Subtopia, which concerns itself with the militarization of cities, has a fascinating interview with Neil Smith. A few quotes to whet your interest.
While the Iraq war is all about the “endgame of globalization,” part of this equation is the massive state funding of Halliburton and Blackwater and other multinationals to orchestrate a reconstruction. That this reconstruction has proven an utter failure is of only secondary concern Ã¢â‚¬“ indeed, as long as the state keeps funding accumulation through multi-billion dollar contracts to these and other corporations, failure simply establishes the conditions for further investment.
The scary truth is that the US increasingly runs on a war economy.Ã‚Â The faster things get used up, the faster they need to be replaced.
China’s cities today seem to me to be militarized very much in support of capital accumulation. The militarization of New York since the Giuliani era may seem softer but it is very much aimed at pacifying the city for sake of attracting business and tourists even as the lurching economy creates more and more poor people, even homeless people, who have to be “pacified.”
Business centers in large cities are now heavily fortified with lots of Orwellian monitoring and security. Poor people need not enter.
That Blackwater and Halliburton were so quickly into New Orleans, as we now know, alongside Ã¢â‚¬“ and in some cases in charge of the military (National Guard) Ã¢â‚¬“ simply confirms the breadth of the connections between militarization and economic opportunity. The reconstruction of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is being used, in fact, as an opportunity to reconstruct a social geography without many of the working class poor who had been ghettoized there in the past.
Get rid of the NoLa poor and build pricey condos where their homes had been.