Urban Post-Theory, Class, and the City
The modern city is the product of capitalism; it is a place of
commodification—a place where workers and machines are placed together
in one part of it to produce wealth, which is then appropriated by
the owner who lives in another part.
(Pre-capitalist "cities," for the most part, operate by
the economics of the "country"—they are not spaces of
"commodification"; they are places with markets, not market
places.) Both the
traditional studies that have focused on the urban aesthetic and the
radical left studies that have dwelled on the city as a social space,
have tried to account for the fault lines of the city by diverting
attention from "class." My
argument in this essay is that all other city-practices (the
architecture, the urban planning, . . .) are secondary to the primary
economic function of the city. The global relations of wage-labor,
between those who work for wages and those who appropriate the surplus
labor of others, form the underlying class structure of the city, which
can only be grasped through a dialectical understanding of the relation
between the "concrete" (the local effects of wage labor) and
the exploitative structures that give rise to it.
I contest the dominant post-al readings of the city, put forward
by such theorists as Edward Soja, Michel de Certeau and Anthony King,
because in diverting attention from class and on to secondary effects
(such as textual and cultural "difference"), they construct a
post-causal city—a city of Foucauldian "events"—in which
the urban "concrete" is analytically severed from the
structures that produce it. And,
as is the case with all epistemological strategies which sever cause
from effect, the political consequence is a deeply conservative one: it
is to occult the possibility of transforming existing relations of
economic inequality. Dominant urban theory is, in short, an alibi of
"city" has become an urgent social question in globalization because cities worldwide have become the most explosive site of social
contradiction. As the most
concentrated sites of social production and therefore of population,
they are the spaces in which devastating poverty and unemployment, lack
of healthcare and educational resources, unaffordable and inconvenient
public transportation, etc., exist for the majority, along side capital
accumulation among a tiny cosmopolitan few, who enjoy lavish gated
communities, expert medical care, extravagant physical fitness centers,
and the privatization of all city spaces for the exclusive use and
benefit of the wealthy. These
contradictions exist in the cities of the North and the South, and they
have only been exacerbated with the development of what is called
in short, manifest what Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto
call the "simplify[cation of] the class antagonisms:
Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great
hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other:
Bourgeoisie and Proletariat" (474).
And yet, according to contemporary urban theory, to
claim (without "irony"—the postmodern code for knowingly
deploying "ludicrous," because self-deconstructing, concepts)
that the city is the space of class struggle between owners and workers
is tantamount to declaring one's own theoretical and historical
to urban post-theorists it is to show one's lack of awareness of the new
"plural realities" inaugurated by global capitalism, and how
they "fracture" all binary relations such as "class"
in the Marxist sense of the concept. This is because, in contrast to the
left models of analysis, which have recognized the antagonistic
character of the urban space and traditionally foregrounded such
concepts as the "Dual City" and the "Internal
Colony" to connect issues of class, race, gender, etc., to
systematic relations of inequality, dominant urban theory in the moment
of globalization has increasingly moved away from structural analysis
and toward theories of "difference," separated from structural
conflict. To be
"relevant" today is to recognize that, as Anthony King argues
in Representing the City,
developments in globalization indicate the need for a new paradigm
shift, from what he calls a "cultural orthodoxy" (by which he
means the Marxist and materialist-centered urban studies of the 70s and
80s) to the "new heterodoxies generated by the multicultural city
But if class inequality is increasingly less
relevant, how does one account for the increasing gap between rich and
poor worldwide, which is especially stark in cities? What is the cause of the exponential growth of poverty and
homelessness in cities throughout the North and South on the one hand
and on the other the accumulation of capital in the hands of a tiny
transnational few? How does
one account for the massive cutting of social services and the
transformation of remaining "public" spaces of the city into
private ones? Why, in
short, does the "multicultural city" (also) manifest such deep
social divisions between the haves and the have-nots?
What I am referring to in my paper as urban
"post-theory" are the various strategies by which dominant
theory de-conceptualizes and de-totalizes the city in order to crisis
manage the contradictions of class society by blurring the lines of
social inequality. Following the postmodern attack against the
"totalitarianism" of metanarratives, post-theory is a theory
against "theory" as a means for grasping the local in relation
to the totality of social relations.
It substitutes for "totalizing" materialist theory a
theory of "difference"—that is, a meditation on the
"specificity" and "indeterminacy" of local
differences, which are assumed to exceed systematic explanation.
Exemplary of urban post-theory, which substitutes an
indeterminate and elusive "complexity" for a rigorous
materialist conceptual analysis, is Edward Soja's Postmetropolis,
which I am using in this essay as my tutor text.
Soja argues that "the contemporary urban social order
can no longer be defined effectively by such conventional and familiar
modes of social stratification as the class-divided Dual City of the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat" (265) and as such what is
necessary is to discover the "differences" and
the existing global relations. As
Soja makes clear: "older
polarities have not disappeared. . .[but] a much more polymorphous
and fractured social geometry has taken shape" in cities (265).
is necessary to note here is that post-al urban theory does not deny that (class) binaries still exist.
Rather class is "complicated" through a deconstructive
logic of hybridity, which underwrites Soja's text.
Following the protocols
of postmodernism, Soja includes
class in a constantly shifting "series" of identities—what
he calls a "polymorphous" "geometry", which cannot
be "contained" by any binary logic (265). On the conceptual
logic of hybridity, which as Soja explains, "literally inject[s]"
one binary term into another "and vice versa" (199), Soja's
text "includes" class, to produce an in-between space which is
a space of inclusive differences—that is, a "class" without
distinction and without antagonism. The suggestion here is that an
emphasis on "difference" is more "inclusive", more
democratic than binary logic. But
a reading of class which displaces class antagonism is aimed at
completely displacing the explanatory value of class as a relation to
the means of production—that is, the Marxist theory of class in which
one's class position is not a subjective or imagined relation, nor a
question of "lifestyle" determined by "consumption"
practices, but rather determined objectively by whether one must sell
her labor in order to survive, or whether one owns the means of
production and therefore profits from the labor of others.
The ideological effectivity of the hybrid "third space"
of indeterminacy is that it analytically blurs
the boundaries between the exploiter and exploited. Social structures are suspended in the post-al theoretical
imaginary and urban politics becomes a site of political ambivalence,
play and oscillation beyond the antagonism of labor and capital: a
supplemental city (what de Certeau refers to as "a gigantic
rhetoric of excess"). In
such a space, there can be no decisive theory of social relations, and
therefore no decisive position from which to combat social inequality.
The "complication" of class, in short, is a means of
dissimulating the contradictions of global capital, by positing a new "complex" and "complexifying" urban
I will return in more detail the relation between the assertion of
"difference" and the abandonment of struggles for equality
later on. But first it is
necessary to examine the theory of the "concrete" that is
being privileged under the name of "hybridity,"
"difference" and "particularity," and why this
notion of the concrete is viewed as enabling for social struggles—so
enabling that it can replace "equality" as a social priority.
This question of the concrete is
important moreover because the emphasis on the
"concrete" informs all of cultural theory today.
So, what is meant by the "concrete"?
The underlying assumption of post-theory, as I have
suggested, is that theory erases specificity and difference; to
"reduce" urban life, for instance, to matters of
"race" or "class" is to suppress the (in-between)
differences of urban life—which is more effectively understood, from
this position, on its own particular terms.
This is another way of saying that the concrete is understood to
exceed conceptuality—the concrete is an excessive particularity, which
cannot be contained by any theory; in fact it "resists"
conceptuality. It is for
this reason that post-theory rejects Marxism
as too "general," "totalizing," and
one needs to ask: does urban post-theory exceed the very
"abstractions" it claims to oppose?
Is Soja's "specificity" of "inbetween-ness"
really an example of a concrete "beyond" theory?
of the main paradoxes of post-theory is that while it formally rejects
Marxism as too "reductive", it simultaneously ends up reducing
the material relations to a very conservative theory of the concrete—a
theoretical reduction that is able to quietly escape the charge
of "reductionism" simply because the theory underlying it has
become so dominant and familiar as to appear "natural".
To be more specific, urban post-theory reduces the concrete to
the merely "empirical". It
takes that which is given immediately to one's experience of the world
as the "root explanation" of material reality.
For this empiricist theory, the "concrete" is basically
to be understood on its own terms—as containing its own, independent,
material reality. The assumption is that things are the way they are
(immediately) perceived, and therefore there is no need for the
"mediation" of theory. Of course, one of the most
"radical" claims of poststructuralism was to show how even the
"empirical" was itself a construction; that is, that the
empirical is always mediated by language, which inscribes social values;
and therefore to appeal to the "empirical" as a non-mediated
site of certitude beyond debate is a tool of power, definitively on the
side of the powerful. However, with the institutionalization of
poststructuralist assumptions (which ultimately sever language from the
material conditions in which it is produced), and any of it seeming
"radicality" having been subsumed by the very power structures
it sought to immanently critique—empiricism has once again returned as
the only "legitimate" mode of reading "concrete"
reason neoempiricism (post-theory) has achieved such a powerful status
is because the effect of empiricism is to naturalize what is as
the way things ought to be by taking what is for granted, by
obscuring the question of causality behind the concrete. Empiricism
therefore supports existing relations of inequality.
In other words, the "effectivity" of
"particularity" (empiricism), is precisely its failure to
explain the concrete. Because it suggests that experience is irreducible—that it
can only be explained on its own terms, locally—it therefore cannot
explain why the "specific" emerges, why it takes the form it
does, and in whose interests it works.
It simply accepts things as they are, as meaningful by
themselves. In other words, it suggests that the local can be understood
"immediately"—without the mediation of theory—and in fact,
as precisely the resistance to explanation. And in positing the specific as excessive and the concrete as
a resistance to "abstraction" this theory of materialism is
basically arguing that the concrete is a particularity or singularity
not explainable on the basis of underlying relations.
becomes particularly evident in de Certeau's writing on the city. In
"Walking in the City," for example, de Certeau declares that
"The Concept-city is decaying" (130). Following postmodernism, de Certeau associates conceptuality
(the "concept-city") with "the hero of modernity"
(129), propelled by the "totalizing" desire for "seeing
the whole"—a figure he associates with the modern corporate
planner of the city. In
arguing that the concept-city is decaying, he is suggesting that
conceptuality is increasingly "torn" from within by
that which it attempts to exclude.
For de Certeau, the ability to conceptualize the city as totality
has given way to the theoretical "blindness" of
"practice" outside conceptuality.
"Practice," for de Certeau, represents those
"tactics" that exceed the dominant rational and normalizing
order and in their excessiveness "release" the
"difference," "specificity," "spontaneity"
of urban life, which is manifested in what he calls the
subject of spontaneity in this discourse is the "pedestrian"
(propelled along the streets, not by any guiding conceptual or objective
motive—i.e., by need—but purely subjective desire), who resists the
universalizing drives of power by refusing to "make the complexity
of the city readable" (128). As opposed in other words to radical
urban movements of the 60s and 70s, which stressed the need for
understanding the system which produces the "difference" of
race, gender, class, sexuality,. . ., in order to change inequality, de
Certeau suggests that to understand the city as a complex totality is a
sign of one's complicity with power structures.
The exemplary subject for him is thus not a knowledgeable
subject—but a "blind" one!
That is, a subject infinitely more manipulable by existing power
Certeau, to put this differently, transforms illegibility and illiteracy
(i.e., the inability to "read" the social and the consequent
inability to act collectively to transform it) into a cultural marker of
"resistance"—a marker of one's "knowledge" that
any attempt to conceptualize totality is an epistemological
"fiction" which suppresses the difference of the
"other"; a "knowledge" of one's irreducible
otherness. This is
basically to turn powerlessness and its effects into a virtue.
But de Certeau's reading of illegibility and illiteracy not only
blocks necessary conceptual knowledge (by valorizing the opacity of the
city)—it also dehistoricizes "illiteracy" itself by
representing it as a particularity that is unexplainable on the basis of
underlying social relations of production.
But "illiteracy" is a result of class relations and is
explained by unequal access to social resources stemming from private
property. Inequalities of
knowledge are the effect of the monopolization of all social resources
by the few who own and control them, and who use alibis of race, gender, and class to justify unequal access.
Far from being the other of power structures—representing
illiteracy as a particularity unexplainable by social relations is the
same class logic of state officials who argue for cutting funding for
public education when public schools are not—owning to lack of
funding!—able to produce higher levels of literacy.
In other words, this too is about representing illiteracy as a
particularity that cannot be accounted for by the underlying
inequalities in the social relations of production but is a
"private matter" (i.e. better addressed by the market).
In the guise of offering a "more concrete" analysis,
post-theory's return to empiricism actually offers a very ahistorical
and idealist abstraction of the concrete (of illiteracy, etc.) as
takes "what is" in existing social configurations as a means
of continuing the status quo, as is the case in recent arguments over
welfare reform, and whether welfare recipients should have access to
claim they should not have access to education, since the literacy
levels of most recipients are already "so low" that education
would be "wasted" on them—what they really need are job
skills. Once again, lack of
resources ("what is") is used to legitimate further cuts in
resources, rather than examine the causes which produce unequal
distribution of resources to begin with.
let us extend de Certeau's conclusions about the "radical"
role of the pedestrian a little further.
If the pedestrian is she who escapes the panoptic view of the
urban planners and administrators, by for example, walking, not
according to any plan or specific destination, and therefore not subject
to the "control" of municipal organizations—the most
"radical" pedestrian would be the homeless pedestrian—a
"nomad" who is in fact is so "out of reach" of or
"resistant" to power that she has neither rent-controlled home
or hierarchically organized place of work to walk to. Instead she is forced to wander the streets in search of
garbage that can sustain her—since, if she were "really"
radical, on these (ahistorical and idealist) terms, she would also avoid all
the public resources such as soup kitchens and shelters.
In fact, on the terms de Certeau sets up, the most
"radical" act would be, not to change the root property
relations which produce poverty (which have made "homeless
shelters" necessary to begin with)—but rather to close down all
homeless shelters, since they only manifest the panoptic power of
corporate administration. On
these terms, the most "radical" act would be to starve on the
streets, rather than fight collectively for a classless society in which
none are homeless or hungry (and "homeless shelters" are no
a moment when the rate of homelessness has never been so high, with cities
everywhere aiming to cut back on rather than expand social services, de
Certeau's theory of the urban pedestrian is little more than a more
"complex" and "civilized" alibi for the barbaric
elimination of all social services for the poor in favor of the rich.
contrast to urban post-theory's analysis of "concrete"
material reality, which takes the concrete as self-evident, Marxism puts
forward a rigorous historical materialist critique that accounts for the
material relations behind the "concrete."
For Marxism, the concrete is not an "irreducible
particularity" opposed to abstraction but is itself an abstraction
of underlying root relations of production that themselves need to be
explained (and can only be explained through conceptualization). As Marx
explains in the Grundrisse, the concrete is "the
concentration of many determinations". It is the manifestation of a
plurality of social relations, an effect, which is not
explainable on the basis of the immediacy of perception.
seems to be correct to begin with the real and the concrete, with the
real precondition, thus to begin, in economics, with [for example] the
population, which is the foundation and the subject of the entire social
act of production. However,
on closer examination this proves false.
The population is an abstraction if I leave out, for example, the
classes of which its is composed. These
classes in turn are an empty phrase if I am not familiar with the
elements on which they rest. [For
instance,] wage labour, capital, etc.
These latter in turn presuppose exchange, division of labour,
prices, etc. For example,
capital is nothing without wage labour, without value, money, price,
etc. Thus, if I were to
begin with the population, this would be a chaotic conception of the
whole, and I would then, by means of further determination, move
analytically towards ever more simple concepts, from the imagined
concrete towards [less and less complex] abstractions until I had
arrived at the simplest determinations.
From there the journey would have to be retraced until I had
finally arrived at the population again, but this time not as the
chaotic conception of a whole, but as a rich totality of many
determinations and relations. . . The concrete is concrete because it is
the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse.
other words, to begin with the concrete, as dominant post-theory does,
to take the concrete as it is (or seems to be), is to begin with a very
"chaotic" and "imagined" effect of underlying social
relations. A chaotic effect
which, far from being the "other" of abstraction, is itself an
abstraction. Indeed, it is
an idealist abstraction, since severed from the conditions in which it
emerges. The "complex" particularity of everyday experience
in urban post-theory is neither "complex" nor a
"resistance" to theory, but rather a "chaotic"
conception of the whole masquerading as "complexity".
For this reason, it is only through the process of analysis, by
which one arrives at "simpler" determinations of the original
"chaotic" perception that one can explain the actual
complexity of the concrete. Without
such analysis, the "concrete" is treated as an idealist
is of course critiquing the assumption that that which seems most
immediately true and real is actually the "real"; that the
world is as it appears.
The empiricist view in other words that that which appears in
one's experience is the basis of all knowledge.
(But it is also not the case that Marx is arguing that there is a
trans-social and eternal antagonism between appearance and essence, such
that one can never come to understand "reality," or that
"reality" is always subjective, as textualists
suggest—rather the conflict between essence and appearance is the
effect of social relations, in which it is in the interests of those in
power to conceal the basis of knowledge in class exploitation.
Analysis is necessary in order to explain the roots of social
relations, and how to collectively build a society free from
exploitation, where science can be developed for the sake of all, not
just the few.) In their critique of Feurerbach's idealist conception of
the "sensuous world" (which "is confined on the one
hand to mere contemplation of it, and on the other to mere feeling"
) in The German Ideology Marx and Engels make clear that the
sensuous (what post-theory calls the "concrete") cannot serve
as the "end point" of any serious analysis of social
relations. In response to
Feuerbach's appeal to the "cherry-tree" (i.e.,
"nature" as given to the senses) as a test of "sensuous
certainty," for example, Marx and Engels argue that "Even the
objects of the simplest 'sensuous certainty' are only given him through
social development, industry and commercial intercourse" (62).
In other words, Feuerbach:
not see how the sensuous world around him is, not a thing given direct
from all eternity, remaining ever the same, but the product of industry
and of the state of society; and, indeed, in the sense that it is an
historical product, the result of the activity of a whole succession of
generations, each standing on the shoulders of the preceding one,
developing its industry and its intercourse. . . The cherry-tree, like
almost all fruit-trees, was, as is well known, only a few centuries ago
transplanted by commerce into our zone, and therefore only by
this action of a definite society in a definite age it has become
"sensuous certainty" for Feuerbach. (62)
other words, the cherry tree is not meaningful by itself, but becomes
meaningful through an analysis of the conditions in which the cherry
tree becomes available to one's senses.
That which is given to the senses, whether it is
"nature" or questions of "ethnicity,"
"class" or "urban life," is the product of history,
of social activity—abstract relations that need to be conceptualized.
To extend the consequences to contemporary questions of (urban)
"identity," ethnicity, race, class, etc. are not
"self-evident" differences—rather they are produced out of
specific social relations of production and ones position within the
division of labor. The task
of analysis should be explaining why they emerge, and in whose interest
embrace "difference" without an understanding of how and why
it is produced is ultimately to naturalize social differences that are
differences within social relations of production based on exploitation.
For instance, race as a permanent "natural" difference
is being re-worked today in a seemingly "emancipatory"
discourse (as a permanent "cultural difference") because, its
proponents claim, it encourages people to "reclaim" what they
are, rather than accept the dominant assumption that to be different is
to be less than. But this erases the material conditions of inequality.
It erases the way race is used to divide the working class and is
reproduced as a tool for the ruling class in surplus-value extraction.
Moreover, it discourages people from collectively changing the
conditions of exploitation. It
is a strategy of coping with inequality.
Similarly, to start with the experience of police
brutality or ethnic profiling, which has now become legalized in
the US, as if these practices were graspable on their own terms, outside
of the concentration of property and power in the hands of the few world
wide and the resulting militarization of society, would result in a very
limited understanding of this experience. It would not be able to explain the causes of such
experience. But this is the
very kind of limited understanding of events that US officials
promulgate among the working class, so that they are not able to
understand the systemic nature of such violence, its causes, and how it
can be transformed.
I have been discussing thus far the notion of the
"concrete" in urban post-theory, and the ways in which it
takes the immediacies of experience as self-evident, and as a result
brackets the larger social structures in which the concrete emerges as
the "concrete". I now want to examine the consequences of this
abstraction for the theory of the "city".
To be more specific, I want to put more analytical and historical
pressure on the post-theory of the city—and the notion of
"citizenship" that follows from it—by showing that the
understanding of the city (and its contradictions) offered by
"post-theory" (as a site of "in-between-ness",
"hybridity", "desire", etc. in "excess" of
class conflict, collectivity, and need) is itself a historically
specific understanding of the city that is enabled by class relations.
All theories reflect larger social structures, and how we
understand the "city"—whether we conclude that the city
should be based on private interests (on civil citizenship) or meeting
the needs of all (social citizenship)—has consequences for the
billions of people who live and work in cities worldwide.
Many urban post-al theorists, such as Soja, tend to
highlight the spatial differences of the contemporary city, and use
these differences to posit a radical break from (class) relations of
exploitation. In other
words, post-al urban theory substitutes "space" (and its
empirical textures) for "class".
It looks at the surface organization of urban space—the
"cityscape"—and takes shifts in the appearance of spatial
surfaces for changes to the root class relations.
On these readings, what Soja calls the "postmetropolis" is a "fractal" city without any
clear lines or patterns, and this is what distinguishes it from the
"modern city," which is represented as a city based
on consistent patterns and clearly delineable finite spaces.
As Soja explains, the modern city was based on "spatially
segregated concentric zones: workers and the reserve army in the densest
and most haphazardly jumbled inner zone, the new "middle-
class" bourgeoisie settled in the more regularly gridded second
ring, and the upper bourgeoisie in a suburban commuting zone of gardened
villas and countryside estates" (81). On these terms, which posit a
break between the "modern" metropolis of
"industrial" capitalism, and radically new developments of the
"postmetropolis" in cybercapitalism, the modern metropolis is
a space of binary relations, with clearly definable lines of social
demarcation (i.e., between workers and owners, blacks and whites, men
and women), while the postmetropolis is a hybrid space which blurs all
previously "definitive" boundaries. With the emergence of a
new "spatiality," in short, is a "recomposed sociality
that has become similarly fluid, fragmented, decentered, and rearranged
in complex patterns" (Postmetropolis
265). Like identity,
then, urban space has become hybridized, and thus no longer explainable
in terms of such binaries as worker/owner, black/white, etc.
post-theory understands the opening up of the binary as liberating,
since it seems to suggest that the city is no longer divided in the
traditional ways it used to be divided—it has become complex and
"unruly". Instead of a focus on the "sameness"
posited by binary theories, difference has not only become
privileged—but for Soja, it has become a "right".
Drawing on the work of Cornell
West, Soja writes:
new cultural politics is not defined around erasing inequalities per
se but rather around the reassertion of difference,
diversity, multiplicity, heterogeneity. . . Rather than seeing
difference, including the difference associated with intergroup
inequalities, only as something to be erased, the right to be
different is asserted as the foundation of the new cultural
politics. Hence the
description of the new cultural politics as a politics of difference
rather than of equality. (281).
other words, Soja is arguing for the "right" to be an
"individual"; to be free to be "different" without
restriction, without imposition from homogenizing
"identifications" (including "equality").
And, he is suggesting that what is "liberating" about
the "postmetropolis" is that it is here that one can most
effectively realize the "right to be different".
But what needs to be addressed is: What are the conditions that
enable people (and "space") to be "different"?
If we assume by "differences" he means more fluid
identities of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc., does this not codify
the already existing differences and present existing social divisions
and inequalities as permanent? Or if the assumption is that what is
enabling about the postmetropolis is that it is basically a matter of
"remaking" differences (and their significations) at will,
does this not presuppose a "free subject" of choice? That is, a subject who, regardless of the conditions in which
she finds herself, believes that she can be/do whatever she desires?
aside the philosophical contradictions of such a position—i.e. the
fact that this postmodern notion of the "free subject"
presupposes an originary transcendental consciousness, which
subsequently somehow "chooses" difference, not on the basis of
any "norms" but pure, subjective desire—what Soja is
positing as given are the bourgeois relations of private property, and
the corresponding notion of civil citizenship.
Marx explains in "On the Jewish Question," the right to be an
"individual" presupposes private property relations, in which
people are separated from one another.
The right of the individual is a right "not founded upon the
relations between man and man, but rather upon the separation of man
from man. It is the right
of such separation. The
right of the circumscribed individual, withdrawn into himself"
(42). By this he means that
the "individual" considers other individuals as an impediment
to his or her own local freedom, that is, as in opposition to his/her
own interests. As Marx puts
it, the right of the individual is the right of private property, the
right to "enjoy one's fortune and dispose of it as one will,
without regard for the other men and independently of society"
is at stake here is that the post-theory of the city as a site of
"in-between-ness" is basically an argument for the
impossibility of collectivity and the rule of private interests.
When Soja discusses the "distinction" of difference he
is really making an argument for the "autonomy" of difference
from the structures that produce it.
In other words, this argument for difference is an argument for
the freedom of the individual, the freedom not to have one's
"rights" imposed upon by another, to be able to do whatever
one desires, without regard for others.
It is the understanding that the needs of all cannot be accounted
for by the social collective (thus only reforms for some can be
made). In other words, the
"postmetropolis" is an articulation of the opposition between
"private interests" (of, what Marx calls, the
"monadic" subject of civil society) and the "social
supposedly "above class" logic (of the irreconcilability of
"private interests" and the "social collective"), in
other words, is itself a historical product of private property
relations. It is not a natural or self-evident contradiction. Rather, it
is under private property relations—where a minority own and control
the means of production and social resources of society and thus the
social collective is organized to benefit the few—that
"difference" and "social collectivity" get
abstracted from one another and opposed.
It is under capitalism, which is based on the private ownership
of the means of production, that there exists a fundamental antagonism
between those who own the means of labor (and therefore the product of
labor) and those who must sell their labor in order to survive.
These exploitative relations form the underlying structure of
social relations today; they are at the root of the opposition between
the private and the collective. That
is, they determine the circumstances in which collectivity and the needs
of others represent an obstacle to profit for the owners and
impoverishment for workers. These
private property relations are actually historical relations of
production behind the "excessive particularity" of
"urban differences" that get represented in ahistorical terms
in urban post-theory, presenting these as eternal laws.
separation of the majority of individuals from ownership of the means of
production on which "civil citizenship" is based is central to
the development of the city in capitalism.
However, from a materialist position, this separation is not
viewed as the only viable basis of society.
On the contrary, this separation is not only changeable—it needs
to be transformed in order to bring about social arrangements, which
are no longer based on exploitation.
The separation of individuals from one another is the product of
capitalism because capitalism requires the existence of "free
labor"; that is, labor which is "freed" from the means of
production. In contrast to the Greek "polis", which was based
on slave labor and landed property, the capitalist metropolis requires a
laborer freed from the means of production because such a worker is
thereby compelled, in order to survive, to exchange her labor for wages,
which represent only a fraction of the actual value produced by her
labor. The surplus labor
appropriated by the capitalist in the process of production is the basis
of capital accumulation. Marx
theorizes this relation in Capital in terms of "The process of separation between the
workers and the conditions of their labour, to transform at one pole,
the social means of production and subsistence into capital, and at the
opposite pole, the mass of the population into wage-labourer, into the
free 'laboring poor'" (925). Whereas
in feudal relations, the worker was a direct producer, and therefore
owned the conditions of her labor, but was forced to turn over a surplus
production to the lord, capitalism presupposes the existence of the free
laborer without such means of production.
"Free workers," Marx writes, are free "in the
double sense that they neither form part of the means of production
themselves, as would be the case with slaves, serfs, etc., nor do they
own the means of production, as would be the case with the self-employed
peasant proprietors. The
free workers are therefore free from, unencumbered by, any means of
production of their own. With
the polarization of the commodity-market into these two classes [workers
and owners], the fundamental conditions of capitalist production are
present. As soon as the
capitalist production stands on its own feet, it not only maintains this
separation, but reproduces it on a constantly extending scale"
People could begin to conceptualize themselves, and be conceptualized, as "individuals" in other words when the material conditions for "free labor"—that is, "wage labor"—developed. However, far from being emancipated (free from exploitation and oppression), "freedom" here is freedom in the bourgeois sense: freedom for some to own private property while the majority of the population are "free" to be exploited by them. This freedom was fundamental to the development of capitalist centers of production in the towns and cities. Without being freed from the land (having no other means to survive than to sell their labor), capitalist production could not have recruited such large numbers of workers from agriculture to the cities. It is in this sense that Marx and Engels argue in The German Ideology that "[t]he town already is in actual fact the concentration of the population, of the instruments of production, of capital, of pleasures, of needs" (69). With the development of capitalism, the division between workers and owners grows exponentially (and this division is increasingly sharp in cities), since as capital continues to be accumulated, it becomes concentrated, creating larger and larger monopolies of ownership on the one hand, and worldwide propertylessness on the other. The class division is in other words increasingly "simplified".
this simplification of class is becoming more and more evident today.
Even the mouthpieces of capital such as the New York Times increasingly
acknowledge that, for instance, "New Studies on the growing
concentration of American wealth and income challenge a cherished part
of the country's self image: They show that rather than being an
egalitarian society, the United States has become the most economically
stratified of industrial nations" (Bradsher A1). Not only has class conflict not been resolved by
globalization—but capital accumulation has increasingly polarized the
relation between the haves and the have-nots.
The relation between workers and owners is a structural
relation—it is not one among many "differences" that are
equally determined and determining (or a "plural" relation),
but rather the base-ic "difference" (i.e., opposition) which
structures all other relations.
transnational capitalism, then, what is referred to as the "postmetropolis"
is really the restructuring of the social relations of production in the
wake of the increasing "globalization" of capital and the
internationalization of labor. That
is, the simplification of class, not its "complexification".
It is in the "global cities" above all that one sees
what Marx and Engels argued over 150 years ago: "The bourgeoisie
has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan
character to production and consumption . . . All old-established
national industrial have been destroyed or are daily destroyed . . . In
place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we
find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the productions of
distant lands and climes. In
place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we
have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of
nations" (Mannifesto of the Communist Party 476). But, as
Marx and Engels explain, beneath the "cosmopolitanism" of
(global) city is the universality of propertylessness, without which
there would be no private property, and no accumulation.
is the task of post-al theory to "complexify" class antagonism
through textual strategies of dispersion and dissemination, which
displace class conflict onto superstructural forms (i.e.
"culture"), in order to ideologically reconcile deepening
crises of capitalism. The
hybridization of social relations is seen as a progressive move by
contemporary urban theoriest because it "opposes" the
"rigidities" of homogenizing thinking in a way that recognizes
difference, rather than "suppressing" difference (and this
"suppression" is what these theorists believe is the real
source of oppression in global capitalism).
therefore, suggest that what Derrida calls "dissemination" has
radically transformed previously existing structures of production.
On these terms, the fundamental structures of production are
radically changed when, for instance, a corporation moves
("disseminates") its production sites "off
shore"—that is, out of the (internationally) recognized borders
of commerce. Or, to use
another example from the standpoint of "dissemination", the
"Enron crisis" represents a "radical undoing"
of the existing structures of corporate ownership and not evidence of
the subordination of public institutions and "democracy" to
capitalism. But this is to represent the fundamental class
contradictions between workers and owners as an epistemological
"problem" which can simply be solved by a new mode of thinking
which "rejects" binaries.
Far from representing a
"break" with "tradition" however, these are symptoms
of the deepening social contradictions in capitalism and in no way
transform the fundamental economic relation of
exploitation, in which the worker's surplus ("unpaid") labor
is appropriated by the owners of the means of production in order to
produce profit for the few.
In actuality, the "dissemination" of capital around the
world by newer and newer strategies, has not "complexified,"
"diffused," or "dispersed" but sharpened
class inequality around the globe.
By fetishizing "difference" urban post-theory is a
close alibi of the new modalities of accumulation, which the ruling
class is eager to portray as a radical break, opening onto new
"liberating" opportunities for humanity.
Insofar as the historical basis of the "postmetropolis" is in private property relations, post-theory is basically a defense of traditional civil citizenship under capitalism: the freedom of the isolated monadic subject (the pedestrian, the isolated citizen of desire), who places her own desires above the "collective good". Moreover, these "civil freedoms" are themselves freedoms of private property (not freedom from private property relations) and are, thus, freedoms for the ruling class.
What I am calling Red Urban Studies places the question of "social citizenship"—the other of civil citizenship—at the forefront of its analysis of the city. "Social citizenship" is not based on the right to be "different" (which is ultimately a code for the right to be exploited). Rather, as Teresa Ebert argues in "The Spectral Concrete: Bodies, Sex Work and (some notes on) Citizenship," social citizenship is based on "the rights of economic security and social well being for all" (279). That is, on the right to be free from unmet social needs—from hunger, from inadequate education and housing, from racist and sexist oppression, from oppression based on sexuality and disability, from the exclusion of public spaces and from expert medical care. . . A society, in other words, in which people do not see others as an obstacle to their individual gain, but rather see themselves as part of a collectivity, whose advance represents the advance of all, not just the few. Social citizenship, moreover, cannot be achieved within the existing relations of private property. Social citizenship requires the transformation of the exploitative relations of production, in which a few monopolize the social resources, and subject the majority to conditions of scarcity, oppression, etc. There can be no social freedom in a society in which some privately own the means of production and, therefore, are able to profit at the expense of another.
And yet the very process that is globally drawing workers into cities, making "megacities" (cities of 10 million or more inhabitants) no longer the exception but the "rule", is also the objective basis of social citizenship. That is, the objective basis of a society freed from exploitation. This is because the development of the city in capitalism is a contradictory one. On the one hand, it subjects more and more of the world to "universal propertylessness" against the concentration of property in fewer and fewer hands. On the other, through the development of the forces of production, which unite workers around the world on increasingly global terms, it also makes possible the united transformation of privatization of social resources. Indeed, as capitalism develops, it renders privatization less and less socially and historically viable. For the first time in history, it becomes possible for society to produce the means of meeting needs, and advancing/widening those needs, on a mass scale. Never before, for example, have people been forced to starve due to a surplus of food products, as is the case today with the massive industrialization of agriculture and food production. Previously under class relations, people starved due to scarcity—the inability to produce enough food due to the low level of technology and small-scale production. What prevents the equal distribution of social goods is the exploitative basis on which production takes place, due to private ownership of the means of production and the products of labor. That is, the private property relations in which all social needs are turned into commodities available only to those who can afford it.
But of course it is in the interest of capitalists to maintain exploitative relations, to do everything possible to forestall a society in which social needs are the priority of social arrangements. As Ebert explains, social citizenship is under massive assault by transnational capitalism—an assault that has grown ever more devastating in recent decades. "We are witnessing, today," Ebert writes, "the almost complete dismantling (especially in the United States and Great Britain) of 'social citizenship' as it was articulated even in the liberal 'welfare state', and the increasing gap between the rich and poor—between the transnational bourgeoisie and the international proletariat—is growing at a staggering rate. We find capitalism today waging an intensive war against 'social citizenship'—against the rights of economic security and social well being for all—and it is reviving the property relations and possessive individualism of civil society as the hegemonic realm of freedom" (279).
The "civil citizenship" of urban post-theory is part of this revival of private property relations. It is the freedom of the "monadic" subject of civil society—of the individual from (state) regulation and collective norms—which is modeled on the freedom/rights of private property that is being defended in urban post-theory and its emphasis on "hybridity", "in-between-ness" and the "concrete"/"specific" as excessive.
fact that this excessive notion of difference is not
"subversive" but highly conducive to the dominant corporate
practices can be seen in the way in which corporations themselves deploy
the "right to difference" in order to "market" the
increasing fragmentation of the city, to avoid having to pay municipal
taxes. For example, the
conservative City Journal has recently advocated the
"breaking up" of big cities into their "different"
component parts to be "more democratic" ("Let's Break Up
the Big Cities," by Howard Husock).
Deploying arguments that are virtually identical to
"radical" urban post-theory about the need to be free from
totalizing municipal thinking and practices which impose order and unity
on "differences" or separate entities, Husock supports the
growing "incorporation movements" which secede from
municipalities to form their own "distinct" communities and
neighborhoods, rather than being tied down by public
"bureaucracy" (which, he suggests, unfairly distributes
resources to people who do not "earn" them, such as the poor
and the unemployed). In
other words, once again, Husock takes the conflict between the interests
of the individual and the collective as eternal, and does not bother to
inquire into the historical conditions that produce poverty in the first
place. Arguing against such
urban theorists as David Rusk ("onetime mayor of Albuquerque and
self-described former civil rights and anti-poverty worker, [who]
travels the lecture circuit spreading the gospel of his 1993 book, Cities
Without Suburbs,"), who advocates the integration of suburbs
into larger municipalities as a means of more equal distribution of
resources, Husock contends that we should instead follow the new
activist "localism" which supports forming "smaller,
decentralized city governments for neighborhoods that secede from a
Against the critique of the class politics of such a project
Husock maintains that
is popular not because it promises a sweetheart deal for a few
privileged suburbanites at the expense of the greater good, or because
the unsophisticated fail to understand a demonstrably superior
metropolitan approach. Instead, it rests on common sense—which
economics and political science amply confirm. Voters' common sense
tells them that the closer they are to government, the more it will
respond to their demands. They will see their hard-earned tax dollars
spent on the kind of projects they prefer and will have a greater
assurance that interest groups—such as public employee unions—will
not usurp local government for the benefit of their own members, who may
not even live in the city in which they work.
thus heralds California Governor Pete Wilson's effort to allow residents
to "detach" from their city residence to privately obtain
the services they want, rather than relying on the city
"bureaucracy". This is of course the same Pete Wilson
who supported the Referendum 187, barring any suspected
"illegal" residents from all social services, and the
principle is the same: individuals should have no responsibility to
anyone but their local ties. Meaning that the very structures that
produce racial, ethnic and class divisions should not be transformed,
rather they should be formalized: an updated form of transnational
segregation, which justifies the private appropriation of social wealth.
On these terms, once again, it is not economic exploitation that
is the cause of inner city poverty, homelessness and poor school
systems, but public institutions and resources:
"Freed from centralized bureaucracies, these neighborhoods,
including many of the older, poorer ones, would prosper."
And how might they prosper?
By welcoming industries that richer communities block or
discourage—such as "waste-recycling centers or power
the guise of a "radical proposal" to benefit persons
subordinated to poverty, Husock is merely articulating the developments
of transnational capital to subordinate more levels of human existence
to production for profit. The
fact that this is far from a subversive proposal is evidenced in the
class contradictions involved in subordinating social needs to
production for profit: impoverished communities around the nation, and
the people who support them, have for decades been struggling against
the attempt by corporate and municipal officials to turn poorer
communities into the sites of toxic waste dumps, which have had
devastating effects on the people who live and work in these areas.
Moreover, the class politics of the supposedly "left"
urban discourses of today become strikingly clear when we see that they
basically mimic the movement capital at the level of theory, by
representing as "solutions" to urban inequality the very
strategies by which corporations further exploit, divide and impoverish
the working class.
urban post-theory Husock appeals to the "common sense" of
infinitely variable differences among people to dismantle collectivity:
"There's no shortage of theory to explain why this long-standing
American preference for localism makes sense. The key fact: we don't all
want the same things from our local jurisdictions. Those with small
children may care most about education, unmarried joggers may want to
spend public money on parks, and the tidy-minded may want the streets
cleaned three times a week." Never
does the possibility of a society in which all people have access to the
means meet their needs emerge.
reason "localism" is popular, from the right to the left, is
because it supports the dominant economic interests of transnational
capital, and the people who benefit from it.
Corporations have an interest in "breaking up" the
cities so that they will be even less economically responsible for
social services in the (larger) city.
In contrast to the previous era of the city of the "welfare
state," today, as part of the cutting of social services for the
poor, corporations are creating "business improvement
districts" (BIDs) in order to avoid having to pay for public social
services. So, as William
Tabb explains in "Privatization and Urban Issues: A Global
Perspective," rather than paying taxes for city/municipal garbage
disposal, corporations in BIDs are now "cooperating" to
provide such services only for the local region in which they are
located. For example,
corporations now only pay taxes that support individual corporate
"blocks" rather than all citizens who live and work in the
city. Not only do BIDs
appeal to the "inefficiency" of municipal
"bureaucracy"—they contest the very notion that taxes should
be used to support the public.
But, as Tabb argues, "The same corporations that demanded
the lower taxes that starved the public sector have found [in BIDs] a
privatized way of paying for the services they want while avoiding
paying for public schools, emergency rooms at the hospitals, shelters
for the homeless, or subsidized housing for the working class"
(34). And the result has
been "to deny services for the poor by making it more and more
difficult to obtain those services and redefining entitlements out of
existence (except where forced by court challenges to begrudgingly, and
to as limited an extent as they could get away with, restore
benefits)" (37). This is the same economic interest that encouraged
corporations in the postwar period to move from the downtown districts
of cities to the suburbs, and the rich to follow them—another
development which urban post-theory has embraced as a
"radical" break from older capitalist urban formations.
is at stake here is that urban "fracturing" and
"dissemination" is the logic of the complete dismantling
of social institutions and continued privatization of human needs under
transnational capitalism: it
represents the further subordination of the needs of the majority to
commodity production and exchange.
It is the attempt by transnational capital to stave off crisis
and maximize as far as possible its rate of profit by privatizing all
aspects of social life, making them occasions for surplus-value
extraction. Therefore to take as the end point of analysis the spatial
effects of this transfer of social wealth, is not only to entirely erase
what has caused such spatial differentiation—it is to represent the
deterioration of the social conditions of life for the majority as
"liberating," even "subversive". It is not surprising, then, that there has been such a
"boom" in urban studies in recent decades, which is, with few
exceptions, entirely underwritten by bourgeois post-theory.
is important to point out here that this subordination of public welfare
to private profit cannot be resolved within capitalism by state measures
and policy but must be transformed at its root: the social relations of
production based on private property.
While the state, and federal and municipal levels of government
continue to be the primary institution through which workers in class
society obtain social services, which their wages do not cover, these
services are administered in the general interests of the ruling class.
Within capitalism public services, such as health services, food
assistance, and subsidized housing, are provided to workers in order to
reproduce the conditions necessary for capitalist production: so that
workers are better able to return to work, which is of course necessary
not only to the survival of the individual worker, but to providing
labor reserves for capitalist production.
Capitalists in other words have an interest in
"reproducing" the workforce, so workers can return to work and
produce more value (i.e., more profit for the capitalists).
But this "meeting of needs" under capitalism is always
underwritten by production for profit: it only meets the needs of
workers insofar as this is profitable to the ruling class.
As capitalism has developed in the post-war era, deepening the
division between haves and have-nots, capitalists have sought to further
increase their rate of return by shifting the burden of
"reproduction" almost entirely onto the backs of the working
class. This means that
workers' wages must cover more and more services that were once covered
by the "welfare state," itself financed through taxes, which
corporations are increasingly exempt from.
What we are seeing in the cities, in short, is the subjugation of
virtually all aspects of "urban" life to commodification, to
the production of profit. Such
a situation can only be addressed by transforming the fundamental
production relations on which the reproductive functions of the
the dismantling of public services that this transfer of social wealth
to private hands has involved, cities have less and less federal and
state funding. And, in the
wake of the cutting of federal funds to municipalities, not only have
there been movements to "secede" from cities, but cities now
increasingly turn to urban corporate enterprise to produce profit.
They turn in other words less to federal and state aid within the
nation, and more toward other international cities. The "sister
cities" program is an index of this development. A program that developed in the 1950s to encourage
international cultural exchange and diplomacy, "sister cities"
have now become one of the effective means of exploiting cuts in federal
funding to cities. Under
the current sister city programs, cities invest (with private and public
monies) in other cities around the world to develop trade connections.
They do so, for instance, by investing in technology centers or
corporate chains, which not only brings increased "revenue" to
cities involved in the program, but increases migration of people
(workers) between these cities. As a New York Times article
reported, "Economic development has long been pursued at the
national level by the Commerce Department, [a spokesman for Sister
Cities International] acknowledged. And states and large municipalities,
which can afford offices of economic development and send trade missions
around the world, have long been doing business internationally. Now,
however, more and more cities are reaching out internationally through
city-to-city relationships," in which
"the emphasis is changing to a more bottom-line
approach" (Honan, New York Times, July 8, 2000). So far have
these sister cities programs expanded, the article goes on to indicate,
that by the end of 1999 approximately 1,280 American cities had sister
cities in other parts of the world (Seattle, for example has 20, from
Christchurch, New Zealand, to Haiphong, Vietnam. New York City has six).
The empirico-spatial analysis of the city that underwrites urban
post-theory has led urban post-theorists to read the surface level
developments of transnational capitalism as representing a radical break
with the structures of capitalist production (i.e. exploitation).
As a result, they read the "city" as having an
"autonomous" agency ("beyond" the state) and is now
a "particularly" important site of "resistance". But
this reading of the "particular" importance of the "postmetropolis"
as a site of "resistance" is actually a legitimation of the
privatization of urban social institutions and resources by
transnational capital--that is, it is a legitimation of the war on
social citizenship that is taking place as urban centers, urban social
institutions (public education, healthcare, etc.), and social welfare
are increasingly being dismantled and privatized (transferred under the
direction of transnational corporations and, therefore, subordinated to
the dictates of production for profit). In taking the empirical
realities of the global "flexibility" of capitalist urban
relations as a sign of greater freedom and mobility and as a marker of
growing acceptance of the "right to be different," urban
post-theory is simply "catching up" with the theorists of a
triumphalist capitalism for whom freedom is freedom of "market
relations" not freedom from exploitation and dire need for all.
post-theory is part of a much broader massive assault on social
citizenship by transnational capital and the subordination of the needs
of the majority to production of profit.
It is an effort to restore a "civil citizenship" based
on freedoms of private property as the only ground of
"freedom" for individuals. When, therefore, Soja attempts to
suggest that the new struggles for the "right to be different"
is not an abandonment of struggle for social equality—this is a
not so subtle attempt to erase the class politics of post-al
to substitute the relations of private property for a society in which
people are freed from unmet need is indeed to retreat from the struggle
for equality and justice. But
never before has the struggle for economic equality been so urgently
needed. And that struggle,
in order to be effective globally and not just for the few, needs to be
able to produce systematic knowledge of the social totality—it cannot
become enamored with the subtleties of capital and commodity culture.
It cannot "acknowledge fragmentation and incompleteness as inevitable
conditions of postmodern life" and reject "overarching
solutions," as Margaret Crawford argues in Everyday Urbanism
(13; my emphasis). Rather it must be able to explain the underlying
material contradictions of contemporary urban life in order to transform
them and bring about economic equality for all.
What is necessary is a Red Urban Studies, which takes as its
starting point Marx's argument that production determines, in the final
analysis, all aspects of human life.
urban studies, in other words, is an analysis of the material basis of
the "city" in production (in which the "surface" is
shown to be the effect of its "other").
The city not as a "thing in itself," but as the
manifestation of a deeper set of social conflicts in capitalist
relations of production. By beginning with class, a red urban studies
cuts through the surface to get at the core of "city" life, to
demonstrate how "shifts" in city life are determined by
capital. The urgency of
this question is thus an objective effect of capitalism. The constant
revolutionizing of the means of production means that cities serve not
only as sites of concentration of capital and labor, but as the most
advanced sectors of production, they also become the most contradictory
sites of capitalist development. They
must be formed and re-formed to fit the needs of capital and thus
constantly bring capital and labor into intense conflict.
A red urban studies unpacks these contradictions, and goes bellow
the surface, in order to demonstrate why capitalism has produced these
contradictions, why capitalism cannot solve them, and why only socialism
can bring an end to the fundamental antagonisms at the core of
Social citizenship, which is at the core of a red urban studies, is citizenship based on freedom from exploitation, freedom from necessity, and social and economic well being for all. It does not understand the individual (and her differences) as "eternally" opposed to the social collective but shows how this understanding is itself a product of private property relations (and not "in excess" of them). It is the recognition that "freedom" (of any kind) and "equality" is not an ideal assertion of independence from regulations (or collectivity), but itself is determined by collective material conditions: the social relations of production and one's position within these relations and the division of labor. Red urban studies, in short, is an investigation into the conditions necessary to bring about social citizenship: freedom from exploitation and from economic necessity for all.
Keith. "Gap in Wealth
In U.S. Called Widest in West." New York Times April 17, 1995:
Everyday Urbanism. Ed.
John Chase, Margaret Crawford and
John Kaliski. New York: The
Monacelli Press, 1999.
Certeau, Michel. "Walking
in the City." The Cultural Studies Reader. Ed. Simon During,
Teresa. "The Spectral
Concrete: Bodies, Sex Work and (some notes on) Citizenship." Transformation:
Marxist Boundary Work in Theory, Economics, Politics and Culture V.
2. Syracuse: The Red
Genealogy, History." The
Foucault Reader. Ed.
Paul Rabinow. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984.
Ganter, Brian. "The Hidden Lesson of Enron." Yellow Times.Org, Feb. 12, 2002. Online: http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=120&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
William, H. "Sister
Cities of the World Find a Common Cause" New York Times,
July 8, 2000.
Husock, Howard. "Let’s Break Up the Big Cities." City Journal Vol. 8, No. 1, Winter 1998. Online. http://www.city-journal.org/html/issue8_1.html
Anthony D. Re-Presenting
the City: Ethnicity, Capital and Culture in the 21st-Century Metropolis.
New York: New York University Press, 1996.
Marx, Karl. Capital Vol. 1. Trans. Ben Fowkes. New York: Penguin, 1990.
Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy.
Trans. M. Nicolaus. New
York: Penguin, 1993.
"On the Jewish Question," The Marx-Engels Reader.
Ed. Robert C. Tucker. New
York: W.W. Norton & Company,
Karl and Frederick Engels. The
German Ideology. Ed.
C.J. Arthur. New York:
International Publishers, 1995.
Manifesto of the Communist Party. In The Marx-Engels
Reader. Ed. Robert C.
Tucker. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978.
Critical Studies of Cities and Regions.
Blackwell Publishers, 2000.
Globalization, and the Fate of Cities," Monthly Review Vol.
52 February 2001
For a materialist analysis of Enron and the relation between
"democracy" and capitalism, see Brian Ganter's text,
"The hidden lesson of Enron," YellowTimes.Org (http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=120&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)
 It is not incidental that Husock celebrates the work of one of the first and perhaps most famous of "radical" postmodern urban theorists, Jane Jacobs.