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The Communist Hypothesis and Revolutionary Capitalisms: Exploring the Idea of Communist Geographies for the Twenty-first Century

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This essay starts from the presumption that “the communist hypothesis” is still a good one, but argues that the idea of communism requires urgent re-thinking in light of both the “obscure” disaster of twentieth century really existing socialism and the specific conditions of twenty-first century capitalism. I explore the contours of the communist hypothesis, chart the characteristics of the revolutionary capitalism of the twenty-first century and consider how our present predicament relates to the urgency of rethinking and reviving the communist hypothesis. Throughout, I tentatively suggest a number of avenues that require urgent intellectual and theoretical attention and interrogate the present condition in light of the possibilities for creating communist geographies for the twenty-first century.

Keywords: communism; communist geographies; radical geography; radical politics; the communist hypothesis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2009.00727.x

Affiliations: Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK;, Email: erik.swyngedouw@manchester.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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