Mark Purcell on Lefebvre’s spatial revolution

Path to the Possible

Another excerpt from my book, which is now “in press,” on Henri Lefebvre’s understanding of revolution…

For Lefebvre the political project of autogestion and democracy is always also a project to transform the way we produce and use space.  He imagines politics to always be spatial, as for example when he imagines a transition from the industrial city to urban society.  In The Production of Space he sets out the more general project of moving from “abstract space” to “differential space” (see also The Urban Revolution, pp. 37, 125-127)  The former is a space “determined economically by capital, dominated socially by the bourgeoisie, and ruled politically by the state” (Production of Space, p. 227).  It is a space of domination that has been expropriated and alienated from users and is controlled by a heteronomous elite.  Abstract space reduces space to its economic function as either a means…

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