To no one's surprise, I'm not one of those ppl that's like, any time someone says #cancelrent we gotta add #cancelmortgages. Still, looking at the CA Tenant, Homeowner etc Relief Bill & the conditions around it, it's hard not to think the core legislative political weakness 1/
of the tenants movement is the social division from the homeowning segment of the proletariat, which is also a racial division. Now, that sort of racial class division cannot be easily, in a moment, bridged by well-intentioned coalition building. As others have observed 2/
there's no reason to think the multi-racial nature of the George Floyd Rebellion, which insofar as it's perceived to address police violence rather than policing in general, could be replicated in social movement sectors where the wages of whiteness are in greater jeopardy, 3/
as they are with housing. The rock the state-oriented objectives of the tenant movement will keep cracking on is the alliance among all landowners, landlords & homeowners alike. The trick to splitting the rock would be a new alliance of proletarian tenants & homeowners against 4/
landlords & banks. A secret to this is— landlords & banks exploit ground rent from tenants & owners thru rent & mortgage payments. Returning to the immediate case, banks' resistance to mortgage forbearance is an ingredient in the failure of the more progressive #ab1436. 5/
The depth of the racial class division between (black/latinx) tenants & (white/asian) homeowners in general is too great, & will be unbridgeable by any state-oriented politics, in part bc those politics also rely on & perpetuate this division (thru voter reg & exclusion 6/
among other things). I orient my thought & practice toward rent abolition not out of ethical attachment but out of an actual read on the enduring social features of our greater historical period. I look to rent strikes, squatting, etc, & the collectivization thereof as the way 7/
towards homes for all, through their generalization into abolition of the rent relation, because it is no coincidence that we cannot win better shit through the state. Granted, the tenants movement has much more strength to gain & spread to widen. But fact is we have no other 8/
leverage than mass direct action. We are about 1/3 of the population on average, except in some cities. The politicians know that we don't & won't have the coalition strength to be worth more than scraps. To win much more, we need to win everything. We need a pro-revolutionary 9/
tenants movement. This year we've been seeing the broad emergence of one for the first time in a while, the broadest ever, under the banner of #cancelrent. Unless we can shut
down the rental economy & seize homes on an ever larger scale, & unite w/ the abolitionist movement 10/
(to, for the sake of this thread, name only the most formidable social movement of our moment), all we will keep getting, if anything, is these compromise policies that leave millions to the wolves in the judicial gowns & jury boxes of eviction court. 11/
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