Springer should correct his erroneous view from “hindsight” as to what actually happened in radical circles in North America after 1969. We were a very diverse group, free to be radical in any way we wanted. The written record is much more biased initially to Marxism and anti-imperialism (reflecting understandable preoccupations with the Vietnam War), for reasons I have already stated, and the voices of women and minority groups often had difficulty being heard even though there was no specific hegemonic faction (as opposed to influential individuals). The idea that I “solidified what Folke had considered obligatory” (Springer, 2014: 250) is way off the mark. There was a brief period in the late 1970s when many geographers explored the Marxist alongside other radical options. But by 1982, when I published Limits to Capital (a book I had worked on for nearly ten years), that was pretty much all over. By 1987 I was venting my frustrations at the widespread rejection of Marxist theoretical perspectives. “Three myths in search of a reality in urban studies,” published in Society and Space , was greeted with strong criticism from both friends and foes alike. In retrospect the piece looks all too accurate in what it foretold.
The infuriating thing is that I think there might be. We could write articles acknowledging that certain conversations can exacerbate crippling guilt and self-loathing, particularly for people with anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses that make them fixate on their own perceived worthlessness. We could really, truly, not-just-lip-service integrate concern for those people into our activism. We could acknowledge how common this experience is and have resources to help people. We could stop misidentifying anguish as entitlement, and stop acting like anguish that does have entitlement at its root is deserved or desirable or hilarious.