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The city we built and they stole | openDemocracy

19/06/2012 15:02

horizontalism he doesnʼt have much to offer in its place. Somewhat paradoxically he initially appears to fall back on Murray Bookchinʼs (anarchist!) proposal for a ʻconfederation of municipalitiesʼ before deciding the notion is insufficient. In the end he wants urban networks that

“may be heirarchical but not monocentric, corporatist but nevertheless democratic, egalitarian and horizontal, systemically nested and federated [...] internally discordant and contested, but solidarious against capitalist class power [...] deeply engaged in the struggle to undermine and eventually overthrow the power of capitalist laws of value on the world market to dictate the social relations under which we work and live.”

The question is how such an endlessly qualified wishlist can ever materalise around a clear proposal: can an organisation be both heirarchical and horizontal? What does all this look like? Harvey, generally laudable for the clarity of his style, nevertheless has the classic academic tendency to drown us in terminology when heʼs less certain what he actually means. Much clearer is Harveyʼs clarion demand that it is “we”, not the developers, corporate planners, or political elites, who truly build the city, and only we who can seize back our right to its control. Our labour, our social relations, our creativity, our vitality are not commodities to be sold at profit from the social factory. The Right to the City (


means claiming back the cities we built, and

they stole. Like


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978 84 460 3799 6 dossier harvey  
978 84 460 3799 6 dossier harvey