Capitalist vs Communist evictions

On the eve of the October Revolution, Lenin writes:

The capitalist state evicts a working-class family which has lost its breadwinner and cannot pay the rent. The bailiff appears with police, or militia, a whole squad of them. To effect an eviction in a working-class district a whole detachment of Cossacks is required. Why? Because the bailiff and the militiaman refuse to go without a very strong military guard. They know that the scene of an eviction arouses such fury among the neighbours, among thousands and thousands of people who have been driven to the verge of desperation, arouses such hatred towards the capitalists and the capitalist state, that the bailiff and the squad of militiamen run the risk of being torn to pieces at any minute. Large military forces are required, several regiments must be brought into a big city, and the troops must come from some distant, outlying region so that the soldiers will not be familiar with the life of the urban poor, so that the soldiers will not be “infected” with socialism.

The proletarian state has to forcibly move a very poor family into a rich man’s flat. Let us suppose that our squad of workers’ militia is fifteen strong; two sailors, two soldiers, two class-conscious workers (of whom, let us suppose, only one is a member of our Party, or a sympathiser), one intellectual, and eight from the poor working people, of whom at least five must be women, domestic servants, unskilled labourers, and so forth. The squad arrives at the rich man’s flat, inspects it and finds that it consists of five rooms occupied by two men and two women—

You must squeeze up a bit into two rooms this winter, citizens, and prepare two rooms for two families now living in cellars. Until the time, with the aid of engineers (you are an engineer, aren’t you?), we have built good dwellings for everybody, you will have to squeeze up a little. Your telephone will serve ten families. This will save a hundred hours of work wasted on shopping, and so forth. Now in your family there are two unemployed persons who can perform light work: a citizeness fifty-five years of age and a citizen fourteen years of age. They will be on duty for three hours a day supervising the proper distribution of provisions for ten families and keeping the necessary account of this. The student citizen in our squad will now write out this state order in two copies and you will be kind enough to give us a signed declaration that you will faithfully carry it out.

Lenin, ‘Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?’ Collected Works, vol. 26, pp. 112-13.

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2 thoughts on “Capitalist vs Communist evictions

  1. Talking of evictions

    In Lewisham our first family has moved in…for the moment.

    20,000 leaflets explaining our occupation were distributed all over the borough of Lewisham in the 10 days leading up to the council meeting on 29th February. We heard from several families who wanted to move into the house in Angus Street and the council failed to nominate anyone from among the families in temporary accommodation, so we have agreed with a family of two parents and three young children that they can move into the house.

    Of course we have explained that it is possible that they will be evicted if the council chooses to apply for a court order for repossession.

    http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk/lewisham/lewisham-pbp-news/100-lewisham-pbp-news-9

    By the way the bathroom still needs tyling.

    So if you’re in the area there is some work for you.

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