In brief, Oakland and other cities in the bay that are in close proximity to San Francisco or San Jose - and the tech bubble those regions imply - are in a state of simmering turmoil, in which displaced wealth, which can't even compete with the extreme concentrations of wealth in urban areas, is flooding in, and lower income communities are finding themselves severely strained in their own neighborhoods, or otherwise priced out and displaced.
Needless to say, gentrification as a phenomenon has been happening for as long as capitalism has existed, and probably even further back in some form or another. But as a phenomenon it reveals the soft violence of wealth stratification and what it can do to communities.
Forming graduated tiers, wealth and power enjoys a freedom of movement in which it flows to the geographic and social objects of desire and overtakes them, displacing those of limited means in a lower tier. It is the process in which a stratified society settles onto itself as it changes, doing violence to itself.
Much more can be written on this subject, but I only meant to mention it as it is affecting us in the form of higher rents and prices, and a generally strained sense of living which inflames dysfunctional relationships and households. Everywhere we hear of friends and acquaintances in feuds with their landlords, or who are in danger of being evicted or even being evicted, and these are the effects experienced by those who aren't even the least privileged.
These movements of wealth put significant strain on the various strata of society, setting them against each other and provoking them, much like minor earthquakes sending waves of motion which jostle the various materials that set upon each other, making them grind. I suppose it is part of this process which places significant strains on my own self, invoking stress and confusing my mind and disrupting my writing habits. Though of course there are other reasons.
2/3/2016 08:50:34 pm
how might we make stronger communities and stop displacement?
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