29 March 2024


It's worth pondering the relationship between ends and means, on a day celebrated as "good" after the execution of a dissenter against a domestic theocracy by a foreign occupier. Oh, wait, that's something we just don't do.

  • One feature of England's property laws that is buried in the US is the leasehold/freehold distinction. It's far from absent; foreclosures on HOA assessments and condominium fees are just two examples. But there's even less justification in the UK — at least in theory, in the US HOA/COA assessments must be plowed back into infrastructure (or held in reserve for emergency repairs/enhancements to infrastructure). The real fun comes when the various fees are instead siphoned to passive investors interested primarily in other aspects, like "maintaining the character of the neighborhood"… or "improving the character of the residents"…
  • Meanwhile — and, again, more visible because it's not buried as deeply — there's the problem of the most obvious undesirable characters in neighborhoods: Those involved in the arts, and perhaps especially in the infrastructure. And by that I most vehemently do not mean art galleries… or music labels… or commercial publishing dominated by passive investors and inherited wealth… Gee, that all sounds very much like the preceding sausage, doesn't it?
  • The real commonality is self-declared special-snowflake status for distributors. These behemoths demonstrate that Marx (and Engels) were looking at the wrong group as bad actors: If there's a segment of economic players that inherently abuses the proletariat, it's those who control the means of distribution rather than the means of production. (Of late, except at aircraft manufacturers — but this problem arose when those in charge of distribution rose to power, and you know that's a problem when even Forbes says that "financial geniuses" shouldn't be in charge!) Shooting at the wrong target rather thoroughly undermines one's credibility, for however much/little credibility one might have with better target selection and acquisition. Then there's that pesky problem of defining the "proletariat," who qualifies as a "worker"…
  • …especially in nonprofit activities.