Our economy has left deep scars in cities. As globalization has advanced, cities have become sites of acute oppression. The global free market has made soul-searing, society-rending levels of inequality, racism, pollution, and social isolation the daily lived experience of billions of city dwellers. Governments often exacerbate this oppression by seeking out global investors who, like parasites, extract resources from cities without giving anything in return. Both the free market and the state are failing city residents.

This weighty oppression in cities has led many residents to seek community by emphasizing differences. As German sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas theorized, systems of advanced capitalism tear apart social relations. People respond to these systems by forming groups based upon differences, rather than commonalities with others. They marginally differentiate themselves based on gender, age, skin color, neighborhood, or religious affiliation. This form of community building...

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