[Marxism] Documentary Exposes Wall Street Power Behind Global Gentrification Boom

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Oct 2 07:29:26 MDT 2019

On 2019/10/02 2:21 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> ... As Sassen has written for Truthout, “These expulsions don’t simply 
> happen; they are made.”

The place-making that capital imposes is revealing, and it's good to see 
attention to the flows of financial capital: the typical debate in urban 
geography is whether the gentrifiers lead the finance capitalists, or 
the other way around.

Nevertheless, flows of people are typically mediated by ad agencies and 
clever place marketing. One of the newish strategies to watch out for is 
an artificial evaporation of racial oppression through a nostalgia 

Here's a comparison of a couple of sites that are indicative of how hard 
these lads have to push in secondary cities where the creatives are 
thinner on the ground than the likes of SF, NY, Boston, etc:

Deracialized Nostalgia, reracialized community, and truncated 
gentrification: Capital and cultural flows in Richmond, Virginia and 
Durban, South Africa

Patrick Bond & Laura Browder
Pages 211-245 | Published online: 28 Mar 2019

Gentrification literature often focuses on frictions between gentrifiers 
(often white) and those being displaced by the process (often low-income 
people of color). Far less attention is paid to a revealing 
place-marketing strategy that papers over race politics. Businesses in 
gentrifying neighborhoods appeal to their customers’ sense of nostalgia 
for a vanished way of life, while eliding racial injustices prevalent in 
the times they evoke. The process entails re-racialization of such sites 
without reference to the segregatory politics central to their creation: 
a mode of remaking history, without memory. In larger cities this may 
not be so evident, since gentrification dynamics are driven by both a 
sufficiently large share of the population with high disposable incomes, 
and a well-developed property redevelopment industry with the capacity 
to unleash real estate speculation. In contrast, smaller cities that 
have partially gentrified still exhibit incomplete erasure of the past. 
They provide a valuable window into this process of historical de- and 
re-racialization. Two such secondary cities are Richmond, Virginia, and 
Durban, South Africa. Both have histories of legally-enshrined racial 
segregation, and both are attempting, with varying degrees of success, 
to recast inner-city neighborhoods as cool, creative places for 
middle-class residents to live, consume, and produce.


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