ARCH+ Property-Issue


Erschienen in ARCH+ Property-Issue,
Seite(n) 174-179

ARCH+ Property-Issue

“The Architecture of Neoliberalism Disavows Labor”

Von Spencer, Douglas /  Trapp, Harald /  Thum, Robert

As a cultural theorist with a focus on architecture, urbanism, and critical theory, what is your relationship to the work of Karl Marx?

Douglas Spencer: I started reading Marx as an undergraduate back in the 1980s and then rather neglected him to some extent, but when I began working on my book The Architecture of Neoliberalism, the first thing I did was to go back and read Capital cover to cover. There are a great number of important things that one can still take from Marx, which remain relevant today.

The one that really strikes me is his emphasis on critique. Marx says in his much-quoted 1843 letter to Arnold Ruge that what we must engage in is the ruthless criticism of everything that exists. Central to my inspiration from Marx is the idea that critique is ruthless, so one shouldn’t be scared or fearful about naming names—even if they are people who might seem like your allies to others. I think that this notion of critique is fundamentally important to us today, specifically in the case of architecture, neoliberalism, and of the relationship between the two.

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