Posts Tagged 'housing'

Militant Modernism, by Owen Hatherley

When devastating capitalist crisis offers a justification for the savage intensification of market discipline (for the masses), to counter-attack on either political or aesthetic grounds may seem audacious enough. To do so on both at once is outrageous and, in the case of Militant Modernism, outrageously brilliant – with thrilling style and a swaggering contempt Hatherley dismisses the pathetic unoriginality of new private housing, market-fetishising artistic practices and much else besides. He serves up a newly emancipating rediscovery of socialist modernism in public housing, planning, film and sexuality and writes with exhilarating confidence and astonishing thematic breadth: “Forward! Never forgetting.” AB

Zero Books; 2009; 160 pages

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City: Cities for people, not for profit

This special issue of City investigates the theory and practice of resisting commodification in urban communities. The case studies offer a fascinating insight into struggles for justice in the city and include a diverse range of examples across the Europe, the US and elsewhere. The theoretical contributions are less impressive, though Slaters’ brilliant and surgical dismantling of gentrifying approaches to ‘regeneration’ provides a notable exception. Otherwise the specific modalities of urban power are not persuasively defined as autonomous from power operations in capitalist society as a whole whilst the strategic outlook eschews the working class without presenting a viable alternative. AB

Special Issue; Volume 13/Numbers 2-3/June-September 2009

Routledge; 2009; 210 pages

Where the Other Half Lives: Lower Income Housing in a Neoliberal World, by Sarah Glynn (ed.)

This collection, as timely as it is readable, offers an excellent account of this key site of class struggle and hums with insight, anger and strategic perspective. Glynn in particular is passionate but never romantic, and remains firmly rooted in a class analysis of the aggressive global intensification of market relations since the 1980s. Whilst not all the contributions achieve her rigour, the internationally comparative breadth is admirable. But tenants never become merely passive victims of cutbacks, and possibilities for workers’ resistance are as prominent as the mad and inhuman outcomes of commodified solutions to the human need for shelter. AB

Pluto Press; 2009; 340 pages


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers. George Orwell

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