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Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis Essay

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Introduction

The inclusion of the political dimension in the causes of slum development is the most incisive stage in analyzing the population of slums. It is imperative to acknowledge that the darkness of the slum situation is caused by the exclusion of millions of people from the formal economy. The political structure confines people to a disorganized industry with a guerrilla uprising which is only common with underdeveloped countries.

This is not to be taken as a normal practice that comes with urbanization. The marginalization of a large percentage of the population is a political strategy to have economically oppressed people who work more for less pay. It is these people who end up in slums. It is impossible to come up with labor unions as the slum dwellers are under informal work conditions and are therefore not allowed to join unions.

Main Body

The informal sector has contributed to the fastest growing social class in the world which is poor. These are thriving in a paradise of deregulation in which hopes of better futures exist. The reality, however, is that not even the essential needs of human living are provided for under these circumstances. The slum dwellers are living in the hope of job creation by the government. It should be noted that there are no new jobs created for these people. The existing jobs are subdivided. This, in turn, amount to the division of the income so that with every new employee, the existing employees will earn even less.

Bauman’s postulation that there exists a division of the world into two, tourist and vagabonds, is similar to Davis’s division into the rich and the poor. While the tourist is benefiting from the ability to traverse the globe, vagabonds are forced by circumstances. Not many people can identify themselves as either tourists or vagabonds a fact which reduces the validity of Bauman’s suppositions. This take is overly graphic and clashes with the oppositions that postmodernists doubt.

The high population of slum dwellers can be attributed to the migratory pattern that Bauman refers to as the vagabonds. They neither enjoy the relocation process nor appreciate the need to travel. Vagabonds give tourists the psychological satisfaction that the poor give the rich. It is comforting in both scenarios to have someone of lesser importance to look down upon. This reinforces the feeling of achievement or wellbeing for the tourist and the rich. Tourists and the rich have another thing in common, the immunity against constraints of time and space. Life is therefore in a hyper-reality with no boundaries.

It is this contrast in lifestyle that Davis supposes will result in conflict and violence in the streets. The poor live in a world where the virtual and the real are sharply in contrast. They are therefore envious of the good life of the rich and are constantly under oppression. The impending war against terror is merely a struggle for existence between the rich and the poor. I relate the treatment of vagabonds and slum dwellers as filth and dustbins for the rich to be the main cause of the struggle. The opposition of the contrasting sides is the basis of the division of the postmodern society.

Conclusion

In conclusion, feral or failed cities should be addressed promptly. A planet of slums is one in which the competition between slum dwellers and those outside the slums is ever increasing. I personally don’t think that this will be a healthy competition as it will have inevitable violence in the struggle for survival. The governments’ ignorance of this situation is not uncalled for. The planet of slums will be the center stage of development politics. It is in the darkness of slums that we are making our history as an urbanized world. Oppression once overdone results in retaliatory strategies by the poor against the rich.

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IvyPanda. (2021, March 21). Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-culture-in-the-planet-of-slums-by-mike-davis/

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"Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis." IvyPanda, 21 Mar. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/political-culture-in-the-planet-of-slums-by-mike-davis/.

1. IvyPanda. "Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-culture-in-the-planet-of-slums-by-mike-davis/.


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IvyPanda. "Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-culture-in-the-planet-of-slums-by-mike-davis/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-culture-in-the-planet-of-slums-by-mike-davis/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Political Culture in “The Planet of Slums” by Mike Davis'. 21 March.

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