So hi to all, I finally joined the networked beast.
The first couple of days/posts will simply be my adding things that have interested me in recent weeks.
Here’s an interesting article on the uniqueness of the urban condition. In it Magnusson discusses the city as a special form of community wherein things and people can come together to create, exchange etc. He particularly emphasizes it out of political nature.
“To think of the municipality as a political authority outside the order of sovereignty is to suggest that its roots are in the ubiquitous practices of local self-government rather than in the state as such. It is to pick up on Weber’s conception of the city as a sphere of “non-legitimate domination”: non-legitimate precisely in the sense that is outside the order of sovereignty.“
Most interesting is his take on the power or ability of the municipality as a form of political organization, which he argues in today’s “globalized” world of the mega-cities are located oustide and above the power of the state. Moreover, this fact gives them the capability of being social leaders when it comes to dealing with the new problems of the 21st century.
Although, i might add many such as Mike Davis and John Robb (see links below) argue that in fact the city is in fact or (at least will come to be) the devil which will cause all sorts of problems in the future/near term.
A quote from the Mike Davis interview I link to below
“But what is clear, over the last decade, is that the poor – and not just the poor in classical urban neighborhoods, but the poor who, for a long time, have been organized in leftwing parties, or religious groups, or populist parties – this new poor, on the fringes of the city, have been organizing themselves massively over the last decade. You have to be struck by both the number and the political importance of some of these emerging movements, whether that’s Sadr, in Iraq, or an equivalent slum-based social movement in Buenos Aires. Clearly, in the last decade, there have been dramatic increases in the organization of the urban poor, who are making new and, in some cases, unprecedented demands for political and economic participation. And where they are totally excluded, they make their voices heard in other ways.”
John Robb of “Global Guerilla” fame (of particular interest are his many posts on 4th generation warfare and the problem of open source non-state actors)