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Author Archive | Andy Merrifield

A night view of Shenzhen city in South China's Guangdong province. Photo dfic.cn

Lefebvre in the Age of COVID

COVID has upended urban life as we once knew it. But it intensified already existing pathologies, those contaminating “normal,” pre-pandemic life. Our present urban reality is one of the de-encounter, a thinning down rather than thickening up, the dispersion and dilution of city life, its fear and loathing.

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Closed businesses on Broadway, NYC

Beyond Plague Urbanism

Over the centuries, humans have survived tragedy through the incredible stoicism of not moving, of standing one’s ground, of resisting, of engaging in tremendous creativity. Perhaps we can use the time alone to think collectively, to reflect together on how we might reconstruct the public realm of our cities.

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Karl Marx's grave at Highgate cemetery in London, England

Marx, dead and alive

“It’s really interesting, isn’t it, how certain people would want to go to such lengths to smash Marx. Do they really think they’re going to destroy the ideas by destroying the grave? …people feel so afraid of Marx. Is there any other intellectual throughout history that is like that?”

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British Museum (Stop W), London

Marx in the Museum

One of Marx’s brightest concepts, perhaps his profoundest dialectical construct in Capital, is the “fetishism of commodities.” It emphasizes something very important about the foggy world of appearances and how can forget what lies within, behind what is immediately apparent. We can read it as a parable in which Marx tries to bring to life […]

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