By David Harvey

Manifesto at the city commons from the acclaimed theorist.

Long prior to the Occupy move, sleek towns had already turn into the important websites of progressive politics, the place the deeper currents of social and political swap upward push to the outside. hence, towns were the topic of a lot utopian pondering. yet while also they are the facilities of capital accumulation and the frontline for struggles over who controls entry to city assets and who dictates the standard and association of lifestyle. Is it the financiers and builders, or the people?

Rebel Cities areas town on the center of either capital and sophistication struggles, taking a look at destinations starting from Johannesburg to Mumbai, and from big apple urban to São Paulo. Drawing at the Paris Commune in addition to Occupy Wall highway and the London Riots, Harvey asks how towns may be reorganized in additional socially simply and ecologically sane ways—and how they could develop into the focal point for anti-capitalist resistance.

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Furthermore, the fact that risk can be spread so widely encourages even riskier local b ehav­ iors, because the risk can be transferred elsewhere. Without adequate risk- assessment controls, the mortgage m arket got out of hand, and what happened to the Pereire Brothers in 1867-68 and to the fiscal profligacy of New York C ity in the early 1970s was then repeated in the sub-prime m ortgage and housing a sset-valu e crisis of 2008. The crisis was concen­ trated in the first instance in and around US cities (tho ugh sim ilar signs could be seen in Britain) , with particularly serious implications for low­ income African-Americans and single head-of-household women in the inner cities.

9 But in fact the structure of th inking within M arxism generally is distressingly similar to that within b ourgeois eco­ nomics. The urbanists are viewed as specialists, while the truly significant core of macroeconomic Marxist theorizing lies elsewhere. Again, the fiction of a national economy takes precedence because that is where the data can most easily be found and, to be fa ir, where some of the major policy decisions are taken. Th e role of the property market in creating the crisis conditions of 2007-09, and its aftermath of unemployment and austerity (much o f it administered at the local and municipal level) , is not well understood, because there has been n o serious attempt to integrate an understanding of pro cesses of urbanization and built-environment formation into the general theory of the laws of motion of capital.

It would also h ave gone against capitalist class preferences with respect to income d istribution and neo ­ liberal notions of personal responsibility. But just loo k at the price that was paid for observing such rules and the senseless creative destruction that resulted from it. Surely something can and should be done to reverse these political choices? But we h ave yet to see a coherent oppositional m ovement to all of this in the twenty- first century. Th ere is, of co urse, a multitude of diverse urban struggles and urban social movements (in the broadest sense of that term, including movements in the rural h interlands) already in existence.

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