BOSTON NEIGHBORHOOD EMAILS ON COMMUNITY LIST-SERVES

(Nov.-Dec. 2018)

These emails to neighborhood email lists are about egalitarian revolution

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Cc: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: November 18, 2018 at 5:41 PM
Subject: [AB2006] Strengthening our resistance to gentrification
 

Here are thoughts about how to make our resistance to gentrification stronger.

 

Gentrification is the inevitable consequence of our having class inequality (i.e., having some rich and some poor.) Wealthier people will pay more to live in a nicer place than poorer people can afford to pay, and this sets in motion the free market dynamic that leads to wealthier people living in the nicer places and poorer people having to live in the less nice places.

 

The reason good people don't like gentrification is because they don't like class inequality.

 

When people resist gentrification they are resisting class inequality, even if--as is typical--they don't say so explicitly.

 

When people resist gentrification without saying explicitly that they are opposed to class inequality, the result is that the resistance obtains LESS support from the general public and elicits LESS enthusiasm from even those in the resistance effort, compared to if the resistance explicitly declared its opposition to class inequality and ALL of the terrible things it imposes on most people. To see that this is so, please watch this video of random persons on the streets of Boston (in many neighborhoods including Brighton) answering the question, "Would you support a reform organization more, or less, if it advocated removing the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor?"

 

Our resistance to gentrification would be far stronger and gain far more support from the general public and elicit far more enthusiasm if we declared that we are also against class inequality and aim to abolish it.

 

--John

----------------------------------

From: 'Barbara' via AllstonBrighton2006 <allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com>
To: AllstonBrighton2006 <allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com>
Date: November 19, 2018 at 2:28 PM
Subject: [AB2006] Re: Strengthening our resistance to gentrification
 

I have to agree with John and disagree with Sarah.  I just applied for elder housing in Allston-Brighton and was told to expect a 5 year wait unless I become disabled. 

I would prefer to stay in my current apartment but at $2125/month with annual increases this is an unrealistic expectation.

Although I am still working and earn an above average salary I cannot continue to rent this apartment after this year.

 

We need to build affordable housing for Allston/Brighton residents--not 1.25 million dollar condos for temporary residents! 

I am also appalled at the lack of a comprehensive, long term plan especially public buildings, green space, parks and other quality of life spaces.

Every time Allston needs to build or expand public buildings (for the public good) we're asked to sacrifice another piece of our beloved Ringer Park.

 

I think its time for us to stop looking to our politicians, etc. for a fair solution and start working on solutions on our own as citizen advocates.

How can we purchase apartment buildings and green space, and protect them from political exploitation? 

There must be a way.  How did the Commonwealth/Glennville Association do it?

------------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Date: December 2, 2018 at 12:27 PM
Subject: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

When Big Money developers come into our neighborhood with the Mayor typically backing them up, with plans to build something we rightfully oppose, we are always on the defensive in two ways.

 

One way we're on the defensive is, of course, that we lack the power to veto a development we oppose; we are reduced to merely complaining about this or that aspect in hearings that are held to give an appearance of democracy.

 

The second way we're on the defensive is ideologically. We don't articulate a vision of how we think things OUGHT to be, and this reduces us to implicitly accepting without challenge the fundamental wrongness of the anti-democratic system in which we are forced to participate. How OUGHT things to be? 

 

It ought to be the case that there is GENUINE DEMOCRACY; this would mean that the highest governmental body in Allston Brighton would be what I call the Local Assembly, a body that a) all people in Allston Brighton who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid (which is the vast majority!) and only they have the right to participate in as equals democratically; and b) is the ONLY governmental body that can make laws that people in Allston Brighton are required to obey.

 

In such a genuine democracy, the people who attend the Local Assembly of Allston Brighton represent themselves and are not represented (supposedly!) by some politician, and the Local Assembly of Allston Brighton--not any politician--decides what can be built or not in Allston Brighton.

 

Although Local Assemblies are the highest law-making bodies, order on a large scale (national or even global) is achieved by voluntary federation of the Local Assemblies using mutual agreements (similar to how the international postal system does it, by the way, and it works quite well in delivering packages to any of the 192 nations that are part of it as you can read about here.) 

 

With a vision of how things OUGHT to be, we will be far more confident and assertive, and able to use this vision to enlist the support of far more people. We can go on the offensive, and be much stronger because of that.

 

John Spritzler

---------------------------------------

From: John  M <john***@gmail.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 12:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

hello john,

the problem is we don’t have a local assembly of allston-brighton.  so we’re at the mercy of the city of boston and big money developers.

john

----------------------------------------

From: Linda <***@rcn.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Thank you for sharing these emails!

Linda 

-------------------------------------

From: Farah <farah***@gmail.com>
To: bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Cc: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: December 2, 2018 at 2:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Dear John,

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the nature of Capitalism and challenges to creating a more equitable society.   I could not agree with you more. However, I need to think about your thoughts on solutions. Lets be in touch. 

---------------------------------------

From: John M <john***@gmail.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

Well, I’d certainly sign up!


 

Sent from my iPad


On Dec 2, 2018, at 1:12 PM, John Spritzler < spritzler@comcast.net> wrote:

Hi John,

 

Yes, that is the problem!

 

We could form a Local Assembly, however, and even though we would not have the power we ought to have, we can be what the British call a "shadow government" that says what we would do if we did have the power, and thereby help spread an inspiring vision of what OUGHT to be with which to build a very large movement (nationally) to win that power for real. I discuss how this can happen in my article, "How We CAN Remove the Rich from Power" here.  What do you think? 

 

--John

---------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: John M <john***@gmail.com>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Hi John,

 

The most practical concrete thing that people can do at this time to "sign up" is this: wear the PDR button and talk to people about what it says, as I discuss here.  Would you like me to mail you a button (or hand deliver one over a cup of coffee?) Farah also wants to get together to talk about this, by the way.

 

John

----------------------------------

From: Fred  <f***@pobox.com>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: December 2, 2018 at 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

  

"It ought to be the case that there is GENUINE DEMOCRACY; this would mean that the highest> governmental body in Allston Brighton would be what I call the Local Assembly, a body that a) all people > in Allston Brighton who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid (which is the vast majority!)> and only they have the _right_ to participate in as equals democratically ..."

 

 

I'm confused. Who would draw the line between those who "value no-rich-and-no- poor equality" and therefore would be allowed to "participate as equals," and those who would not? How would this be done? With interviews? Maybe a group interview before the neighborhood, who would then take a vote on who would be allowed to participate? Or a test? And then what happen to those who fail the test, and therefore have no "right to participate as equals". What is their status?

 

-- Fred

-----------------------------------------

From: David  <dave@***.com>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: December 2, 2018 at 6:48 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

I agree with Fred. Would certainly be good to have more say for the neighborhood but it would have to be people that would be allowed to have their own opinions in the group 

--------------------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 8:08 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Fred,

 

Good question ("Who would draw the line...?").

 

I will try to answer it.

 

The people who want no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid to be the values by which society is shaped (a.k.a. egalitarians, who are the vast majority in most communities as this video of me talking to random people on the streets of Boston--including Brighton Center--illustrates) should understand that it is right and proper for them to do what they think is necessary to prevent people who oppose equality and mutual aid from having power in society.

 

This would mean that if somebody at a Local Assembly meeting advocated unambiguously (in the judgment of a majority of the egalitarians) for policies and decisions that aimed to make some people rich and privileged at the expense of others being poor and less privileged (i.e., advocated for some rich and some poor, a.k.a. class inequality) then the egalitarian people in that Local Assembly should understand that it is morally right for them to tell that anti-egalitarian person they must leave the Assembly meeting.

 

The idea is that the Local Assembly is an organization with a goal--to shape society by egalitarian values. No organization with a goal invites people to join it and participate in its decision-making if that person clearly opposes the goal of the organization; it would be stupid and counter-productive to do so. (Should the Allies in WWII have invited German Nazis to participate in their decision-making?)

 

The fact that the Local Assembly is a law-making body does not change anything; it remains an organization with a goal. One of its goals is to ensure that laws should only be made by people who want to shape society by no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid, and not by those with the contrary values of class inequality with domination of manh have-nots by a few haves as is the case today.

 

The laws are going to be made by people with egalitarian values or (as today) by people with anti-egalitarian values; we should aim to make it be the former. There is no middle ground because egalitarian values and anti-egalitarian values are contradictory, just as pro-slavery and anti-slavery values were contradictory in 1860--which is why that issue could not be settled by a formal vote of what purported then to be a "democracy of all the [white] people."  Whenever a government purports to be a democracy of "all the people" it actually is and must logically be, in reality, either a democracy of the pro-egalitarians or (as today virtually everywhere) the anti-egalitarians, despite what it claims to be officially. What I have said here about democracy is simply an understanding of how the world actually works, and I hope to make it so that most people understand it (which is unfortunately not the case today.) 

 

Once this understanding about democracy is widely shared among egalitarians, then the egalitarians in any specific Local Assembly will use their brains to figure out what, if anything, needs to be done if an individual or individuals attend their meeting and unambiguously advocate anti-egalitarian goals. I cannot guarantee that the egalitarians will make wise decisions, but I do believe that they will most of the time. If the egalitarians allow anti-egalitarians to take over the Local Assembly, then that would be bad news, and they'd have to learn from their mistake and try to regain power.

 

There is never a simple answer to the "Who will decide?" question in the context of genuine democracy. The only people who have a simple answer to the "Who will decide?" question are those who advocate something fundamentally anti-democratic, in which case their simple answer is "the king" or "the high priest" or "the Communist Party" or "the Supreme Court" (that they are confident will consist of judges who are on the side of the rich and powerful), etc.

 

I hope I have been responsive at least in part to your question. I wonder what your answer to it is?

 

--John

----------------------------------

From: Farah  <farah***@gmail.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 9:07 PM
Subject: Getting together
 

Hi John,

 

Great.  We can get together to talk about your or my thoughts on how to bring a change to class structure and take control of what is going on with us people living in the USA.

 

Let me think about the time.  This is a tight week. Next one is less hectic.  But, I prefer coffee time.  Maybe Donkin or some place else. Is that not hard for you to come to Oak Sq. from Cleveland Circle? 

 

I will get back to you.

 

Solidarity not Polish style.

 

Farah

-------------------------------------

From: David <dave***@***.com
Cc: Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 9:12 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

Well John we do have to work with the system we have now. Realistically In order to change it you probably will need to have money. And I am sure there are people with money and morals that would like to change this system but there would have to be  people with different ideas allowed to be involved. 

---------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, David <dave@***.com>
Cc: Fred  <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

David,

 

Egalitarians have lots of different ideas. What "different ideas" are you referring to here?

 

Yes, we have to live in and operate in the world and in the social system that exists today, just as a person starting a journey to a foreign destination must start out in the location where they happen to be. But to get to their destination they must explicitly aim for that destination and visualize getting there; otherwise they'll never get there, right? That's why it's so important to talk about what ought to be, or else it never will be.

 

--John

---------------------------------------

From: Fred  <f***@pobox.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>, allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: December 2, 2018 at 9:42 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

John --

 

Are there any other social values that matter to you besides equality?

 

Fred

--------------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 10:00 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Fred,

 

Well, I define egalitarian values as no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid. That's two. I also write about the importance of the Golden Rule here (equality and mutual aid are aspects of that.)

 

There are lots of important social values that matter to me, some of which can be considered aspects of equality and mutual aid, and others such as, say, personal integrity and honesty and loyalty and creativity and bravery and many more. I focus on equality and mutual aid because the fundamental conflict in the world is between the majority of people who have these values versus the minority who have the opposite values and who rule over us and treat people like dirt in order to maintain their wealth and privilege and power, as I discuss here. The fundamental conflict is not between people who value, say, loyalty or bravery versus those who do not.

 

--John

--------------------------------

From: John M <john***@gmail.com>
To: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
Date: December 2, 2018 at 11:43 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

Yes, let’s you, Farah, and me meet for coffee.  Could you please arrange this w/ Farah.  My time is quite flexible.

Thank you,

John

---------------------------------

From: David  <dave@***.com>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Cc: Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 3, 2018 at 6:39 AM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers

What I am saying JOHN is that I don’t think it’s a good idea not to have people involved that may disagree with some aspects of this group. I think right now this is the big problem. I can’t even talk
 To some friends of mine that back the President. People should be able to disagree without getting into insults. Disagreement should be allowed. Even if each side could agree with a single point every now and then. Otherwise, and I think this is happening, we end up with a lot of violence. 

---------------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, David <dave@***.com>
Cc: Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 3, 2018 at 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Hi David,

 

You refer to "this group" but I'm not sure what group you have in mind. I'm guessing you mean the Local Assembly that I have been saying we should have. 

 

You say that "People should be able to disagree without getting into insults. Disagreement should be allowed...Otherwise we end up with a lot of violence."

 

I agree. You may think that I disagree because I said that only people who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid have a right to participate in the Local Assembly. But here's why I actually do agree with you.

 

The people who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid really are the vast majority of people, and they include people who supported Trump as well as Sanders or Clinton. Back in July of 2016 the Gun Owners Action League held a rally in front of the State House to protest the Atty. General's attempt to make it illegal to buy a certain kind of gun. I went to that rally to ask people at it if they thought the message on my button was a good idea or a bad idea. The button reads "Let's remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor."

 

There were about three or four hundred people at the rally--most I believe from western MA. They were all white. Most of them had shirts that said NRA. Most of them were wearing Trump's Make America Great Again red cap. Many of them were holding American flags. I asked 50 random people the question about the button (good idea or bad idea?). Of these 50 people, 43 (86%) said they agreed with the button and all of them happily took the button I offered to them and many of them pinned the button on themselves right on the spot. One woman gave me one of the bottles of cold water (it was a very hot day) she had, saying how much she appreciated what I was doing. Four individuals (8%) expressed (verbally) extreme hostility to the button's message, and three (6%) said they didn't know what they thought.

 

By my saying that only people who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid have a right to participate in the Local Assembly, I am not saying that the 86% of the people at that pro-Trump rally should be excluded. On the contrary, I am saying that they should be welcomed! Only the 8% who were extremely hostile should be excluded. 

 

Among people who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid there are obviously great differences of opinion on lots of issues, and I agree with you that these differences should be discussed without insults and in a friendly mutually respectful manner, the way people who have a fundamental agreement on key values should discuss their secondary differences of opinion. At the same time, an organization aiming to shape society by the values of no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid would be ill-advised to welcome as members people who are extremely opposed to those values, would you not agree?

 

--John

---------------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: David  <dave@***.com>
Cc: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, Fred <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 3, 2018 at 12:28 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

David,

 

I agree with you, and even wrote an article titled, "Some Rich People ARE Good," online here.

 

--John

 

On December 3, 2018 at 12:04 PM David <dave@***.com> wrote:

I agree with you. That you can not have hostility at meetings and let it get out of hand.There is no up side to that. But different ideas need to be listened to.I have always believed that the majority of the top 2% of financially wealthy people have always been very good at keeping the other 98% fighting against each other. But that some of the top 2% people  have morals or at least feel guilty about having all that money. I believe the Local Assembly needs these people. Right now, locally, I think we need Marty Walsh to start listening and agree with Anthony that he is just letting developers do whatever they want. The question becomes, what can we do about this???

----------------------------------

From: John Spritzler <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, David <dave@***.com>
Cc: Fred  <f***@pobox.com>
Date: December 3, 2018 at 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

Yes. Excellent!

---------------------------------

From: Liam  <liam***@gmail.com>
To: bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Date: December 7, 2018 at 8:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Brighton Allston Community Coalition] Thoughts about strengthening our resistance to Big Money Developers
 

 

Hi Farah and John,

 

Having read your correspondence, I too would be very much interested in being a part of this conversation. I seldom hear these subjects expressed in these terms and if you decide to meet up I would love to be included if that is alright with you. It’s especially important since I am visually impaired it is always easier for me to speak in person than using technology.

 

Liam

--------------------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------
From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Date: January 7, 2019 at 10:57 PM
Subject: A genuine, not a fake, democracy should decide questions like how the Mary Ann's bar property will be used
 

I just returned from the hearing about the Mary Ann's bar property. Here are my thoughts.

 

In a good, truly democratic, society (what I call an egalitarian society) the way a decision, like how the Mary Ann's bar property should be used, would be made very differently than how it is made today.

 

In an egalitarian society the people who live in Allston-Brighton and who want society to be equal (not some rich and some poor) and based on mutual aid (not pitting people against one another to make them more controllable by a privileged ruling elite) would have the final say on how the Mary Ann's property would be used. All of these people (I call them egalitarians, and the vast majority of people already ARE egalitarians even if they've never heard of that word) would have the right to attend the Local Assembly of Allston-Brighton and, as equals, democratically make the decision about how the Mary Ann's property will be used. And no higher governmental body or any private persons would have the power to veto that decision!

 

The Allston-Brighton Local Assembly would consider proposals from different groups of people about what they wished to use the Mary Ann's property for, and the Local Assembly would decide which, if any, of these proposals seemed most socially desirable; if--and only if!--a proposal seemed good enough, the Local Assembly would then give a green light to the people making that proposal to use the property for that purpose and, in exchange for providing this socially desirable service or product, it would grant these people the status of "membership in good standing" of the sharing economy.

 

As members in good standing of the sharing economy the people working for that approved enterprise would have the right to take, for free from the sharing economy, the services and products that they need to operate the enterprise and to take for free what they personally need or reasonably desire as well. (That's how they are "paid.") The sharing economy is composed of all the people who share products and services with each other this way according to the principle of "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire with scarce things equitably rationed according to need." The motive of an enterprise is not profit but rather maintaining a reputation for contributing reasonably according to ability and taking only according to need or reasonable desire, which is the condition for maintaining membership in good standing in the sharing economy.

 

Today, in contrast, this decision about what the Mary Ann's property will be used for is made by a) the current owners of the Mary Ann's bar--who likely don't even live in Allston-Brighton--who can hold onto the property and keep operating the bar if they wish, and b) the Mayor of Boston--who is beholden primarily to Big Money funders (who don't live in Allston-Brighton) of his election campaign war chest and who is elected mostly by people who don't live in Allston-Brighton. The Mayor (via his bureaucracy) decides whether or not to give a zoning variance to a business wishing to buy the property--a business likely owned by people who don't even live in Allston-Brighton and whose aim is to make money for themselves, not make Allston-Brighton a better place for those who live here. The decision about the use of the Mary Ann's property may not even be one that the people of Allston-Brighton want. This is not democracy! It is rather a fake democracy, a dictatorship of the rich.

 

I suggest that we start expressing our wish to have a genuine democracy, which entails removing the rich from power. Saying we want it is the first step towards attaining a genuine democracy, which is what we really want, right?

 

John Spritzler

--------------------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Neal  <****@gmail.com>
To: cleveland-circle-community@googlegroups.com
Date: January 8, 2019 at 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Cleveland-Circle] Genuine, not fake, democracy, should decide the use of the Mary Ann's bar property
 

I appreciate your perspective. 

-Neal

------------------------------------------------------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Date: January 31, 2019 at 4:25 PM
Subject: My reply to Eva's criticism of BACC
 

Eva raised some important points in her criticism of the Brighton Allston Community Coalition. I reply to those points online here.

 

I hope we have a robust conversation about this.

 

John Spritzler

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now