“SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why should a Marxist be concerned about major cities instead of the working class these days?
Harvey : Traditional Marxists admittedly see the avant-garde of the revolution in the industrial working class. However, since this is disappearing in the wake of Western deindustrialization, people are starting to grasp that urban conflicts will probably be decisive.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Over the course of the debt crisis, wages have decreased and social benefits have been slashed in Greece. Meanwhile, general strikes haven”t generated enough pressure to reverse the changes. Can this be viewed as evidence to support your theory that the traditional proletariat can no longer paralyze a state?
Harvey : Yes. Today”s working class is part of a wider configuration of classes in which the struggle centers on the city itself. I replace the traditional concept of class struggle with the struggle of all those who produce and reproduce urban life. Unions must look at the urban everyday existence — a key for the social conflicts to come. In the United States, for example, this has prompted the AFL-CIO federation of labor organizations to start collaborating with domestic workers and migrants.”
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