Will "Rebel Cities" Revolt Against Global Inequality?
Writing for the Canadian progressive news site Rabble.ca, Leonard asks Harvey about what Marxist urban analysis reveals about the role of cities in anti-capitalist struggles. In his new book, "Rebel Cities", Harvey argues that there has always been a "terrain of struggle" over cities. Now, with economic crisis and extremes of wealth and poverty, Harvey believes there is a "volcano waiting to explode" against the present system, and that it will happen in cities. In regards to China, for example, he observes:
"look at the urban side of that. Go to a place like Shanghai or some of these new cities that are being entirely built in China, the urbanization of China is phenomenal. The urban dimension to it is very significant. Then the question rises, what urban model is being followed. For instance in the Chinese case, sadly in many ways, its a version of what happened in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. The Chinese are building gated communities, they are building suburbs, the automobile is going everywhere. It's an environmental disaster, and social inequality is escalating. There is a real set of problems there that is creating a good deal of unrest. I wouldn't be at all surprised if people don't see urban rebellions going on in China. In other words there's much talk about what's happening differently between nation states, but to shift the conversation a bit, let's talk about what's going on in the cities."