Mayor Walsh Is Good At SOUNDING Like He's Doing Good, But...
Updated: Jun 7
I just listened to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's address to the people of Boston (March 30, 4PM). He is a very skilled politician! By that, I mean this.
He made it seem as if he really cares about, and is trying his best to help, Bostonians who, even before the CV epidemic, could not find affordable housing. And he said things that many people in dire straits due to the epidemic were very glad to hear. He announced plans to let people who, due to the epidemic, cannot pay their rent not pay it right away. He said people won't be evicted during the epidemic. He said there are plans to let people not pay their mortgage payments on time. And property taxes will be deferred. All of these measures are good things, even if they don't go nearly far enough to solve the huge problems that prevailed even before the epidemic.
The ruling elite--the upper class with the real power and wealth in our nation--know that they risk revolution if they fail to persuade most people that they are not acting sufficiently in the interests of the general public. FDR in the 1930s knew that he had respond to the suffering caused by the Great Depression by implementing the New Deal to avoid a revolution. Likewise, the U.S. ruling class knows that it must respond to the covid-19 epidemic in a way that persuades most people it is acting wisely to protect the public health and welfare. The ruling class thus needs politicians like FDR (and Mayor Walsh and the equally skilled governors such as Baker and Cuomo) to prevent revolution. Even President Trump, for all of his difficulty in doing so, has been trying to play the role that the ruling class needs him to play; he thus extended the stay-at-home guideline to April 30 despite a lot of pressure from his buddies not to do so.
When the covid-19 epidemic has passed, the ruling class hopes it will then be under less pressure than presently from the general public to do things such as let people (who work, or who are willing to work but unable for some reason to do so) not pay rent when they cannot afford it, or not pay the mortgage when they cannot afford it, and still live in their apartment/home. In other words, the ruling class hopes that it will no longer be under great pressure to honor the economic principle that the general public is demanding (implicitly, if not explicitly) be honored today: "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire with scarce things equitably rationed according to need." This is the egalitarian economic principle.
Mayor Walsh, for example, will go on pretending that he's creating the affordable housing that people need and deserve, while in fact doing the opposite by green-lighting luxury, not affordable, new housing developments.
If we want the world to be the way it OUGHT to be--the way most people think it ought to be--then we should KEEP demanding that it be more and more based on the egalitarian economic principle. We should not stop aiming to make it be that way thoroughly. The ruling class knows it will not exist--it will no longer have its immense wealth and power and privilege--if the egalitarian economic principle prevails totally. We can and must build an egalitarian revolutionary movement to make it prevail nonetheless. Otherwise, the ruling class of the very rich will continue to treat us like dirt even while using smooth-talking politicians to make it seem that we are being well-served by them.