The Marxist geographer, David Harvey, has written extensively and influentially about the production of space under capitalism and, in particular, uneven geographical development. This article is a Marxist critique of Harvey’s theory of uneven geographical development. It presents his theory around six interconnected theses: spatial concentration thesis, spatial dispersal thesis, surplus absorption or spatial fix thesis, uneven geographical development-as-ideology thesis, the uneven geographical development and the state connection thesis, and uneven geographical development–associated political thesis. His theory has shed light on certain aspects of the internal relation between capitalist accumulation and uneven geographical development, giving due emphasis to uneven geographical development’s contradictory character. It is, however, problematic on multiple grounds. It under-stresses the class relation, including the value-relation, between capital and labour, and correlatively fetishizes the power of spatial relations. While Harvey connects uneven geographical development to capitalist crisis, his theory of crisis is deeply inadequate. His theory also fails to systematically integrate the insights of state theory into it, and to the extent that the state is present, its essential class character remains under-emphasized. Finally, Harvey draws some conclusions about anti-capitalist political practice from his theory of uneven geographical development which are problematic from a Marxist vantage point. In particular, his view of the concept of the proletariat in Marxism and his scepticism towards the role of the proletariat in the fight against capital are contestable.
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