Good Capitalists and the Meltdown

Suburbia has brainwashed Americans into being good capitalists, which brought about the economic crisis, according to neo-Marxist economic geographer David Harvey.

Fast Company's Greg Lindsay attends a recent discussion with Harvey to hear more about how cities and suburbia helped fuel the meltdown.

"On Tuesday night in Manhattan, Harvey made a rare American appearance to discuss 'experimental geography' and the role cities and suburbia played in the crisis. Starting from the idea of a 'geographic unconscious'--'the way we think of space and time as 'natural' when they're really constructed,'--Harvey blamed suburbia for brainwashing Americans into being good capitalists.

But the connections between urbanism and capitalism go deeper than that. In an essay published in New Left Review, he drew connections between Haussmann's Paris, postwar America, gentrification and China's instant cities. In each case, the construction efforts employed huge quantities of labor and required new forms of capital and credit, whether FHA mortgages or CDOs. In his estimation, China's breakneck urbanization and the appetite for raw materials this creates is the only thing propping global capitalism up."

Full Story: David Harvey's Urban Manifesto: Down With Suburbia; Down With Bloomberg's New York

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95