Lefebvre Too: No to the State


Revolution was long defined either in terms of a political change at the level of the state or else in terms of the collective or state ownership of the means of production….Today such limited definitions of revolution will no longer suffice. The transformation of society presupposes a collective ownership and management of space founded on the permanent participation of the ‘interested parties,’ with their multiple, varied and even contradictory interests (Production of Space, p. 422).

The second part is a bit coy, but what he means by the ‘interested parties’ is essentially people in general, or, in the context of the city, urban inhabitants who use the space of the city, rather than those who own it.  He is arguing for active self-management of space by people rather than its management by experts and leaderships of whatever kind (state, union, party, etc.).

In State, Space, World (p. 61) he writes

Democracy is nothing other than the struggle for democracy. The struggle for democracy is the movement itself. Many democrats imagine that democracy is a type of stable condition toward which we can tend, toward which we must tend. No. Democracy is the movement. And the movement is the forces in action. And democracy is the struggle for democracy, which is to say the very movement of social forces; it is a permanent struggle and it is even a struggle against the State that emerges from democracy. There is no democracy without a struggle against the democratic State itself, which tends to consolidate itself as a block, to affirm itself as a whole, become monolithic and to smother the society out of which it develops.


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