The role of the dissident
Today I saw that Marty Markowitz once again used the leverage of his office to make the case that the Atlantic Yards project would be almost built if it wasn't for the complaining gentrifiers.
"If the folks that opposed this, hadn't tied the project up for 7 years in litigation Atlantic Yards a good piece of it would've built. The affordable housing would've been on it's way. The Nets would be playing in the arena and defeating the Manhattan Knicks."
"The folks that were impacted by eminent domain, overwhelmingly most of them did very well. The folks that are the loudest complainers, folks could argue are the gentrifiers."
Using the power of office to demonize those who raise important questions leads us to a quote from a more powerful politician and profound thinker. Vaclav Havel died yesterday. On the nature of opposition to power he had this to say;
"You do not become a dissident just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society." —Vaclav Havel
Some dissidents get beaten down. Others overthrow corrupt regimes and become President.