New Axioms For Reading The Landscape Essay

1127 Words Dec 12th, 2016 5 Pages
Don Mitchell’s “New Axioms for Reading the Landscape: Paying Attention to Political Economy and Social Justice” incorporates old ideas from Peirce F. Lewis’s original “Axioms for Reading the Landscape.” At the same time, Mitchell also includes new ideas into his axioms. In Axiom 1, he explains that “the landscape is not produced through ‘our unwitting autobiography’ (as Lewis describes it), but as an act of (social, not individual) will” (2007, 34). He also stresses the idea that landscape should be produced as a commodity. In contrast, Neil Smith explains the main causes behind gentrification. Smith explains how gentrification happens through a process which he calls “rent gap” (1979, 545). In gentrification, the landscape is a commodity because it loses and gains monetary value through disinvestment and investment.
Mitchell highlights in Axiom 1, the importance that social will (relations) has on the production of a landscape. Relations are the reason why a landscape produces the things that it does. Without, individual and social relations merging themselves into the landscape, the production of the landscape will not be altered, or better yet have a meaning. Landscape as a commodity adds monetary value to its production. Under capitalism, the landscape becomes profitable. However, if the landscape cannot produce (make money) it loses its meaning. Those relations within the landscape are impacted when the landscape is positively or negatively producing. In other words,…

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