We’re at a point where systemic issues are meeting their real-life counterparts.
Medical capacity is being tested. Our global financial system is in the midst of one of the great historical resuscitations.
Many renters, mortgage-holders, loan-repayers, debtors, small-businesses, and others are wonder how TF they are going to pay their rent at the end of the month.
A brave member of my community said that on April 1, they are not paying rent. They can’t afford it, and they aren’t going to give their last dollars to their landlord during the greatest pandemic of our time and so much uncertainty.
We cannot possibly understand modern-day housing concerns without understanding the history of “private property”. We must trace it to it’s roots in monarchy, feudalism, violent colonialism of old and new and in many places around the world, stolen and sold, auctioned, and squatted in the name of Manifest Destiny.
To be clear on terms, “private property” does not refer to the fundamental human right of shelter or having a place to live. A lot of people fear that abolition of private property means that I can and will now steal your toothbrush, sleep in your guest room, and take a crap in your garden. No.
‘Private property’ following it’s historical progression from it’s inception until now is perhaps closer to the opposite – the abolition of the commons and extraction of land resources for profit by the ‘nobility’ class, where in England left peasants “officially landless” for the first time.
We popped into this very moment in history now in the year 2020 AD, brought into this particular culture in time with all it’s mythology reinforcing this particular notion of “property” so the assumption that you owe rent at the end of the month to your landlord or that you owe your mortgage to Freddie Mac and Fannie May is taken for granted and counted as “good and right” by the vast majority of people.
The contract between you and your landlord or you and your mortgage holder is considered nearly holy and untouchable in the courts and legal systems codified into reality.
No exemptions for being on stolen land.
No exemptions for broken treaties.
No exemptions if you can’t pay.
How do you feel?
So right now we are most definitely faced with the question of how do we collectively face the challenges brought on by coronavirus, but we are also getting a window into the systemic issues that need to be addressed to get the root of the issue and move forward on the path to regeneration.
So should we pay rent on April 1 or not?