At the heart of the problems of modern cities lies the capitalist approach to the organization of urban life. The capitalist approach in this case should be understood not as a market economy as such, but as the perception of the city only through the prism of material gain. British researcher David Harvey, who is considered one of the most respected scientists analyzing the city from the standpoint of neo-Marxism, is convinced that the pace of urban development in the modern world is set by transnational and national corporations. For a corporation, a city is a means of profit; therefore, capitalists are guided by three major principles - increasing profits, increasing the availability of consumption infrastructure, and increasing the efficiency of a city as a commercial and industrial facility. But these principles completely ignore the issues of social and socio-cultural development of modern cities. In particular, corporations absolutely do not pay attention to the state of the environment in large cities, nor to transport problems, nor to the emergence of migrant enclaves that change not only the appearance, but also the internal cultural nature of cities. As a result, the suitability of cities for a comfortable person’s living is reduced.
Another well-known scientist, Manuel Castells, emphasizes that in the modern world the city turns into a space for the reproduction of labor resources. This entails the overpopulation of cities and the growth of social exclusion. The ecological situation is worsening, but for companies involved in building urban areas, these problems are completely irrelevant. Entire massifs of modern ghettos are being formed, where housing is relatively cheap, therefore, they are rapidly populated by the most disadvantaged categories - migrants, low-income youth, and marginalized people. Urban space, thus, also turns into a commodity. Housing on the outskirts, near industrial facilities and railways is cheaper than housing in the center. Having a "piece" of urban space in the center of a large city is already a great achievement. Apartment owners in the center of Moscow are real millionaires. The cost of their housing is enough for a comfortable life until the end of days in any provincial city of Russia.
At the same time, the pursuit of extracting profits from urban space is killing the ecological and cultural environment of cities. What is one "dot building", disfiguring the architectural appearance and laying bombs of fast and slow action in the form of parking problems, traffic jams, communication overload, overcrowding of schools, kindergartens and clinics. Especially when you consider that in modern Russia, the construction of a residential complex is not always accompanied by the creation of a full-fledged infrastructure for its inhabitants. Often, new tenants literally “sit on their heads” to the old inhabitants of the districts, because they overload schools, kindergartens, clinics, and their cars create traffic jams on the first free streets.
The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard paid attention not accidentally to the processes of “marketization” of modern cities with the subsequent transformation of the spaces around the shopping centers into “lifeless deserts”. Creating objects of increased attraction of people, first of all - large shopping centers, hypermarkets, entertainment centers, highways - contributes to the destruction of the integrity of the city, as people are concentrated in the most attractive places for consumption. On the other hand, in modern conditions, not all objects of residential and commercial infrastructure built by our developers are in demand. In every major modern city there are many new empty buildings. On the entire twenty-storey house can be occupied several apartments. Many people cannot afford housing in such houses, as well as offices or retail space.
Once the car was designed to improve the comfort of life of the average person, increasing the speed and possibilities of movement. Today megacities are in traffic jams. Many people, having their own cars, prefer to travel by subway, as it is much faster. Some change to bicycles and motorcycles, which have great potential for maneuver. It turns out that the main advantage of the car - speed - in the conditions of urban traffic jams was minimized. Sometimes it’s faster to walk to the desired point than to drive.
Another major feature of the modern city that is directly related to the problems of national security is the destruction of social ties and the atomization of the urban environment. In the traditional city, each person was in his place, there was a developed system of social connections. Visitors from other places gradually became involved in the rhythm of city life, “dissolved” in the urban environment, adopting the way of life and value systems of citizens. In this way, multinational communities of Odesa, Rostov, and Baku residents were formed, for which their “nationality” became their affiliation to a particular city.
In the modern large city, the existing systems of social relations were destroyed, the “urban identity” of residents gradually weakened, as the number of newcomers became comparable, and even significantly exceeded the old-time population of cities. Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman sees in a modern large city "alien space" that do not know each other and are not interesting to each other. Even communicating with each other, they remain “alien”, social exclusion is growing. Few people even know all the neighbors in the entrance. This is understandable - the tenants are constantly changing, since the mobility of the population in the modern metropolis is very high. Migrants from other countries arriving in the city no longer seek to integrate into the urban environment, but create closed enclaves that are suspicious of the old-time population, and the latter also perceive migrants with fear or hostility.
By the way, oddly enough, it is the migrant enclaves and slum areas in modern metropolitan areas that reproduce the traditional model of social organization of citizens. Both migrants and “slum people” are in close contact in their social environment, which increases their cohesion and organization. For the “normal” citizen, which today means the average atomized average man is an individualist, such “communities” look like something alien, incomprehensible and dangerous. And this, too, has its share of truth - after all, migrants and residents of socially depressed areas act as a medium of heightened danger. Among them is a higher level of social negativism, crime, various forms of deviant behavior are common. But the atomized man in the street is potentially dangerous. “Loneliness in the crowd,” as Russian philosopher and cultural scientist Boris Markov calls it, testifies to the “disease of society”. Atomization is beneficial for the authorities and corporations, including because self-organized groups of citizens are a source of potential political danger, they are political actors that cannot be ignored, and which constitute a serious force. In the major cities of the West, Russia, atomization prevails and only enclaves of migrants and social outsiders represent an exception to the general trend of the urban environment.
Sociologists speak of “local spaces” in modern megacities, which are understood as migrant enclaves and social ghettos. In these spaces, people are forced to communicate more with each other, but this does not mean that the existence of such “local spaces” has positive consequences for the city. On the contrary, “local spaces” are most often characterized by an increased level of aggression towards the surrounding urban environment and other citizens. This aggression is implicated in social and cultural factors. The social factor is the disorder, poor living conditions, poverty and destitution, unemployment prevailing in modern ghettos. It is difficult for their inhabitants to get a good education, to get a prestigious job, to change the quality of life - there are neither means nor cultural and social capital for such serious improvements in their own being. The very environment of social ghettos contributes to the cultivation of all sorts of vices - drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, gambling and so on. On the other hand, ghetto dwellers trying to “escape” from this vicious circle often become militants of radical organizations or criminal groups.
The cultural factor is the serious mental, value and behavioral differences that exist between the inhabitants of the “local spaces” and the surrounding citizens. These differences are based either on different ethnic and religious affiliations, or on a specific way of life. In order to be “mentally alien”, it is not necessary to belong to the Somali diaspora in Oslo or the Moroccan in Paris. One can also be a representative of the “social bottom” of the indigenous nationality, brought up in the subculture of the criminal and semi-criminal environment. Nihilism, a tendency to wrongdoing and crimes, aggression against more affluent and “successful” citizens, falling out of social reality, a greater susceptibility to extremist ideas - all these characteristics are in one degree or another characteristic of many residents of modern social ghettos. Residents of the ghetto feel hatred for a prosperous environment, which is often attempted to be clothed in religious and political attires - as a rejection of “infidels”, “bourgeoisie”, “exploiters” (despite the fact that many “exploiter haters” do not work, ).
The EU leadership, which actually stimulates uncontrolled migration, is least concerned about the real interests of European citizens. Moreover, the paradigm of multiculturalism and tolerance prevailing in the European Union only aggravates the existing cultural differences between migrants and the local population. Instead of contributing to the speedy integration, mastering the norms of behavior in the host society, all conditions are created for the conservation of their own traditions and customs, which in a culturally alien environment become demonstrative. And already migrants - inhabitants of enclaves and modern ghettos - accuse the host society of racism, classifying as racist any requirements to comply with generally accepted norms and rules of conduct.
The second, third generation of migrants are the children of those who came from different countries at different times. They already feel the country that has adopted their parents or grandfathers as their homeland. In fact, the way it is. Here they were born, their relatives were buried here, here passed the childhood and youth years. But does this mean that migrants of the second and third generations perceive the civil identity of the host society? The brothers Kouachi also grew up in France, which did not prevent them from becoming terrorists and killing their fellow citizens. Najim Laashraoui, who was accused of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, also grew up in Belgium. Potential extremists and terrorists are united by life in conditions of social exclusion in migrant ghettos, where the majority of inhabitants prefer not to work, but to exist for social benefits, simultaneously engaging in semi-criminal and criminal activities.
It turns out that the “new homeland” for migrants is not Germany or France as a whole, but only their specific enclave, the city ghetto, where childhood and youth pass and life values and attitudes are assimilated. The more socially problematic this ghetto, the more aggressive the social environment in it, and the more likely it is that its inhabitant will accept criminal or extremist values. It is not by chance that even the police enter reluctantly to many suburbs of the same Brussels, as a rule, under the cover of special forces. That is, these enclaves have already turned into territories that exist by their own rules and actually dropped out of the common social space. These are “small Algerians”, “small Somalia”, “small Senegalese” on French, Belgian, and German territory. The appearance of the enclaves increasingly resembles not European, but African or Middle Eastern cities. This is how the European urban space is transformed, accepting a new social reality and facing risks that, without a fundamental change in the very foundations of the social and political life of Western societies, cannot be overcome.