Revenge to Range Rover
Few time ago I spotted a video footage and a press-release of a group “Revenge of Marusia Nikiforova) (Ukraininan FAI fraction), where comrades burn an expensive car – Range Rover Evoque. Motivation proclaimed is class revenge and a fact, that, while may residents of Kiyv do not have ho water, someone shows off their luxury.
I also think that showing off the luxury is immoral. Buying cars, which cost as a life wage of engineer or a cleaner means demonstrating, that for you grandstanding is more important then social problems of your society and world. Needless to say that most of the owners of such a cars are bourgeois or high officials, of high managers. Needless to say that such a vehicles are highly harmful for environment. So I do not see a great problem if some of these cars will be burned.
But here another dilemma rising up. Where does the “plain good car” ends and bourgeois luxury starts? And, what is even more important, provided that many of us have cars by ourselves – how much the car an anarchist is allowed to use, should cost? The question is not speculative at all, because it’s gonna be a bit annoying if your car will be occasionally burned by your comrades )))
To be precise, i have googled the cost of this type of car. Range Rover Evoque which was in use, costs 23–39 thousand $. (average – 31 thousand). The new one – 49 thousand $.
Derived from what is written on a vacancies cites, average wage of, let’s say, IT specialist (who is also a proletarian) in Ukraine is averagely 700–1700 dollars. Average is, let’s say 1200.
Hence, if you save 1\2 of your wage (it is not very hard in Ukraine provided the costs are super law), average Ukrainian IT-specialist can save for such a car for a 4 years. Or take a credit for it without any problem.
So can such a car be considered a luxury? Apparently, this is a rhetorical question.
Of cause, majority of Ukrainians earn not 1200 but 231 $ (an average wage for January, 2017). But such a gap between the salaries of a workers (WORKERS – I make special emphasis on it) is not a guilt of a certain IT-specialist (or highly-qualified construction worker, or motor mechanic – they also may earn more then 1000 $ a month), but labor market, which is eager to pay for one job more then for another.
Therefore I assume that the question of what is luxury and who’s property may be burned, should be reviewed more attentively – of cause, if we do not want to make highly-qualified workers and people with high wages (but non-explotators) our enemies.
Also in Ukraine, as everywhere, there is a bunch of Maibach’s and limousines, which cost is exorbitant even for super-IT-specislists: from 500 000 $ and higher. Servants of the regime and employers, who fraud their employees, also have cars (not necessarily expensive). But burning random offroaders just because they look better than Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf is no great thing.
Regarding on what car anarchist should and should not have: I think that for answering this question each of us should invoke from salaries in his region. If you live in Leltchitsy (a small town in a Belarusian province) and bought an offroader, which costs as 3 houses of your neighbors – it is a one thing. If you bought it, while living in Minsk – it’s another thing. And let’s be honest: laptops which we use everyday, are unreal dream for most of inhabitants of southeast Asia or Central Africa. And I do not think that anyone of you are ready to burn them in solidarity with workers of Ethiopia who are not going to get it even if worki all their life. I offer to consider to any anarchist (and every honest person) to make a border of a luxury a maximum cost, which in your region could be spend by a working person.
Capitalism makes inequality between workers as well. But if this inequality will contribute to conflict between us – it will not be fine. We should remember, that for exploiters and for the capitalist system we all: those who earn 100 $ and who earn 1000 $ are no more then hired slaves who differ, at best, with a length of a chain.