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Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

Rousing manifesto on the city and the commons from the acclaimed theorist

Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Do the financiers and developers control access to urban resources or do the people? Who dictates the quality and organization of daily life?

Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.

Reviews

  • “Whose streets? Our streets! In Rebel Cities David Harvey shows us how we might turn this slogan into a reality. That task—and this book—could hardly be more important.”
  • “David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.”
  • “Challenging and timely.”
  • “Forensic and ferocious.”
  • “Harvey’s clarion demand [is] 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.”
  • “Intellectuals in the Occupy movement [will] appreciate Rebel Cities' descriptions of the historic and international parallel of urban struggles to reclaim public space and build culture, and be intrigued by Harvey’s musings on how to grow a lively, resilient revolutionary anticapitalist movement.”
  • “A consistent intelligent voice of the left.”

Blog

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    Marxist geographer David Harvey recently spoke with il manifesto about the contradictions inherent in capitalism, the possibilities for its undoing and where Syriza and Podemos fit within its opposition.

    At 79 years of age and fresh from publishing a new book (Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, Oxford University Press), David Harvey is still reading social change with one eye on Marx and another on the social movements.

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  • Verso authors declare support for student debt strike

    On Monday, February 23, fifteen former students of Corinthian Colleges Inc., a network of for-profit colleges, declared a debt strike by refusing to repay their federal loans. Taking a bold and unprecendented stand on the current student debt crisis, the Corinthian 15, who are members of the Debt Collective, are demanding that the Department of Education discharge their debts, as well as those of former and current Corinthian students. 



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  • Frédéric Lordon: Syriza faces a choice between capitulation and open sedition

    This Sunday, 25 January, Greeks will vote in parliamentary elections of potentially historic importance, with Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza coalition currently ahead in the opinion polls. But according to Frédéric Lordon, Germany’s grip on the situation and the Greek radical Left party’s own inconsistencies might condemn it to some painful acrobatics.


    For a long time Europe has been caught in a constitutional trap of its own making, with its neo-liberal treaties offering just two ways out of the current impasse: 1) the financial collapse of the European project, under the weight of its own internal contradictions; or 2) some political mishap coming along that will overthrow the whole system. The ECB’s announcement of the OMT programme [1] has avoided the first of these eventualities – for now – which leaves the second. And that’s the reason why the ‘European-institutional party’ has come to see democracy not as a normal state of political life but rather as a permanent source of threats – and it thinks itself justified in using any means necessary to stamp them out.

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