Fuko, we used to call him

Architecture + Morality has a good post from a bit back titled: The Panopticon of Celebrity: The Image of the City in the Age of Luxury Condominium Towers. Very impressive title, as it references both Bentham/Foucault and Kevin Lynch, all of whom I don’t fully understand; well played.

One criticism though (and I only point out because it’s such a common occurrence, I don’t mean to literally go after Corbu here). Poster Corbusier says:

It is ironic that Foucault wrote about the Panopticon as a way of defending the rights of the imprisoned and the insane but was personally in favor of a political system (socialist tyranny) that used it with brutal efficiency.

Now, I say this as a card-carrying anarcho-syndicalist (if you count lapsed IWW membership), who prefers Bakunin, and is continually annoyed at the self-described Marxists who participate in leftist movement politics:

        Don’t throw throw the Marxist baby out with the Stalinist bathwater.

Marx has much to stay about conditions of inequality under capitalism (which he talks about much more than communism) and has been enormously influential in all the social sciences. Surplus value, alienation are immensely useful concepts even if you’re not an adherent. And I’d be surprised if every academic Marxist was a closet totalitarian, and you smear a lot of people when you imply that is the case.

This smear is a really common one, and part of the classic right-wing equality: Democrats = Leftists = Marxists = Despots.  This narrative is repeatedly used to stymie reforms, even ones so mild as minimum wage increases.  Don’t participate in the destructive meme.

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