A US focused text but fun to read. I guess many of the arguments hold true across the globe: Gentrification Is a Feature, Not a Bug, of Capitalist Urban Planning (2019) Samuel Stein.
Capitalists have serious and specific demands of the state, without which they are unlikely to function in the long term, or even on a day-to-day basis. They want the state to make big, fixed-capital investments in infrastructures that enable their own profit-making. They also want government to ensure some degree of support for people’s social reproduction, in order to assure they have a living, breathing workforce to exploit in the first place. Without these investments — planned, paid for and coordinated by the state — they have little basis on which to operate.
[Gentrification] is surely an economic and social force, but it is also the product of the state — a planned process of channeled reinvestment and targeted displacement. […] Militant anti-gentrification movements can threaten real estate capital’s capacity to realize profits, and thus transform the housing crisis from one borne by tenants to one felt by landlords, developers, and investors. This is no easy task, but it is the one we face if we seek to unmake the real estate state.
An excerpt from Fully Automated Luxury Communism (2019) Aaron Bastani. Compared to the 2018 book “Täysin automatisoitu avaruushomoluksuskommunismi” [Fully Automated Space Gay Luxury Communism] by Pontus Purokuru this feels like an educative read. The Purokuru text felt more like the authors personal reasoning why they ought not to stress about not contributing to the present day development of the welfare state, then a manifesto for a communism to come (as it was proclaimed it to be).
While the average political commentator likes to cast Marx as an idealistic dreamer, the man himself repeatedly stated his distaste for describing what communism might actually look like – what he termed writing ‘recipes for the cook-shops of the future’.
He was certain about some features of the new society, however. One was that the arrival of communism would herald the end of any distinction between labour and leisure. More fundamentally, it would signal humanity’s exit from what he called the ‘realm of necessity’ and entrance into the ‘realm of freedom’.
[Marxs] view was that communism was only possible when our labour – how we mix our cognitive and physical efforts with the world – becomes a route to self-development rather than a means of survival. […] as information, labour, energy and resources become permanently cheaper – and work and the limits of the old world are left behind – it turns out we don’t just satisfy all of our needs, but dissolve any boundary between the useful and the beautiful. Communism is luxurious – or it isn’t communism.