Recycle Chinese and Soviet anti-landlord propaganda to bolster support for Rochelle Walensky’s rent moratorium order?

“CDC Issues Eviction Order in Areas of Substantial and High Transmission” (

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky today signed an order determining the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.

As the U.S. is roughly #20 in the COVID Olympics, “substantial and high levels of community transmission levels” exist for 90 percent of American renters (National Fair Housing Alliance, in which “fair” means $0/month).

Some Americans may object to this, feeling sorry for small landlords, e.g., the owner of a Boston-area triple-decker in which the owner’s family occupies one flat while the other two were rented (until March 2020, when the system switched to a Burning Man-style gift economy).

I wonder if we can recycle anti-landlord propaganda developed by smarter people in China and Soviet Russia so that Americans (at least the ones who aren’t landlords) can all get behind Dr. Walensky.

From Wikipedia:

The Land Reform Movement, also known by the Chinese abbreviation Tǔgǎi (土改), was a campaign by the Communist Party leader Mao Zedong during the late phase of the Chinese Civil War and the early People’s Republic of China.[1] The campaign involved mass killings of landlords by tenants and land redistribution to the peasantry.[2] The estimated number of casualties of the movement ranges from hundreds of thousands to millions.[3][4][5] In terms of the communist party’s evaluation Zhou Enlai estimated 830,000 had been killed and Mao Zedong estimated as many as 2 to 3 million were killed.[6]

Those who were killed were targeted on the basis of their social class rather than their ethnicity; the neologism “classicide” is used to describe the killings.[7] Class-motivated mass killings continued almost throughout the 30 years of social and economic transformation in Maoist China, and by the end of reforms, the landlord class had been largely eliminated from Mainland China or had fled to Taiwan.[8] By 1953, land reform in most parts of mainland China was completed except in Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, and Sichuan. From 1953 onwards, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to implement collective ownership of expropriated land through the creation of “Agricultural Production Cooperatives” transferring property rights from the former landlord class to the Chinese state.

We can probably get some appropriate posters from the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre (I loved it there in November 2019!).

Comrade Lenin sweeps away the capitalists after the Decree on Land:

Readers: What are some ideas for good posters? How about landlords trying to block access to vaccine clinics and your state’s governor flattening them with a dump truck full of freshly printed executive orders?

(Note that the above should not be interpreted as a suggestion that the U.S. has adopted “Socialism” or “Communism”. A distinguishing characteristic of Socialism, at least Chinese- and Soviet-style, was that every able-bodied adult worked. The principal distinguishing characteristic of the current American system is idleness. Americans can get married and live off a spouse. Americans can divorce that spouse and continue to live off him/her/zir/them via alimony. Americans can have sex with a high-income already-married person and harvest the child support. Americans can sit in public housing for three generations and watch TV or play Xbox in between appointments to get more Medicaid-funded opioids. All of the above would have been considered criminal parasitism in the Soviet Union. The current U.S. system, therefore, is almost the polar opposite of Socialism, at least from the perspective of the individual citizen.)


12 thoughts on “Recycle Chinese and Soviet anti-landlord propaganda to bolster support for Rochelle Walensky’s rent moratorium order?

  1. I am a little confused, what are the legal basis for this order from comrade Walensky ?
    Why would local police department, funded by fat cat capitalist landlords, follow it and do not kick-out resisters to the rent – seekers? Or what stops local bourgeois republic court not to side with fat cat capitalist landlords and seek financial damages from noble rent-seekers resistors?

    • > Or what stops local bourgeois republic court not to side with fat cat capitalist landlords

      You’ve obviously never been a landlord in Massachusetts, where the laws (and the judges) are heavily biased in favor of the tenant during eviction proceedings, even before the pandemic. In Massachusetts, a landlord is less a “property owner” than a “provider of housing” under the law. Once the lease is signed and the keys are handed over, the tenant has *legal possession* of the dwelling – and the only person who can return that legal possession to the landlord is a judge. One slip-up, one allegation of retaliation, one failure to perform all the duties of the landlord (including clearing snow and trash removal) – regardless of how delinquent the tenant is – will cause the judge to find in the Tenant’s favor. Particularly if a minor child is involved and the parents (or just shackin’ up boyfriend and girlfriend/etc) argue that being evicted would be a hardship for the child. There are tenants in MA housing court who have been trying to evict their delinquent, nonpaying deadbeat tenants for **YEARS**. That was before the Pandemic and the CDC’s invented-out-of-thin-air powers to control the housing market as a public health response.

    • Sorry, “landlords who have been trying to evict…” not “tenants.”

      I have been through this wringer – all at my expense. In addition to all the above, if you successfully jump through the hoops and achieve an Execution Order (which is what they’re called) you must hire a Sheriff (Deputy or Constable) to supervise the eviction and you must STORE THE TENANTS BELONGINGS AT YOUR EXPENSE in a licensed and bonded storage facility if they do not have the means to remove them. That is MA tenancy law, pre-pandemic.

      We had to evict a tenant about 10 years ago and the only reason we succeeded relatively quickly is that the male delinquent was wanted on a State Police warrant because he was involved in an *attempted murder* case and had not shown up for court. On the day of the eviction he and his concubine and kid got in their car and got the ***k out of Dodge, leaving 3,000 pounds of belongings behind that we had to STORE.

    • Alex, I did not mean in the Imperial state where rent-paying sucker has long financed rent-free scoundrels or, using @philg expression, in Maskachussets.
      I meant in America where 10 years ago (not a special number but when I last looked) refusal to pay rent resulted in swift eviction.

  2. I had a random thought today. Given our current environmental crisis, if the government ever obtains the ability to force inject its citizens, does it not eventually inevitably use that power for population control? I mean, isn’t that the only possible reasonable outcome? Can we seriously imagine President Harris looking out across the slums of DC and *not* deciding that the situation would be far better with 6.5 billion fewer useless drivers? I’m not a sociopath, and even I would have to very seriously consider that option, especially if sterilization could be done in a relatively painless way. I would of course feel terrible about it, but don’t we have to do *something* to avoid Mad Max? For our elites, who hate the common people anyway, it will be a no-brainer.

  3. Seems unlikely that some bureaucrat in a federal agency has the power to set home rental prices across the US.

  4. So getting vaccinated and slowing the spread increases one’s chance of having to pay rent. The incentives are not well aligned.

  5. In the ’70s in MA, my Dad had a 5-unit residential building. Rent was $50/week, due weekly. He always kept it fully rented and tenants were rarely a problem. I had the pleasure of mowing the lawn and cleaning the common areas. I guess landlord-tenant laws were looser back then. On more than one occasion, my Dad simply entered the non-paying tenant’s unit, put all his belongings at the curb, kept what he wanted, and changed the locks. Never had a problem with the law.

    I’ve had my FL upscale, waterfront rental fully rented to the same tenant for the past six years. He was furloughed from his job for 8 weeks last spring, and thought he was going to be permanently laid off, but was ready to go ahead and retire a few years earlier than planned if the layoff happened. Never missed a rent payment and always on time before the 1st.

  6. First idea: the words “Rent Is Racist” and a stencil of a raised fist. Second idea: “Rent is the Real Pandemic” with a fat monocled coronavirus holding a cigar and grinning evilly. Third idea: “Defund Hitler: Cancel Rent” with a silhouette of a rotund orange figure with a combover and a little toothbrush mustache.

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