Monday, November 18, 2013

An interview with David Harvey

on struggle over urban spaces (via Chapati Mystery) " can see that production creates surplus value, but you can also see that the value is not necessarily realized at the point where it is produced–the value is realized somewhere else. For example, value can be produced in a Chinese factory, and then realized by Wal-Mart in Columbus, Ohio. So, urbanization is, in many ways, a field of realization of surplus value. There is an inner connectivity in the circulation of capital between production and realization, and struggles in the urban sphere are just as important to value production and realization as are struggles in the workplace.

Now, the workers can struggle for higher wages and better working conditions, and perhaps they succeed in the production process. But, from their standpoint, they then take their extra money, they return home, and they find that they suddenly have to pay it back to the bourgeoisie in the form of higher rents, credit card charges, telephone bills, and so on. So, from the standpoint of the worker, there is a concern not simply with what happens at the point of production, but also with how much housing costs, and how much you pay for goods and services, commodities in the shops, hidden charges from paying interest on mortgages, and all the rest of it.

So, I construe these two forms of class struggle, which in a lot of theories are kept strictly apart, as being a contradictory unity. Therefore, the struggles that go on in cities over daily life are just as important as the struggles going on in workplaces. That unity has always been very important to me, although a lot of people prefer not to acknowledge it."

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