David Harvey and “Rebel Cities”

David Harvey continues to explore the violence of capitalism with an impressive lucidity and determination.  And though his work has always been informed by a profound moral and political commitment, perhaps never has this been more evident than in the collection of essays, Rebel Cities.  Harvey critically analyses the place of the city in the capitalist economy, and through this, seeks to expand the space of anti-capitalist politics beyond the limits of the factory.  If the proletariat includes industrial labour, it also encompasses all of those who participate in the production of wealth and reproduction of the conditions necessary for sustaining capitalism, in the expanding urban-rural space that is today’s city.  A revolutionary politics against capitalism must therefore be conceived of within this context.  And in the face of the destruction of public wealth and the commons that is the hallmark of neoliberal capitalism, “there is only one possible response, which is for the populations to self-organize to provide their own commons” (p. 87).  This nevertheless raises fundamental political questions for any opposition: first, how is the production and distribution of wealth in a non/post-capitalist society to be assured and second, how is political power to be distributed across different size human communities.  Whether one agrees with Harvey’s own analyses and evaluations of anti-capitalist politics, the questions he poses are fundamental and the urgency of endeavouring to answer them obvious.

Speaking of the numerous rebellions/insurrections of the last decade, Harvey writes: “The struggle that has broken out … is crucial to our collective future. …Whose side will each of us, as individuals, come down on?  Which street will we occupy?  Only time will tell.  But what we do know is that the time is now.  The system is not only broken and exposed, but incapable of any response other than repression.  So we, the people, have no option but to struggle for the collective right to decide how hat system shall be reconstructed, and in whose image.” (p. 164)

David Harvey interviewed on Democracy Now

David Harvey at the London School of Economics

David Harvey at Occupy London

David Harvey at Occupy Wall Street Free University May 1…

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2 Responses to David Harvey and “Rebel Cities”

  1. Pingback: ?ehrin Mü?tereklerinin Mülksüzle?tirilmesi: ?stanbul | Fraksiyon

  2. Julius Gavroche says:

    Is there any chance you could translate your message?

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