Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space

Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space

Neil Smith

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 082033099X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space

Neil Smith

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 082033099X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In Uneven Development, a classic in its field, Neil Smith offers the first full theory of uneven geographical development, entwining theories of space and nature with a critique of capitalist development. Featuring pathbreaking analyses of the production of nature and the politics of scale, Smith's work anticipated many of the uneven contours that now mark neoliberal globalization. This third edition features an afterword updating the analysis for the present day.

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are born into a world where nature provides, either directly or indirectly, the means for fulfilling these needs. Means of subsistence are those material necessities consumed directly from nature in order to fulfi ll natural needs. Where means of subsistence are not naturally available in the appropriate quality or quantity, means of production—the objects of production to be worked on and the instruments with which the work is accomplished—are appropriated from nature and employed by living

acceptance of relativity theory matter is subordinated to space not vice versa. The potentially revolutionary recombination of space and matter is short-circuited by traditional philosophical assumptions and distinctions which are themselves the products of conceptual abstraction. Thus the dialectic identified by Reichenbach remains historically incomplete. The third thread to be examined is the material basis of the development of the concept of space. For Reichenbach’s Hegelian dialectic also

land, however, and with their migration to the city, is a fi nal separation cleft between town and country. The separation of town and country is itself a product of the social division of labor, but it proceeds to become the foundation, as Marx said, for the further division of labor. It should hardly be surprising, therefore, that precisely this further division of labor has eroded its own foundation—the separation of town and country. The urbanization of the countryside, through the

many modes of mutually assured destruction.”3 This is the ultimate spatial fi x to which capital retreats, when it has to. Harvey demonstrates forcefully in the fi nal chapters of Limits the extent to which geographical space is dragged inexorably into the center Toward a Theory of Uneven Development II 179 of capital. It is not dragged under the wheels of the Juggernaut so much as put to work in its overheated engine room. When it fails, the vengeance of capital is awesome. In this respect,

logic would be of little use in developing the mechanical arts. Nearly a century later, Newton affi rmed the same direct relationship between science and “mechanical practice.”6 Today, not all science remains so directly tied to productive activity; no longer an embryonic pursuit, science has become an increasingly important social institution with a life and logic of its own. If, through mass industrial laboratories, science has been harnessed to industrial capitalism as never before, still,

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