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Connolly16

Housing in Socialist Ireland

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Let's assume that we have achieved our goals and are living in a socialist 32 county republic, we are structuring and building the worldwide revolution getting ready for revolution. But what happens to people's homes?

 

What happens to all the big houses and older houses and what happens with the small council homes/flats what decides who gets what home? Even as collectivised properrties, what gives some people the right to big homes whil others live in ex-corpo houses and flats?

 

Should we demolish them all?

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Guest IsMise

Thats an interesting topic, In my nievity I would have assumed that everyone would continue to live where they currently do, apart from those who are in unsuitable accommodation and would need to be re-housed. This again I feel would be done on the "to each according to their need" basis

 

To demolish all of the properties would not be ideal, as clearly we each need accommodation, however there may be an argument in that new, sustainable models could be built in their place, but certainly from a practical point of view I think it would only be necessary to provide accommodation for those in sub-standard accommodation

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Guest Connolly

Let's assume that we have achieved our goals and are living in a socialist 32 county republic, we are structuring and building the worldwide revolution getting ready for revolution. But what happens to people's homes?

 

What happens to all the big houses and older houses and what happens with the small council homes/flats what decides who gets what home? Even as collectivised properrties, what gives some people the right to big homes whil others live in ex-corpo houses and flats?

 

Should we demolish them all?

 

This is a very difficult question. There is a little used term for this aswell but I cant remember.

 

I think to gain an insight in to how the problem might be resolved we should look at the ideological underpinnings of todays society.

 

For example, success comes from 'hard work'. If a business person worked their way up from nothing to become a millionaire then they "worked hard" for that and are "self made". Similarly, if a person is on social welfare for long periods they are "scroungers" or "Spongers".

 

These are common views amongst people.

 

But, at the same time, we have the national lottery/euromillions.

 

That someone puts on a few euro on the lotto and wins millions is generally not seen in a negative light.

 

The attitude is then "fair play to them", "I wish I was them" or "God thats great"

 

This attitude, in general, completely contradicts the ideological underpinnings above. A person who wins the lotto neither worked hard for it nor are they "self made".

 

So why does such a positive attitude exist towards them?

 

I would put it partly down to people understanding the process of the lotto. It is very transparent. The mechanisms are plain to see. Someone selects 6-7 numbers and then numbers are drawn at random. If matched then you win.

 

---------

 

But to get to your question. I think in a socialist society the allocation of large houses could be done in a similar way to how the lotto operates today. If the process of allocation is transparent, and everyone has an equal and fair chance of partaking in an allocation system (which may be something such as a lotto), then, similar to above, there would be an acceptance that some people live in large homes whil others do not.

 

It would be "fair game". People, as they do with the lotto in todays society, may even say "fair play" to the person who wins something on ailsbury road.

 

It would be about creating an ideological justification for why some people live where they do.

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Shouldn't the really large houses be used for practical needs of the society? I cannot imagine why a, say, 5 people family should need a 15-bedrooms-house, but I can see how such a house could be turned into a community center/ accessible refuge for women fleeing home violence (I think they are closing those) / a nursery etc. This would help to bring the society closer to a break with that traditional family-oriented culture as well. ure priority should be given to what is the most urgent at the moment, the homeless should be housed first :/

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Guest Connolly

Shouldn't the really large houses be used for practical needs of the society? I cannot imagine why a, say, 5 people family should need a 15-bedrooms-house, but I can see how such a house could be turned into a community center/ accessible refuge for women fleeing home violence (I think they are closing those) / a nursery etc. This would help to bring the society closer to a break with that traditional family-oriented culture as well. ure priority should be given to what is the most urgent at the moment, the homeless should be housed first :/

 

They are possible options for the use of property aswell.

 

But I think the problem is more complex than that. It is not just about "what size a property is". Property is too diverse to reduce things down to that.

 

There is things like location (beside a busy road? cul-de-sac?), garden size, garden maturity, kitchen size, sitting room size, bedroom size, corner house/terraced house?, brick?dashing?- and so on.

 

These factors are almost unquantifiable and very much subjective to the individuals taste.

 

It is not reducable to how many kids someone has. Even on the one road there can be significant differences (even rivalries) between properties of the same amount of bedrooms and square footage.

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Thats an interesting topic, In my nievity I would have assumed that everyone would continue to live where they currently do, apart from those who are in unsuitable accommodation and would need to be re-housed. This again I feel would be done on the "to each according to their need" basis

 

To demolish all of the properties would not be ideal, as clearly we each need accommodation, however there may be an argument in that new, sustainable models could be built in their place, but certainly from a practical point of view I think it would only be necessary to provide accommodation for those in sub-standard accommodation

That's cleraly not fair though, I live in a modern enough estate of 3 bed semi detatched houses, they're nice houses but small enough, next door to me, there's a family with 7 kids in three bedrooms. In Killiney, there was an elderly couple living in a house with 8 to 9 bedrooms (the couple that were evicted and swooned over by the moderate leftists and populists). How is that fair or marxist?

 

Also, why does a family of four in an ex -council house with 3 bedrooms not deserve the 3 bedroom home in a wealthy suburb that's owned by a family of four too? There are thousands of people that will have equal need for quality housing but some will be housed better than others? Why?

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Laoch you are talking about esthetics, which is a different issue though important as well. I think we could take what there is already for a start and maybe in some future people will be able to design their own homes?

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Its not exactly a fair comparison, but in the Zapatista communities, I understand that the larger houses which had been used as homes by the racheros and landowners were siezed and used for communal purposes. Many of these communities however had only one structure in them before the 1994 uprising, with the main populace living in shacks on the side of the road. We have the opposite and now have an oversupply of housing, and I suppose that is a luxury.

 

Sustainability is a key question, and unsustainable housing units that have been constructed could justifiable be replaced by sustainable ones, while of course ensuring that everyone is housed adequately during the process.

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Shame, I've almost forgotten about people from Mosney. They should probably get decent housing as first ones in a socialist Ireland.

 

Is Mosney still operating? They had talked about closing it years ago, but I haven't heard if it is still running. I was in it once, the only good thing you could say about it was that there was at least a sense of community amongst the residents, but that is a testament to the residents rather than anything positive about the standard of accommodation that was provided.

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They are possible options for the use of property aswell.

 

But I think the problem is more complex than that. It is not just about "what size a property is". Property is too diverse to reduce things down to that.

 

There is things like location (beside a busy road? cul-de-sac?), garden size, garden maturity, kitchen size, sitting room size, bedroom size, corner house/terraced house?, brick?dashing?- and so on.

 

These factors are almost unquantifiable and very much subjective to the individuals taste.

 

It is not reducable to how many kids someone has. Even on the one road there can be significant differences (even rivalries) between properties of the same amount of bedrooms and square footage.

 

There are various social factors that come into play as well. Family ties, etc. all have to be taken into account. The current system of social housing is not actually that bad, or at least it wouldn't be if were adequately funded. There is scope for personal choice and priority given to those deemed to be in greater need, together with recognition that existing social and family relations must be protected. TInker a little with the factors and weighting, and make it accountable to local democratic structures instead of the secretive mandarins who run it today, but as a whole, the system could work by simply bringing the properties that are currently held by privateers into the state system.

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There are various social factors that come into play as well. Family ties, etc. all have to be taken into account. The current system of social housing is not actually that bad, or at least it wouldn't be if were adequately funded. There is scope for personal choice and priority given to those deemed to be in greater need, together with recognition that existing social and family relations must be protected. TInker a little with the factors and weighting, and make it accountable to local democratic structures instead of the secretive mandarins who run it today, but as a whole, the system could work by simply bringing the properties that are currently held by privateers into the state system.

What about the social housing around Coultry in Ballymun, they're tiny boxes basicly, not houses. If we took control of oil and gas from companies at the same time as we took the country then we could use the proceeds to start from scratch, build new houses down the line that would replace the old ones.

 

All houses should meet aesthetic, ecologic and building standards imo, there should be minimum and maximum values so it stays equal.

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What about the social housing around Coultry in Ballymun, they're tiny boxes basicly, not houses. If we took control of oil and gas from companies at the same time as we took the country then we could use the proceeds to start from scratch, build new houses down the line that would replace the old ones.

 

All houses should meet aesthetic, ecologic and building standards imo, there should be minimum and maximum values so it stays equal.

 

I'm not talking about the standard of social housing, just the process that is involved. If the current system was funded properly, and made accountable to democratic bodies, it wouldn't be that bad.

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I'm not talking about the standard of social housing, just the process that is involved. If the current system was funded properly, and made accountable to democratic bodies, it wouldn't be that bad.

 

I wasn't talking purely about it either, I was just giving the example for comparison's sake. Take any social housing and contrast that with private housing in the likes of Castleknock, what should be done to decide who gets what? I can't conceive any possible reason for anyone needing a big 3 or four bed house in castleknock when they could have a 3 or 4 bed house in an area like Coultry that would meet their needs just as much?

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Guest Connolly

I dont think the problem with housing allocation is down to "needs". Needs are a very subjective thing, and some form of administration telling people what their needs are would be oppressive. Needs can also be resolved by simply building more properties.

 

The real issue is how to remove the forms of social status derived from housing.

 

Socialism, or communism, seeks to put people in such a position that they do not seek material wealth for the purposes of social status. Rather, people will use and consume things based upon their use value.

 

Such a society requires 'free access' - where status cannot be derived from that which everyone can freely obtain. Status derived from material wealth exists due to "restriction" - that is, having that which someone else cannot have through private ownership. Mercedes have status because few can afford and aquire them, for example.

 

But housing is a different kettle of fish. Housing is attached to the land. It takes up a geographical space which is not re-producable. Buildings can also be historical or architectually significant, something which is also not re-producable. Housing, in general, cannot be 'shared'. They cannot be open to the free access of a community.

 

For these reasons, amongst others, status can be derived from housing. And this could be a problem. Jealousy and a frustration of not being able to aquire that which someone else has could develop.

 

So in terms of allocating houses, particularly prestigious ones, there needs to be a mechanism where people have the possibility of obtaining them - rather than having some oppressive property caste system or a beauracracy dictating housing.

 

With my above post, a "lotto" could be a solution. A lotto in which everyone could partake and which creates an ideological legitimation for occupancy of prestigious housing, rather than contempt. Such housing could be repossessed after a period of time, or after one generation, and re-entered into the lotto system and re-circulated.

 

What sort of "status" could come from it I dont know. Maybe just a feeling of being lucky and a societal perception of temporal occupancy.

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For general housing a lotto system would be just as oppressive, it would just be randomly oppressive. I'm not sure that's an improvement. Although if it was used only for the most prestigious or sought after properties, then I could see it having a limited role. I do prefer the idea of such properties being put to communal use though.

 

For general housing however, some level of beauracracy is inevitable. Only when beauracracy is beyond democratic control and accountability is it a problem. Things do need to be administered. You also can't get away from the requirement to assess people's needs. Is the whole point not to have a system which seeks to meet people's needs? Of course, no system that can be designed can perfectly assess these. That is why personal choice must be a central element, unlike in the current system where you get one or two refusals before being taken off the housing list.

 

You're right about removing social status that comes from housing, but as you have acknoweldged this has its difficulties when it comes to land/property. Removing the ability to sell your land would remove much of the social value, although admittedly not all of it. Curtailing inheritance rights further removes the social value. Ultimately a system which has people holding their land as tenants from the State (or whatever social body replaces the state upon its "withering away") would keep people's aspirations towards having social status through property in check.

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