GGR254H1 Lecture Notes - Rust Belt, Capital Accumulation, Fixed Asset

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Published on 23 Feb 2014
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Manufacturing Belt, Deindustrialization and the Spatial Fix
David Harvey's Spatial Fix
- Harvey's career goal is to understand the relationship between capitalism and geography
- The production of space and investments in the built environment are a key part of the wider
process of capital accumulation
- capitalism can't survive without investing in the built environment
- Marxist approach
Surplus Value
- increasing productivity and increasing the workday increases surplus value
- capitalism is crisis-prone and unstable
- produced competition between different capitalists
- falling rate of profit
- overproduction of commodities
- surplus capital
- surplus labour
- state plays central role in stopping these crises from developing
Capitalists seek a competitive advantage in investing in space
- monopolistic power over space
- regional systems of production - build alliances
- systems of production are embedded in regions
Three circuits of accumulation
- Primary - capitalist ideals money > commodity > production > more money
- Secondary - flow of capital into the fixed asset fund
- Tertiary - investment in social programs, science, technology
Temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal fixes
- over accumulation of surplus value sitting in a certain place
- fixes developed in order to get the capital circulation
- temporal fix - long term investments
- spatial fix - opening new markets or investing in land
- spatio-temporal fixes are the combination of spatial and temporal fix
- investment in built environment is a way to eliminate crises
a) fixed as a solution to the problem of a pool of capital
b) fixed in space - cannot physically move
** Only short or medium term solutions (i.e. factories beating other factories thus making
original factories obsolete)
Gary, IN
- steel mill and town built as spatial fix
- US steel needs to re-invest money made and leave Pittsburgh and build a plant on Great Lakes
- the factory is a spatio-temporal fix for steel
- invests in reproduction of labour
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- offers a system of paternalistic control as well as a system of coercive control
- capital invested in luxury goods, social expenditures and science and technology
Investment in the built environment:
- lasts a long time
- hard to change
- cannot move
- often the result of one large investment
- often used in common
Fixity leads to crises
- "crowning glory" of capital - allows capitalism to prosper
- "prison" of capital - fixed in space and cannot grow
Spatial fix solves crises by investing in the environment but works to destroy old spatial fixes
with the new spatial fixes
Manufacturing Belt
- stretches from New England to Minneapolis/St. Paul
- as of 1919 it represents 75% of American manufacturing
- urbanization and industrialization have a circular relationship
- urbanization is an industrial process
1. market development produces further and further levels of industrialization
2. multipliers develop - industrialization produces more industrialization
3. cities share a labour supply with other cities
4. cities offer access to other infrastructure and to markets
Characteristics of Manufacturing Belt
- filled with large American cities
- large amount of immigration to it
- power is concentrated
Continued concentration of capital
- fixed assets allowed more power and concentration of capital
Regional Markets
- began on east coast and followed the Frontier west to the USA
- large productive rural areas located around the areas on the east coast
- hinterlands created markets for manufacturers
- cities were themselves their own markets
- urban areas are not self-sufficient
Urban Infrastructure
- early industries involved in the process of building the city itself
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Document Summary

Harvey"s career goal is to understand the relationship between capitalism and geography. The production of space and investments in the built environment are a key part of the wider process of capital accumulation. Capitalism can"t survive without investing in the built environment. Increasing productivity and increasing the workday increases surplus value. State plays central role in stopping these crises from developing. Capitalists seek a competitive advantage in investing in space. Regional systems of production - build alliances. Systems of production are embedded in regions. Primary - capitalist ideals money > commodity > production > more money. Secondary - flow of capital into the fixed asset fund. Tertiary - investment in social programs, science, technology. Over accumulation of surplus value sitting in a certain place. Fixes developed in order to get the capital circulation. Spatial fix - opening new markets or investing in land. Spatio-temporal fixes are the combination of spatial and temporal fix.

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