"Most of the progressive thinkers and writers I look to for insight deprecate rentiers (or so I believe). I am a rentier. How should I feel?" asks Graham Barnes.
Patrick Noble proposes that the gathering of rent for status - 'status enclosure' - is the central process by which we become middle class, and a major cause of the global crises we're facing. "If we remove that fixed, defensive gaze on our land and status properties, and then look up, and then, out and about, we’ll see the world expand."
This book is a powerful attack on rentier capitalism and, very explicitly, a call to revolt. Standing is at his best describing the features of crony capitalism that are totally different from the neo-liberal story of free markets that justifies it. While a very informative read, the analysis urgently needs to be expanded if the emerging commons movement is to be able to adapt to the limits to growth.
The conventional way of financing property development entangles those involved in a web of debt and conflicting business interests. This week we are featuring two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which describe a new way of organising developments that promises better buildings, more affordable rents and a stake in the outcome for everyone. Chris Cook provides an overview of this new approach and James Pike gives examples of how it could work to rescue building projects hit by the downturn in Ireland.