The Housing Question: Who Is My Neighbour?


Allowing diversity into our neighbourhoods is the only way to defeat extremism.

Oddly enough, the fundamental issue with housing today can be summed up in what perhaps is the most famous sociological question in history: “Who is my neighbour?”

Those of you who are familiar with it will know that it is from the Bible, specifically from the story of the Good Samaritan.

The great thinker, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s alter ego, wrote, and I freely paraphrase:

Imagine a big modern city. In the centre of the city and its proximate periphery, land price inevitably increases substantially. All the old buildings, which are mostly homes, actually depress the value of the land instead of increasing it because while they belong to the land, they do not belong to the new circumstances of the city’s life.

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