David HarveyCity University of New York, USA
The problems raised by anarchism belong to the days of its birth, when writers like Proudhon celebrated its use as a new alternative to the emerging capitalist social order. In reality, anarchism has no coherent body of theory other than its commitment to an ahistorical conception of “personal autonomy,” that is, to the self-willing asocial ego divested of constraints, preconditions, or limitations short of death itself. Indeed, today, many anarchists celebrate this theoretical incoherence as evidence of the highly libertarian nature of their outlook and its often dizzying, if not contradictory, respect for diversity” (2014: 160- 161).
"NOLA is the land of Misfit Toys"Thank you Sandy...
The "flight" phenomenon is not so much "white" as "upwardly mobile". It is an economic phenomenon rather than a racial one. Any minority member who could afford to, fled too. They have "white trash" or "Chavs" making up the majority of the population in some blighted areas of cities in the UK; and anyone who can, gets out, including once-poor Asians who work harder and are more thrifty.
I think in just about every place, your hypothesis falls apart. Regarding conservativism, I think of the local slumlords that paint everything beige for the arriving northerners and midwesterners, who arrive here wanting our Caribbean color scheme. You may be pinning the tail on the wrong donkey, son.
The result, David Graeber suggests, is that:
Of what, then, is gentrification a symptom? Gentrification is a symptom of the passage from the social form of a World proper to the form of a non-world. A world is a consistent society ruled by a differential symbolic logic in which every member of the society occupies a fixed place in relation to the "au-moins-un" father at the center, who embodies and quarantines Difference as such. A world is a legible whole with a specific shape. A non-world has no shape, is a refusal of shape as such.
Graeber D (2002) The new anarchists. New Left Review 13: 61-73.
"The frontiers of gentrification are “pioneered” by certain social cohorts who settle sequentially, usually over a period of five to twenty years. The four-phase cycle often begins with—forgive my tongue-in-cheek use of vernacular stereotypes: (1) “gutter punks” (their term), young transients with troubled backgrounds who bitterly reject societal norms and settle, squatter-like, in the roughest neighborhoods bordering bohemian or tourist districts, where they busk or beg in tattered attire.
Graeber D (2009) Direct Action: An Ethnography. Oakland: AK Press.
Cities change. Rich areas go to seed. Poor areas get rich again. Such is the cycle of city life. What is happening now is different. If so many people are interested in gentrification as such, if this process suddenly needs a word, it is because this word refers to what might be referred to as a symptom in all of its dignity and not simply a background peristaltic process. Speaking broadly, what distinguishes a symptom from a simple conflict is that the symptom incarnates the dialectical process as such. Like the eye of the storm on Jupiter that roams across the surface of the planet without ever resolving itself, the symptom is that nodal point in the dialectical process where the irreducible ontological kernel of conflict manifests itself.
Harvey D (2003) Paris: Capital of Modernity. New York: Routledge.
On their unshod heels come (2) hipsters, who, also fixated upon dissing the mainstream but better educated and obsessively self-aware, see these punk-infused neighborhoods as bastions of coolness.