Quotations

‘The association that aims to embrace all other goods, the highest good and the “most sovereign” association is the state. This is the association which we call the state, the association which is “political” [the association that takes the form of a polis (state)]’. Aristotle, The Politics (4th Century BC/1982) para. 1252a1.

‘…and while the state came about as a means of securing life itself, it continues in being to secure the good life.’ Aristotle, The Politics (4th Century BC/1982) para. 1252b27.

‘[W]e also stated that man by nature is a political animal. Hence men have a desire for life together, even when they have no need to seek each other’s help. … The good life is indeed their chief end, both communally and individually; but they form and continue to maintain a political association [the association that takes the form of a polis (state)] for the sake of life itself.’ Aristotle, The Politics (4th Century BC/1982) para. 1278b15.

‘Therefore, because of the discovery of fire, there arose at the beginning, concourse among men, deliberation and a life in common. Many came together into one place,….’ Vitruvius, On Architecture, books I-V (1st Century BC/1998) p.77.

‘… human history differs from natural history in that we have made the former, but not the latter. Technology reveals the active relation of man to nature, the direct process of the production of his life, and thereby it also lays bare the process of the production of the social relations of his life, and of the mental conceptions that flow from those relations.’ Karl MarxCapital Vol. 1 (1867) Chapter 15, Note 4, p. 493).

‘The existence of this inclination to aggression,… disturbs our relations with our neighbour and… forces civilisation into such a high expenditure of energy. In consequence of this primary mutual hostility of human beings, civilised society is perpetually threatened with disintegration.’ Sigmund Freud, Civilisation and its Discontents (1930) p.49.

‘Juxtaposed with economic, social, and political values are values of a physiological and psychological origin which are bound up in the human person and which introduce concerns of both an individual and a collective order into the discussion. Life flourishes only to the extent of accord between the two contradictory principles that govern the human personality: the individual and the collective.’ Le Corbusier, The Athens Charter (1933/1943) trans. from the French by Anthony Eardley (New York: Grossman, 1973) p.44.

‘Whatever is considered to be best for man, from the point of view of inner cultural growth, must be established as the governing principle in the shaping of a healthy urban environment.’ Eliel Saarinen, The City: its growth, its decay, its future (1943).

“Wherever you go, you will be a polis” Arendt quoting ‘the watchword of Greek colonisation.’  Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958) p.198.

‘The only indispensable material factor in the generation of power is the living together of people. Only where men live so close together that the potentialities of action are always present can power remain with them, and the foundation of cities, which as city-states have remained paradigmatic for all Western political organisation, is indeed the most important material prerequisite for power.’  Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958) p.201.

‘Architecture is… organised around emptiness.’ Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VII – The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1957-1960 (1986) p.136.

‘Any group or collective, large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members.’ Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness (1964).

‘Nothing is transmissible but thought…. The law of life: death.’ Le Corbusier, opening passage of Mise au Point (1965/1966).

‘The city… is to be understood here as architecture. By architecture I mean not only the visible image of the city and the sum of its different architectures, but architecture as construction, the construction of the city over time. I believe that this point of view… addresses the ultimate and definitive fact in the life of the collective, the creation of the environment in which it lives.’ Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City (1966/1982) p.21.

‘The contrast between particular and universal, between individual and collective, emerges from the city and from its construction, its architecture.’ Aldo Rossi, op cit. p.21.

‘All great manifestations of social life have in common… the fact that they are born in unconscious life. This life is collective…’ Aldo Rossi, op cit. p.33.

‘In the future individualism ought to be the efficient utilization of the whole individual for the absolute benefit of a collectivity.’ Che Guevara [reproduced from http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/individualism-quotes/]

‘The qualitative is worn down. … The generalised terrorism of the quantifiable…’ Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution (Paris 1970) trans. by Robert Bononno (Minnesota 2003) p.185.

‘The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.’ Concluding sentences of Michel Foucault, ‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias’ (1967) in Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité (1984) p.9.

The right to the city cannot be conceived of as a simple visiting right or as a return to traditional cities. It can only be formulated as a transformed and renewed right to urban life. It does not matter whether the urban fabric encloses the countryside and what survives of peasant life, as long as the ‘urban’, place of encounter, priority of use value, inscription in space of a time promoted to the rank of a supreme resource among all resources, finds its morphological base and its practico-material realization. Which presumes an integrated theory of the city and urban society,…’ Henri Lefebvre, ‘The Right to the City’ (1968) in Writings on Cities (1996) p.158.

‘The manipulative bias of such ideologies [new urbanism] has never been more openly expressed than in Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) wherein the author asserts that Americans do not need piazzas, since they should be at home watching television. Such reactionary attitudes emphasize the impotence of an urbanised population which has paradoxically lost the object of its urbanization.’ Kenneth Frampton, ‘Towards a critical regionalism: 6 points for an architecture of resistance’, in Forster, ed., Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (1983) p.25.

‘And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.’ Margaret Thatcher, in an interview in Women’s Own (1987)

‘We no longer find ourselves dealing with the mass/individual pair. Individuals have become “dividuals”, and masses, samples, data, markets, or “banks”. Perhaps it is money that expresses the distinction between the two societies best, since discipline always referred back to minted money that locks gold in as numerical standard, while control relates to floating rates of exchange,…’ Gilles Deleuze, ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control’ in October 59 (1992) p. 5.

‘The intelligentsia is a status class of educated people engaged in the complex mental labours that critique, guide, and lead in shaping the culture and politics of their society.’ Pascal Ory and Jean-François SirinelliLes Intellectuels en France. De l’affaire Dreyfus à nos jours (Paris: Armand Colin, 2002) p. 10. [reproduced from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligentsia (accessed September 2020)]

‘I maintain that the concept of “multitude,” as opposed to the more familiar concept of “people,” is a crucial tool for every careful analysis of the contemporary public sphere.’ Paolo Virno, A Grammar of the Multitude (2004) p.21.

‘Further expanding the already large class of Foucauldian apparatuses, I shall call an apparatus [dispositif] literally anything that has in some way the capacity to capture, determine, intercept, model, control, or secure the gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of living beings. Not only, therefore, prisons, madhouses, the panopticon, schools, confession, factories, disciplines, juridical measures, and so forth (whose connection with power is in a certain sense evident), but also the pen, writing, literature, philosophy, agriculture, cigarettes, navigation, computers, cellular telephones and – why not – language itself, which is perhaps the most ancient of apparatuses – one in which thousands and thousands of years ago a primitive inadvertently let himself be captured, probably without realizing the consequences that he was about to face. Giorgio Agamben, ‘What is an apparatus’ in What is an Apparatus and other essays (2006/2009) p.14.

‘Our individualism has always been bound by a set of communal values, the glue upon which every healthy society depends.’ Barack Obama [reproduced from http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/individualism-quotes/]