right to the city

The Right to the City (1968) by Henri Lefebvre – via kindle version from anarchist library [https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/henri-lefebvre-right-to-the-city]

Notes: The ‘right to the city’ is an idea and a slogan that was first proposed by Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le Droit à la ville and that has been reclaimed more recently by social movements, thinkers and several progressive local authorities alike as a call to action to reclaim the city as a to-created space — a place for life detached from the growing effects that commodification and capitalism have had over social interaction and the rise of spatial inequalities in worldwide cities throughout the last two centuries. While Lefebvre never identified with libertarian Marxism, his conceptual framework of Right to the City is of use to a libertarian Marxist reading.

in the city.. as the day.. sans any form of m\a\p

notes/quotes from 79 pgs:



This work wants to break up systems, not to substitute another system, but to open up through thought and action towards possibilities by showing the horizon and the road. Against a form of reflection which tends towards formalism, a thought which tends towards an opening **leads the struggle.

*to me.. don’t have to show the horizon and the road.. rather.. need to listen

**doesn’t have to be a struggle.. to me.. that’s a red flag we’re doing it/life wrong

This little book does not only propose to critically analyse thoughts and activities related to urbanism. *It’s aim is to allow its problems to enter into consciousness and political policies.

*to me.. cancerous distraction.. not to mention a time/energy suck.. if we get to the center/deeper of the problem.. focus/centering on ‘problem’ ness becomes irrelevant.. as we dance with curiosity over decision making

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness)

From the theoretical and practical situation of problems (from the problematic) concerning the city, *reality and possibilities of urban life, let us begin by taking what used to the called a ‘cavalier attitude’.

*need to let go a ton for those to be legit realities and possibilities


Industrialization and Urbanization

To present and give an account of the ‘urban problematic’, the point of departure must be the process of industrialization. Beyond any doubt this process has been the dynamic of transformations in society for the *last century and a half. If one distinguishes between the inductor and the induced, one can say that the process of industrialization is inductive and that one can count among the induced, problems related to growth and planning, questions concerning the city and the development of the urban reality, without omitting the growing importance of leisure activities and questions related in ‘culture’. Industrialization characterizes modern society. This does not inevitably carry with it terms of ‘industrial society’, if we want to define it. Although urbanization and the problematic of the urban figure among the induced effects and not among the causes or inductive reason, **the preoccupation these words signify accentuate themselves in such a way that one can define as an urban society the social reality which arises around us. This definition retains a feature which becomes capital.

*need to go back too far to get to legit free ness.. to me.. to date.. nothing is a model of that.. so will probably skim over much of this history ness.. (rather than pick it apart – ha)

**our preoccupation with words.. inductions.. analyzings.. et al.. makes that reality.. not reality of legit free people.. but of whales in sea world.. so much we need to let go of

This city is itself ‘oeuvre’, a feature which contrasts with the irreversible tendency towards money and commerce, towards exchange and products. Indeed the oeuvre is use value and the the product is exchange value. The eminent use of the city, that is, of its streets and squares, edifices and monuments, is la fête (a celebration which consumes unproductively, without other advantage but pleasure and prestige and enormous riches in money and objects).


The city preserves the organic character of community which comes from the village and which translates itself into a corporate organization (or guild).

not organic

When exploitation replaces oppression, *creative capacity disappears. The very notion of ‘creation’ is blurred or degenerates by miniaturizing itself into ‘making’ and ‘creativity’ (the ‘do-it-yourself,’ etc.). Which brings forth arguments to back up a thesis: **city and urban reality are related to use value. Exchange value and the generalization of commodities by industrialization tend to destroy it by subordinating the city and urban reality which are refuges of use value, the origins of a virtual predominance and revalorization of use.. In the urban system we are attempting to analyse, action is exercized over specific conflicts: between use value and exchange value

*gone forever ago.. need gershenfeld something else law et al

**destroyed by subordination/refuge ness.. forever ago.. via any form of m\a\p (includes naval gazing at ie: words.. inductions.. analyzings.. value ness.. et al)


This almost shapeless gigantic agglomeration enables the holders of decision-making centres to carry out the worst political ventures.

to me.. decision making itself is a worst case venture.. need to try curiosity over decision making


But today exchange value is so dominant over use and use value that it more or less suppresses it. There is nothing original in this notion. The creation which corresponds to our times, to their tendencies and (threatening) horizons is it not the centre of decision-making? This centre, gathering together training and information, capacities of organization and institutional decision-making, appears as a project in the making of a new centrality, chat of power. The *greatest attention must be paid to this concept, the practice which it denotes and justifies.

*again.. decision making is unmooring us law.. a cancerous distraction


Even the cafe (the bistro) has encountered the resentment of the builders of those large housing estates, their taste for asceticism, the reduction of ‘to inhabit’ to habitat. 

Urban order thus decomposes into two stages: individual and owner-occupied houses and housing estates. *But there is no society without order, signified, perceptible, legible on the ground. Suburban disorder harbours an order: a glaring opposition of individually owner-occupied detached houses and housing estates. This opposition tends to constitute a system of significations still urban even into de-urbanization. Each sector defines itself (by and in the consciousness of the inhabitants) in relation to the other, against the ocher. The inhabitants themselves have little consciousness of the internal order of their sector, but the people from the housing estates see and perceive themselves as not being villa dwellers. This is reciprocal. At the heart of this opposition the people of the housing estates entrench themselves into the logic of the habitat and the people of owner-occupied houses entrench themselves into the make-believe of habitat. For some it is the rational organization (in appearance) of space. For others it is the presence of the dream, of nature, health, apart from the bad and unhealthy city. But the logic of the habitat is only perceived in relation to make-believe, and make-believe in relation to logic. People represent themselves to themselves by what they are lacking or believe to be lacking. In this relationship, the imaginary has more power. It overdetermines logic: the fact of inhabiting is perceived by reference to the owner-occupation of detached dwellings. **These dwellers regret the absence of a spatial logic while the people of the housing estates regret not knowing the joys of living in a detached house. Hence the surprising results of surveys. More than 80 per cent of French people aspire to be owner-occupiers of a house, while a strong majority also declare themselves to be ‘satisfied’ with social housing estates. The outcome is not important here. What should be noted is that consciousness of the city and of urban reality is dulled for one or the other, so as to disappear. The practical and theoretical (ideological) destruction of the city cannot but leave an enormous emptiness, not including administrative and other problems increasingly difficult to resolve. This emptiness is less important for a critical analysis than the source of conflict expressed by the end of the city and by the extension of a mutilated and deteriorated, but real, urban society. The suburbs are urban, within a dissociated morphology, the empire of separation and scission between the elements of what had been created as unity and simultaneity.

*oi.. aziz let go law.. carhart-harris entropy law.. et al

**oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space


Third period. One finds or reinvents urban reality, but not without suffering from its destruction in practice or in thinking. One attempts to restitute centrality. Would this suggest that class strategy has disappeared? This is not certain. It has changed. To the old centralities, to the decomposition of centres, it substitutes the centre of decision-making.

oi again on dm ness.. need to let go of finite set of choices ness

today we have means for infinitesimal structures approaching the limit of structureless\ness and/or vice versa .. aka: ginorm/small ness


Philosophy and the City


The separation between town and country takes place among the first and fundamental divisions of labour, with the distribution of tasks according to age and sex (the biological division of labour), with the organization of labour according to tools and skills (technical division). The social division of labour between town and country corresponds to the separation between material and intellectual labour, and consequently, between the natural and the spiritual. Intellectual labour is incumbent upon the city: functions of organization and direction, political and military activities, elaboration of theoretical knowledge (philosophy and sciences). The whole divides itself, separations are established, including the separation between the Physics and the Logos, between theory and practice, and in practice, the separations between between praxis (action on human groups), poiesis (creation of ‘oeuvres’), techne (activities endowed with techniques and directed towards product). The countryside, both practical reality and representation, will carry images of nature, of being, of the innate. The city will carry images of effort, of will, of subjectivity, of contemplation, without these representations becoming disjointed from real activities. From these images confronted against each other great symbolisms will emerge. Around the Greek city, above it, there is the cosmos, luminous and ordered spaces, the apogee (highest point in development of something) of place.

Philosophy is thus born from the city, with its division of labour and multiple modalities. ..This gathering is the harvest and even its conclusion. ‘One goes to collect things and brings them back. Here sheltering dominates and with it in turn dominates the wish to preserve … *The harvest is in itself a choice of what needs a shelter.’ Thus, the harvest is already thought out. That which is gathered is put in reserve. To say is the act of collection which gathers together. This assumes the presence of ‘somebody’ before which, for whom and by whom is expressed the being of what is thus successful. This presence is produced with clarity (or as Heidegger says, with ‘non-mystery’). The city linked to philosophy thus gathers by and in its logos the wealth of the territory, dispersed activities and people, the spoken and the written (of which each assumes already its collection and recollection). It makes simultaneous what in the countryside and according to nature takes place and passes, and is distributed according to cycles and rhythms. It grasps and defends ‘everything’. If philosophy and the city are thus associated in the dawning logos (reason), it is not within a subjectivity akin to the Cartesian ‘cogito’. If they constitute a system, it is not in the usual way and in the current meaning of the term.

*testart storage law et al

with charles on root of problems ness


To the organization of the city itself can be linked the primordial whole of urban form and its content, of philosophical form and its meaning: a privileged centre, the core of a political space, the seat of the logos governed by the logos before which citizens are ‘equal’, the regions and distributions of space having a rationality justified before the logos (for it and by it).


With the rebirth of cities there is on the one hand the feudal organization of property and possession of land (peasant communities having a customary possession and lords having an ‘eminent’ domain as it will later be called), and on the other hand, a corporate organization of crafts and urban property. Although at the beginning seigneurial tenure of land dominates it, this double hierarchy contains the demise of this form of property and the supremacy of wealth in urban property from which arises a deep conflict, basic to medieval society. ‘.. The philosopher (the theologian) deliberates upon the double hierarchy. He gives it shape, with or without raking conflicts into account. The symbols and notions relative to the cosmos (spaces, the hierarchy of matter in that space) and to the world (the actualization of finished matter, hierarchies in time, descent or fall, ascension and redemption) erase the consciousness of the city. From the moment when there are not two but three hierarchies (feudal landed property, guild organization, the king and his State apparatus), thought takes again a critical dimension.

In modern society, the State subordinates these elements and materials, including the city. The latter, however remains as a sort of subsystem in the total philosophico-political system, with the system of needs, that of rights and obligations, and that of the family and estates (crafts and guilds), that of art and aesthetics, etc.



Thus the real and the rational tend towards each other; each from their own side moves towards an identity thus acknowledged. The rational is basically philosophy, the philosophical system. The real is society and law and the State which cements the edifice by crowning it.

History does not achieve itself. Wholeness is not reached, nor are contradictions resolved. It is not by and in the State, with bureaucracy as social support, that philosophy can be realized. The proletariat has this historic mission: only it can put an end to separations (alienations). Its mission has a double facet: to destroy bourgeois society by building another society — abolish philosophical speculation and abstraction, the alienating contemplation and systematization, to accomplish the philosophical project of the human being. It is from industry, from industrial production, from its relation with productive forces and labour, not from a moral or philosophical judgement, that the working class gets its possibilities. One must turn this world upside down: the meeting of the rational and the real will happen in another society..t

hari rat park law.. a legit nother way

The history of philosophy in relation to the city is far from being accomplished within this perspective. Indeed, this history would also suggest the analysis of themes whose emergence are linked to the representation of nature and the earth, to agriculture, to the sacralization of the land (and to its desacralization). Such themes, once born, are *displaced and represented sometimes far from their starting points in time and space.. t The points of imputation and impact, conditions, implications, consequences do not coincide. The themes are enunciated and inserted into social contexts and categories different from those which distinguish their emergence, inasmuch as one can speak of ‘categories’. The urban problematic, for example that which refers to the destiny of the Greek city, used to disengage itself or hide itself, cosmic themes anterior or exterior to this city; the visions of a cyclical becoming or of the hidden immobility of the human being. **The purpose of these remarks is to show that the relation considered has yet to receive an explicit formulation..t

*aka: sea world

**unjustifiable strategy to get out.. et al


What relation is there today between philosophy and the city? An ambiguous one. *The most emminent contemporary philosophers do not borrow their themes from the city. Bachelard has left wonderful pages on the house..t Heidegger has meditated on the Greek city and the logos, and on the Greek temple. Nevertheless the metaphors which resume Heideggerian thought do not come from the city but from a primary and earlier life: the ‘shepherds of being’, the ‘forest paths’. It seems that it is from the Dwelling and the opposition between Dwelling and Wandering that Heidegger borrows his themes. As for so-called ‘existential’ thought, it is based on individual consciousness, on the subject and the ordeals of subjectivity, rather than on a practical, historical and social reality.

bachelard oikos law et al

oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

Thus is formulated a problematic which does not reduce itself to the city but which concerns the world, history, ‘man’.

Moreover, a certain number of contemporary thinkers have pondered on the city. They see themselves, more or less clearly, as philosophers of the city. For this reason these thinkers want to inspire architects and planners, and make the link between urban preoccupations and the old humanism. But these philosophers lack breadth. The philosophers who claim to think the city and put forward a philosophy of the city by extending traditional philosophy, discourse on the ‘essence’ of the city or on the city as ‘spirit’, as ‘life’ or ‘life force’, as being or ‘organic whole’..t In brief, sometime as subject, sometime as abstract system. This leads to nothing, thus a double conclusion. Firstly, the history of philosophical thought can and must reclaim itself from its relation with the city (the condition and content of this thought). It is a way of putting this history into perspective. Secondly, this articulation figures in the problematic of philosophy and the city (knowledge, the formulation of the urban problematic, a notion of this context, a strategy to envisage). Philosophical concepts are not operative and yet they situate the city and the urban — and the whole of society — as a totality, over and above analytical fragmentations. What is proclaimed here of philosophy and its history could equally be asserted for art and its history.

need this dance: in the city.. as the day


Fragmentary Sciences and Urban Reality

During the course of the nineteenth century, the sciences of social reality are constituted against philosophy which strives to grasp the global (by enclosing a real totality into a rational systematization). These sciences fragment reality in order to analyse it, each having their method or methods, their sector or domain..t After a century, it is still under discussion whether these sciences bring distinct enlightenment to a unitary reality, or whether the analytical fragmemation that they use corresponds to objective differences, articulations, levels and dimensions.

science scientifically

One cannot claim that the city has escaped the researches of historians, economists, demographers and sociologists. Each of these specialities contributes to a science of the city. It has already been ascertained and corroborated that history elucidates better the genesis of the city, and especially identifies better than any other science, the problematic of urban society. Inversely, there is also no doubt that the knowledge of urban reality can relate to the possible (or possibilities) and not only to what is finished or from the past. If one wishes to build a commercial or cultural centre, taking into account functional and functioning needs, the economist has his word to say..t In the analysis of urban reality, the geographer, the climatologist, the botanist also intervene. The environment, global and confused concept, fragments itself according to these specialities. In relation to the future and the conditions of the future, mathematical calculations provide essential evidence. Yet, what gathers these facts together? A project, or in other words, a strategy..t On the other hand, a doubt remains and is even confirmed. *Is the city the sum of indices and facts, of variables and parameters, of correlations, this collection of facts, of descriptions, of fragmentary analyses, because it is fragmentary? These analytical divisions do not lack rigour, but as has already been said, rigour is uninhabitable. .tThe problem coincides with the general questioning of the specialist sciences. On the one hand, the only approach which seeks to find the global reminds us strangely of philosophy when it is not openly philosophical. On the ocher hand, the partial offers more positive but scattered facts. Is it possible to extract from fragmentary sciences a science of the city? No more than a holistic science of society, or of ‘man’, or of human and social reality. On the one hand, a concept without content, on the other, content or contents without concept. Either one declares that the ‘city’, the urban reality as such, does not exist but is only a series of correlations. The ‘subject’ is suppressed. Or the continues to assert the existence of the global: one approaches and locates it, either by extrapolations in the name of a discipline, or by wagering on an ‘interdisciplinary’ tactic. **One does not grasp it except by an approach which transcends divisions..t

*rigor is uninhabitable

**discrimination as equity.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness

Upon closer examination, one realizes that specialists who have studied urban reality have almost always (except in the case of a logically extremist positivism) introduced a global representation. They can hardly go without a synthesis, settling for a quantity of knowledge, of dividing and splitting urban reality. As specialists, they then claim to be able to go legitimately from their analyses to a final synthesis whose principle is borrowed from their speciality. By means of a discipline or interdisciplinary endeavour, they see themselves as ‘men of synthesis’. *More often, they conceptualize the city (and society) as an organism. Historians have frequently linked these entities to an ‘evolution’ or to an ‘historical development’: cities. Sociologists have conceptualized them as a ‘collective being’, as a ‘social organism’. Organicism, evolutionism, continuism, have therefore dominated representations of the city elaborated by specialists who believed themselves to be scholars and only scholars. Philosophers without knowing it, they leapt, without legitimizing their approach, from the partial to the global as well as from fact to right.

*so not.. but what we need.. ie: organism as fractal


Is there a dilemma? An impasse? Yes and no. Yes, there is an obstacle, or if one wants another metaphor, a hole is dug. No. One should be able to cross the obstacle because there is a quite recent practice which already spills over the speculative problem, or the partial facts of the real problem, and which tends to become global by gathering all the facts of experience and knowledge, namely, planning. What is involved here is nor a philosophical view on praxis, but the face that so-called planning thought becomes practice at a global level. For a few years now planning has gone beyond partial techniques and applications (regulation and administration of built space) to become a social practice concerning and of interest to the whole of society. The critical examination of this social practice (the focus being on critique) cannot not allow theory to resolve a theoretical difficulty arising from a theory which has separated itself from practice.


As social practice, planning (which it becomes without having reached a level of elaboration and action, which indeed it can only reach through confrontation with political strategies) has already crossed the initial stage, namely, the confrontation and communication of experts, and the gathering of fragmentary analyses, in brief, *what is called the interdisciplinary. Either the planner is inspired by the practice of partial knowledge which he applies, or he puts into action hypotheses or projects at the level of a global reality. In the first case, the application of partial knowledge gives results which can determine the relative importance of this knowledge: these results, experimentally revealing absences and lacunae, enable us to specify on the ground what is lacking. In the second case, the failure (or success) allows the discernment of what is ideological in the presuppositions, and to identify what they define at the global level. Thus, what is effectively involved is a critical examination of the activity called ‘planning’, and not a belief in the word of planners or the unchallenged acceptance of their propositions and decisions. In particular, the displacements and distortions between practice and theory (ideology), between partial knowledge and results, come to the fore instead of being hidden. As does the questioning over use and users.

*oi if that’s interdisciplinary..

need infinitesimal structures approaching the limit of structureless\ness and/or vice versa .. aka: ginorm/small ness


Philosophy of the City and Planning Ideology

In order to formulate the problematic of the city (to articulate problems by linking them), the following must be clearly distinguished:

  1. The philosophers and philosophies of the city who define it speculatively as whole by defining the ‘homo urbanicus’ as man in general, the world or the cosmos, society, history.
  2. Partial knowledge concerning the city (its elements, functions, structures).
  3. The technical application of this knowledge (in a particular context defined by strategic and political decisions).
  4. Planning as doctrine, that is, as ideology, interpreting partial knowledge, justifying its application and raising these (by extrapolation) to a poorly based or legitimated totality.

i don’t get any of that.. it all sounds like the same version to me.. all part\ial ness.. none of it organism as fractal

Today, Lewis Mumford and G. Bardet among others still imagine a city made up not of townspeople, but of free citizens, *free from the division of labour, social classes and class struggles, making up a community, **freely associated for the management of this community. As philosophers, they make up a model of the ideal city. They conceive freedom in the twentieth century according to the freedom of the Greek city (this is an ideological travesty: only the city as such possessed freedom and not individuals and groups). Thus they think of the modern city according to a model of the antique city, which is at the same time identified with the ideal and rational city. The agora, place and symbol of a democracy limited to its citizens, and excluding women, slaves and foreigners, remains for a particular philosophy of the city the symbol of urban society in general. This is a typically ideological extrapolation. To this ideology these philosophers add partial knowledge, this purely ideological operation consisting in a passage (a leap), from the partial to the whole, from the elementary to the total, from the relative to the absolute. As for Le Corbusier, as philosopher of the city he describes the relationship between the urban dweller and dwelling with nature, air, sun, and trees, with cyclical time and the rhythms of the cosmos. To this metaphysical vision, he adds an unquestionable knowledge of the real problems of the modern city, a knowledge which gives rise to a planning practice and an ideology, a functionalism which reduces urban society to the achievement of a few predictable and prescribed functions laid out on the ground by the architecture. Such an architect sees himself as a ‘man of synthesis’, thinker and practitioner. He believes in and wants to create human relations by defining them, by clearing their environment and decor. Within this well-worn perspective, the architect perceives and imagines himself as architect of the world, human image of God the Creator.

*need to be free from labor.. free from any form of m\a\p

mumford non-specialized law et al

**freely associated.. full stop.. not for the management


Planning as ideology has acquired more and more precise definitions. To study the problems of circulation, of the conveying of orders and information in the great modern city, leads to *real knowledge and to technical applications. **To claim that the city is defined as a network of circulation and communication, as a centre of information and decision-making, is an absolute ideology; this ideology proceeding from a particularly arbitrary and dangerous reduction-extrapolation and using terrorist means, see itself as total truth and dogma. It leads to a planning of pipes, of roadworks and accounting, which one claims to impose in the name of science and scientific rigour. Or even worse!


**yeah that..


The Specificity of the City


Continuities and Discontinuities

The acts or events ‘producers’ of this reality as formation and social oeuvre escaped knowledge. In this sense, to produce is to create: to bring into being ‘something’ which did nor exist before the productive activity. For a long time knowledge has hesitated in the face of creation. Either creation appears to be irrational, spontaneity swelling up from the unknown and the unknowable. Or else it is denied and what comes to be is reduced to what was already existing. Science wants itself to be a science of determinisms, a knowledge of constraints. It abandons to philosophers the exploration of births, of decline, transitions, disappearances. In this, those who challenge philosophy abandon the idea of creation. The study of urban phenomena is linked to overcoming these obstacles and dilemmas, to the solution of these internal conflicts by reason which knows.


At this point the city should be defined. If it is true that the concept emerges little by little from these ideologies which convey it, it must be conceived during this progress. We therefore here propose a first definition of the city as a projection of society on the ground, that is, not only on the actual site, but at a specific level, perceived and conceived by thought, which determines the city and the urban. Long-term controversies over this definition have shown its lacunae (missing portion). Firstly, it requires more accuracy. What is inscribed and projected is not only a far order, a social whole, a mode of production, a general code, it is also a time, or rather, times, rhythms. The city is heard as much as music as it is read as a discursive writing. Secondly, the definition calls for supplements. It brings to light certain historical and generic or genetic differences, but leaves aside other real differences: between the cypes of cities resulting from history, between the effects of the division of labour in the cities, between the persistent ‘city-territory’ relations. Hence another definition which perhaps does not destroy the first: the city as the ensemble of differences between cities. In turn, this definition reveals itself to be insufficient, as it places emphasis on particularities rather than on generalities, neglecting the singularities of urban life, the ways of living of the city, more properly understood as to inhabit. Hence another definition, of plurality, coexistence and simultaneity in the urban of patterns, ways of living urban life (the small house, the large social housing estates, to-ownership, location, daily life and its changes for intellectuals, craftsmen, shopkeepers, workers, etc.).

better w no defn..

These definitions (relative to the levels of social reality), are not in themselves exhaustive and do not exclude other definitions. If a theoretician sees in the city the place of confrontations and of (conflictual) relations between desire and need, between satisfactions and dissatisfactions, if he goes as far as to describe the city as ‘site of desire’, these determinations will be examined and taken into consideration. It is not certain that they have a meaning limited to the fragmentary science of psychology. Moreover, there would be the need to emphasize the historical role of the city: the quickening of processes (exchange and the market, the accumulation of knowledge and capitals, the concentration of these capitals) and site of revolutions. Today, by becoming a centre of decision-making, or rather, by grouping centres of decision-making, the modern city intensifies by organizing the exploitation of the whole society (not only the working classes, but also other non-dominant social classes). This is not the passive place of production or the concentration of capitals, but that of the urban intervening as such in production (in the means of production).

oi.. if decision making (finite set of choices) .. then all already exploited


Levels of Reality and Analysis

The preceding considerations are sufficient to show that the analysis of urban phenomena (the physical and social morphology of the city, or if one prefers, the city, the urban and their connexion) requires the use of all the methodological tools: form, function, structure, levels, dimensions, text, context, field and whole, writing and reading, system, signified and signifier, language and metalanguage, institutions, etc. One also knows that none of these terms can attain a rigorous purity, be defined without ambiguity, or escape multiple meaning. Thus the word form takes on various meanings for the logician, for the literary critic, for the aesthetician, and for the linguist.

ridiculous page(s).. thinking.. let go of defining ness.. of analysis ness..


Among systems of significations, those of architects deserve the greatest critical attention. It often happens that talented men believe themselves to be at the centre of knowledge and experience whereas they remain at the centre of systems of writing, projections on paper, visualizations. Architects tending on their part towards a system of significations which they often call ‘planning’, it is not impossible for analysts of urban reality, grouping together their piecemeal facts, to constitute a somewhat different system of significations that they can also baptize planning while they leave its programming to machines.


Town and Country


The only question that can be asked is this one: ‘What social and political forms, what theory will one entrust with the realization on the ground of a renovated centrality and fabric, freed from their degradations?’

infinitesimal structures approaching the limit of structureless\ness and/or vice versa .. aka: ginorm/small ness

ie: a nother way


Around the Critical Point


To sum up, a world-wide crisis in agriculture and traditional peasant life accompanies, underlies and aggravates a world-wide crisis of the traditional city. This is a change on a planetary scale. The old rural animal and urban animal (Marx), disappear together. Do they leave room to ‘man’? That is the basic problem. The major theoretical and practical difficulty comes from the fact that the urbanization of industrial society does not happen without the breakup of what we still call ‘the city’. Given that urban society is built on the ruins of the city, how can we grasp the breadth and manifold contradictions of these phenomena? That is the critical point. The distinction between the three levels (global process of industrialization and urbanization — urban society, the specific scale of the city-ways of living and conditions of daily life in the urban) tends to become blurred as does the distinction between town and country. And yet, this difference between the three levels is more than ever crucial to avoid confusion and misunderstandings, to combat strategies which find in this conjuncture an opportunity to disintegrate the urban into industrial and or residential planning.



When these overall problems emerged, under the name of planning, they have been subordinated to the general organization of industry. Attacked both from above and below, the city is associated to industrial enterprise: it figures in planning as a cog: it becomes the material device apt to organize production, control the daily life of the producers and the consumption of products. Having been reduced to the status of device, it extends this management to the consumers and consumption; it serves to regulate, to lay one over the other, the production of goods and the destruction of products with that devouring activity, ‘consumption’. ..So that while one may rationally look for diversity, a feeling of monotony covers these diversities and prevails, whether housing, buildings, alleged urban centres, organized areas are concerned. The urban, not conceived as such but attacked face on and from the side, corroded and gnawed, has lost the features and characteristics of the oeuvre, of appropriation. Only constraints are projected on the ground, in a state of permanent dislocation. From the point of view of housing, the ordering and arrangement of daily life, the massive use of the car (‘private’ means of transpon), mobility (besides contained and insufficient), and the influence of the mass media, have detached from site and territory individuals and groups (families, organized bodies). Neighbourhood and district fade and crumble away: the people (the ‘inhabitants’) move about in a space which tends towards a geometric isotopy, full of instructions and signals, where qualitative differences of places and moments no longer matter. Certainly these are inevitable processes of dissolution of ancient forms, but which produce contempt, mental and social misery.. t There is a poverty of daily life as soon as nothing has replaced the symbols, the appropriations, the styles, the monuments, the times and rhythms, the different and qualified spaces of the traditional city. Urban society, because of the dissolution of this city submitted to pressures which it cannot withstand, tends on the one hand to blend with the planned land use of the territory into the ‘urban fabric’ determined by the constraints of traffic, and on the other hand, into dwelling units such as those of the detached house and the housing estates. The extension of the city produced suburbs, then the suburb engulfed the urban core. The problems have been inversed, when they are not misunderstood. Would it not be more coherent, more rational and agreeable to work in the suburbs and live in the city rather than work in the city while living in a hardly habitable suburb? The centralized management of ‘things’ and of ‘culture’ tries to avoid this intermediary tier, the city. And more: the State, centres of decision-making, the ideological, economic and political powers, can only consider with a growing suspicion this social form which tends towards autonomy, which can only live specifically, which comes between them and the ‘inhabitant’, worker or not, productive or unproductive worker, but man and citizen as well as city dweller.

hari present in society law et al


On Urban Form

The ambiguity, or more exactly, the polysemy or plurality of meanings, of this term, ‘form’, has already been remarked upon. It was not really necessary, being obvious. The same goes for the polysemy of the terms ‘function’, ‘structure’ etc. None the less we cannot rest there and accept the situation. How many people believe they have said and resolved everything when they use one of these fetish words! The plurality and confusion of the meanings serve an absence of thought and poverty which takes itself for wealth.. t

language as control/enclosure et al

The only way to clarify the meaning of the term is to begin from its most abstract acceptance. Only scientific abstraction without contents, distinguished from verbal abstraction and opposed to speculative abstraction, enables transparent definitions. Therefore, to define form, one must begin from formal logic and logico-mathematical structures. Not so as to isolate or fetishize them, but, on the contrary, to catch their relation to the ‘real’. This is not without some difficulties and disadvantages. The transparency and clarity of ‘pure’ abstraction are not accessible to all. Most people are either myopic or blind to it. A ‘culture’ is necessary not only to understand the abstract, but far more to attain the disturbing frontiers which at one and the same time distinguish and unite the concrete and the abstract, knowledge and art, mathematics and poetry. To elucidate the meaning of the word ‘form’, one will have to refer to a very general, very abstract theory, the theory of forms. It is dose to a philosophical theory of knowledge, extending it and yet very different, since on the one hand it designates its own historical and ‘cultural’ conditions and on the other it rests upon difficult logico-mathematical considerations.

yeah.. real in quotes.. because once define ing ness.. not real ness..

*Proceeding by stages a socially recognized ‘form’ will be examined; for example, the contract. There are many kinds of contracts: the marriage contract, the work contract, the sales contract, etc. The contents of social acts defined as contractual are therefore very different. Sometimes they relate to the regulation of relations between two individuals of different sexes (the sexual relationship taking second place in the social regulation of assets and their transmission as they relate to children and inheritance). Sometimes they relate to the regulation of relations between two individuals of different social and even class status: employer and employee, boss and worker. Sometimes what is involved is the submission to a social regularity of the relationship between seller and buyer, etc. These particular situations have none the less a common feature: reciprocity in a socially constituted and instituted engagement. **Each engages himself vis-a-vis the other to accomplish a certain sort of action explicitly or implicitly stipulated. Moreover, one knows that this reciprocity entails some fiction, or rather, that as soon as it is concluded, it reveals itself to be fictional, inasmuch as it does not fall into contractual stipulation and under the rule of law. Sexual reciprocity between spouses becomes social and moral fiction (the ‘conjugal duty’). The reciprocity of engagement between boss and worker establishes them on the same level only fictionally. And so on and so forth. Nevertheless, these fictions have a social existence and influence. ***They are the various contents of a general juridical form with which jurists operate and which become the codification of social relations: the civil code..t

*bauwens contracts law et al

**not only fictional.. but cancerous distraction.. like all words above..

***aka: socrates supposed to law.. jensen civilization law.. et al


It is the same for reflective thought which has extremely diverse contents: objects, situations, activities. From this diversity emerge more or less fictional or real domains: science, philosophy, art, etc. These many objects, these domains somewhat small in number, relate to a logical formulation. Reflection is codified by a form common to all contents, which is born out of their differences.

Form detaches itself from content, or rather, contents. Thus freed, it emerges pure and transparent: intelligible. That much more intelligible as decanted from content, ‘purer’. But here is the paradox. As such, in its purity, it has no existence. It is not real, it is not. By detaching itself from its content, form detaches itself from the concrete. The summit, the crest of the real, the key to the real (of its penetration by knowledge and the action which changes it), it places itself outside the real. Philosophers have tried to understand for two thousand years.

It has reality only in contents, and yet detaches itself from them. It has a mental and a social existence. Mentally the contract is defined by a form quite close to logic: reciprocity. Socially, this form regulates countless situations and activities; it confers upon them a structure, it maintains them and even valorizes them, including as form an evaluation and involving a ‘consensus’. As for the logico-mathematical form, its mental existence is obvious. What is less obvious is that it involves a fiction: the purely reflective disembodied theoretical man. As for its social existence, it should be shown at length. Indeed, to this form are attached multitudinous social activities: to count, define, classify (objects, situations, activities), rationally organized, predicted, planned and even programmed.

reciprocity ness.. of math and men ness.. graeber violence/quantification law.. et al


Reflection which (in new terms) extends the long meditation and the problematic of philosophers, can elaborate a scheme of forms. It is a sort of analytical grid to decipher the relations between the real and thought. This (provisional and modifiable) grid moves from the most abstract to the most concrete, and therefore from the least to the most immediate. Each form presents itself in its double existence as mental and social.

I. Logical form

Mentally: it is the principle of identity: A=A. It is void essence without content. In its absolute purity it is supreme transparency (difficult to grasp, for reflection can neither hold it or keep itself within it and yet it has tautology as its point of departure and return). Indeed, this tautology is what all propositions have in common which otherwise have nothing in common with each other by content, or the designated (designatum, denoted). As Wittgenstein has shown, this tautology A=A is the centre, emptied of substance of all enunciated, of all propositions.

Socially: understanding and the conventions of understanding over and above misunderstandings. The impossible possibility to make effective stopping, to define everything, to say everything and to agree on the rules of understanding. But also, verbalism, verbiage, repetitions, pure talk. But again pleonasms, vicious circles (including the great social pleonasms, for bureaucracy which engenders bureacracy to maintain the bureaucratic form — social logics which tend towards their pure maintenance to the extent of destroying their content and thus themselves, showing their emptiness).

oi.. and to me.. why i don’t think legit free people would be so obsessed with understanding ness..

II. Mathematical form

Mentally: identity and difference, equality in difference. Enumeration (of the elements of a whole, etc). Order and measure.

Socially: distributions and classifications (in space, generally privileged as such, but also in time). Scheduling. Quantification and quantitative rationality. Order and measure subordinating to themselves desires and desire, quality and qualities.

III. Form of language

Mentally: coherence, the capacity to articulate distinct elements, to confer to them significations and meanings, to emit and decipher messages according to their coded conventions.

Socially: the cohesion of relations, their subordination to the demands and constraints of cohesion, the ritualization of relations, their formalization and codification.

IV. Form of exchange

Mentally: confrontation and discussion, comparison and adjustments of activities, needs, produces of labour, etc., that is, equivalence.

Socially: exchange value, the commodity form (as identified, formulated and formalized by Marx in chapter I of Capital, with an implicit reference to formal logic and to logico-mathemacical formalism).

V. Contractual form

Mentally: reciprocity.

Socially: the codification of social relations based on murual engagement.

VI. Form of the practico-material object

Mentally: incernal equilibrium perceived and conceived as ‘objective’ (or ‘objectal’) property. Symmetry.

Socially: the anticipation of this equilibrium and this symmetry, demanded by objects or denied (including among living and thinking ‘being;’), as well as social objects such as houses, buildings, utensils and instruments, etc.

Spectral Analysis

In fact, the rationality we see used in practice (including applied planning), this limited rationality is exercised especially according to the modalities of a very advanced and prepared analytical intelligence, endowed with great means of pressure. This analytical intellect endows itself with the privileges and prestige of synthesis. In this way it hides what it conceals: strategies.. t One could impute it with the peremptory concern of the functional, or rather, the unifunctional, as well as the subordination of details minutely inventoried for the representation of a social globality. Thus disappear mediations between an ideological ensemble assumed to be rational (technologically or economically) and detailed measures, objects of tactics and prediction. This placing in parenthesis of theoretical, practical, social and mental mediations does not lack black humour in a society where intermediaries (shopkeepers, financiers, publicists, etc.) have immense privileges. One covers the other! Thus a gulf is dug between the global (which hovers over the void) and the manipulated and repressed partial, upon which institutions weigh.

structural violence.. spiritual violence.. unjustifiable strategy ness et al

What is questioned here is not an uncertain ‘globality’, it is an ideology and the class strategy which uses and supports this ideology. After a sort of ‘spectral’ analysis of social elements, the already mentioned use of analytical intelligence is related as much to extreme fragmentation of work and *specialization pushed to the limits (including specialized planning studies), as projection on the ground. Segregation must be highlighted, with its three aspects, sometimes simultaneous, sometimes successive: **spontaneous (coming from revenues and ideologies) — ***voluntary (establishing separate spaces) — programmed: under the guise of planning and the plan).. t

*mumford non-specialized law et al

**fromm spontaneous law et al

***voluntary compliance et al

even where separation of social groups does not seem to be patently evident on the ground, such a pressure and traces of segregation appear under examination. The extreme case, the last instance, the ghetto. We can observe that there are several types of ghetto: those of Jews and the blacks, and also those of intellectuals or workers. In their own way residential areas are also ghettos; high status people because of wealth or power isolate themselves in ghettos of wealth. Leisure has its ghettos. Wherever an organized action has attempted to mix social strata and classes, a spontaneous decantation soon follows. The phenomenon of segregation must be analysed according to various indices and criteria: ecological (shanty towns, slums, the rot in the heart of the city), formal (the deterioration of signs and meanings of the city, the degradation of the urban by the dislocation of its architectural elements), and sociological (standards of living and life styles, ethnic groups, cultures and sub-cultures, etc.)

Anti-segregationist tendencies would be rather more ideological. They sometimes relate to liberal humanism, sometimes to a philosophy of the city considered as ‘subject’ (as a community or social organism). Despite good humanist intentions and philosophical goodwill, practice tends towards segregation. Why? For theoretical reasons and by virtue of social and political causes. At the theoretical level, analytical thought separates and delineates. It fails when it wants to reach a synthesis. Socially and politically (conscious or unconscious) class strategies aim for segregation..t

any form of m\a\p


In democratic countries public powers cannot overtly decree segregation as such. Therefore they often adopt a humanist ideology which in the most old-fashioned sense becomes a utopia, when it does not become a demagogy. Segregation always wins over, even in those parts of social life more or less easily and more or less thoroughly controlled by public powers. Let us say that the State and private enterprise strive to absorb and suppress the city as such. The State proceeds rather from above and private enterprise from below (by ensuring housing and the function of inhabiting in workers’ towns and housing estates, which depending on a ‘society’ and also assuring leisure, even culture and social promotion). Despite their differences and sometimes their conflicts, the State and private enterprise both converge towards segregation.

The outcome — inasmuch as such a situation in France and elsewhere can make sense — is an incredible entanglement of measures (all reasonable), regulations (all very complicated), and constraints (all motivated). .t The functioning of bureaucratic rationality becomes confused with its own presuppositions and consequences which overcome and elude it. Conflicts and contradictions resurface, giving rise to ‘structuring’ activities and ‘concerted’ actions aimed at their revocation. It is here on the ground that the absurdity of a limited rationality of bureaucracy and technocracy becomes evident. Here is grasped the falsehood of an illusory identification between the rational and the real in the State, and the true identity between the absurd and a certain authoritarian rationalism.

whalespeak.. fuller too much law et al


It places before our eyes the spectre, the spectral analysis of the city. When we speak of spectral analysis, its meaning is almost literal and not metaphorical. Before our eyes, under our gaze, we have the ‘spectre’ of the city, that of urban society and perhaps simply of society. If the spectre of Communism no longer haunts Europe, the shadow of the city, the regret of what has died because it was killed, perhaps guilt, have replaced the old dread. The image of urban hell in the making is not less fascinating, and people rush cowards the ruins of ancient cities to consume them touristically, in the belief that they will heal their nostalgia. Before us, as a spectacle (for spectators ‘unconscious’ of what is before their ‘conscience’) are the dissociated and inert elements of social life and the urban. Here are ‘social housing estates’ without teenagers or old people. Here are women dozing while the men work far away and come home exhausted.  Here are private housing developments which form a microcosm and yet remain urban because they depend on centres of decision-making and each house has a television. Here is a daily life well divided into fragments: work, transport, private life, leisure. Analytical separation has isolated them as ingredients and chemical elements, as raw materials (whereas they are the outcome of a long history and imply an appropriation of materiality). It is not finished. *Here is the dismembered and dissociated human being. . t Here are the senses of smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing — some atrophied, some hypertrophied. Here is functioning separately perception, intelligence and reason. Here is speech, discourse and writing. Here is daily life and celebration, the latter moribund. It is obvious, urgently. Synthesis then becomes an item on the order of the day, the order of the century. But this synthesis, with its analytical intellect, appears only as a combination of separate elements. But combination is not and can never be synthesis. The city and the urban cannot be recomposed from the signs of the city, the semanthemes of the urban, although the city is a signifying whole. The city is not only a language, but also a practice. Nobody therefore, and we have no fear to repeat it, is entitled to pronounce or announce this synthesis. No more is the sociologist or community worker than the architect, the economist, the demographer, the linguist or semiologist. Nobody has the power or the right. Only the philosopher might perhaps have the right, if philosophy in the course of the centuries had not demonstrated its incapacity to attain concentrate totalities (although it has always aimed at totality and has posed global and general questions). Only a praxis, under conditions to be determined, can take charge of the possibility and demand of a synthesis this objective: the gathering together of what gives itself as dispersed, dissociated, separated, and this in the form of simultaneity and encounters.

*hari present in society law et al


At the same time this society practices segregation. This same rationality which sees itself as global (organizing, planning, unitary and unifying) concretizes itself at the analytical level. On the ground it projects separation. It tends (as in the United States), to form ghettos or parking lots, those of workers, intellectuals, students (the campus), foreigners, and so forth, not forgetting the ghetto of leisure or ‘creativity’, reduced to miniaturization or hobbies. Ghetto in space and ghetto in time. In planning, the term ‘zoning’ already implies separation, segregation, isolation in planned ghettos. The fact becomes rationality in the project.

This society wants itself and sees itself as coherent. It seeks coherence, linked to rationality both as feature of efficient organizational action, and as value and criterion. Under examination the ideology of coherence reveals a hidden but none the less blatant incoherence. Would coherence not be the obsession of an incoherent society, which searches the way towards coherence by wishing to stop in a conflictual situation denied as such?


This does not mean that this society is disintegrating and falling apart. No. It is functionning. How? Why? That creates a problem. It must also mean that this functioning is not without an enormous malaise — its obsession. Another obsessional theme is participation, linked to integration. This is not a simple obsession. In practice, the ideology of participation enables us to have the acquiescence of interested and concerned people at a small price. After a more or less elaborate pretence at information and social activity, they return to their tranquil passivity and retirement. Is it not clear that real and active participation already has a name? It is called self-management. Which poses other problems.

oi.. need something deeper than participation ness.. that’s more like invited vs invented ness..

need curiosity over decision making.. itch-in-the-soul ness as energy

Very powerful forces tend to destroy the city. A particular kind of planning projects on the ideological terrain a practice whose aim is the death of the city. These social and political forces ravage the urban in the making. This kernel, so powerful, in its own way, can it grow in the cracks which still subsist between these masses? Does science, or rather, scientificity, which puts itself at the service of existing rationality, legitimize these masses of the State, private enterprise, culture which allow the city to perish while offering its images and “oeuvres” for consumption sentence. ‘Does science … legitimize these masses … for consumption?’ Construction is? Could urban life recover and strengthen its capacities of integration and participation of the city, which are almost entirely lost, and which cannot be stimulated either by authoritarian means or by administrative prescription, or by the intervention of specialists? The foremost theoretical problem can be formulated thus. The political meaning of class segregation is clear, whether it is a ‘subject’ for analysis, whether it is the end result of a series of unplanned actions, or whether it is the effect of a will. For the working class, victim of segregation and expelled from the traditional city, deprived of a present or possible urban life, there is a practical and therefore political problem even if it is not posed politically and even if until now the housing question has for it and its representatives concealed the problematic of the city and the urban.


The Right to the City

*Theoretical thought sees itself compelled to redefine the forms, functions and structures of the city (economic, political, cultural, etc.) as well as the social needs inherent to urban society. Until now, only those individual needs, motivated by the so-called society of consumption (a bureaucratic society of managed consumption) have been prospected, and moreover manipulated rather than effectively known and recognized. Social needs have an anthropological foundation. Opposed and complimentary, **they include the need for security and opening, the need for certainty and adventure, that of organization of work and of play, the needs for the predictable and the unpredictable, of similarity and difference, of isolation and encounter, exchange and investments, of independence (even solitude) and communication, of immediate and long-term prospects. The human being has the need to accumulate energies and to spend them, even waste them in play. He has a need to see, to hear, to touch, to taste and the need to gather these perceptions in a ‘world’. To these anthropological needs which are socially elaborated (that is, sometimes separated, sometimes joined together, here compressed and there hypertrophied), can be added specific needs which are not satisfied by those commercial and cultural infrastructures which are somewhat parsimoniously taken into account by planners. This refers to the need for creative activity, for the oeuvre (not only of products and consumable material goods), of the need for information, symbolism, the imaginary and play. Through these specified needs lives and survives a fundamental desire of which play, sexuality, physical activities such as sport, creative activity, art and knowledge are particular expressions and moments, which can more or less overcome the fragmentary division of tasks. Finally, the need of the city and urban life can only be freely expressed within a perspective which here attempts to become clearer and to open up the horizon. ***Would not specific urban needs be those of qualified places, places of simultaneity and encounters, places where exchange would not go through exchange value, commerce and profit? Would there not also be the need for a time for these encounters, these exchanges?

*need a means to org around legit needs

**need to org around just two – maté basic needs

***imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness)

*At present, an analytical science of the city, which is necessary, is only at the outline stage. At the beginning of their elaboration, concepts and theories can only move forward with urban reality in the making, with the praxis (social practice) of urban society. Now, not without effort, the ideologies and practices which blocked the horizon and which were only bottlenecks of knowledge and action, are being overcome.

*to me.. not necessary.. rather.. a cancerous distraction

The science of the city has the city as object. This science borrows its methods, approaches and concepts from the fragmentary sciences, but synthesis escapes it in two ways. Firstly, because this synthesis which would wish itself as total, starting from the analytic, can only be strategic systematization and programming. Secondly, because the object, the city, as consummate reality is falling apart. Knowledge holds in front of itself the historic city already modified, to cut it up and put it together again from fragments. As social text, this historic city no longer has a coherent set of prescriptions, of use of time linked to symbols and to a style. This text is moving away. It takes the form of a document, or an exhibition, or a museum. The city histocically constructed is no longer lived and is no longer understood practically. It is only an object of cultural consumption for tourists, for a estheticism, avid for spectacles and the picturesque. Even for those who seek to understand it with warmth, it is gone. Yet, the urban remains in a state of dispersed and alienated actuality, as kernel and virtuality. What the eyes and analysis perceive on the ground can at best pass for the shadow of a future object in the light of a rising sun. *It is impossible to envisage the reconstitution of the old city, only the construction of a new one on new foundations, on another scale and in other conditions, in another society..t The prescription is: there cannot be a going back (towards the traditional city), nor a headlong flight, towards a colossal and shapeless agglomeration. In other words, for what concerns the city the object of science is not given. The past, the present, the possible cannot be separated. What is being studied is a virtual object, which thought studies, which calls for new approaches.

*yeah that.. need a legit nother way


The career of the old classical humanism ended long ago and badly. It is dead. Its mummified and embalmed corpse weighs heavily and does not smell good. It occupies many spaces, public or otherwise, thus transforms into cultural cemeteries under the guise of the human: museums, universities, various publications, not to mention new towns and planning procedures. Trivialities and platitudes are wrapped up in this ‘human scale’, as they say, whereas what we should take charge of are the excesses and create ‘something’ to the scale of the universe.

There is still another way, that of urban society and the human as oeuvre in this society which would be an oeuvre and not a product..t

let’s do this first: free art\ists


The use of ‘we’ in the sentences above has only the impact of a metaphor to mean those concerned. The architect, the planner, the sociologist, the economist, the philosopher or the politician cannot out of nothingness create new forms and relations. More precisely, the architect is no more a miracle-worker than the sociologist. Neither can create social relations, although under certain favourable conditions they help trends to be formulated (to take shape). Only social life (praxis) in its global capacity possesses such powers — or does not possess them. The people mentioned above can individually or in teams dear the way; they can also propose, cry out and prepare forms. And also (and especially), through a maieutic *nurtured by science, assess acquired experience, provide a lesson from failure and give birth to the possible.

*need a means sans science scientifically.. sans lessons.. sans any form of m\a\p if we want the legit possible..

At the point we have arrived there is an urgent need to change intellectual approaches and tools. It would be indispensable to take up ideas and approaches from elsewhere and which are still not very familiar.. t

ie: try a legit nother way

tech as it could beimagine if we

Transduction assumes an incessant feed back between the conceptual framework used and empirical observations. Its theory (methodology), gives shape to certain spontaneous mental operations of the planner, the architect, the sociologist, the politician and the philosopher. It introduces rigour in invention and knowledge in utopia.

earlier (p 22) said rigor was uninhabitable .. and knowledge in utopia? ugh..

hardt revolution law: revolution – instigating utopia every day – michael hardt


Utopia is to be *considered experimentally by studying its implications and consequences on the ground..t These can surprise. **What are and what would be the most successful places?..t ***How can they be discovered? .. t****According to which criteria? .. t *****What are the times and rhythms of daily life which are inscribed and prescribed in these ‘successful’ spaces favourable to happiness? .. t That is interesting.

*seems that would kill legit utopia ness.. perhaps why we haven’t seen/been legit utopia yet

**all the places.. in the city.. as the day

***need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness)

city sketchup ness et al

****sans any form of m\a\p

*****not prescriptive enough to prescribe.. graeber unpredictability/surprise law et al

that would be interesting/utopia/revolution


The science of the city requires a historical period to make itself and to orient social practice.

so.. city is dead/masks and measures/sea world

This science is necessary but not sufficient. We can perceive its limits at the same time as its necessity. Planning thought proposes the establishment or reconstitution of highly localized, highly particularized and centralized social units whose linkages and tensions would re-establish an urban unity endowed with a complex interior order, with its hierarchy and a supple structure. More specifically, sociological thought seeks an understanding and reconstitution of the integrative capacities of the urban as well as the conditions of practical participation. Why not? But only under one condition: never to protect these fragmented and therefore partial attempts from criticism, practical assessment and global preoccupation.

all the things that would not fit the criteria you asked about on p 60

Urban strategy resting on the science of the city needs a social support and political forces to be effective. It cannot act on its own..t It cannot but depend on the presence and action of the working class, the only one able to put an end to a segregation directed essentially against it. Only this class, as a class, can decisively contribute to the reconstruction of centrality destroyed by a strategy of segregation and found again in the menacing form of centres of decision-making. This does not mean that the working class will make urban society all on its own, but that without it nothing is possible. 

obviously our go-to.. ‘nothing can act on own’ .. because we keep trying partialness & cancerous distractions and so perpetuating myth of tragedy and lord.. when that not-letting-go-enough-to-see is the very thing that is killing the dance.. oi..


Utopia controlled by dialectical reason serves as a safe-guard supposedly scientific fictions and visions gone astray.. t

oh my.. why even call it utopia.. oi

As necessary as science, but not sufficient, art brings to the realization of urban society its long meditation on life as drama and pleasure. In addition and especially, art resticutes the meaning of the oeuvre, giving it multiple facets of appropriated time and space; neither endured nor accepted by a passive resignation, metamorphosed as oeuvre. Music shows the appropriation of time, painting and sculpture that of space. *If the sciences discover partial determinisms, art and philosophy show how a totality grows out of partial determinisms.. t **It is incumbent on the social force capable of creating urban society to make efficient and effective the unity of art, technique and knowledge. . tAs much the science of the city, art and the history of art are part of a meditation on the urban which wants to make efficient the images which proclaim it. ***By overcoming this opposition, this meditation striving for action would thus be both utopian and realistic..t One could even assert that the maximum of utopianism could unite with the optimum of realism.

*to me.. don’t grow anything once you partialed it out.. if science partialed it.. then dead.. et al.. no longer organism as fractal

perhaps why art is not working ie: art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as global re\set.. to fittingness (undisturbed ecosystem)

**so.. incumbent to kill art? .. oi

***perhaps we be brave enough to let the opposition become irrelevant


That is how they fascinate people immersed into everyday life. They transcend everyday life, possess nature and leave it up to the cops to contrive culture..t Is it essential to describe at length, besides the condition of youth, students and intellectuals, armies of workers with or without white collars, people from the provinces, the colonized and semi-colonized of all sorts, *all those who endure a well-organized daily life, is it here necessary to exhibit the derisory and untragic misery of the inhabitant, ..t of the suburban dweller and of the people who stay in residential ghettos, in the mouldering centres of old cities and in the proliferations lost beyond them? One only has to open one’s eyes to understand *the daily life of the one who runs from his dwelling to the station, near or far away, to the packed underground train, the office or the factory, to return the same way in the evening and come home to recuperate enough to start again the next day..t **The picture of this generalized misery would not go without a picture of ‘satisfactions’ which hides it and becomes the means to elude it and break free from it..t

*bs jobs from birth et al

**cope\ing ness.. hari present in society law et al

hari present in society law: ‘we have created a society where huge numbers of our fellow citizens can’t bear to be present in their lives and have to medicate themselves to get through the day‘ Johann Hari


Perspective or Prospective?

If today one wants a representation of the ‘ideal’ city and of its relations to the universe, one will not find this image with the philosophers and even less in an analytical vision which divides urban reality into fractions, sectors, relations and correlations. One has to find it among the writers of science fiction. In science fiction novels, every possible and impossible variation of future urban society has been foreseen. . t

oi.. not true.. if only.. sci fi writers not even imagining deep enough

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh

dil green responds to this tweet.. notes here: green break free law

In Azimov’s magistral work, The Foundation, an entire planet is covered by a giant city, Tremor, which has all the means of knowledge and power with which it dominates, as a centre of decision·making, a whole galaxy.

perhaps why not true.. ie: our obsession w dm.. when decision making is unmooring us law.. beholden to some finite set of choices as our freedom.. oi

Is it necessary to explore so far ahead the horizon of horizons? The ideal city, the New Athens, is already there to be seen in the image which Paris and New York and some other cities project. The centre of decision-making and the centre of consumption meet. Their alliance on the ground based on a strategic convergence creates an inordinate centrality. *We already know that this decision-making centre includes all the channels of information and means of cultural and scientific development. Coercion and persuasion converge with the power of decision-making and the capacity to consume. Strongly occupied and inhabited by these new Masters, this centre is held by them. Without necessarily owning it all, they possess this privileged space, axis of a strict spatial policy. **Especially, they have the privilege to possess time. Around them, distributed in space according to formalized principles, there are human groups which can no longer bear the name of slaves, serfs, vassals or even proletarians. What could they be called? Subjugated, they provide a multiplicity of services for the Masters of this State solidly established on the city. These Masters have around for them every cultural and other pleasure, from nightclubs to the splendours of the opera — not excluding remote controlled amusements. Could this not be the true New Athens, with its minority of free citizens, possessing and enjoying social spaces, dominating an enormous mass of subjugated people, in principle free, genuinely and perhaps voluntarily servants, treated and manipulated according to rational methods? Are not the scholars, sociologists leading, in this very different from ancient philosophers, not themselves the servants of State and Order, under the pretence of empiricism and rigour, of scientificity? The possibilities can even be assessed. Directors, heads, presidents of this and that, elites, leading writers and artists, well-known entertainers and media people, make up one per cent, or just under half a million of the new notables in France in the twenty-first century, each with their family and their following, and their own ‘firm’. The domination of and by centrality in no way denies the possession of secondary domains — the enjoyment of nature, the sea, the mountains, ancient cities (available through trips, hotels, etc.). Next are about four per cent of executives, administrators, engineers and scholars. After selection, the most eminent of these are admitted into the heart of the city. For this selection, incomes and society rituals might be sufficient. State capitalism has carefully organized for other privileged subordinates domains distributed according to a rational plan. Before reaching this goal State capitalism has carefully prepared it. Without omitting the realization of several urban ghettos, it has organized for scholars and for science a severely competitive sector: in the universities and laboratories, scholars and intellectuals have confronted each other on a purely competitive basis, with a zeal worthy of a better job, for the best interest of the Masters, the economic and political, for the glory and joy of the Olympians. Indeed, these secondary elites are assigned to residence in science parks, university campuses — ghettos for intellectuals. The mass, under pressure from many constraints, spontaneously houses itself in satellite cities, planned suburbs, and other more or less residential ghettos. There is for it only carefully measured space. Time eludes it. It leads it daily life bound (perhaps unwittingly), to the requirement of the concentration of powers. But this is not a concentrationary universe. ***All this can quite do without the ideology of freedom under the pretence of rationality, organization, and programming. These masses who do not deserve the name of people, or popular classes, or working class live relatively well. Apart from the fact that their daily life is remote-controlled and the permanent threat of unemployment weighs heavily on them, contributing to a latent and generalized terror.

*oi oi ..

**rather.. can’t not be called.. all of us slaves.. oi

***oi.. hari present in society law et al


Segregation is inclined to prohibit protest, contest, action, by dispersing those who protest, contest, and act. In this perspective political life will either challenge or reaffirm the centre of political decision-making. For parties and men, this option is the criterion of democracy.

oi.. any form of democratic admincancerous distraction


In other words, growth must be guided. Very common formulations which pass for democratic (growth, well-being for all, the general interest) lose their meaning and this applies to liberalism as economistic ideology as much as to centralized State planning. Such an ideology, whether or not prospective, reduces the outlook on such issues as the increase of wages and the better distribution of national revenue, or even on the review and adjustment of the capital-labour relation.

oi oi oi.. people telling other people what to do.. any form of m\a\p

To direct growth towards development, therefore towards urban society, means firstly to prospect new needs, knowing that *such needs are discovered in the course of their emergence and are revealed in the course of their prospection. They do not pre-exist as objects. They do not feature in the ‘real’ described by market studies and studies of ‘individual’ motivation. Consequently, this means substituting social planning whose theory is hardly elaborated. Social needs lead to the production of new ‘goods’ which are not this or that object, but social objects in space and time. Man of urban society is already a man rich in needs: the man of rich needs awaiting their objectification and realization. Urban society overtakes the old and the new poverty, as much the destitution of isolated subjectivity as that humdrum old need for money with its worn symbols of the ‘pure’ gaze, the ‘pure’ sign, the ‘pure’ spectacle.

*oi.. we have no idea what legit needs are.. ie: maté basic needs

The orientation reacts upon *researched facts. In this way research ceases to be either indeterminate, that is, empiricist, or a simple confirmation of a thesis, that is, dogmatist. In this light, philosophy and its history, art and its metamorphoses appear transformed.

*oi.. research ness.. and graeber can’t know law et al.. still dogmatic.. still people telling other people what to do.. a form of m\a\p

As for the analytical aspect of urban research, it modifies itself by the fact that research has already found ‘something’ at the outset and that the direction or orientation influences the hypothesis. There is no more question of isolating the points of space and time, of considering separately activities and functions, or of studying apart from each other behaviours or images, distributions and relations. *These various aspects of social production, that of the city and urban society, are situated in relation to a framework of explanation and forecasting.

*true of all of history ness to date.. explain and predict.. cancerous distractions


The variables of projects elaborated by economists also depend on generally poorly defined strategies. Against class strategies which often use very powerful scientific instruments and which tend to abuse science (no: *scientificity — a rigid and coercive ideological apparatus) as means to persuade and impose, what is needed is to turn knowledge around by putting it back on its feet.

*science and/or scientificity.. all the same song.. as long as any form of m\a\p

Possibilities relate to a double examination: the scientific (project and projection, variations of projects, predictions) and the imaginary (at the limit, science fiction). Why should the imaginary enter only outside the real instead of nurturing reality? When there is a loss of thought in and by the imaginary, it is being manipulated. The imaginary is also a social fact. Do not specialists claim for themselves the intervention of imagination and the imaginary when they acclaim the ‘man of synthesis’, or when they are disposed to welcome the ‘nexialist’ or the ‘generalist’?

For two centuries, industrialization has been promoting commodities — which although they pre-existed, were limited by agrarian and urban structures. It has enabled the virtually unlimited extension of exchange value. *It has shown how merchandise is not only a way of putting people in relation to each other, but also a logic, a language, and a world. Commodities have swept away barriers. And this process is not over: the car, the current pilot-object in the world of commodities, is overcoming this last barrier — the city. It was therefore the time of political economy and the two variations of its rule: liberal and state economis. Today the overtaking of economism is being outlined. Towards what? Towards an ethic or an aesthetic, a moralism or an aestheticism? Towards new ‘values’? No. **What is at stake is an overtaking by and in practice of a change in social practice. Use value, subordinated for centuries to exchange value, can now come first again. How? By and in urban society, from this reality which still resists and preserves for us use value, the city. A weakened but true vision of this truth is an urban reality for ‘users’ and not for capitalist speculators, builders and technicians.

*aka: put into relationships of structural violence.. of spiritual violence

**never had legit social practice.. ie: undisturbed ecosystem


The church blesses commerce and gives a good conscience to the busy citizens.

socrates supposed to law et al.. any form of m\a\p.. norton productivity law et al

The capitalist city has created the centre of consumption. Industrial production did not constitute centrality as such, except in the special cases — if one can say that — of big enterprise around which a workers’ city was erected. We already know the double character of the capitalist city: place of consumption and consumption of place. Businesses densify in the centre, and attract expensive shops, luxury foodstuffs and products. The establishment of this centraliry is partial to the old cores, the spaces appropriated during the course of a previous history. It cannot go without it. In these privileged sites, the consumer also comes to consume space; the collection of objects in the windows of boutiques becomes the reason and the pretext for the gathering of people. They look, they see, they talk and talk with each other. And it is the place of encounters amongst the collection of things. What is said and written, comes before everything else: it is the world of commodities, of the language of commodities, of the glory and the extension of exchange value. It tends to absorb use value in exchange and exchange value. Yet, use and use value resist irreducibly. This irreducibility of the urban centre plays an essential role in this argument.

language as control/enclosure et al

It is neo-capitalism which superimposes, without denying or destroying it, the centre of consumption upon the centre of decision-making It no longer gathers together people and things, but data and knowledge. It inscribes in an eminently elaborated form of simultaneity the conception of the whole incorporated into an electronic brain, using the quasi-instantaneity of communications, thus overcoming obstacles such as the loss of information, the meaningless accumulations of elements, redundancies, etc. With a disinterested aim? Certainly not. Since the problem is political, those who constitute specific centrality aim for power or are its instruments. The issue is not simply to ‘master technique’ in general, but to master clearly defined techniques with socio-political implications. What is at stake is to control the potential masters: those whose power appropriates all possibilities.


The Realization of Philosophy

Philosophy wanted to reach the total but passed by it, unable to grasp it and even less to realize it. By giving it a representation which was systematized, speculative and contemplative, in its own way it mutilated totality. And yet, only philosophy had and still has the sense of the total.

yeah.. i think none of us to date has had.. (or maybe can never have) sense of total.. but we can definitely do better than part\ial ness .. for (blank)’s sake


Theses on the City, the Urban and Planning

(1) Two groups of questions and two orders of urgency have disguised the problems of the city and urban society: questions of housing and the ‘habitat’ (related to a housing policy and architectural technologies) and those of industrial organization and global planning. The first from below, the second from above, have produced, hidden from attention, a rupture of the traditional morphology of cities, while the urbanization of society was taking place. Hence, a new contradiction adding to other unresolved contradictions of existing society, aggravating them and giving them another meaning.

1\ oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

2\ need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

(2) These two groups of problems have been and are posed by economic growth and industrial production. Practical experience shows that there can be growth without social development (that is, quantitative growth without qualitative development). In these conditions, changes in society are more apparent than real. ·Fetishism and ideology of change (in other words, the ideology of modernity) conceal the stagnation of essential social relations. The development of society can only be conceived in urban life, by the realization of urban society.

(3) The double process of industrialization and urbanization loses all meaning if one does not conceive urban society as aim and finality of industrialization, and if urban life is subordinated to industrial growth. The latter provides the conditions and the means of urban society. To proclaim industrial rationality as necessary and sufficient is to destroy the sense (the orientation, the goal) of the process. At first industrialization produces urbanization negatively (the breakup of the traditional city, of its morphology, of its practico-material reality) and then is ready to get down to work. Urban society begins on the ruins of the ancient city and its agrarian environment. During these changes, the relation between industrialization and urbanization is transformed. The city ceases to be the container the passive receptacle of products and of production. What subsists and is strengthened of urban reality in its dislocation, the centre of decision-making, henceforth enters into the means of production and the systems of exploitation of social labour by those who control information, culture and the powers of decision-making themselves. Only one theory enables the use of these practical facts and the effective realization of urban society.

really doesn’t matter much who makes them.. decision making itself is unmooring us law

(4) For this realization, neither the organization of private enterprise, nor global planning, although necessary, suffice. A leap forward of rationality is accomplished. Neither the State, nor private enterprise can provide indispensable models of rationality and reality.

why not yet.. why leap.. for (blank)’s sake

(5) The realization of urban society calls for a planning oriented towards social needs, chose of urban society. It necessitates a science of the city (of relations and correlations in urban life). Although necessary, these conditions are not sufficient. A social and political force capable of putting these means into oeuvres is equally indispensable.

to get to legit needs.. what we need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

(6) The working class suffers the consequences of the rupture of ancient morphologies. It is victim of a segregation, a class strategy licensed by this rupture. Such is the present form of the negative situation of the proletariat. In the major industrial countries the old proletarian immiseration declines and tends to disappear. But a new misery spreads, which mainly affects the proletariat without sparing other social strata and classes: the poverty of the habitat that of the inhabitant submitted to a daily life organized (in and by a bureaucratized society of organized consumption). To those who would still doubt its existence as class, what identifies the working class on the ground is segregation and the misery of its ‘to inhabit’ .

bs jobs from birth.. hari present in society law.. aziz let go law.. et al


(7) In these difficult conditions, at the heart of a society which cannot completely oppose them and yet obstructs them, rights which define civilization (in, but often against society — by, but often against culture) find their way. These rights which are not well recognized, progressively become customary before being inscribed into formalized codes. They would change reality if they entered into social practice: right to work, to training and education, to health, housing, leisure, to life. Among these rights in the making features the right to the city (not to the ancient city, but to urban life, to renewed centrality, to places of encounter and exchange, to life rhythms and time uses, enabling the full and complete usage of these moments and places, etc.). The proclamation and realization of urban life as the rule of use (of exchange and encounter disengaged from exchange value) insist on the mastery of the economic (of exchange value, the market, and commodities) and consequently is inscribed within the perspectives of the revolution under the hegemony of the working class.

oi.. rather.. rights as cancerous distraction.. esp to supposed to’s of school/work et al.. oi

(8) For the working class, rejected from the centres towards the peripheries, dispossessed of the city, expropriated thus from the best outcomes of its activity, this right has a particular bearing and significance. It represents for it at one and the same time a means and an end, a way and a horizon: but this virtual action of the working class also represents the general interests of civilization and the particular interests of all social groups of ‘inhabitants’, for whom integration and participation become obsessional without making their obsession effective.

rather.. voluntary compliance

(9) The revolutionary transformation of society has industrial production as ground and lever. This is why it had to be shown that the urban centre of decision-making can no longer consider itself in the present society (of neo-capitalism or of monopoly capilaism associated to the State), outside the means of production, their property and their management. Only the taking in charge by the working class of planning and its political agenda can profoundly modify social life and open another era: that of socialism in neo-capitalist countries. *Until then transformations remain superficial, at the level of signs and the consumption of signs, language and metalanguage, a secondary discourse, a discourse on previous discourses. Therefore, it is not without reservations that one can speak of urban revolution. Nevertheless, the orientation of industrial production on social needs is not a secondary fact. The finality thus brought to plans transforms them. In this way urban reform has a revolutionary bearing. As in the twentieth century agrarian reform gradually disappears from the horizon, urban reform becomes a revolutionary reform. It gives rise to a strategy which opposes itself to class **strategy dominant today.

*until we let go of any form of m\a\p.. transformations remain superficial.. cancerous distractions

**unjustifiable strategy et al

(10) Only the proletariat can invest its social and political activity in the realization of urban society. Equally, only it can renew the meaning of productive and creative activity by destroying the ideology of consumption. It therefore has the capacity to produce a new humanism, different from the old liberal humanism which is ending its course — of urban man for whom and by whom the city and his own daily life in it become oeuvre, appropriation, use value (and not exchange value), by using all the means of science, art, technology and the domination over material nature.

just need to let go enough..


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people

(11) Nevertheless, difference persists between product and oeuvre. To the meaning of the production of products (of the scientific and technical mastery of material nature) must be added, to later predominate, the meaning of the oeuvre, of appropriation (of time, space, the body and desire). And this in and by urban society which is beginning. Now, the working class does not spontaneously have the sense of the oeuvre. It is dimmed, having almost disappeared along with crafts and skills and ‘quality’. Where can be found this precious deposit, this sense of the oeuvre? From where can the working class receive it to carry it to a superior degree by uniting it with productive intelligence and dialectic practical reason? Philosophy and the whole of philosophical tradition on one hand, and on the other all of art (not without a radical critique of their gifts and presents) contain the sense of the oeuvre.

let’s do this first: free/detox art\ists

art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as global re\set.. to fittingness (undisturbed ecosystem)


(12) This calls for, apart from the economic and political revolution (planning oriented towards social needs and democratic control of the State and self-management), a permanent cultural revolution.

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

There is no incompatibility between these levels of total revolution, no more than between urban strategy (revolutionary reform aiming at the realization of urban society on the basis of an advanced and planned industrialization) and strategy aiming at the transformation of traditional peasant life by industrialization. Moreover in most countries today the realization of urban society goes through the agrarian form and industrialization. There is no doubt that a world front is possible, and equally that it is impossible today. This utopia projects as it often does on the horizon a ‘possible-impossible’. Happily, or otherwise, time, that of history and social practice, differs from the time of philosophies. Even if it does not produce the irreversible, it can produce the difficult to repair. Marx wrote that humanity does not only ask itself problems that it can resolve. Some today believe that men now only ask themselves insoluble problems. They deny reason. None the less, there are perhaps problems which are easy to resolve, whose solutions are near, very near, and that people do not ask themselves..t

ie: what are legit needs of 8bn free people.. and how to org around them

Paris 1967 — centenary of Capital