In connection with abstract space, a space which is also instrumental (i.e. manipulated by all kinds of ‘authorities’ of which it is the locus and milieu), a question arises whose full import will become apparent only later. It concerns the silence of the 'users’ of this space. Why do they allow themselves to be manipulated in ways so damaging to their spaces and their daily life without embarking on massive revolts? Why is protest left to 'enlightened’, and hence elite, groups who are in any case largely exempt from these manipulations? Such elite circles, at the margins of political life, are highly vocal, but being mere wordmills, they have little to show for it. How is it that protest is never taken up by supposedly left-wing political parties? And why do the more honest politicians pay such a high price for displaying a bare minimum of straightforwardness? Has bureaucracy already achieved such power that no political force can successfully resist it? There must be many reasons for such a startlingly strong — and worldwide — trend. It is diffcult to see how so odd an indifference could be maintained without diverting the attention and interest of the 'users’ elsewhere, without throwing sops to them in response to their demands and proposals, or without supplying replacement fulflments for their (albeit vital) objectives. Perhaps it would be true to say that the place of social space as a whole has been usurped by a part of that space endowed with an illusory special status — namely, the part which is concerned with writing and imagery, underpinned by the written text (journalism, literature), and broadcast by the media; a part, in short, that amounts to abstraction wielding awesome reductionistic force vis-a-vis 'lived’ experience.
“As part of the band’s inner circle, I’ve had the chance of seeing five kids from Quebec achieve something greater than themselves. I’ve seen them brilliantly handle all the chalenges in their path. I’ve seen their caring attitude towards their fans and the meticulous attention they’ve given to every aspect of their career. I’ve seen a group of friends experiencing incredible success without ever losing touch with reality and without denying or forgetting their roots, their heads set firmly on their shoulders.”
- Patrick Langlois, the Foreword for ‘Simple Plan. The Official Story.’
To think about the city is to hold and maintain its conflictual aspects: constraints and possibilities, peacefulness and violence, meetings and solitude, gatherings and separation, the trivial and poetic, brutal functionalism and surprising improvisation.
…to abolish the capitalist state, space must be reappropriated on the planetary scale; historical time will be indeed rediscovered, but “in and through [reappropriated] space.” And this is because everything (all the "concrete abstractions") that revolutionaries seek to abolish –ideology, the state, the commodity, money, value, and class struggle – do not and cannot exist independently of space
Social space, …assumes the form of a collection of ghettos, for the elite, for the bourgeoisie, for the intellectuals, for foreign workers, etc. These ghettos are not simply juxtaposed they are hierarchized in a way that represents spatially the economic and social hierarchy.