‘ANAL squatting collective takes over Qatari general’s £17m London townhouse’ (rt.com, 2 February). With a name like that, the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians have achieved one of their aims – exposure! They wish to draw our attention to the ‘problem’ of growing homelessness alongside thousands of properties in London alone, and over 200,000 in England, which have been unoccupied for more than six months. ANAL is supported by a number of groups concerned with housing and homelessness, including Architects for Social Housing who tweeted Homes for people, not for profit. Indeed. But because housing is produced for profit there is no possibility of a rational approach to housing within capitalism. Engels made this clear as far back as 1872: ‘As long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, it is folly to hope for an isolated solution of the housing question or of any other social question affecting the fate of the workers. The solution lies in the abolition of the capitalist mode of production and the appropriation of all the means of life and labour by the working class itself’ (The Housing Question).
‘Comments President Donald Trump made Wednesday at the White House during a Black History Month event left some people scratching their heads.
During a listening session, Trump praised abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895. He mentioned Douglass as ‘an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice,’ Trump said’ (kansascity.com, 1 February). On this performance alone, Trump’s future is certain – as presenter of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. He could well be joined by the anarchist Professor David Graeber, who thinks that the clown Trump’s victory ‘had proved that anarchists’ diagnosis of society’s ills was correct’ (nytimes, 2 February) – not to mention their disdain for democracy – and that ‘people want something radically different’. The Doctor sees only symptoms – hence his fervent support for Occupy who ‘ had elevated income inequality to the top of the Democratic political agenda’! – not the disease. Douglass was better informed: ‘The old master class was not deprived of the power of life and death, which was the soul of the relation of master and slave. They could not, of course, sell their former slaves, but they retained the power to starve them to death, and wherever this power is held there is the power of slavery. He who can say to his fellow- man, You shall serve me or starve, is a master and his subject is a slave….Though no longer a slave, he is in a thralldom grievous and intolerable, compelled to work for whatever his employer is pleased to pay him..’ (Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, 1892)
$ex and the 1%
‘One of the world’s most exclusive sex clubs for the rich and powerful has opened its doors to the public – but it will set you back a hefty £1,500-a-night. You’ll also have to jet to Los Angeles, where members at the Snctm sex club in Los Angeles – who sign a blood oath to join – are also splashing out an eye-watering £60,000-a-year for unlimited access to special rooms and privileges at the orgies’ (mirror.co.uk, 2 February). We the 99% are expected to find the means to raise the next generation of the working class. This has been so for centuries. Who better to comment on this situation than the Marquis De Sade: ‘Everywhere I could reduce men into two classes both equally pitiable; in the one the rich who was the slave of his pleasures; in the other the unhappy victims of fortune; and I never found in the former the desire to be better or in the latter the possibility of becoming so, as though both classes were working for their common misery…I saw the rich continually increasing the chains of the poor, while doubling his own luxury, while the poor, insulted and despised by the other, did not even receive the encouragement necessary to bear his burden. I demanded equality and was told it was utopian; but I soon saw those who denied its possibility were those who would lose by it…’ (Aline et Valcour, ou le Roman philosophique, 1788)
‘Canadian Mint Worker Sentenced To 30 Months For Smuggling $140,000 Of Gold In His Rectum’ (zerohedge.com, 2 February).
A headline you will not see in a socialist world without workers and crime – or your money back!