Making the break irreversible
Welcome to the latest edition of Territories, the newsletter from Inhabit. Every month we share stories and perspectives from those on #PathB.
This time around, we’ve got an original look at Evergrande and the crisis of capitalism from Tom Nomad in addition to our regular monthly reading list.
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Some Notes on Housing Markets in China, and What This Tells Us About Wider Economic Realities
The news lately has been consumed by reports of the impending collapse of Evergrande, the huge Chinese housing conglomerate. In its echoes of the 2008 crash, it’s a story that involves more than just the stonks experts among us. With this in-depth article, Tom Nomad explains not only the Evergrande crisis but what it means within the context of current economic dynamics, including debt, financialization, market bubbles, the role of the pandemic, and more. We know capitalism churns on crisis, so can a financial crisis ever signal a wider crisis of capitalism or simply announce its restructuring?
In the Chinese housing market context we are now seeing very similar dynamics come to a point of culmination, much the same way they did in the US a decade before. There is one big difference between now and then, however: the economy is far less likely to be able to mobilize the resources to prevent a crash of systemic proportions again. We sit at a precarious moment, perched upon the edge of collapse, with all dynamics pushing us closer and closer to freefall.
“As long as the goals remain radical, you use the tools you have, even if they are the master’s tools.” Fareen Parvez & Stellan Vinthagen on the post-victory ZAD.
“Rebellions exposed the limited gains achieved by the civil rights movement, as the racial economic order continued to confine Black people to the bottom rung of American society.” Jarrod Shanahan and Zhandarka Kurti on Elizabeth Hinton’s America on Fire.
“Residents of these communes didn't seek an escape from society so much as the chance to create it anew.” David Jacob Kramer & Michael Schmelling on the back-to-the-land communes of California.
“In between the screeching of the saw, they discussed their lives and politics under the stars.” Ella Fassler on DIY architecture and anti-eviction organizing.
“A central tenet is not being afraid of how the world will change and the adaptations that must be made.” Hannah Steinkopf-Frank on the political imaginary of solarpunk.
“You’re always working for the machine or trying to work around its surveillance in order to work less.” Elastico Gomez on working for Amazon. (2019)
“The world needs to shift now because it is unbearable for the great majority of people on earth and will only become more so without change.” Eleanor Janega on medieval history, apocalyptic movements, and Extinction Rebellion.
“This pipeline is just one of many struggles which must be confronted, but it will not be confronted in totality by those whose careers depend on this conflict.” Lakota ‘Black Elk’ Maroon on the movement to #StopLine3.
“If Earth systems cross critical thresholds, everything we did and everything we were will be reduced to stratigraphy.” George Monbiot on climate tipping points.
“Coastal cities are home to a large portion of the country’s population and some of its most beloved culture—and they’re probably all going to become uninhabitable.” Crimethinc on Hurricane Ida.
“The artificially manufactured tourist landscape, which reduces Kazakhs who have lived on their land for generations to a mere commodity, is only the tip of the iceberg in systemic dispossession.” Guldana Salimjan on displacement in China.
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