Trying To Paralyse Us With Bad Conscience

There can be no covenants between men and lions, 
wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, 
but hate each other out and out an through. 
Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me.

Achilles [Iliad]




In lengthy Facebook posts, Patrik Schumacher has railed against everything from state-funded art schools (“an indefensible anachronism”) to the PC takeover of architecture (“trying to paralyse us with bad conscience”). Raging against the “social engineering” of housing design guides and the “intellectually bankrupt” idea of land use plans, he set out his Urban Policy Manifesto, which rambled from scrapping housing space standards to abolishing all forms of rent control and tenancy regulation. “City-center locations should be used to house “the most economically potent and most productive users who serve us most effectively. It’s about loosening the reins and rolling back the nanny state,” he says. In his mind, only entrepreneurs can discover and invent the “co-locational synergies” of the city, while urban vitality cannot be determined by “faceless bureaucrats” in planning offices.

Schumacher also says: “I think governance as a business offering is an interesting idea to pursue.” He cites the privately run Indian city of Gurgaon as a promising example – a place with citizens segregated in elite colonies and high-rise ghettos. Like a number of fellow rightwing libertarians, he was a former Marxist who had become disillusioned. He was finally jolted out of his “mainstream political slumber” by the 2008 financial crisis, when he discovered the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, the godfathers of neoliberalism, along with Murray Rothbard’s ideas of anarcho-capitalism.

Tsutomu Nihei

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