Is capitalism too big to fail?

I can’t stop thinking about these words from David Harvey, recirculated by Richard Seymour in this excellent post:

Capital, right now, is too big to fail. We cannot imagine a situation where we would shut down the flow of capital. Because if we shut down the flow of capital, eighty percent of the world’s population would immediately starve, would be rendered immobile, would not be able to reproduce themselves in very effective ways. So we cannot afford any kind of sustained attack on capital accumulation. So the kind of fantasy socialists and communists may have had in 1850, well okay, we can destroy the capitalist system, that is an impossibility right now. We have to keep the circulation of capital in motion. We have to keep things moving, because if we don’t do that we are actually stuck with a situation in which as I said almost all of us would starve. This means capital in general is too big to fail. It is too dominant to fail. It is too necessary. We can’t allow it to fail. We have to spend some time propping it up, trying to reorganise it and maybe shift it around very slowly over time to a different configuration, but a revolutionary overthrow of this capitalist economic system is not something that is conceivable at this present moment in time. It will not happen, and it cannot happen, and we have to make sure that it does not happen. But at the same, capital is too big, too monstrous, too huge to survive. It cannot survive in its current form. So, on the one hand, we cannot do without it. On the other hand, it is on a suicidal path. So this is, if you like, what I think the central dilemma is.

About Mark