First words

The first four words of chapter one volume one in Marx’s Capital are ‘The Wealth of Societies’, surely echoing, as Spivak notes, Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. ‘In the rational plan for socialism’, however, ‘there is no room for nationalism’ (Spivak 2008:100).

This is Marx’s own copy:


Island Story: Journeys Through Unfamiliar Britain, JD Taylor

JDTaylorJust started JD Taylor’s book, bought in Waterstones sociology section yesterday. Brilliant. I mean, the placing of this book in that shelving – shame its four floors up from ground. If there were two copies I would have moved the one I did not buy down to the new books section at the entrance, alongside stuff from Owen Jones and Russell Brand…

Dan by bicycle around Britain – possibly the last book to Unite the disparate multi Island nation (not one nation, emphatically not):

“I reach Leith, a port town now absorbed intoEdinburgh metropolis, but still retaining its own independent spirit. It’s a bustling though evidently impoverished place, by no means as grim as the early-90s immortalisation in Irving Welsh’s Trainspotting. The Banana Flats cotch over the scene like a piece of Thunderbirds’ concretopia, as colourful as a stubbed out snout. The old docks have now been gentrified by posh restaurants, luxury apartment blocks and a moronic Ocean Terminal mall, a non-place inflicted on Leith for once having any kind of character”

So in 20 years this will be the first of the many travel volumes of the by then portly, but still adjectively agile, latter day Jonathan Meades, William Dalrymple, Bill Bryson, Ian Sinclair. Only he will still seem precocious and young – eat your heart out Owen Jones.

“David meets me in the centre of Nottingham. A friend of a friend, he’s kindly offered me a place to stay and help repairing my bike. He smiles, is gracious and issues wise observations as I tail him up to Canning Circus. A local man, bike enthusiast and university researcher, his insights are as consoling as the porters we clink in the beer-garden.

In the Midlands, these working class communities where things were once made now seem abandoned of political importance. Poverty creeps. There’s a danger of seeking out some master to put it right, David warns. ‘We’ve found a problem, do something about it.’ He remembers the riots of 2011, the local police station getting firebombed. ‘For one small moment’, something important happened. Young people were out in the streets, talking politics and the future. They felt like they had power, that for a moment they might be heard…”

Reasons enough to buy the book. Info here:

MythGeographies – walking stuff

this came through today, and is interesting enough to recycle. I hope they will not mind, given a certain promotional tone, I suspect not. Dunno exactly how or why the connection came, but through the Marx Trot, and very welcome.


Dear John, welcome to Mythogeography (under its cover name).
We hope you will enjoy (and join in) the exchanges on MG FB.
If you want to understand the multiple ideas that keep mythogeography in motion, then please read this – – and for more deep background have a look at this . If walking is your thing – and And if you enjoy movies, for an extended exploration of mythogeography please watch the three parts of this, starting at – .

One of our recent projects is our counter-tourism initiative; the details are here –

Best wishes,
Mytho, Crab Man, ‘Phil Smith’ and all at Mythogeography

Reading Capital in Nottingham – every wednesday, 11am-2pm, from July 20 until 28 Sept, 2016

20 Jul 2016 – 28 Sep 2016

Join us for a ten-week course on Karl Marx’s Capital Volume 1 Reading and writing with Professor John Hutnyk, in collaboration with Spokesman Books.

We will read Capital Volume 1 this summer and explore the concepts of value, exchange, money, labour, co-operation, technology, education, surplus, accumulation and appropriation.

A lecture guide with discussion takes us through 100 pages a week of Marx’s text and asks how these concepts may be relevant in new ways (100 pags might seem quite a lot to get through, but it is a surprisingly easy read when done with comrades. We will read in English from the Penguin edition, but German or other language readers are welcome). We have copies of the Capital in The Study (off Gallery 1) for participants to come and read.

While this is a course rather than a one-off event, there is no assessment – rather, we will produce a publication of short essays and responses from our research in Nottingham and nearby. Reading Capital in Nottingham takes an old book from 1867 and recharges it for digital, neoliberal and austere times. Workplace inquiry, social reproduction, environmentalist, activist, anti-racist, anti-colonial, pro-animal, pro-situ, cinema, sex, drugs, art and scholarship – whatever your interest, join us in an inventive ten weeks with Professor John Hutnyk.

The sessions will run every Wednesday from 20 July to 28 September, 11am – 2pm, with a lunch break where refreshments will be provided. Free.

To book please email 

Professor John Hutnyk Biography

trashed film paragraph on Reagan-Arnie-Trump

I dunno where else to dump this, which will now not be used in a review I was writing on regional film traditions:

Yet here is a topic ripe for serious comparative consideration if one, as necessity needs must, thinks across to the USA where a movie star became president, another became state governor – and only missed his ultimate ‘I’ll be back’ moment of becoming president because he was ineligibly born in Europe. Presently a real estate mogul is republican frontrunner on a virulently crazy platform of thinking Jesus wants him for a sunbeam (hat-tip Gore Vidal), his finger itching to blow immigrants, Moslems, Mexicans, Ruskies and whoever else to kingdom come. Reagan was a comic actor after all, Schwarzenegger a muscleman, or mechanical robot – his nuanced performance as a machine is itself interestingly dialectical. There are, nevertheless, distinct kinds of heroes in the social films – the robin hood character, the working class hero, the prince among fools – such that affection can build upon identification of repeated performance in such roles. Reagan did not benefit from the monkey movies perhaps, but the muscle man for California makes a certain Sky-net sci-fi sense.