Illusion has a better twin, deception.
In January, Melbourne (and now Sydney) city council began removing homeless people camping in the CBD. The Melbourne council denies that the removals had anything to do with the Australian Tennis open which was due to commence and the removals were happening, and in some ways they were probably telling the truth, because they continued after, stating that Melbourne has many events every year and the the open was not the reason.
But nothing in Melbourne comes close to the aggressive approach in London, where a new term has been coined -called “defensive architecture” and used to describe deterrence measures like spikes to prevent people sleeping in public places.
A sick and cruel idea. Fortunately in London there are activists who provide mattresses and other materials to cover the spikes to enable the homeless to use these spaces again.
It seems to me that we have drifted from a society that could care fro its people to one that cares for the illusion of wealth, success, pristine streets, for the illusion of no poverty, homelessness, no problems. There is a self-deception when we judge the homeless, and we should take note that it can happen to anyone as the data shows from any of the care agency records.
When we fail to care for the homeless we condemn ourselves.
Homelessness is rarely a choice of lifestyle but a necessary way of surviving. I prefer to live in a real community where we attempt to attend to the needs of each other rather than a cold, plastic, individuated illusion, a deception of real life and real people.