue every aspect of Harvey's project as I have presented it, and frequently have to assume the validity of some of Harvey's presuppositions in order to elucidate his particular theoretical claims.  172  Chapter 5  THEORY-HISTORY-SCIENCE: THE VALUE THEORY OF LABOUR  In this chapter I want to pursue the linkages between theory, history and science in such a way as to elucidate what we might call the 'methodological' or 'procedural' tenets of Harvey's Marxism, his way of investigating capitalism. 1 The vehicle I use is the labour theory of value. This focus on method is by no means exhaustive and, while of interest in its own right, is intended to serve as a necessary precursor to the next chapter. The focus on value theory is also a necessary prelude, but additionally serves to establish the specificity of Harvey's Marxism? I begin with a 'straight' presentation of Harvey's understanding of Marx's value theory, implicit in which is his conception of Marxian 'method', and then seek to elaborate and reflect critically upon the distinguishing features of the latter.  Marx's labour theory of value has long been the site of intense debate within and outside Marxian circles, debate marked by more than a little vitriol and confusion. While it is generally agreed that value theory is absolutely central to Marx's understanding of historical materialism, that is to what we now call a 'classical' version of Marxism, there is a great difference of opinion about how one should interpret that understanding. On the one hand there are those who see value theory as metaphysical or self-contradictory and would dispense with it altogether. On the other there are those [few] like Harvey who regard their more 1 The term 'method' has the connotation of being a fixed and settled set of principles with which to work. I do not intend that meaning to apply to Harvey: I use the term more loosely to designate a way of investigating a subject matter. 2What I mean by this is two things: one, that value theory is organically linked to and a presupposition of Harvey's account of the subject of capital, and that in retaining that theory Harvey is in a minority among present day Marxists.  173  careful reconstructions as being in tune with "what Marx himself said." 3 Harvey's understanding of value theory certainly poses a challenge to our conventional ways of thinking and to conventional interpretations of Marx. Moreover, it is vitally important to be clear about Harvey's claims on this aspect of Marx's work because, as he says, it is the pivot upon which the whole analysis of capitalism turns."  4  It is I think helpful, prior to presenting Harvey on value theory, to establish the object of that theory, because it is confusion over this that, for Harvey, explains much of the confusion over the nature and intent of Marx's later works. 5 It has been common both within and outside Marxian circles to see value theory as a theory of price, whereby labour values are intended to explain or determine the prices at which commodities exchange within a capitalist economy; it is then literally a labour theory of value. However, as Elson has cogently argued, the object of Marx's theory of value was not price, but labour. In particular, Marx's project was to seek "an understanding of why labour takes the forms it does and what the political consequences are" 6 ; or, as Harvey asks drawing on Elson, "how and why does labour under capitalism assume the form it does?" 7 Labour exists in all societies of course, it is in Marx's vivid words, "the living, form giving fire... the transitoriness of things, their temporality", but this fluidity, this potential, is always 'fixed' in socially and historically specific ways. Value theory is then an attempt to critically understand the particular fixing of labour under capitalism, to understand specifically  3 Harvey, 1982, p 36 4 lbid.1 5 See Harvey op. cit. p 35-36 6 Diane Elson, 1979, The Value Theory of Labour', in Elson [ed]Value London: CSE Books, p 123 7 Harvey op. cit. 37  174  why labour is expressed in value, and why the measurement of labour by its duration is expressed in the magnitude of the value of the product. These formulas, which bear the unmistakable stamp of belonging to a social formation in which the process of production has mastery over man [sic.], instead of the opposite, appear to the political economists' bourgeois consciousness to be as much self evident and nature imposed necessity as productive labour itself. 8  I will say more about the political implications of value theory later. For now it is enough to note that Marx's value theory is for Harvey about understanding a particular way of life, it is thus a central pinion of historico-geographical materialism and not some narrow theory of price. As Elson argues, it is, then, perhaps better described as a value theory of labour , seeking to understanding why under capitalist social relations labour is represented by the value of its product and the political consequences of this. The key assumption here is that the experience of labouring, in a specific mode, is an absolutely central aspect of our daily experience of life on the planet, an assumption borne out by Marx's and Harvey's thesis that capitalism is compelled to generalize its specific social relations to ever widening spheres. For the sake of argument I too accept this assumption in what follows.  It is also, in the second place, helpful to say something about one aspect of Harvey's 'method' prior to presenting it through value theory, because of the difficulties posed by entering into a 'blind' reading of that theory. The opening chapters of Capital, where Marx presents the key categories of his value theory, are notoriously difficult and this difficulty presents itself in Harvey's work too. The reason is Marx's relational way of proceeding, a method of analysis which is for Elson the second distinctive aspect of value theory aside from its object. This 8 Marx, 1976, Capital I, trans. B Fowkes, London: Penguin, p 174-5  175  'philosophy of internal relations', as Oilman calls it, means that no concept can be understood in Marx's work aside from its relations with others within the totality of capitalist society. As Harvey puts it in regard to value theory, "We cannot interpret values ... without understanding use values and exchange values, and we cannot interpret the latter categories without a full understanding of the first." 9 This is, of course, an illustration of the dialectical method to which I referred in the last chapter, and, as Harvey says, "it imposes a great deal upon the reader. We are forced to grope in the dark, armed with highly abstract and seemingly a priori concepts we have very little understanding of, working from perspectives we are not yet in a position to evaluate." 10 For those unfamiliar with the details of a 'classical' version of value theory I thus apologise for the apparent opacity of what follows, but the meaning of concepts presented carte blanche should become clearer as the exegesis proceeds. 11  The major source I draw upon to reconstruct Harvey's understanding of value theory is the first chapter of The Limits to Capital. Because that chapter is closely tied to the substantive concerns of the rest of that book let me make it clear that what follows is, on Harvey's terms, a series of 'one-sided abstractions': the dialectical method precludes for Harvey any kind of last word or closure. Secondly, because the content of the chapter is organically linked to the particular theses of The Limits to Capital I am not going to follow Harvey's reconstruction chapter and verse. Instead, I present value theory in such a way that it is directly relevant to the concerns of the next chapter, while nevertheless remaining true, I hope, to the nature and intent of Harvey's presentation. 9 Harvey op. cit. 2 10 Ibid. 11 Although, precisely because of Harvey's dialectical/relational method some of the concepts I  discuss must necessarily remain apparently a priori and ad hoc.  176  A VALUE THEORY OF LABOUR  1. The content and form of value theory  The phase of analysis: from the commodity to value 12  Marx begins Capital by focusing on the commodity, the concrete, immediate and elemental form in which wealth appears in the societies in which the capitalist mode of production dominates. But the commodity has a triple character Marx argues, because it is the material embodiment of use value, exchange value and value. It is part of Marx's relational method to discuss relational pairings in turn as part of his attempt to build up a richer picture of how labour is represented under capitalism. Let us begin, then, by examining use value and exchange value.  Use Value/Exchange Value  As Harvey puts it, "At the basis of Marx's conception of the world lies the notion of an appropriation of nature by human beings in order to satisfy their wants and needs." 13 Thus commodities have a 'material side', a qualitatively distinct use value : hence one cannot drive a washing machine but one can certainly clean clothes with it. Use value refers, then, to the form of the commodity body itself.  However, that an object has a use value is not sufficient to designate it as a commodity. It is in the act of exchanging use values that objects become 12 1 borrow this subheading from Elson op. cit. p 151 13 1Harvey op. cit. p 5  177  commodities, and it is "these transactions - so fundamental to daily life under capitalism - [that] constitute the 'world of appearance' or the 'phenomenal form' of economic activity. -14 In the act of exchange, then, the product embodies a second characteristic that specifically differentiates it as a commodity, that is an exchange value, or value-form . Exchange value is an expression of a commodity's capacity to exchange against other commodities. Thus in exchange commodities achieve a common form in which their different use values are, as it were, suspended.  Marx makes several important contrasts between exchange value and use value. First, whereas use value in intrinsic to the commodity body, "the value-form of the commodity ... is its social-form. -15 I will say more about this shortly. Second, whereas use values are qualitatively incommensurable, exchange value expresses the quantitative commensurability of commodities. Third, while products of all epochs possess use value, exchange value is a property which distinguishes the commodity precisely as such a form:  the value form ... is not only the most abstract, but it is also the most universal form, taken by the product in bourgeois production, and stamps that production as a particular species of social production, and thereby gives it its special historical character. 16  Exchange ValueNalue  It seems, Marx argues, that the ratios in which commodities exchange depend upon the whim of buyer and seller; hence exchange value cannot be 14 Ibid. 9 15 Marx, 1867, 'The Form of Value', Appendix to the first German edition of Capital I, ed. F Engels,  trans. S Moore and E Aveling, New York: Lawrence and VVishart, 1967, p 49 16 Ibid. 80  178  inseperably connected with commodities. However, this is not so because we see in capitalist society that the exchange value any one commodity can be expressed in terms of definite quantities of all others. From this Marx draws two important conclusions for his theory of value: Therefore, first: the valid exchange values of a given commodity express something equal; secondly, exchange value, generally, is only the mode of expression, the phenomenal form, of something contained in it, yet distinguishable from it. 17  This something equal Marx terms value . However, it is crucial to insist that value is not the same as exchange value, even though it cannot be understood except in relation to it as we shall see.  Marx then considers what value is. Because commodities cannot exchange in terms of their use values Marx reasons that the unit of exchange must be an abstraction from those use values. Once we follow this line of thought the "only common property left", Marx argues, is "that of being products of I abour."  18  Exchange value is thus the expression of the labour bestowed in the commodity, or, more accurately, socially necessary labour . I will say more about the latter shortly.  But let us turn to the second of Marx's conclusions: why should value, thus conceived, assume the distinct form of exchange value? The answer lies for Marx in the nature of value. Value, for Marx, is a "purely social reality"  19,  it is an  abstraction that arises out of the social process of commodity exchange, but it is not  17 Ibid. 36 18 Ibid. 38 19 Ibid. 47  179  a material reality, physically graspable or palpable. That is, it has no phenomenal existence independent of the corporeal form of the commodity. As Marx puts it, "Value does not stalk around with a label describing what it is." 20 Since value cannot be derived from use value then it is the exchange value aspect of the commodity that must be the "mode of expression, the phenomenal form" of the value which is "contained in it yet distinguishable from it." However, at this stage Marx's derivation of value is not only similar to Ricardo's, but appears tautologous: "the standard of value is that aspect of human labour which creates value!" 21 This is where the importance of a third distinction becomes apparent.  Concrete Labour/Abstract Labour  Labour, like commodities, can be viewed as the embodiment of two aspects. Labour always entails a particular kind of activity producing particular use values and it is this that Marx terms concrete or useful labour . Like use values particular concrete labours are incommensurable.  However, in his initial justification for seeing value in terms of labour we have seen that Marx points to the fact that it only as quantities of labour that commodities become commensurable and therefore exchangeable. Once commodities exchange according to the same unit of measure then they also exchange in definite quantities. But this then also assumes that the different concrete labours embodied in commodities are themselves abstracted from. Thus abstract labour is a category Marx introduces to designate commodity producing labour in terms of its common characteristics, or more precisely those common 2°Ibid. 74 21 Harvey op. cit. p14  180  characteristics that make it productive of values. Abstract labour is thus a social category, referring to an aspect of the labour of all those involved in the production of commodities. Thus the social substance captured by the category value is not just labour but abstract labour and hence "value is conceived of, in short, as a social relation." 22  However, we can only identify abstract labour post festum , after a producer's product has found a market. Until a commodity is exchanged we have no reason to believe that it is anything other than the product of private, concrete labour. Upon exchange, however, that specific labour is brought into a relation with the labour of others: when we bring the products of our labour into relation with one another as values, it is not because we see in these articles the material receptacles of homogeneous human labour. Quite the contrary: whenever, by an exchange, we equate as values our different products, by that very act, we also equate, as human labour, the different kinds of labour expended upon them. We are not aware of this, nevertheless we do it. 23  In Elson's words, in these conditions  abstract labour comes to have a 'practical truth' because of the unity of human labour, its differentiation simply in terms of quantity of labour, is not simply recognized in a mental process, but has a correlate in a real social process, that goes on quite independently of how we reason about it 24  22 1bid.15 23 Marx op. cit. 74 24 Elson op. cit. p 150  181  But that truth cannot find immediate expression for, like value, it is a social abstraction, and it must instead be objectified in the phenomenal form of the commodity in its exchange value aspect. Hence it is that Marx begins Capital:  the simplest social from in which the labour product is represented in contemporary society ... is the ' commodity'  I suggested above that exchange value is the representation not simply of human labour but of socially necessary labour. I then followed Marx to the point where that labour is more properly seen as abstract labour. But abstract labour, as such, is not measurable. Marx's solution is to introduce the concept of 'socially necessary labour time', that is "the labour required to produce an article under the normal conditions of production and with the average degree of skill and intensity prevelant at the time." 25 Time then becomes the measure by which abstract labour is defined, and it is socially necessary because it is an abstraction from and averaging out of the particular labour times involved in the manufacture of particular goods. It arises, then, only in the course of exchange and is thus also a category referring to a real social process.  The phase of synthesis: from value to money  Marx has now brought us to a point where we can more fully understand what the commodity represents: value, the substance of which is objectified abstract labour. This is what Elson calls the 'phase of analysis' where we move from a simple social form to an identification of its constituents. In this phase we  25 Marx cited in Harvey op. cit. p 15  182  concluded that the equivalence of commodities presupposes the objectification of the abstract aspect of labour, but did not show how such objectification can take place. This is, as Elson notes, a puzzling conclusion, as Marx indicates when he talks of "phantom-like objectivity of abstract labour as embodied in commodities." 26 The phase of synthesis is intended to elaborate on this process of objectification and how abstract labour becomes the dominant aspect of labour within capitalism.  Marx's 'law of value' refers to the social process whereby money, the medium of exchange, is the immediate form through which the objectification of abstract labour is achieved. The problem is, then, to explain the process by which abstract labour becomes 'objectified' as the value of one particular commodity, money. Marx reasons that for abstract labour to be a real social category it must be expressed objectively as a thing which is materially different from the particular commodity from which that labour is abstracted and yet which is common to that and all other commodities that enter into exchange. In a sort of idealized reconstruction of the genesis of the money form of value, Marx shows how the rise of money as a separate material embodiment of value, and hence of abstract labour, goes hand in hand with the development of an exchange economy.  In a barter economy commodities can assume what Marx calls 'equivalent' and 'relative' forms of value. However, as exchange relations proliferate and many different commodities are brought into a common relation it becomes imperative that a social equivalent emerge to mediate the world of commodity exchange, and that equivalent is money. Thus  26 Marx op. cit. p 128  183  the relative values of all other commodities can ... be expressed in terms of this money commodity. Value' consequently acquires a clearly recognizable, unique and socially accepted measure. The shift from many different [subjective and often accidental] determinations of exchange value to one standard money measure is produced by a proliferation of exchange relations to the point where the production of goods for exchange becomes 'a normal social act. 27  Money, then, necessarily crystallizes out as a universal equivalent in which all other commodities have their abstract labour objectified, their value represented. The physical form of this equivalent is, in Marx's words, "the visible incarnation, the social chrysalis state, of all human labour." 28 Money is thus also a unique commodity whose "specific social function, and consequently its social monopoly [is] to play the part of universa/equivalent in the world of commodities."  29  However, in the form of money abstract labour is not just objectified: it is also, as Elson insists, rendered as the dominant aspect of labour in the sense that the concrete aspect is constantly subsumed. Concrete labour is not of course obliterated: how could it be, for it is the very labour that produces commodities as use-values and it as use-values that most commodities are wanted. However, because the concrete aspect of labour is precisely not objectified in the money form of value it is not immediately apparent as an aspect of commodities.  But Marx takes these two points about abstract labour a step further. For while abstract labour attests to the resolutely social nature of production, the actual  27 Harvey op. cit. p11 28Marx, 1976, Capital I , trans. B Fowkes, London: Penguin, p 159 29 Ibid. 162. Italics added. That within capitalist societies there is a tendency for one commodity to  separate out and hold a social monopoly on direct exchange with all other a commodities provides empirical warrant to Marx's argument.  184  act of exchange gives no clue as to the origin of the value it embodies. As Marx puts it in his seminal discussion of the 'fetishism of commodities',  the relations connecting the labour of one individual with that of the rest appear, not as direct social relations between individuals at work, but as what they really are, material relations between persons and social relations between things. 30  The point then is that, in Harvey's words,  the exchange of commodities for money is real enough, yet it conceals our social relationships with others behind a mere thing - the money form itself. The act of exchange tells us nothing about the conditions of labour of the producers ... and keeps us in a state of ignorance concerning our social relations as these are mediated by the market system. 31  Commodity exchange, through the medium of money, while only comprehensible in terms of certain essential social relations between people nevertheless serves to conceal those relations behind the phenomenal forms they generate. The capitalist mode of production, then, is special in that the logic of particular 'blind' social processes render social relations opaque.  The theory of surplus value  Thus far neither Marx, nor Harvey, have said much about the particular production relations within which commodities are manufactured. To understand these we must pay a little more attention to the role and nature of money.  30 Marx quoted in Harvey, op. cit. p 17  31 Harvey op. cit. p 17  185  With the advent of a social system where money acts as universal equivalent within the realm of exchange a form of circulation develops of the nature M-C-M, which begins and ends with the same commodity, money. "The only possible motivation for putting money into circulation on a repeated basis", Harvey argues, "is to obtain more of it at the end than was possessed at the beginning. A quantitative relation replaces the exchange of qualities . Money is thrown into circulation to make more money - a profit. And money that circulates in this way is called capital ." 32 Thus, Harvey continues, "we arrive at the most fundamental question one can possibly ask of a capitalist society: where does profit come from?" 33  Since money has been defined as the material representation of value, then capital can be seen as a process of the expansion of value, what Marx calls surplus value . Two implications follow from this, Harvey argues. First, a 'capitalist' is any economic agent who puts money into circulation to make more money. Second, there is a necessary relation between the capitalist form of circulation and the determination of values as socially necessary labour time. This is an important proposition as Harvey notes and thus deserves to be explained properly.  The capitalist form of circulation as depicted above clearly entails an inequality because capitalists possess more money [i.e. values] at the end of the process than they held at the beginning. However, the exchange process in which values are established is based upon a principle of equivalence : commodity exchange takes place on an equal and fair basis. This contradiction then poses a problem: "How can capitalists realize an inequality, AM, through an exchange 32 Ibid. 13  33Ibid.  186  process which presupposes equivalence?" 34 The answer cannot, Harvey argues, be found in the realm of exchange because of the equivalence principle, the abrogation of which would cause social instability. We must look then to the realm of production . 35  Following Marx, Harvey argues that  Production occurs in the context of definite social relations. The social relation that dominates under the capitalist mode of production is that between wage labour and capital. Capitalists control the means of production, the production process and the disposition of the final product. Labourers sell their labour power as a commodity in return for wages. We presuppose, in short, that production occurs in the context of a definite class relation between labour and capital 36  Labour power is, then, a commodity. Its use value is the capacity to fashion use values of produced goods, that is to labour concretely. Its exchange value, in accord with the rules of commodity exchange, is set by the socially necessary labour time required to reproduce that labour power at "a certain standard of living and with a certain capacity to engage in the work process." 37 Thus, the labourer sells the use value of her/his labour power in return for its exchange value, in the form of wages.  However, labour power is a very special kind of commodity. Capitalists, because they purchase the right to deploy labour as they wish for a certain length  34 Ibid. 20-21 36Because Marx assumes, until volume three of Capital, that commodities trade at their values [and  hence that there is no distinction to be made between values and prices], the problem of the origin of profit becomes synonymous with the question of the expansion of values. 36 Harvey op. cit. p 22. Italics added. 37 Ibid.  187  of time, can organize the production process so that workers produce more value during that period than they receive. Labour power thus has the special capacity to produce surplus value, and the gap between this surplus and the value received by workers is a measure of exploitation.  There is thus a pivotal distinction in Marx between labour [in the abstract] and labour power. "[Abstract] labour", Marx argues, "is the substance, and the immanent measure of value, but has itself no value: 38 To think otherwise would, as Harvey puts it, suppose that we could measure the value of value itself. What the labourer sells is not labour, which is the substance of value, but labour power - "the capacity to realize in commodity form a certain quantity of socially necessary labour time. " 39 This leads then to a fundamental conclusion, that the self expansion of value develops most fully and freely on the basis of capitalist production. The production of value, and of surplus value are, under capitalism, part and parcel of each other.  Thus, Harvey concludes,  Marx has now pulled together all of the logical threads of a complex argument. He began, as we did, with the simple conception of the commodity as an embodiment of use value and exchange value. Out of the proliferation of exchange he derived the necessity for money as an expression of value and showed a necessary relation between the capitalist form of circulation and the determination of exchange ratios according to socially necessary labour time. He has now shown us that the contradiction this generates between the equivalence presupposed by exchange and the inequality implied by profit can be resolved only by identifying a commodity that has the special characteristic of being able to produce greater value than it itself  38Marx quoted in Harvey, ibid. 23  39 1bid .  188  has. Labour power is such a commodity. When put to work to produce surplus value it can resolve the contradiction. But this implies the existence of wage labour. All that remains is to explain the origin of wage labour itself. 40  Class relations and the capitalist principle of accumulation  If the class relation between labour and capital is at the heart of Marx's value theory, then this two class model is explicitly an abstraction from the complexities of social formation as Harvey insists 41 and Marx makes clear in his essays such as The Eightenth Brumaire. The essential point for Harvey is that this class relation is nevertheless an historical one, and so too is wage labour and, specifically, the selling of labour power.  Beneath the veil of individuality and equality in the realm of exchange, Marx points up quite different processes where freedom is drastically circumscribed for those selling their labour power. The reason is because of the compulsion of capitalists to compete. Since each capitalist is compelled to seek a profit then they strive to increase "exploitation in the labour process relative to the social average rate of exploitation." 42 On Marx's account this can proceed in two ways: by the extraction of absolute surplus value by extending the length of the working day, or by the extraction of relative surplus value by improving the efficiency of the labour process. The consequences for the labourer are mainfold. In general they imply a loss of control of the labourer over the nature, conditions and products of their labouring activity. In the face of the depredations of capitalists labour is forced to constitute itself, particularly at moments when production relations are being  40 lbid  24 Ibid. 41 42 Ibid. 29  189  restructured with a consequential loss of wage for example, as a class to oppose these depredations. It is in the realm of production, then, that we must necessarily see relations between whole social classes and, specifically class struggle .  In The Limits to Capital Harvey, like the Marx of Capital, goes on to show, dialectically, how value theory internalizes and embodies this class relation and a host of other contradictions inherent to capitalism. Value theory is crucial then, because "it helps us understand, in a way no other theory of value can, the intricate dynamics of class relations ... , of technological change, of accumulation and all its associated features of periodic crises ... " 43 But the importance of Marx's value theory for Harvey is not quite captured even here. It's "revolutionary" 44 characteristics reside more fully in its "unity of rigorous science and politics." I will be saying more about science shortly, but let me end this reconstruction of Harvey's reading of Marx's value theory by attending to the 'organic' links between the knowledge it offers and the political consequences this has.  2. The political implications of value theory  The question of the politics of value theory and, indeed, of historical materialism could be the subject of a separate thesis. I simply want to point out that for Harvey a materialist analysis of capitalism contains within itself, within the very concepts it deploys, the possibility, to borrow from Colletti, of subverting and subordinating to itself the conditions from which it stems, that is capitalism itself [see chapter 7]. Let me provisionally illustrate this point by briefly dwelling on the question of abstract and concrete labour. 43 Ibid. 36  "Ibid. 37  190  As Harvey insists, in his general appraisal of value theory, an appreciation of  The discipline imposed by commodity exchange, money relations, the social division of labour, the class relations of production, the alienation of labour from the content and product of work and the imperative 'accumulation for accumulation's sake' helps us understand both the real achievements and the limitations of human labour under capitalism. This discipline contrasts with the activity of human labour as 'the living formgiving fire', as the 'transitoriness of things, their temporality', and as the free expression of human creativity. The paradox to be understood is how the freedom and transitoriness of living labour as a process is objectified in a fixity of both things and exchange ratios between things. Value theory deals with the concatenation of forces and constraints that discipline labour as if they are an externally imposed necessity. But it does so in the clear recognition that in the final analysis labour produces and reproduces the conditions of its own domination. The political project is to liberate labour as the 'living form-giving fire' from the iron discipline of capitalism 45  In regard to abstract and concrete labour, then, value theory for Harvey helps us understand how labourers come to be seen not as individual sensuous beings but as commodities, sellers of labour power, bearers of abstract labour and producers of value. Paradoxically, the very social relations of which labour power is a constituent are rendered opaque by the logic of their operation, between production and exchange, and individuals come to see themselves and others not in terms of their concrete particularities but as bearers of abstractions embodied, phenomenally, in the possession of things, notably money. I would also suggest that Harvey's concern with concrete labour has an important geographical inflection too. For, as I will argue in the next chapter, the subsumption of concrete labour is also about the subsumption of the specific qualities of place. Concrete labour necessarily takes place in specific geographical contexts whose importance to 45 Ibid.  191  human agents is not measurable in terms of capitalist abstractions and I will suggest that this 'ontology of place' is important for Harvey's sense of where a discussion of post-capitalist social relations might begin.  However, through Marx's insistence that the concrete, useful aspects of labour, while subsumed, are always present, the subjective and conscious aspects of labouring activity - labour power as the maker of the conditions of its subjection are always present in the analysis, suggesting both the limits and historical specificity of the reign of value. The political problem is thus, according to Elson, "to bring together these private, concrete and social aspects of labour without the mediation of the value forms, so as to create particular, conscious collective activity directed against exploitation. Marx's theory of value has, built into it, this possibility.  "  46  This latter claim, that value theory and, indeed, historico-geographical materialism, has built in to it practical consequences, an anticipatory intent, is at once an appealing and contentious one. Appealing because to see knowledge and politics as organically linked suggests that a scientific understanding of capitalism is a potentially powerful lever for social change: this is immanent critique in its strongest sense. Contentious, not only because it is a vexed question whether and how the 'ought' inheres in the 'is', but because when put in the wrong hands it can become a licence to legislate on the 'correct' course of action; indeed Benhabib sees Marx as being guilty of normative totalization, a charge I return to later. Harvey, I will argue in chapter 7, is, however, much less sanguine about the powers of historico-geographical materialism. Because if, as I am suggesting,  46 Elson,op. cit. 174  192  Harvey sees the theoretical endeavour as a specific and necessarily modest one, then, at best, it is capable of offering a guide for action, what Marx called a 'guiding thread'. This becomes particularly clear in our present times if we refer, once again, to the 'loss' of the working class within the present social formation: in order for theory to properly address its audience it must ultimately make sense of the very complex and diverse interests and wants of these working people.  THE HISTORICITY OF CATEGORIES  If, as Norris argues, there is currently a certain ennui with social theory on both the right and the left , it is partly because theory is seen as 'impractical', divorced, or at least significantly removed, from the concerns of everyday life. Or, in Duncan and Ley's terms, [Marxian] theory succumbs to 'literalism', to an impos[t]ure of abstract categories onto the complexities of real world events.  47  However, I  suggested in the last chapter that a key claim of Harvey's Marxism is that the categories of science are part of the society they depict: in Marx's words, they 'bear the stamp of history." 48 What might this mean?  The term 'history', particularly in the Anglophone word, has a connotation of concreteness and specificity, those detailed empirical occurences that constitute the nifty gritty of everyday life. Indeed, this is the way I implicitly used the term in chapters 1 and 2. In this way 'history' is frequently opposed to 'abstraction', a term derived from the Latin to mean a withdrawal or separation in thought or in objective matter of fact in order to focus attention on some part or aspect of an object or  47 Duncan and Ley op. cit. p 50 48Marx op. cit. p169  193  system. 49 Harvey sees theory as a set of [organically linked] abstractions I think, and I will say more about the importance of this concept for his epistemology shortly. But what makes his position distinctive is that he does not counterpose abstractions [theory] to empirical 'history'. The categories Harvey uses are thus supposed to be historical yet, as it were, non-empirical. This is what Patrick Murray, in his study of Marx's science, calls 'empiricism in the second intension.' 50 Harvey does not, however, elaborate upon what he means by the historicity of categories; it is implicit within his substantive theoretical inquiries. I thus want to draw upon Murray's account in order to render explicit Harvey's meaning because I think his reading of Marx is extremely close to Harvey's own.  Murray argues that, "though it has attracted little attention from commentators, the distinction between general and determinate abstractions is fundamental to Marx's conception of scientific knoweldge." 51 General abstractions are trans-historical generalizations, categories that pick out commonalities across historical epochs. But as such and in themselves they are of little value because they are unable to grasp the specificity of a subject matter in its precise historicogeographical form. Since, as Harvey insists, historico-geographical materialism is a scientific study of capitalism, then it must necessarily capture that subject matter in terms of what Murray calls determinate abstractions which capture a particular object in its specificity.  49Melvin Rader, 1979, Marx's Interpretation of History, New York: Oxford University Press, pp 150-51 50 Patrick Murray, 1988, Marx's Theory of Scientific Knowledge, New Jersey: Humanities International  Press, p 113 51 Ibid. 121  194  A case in point is the category of labour , which we might render to labour in general. This category which, as Marx says, "seems... completely simple" 52 , was a key category of the political economists of Marx's time and implicated in several theories of value other than his own. However, while this category "is old as the hills", nonetheless, "grasped economically in this simplicity, 'labour' is just as modern a category as the relations which produce this simple abstraction." 53 . What Marx appears to be saying here is that "labour" is not a simple category with one meaning, but two categories. The first we can call an abstract category of labour, is a general abstraction to the effect that production in all epochs requires human labour. The second, is the concept of abstract labour which I have already referred to. Abstract labour is a determinate category because it refers to a specific process that is particular to capitalism. If one accepts the logic of Harvey's reconstruction of Marx's value theory then this must be the case, and it is this insistence on historical specificity that at the root of Harvey's point that the notion of "human labour" can tell us little about the creation of value under capitalism. The ultimate goal of theory, then, is to build up a picture of capitalism using concepts that are increasingly determinate to the point where, to quote Harvey quoting Marx, "the life of the subject matter is ideally reflected as in a mirror." 54  The power of theory for Harvey, then, is precisely that it is a part of history: the categories of historico-geographical materialism are those of capitalism itself. More specifically, then, two important points follow. First, definite historical conditions are supposed for the production of particular categories. Second, those  52 Kar1 Marx, 1973, Grundrisse, trans. M Nicolaus, New York: Vintage Books, p 105 53 Ibid. 54 Harvey op. cit. p 38  195  categories, and hence theory, are only valid within definite historical boundaries. Science is about elucidating the specificity of its object.  However, the importance of recognizing and specifying the historicity of concepts resides not simply in their necessity for the practice of science. For Harvey also follows Marx, I think, in suggesting that the reverse side of historical categories is non-historical categories which, when they purport to explain reality in fact conceal the specificity of capitalism by understanding it through general abstractions; and to the extent that reality is captured through general abstractions it becomes naturalized Thus, when Harvey talks of conventional value theories as being "ahistorical and universal statement[s]" 55 he is, I think, making two points that arise out of his adherence to Marx's value theory. First, because the phenomenal appearance of capitalist social processes give no clue about the content and form of those processes then an effort of theoretical labour is involved to elucidate the historicity of concepts. We cannot, for example, conclude that 'labour' is an abstraction that only attains a 'practical truth' as part of a process of capitalist production simply by observing various concrete labour activities. Secondly, then, the classical political economists misidentify an historically specific category and posit it as the general and "unitary bland abstraction 'Iabour'"  56 ,  thereby  naturalizing it.  If these comments on the historicity of concepts do indeed capture something of Harvey's mode of theorizing, then a key point would seem to follow about the nature of theory that contradicts several prevailing interpretations of historico-geographical materialism. Theory, for Harvey, is neither so 'abstract' that, 55 Ibid. 15 56 Derek Sayer, 1987, The Violence of Abstraction, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p 130.  196  while it purports to say something about the real world, it is in fact quite divorced from it, nor are theoretical constructs intended to grasp reality definitively in its actuality. Rather, Harvey is insistent that we pay attention to the content and form of theoretical categories: theory has consequences precisely because those categories do say something about important general processes under capitalism, yet, to reiterate, those categories stand in a relation of tension with the complexities of empirical reality. This point is lost in critiques like Graham's, where theoretical knowledge is seen to be a "passive reflector" of reality and hence in some sense quite adequate to it. 57  However, we can go somewhat further. For I would suggest that Harvey's point about the specificity of theoretical knowledge has, as a condition of possibility, an insistence on the instatement of epistemology. That is, there is a nonidentity between thought and reality. 58 Now there is, of course, nothing new in this epistemological position [although HG Wilson seems to have erected the issue into an entire book 59. But the issue is important to attend to because it helps specify the sense of theory that I think Harvey wants to promote.  I am not about to enter into a high sounding discussion of Marxian epistemology, except to say that Harvey's explicit comments on the naturalism of Marx's position in the closing pages of Social Justice have, I think, found a very direct articulation in his later works. In that book, Harvey argues that for Marx theory is a process of "reflective abstraction. "e 0 Indeed, the non-identity of thought and  57Julie Graham, 1990, op. cit. p 4 58 This view of Marx is widely held and can be found in its details in virtually the same form in the various  works on Marx of, for example, Callinicos, Murray and Sayer. 59 H G Wilson, 1991, M