DEAR BACC, Pg. 2 (Click here to go to page 1)
 

 

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: June 29, 2019 at 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Joanne D'Alcomo defends her anti-democratic behavior with a specious argument that ignores the key facts:

 

a.  1021 members of the BACC (two thirds of the membership!) want the BACC to enlarge its mission in a particular way and they say that this would make them more enthusiastic members;  they should be allowed to at least talk about this in the BACC email group. It is totally and outrageously anti-democratic for Joanne D'Alcomo and Kevin Carragee to censor such discussion; they were never elected on a platform calling for such censorship.

 

b. Most people know that the real problem is that Big Money has the real power in our fake democracy. If an organization doesn't even acknowledge this fact and aim to remove the rich from power then it will not be taken seriously by most people, and most people will not be enthusiastic members of it or even join it.

 

c. If Joanne D'Alcomo's and Kevin Carragee's anti-democratic power play succeeds, then the BACC will fail to achieve its aims. Why? Because it will remain one consisting of people who are afraid to acknowledge the real problem: that we live in a fake democracy where the rich have the real power, not ordinary people. The organization will remain dominated by people who foolishly think that by keeping silent about the real problem (and by implicitly promising the ruling elite that the BACC has absolutely no intention of solving it by removing the rich from power) they will be seen by the ruling elite as "credible" and thereby will persuade the rich and powerful to "play fair" and grant demands they have no intention of granting.  This will simply reassure Big Money that it has nothing to fear if it continues to treat us like dirt. And that is exactly what will happen if our organizations remain controlled un-democratically by the likes of Joanne D'Alcomo and Kevin Carragee. The gentrification of Allston-Brighton will continue: affordable housing will become more scarce, and our neighborhood will become increasingly one in which only the wealthy can afford to live. It is wishful thinking to pretend otherwise.

 

John Spritzler

 

 

On June 29, 2019 at 7:34 AM Joanne D'Alcomo <jdalcomo@gmail.com> wrote:
 

             I thought it would be useful for any reader of John Spritzler’s post to see the written explanation to John of why the post about which he complains was excluded from the  Brighton Allston Community Coalition google group that is for BACC members only.  I believed it would be courteous to write to John personally to explain, since he is the only BACC member whose posts are “moderated” – and the reason that his are screened is that he has persisted in trying to use the BACC google group for a general discussion about his society-wide campaign for what he calls “no rich, no poor” even though it has been explained to him that the private Brighton Allston Community Coalition listserv is not a general interest google group.  

 

            I explained to him once again that the BACC listserv is not a general interest listserv but rather limited to topics generally related to the BACC Mission Statement, and pointed out that

           

“if anyone could simply say they urge an addition to the mission statement and thereby make it into a listserv topic, then that would open the door to virtually any topic being a subject on the listserv  and destroy the idea of a more narrowly focused list serv.  For example, if someone thought support of “medicare for all” or federal legalization of marijuana or the safety of vaccines or should be part of the mission statement, the listserv would then risk veering off in those directions as they were debated.  We do not want to go down that rabbit hole on the listserv.”

 

The full text of the email to John explaining why his post was not put on the BACC listserv is below.
 

           On a personal note, let me say that is very sad to see that John’s broad societal campaign for what he refers to as  “no rich, no poor”  and an “egalitarian revolution” would descend into personal attacks and tirades against an all-volunteer community group that is trying to address -- for the benefit of the Allston-Brighton community -- the surge of development in Allston and Brighton.    

 

    Joanne D’Alcomo   

       

         Here is the full explanation that was provided to John:  

 

John -

    I just saw your earlier post and that was just posted. (That is one of the drawbacks of having your posts moderated, because the BACC listserv is, with one exception at this time  – you --  an unmoderated listserv, and we are not geared up for regular review of posts, leading to unintended time delays.)  As for the later post, no, it will not be posted. By way of explanation, I refer to you a post from May 30 on the listserv from the Steering Committee , which I am reprinting for your convenience below:

 

Dear members -- We strive on the BACC listserv to keep generally on topic with the issues in the mission statement and related quality-of- life issues in the neighborhood, and we’re asking folks on this listserv not to proselytize or campaign for broader social and economic issues, whether it be distribution of wealth,  gender issues, wage parity, etc. Those broad topics are beyond the scope of this listserv and are more appropriately the subject of general interest listservs. This is NOT a general interest listserv.  Thank you very much.

   

As a reminder, here is the BACC mission statement:

BRIGHTON ALLSTON COMMUNITY COALITION

 MISSION STATEMENT

 

Given the pace and scale of residential housing development in Allston-Brighton, the Brighton Allston Community Coalition advocates for:

 

n A city planning process that is open, fair and responsive to the needs of the Allston-Brighton community;

 

n An increase in the creation of affordable housing in Allston-Brighton, a significant concern given that Brighton’s median household income is $56,729 and Allston’s is $42,722. The City of Boston should mandate that all new large residential developments in Allston-Brighton make 20 percent of their units affordable (instead of the now-required 13%);

 

n An increase in home-ownership units in new developments, with new condominium projects required to have high percentages of owner-occupancy to prevent them from being treated solely as rentals. Owner-occupancy would help stabilize an increasingly transient neighborhood. Allston’s owner-occupancy rate is 10 % -- among the lowest in the city. Brighton’s owner-occupancy rate fell from 26.8% in 2010 to 22.5 % in 2015, and is now rapidly spiraling downward. These rates are significantly lower than the citywide average of 34%;

 

n Improvements in Allston-Brighton’s quality of life, including the preservation and expansion of parks and green space, and enhancing access to these spaces;

 

n A binding commitment by Boston-based universities, particularly Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University, to house their students to help address our community’s housing crisis;

 

n   Improvements in public transportation given Allston-Brighton’s expanding   population;

 

n A city planning process that is comprehensive, rather than the current project-by-project approach;

 

n A community characterized by economic, racial, ethnic and age diversity.

 

The Brighton Allston Community Coalition seeks to forge a diverse and intergenerational coalition, uniting homeowners and renters, committed to creating a vibrant community.

 

The Brighton Allston Community Coalition will act in a democratic and civil manner.

 

As I am sure you understand, John, if anyone could simply say they urge an addition to the mission statement and thereby make it into a listserv topic, then that would open the door to virtually any topic being a subject on the listserv  and destroy the idea of a more narrowly focused list serv.  For example, if someone thought support of “medicare for all” or federal legalization of marijuana or the safety of vaccines or should be part of the mission statement, the listserv would then risk veering off in those directions as they were debated.  We do not want to go down that rabbit hole on the listserv.

 


On Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 5:41:59 AM UTC-4, JOHN SPRITZLER wrote:

I posted the following email to the BACC email group, and BACC Vice Chair, Joanne D'Alcomo, in an act of outrageous ANTI-democracy, blocked it, telling me in a personal email that she blocked it:

 

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

 

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spri...@comcast.net>
To: bacommunit...@googlegroups.com
Date: June 28, 2019 at 4:14 PM
Subject: A question for the BACC's Vice Chair

Hi Joanne D'Alcomo,

 

As the Vice Chair of the BACC and the person who controls what can and cannot be posted to the BACC's email group, I have a question for you.

 

When it comes to ideas about how to win the goals of the BACC, what are the only ideas that you will allow to be expressed in this email group? You have previously told me that the ideas I have on this topic (and which 1021 members of the BACC signed a statement saying they agree with, by the way) are not allowed. So what ideas are allowed to be expressed for consideration by others in the BACC email group?

 

Regarding this question, how do you interpret the last sentence of the BACC's Mission Statement, which reads, "The Brighton Allston Community Coalition will act in a democratic and civil manner"? I would have thought it meant that free and open discussion of ideas about how to achieve the goals of the organization would be encouraged, but apparently you have a different understanding of what it means. What exactly is your understanding?

 

Sincerely,

 

John Spritzler

 

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

 

The BACC's Chair (Kevin Carragee) and Vice Chair (Joanne D'Alcomo) have utter contempt for two-thirds of the BACC membership. While they have thanked me for recruiting more than a thousand new members to the BACC, they will not permit free and open discussion in the BACC email group by these new members about how to win the BACC's aims.

 

Why not?

 

Because Kevin Carragee and Joanne D'Alcomo fear the BACC becoming the kind of organization that can actually win its stated aims. Specifically, they fear the BACC enlisting the enthusiastic support of people like the 1021 people who joined the BACC by signing the NO RICH AND NO POOR statement copied below.

 

The Mayor and Big Money developers know that as long as people like Joanne D'Alcomo and Kevin Carragee are in control of any organized effort to win adequate affordable housing, then Big Money will have nothing to fear if it continues building mainly luxury housing and gentrifying Allston-Brighton.

 

NO RICH AND NO POOR

We the undersigned joined (or are hereby joining) the Brighton Allston Community Coalition (BACC) because its goals, including adequate affordable housing and good public transportation and an end to gentrification, are part of our larger goal: removing the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. We hope that the BACC will declare that it also aims for this larger goal; that would make us be even more enthusiastic members of it.

 

 

John Spritzler

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

Here is the first reply (from Fred) to my emails above from somebody on the larger neighborhood list:

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, Fred  <>
Date: June 29, 2019 at 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Hi Fred,

 

Excellent question! My website at PDRBoston.org is dedicated to answering your question. But there's a lot on the website, so for starters I suggest going to the page titled "What Is an Egalitarian Revolution?"  and  clicking on the links it provides that address your main specific concerns or questions.

 

I believe that the reason we are experiencing gentrification and a host of similar problems is because we--the hundreds of millions of ordinary people in the United States--have not had a serious and sustained large public conversation about how we think our society ought to be. In the absence of such a large public conversation, we are reduced to having no vision to inspire a movement for a fundamentally better world, and we end up settling for--at best--small reforms that are granted one day by the rich and taken away by them the next day; we remain on the treadmill of defeat.

 

I am trying to promote a large public conversation about exactly the excellent question you have raised here. Thank you for asking it! Please keep asking good questions like this. We need LOTS of people thinking about what the answers are and sharing their thoughts with each other.

 

John

 

 

John --

 

When you talk about "removing the rich from power" what do you

mean? How would this work?  I ask because this is after all the

foundational concept in your thinking. (Or so it seems; feel free

to correct me.) Your basic perspective seems to be that making

progress of any kind about anything depends first on "removing

the rich from power."

 

What does this mean? How is it to be done?  Is there a model 

of what you mean anywhere in history?

 

Fred

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

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, Fred <>
Date: June 29, 2019 at 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Hi Fred,

 

"The rich" are primarily the billionaires who form a ruling plutocracy. There are, of course, very wealthy people who may not be billionaires but who still enjoy very substantial wealth and hence power and privilege because our society is one based on class inequality with some rich and some poor, in which money is power. The major investors in the luxury housing developments that drive gentrification may not be billionaires but they have the kind of big money that buys the support of mayors. Our society is one in which money is power and the more money one has the more power one has; this is the basis of our fake democracy. Just because a billionaire doesn't use his/her power in an obvious way (Alice Walton owns $34 billion, but apparently devotes her time to collecting art, like the "playing music and traveling" you cite), they use it to ensure that class inequality remains; they do this by funding the people and institutions that do work in more obvious ways to maintain class inequality and prevent an egalitarian revolution.

 

Here are some places on my website that talk about who "the rich" are:

 

1. My sister website has this page devoted to the views of an academic who has studied the rich and who rules America.

 

2. "PROOF WE HAVE A FAKE DEMOCRACY" cites multiple sources for the basic fact that the wealthiest people have the real power.

 

3. Note that I am not saying all rich people are bad people. In fact I wrote "Some Rich People ARE Good." Some kings in human history were no doubt good people too, but that hardly constitutes a good reason to want to live under a monarchy, does it?

 

The idea of removing the rich from power is not about singling out people with wealth above some particular arbitrary threshold point and treating them differently because of that. No. It means shaping society by the no-rich-and-no-poor economic principle of "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire with scarce things equitably rationed according to need" (and with "reasonable" and "equitable" decided democratically by the people in the local community who support this no-rich-and-no-poor principle and mutual aid. Most people would be better off--much better off--if this principle prevailed. Some people would be materially less wealthy but better off in non-material ways.

 

I don't advocate making life worse for anybody, not even rich people. But I do advocate that people's lives should not suffer (homelessness, lack of health care, abusive job conditions, etc.) in order to enable other people to have great  wealth and privilege and power. I think that most people feel this way and the majority of them would, almost always, make quite reasonable decisions about how to shape society by this egalitarian principle. You mention "confiscating wealth." The main confiscation of wealth would be declaring, for example, that Jeff Bezos no longer is the owner of $100 billion dollars-worth of Amazon and the Washington Post, etc., and that no single person any longer owns wealth unreasonably ("media tycoon John Malone, owns 2.2 million acres—more than twice as much land as Delaware") as I discuss in "EGALITARIANISM AND PRIVATE PROPERTY." If, when you read this article, you disagree with it I would be surprised; but if so please let me know, OK? Removing the rich from power does not mean barging into somebody's home who has wealth above some arbitrary number and removing their piano or expensive car or dragging them out their home altogether. That's a Hollywood stereotype image designed to make middle class people fear egalitarianism. On this note, please read my "WHO EXACTLY ARE THE "RICH" WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM POWER?," which contains a section titled "WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE RICH WHO ARE REMOVED FROM POWER?"

 

Regarding how the rich are to be removed from power, this is what I address in my article, "How We CAN Remove the Rich from Power". The crux of the matter is preventing the rich from using force (violence or its credible threat) to prevent people from shaping society by the egalitarian values of no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid. Once this is accomplished (as my article discusses), then people will be free to use genuine democracy (which I discuss here) to start making society equal and democratic for the first time. Genuine democracy means that the egalitarians in a local community, in their democratic local assembly,  have the real power--the final say--in what laws and policies people in that local community must obey. The priest you mentioned, if he supported egalitarian values, would be one person in the local assembly with one vote just like all other members; if he had great influence by virtue of the respect people had for him or the persuasiveness of his ideas and arguments, fine. If other individuals likewise had such great respect and influence (like the three or four families you mentioned), then fine again. But their ideas and respect would--this time--be based on how well they helped people to shape society by egalitarian values. I discuss this in my article from the point of view of addressing "How Can Abuse of Power Be Prevented?"

 

This is of course just the beginning of a much larger conversation that LOTS of people need to have. Thank you again for helping to get it going here in Allston-Brighton. I hope you will keep asking your excellent questions, and maybe even start offering some answers too.

 

John

 

On June 29, 2019 at 4:08 PM Fred <> wrote:
 

John --

 

I couldn't find anything on your website that relates to my questions, which to be fair, I had not asked explicitly. So: 

 

1) who are "the rich"?  By rich (I assume) you are thinking about wealth (assets minus liabilities), not income, or not just income.  (Feel free to correct me.)  How much "wealth" is enough to define someone as "rich," and therefore needing to be "removed from power"?  According to the Census Bureau  the *average* household wealth (as of 2011) was about $70,000.  ( http://bit.ly/2JcJadN)   Does anything above that count as "rich"?  If not, if you are defining rich as households that possess more than that, then your plan is not equalitarian, strictly speaking.  Not that I have a problem with that.  But you do need to have a defining point somewhere.

 

2) Next, once "rich" as been defined, how are they going to be "removed from power"?  By the equalization, or anyway, near-equalization, of wealth?  That has the virtue of being easy to understand, though it does not speak in any comprehensive way to the distribution of power as I have experienced it.  I grew up in a Catholic community in which the priest was just immensely powerful. Of course he wasn't rich,  Would your plan affect his power? The community was run by maybe three or four families, people who had been there for generations.  Again, they weren't rich, but they ran the town.  Would your plan affect them?  At one point in my life I worked for the Department of Corrections. That whole organization was run from top to bottom by the President of the Correctional Officer's Union.  (The state secretary of corrections, the guy appointed by the Governor, had by comparison no authority at all.  His name never came up)  I spent several years on the board of a non-profit.  We had a President and a Board but the guy who ran the organization -- who had the power -- was a very dedicated lawyer who put in more hours than anyone else.  He did have money, but that's not where his power (inside the organization) came from.      

  

Would your plan have anything to do with these examples of power distribution?  

 

And of course -- not that you probably care -- I certainly know rich people who spend their time playing music and travelling about and basically not exerting any power that I can see over anything.  So there is far from a perfect correlation in the distribution of money and power. 

 

Still, you probably feel that money is the best we have as a stand-in for power.  So I am guessing that by "remove from power" you mean confiscation of wealth. Am I right??

 

Regards,

 

 

Fred

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

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: cleveland-circle-community@googlegroups.com, Eva  <>, AllstonBrighton2006 <allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com>
Date: June 29, 2019 at 10:42 PM
Subject: Re: [Cleveland-Circle] Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Eva,

 

To help you and others find my views on violence, here is where they are expressed:

 

1. "HOW WE CAN REMOVE THE RICH FROM POWER" is about how to deal with the problem that the rich use violence to stay in power.

 

2. "NON-VIOLENCE? OR NON-CRUELTY?" is about the use of violence by egalitarians.

 

If you or anybody else thinks what I have written is objectionable, say specifically what it is. I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Regarding Communism: Communism (and the Marxism it is based upon) is fundamentally anti-democratic for the reasons I write about here. Egalitarianism is fundamentally about genuine democracy, meaning what I discuss here. You can assert all you want that egalitarianism is really Communism, but there is no basis for that claim. Anybody who actually reads what I have written can tell this is the case. But if somebody simply hears the words "no rich and no poor" and reflexively screams, "Communism!," then they will not understand the fundamental difference.

 

Eva, if you think having some rich and some poor is fine, you're simply wrong, as I show here and here.

 

Regarding Eva's absurd notion (a scare tactic) that egalitarianism would mean people in Allston Brighton being worse off, let me point out some facts:

 

If wealth and income were equal for all in the United States, then (based on per capita [every man, woman and child] wealth and income) every household with the average household size of 2.58 people would have $1.04 million as its share of the total wealth of the United States; it would own $743,000 of household and non-profit net wealth; and it would have an annual income of $130,000 .


Presently, half of U.S. households have an income less than or equal (mostly less than!) to $59,039 (which is the approximate median household income in Allston-Brighton), and a little more than 80% have an income less that the $130,000 it would be if there were no rich and no poor; and 14% of U.S. households today have a _negative_ net worth (debts are greater than assets). [ https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/05/14/166-million-us-households-have-a-negative-net-wort.aspx and https://dqydj.com/united-states-household-income-brackets-percentiles/]

 

The above numbers are based on per capita wealth, so a househould with twice as many peope (that includes children) as the 2.58 average used here would have twice the wealth, etc. [This is an excerpt from my article here.]

 

Also, in an egalitarian Massachusetts we'd have a LOT more money available for our state budget, as I show here.

 

Eva is using scare tactics, not facts and logic.

 

By the way, my PDRBoston.org website has a very good navigation menu bar and also a text search feature, so it is pretty easy to find articles about a particular subject. Please visit the site.

 

John

 

On June 29, 2019 at 9:52 PM Eva <> wrote:

I know John Spritzler as a jovial neighbor in Aberdeen, and have nothing against him personally. People who have a big passion in their life, as he does, are happier and more interesting than those who don’t — so good for him.  

 

But the following needs to be said: the ideology that John espouses in IS communism, regardless of what he calls it.  Saying that he's against Marxism (as he wrote in a recent public email addressed to me) is just a smokescreen.

 

The utterly laughable “no rich no poor” ideology is just re-packaged communism, the most destructive ideology ever invented by humans, one that killed more people than the Nazis did — all in the name of equality. And egalitarianism (John wants people to start an “egalitarian revolution”) is just a nicer sounding name for the same thing.

 

In another posting, Fred H. asked John how exactly would John get rid of the rich. Excellent question!  A comforting, mollifying, vague response came back from John.  However, I recall reading John's website about a year ago, and I distinctly remember a passage in one of his articles, stating that the revolution he is calling for requires removal of the rich by using violence if necessary.  (I’d like to back this up with an exact quote – but unfortunately, that website has many articles penned by John, and I can’t find that startling passage in that sea of electronic ink.)

 

John knows that calling for violence would not win him many friends, so he is not broadcasting that wish — but it slipped out of him in one of his articles, and I SAW it.  No need to panic though. We all have our fantasies. John is not a violent guy – just passionate.

 

On the local level, John believes that majorities can and should be determining, via so-called democratic assemblies, how much money, property and other resources their fellow citizens or area residents should have, or be allowed to keep.  Remember, there should be no rich and no poor.

 

So if you live in A-B and happen to own a more or less proper house (thank goodness they still exist), and you have a yard, garage, basement, an outdoor hot tub or even a little swimming pool in your nice green private oasis — but the majority of A-B residents live in 1-bedroom apartments in boring nondescript buildings – by comparison, you are rich!  How dare you — you do not deserve to have more than what other people have.

 

If you wish to ensure that the neighborhood retains or is able to attract solidly middle class people (or even some upper class folks which wouldn’t hurt), to save free-standing homes — then you are for gentrification and displacement, and therefore an enemy of the people.

 

A time will come when people who live in owner-occupied houses in A-B (or Boston) will be — or already are — a minority. The politics of development in Boston are already grossly skewed against them.  Should they be entirely pushed out in the name of “equality” and “no rich and no poor”?

 

When a neighborhood sends a message that wealthy people are not welcome, individuals who have means to buy and renovate houses to live in them do not want to live in such an area.  Little by little, big landlords/investors take over – and they tear down family-friendly homes to build oppressive, dense building for the masses.  Sure — everyone is equal in them. 

 

I noticed that John self-published a book “No Rich No Poor” that is on Amazon.  One reviewer has nailed it:

 

David R.

1.0 out of 5 starsThis is not a way forward.

June 20, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Equality of outcomes is an unnatural state which can only be achieved by using violence to force compliance. Inequality can not be solved by a "to each from each approach". This has been tried across cultures and across time, with millions of innocent victims the result. The author makes an effort to dress this toxic ideology up in a non violent wrapper but fails in my estimation. The best path to peace and prosperity is true free market capitalism without intervention of a capricious, arbitrary, and cruel government. Innovation and progress have been historically been the product of individual effort coupled to trade, and not by the collective to allocate as it sees fit. As flawed as it may be, the market does a much better job allocating resources than people who imagine they can decide for others. And what if I don't want to be in the middle? Will you force me?

 

Another reviewer put it a little more succinctly.

 

Tamu1996

1.0 out of 5 starsPraise Kek and don't buy this modern Little Red Book!

May 31, 2017

Format: Paperback

Utopian claptrap, recasting Communism as pure and "egalitarian," is still failed, rehashed Communism. There will, as there has always, exist rich and poor people and every socioeconomic strata in between. Until the author (selling at a profit?) personally writes a check equaling his entire net worth to name-your-charity and pledges a life of poverty, it's all the same old class jealousy and class warfare, repackaged for a younger, dumber audience. One minute on the author's Facebook page confirms these truths. Beware, children.

 

 

As for John’s point that we have a “fake democracy” — I’m sorry to say something that will sound heretical, but there is no such thing as "true democracy".  “True democracy” gives the majority complete control — leading to victimizing, disregarding, or entirely eliminating a minority (or minorities) — just as John wants to eliminate “the rich”.

 

Oppression of minorities (even when they are successful and wealthy) never flies in the long term — though it doesn’t stop people from trying to use their numbers to assert control over their environment (which is a deep human need).  That is why “true democracy” is a mirage -  neither desirable nor sustainable.

 

Eva 

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

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: June 30, 2019 at 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Fred,

 

To help this conversation, please tell me which articles of mine that I referred you to you have now read. Assuming you have read some of them, why don't you cite specific sentences or paragraphs and say what you think is missing from them or is not clear or is even just wrong. Maybe I'll edit them or write something that is more clear or correct if your criticism(s) seem valid to me.

 

At the same time, why don't you tell me what you think about the following two ideas; do you agree or disagree with them?

 

1. The key problem in our society is that the very wealthy have the real power, and their values and aims conflict with the values and aims (equality and mutual aid) of the vast majority of ordinary people.

 

2. It is possible to have a good, just, and desirable kind of society in which the vast majority of people are able to shape society by their values of equality and mutual aid.

 

What are your thoughts about these two assertions? I look forward to hearing them.

 

Regarding your concern that an egalitarian society means a loss of cultural diversity, let me call your attention to some relevant facts.

 

1. Communism (which is what I think you have in mind in referring to the carnage caused by people aiming for utopian ends)  was all about extreme centralized control by the small leadership of the Communist Party. This is what the theory of Marxism calls for (as I write about here.) No wonder Communism was ugly and lacked the good kind of diversity!

 

2. In fundamental contrast to Communism, egalitarianism is about local communities being the sovereign power (as I write about here.) I would think that a person who valued to diversity would want egalitarianism very much.

 

3. Our current society is culturally diverse (in the good sense that matters) only because of the efforts that people  make in SPITE of, and in opposition to, the enormously concentrated cultural control exercised by the corporate elite. Six corporations own virtually all of our mass media. And look at what this produces here. (Surely this is not the diversity you want to protect by keeping the economic inequality that results in this and this? The diversity I hope you want will be protected MORE, not less, in an egalitarian society.)

 

--John

On June 30, 2019 at 11:28 AM Fred  <> wrote:
 

John --

 

This answer doesn't work for me.  I still don't know how you define the "rich" or how you define "power" or how you are going to "remove" "them" from "power".    I want clear, explicit, answers to these questions; giving me instead a list of contexts from which I am supposed to infer my answer does not work. 

 

Let me give a bit of psychological background:  I am writing in 2019, looking back on a century wracked with horrors. Most of the carnage of the last hundred years came from people who gave all their attention to utopian ends without giving a thought to means.  I might have one reaction to your writing if I were reading it in 1900, but I am not.  Living when I do has left me with a mild case of post-traumatic stress syndrome, and one symptom of that is that I cannot turn my back on the lesson of my time: humans have to worry more about means than ends.  The 20th century teaches us what happens when we fail to do that.  When I read what you write it raises the spectre of the last century for me in all the wrong ways. You need to lean over backwards to avoid triggering this reaction in people.  

 

You do have one explicit request of me, which is to tell you what is wrong with an egalitarian society.   Again, I do not quite know what you mean by this, but speaking generally, the problem with a *highly* egalitarian society is the loss of cultural diversity, and cultural diversity, in my view,  is what allows a society to change..  I grew up in a small town with a high degree of income equality; I know what cultural homogeneity feels like.  I moved to Boston and began to build a life using institutions -- the MFA, the BSO, the local universities -- built by people with more money than I have ever dreamed of having.  I prefer the latter experience by a factor of about a billion..   

 

This doesn't mean I wouldn't be perfectly comfortable with an increase in income tax rates and it is not impossible that that is all you have in mind.  If so, then we agree more than we disagree.

 

Regards,

 

Fred

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

From: Angela  <>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com, homeowners-union-of-allston-brighton@googlegroups.com, bacommunitycoalition@googlegroups.com
Cc: spritzler@comcast.net
Date: June 30, 2019 at 12:23 PM
Subject: [AB2006] Poor and rich.

 

 

 

Lots of rich people needed to work very hard in order to have success in life. 

Also, poor people needs to work really hard in order to improve their life. You can’t just depend on some one or government to help you out all the time.

Remembered when my husband and I came to Boston, worked with minimum wage and rented a room in housing project for $200 a month about 30 years ago (our rent was more than enough to pay for the whole condo that was subsidized by the government. I guessed the poor took advantage of us). We thanks God that we didn’t need to depend on government to subsidize us. No credit cards or bank cards, we worked full time and went to college part time at night. Little by little, our life became better and better. 

As now, I am so glad that we have BACC & home owner union of AB to make our residents neighbors a better place to live. Of course, I don’t agree 100% of everything, but it is not about me, it is for the whole AB neighborhood. Each organization needs to choose what their goals are and put it under their mission statement. I always admire the co-chairs, presidents, and the board members to give their 110% to us, AB residents.

I would like to take this opportunity to thanks to Tony, Joanne, Kevin, and Eva for their supports and hard work.

 

Appreciate it,

Angela

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

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>
To: allstonbrighton2006@googlegroups.com
Date: June 30, 2019 at 5:59 PM
Subject: Re: [AB2006] Re: Here's the email that BACC Vice Chair Joanne D'Alcomo CENSORED

 

Fred,

 

Do you want me to give you a precise number of dollars of wealth and define "rich" as having that much wealth or more, and "not rich" as having less than once cent below that amount? If so, I think you are being unreasonable, and, I suspect, deliberately so. If you don't grasp what it means to "remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor" because I haven't given you a precise number of dollars to define "rich," then I think you are trying not to understand what most ordinary people understand only too well.

 

If you don't know what "power" means in our society then I have to wonder what in the world you DO understand about the world.

 

As for neutralizing the army, most people "in the street" know full well that that's the only way to realistically remove the rich (sorry you don't know what that means) from power (again, sorry you don't know what that means.)

 

If you think that we can remove the rich (sorry) from power (sorry) by voting, then I suggest you read this.

 

Fred, I get it. You don't want to upset the apple cart. You like things pretty much the way they are and fear any movement that seriously aims to make a more equal and democratic world. I wonder if you realize that in feeling this way you are part of a very small (yes vocal, organized, confident, visible, relatively well-treated by the ruling elite, but still small) minority.

 

John

On June 30, 2019 at 5:13 PM Fred  <> wrote:
 

John --

 

I have read your articles.  My problem is that you routinely use highly subjective words -- words with a very wide range of meanings -- without ever defining them precisely enough for me to understand what you talking about.  I don't know what you mean by the "rich,"  meaning the class of people whom you feel ought to be "removed" from "power".  I certainly have no idea at all what you mean by "power".  The problem here is not one of agreeing or disagreeing but just understanding what you are talking about. For instance, you define "rich" as: "...  the billionaires and the very highly-paid people who serve them at the top levels of government and corporate power."  Do you see how vague that definition is?  What -- and who -- defines "serve"?  What -- and who -- defines "top levels"?  Who replaces them after they are "removed"?  

 

But by far the worst problem may be the one point I fear do understand, which is the issue of neutralizing the army.  Your position seems to be that "removing the rich from power" cannot be accomplished legally, politically..  Boy is that scary.  I think those people you talk to in your street interviews would give very different answers if they understood that in order to get to the promised land you mention they would first have to "neutralize the army".

 

To repeat the point I made earlier, anybody talking about neutralizing the army is missing the lesson so many millions of people in the last century died to teach. 

 

And for that matter, in the Civil War as well.  

 

Fred

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

My experience with people on this neighborhood email list is what I discuss in this article and in this video.

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