"I believe our view of the system is reversed, I sense that your view of the system is top-down, while my view of the system is from the bottom-up. A municipal authority is as autonomous as it wants to be, given the fact that its the citizens of the community who are its members and whose votes grant access to the club. Civilization from the ground up."
* So are you saying that - it is the lack of personal responsibility on the part of local citizens that has allowed the municipal authority to do what it does? Perhaps local citizens are part of a larger process that effects all segments of society. I wonder how one separates out all the factors that account for the "evolving" or some would say "devolving" nature of the society? One view is that people have steadily become more dependent on institutions outside of their communities for their wants and needs than in the past. One could say that in the process the community has been gutted. Therefore the local hub or center of influence has been eroded - and perhaps with it the local hub, center of influence in government has been subsumed by the overarching transition. A municipal government therefore adapts and becomes part of this process. Seeking capital from outside to spur community investment and bring money into a locale would mean in many instances a race to the bottom for short-term gain without accounting for the effects on the long term viability and needs of a community. Government has been captured by the spirit of globalized capitalism. People have forgotten what it means to be tied to a place - and what a place actually needs to sustain itself. For instance - the process of procurement of goods and services has shifted to a faceless exchange of currency/credit for goods/services produced outside of a community in chain stores with headquarters far away from the place. SImilarly municipal governments look for short term cash and kickbacks from capital investments from outside of a community and prostitute their locales - to use your example - to outside developers.
"This is the very complaint I have with the African-American community; how many African-American owned business were driven into the ground after desegregation? Businesses that served the segregated communities and had a stake in the welfare of the community. So in a sense affluent African-Americans have a legitimate gripe with their underclass. Once they, (the underclass) were granted access to the non-African-American economy they quickly abandoned their own communities, so why should succeeding generations of the black bourgeois class risk further ruin."
* The huge de-industrialization of the country also occurred concurrently with desegregation. Integration into the greater economy was also coupled with a steadily lowered real wage for Americans as a whole. Capitalism's needs outgrew overt segregation - black people were worth more as a market to be tapped by outside interests. Maybe that's why MLK was invited to the White House when the movement dovetailed with the emerging needs of economic forces and then assassinated when his demands outgrew the comfortable relationship the evolving nature of economic forces had with the slow "integration" of a newly exploitable market.
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