Of late, I have been less active on this blog. That is not because I have run out of ideas or I no longer care about the problems that arise from toxic-feminism. For the time being at least, a combination of work pressures and fighting issues in another domain has left me with less time to devote to this blog. While this issue may not seem relevant, please bear with me, there is a point to this ramble.
I have been working hard battling issues around a leasehold property I ‘own’. Those of you who are not from the UK or more specifically England and Wales, may not be familiar with this form of property ‘ownership’ that is, in essence, a feudal relic that has long since been abandoned in other counties. Although you buy your house, or more usually an apartment, in the usual way, you do not really own it. Instead, you have a right to live in it for a defined period, usually 99 years. You may have to pay ground rent and the freeholder has a right to levy service charges, over which you have no control. In short, the freeholder, despite owning only a small share of the equity, has 100% control. It should come as no surprise that this imbalance in power results in price gouging for unnecessary work, work that has not been performed to specification and freeholders pocketing large sums in commissions. Neither is this a small or niche problem. There are at least 4.8 million leasehold properties in the UK and it is estimated that 10 million people are directly or indirectly affected by this form of property ownership. That is a lot of people, a sizeable minority in fact, who are affected by this very tangible power imbalance.
I have come to realise that this subject is relevant to this blog and Critical Social Justice in general. I will use ‘woke’ as shorthand for the progressive set of beliefs associated with CSJ which include invisible and pervasive power structures operating between identity groups, such as patriarchy and white supremacy. These power structures are revealed by language and we can disable those structures by controlling language and dismantling institutions. It is as if we are locked in in zero sum games between competing identity groups.
Elsewhere in this blog, I have highlighted the Marxist analysis of ‘woke’ that sees it as a self enabling creed for over-educated middle class graduates who would otherwise be unemployable. While this may be true, I would like to suggest that ‘woke’ culture that includes toxic feminism is useful to those who hold true economic power because it distracts from socioeconomic disadvantages and power imbalances that cut across identity groups. In short the ‘woke’ are useful idiots to the economically powerful. A world were competing identity groups are locked in zero sum games against each other, distracts people from challenging entrenched economic privilege.
Leasehold is one small example of a real and tangible power structure, operating between leaseholders and and freeholders, that disadvantages millions of people regardless of sex, race or sexual preference. Despite that, progressives are not interested. Just look at the Guardian for example, there has some coverage, but nothing like that given over to feminism or reparations for slavery that happened hundreds of years ago. I would suggest there are far more leaseholders than people with gender dysphoria, but that is not where the interests of progressives lie. And that benefits the rentier class who can look from above while activists squabble among themselves about largely imaginary grievances – hence my choice of cartoon at the top of this article.
The connection I am making between ‘woke’ and property ownership in England and Wales is slightly tenuous, I acknowledge. Furthermore, my problems are perhaps the sort it is a privilege to have and trivial compared to those who are homeless or in insecure rental accommodation. After all, I have a roof over my head and food on my plate. That said, many leaseholders, male and female, do face ruin as a result of the actions of avaricious freeholders. So, rather than fighting amongst ourselves as the most economically privileged might wish, let’s take on real and tangible power structures. The patriarchy doesn’t exist, but tangible power imbalances between many citizens and the rentier class certainly do. We should use our activism where it can make a difference, rather than stoking imaginary grievances between identity groups.
You’ve (as usual) put words to an issue that’s bothered me for a long time: many “progressives” are virtue signalling for frankly quite privileged people who are claiming “victimhood” instead of standing up for people with real day-to-day issues. As you say, the landlords, and the unscrupulous employers, and corporations are delighted by this, as are the politicians who protect them.
The “culture wars” were a great gift from the “progressive” left to the powerful as a distraction; it’s also a great recruiting tool for some of the less savoury right wing groups.
It’s certainly noticeable that in my workplace with people who have all kinds of psychological issues we get very few “Social Justice Warriors”, because our clients are a too unpredictable, too much hard work, and of course too powerless to be of any use to them; they prefer to go to the universities and persuade wealthy students that they’re all victims because someone used the wrong pronouns…
Keep up the good work.
Thank you Andy.