"Second" impressions

“Second“ impressions Having spent one more week here, filled with more talks and tours through various parts of the city, it’s time to write down some second impressions. What struck me most is the concern and love of all people here in Detroit for the city they live in. There does exist a certain idea of what Detroit ought to be: a town in which the experiment on the post-fordist , post neo liberal society is taking shape. An experiment with an unknown outcome, but based on ideas and beliefs the local counts more than the national, based on convictions the Detroiters are in this situation all together and need eachother to make the experiment work. Whether that be by buying local, by social networking in your town, or by supporting eachother in all one does makes no difference now. The belief is here that people need to do it themselves, independent of the structures that characterized the fordist system. Politics and politicians? To be laughed at. Companies and other institutions? Not concerned with people. So everybody works in non profit organisations. Some get paid for their work, others live of food stamps to have their NGO function on the highest profile possible.

This indeed is all very beautiful, but it brings up some tough questions: In the limbo-ism of this moment cooperations work out fine, but how will the future with some more organized models influence this way of working? How will Detroiters deal with the influx of people and money from out of town? Can the love and desire for making Detroit work again survive the phase of self obsessedness that naturally stems from it? How will Detroiters deal with the outside world putting various stamps on the city? The future might be less bright for some of the ideas that seem so vivid today.

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