AirBNB Ain't The Class War Liberals Want You To Think It Is
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Special to Infoshop News
October 21, 2016
Around the world, from Paris to New York City, from Prague to New Orleans, liberals are up in arms, outraged, over the invasion of AirBnB rentals taking over "their" (as of 5 years ago) quaint gentrified neighborhoods and gleaming, tourist-attracting, well maintained and protected communities.
Those communities which offer such a wonderful quality of life.
Those lucky few places on planet Earth, better known as many first world cities and neighborhoods that 10, 20, 200 years ago used to be something entirely different. That used to belong to entirely different people.
But, those people had less power than the lucky plucky liberals who nestle into the freshly renovated corners of our world today. Who settle in to (colonize) those lucky places, those wonderful, beautiful, tranquil, clean places built on the domination, subjugation, colonization, and exploitation of the majority of the rest of the planet's resources and peoples.
THOSE are the places the anti-AirBNB crowd are clamoring to "protect" for themselves.
THOSE are the places they want you to spend your time and energy fighting for.
And, as with every liberal cause-du-jour, many anarchists follow along like lost little puppies with no critical analysis skills of their own--and sometimes their own perceived self-interest, narrowly defined, as members usually on the fringes of such privileged liberal enclaves--leading them to fight the struggles of the bourgeoisie, and forget to remember the class analysis needed to define and attack who the real enemies are.
Their are no AirBnBs in the favelas and ghettos.
This is only a "problem" that affects the bourgeois who've paid for a comfortable form of life under capitalism, and done god knows what to get it. How many times have they looked the other way at the homeless man downtown, the kids going to crumbling public schools while their own precious spawn go to private schools, etc... to be able to afford their way into those oh-so-attractive neighborhoods that tend to fill up with AirBnBers?
This is only a problem for those who are used to not having to see the ugly effects of capitalism up close and personal. Those who can buy their artisinal mayonnaises and never step foot in a Hilton full of ugly monsters in business suits and invisible minimum wage housekeepers and porters, gussied up like house slaves for the pleasure of the business class guests.
AirBNBs are a problem for those who can protest about the sewer water running through their neighborhood, or the trains or industrial facilities that are a little too close for comfort, and actually get something done about it (which means the nasty underbelly of capitalist reproduction is just moved into a less "hip," less powerful, less rich area, most likely one with even more kids and higher population density of people who could be harmed by the industrial pollution. But those lives don't matter as much, right? I mean, they are just janitors and construction workers, not extremely important culture makers and artisan pickle chefs).
Cui Bono? Who benefits?
Who profits if the liberals, who want their cute neighborhood coffee shops and local Whole Foods to not be overrun with uncouth and transient(as in: "oh no, my neighborhood network of young wealthy professionals is shrinking and I can't get rich as fast!") AirBNB guests, get their way?
Well, their last names sound like Trump, Hilton, Marriott, etc...
To be honest, the fight against AirBNBs should at least be being bankrolled by the owners of global hotel chains, bed & breakfast business associations, and the rich who are in the market for a second home and want to find the market in a state of over-supply. If it isn't, those doing the work of those interests who benefit are really missing out on a fine business opportunity as professional protesters.
The rich have always had second homes, and until AirBNB/VRBO/HomeAway/etc... many of those homes just remained empty and shuttered when their rich owners were elsewhere in the global network of guarded compounds in which they live--whether that means a gated subdivision or a guarded and heavily police-protected area of wealthy condos.
Landlords have always rented out shelter to those who can't afford their own land and profited from it--which is exactly what AirBNBs rentals do. Which is a bigger problem--AirBNB landlords or ALL landlords? Fighting just the AirBNB landlords does nothing to address the fundamental problem of renting being theft that anarchists should be focused on!
Hotel owners have always rented out shelter to those who can't afford their own vacation home and profited from it--which is exactly what AirBNBs rentals do. Which is a bigger problem--AirBNB hoteliers or billionaire hoteliers? Fighting just the AirBNB hoteliers does nothing to confront the billionaires and their investors who have amassed such great wealth and exacerbated inequality on the back of their low wage workers! They are the real enemy, not some upper middle class schmuck who owns a couple of houses that he rents on AirBnB, and definitely not the people without the privilege the liberals have to let their extra spaces in their homes sit idle when it could help them pay their rent.
Who are you fighting alongside of? Who is going to benefit if you win? Who is going to lose out?
When you answer those questions, it is easy to see why the fight against AirBNBs is a suckers battle for anarchists and exactly the fight that benefits liberals the most.
If you are interested in having homes for people and not for profit, there are a million ways anarchists have been fighting for that forever--from squats to rent strikes, communes to land expropriation. Their are no other easy solutions for how to end the theft that is privatized land. The earth is our birthright, the capitalists have stolen it through laws and state violence, and our only choice is to fight to take it back. The fight against AirBNB does not do that in any way.
It is a fools errand. Don't be duped.
- AirBNB Ain't The Class War Liberals Want You To Think It Is
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