Gated Versions

Lookit this report. It was a dream community all right, cos it was pretty impossible for poor people to break in and steal stuff. Only problem was, the rich people were only rich with money loaned from the bank anyway.

‘Gated communities’ are pretty sad places. Doesn’t matter how opulent they are, the gates and surrounding walls are there to keep the people in, even if their stated purpose is to keep undesirables out. The amount invested in keeping the rabble out is proportionate to the fear of getting violated and pillaged.

No doubt religious tradition has influenced the appeal of ‘gated communities’. Religious myth has it that heaven has gates. This image of heaven is an inversion of the actual condition of the poor on earth, in part an interpretation of the statement that the first shall be last. The image preserves the order of a society of haves and have-nots, but does a switcheroo on the people who fall under each category. This becomes a fairly nifty propaganda device for the ruling classes. So long as these poor suckers think they’ll get their eternal reward in heaven, we can exploit them for all they’re worth. In fact, the more we exploit ’em, the happier they’ll be, because they’ll be eyeing even bigger rewards once their number’s up.


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May 2008
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