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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Give a Squat

Before you romanticize squatting and other forms of informal insecure settlement you should realize that it often amounts to lethally dangerous crowdsourced real estate development for eventual plutocratic profit.


watching the watchers said...

One reason many people romanticize squatting is because it's literally their only option. It does tend to make life easier to avoid perceiving your current circumstances as intolerable. Are you even aware that the original U.S. squatters' movement was started by actual poor people and that huge segments of the present one are made up of actual poor people whose standard of living is lowered by evictions and constant police harassment? Or is whatever personal drama you have with anarchists a more pressing concern? When I was homeless and dealing with ongoing personal crises, anarchist squatter houses were pretty much the only places that wanted to take me in. By contrast, the ever-condescending social services ("solution" of choice for progressives) demanded coercive drugging by brain-damaging and diabetes-inducing psych meds as a prerequisite for assistance. That is standard procedure for most homeless shelters where poverty is routinely pathologized as part of the job description for social workers.

Do you generally make a habit of allowing homeless people to sleep in your home and have free use of your kitchen and bathroom? No? Well then consider educating yourself about squatters rights instead of trying to dismiss an entire social justice movement via Twitter, whose very existence contributes to Bay Area gentrification. By the way, squatting is not necessarily incompatible with state socialism.

Dale Carrico said...

Few people forced to squat romanticize that precarious expedient, and to the extent that presumably both of us abhor that anybody is forced into such a position the antagonism you are aiming at me for making this modest intervention seems counterproductive to say the least.

I said nothing about anarchists here, I'm pretty sure, but if anarchists want to pretend that informal insecure precarious tenancy is a sustainable form of true liberty then you are quite right to assume I would regard that as one more among many facile idiocies to which they ascribe.

That aside, I find it hard to imagine anybody as oblivious as you are pleased to assume I must be would be moved to make the observation in this post in the first place. Certainly none of the problems or injustices you mention are more clearly perceived or addressed by supporting the contrary point to the one I make -- and my point seems more readily continuous with your observations...

I quite agree with you that the pathologization of poverty is appalling, which is why I say so here often enough, and I daresay that pathologization also stratifies the under-funding and condescending malpractice of social services which I do indeed regard as solutions to problems of poverty (long term unemployment and disability insurance, universal healthcare, nutritional assistance, subsidized housing, lifelong free education and job training programs all seem to me indispensable) and which I fail to see well reflected in the programs as they presently stand as would anybody with a brain and a heart.

I am glad you are watching the watchers, even if you feel you must include me among them. Good luck to you.