Social Economy: The Logic of Capitalist Development

By Clark Everling | Go to book overview

6

DRAWING THE LINES

Economic internationalization and social polarization

For nearly 30 years, a generation in human life, capitalism has waited for an economic expansion that has not come. This is because capitalism exists presently as an ever more profound contradiction between private appropriation and socialization. Capitalism has created urban social space as a series of universal requirements for human social and individual reproduction within that space. But capital can reproduce itself as a system of private appropriation only by creating itself within that space, as certain social forms of that space. This divides urban development against itself and produces social life for all those outside of capital’s sphere of social development as the increasing denial of developed requirements for social and individual reproduction, as social deprivation and decline. But because the requirements for social reproduction are so developed and extensive, the struggle for those requirements, to be effective, must increasingly take the form of a struggle for socialism. This is because capitalist urban space is increasingly reproduced as a relation of direct production for direct consumption, but only for those within its own forms of social development. The problem is that these forms coordinate relationships of private appropriation which are too narrow for the reproduction of everyone dependent upon the social requirements within this mode of existence.

Direct consumption exists for direct production when the objects for production are well established as a consequence of their repeated production and consumption and new requirements arise as extensions of previously developed forms. With capitalism, the direct identities of production and consumption have existed from the beginning of the twentieth century. Capitalist urban space developed as a series of requirements for individual and social reproduction which arose as a series of logically and historically developed requirements, as urban capitalist space built itself upon itself. Once it was possible to produce neighborhoods as units for urban development, capitalist urban space was then “for itself” as a form of social and individual reproduction

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