047: Free Housing For All


Manage episode 296621094 series 1511624
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One of the many outrageous and surreal moral paradoxes of life in the imperial core was made disturbingly obvious early on during the COVID crisis in a shuttered Las Vegas—then void of tourists—when its city officials moved unhoused residents into an empty outdoor parking lot. In a woesome illustration of capitalism’s hallmark scarcity in the midst of plenty, looming directly above the forgotten were the city's glitzy-ritzy hotels with thousands of empty, unused rooms stacked skyward—taunting the unsheltered who were made to sleep below, partitioned by lines of chalked concrete. Let’s call it what it was: an open-air prison. Fast forward a year later, with vaccines aplenty, millions of additional Americans are now at risk of joining the ranks of the unsheltered thanks to the soft-fascism of the Biden administration and its refusal to take direct action to prevent a looming eviction crisis. These days, few can afford to join the American-dream-home-ownership-cult, as prices have soared past their breaking points all across the nation, with California exemplifying the surge, where homes are now selling for $50-70,000 above their listing prices. And even for the renters who aren’t behind on their monthly debt payments to land-barons, they are confronting increased housing precarity as well, with rents skyrocketing to ever outrageous levels. In a world where housing—a basic necessity that everyone needs—has become a speculative hyper-commodity driving unfathomable levels of wealth inequality in the midst of apocalyptic climate chaos, to say that there is a “housing crisis” is a tragic understatement. Our contemporary and abject social contract can be summed up as: “PAY RENT OR DIE.” So without pause or confusion, we must unapologetically recognize that housing is both a human right and a public good that must be provided unconditionally to every person on the planet. Accordingly, there should be no such thing as a “housing market”—a gross absurdity that does little more than guarantee that housing’s exchange value will always trump its use value. Let us be clear: Housing is a human right. Therefore, rent is a human rights abuse and landlords are human rights violators, full stop. Not surprisingly, as the core feature of the second most important node along The Golden Square, free housing for all needs to be acknowledged as a non-negotiable, bare minimum provision to be expected from any decent society. In this episode, Jesse & Matt grapple with the unconscionable injustices of for-profit housing, seeking out those much too neglected vectors of emancipatory struggle where housing decommodification can begin, brick-by-brick, archway-to-doorway.

Comprehensive Show Notes Can Be Found at thefutureisamixtape.com

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