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By Manuel Castells

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Extra resources for City, Class and Power

Sample text

Capitalist growth in France has gone through three periods since I945· I9 The first period, between I947 and I958 (once the 'restoration of order' had been established after the Liberation), was characterised not only by the reconstitution of the material basis of production ('the reconstruction') but also by the establishment of the general conditions of accumulation of capital. This occurred through systematic state intervention on the means of production (nationalised industries, transport, energy), on the means of circulation (banks and credit institutions), and as we will see on the reproduction of the labour power.

In posing this as a point of departure for the analysis of the determination of social organisation by capital, we have not said all there is to say on the subject; but we have said something essential because we can start from a specific hypothesis concer-ning the logic and the contradictions inherent in a certain type of urban organisation. It is this that we have outlined in our analysis of the metropolitan region, it is this which tends to prove the ensemble of urban research we have cited throughout the text.

What is important is that monopolistic capital in the present phase is itself caught in a pattern of interdependencies, simultaneously by economic sector and at the world-wide level, and that it responds to a logic of long-term profit. This in turn implies the objective necessity for the smooth functioning of the various units of production and consumption according to a logic not accessible to these units but answerable only to the process as a whole. these processes, determine the taking in charge of the units of collective consumption by the organisation.

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