Thursday, December 30, 2004

In a battle that shows no signs of waning soon, Mayor Thomas M. Menino dispatched crews to South Boston yesterday to clear away anything and everything that residents placed in the streets to stake claims to parking spaces they had cleared of snow.

But just as quickly as the jaws of city garbage trucks crushed the myriad shopping carts, traffic cones, and furniture used as markers, many residents replaced them with new parking-space holders.

"I've got more barrels than he's got trucks," said James M. Kelly, the neighborhood's city councilor, who used a trash barrel yesterday to reserve his pristinely shoveled spot near N Street. City crews moved his barrel to the sidewalk yesterday, but a neighbor moved it back.

It's an unwritten law almost as old as the automobile in densely populated Boston neighborhoods: You shovel it, you own it. But Menino decided last December that the vigilante justice sometimes meted out for violating the law of the streets -- slashed tires, broken windows, or keyed car doors -- was getting out of hand. So he began ordering city crews to pick up parking space markers 48 hours after a major snowfall.
Why should we care about a bunch of Democrats fighting their own city hall? This Taxachusetts pol is trying to impose socialist master planning on people who are struggling toward Our Noble Lame Duck's heralded Ownership Society. Like many tyrants he uses the excuse of an alleged crime wave to justify his oppression. Those slashings and keyings are obviously self defense against the usurpers of newly homesteaded private property (the shovelled spaces), which had been abandoned by the local dictator. If he wanted to go on claiming it, he should have cleared the snow himself. Instead of taking responsibility for his claimed territory, he blames the victims for protecting their own.

The spirit of this grass-roots rebellion against Boston's Big Brother is to be applauded, but it suffers the usual flaws of preconceptual cracker barrel populism. Such piecemeal privatization produces petty vendettas. Better to turn over all the curbsides to corporations which can lease the spaces, use their profits to remove the snow, and have armed tow trucks standing by to haul off any violating vehicles to be sold for still more profits. Free market ideologues would say that history shows with these pure guardians in charge, there will be more and cheaper parking spots, without the bothersome need to clean them yourself, or to vandalize the vicious liberals claiming "public use" of your space.

As for me, I don't even care if they cost more -- I just want temporary ownership by fleeting individuals replaced with permanent property of everlasting corporations. In my ideal world, everything except personal effects would belong to stockholders somewhere. At that point, the future ideal society can abolish these silly "governments" and let entrepreneurs and executives decide our futures, instead of the demagogues and dilettantes we suffer under today. The goal is not more opportunity for individuals, but rationalization of control under Platonically perfect private companies that will last forever, making our efforts part of a transcendent eternity. Selling the streets is only a small first step.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com