It is difficult sometimes talking about things let’s say housing, without all of the other knowledge of what goes with it. But do we? The biggest problem from the start is that many are now thinking about “housing” rather than homes. For many, housing has become, not a home, but an investment plan rather than a place to rest your head, look after your kids and feel secure about looking to and planning your future. In the late 60s early 70s landlords that bought property to let-out were known a scumbags. Today it is now respectable to take out a second mortgage to buy a flat to rent to a student, or more likely multi students or the multi unfortunates who can’t get a council house or afford the silliness of a mortgage. (mort) till you die. (gage) how much can be distorted out of you before you die. That is what a mort-gage means.
Now, the second home owner with all of the encouragement of Thatchers neoliberal project behind them is getting the tenant to pay his or her mortgage through extortionate rents. Today’s young folk whose social housing was bought up by their parents for a song, struggle through a shit job, or jobs, to pay the rent. While the property owning classes invest in their property as a future pension plan. And that is only at the bottom rung of the property investors ladder. Just think what is happening at the top of it.
There was a time when the middle classes with some money in the bank to invest, actually created employment through local businesses and investments, in things that involved a service to people. The property boom not only discourages that for anybody, through bogus high rents. Why bother being creative and starting a business, when your portfolio in property allows you to make money as you sleep?
We need to forget or stop imagining we live in a democracy. We do not. We live under a bureaucracy that manages all of the above and that ignores or is completely oblivious as to how ordinary people live or what are their needs. We could start here to explain all of the outs and ins, look at all of the arguments, the BS explanations of why, lord-so-and-so needs to own half of the countries property.
We could do all of that, but all it might do is to make us feel even more stupid that we have put up with it for so long. Especially when we already, even subconsciously, know the answers and that we should maybe start to work with what we already know. So there is plenty of available knowledge out there of how we are being duped. But knowledge can just serve as another form of entertainment and distraction unless it can be reused and shaped into useful and intelligent ideas.
The only thing that creates change for ordinary people is when we find the ability to hurt what they (the elite) hold dear. Because there are millions more of us than there are of them. They have the Government, the police, the army, the investment banks, the corporations, the press as well as control of all of the institutions and propaganda that is needed to help to control our minds. Which is testimony of how intelligent we really are, if all of this overarching power and control is what is needed to enforce on us their perpetual lies.
The only people who work for us is ourselves. But for that work to be productive and if we are to win anything, we each need to step out from behind whatever ruse we might be playing against ourselves to put-off or avoid being involved. Or to imagine things are going to get better if we just sit tight. Whether we are talking about housing, work, health, or whatever else is ailing us, sitting tight, is never a useful position for intelligent people. Because as Fredrick Douglass reminds us “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will”. And as Frida Berrigan from that famous family of peacemakers states, and is particularly relevant in the present conflicts and strike actions with the bosses, the landlords and all of the other exploiters. She states in order to make a difference, simply. “Half of it is about showing up”