Corruption, the abuse of power for private gain, or more generally, the degradation or deformation of the political order, has been with us since the earliest classical city-states. So have complaints about corruption, and so have various politicians who pledged to ‘do something’ about it.*
In the current discourse of low-budget urbanity, there is a special place for projects and practices of temporary reuse. While the idea of temporary urban uses is often understood as encompassing a highly heterogeneous variety of practices and projects, and defying strict definitions (Bishop and Williams, 2012), the currency in common parlance of terms such as pop-up shops, guerrilla gardens and interim uses bears witness to the existence of a shared imaginary of marginal and alternative temporary practice (DeSilvey and Edensor, 2013; Hou, 2010).
It has been claimed that historically, anarchism has adopted a ‘highly ambivalent’ relationship with technology, ‘oscillating between a bitter critique driven by the experiences of industrialism, and an almost naive optimism around scientific development’ (Gordon, 2008: 111-113).
Conflated with anti-statism, anything goes, chaos, violence and terrorism, anarchism is probably one of the most misconstrued and demonized political ideologies of our times. Anarchist writings have long been the preserve of activist subcultures, while attracting only marginal attention in academic circles. The tide seems to have changed alongside the widespread disillusionment with the authoritarian neoliberal state and sweeping Orwellian surveillance apparatuses in the wake of the current crisis.