Tag Archives: gentrification

Culture, Resistance, and the Contradictions of Capitalism

By Ryan Moore

The past half-century has witnessed the proliferation of rebellious cultural practices and subversive symbolic expressions, particularly in subcultures surrounding music and the arts. But if these acts of cultural resistance are now ubiquitous, they also appear increasingly harmless to the political order and profitable for the economic order. Gentrification exemplifies this process in places where difference and authenticity—expressed through music, fashion, and art—serve as catalysts for the reconstruction of deindustrialized urban neighborhoods into revalued spaces of capital. Many Left intellectuals lament this turn of events, but we must recall that capitalism has always been a system riddled with its own internal, irresolvable contradictions. As commodification has extended into the collective imagination and virtually all the spaces and times of social life, so too have the contradictions of capitalism multiplied: we can identify new seeds of resistance in capital’s failure to deliver the (symbolic) goods. Continue reading

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