A short piece on the nature of landlordism.
We live under a near ancient practice, made magnitudes worse by the development of capitalism and its own further developments in the last two centuries. This malignant dominating force, which should’ve been discarded as a notion, and destroyed within human development over the centuries. A force that even the so called Communist regimes failed to destroy and even reproduced or let fester to be more powerful than they were before. A vile thing that is so wrapped up and apart of modern capitalism, destroying hopes and lives. I am referring to the despotic notion, practice, and reality of that parasitic abomination that is landlordism.
From the largest billionaire landlord to the corporate, to the smallest one looking for a parasitic way to “diversify their income streams”, the majority of us have had this boot crushing our necks. Your life leeched away to advance their lifestyles, their wealth, and their perceived power. Every landlord has the makings within them to be a tinpot dictator should they have the opportunity. Their minds are of the authoritarian, of the small minded and the petty. Since most of them will not reach being a dictator, they can enact that fantasy consciously or unconsciously, on their hosts. You, the tenant. The person with so few protections and rights against these barbarous parasites. The underclass that they feed off of.
Of course, they do not and cannot see your plight. Most don’t care, they enjoy that sense of power. They view it, openly or not, as their rightful place. Many use their religious doctrines to justify their parasitism just as the divine right monarch does. Others, even less honest, choose to view their role as a “necessary evil” or “just the way things are” or some variation on the theme. The notion of a slumlord is a false one because all landlords have this capacity, and they certainly do not condemn their more open and “excessive”counterparts who have dispensed with any charade of being a “good landlord.”
Even with their power, they are still the eternal victim. They cry, whine, thrash around and lament at how tough their lives are. Of course, they own these properties, they own direction over your shelter. So like an abusive fraud, they gaslight and lie to you, manipulate reality until only their twisted fiction is presented in a favorable light by wider society. Evil tenants vs the noble yet fragile and vulnerable property owner looking to “protect their investments.” Why would you fight back against such people? They’re innocent, you brutes.
What if they become poor? How will they afford their Tesla, Landrover, BMW, and other overpriced status symbol of their thieving parasitism? How will they function, if these small minded creatures had to actually live? Are you going to take away their extravagant spending? Are you going to destroy their plans for their next trip? Would you make them actually labor? Would you crush their delusional dreams? Truly, you are the monster, bullying these helpless children.
It goes without saying they do not hesitate to destroy your life. Your shelter can be removed but they wouldn’t accept this for themselves. They will send the forces of the state, the police and courts, to crush you. For 7 years you will have their brand on you. They will make someone homeless without a second thought, or a few pitiful platitudes. They will rob and kill. You are their meal ticket, they’re host to suck to a husk and move to the next. And we can never discount the intersecting path of bigotries in this. It is not merely a case of economic and property in class, but race, sexuality, and the other discriminations that those not in a majority share. This country alone, the landlord Class has a bloody history against those who are not white, as just one example in the litany of them. But even outside of this country, where the history and dynamics can change, the oppression largely remains the same. The landlord in China and the one in Russia, the one here in the US, to everywhere on this globe that their claws reach, they are aligned. They see common cause even within competing nationalisms. Even when one may find the other racially inferior. The can still find “respect” for them, an understanding in most cases (though this is not absolute as we can find antisemitic landlords trying to replace a Jewish landlord as one example.)
So we have discussed the nature of these parasites, but how do we combat them? How do we secure better futures for us? The obvious is the fall and destruction of capitalism. However, this will not happen in one day. And we must guard against false notions that a turn in capitalism will mean landlordism will be destroyed. The USSR in its state, reproduced landlordism but within state capitalist apparatus. It’s fall, only brought the return of the traditional landlordism and stronger than it had been before, following the path into Russia becoming a fascist state. I will not even get into landlordism and its affinity and desire to back fascism, even more so now in our age where fascism is on the march globally. Not here, it would be too much. But, it is still vitally important. It is apart of our fight against landlordism.
Our first task on the most local level, is to organize. Organize your neighbors as best you can. Alone you have little protection. Together, you have many more options and power. Forming or joining tenants unions, are an excellent way to combat landlords. Putting pressure on politicians, local on up is a must. Making the lives of landlords and their allies such as property management and realtors, a living hell through indirect and direct action is a must. Make your voices heard, protect yourself and your communities. They are not above hiring a common thug let alone the force of the state. All options must be explored. Expose them using their own words. Infiltrate their groups. Make their names famous in all the worst ways for them. Put pressure on your local government, your state, your national. Link up with, and advocate for your homeless brethren. This is a fight that is long, arduous, and yet a necessity for not only yourself, but every victim in history of this parasitic practice.
We will build a new world in the ruins of the old (to paraphrase Buenaventura Durruti) no matter how old. No matter the adversary. Landlordism is but one serpent but it is one that must have its head lopped off. We stand and fight here, in the now for not only ourselves but those to come after us, whether we live to see it or not.
Give them hell and nothing else.