Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best Thing I Read in 2014

There were many good pieces out there in the blog world for 2014. There was one that really stuck out and kept me coming back to read. It was the gentrification article on social matter. It was a truly fantastic article on the issue of gentrification that gets plenty of publicity and coverage elsewhere. Wes at Theden had written about gentrification previously, and that was a joy to read. This new article really dug into gentrification as a form of warfare. It is warfare with code words, but a tremendous read. Please go read it.

It is full of great bits on the history of American cities. How did US cities get to that point? How did the cities of the strongest nation turn into dumps? The article ties in white flight, gun laws, bad governance, zoning laws and the entire toolbox that goes into reclaiming a city. The article goes to show how MARTA might move blacks through Atlanta to terrorize neighborhoods, but it could also be used in the future for gentrification. I loved this article. It was a reinforcement to me how the progressives screamed at apartheid with full force, but in the end, they use financial and regulatory apartheid to segregate American cities.

A big reason it stuck with me is that as part of the white college graduate class living in metropolitan areas, I have friends doing the gentrification route. Some are pioneers. Some are later arrivals. One works on the public side of fixing up ruined homes to hook up with struggling families (stop laughing). Another works in development. They are scattered across big cities on the east coast and midwest. They all see things just as the Social matter article lays out, and they even talk in code words about architectural features, historical code windows, restoration rules, X Park Society memberships and other things. These are all the weapons of the gentrifier to push out the riff raff that will not keep a place to code. They all know the problem, but they cannot admit it.

I kept going back to the article because I keep looking for the Indiana Jones relic. What will be the key to getting all of these people to go from unconsciously or consciously but denying it real talk action to outright "F*ck this sh*t, we're not tolerating disorder anymore, GTFO". A couple of years ago, the NY Times article on marriage being the class divide was the closest I have seen the Times outright say "get married idiots". The realization that the order and welfare state social democrats expected to be there and functioning may not be there because of social dysfunction may be the only way to get to them. Nothing motivates people like a threat to kith and kin. It is a shame that it takes that. Let that heat burn at their feet. Maybe then they'll come around. When the light bulb goes on for my gentrifying friends, I'll be sure to have that Social matter article on hand to let them know they have finally come around in word to what their real estate decision making deeds have been implying for years.

14 comments:

PA said...

"get married idiots"

Was that the same NYT article that contrasted two White women, the prosperous one married to a White man and the other a broke single mom of a black/mixed kid?

There was a good amount of discussion on the Right about the unstated race-mixing angle taken by the Times.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Yes PA. Some subtle messaging there by NYTimes. They contrasted the white chick with a great, engaged, and successful white husband with the white woman who had kids with a black guy who never got around to marrying her and was not supportive. Hysterical read, but the NYTimes legit worried there won't be enough folks around to pay for everything.

Mark Yuray said...

Do I have to point out that the intended implied message of the high priests of the NYT was not "get married idiots, dont racemix" but "vote for more welfare for single moms, look at how racist america is"?

Intentions and results and all that, but still. You're kidding yourselves if you think the NYT is trying to "redpill" its readers.

Peter Blood said...

I just assume the NYT is a CIA-Jew joint venture, and go from there.

sykes.1 said...

Gentrification doesn't always work. Back in the 70's one of my colleagues bought a pair of Victorian era town houses near the eastern edge of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The area had once been the home of Columbus' professional and political classes and had been elegant. It degenerated into a black slum.

The obvious bet was that such fine homes (then in gross disrepair) could be salvaged and returned to its former status. Quite a few people made the bet, but the blacks won. The neighborhood is still a slum 40 years on.

PA said...

The volatility of real estate -- is it up and coming or is it becoming a black slum -- ought to eventually have people stop buying houses.

Anonymous said...

Awesome article. Thanks for re-linking to it. I missed it.

I saw this happen in my city from many angles - Early 20s I was weed on the porch of crust punk shows, talking about the evils of capitalism. My friends getting beaten up and mugged all the while. Then I was watching OWS burn out in NYC and my city.

Now I'm a NRx sympathizer tech yuppie angling for an education opportunity for my kids in this same troubled city. Gentrification is happening all over.

My only quibble with this piece is the simplified racial angle. In my city, it's a hard-working upper class supporting a uncivilized lower class, both are not racially homogeneous. Framing it as black vs. white in 2014 seems like an oversimplification. I'm not saying it wasn't that in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

The author seems to understand that when they talk about Google, but it should be more explicit. Otherwise, the article loses credibility and appeal to the mass audience

Portlander said...

Gentrification doesn't always work... downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Re-read the article. The necessary shock troops: gays, goths, and grad students, weren't, and aren't, going to be locating to Columbus, OH.

PA said...

I just read the "gentrification" article in full. Indeed, a very well written and informative piece. But to the gentrifier, the uncertainty remains: will it take? I personally know more than one urban pioneer who curses the day he/she bought that 'brownstone in need of gutting.' Will waves of gentrifiers here and there hold? I wish them all the best.

As an eastern European who grew up in and still visits cities that have a normal social pyramid, I have to maintain: to last as ours, a city (or any territory) needs to have our own working class and semi-criminal class. Once you cleanse an area of young White thugs, you open the door to Colored thugs. That, or you have a dull, unfree, uncreative Guliani/Singapore-like Disneyland.

PA said...

There is another "gentrification" angle I'm familiar with. Just last week, I visited a small town in the deepest of Appalachia, which is visibly getting settled by educated 'hipsters.' Except unlike their urban counterparts they all seem to have two or three kids while still in their early thrities.

I won't name the town, but it has a lovely new park and a local brewery with an outstanding restaurant. An all-white staff, when I peeked into the kitchen. Though I did see a couple of Mestizos here and there in the town. I guess they've been moved everywhere.

One such gentrifier, in a conversation with me, said that she used turn up her nose at white trash hillbillies, but now she appreciates her own children's public school being full of, as she put it, "those sweet kids."

Will the upscale Millennials turn their new Whitopia into a liberal shithole? It remains to be seen.

PA said...

One more comment on this subject. Most of the race-related discussion over-rely on black crime. They, it seems, repeat it uncritically like a mantra. But it's not just crime. It's mere proximity and contact.

Home is where the most intimate side of your life happens. It's supposed to be a place where you relax and put your guard down. And in that vein, you really do not want to see or hear any alien culture. You do not want to hear a fat black women jabbering or some black teenage girl babbling into her cell phone, or black music leaking out of someone's car. You don't want to see black kids throwing a ball close to your car. You don't even want to deal with seeing and ignoring/saying an insincere 'hi' to a black person that walks by.

Separation is the only solution.

Suburban_elk said...

The comment that a neighborhood or community needs its own thugs is interesting and relevant and an overlooked angle on the the problems of what is missing in this American life. Good observation, PA. You have made this point previously.

A community needs its own thugs?! What the fuck, they will say, what a community needs is no thugs, right?

Well thugs are part of street life, and part of the fun, and every urban hipster and thrill seeker knows this. Or to put it more simply, prostitutes alcohol and drugs. Or at the least chance music and dance a pretty girl.

But the angle that the hipster gentrifiers, and high priests at the Times, are unwilling to acknowledge, is this:

As long as the races in question exist, the struggle for dominance between them is inevitable - indeed that very struggle is their sine qua non - and that struggle will play out in every cross-racial interaction between and among individuals.

I don't know if this point is common sensical or not, or whether it has been addressed at length elsewhere, but i have not seen it made enough and worked out in its elaborations and first person accounts. On the other hand it is made every time a disgruntled white person on-line expresses his frustration and resentment about the blacks taking over the street.

But the disconnect, between not controlling the streets where one lives, and still wanting to be the primary actor in one's life, … the accommodations necessary to allow this disconnect, is a central parameter of swapple culture and its lived experience.

What the high priests and the swapples will not acknowledge - or perhaps they simply do not agree with - is that the conflict between races is bedrock, and it necessarily plays out in the lives of individuals.

But the existence of race _is_ its struggle for dominance and territory and mating rights. Biology and ecology and whatever other relevant fields - have they treated these questions and borne them out, or will they do so? those are topical questions but they are politically charged.

Oh! how the hipsters swapples and tastemakers in New York story over their participation in macro-level race dynamics.

I haven't read the linked article, it looks interesting.

Dan said...

Off topic: Considering how much I've seen in recent years of scientists willing to stretch or break the truth toward social justicy ends, I wonder more about that great whale, the 'Flynn Effect.'

I'd like to personally take a look at different versions of the Sanford Binet test and Wechsler test that were issued over the decades.

Ideas on where these might be found?

nikcrit said...

Separation is the only solution.

Ohh! What do you know? Somebody got a set of 'Trainspotter' pom-poms for Christmas! :)

RE. your point and Suburban.elk's elaboration; i've thought of that, too ----- in the form of the question "Do racial separatists want segregated lumpenproles as wellas upstanding characters to live beside?'etc. I agree that the topic is rarely broached and probably often ignored with intent. but i do think something unpredicted would be lost if the answer is 'no.'

FWIW, in my milieu, white thugs are basically 'whigger-ish,' but of course they're not in segregated environs, as PA posited his white thugs.

Yet even when I do summon 'underclass' figures i've encountered in rural, therefore 'white' cultures, e.g., Appleton, Eau Claire and other smaller-but-still-underclass-sustainable Rustbelt cities, they too were 'whiggerish' figures, and sometimes with a capital "W" to boot.

Interesting tangent, though; i think its mere rarity in discussion is proof of that fact..