8 June 2021

Ronan Burtenshaw [$]: “For centuries, the chief undertaking of right-wing politics has been the defence of property — and that project, above all else, has structured its arguments, built its coalitions, and sustained it as a consistent political tradition through periods of great historical change. It is certainly true that the right wing is today, and has been in the past, a font for a great deal of bigotry. But this should not be understood simply as personal prejudice or moral failing on behalf of its advocates. Instead, it is consistent with the project of defending property through the private relations of domination it creates: the slaveholder, the colonialist, the capitalist, the husband, the nuclear family. Even where a great deal of energy has been expended specifically to generate racist modes of thinking — as in the case of eugenics, for example — these have most often been exercises in justifying property relations and the often violent expropriation and dispossession that underlies them. Nothing is as important as property. … If we are to defeat the Right in the years and decades to come, it will not be by skirting around the edges of our social order. We live today inside a great property machine in which the plentiful resources of a fruitful planet accumulate to a tiny few — whose only goal, in turn, is to use their wealth to accumulate further wealth. But the gears of this machine turn with the muscle of billions of working people, who could equally dispatch it to the scrapyard of history and build something more worthy in its place.”