Karl The important key to Marxist theory

Karl Marx believed that the development of human society was
solely based on the relationships humans have with economic foundations such as
the means of production and whom controls these functions and the surrounding
class struggle

“Political power, properly so called, is merely the
organised power of one class for oppressing another.” (Communist manifesto ADD

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The modes of production have altered from the original
hunter/ gatherer society into the contemporary modes of economics defined as
Capitalism domination with the two class system of the ruling class of the
Bourgeoisie and the working class of the proletariat. This resulted in bourgeoisie
controlling the means of production and the proletariat only having their division
of labour power to offer in exchange with the economy and market being fundamental
regulating and structural mechanisms (Allmendinger, 2009 ADD REF). Marx’s
suggests that the separation occurs in capitalism through the Bourgeoisie
exploitation of the proletariats surplus labour production and is the fundamental
division in society (Allmendinger, 2009 ADD REF). Marxist theory suggests that
the increasingly polarised separation of power between the two classes could
lead to a class war revolution such as those in Tsarist Russia and Mao’s china

Importance of ideology

Marx’s suggests that the exploited do not complain due to
their alienation from the system

The important key to Marxist theory is the means that the
bourgeoisie reproduce their power through manipulation of the societal superstructure
systems such as the Legal, Political, social and cultural institutions which
allows the ruling class to create discourse through owning the ideological and intellectual
means of production, this domination of cultural institutions further project
the inequality between the classes and the means of production.

Marxism and the state

The ruling Bourgeoisie class maintains rule through the superstructure
and state through hegemony (Antonio Gramsci ADD REF) with the projection
through societal systems and cultural institutions of their owns morals, political,
economic and cultural values as the normative state, theses institution help in
legitimising and reproducing further control.

The state is essential in providing the capitalist dominant
ideology with stability, this is done through the provision of infrastructural
needs of Planning, defence of the national economic climate by military action
and the providing a legal system with the protection of private property
(Marxism and the state, 1999 ADD REF). In essence the state does not need to
use force to maintain the stability of capitalism in a society as through
cultural institutions like education the subordinate proletariat are persuaded
to believe that there is no alternative to the current system (Antonio Gramsci


Capitalism, time and space

An important feature in Marxist theory is the relationship
of the theory and the geography of the state, with the cities being reflective of
capitalism (ADD DAVID HARVEY REF). This can be shown through the perspective of
capitalism as a means of eliminating barriers to profitability, with the idea
of reducing barriers between the proletariat and the production of surplus
labour and the bourgeoisie and profit. Capitalisms impact on contemporary
settlements is evident in the industrial revolution with the move from market
towns to a more materialised concept of a settlement with the high streets of
towns becoming the prominent area focus and infrastructure being formed to accommodate
the transportation of goods from industrial areas, rather than a proletariat
market centre a bourgeoisie controlled element of production and supply formed
in the form of high streets with larger corporations. Another element of Capitalism
impact on settlement development is the concentration of available labour in
order to increase the pace of production in accumulating capital with the concertation
of proletariat housing being positioned closer to means of production such as
factories ensuring the availability of labour, an example of this is Port
Sunlight, a model village in the Wirral created on behalf of the Lever Brothers
in order to expand their soap making production and provide accessible housing
for the work force (ADD REF)

Furthermore state services such as the formation of the
welfare state through the NHS help further impact the capitalist market with
the health provisions provided to the works force in turn increasing production
and capital accumulation (ADD REF) with a healthier work force allowing for a greater
amount of production of surplus labour with in the same time frame,
productivity is increased which further benefits the ruling class with their control
of means of production.

Marxism, the state and Planning

With the relationship between Capitalism and space being established
it is clear that Planning is involved in order to establish concepts which in
turn benefits capitalism stability. This is shown through Capitals need for
Planning in order to establish the provision of unprofitable services and infrastructural
requirements. These services assist capitalism stability in the state such as
the infrastructural needs of roads for means of transportation of goods, Parks
and waste disposal in order to maintain a healthier workforce impacting
production and the provision of low cost housing for the proletariat providing a
better quality of life. Through the provision of an improved and affordable
quality of life for the proletariat it persuades them to have families which
benefits the bourgeoisie through the provision of a larger workforce.

Capitalism also requires Planning in the assistance of its administration
and Judiciary role of conflict management of land use planning. Changes in land
use often lead to conflicts of interest between the different land user groups (Dear
and Scott ADD REF) which often lead to conflicts of interest between the Proletariat
and the Bourgeoisie classes such as increased road congestion and a new
commercial development or residential air quality degradation and industrial
pollution. Planning is a state function and therefore an extension of
capitalism through the changes in emphases, goals and theories which reflect
the needs of capitalism objectives, therefore planning is not an apolitical
function as it caters for the Capitalist Ideology (Dear and Scott ADD REF)

Placebo participation

Planning gives the provision of placebo participation by
giving the proletariat an impression of inclusion in the planning process with
public participation being a facade for bourgeoisie interests (Dear and Scott
ADD REF)and proletariat appeasement further providing stability of capitalism
as the dominate ideology of the state.

Ideology and planning (David Harvey)

With Planners use of placebo participation Planners are seen
as an agent of the state and capital, Planners are taught the best approaches
to social reproduction which represents ‘the emphasis on the structures and
activities that transmit social inequality from one generation to the next’ (Christopher
Doob, 2003 ADD REF). In which planners are seen to provide a balancing act
between the objectives of the proletariat and the Bourgeoisie, David Harvey
argues that even with this perception that the Bourgeoisie and the objectives
of Capital are favoured over that of the proletariat and therefore the role of
the Planner in the state is to act as an agent of Capital and acts to resolve
conflict between communities yet still favouring Capital. However this also
means that Planners role in the state is not only to maintain the inequality
balance but to anticipate conflict and future crisis for Capitalism and to
devise ways to improve market conditions and removal of barriers for the advancement
of capital, while also strategizing for public participation (David Hervey ADD

Within Marxist theory urban areas and planning are fundamental
to society and stabilizing the states prominent Capitalist ideology and
therefore Planning is an agent for the interests of the ruling Bourgeoisie

Critical theory

A related theory developed out of the Marxist analysis is
Critical Theory. Critical Theory developed in 1930’s Germany when the crisis of
capitalism structure led to the rise of fascism rather than socialism along
with forming from the disenchantment of Marxism theory with the experience of
Soviet Russia’s style of communism not leading to greater freedom and
democratic right (Planning Theory ADD REFERENCE).Critical theory developed
through the Frankfurt School, which had a strong anti-capitalist and anti-Soviet
form of socialism, this was due to the view that both were a form of state
domination. The Frankfurt school critical theory does not undermine the Marxist
analysis, instead it wanted to analyse theories of domination as shown through capitalism,
soviet socialism and fascism (Planning Theory ADD REFERENCE).

Critical theory coincides with Marxism analysis through the
mutual criticism of Capitalism but has a broader focus on ‘closed systems’ of
domination (Theodore Adorno ADD REFERENCE) with cultural systems such as mass
entertainment in which forms ‘cultural solidarity’ (Herbert Marcuse ADD
REFERENCE) which was formed through the use of images, iconography and myths in
order to subdue the public towards accepting the exploitation of the proletariat
through inequality and to stabilize Capitalism (Planning theory ADD REFERENCE).

Critical theory and planning

Critical theory however differs in its approach to Planning,
which unlike Marxism analysis, believes that planning is a method of domination
by being a ‘closed system’ of instrumental rationality, yet still reclaimable
(ADD REFERENCE). Critics suggest Planners become an actor of cold rational
process due to their preoccupation with methods rather than an arbitrator of
community interests. Critical theory suggest that planning can be reclaimed through
Planners providing a stronger opposition to market forces in order to provide a
more positive approach to Planning (Boddy, 1982 ADD REFERENCE). Furthermore reclamation
of Planning can also be achieved through land use Planning policy with the
nationalisation of land in order to provide sufficient housing stock and larger
influence on development, this also assists in the rebalancing of the
systematic inequality with the removal of private land use as a means of
capitol which counters the ruling classes interests as:

‘The state thus serves to safeguard the interests in land of
activities essentially to continued production…It promotes the interests of
some producers in their search for production sites, and in particular has
given attention to safeguarding the exchange value of land and property as an
investment, and thus has facilitated the use of the built environment as a
store of value for capital.’ (Healey 1988 ADD REFERENCE)

Therefore critical theory and Neo-Marxists suggests that a
radial democratic approach to undermine land use capital should be adopted by
the Planner rather than abolishment of planning, thus giving greater balance in
the system for the proletariat with greater grass roots interest.(Planning


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