GENUINE DEMOCRACY & AFFORDABLE HOUSING

This article sorts what's right from what's wrong about NIMBY

[Read here about why housing is affordable in an egalitarian society]

Genuine democracy (described here) is about how egalitarians--people who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid--rule society. It is NOT about how anti-egalitarians rule society. Genuine democracy means that the egalitarians in a local community, and ONLY they, have the final say in writing the laws and policies that all people in that local community must obey.

How does this apply to the question of affordable housing?

 

People who value no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid want everybody who contributes reasonably according to ability to have a good home to live in, based on the egalitarian principle of "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire with scarce things equitably rationed according to need."

Therefore egalitarians support policies (zoning laws, decisions about what housing developments to build or not build, decisions about where to locate economic enterprises whose workers will want to live close to them, etc.) that sensibly advance the cause of ensuring that people who contribute reasonably will have a good and conveniently located home to live in.

 

Egalitarians want to use voluntary federation--in which no law is imposed from above on the egalitarians in a local community, whose Local Assembly of  Egalitarians is the highest lawmaking body--to craft and then enact policies for regions much larger than a single local community, policies that will determine the locations of economic enterprises with a view towards making density appropriate, making the location of housing convenient for the workers, and doing this in a way that addresses the legitimate interests and desires of ALL egalitarians. (Note: this may indeed mean spreading business locations out a lot more than is the case today.)

 

Egalitarians--because they are egalitarians!--do not object to sensible and reasonable policies that advance this aim. They do not oppose such policies for selfish reasons that clearly violate the principle of mutual aid and/or no-rich-and-no-poor equality. They do not, for example, adopt the anti-egalitarian attitude that their desire to live in a nicer neighborhood than others trumps the need of people who contribute reasonably according to ability to have good and conveniently located housing.

But anti-egalitarians DO adopt this anti-egalitarian attitude. (This is one way one can tell if people are anti-egalitarians.) This is why local communities in which anti-egalitarians are the majority (or the most active people even if a minority) typically adopt a NIMBY--Not In My Back Yard--policy that prevents new affordable housing from being built where it would make good egalitarian sense to build it.

Here's How Things OUGHT to Be, In a Genuine Democracy

In a genuine democracy:

1. Anti-egalitarians, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE THE MAJORITY IN A LOCAL COMMUNITY, have no right to determine the laws or policies that people in that local community must obey.

 

2. Anti-egalitarians must accept the laws and policies that egalitarians determine, even if the egalitarians in the local community are a minority.

 

3. Egalitarians in a local community, even if they are a minority, make the laws and policies about what housing does or doesn't get built in their local community, and what economic enterprises do or don't operate there, etc..

 

This is what egalitarian revolution is all about.

Here's How Things Are Today

 

In contrast, in today's anti-egalitarian society that is a dictatorship of the rich, the rich call the shots even though they are a small minority. For example, in the neighborhoods of Boston the rich call the shots and determine what gets built or not built, etc., even though they are a small minority in these neighborhoods. This is why the notorious Allston Yards project is being built in Allston-Brighton despite overwhelming opposition by most people in Allston-Brighton.

 

Egalitarian revolution is about setting things right, for a change.

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