Commodification of the Pillars of Life: The Water

Interesting little piece by a fellow urbanist on water and neoliberalism. Thought I’d share – it’s got some relevance to Bermuda and our fresh-water limitations.

Urban Issues


(Image Credit: The Washington Post)

As Aristotle pointed out a long time ago, when two equal rights meet, power decides. Indeed, under the current neo-liberal hegemony, water rights are increasingly articulated via dynamics of commodification of water, private appropriation of water resources, dispossession tactics, and the like (Bakker 2003). (Swyngedouw)

As Erik Swyngedouw argues, in the age of commodification of everything, a.k.a. neoliberalization, water has been a pioneering issue via which neoliberal policies of privatisation has been rolled-out and tested.

By the effect of climate change, the condition has become even more severe.

cityLab’s recent article, Class Warfare and the California Drought, highlights the inequality of access to water and the risk of normalisation of the commodification of vital aspects like water.

Steve Yuhas, a conservative talk-show host and part-time resident of Rancho Santa Fe, explained in a Washington Post hate-read this weekend: “We pay significant property taxes…

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2 thoughts on “Commodification of the Pillars of Life: The Water

  1. Hi Starling, I am asking for a big favour, please. I would be grateful to receive any information and guidance on academic publications related to Bermuda’s immigration history, population composition, immigration policy and its relation to its economy. I have an undergraduate student whose research I am supervising and I would like to inform myself better about Bermuda. Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers, J.

  2. Right. Well, hopefully some readers can also assist here.

    I’d suggest this site as a useful resource site though, particularly Frank Manning’s work for getting a clearer understanding of at least our racial political dynamics (while dating from the 1970s, it seems pretty much still accurate) –

    If you or your student is on island, Archives and BerCol are of course obvious resources to explore. I’m not too sure of actual academic papers, but I’d do a search perhaps for articles by Geoffrey Rothwell, who’s the sociology guy at BerCol and who, I believe, has written some stuff on Portuguese immigration in the Bermudian context.

    I’ll have a think.

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