Monday, 18 October 2021

Landlordism is even more exploitative than capitalism!

One of the most commonly-held delusions amongst the property-hoarding class is that being a "landlord" makes them some kind of "capitalist".

It's completely wrong to imagine that landlordism is a sub-branch of capitalism, when it's actually a distinct sphere of economic activity, but it's easy to see how this confusion occurs.

Firstly there's the shockingly widespread misconception that "capitalism" is some kind of synonym for "trade", or "doing business", rather than a specific and defined form of economic organisation involving ownership of the means of production (which it actually is).

Then there's the fact that capitalism and landlordism are both highly exploitative practices that involve profit extraction from other people (employees/tenants), meaning it's easy to mistake one form of living off other people's backs as a version of the other.

The reality of course is that landlordism isn't capitalism, because capitalism is about owning the means of production (materials, facilities, machines) then paying workers below the actual value of their labour in order to extract profit.

I'm no fan of capitalism (to put it mildly) but at least there's some productive output at the end of it!

Landlordism on the other hand creates nothing.

All rentiers do is monopolise existing assets in order to extract unearned profits (whether that's buy-to-let slumlords, or private profiteers monopolising essential services like energy, water, public transport, etc).


Capitalism is a form of parasitism on economically productive activity.

Landlordism is an even purer form of economic parasitism, because it doesn't even produce anything other than unearned profits.

Of course landlords will try to pretend that there is some productive activity involved in landlordism, after all, don't they have to paint and redecorate when old tenants move out?

This is just a con-trick, because if the property was lived in by people who actually owned it, then they'd be much more inclined to invest above the basic bare-minimum, because their motivation is to make their home as comfortable and secure as possible, not to maximise profits by doing things on the cheap, and by cutting corners on long-term maintenance.

It's extremely telling that landlords try to dress up their bare-minimum of investment as some kind of economically productive activity, when it actually represents a reduction in investment on what would probably have occurred had the property never fallen into the hands of economic parasites.

Another common refrain from the idle landlord class is that they're somehow "providing a service" by buying up all the affordable housing, and renting it out to the people they've priced out of the property market!

If rented accommodation is such an essential service, then surely it should be taken under public control, so that it's run for the good of the British economy, and in the best interests of the British people, meaning any profits go back into improving the housing stock, rather than being siphoned off into private pockets?

But the landlordists react in absolute outrage at suggestions the rental market should be nationalised.

How are they expected to survive if they can't idly extract profits merely through ownership of property assets?

How are they expected to survive if they actually have to get a real job, and engage in economically productive activity like the rest of us?

Suddenly the provision of rented accommodation isn't the "important service" they just claimed it was. The only aspect of this "service" they actually attach any real importance to is preservation of the unearned income for themselves!

Of course the landlord class react with hot-headed indignation at those who describe the reality of their grubby, exploitative, unproductive economic parasitism, and desperately try to dismiss this criticism as if it's some kind of radical left-wing conspiracy against noble and honest people like them.

So I'll just leave you with a few quotes about landlordism from people that absolutely nobody in their right mind would ever describe as "leftists":

Winston Churchill
"Roads are made, streets are made, railway services are improved, electric light turns night into day, electric trams glide swiftly to and fro, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains - and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and cost of other people. Many of the most important are effected at the cost of the municipality and of the ratepayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is sensibly enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare; he contributes nothing even to the process from which his own enrichment is derived." [source]

Adam Smith
"As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed" [source]

John Stewart Mill
"Only the landowners grow richer, as it were in their sleep without working, risking and economising" [source]

David Ricardo
"The dealings between the landlord and the public are not like dealings in trade, whereby both the seller and buyer may equally be said to gain, but the loss is wholly on one side, and the gain wholly on the other" [source]


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23 comments:

Anonymous said...

So much this. I'm one of those millions of people that cannot access any private rental market because landowners are greedy and exploitative/ if you don't have thousands of pounds to pay upfront, a guarantor, the ability to work full time and the ability to engage the system, you cannot rent privately. It is as simple as that. the reality is that for many people, social housing is the only thing they can access. especially for younger people who don't have the support of family like myself.

Younger generations have increasingly been shafted by both landlordism and capitalism and oppose both and this lead will lead to action, just like our opposition to the climate crisis. We can't save up for our future, we have to delay having children if at all and many of us have to house share in cramped accommodation that often doesn't meet basic legal standards.

Fortunately, the time will come where all these corporate landlords will get their houses forcibly taken off them by the state, as do many private landowners. This is because landlordism is fundamentally unsustainable. It's a fight we will win whether those parasites like it or not.

Hopeful liberal lefty said...

There are people who have saved up money from employment and then invested it in buy to lets as they see it as the only means of preserving the value of their savings. Ideally in a fair society where index linked pensions are once again commonplace for workers then this shouldn't be necessary but as things stand property is a relatively risk free way of protecting value of hard earned cash. Society could also simply build more houses too to reduce house price inflation but nearly everyone rejoices at house price inflation whilst at same time expressing empathy for the young. Lot of cognitive dissonance in this respect.

Anonymous said...


Man, here was me thinking it was stuff like the 2008 crisis and other government interventions that jacked up rent and house prices. Another socialist trying to explain away the states failings with a bit of good ol pseudo intellectual toss. Can't have the state looking bad for when he takes over circa 2050 I guess.

Mr. Magoo said...

What has energy, water, and public transport got to do with landlordism?

How can you say that land and business buildings don't constitute the means of production? Landlordism is a section of capitalism because dwellings and other buildings are COMMODITIES that are rented to workers or other capitalists. You could say that bankers are part of the rentier-class because they rent other people's money for profit.

If housing is vital national infrastructure, then why aren't you advocating the complete nationalisation of it? While state ownership of housing has much cheaper rents, it's still a form of landlordism because households are still be paying parasites to live in dwellings they don't own; the money just goes to maintaining the capitalist state instead of into the coffers of private profiteers.


Scrotox said...

@Magoo
You "read" the articles here, and then disingenuously ask what you hope come across as searching questions, except that the author has already stated his views/answers to those queries within the text.
If you were to quote sections the article, and then provide a concise counter-argument, that would constitute something meaningful.
Magoo is a good name, as it seems the text on your screen is blurred and indecipherable to you.
Time for a new prescription!

Anonymous said...

@Magoo

Just thought you'd like to know; Whilst Scrotox has been poking fun at your name it turns out his chosen moniker is a method of botoxing testicles.

Gentler and kinder indeed.

Scrotox said...

Your point?

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

That you mocked someone's name and yours is a far worse choice. It was a very obvious comparison.

Mr Magoo can be taken as a sort of admission of self awareness and manages, whilst being wrong for the most part, to at least hold himself in gentlemanly conduct and with good grace.

You've decided to troll a political blog comments section with the chosen name of botoxxed testicles.

Hope this helps.

Scrotox said...

Excellent work with the search engine old chap!
I didn't so much mock his name as use it to aid in a mocking critique of the empty bullshit he posts here.
Does it occur to you that I might have knowingly picked a humorous user name for myself?
I imagine not, as I can't imagine you to be too au fait with the concept of self deprecating humour.....
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

You just wrote:
"I didn't so much mock his name as use it to aid in a mocking critique of the empty bullshit he posts here."

Here's what you wrote regarding the name;

"Magoo is a good name, as it seems the text on your screen is blurred and indecipherable to you.
Time for a new prescription!"

You LITERALLY mocked his name. Not only that it's literally the first thing you did in response! Like, I know you're trolling. You have to be trolling because such a self own requires a deep lack of self awareness.

See? Didn't even call you a nazi.

Fascist x x

Scrotox said...

You're getting repetitive with the fascist thing.
You need some new vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

I honestly don't want to get to know you beyond that spud. You're pretty grim. I mean, fancy thinking people are different because of their skin colour.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

But er, if you like;
Autocrat, absolutist, despot, racist, bureaucrat.

And so on.

Scrotox said...

None of which apply to someone being mildly sarcastic toward another person because they are disingenuous.
Keep going!

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

I agree!

If only that were what was happening.

Dun dun dun!

Also; you are actually a racist. You do realise that don't you? Like, y'know if someone goes; you can't put up your hand because of your skin colour; racism.

Y'know if someone goes: I'm going to stop people of a different colour from raising their hand, so its easier to raise yours (I mean, where the people at the front ignoring the non white's?), because you think that person needs help based on unproven assumptions and your own prejudices;
Racism.

You sily billy.

Scrotox said...

You're getting your threads mixed up now.

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