In the related article the photographers say:
"As Europeans, we were looking with an outsider's eye, which made downtown Detroit seem even more strange and dramatic," says Meffre. "We are not used to seeing empty buildings left intact. In Europe, salvage companies move in immediately and take what they can sell as antiques. Here, they only take the metal piping to sell for scrap. In the Vanity ballroom alone, we saw four giant art deco chandeliers, beautiful objects, each one unique. It was almost unbelievable that they could still be there. It is as if America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture."This is very much a symptom of the cycles of capital with the decline of Detroits' reason for being (that being the motor industry), and racial politics with "white flight" leaving a largely poor, and African-American city centre. To overthrow capitalism and replace it by something better is a laudable, and vital, aim. In Detroit it is as if capitalism has abandoned the people and their infrastructure, leaving little in the way of food shops and all the other essesntials of modern existence.
The conclusion is worth reading:
as [Thomas J Sugrue, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit] puts it: "The abandoned factories, the eerily vacant schools, the rotting houses, and gutted skyscrapers that Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre chronicle are the artefacts of Detroit's astonishing rise as a global capital of capitalism and its even more extraordinary descent into ruin, a place where the boundaries between the American dream and the American nightmare, between prosperity and poverty, between the permanent and the ephemeral are powerfully and painfully visible. No place epitomises the creative and destructive forces of modernity more than Detroit, past and present."