Always crashing in the same city: real estate, psychic capital and planetary desire

Moreno, Louis. 2018. Always crashing in the same city: real estate, psychic capital and planetary desire. CITY, 22(1), pp. 152-168. ISSN 1360-4813 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

It has been said that in the 21st century all politics is about real estate. The claim is important because it clarifies capitalism’s global method: spatial dispossession is fundamental to finance capital’s world-ranging power. Here, it is also clear that since the 1970s urbanisation has given financial capitalism a new freedom—the freedom to make the future a spatial privilege only urban elites can enjoy. What, though, makes it possible to reduce all the different qualities of planetary experience to the quantitative identity of money and space? Returning to the monetary crisis of 1971, this essay considers the way real estate has become the enabling condition which makes urbanisation and financialisation equivalent operations. But urban accumulation is more than just the pathological expression of a global rentier class. Real estate is also the condition of possibility for a cultural diversification and spatial intensification of the credit system’s reach; facilitating the emergence of new human forms of capitalisation and, through new technology, financial deepening at the psychic level. Resisting capital’s attempt to make inner experience a field of real estate manifests a new frontline of planetary praxis; necessitating an urgent need to revivify the spatio-political unconscious.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in City on 15 March 2018, available at: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


Financialisation, Urbanisation, Urbanism, Urban Theory, Real Estate, Capitalism, Marxism, Psychopolitics

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


15 February 2018Accepted
15 March 2018Published Online

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Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2023 12:24

Last Modified:

27 Jan 2023 20:49

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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