Capitalism for anarchists
G. S. 
initial posting 01 July 2010 - last update 01 July 2011


Overcoming insubstantial conflicts [1]
Some thoughts on "the conflict" - Friday morning

From: George Salzman <>
Date: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM
To: Trustees of Grassroots Infrastructure Charitable Foundation <>, Alexander Dwinell <alexander@southend
>, Alex Van Praagh <>, Betsy Rueda Gynn <>, Judy Norsigian <>, Mark Lasky <kron
>, Matt Borus <>, Paul Breneman <brene
>, Sanya Hyland <>, Alysha Suley <>, Ben Guaraldi <>, James Herod <>, David Whelpley <>, Jeffrey Reinhardt <>, Monica Spicher <mspicher89@gmail.
>, Stephanie Baird <>

      Oaxaca, Mexico, Friday, 1 July 2011 Friends, since I wrote the following note, I've been on the phone with Paul Breneman, James Herod and Alex Van Praagh (who I mistakenly did not include initially). I hope each of you will feel free to enter the discussion openly and honestly.

      Oaxaca, Mexico, Thursday 30 June 2011 (1:24 PM)
Friends and Trustees, It is never pleasant to tell friends when a serious disagreement develops. This has happened to me before; now, as the reality of the global danger becomes more evident, it is a recurring experience for me. This note concerns the use of the property at 12 and 14 Laurel Street.

      Conditions in the U.S. are, I think, far worse than I believed possible when I set up the trust and designated the Laurel St property its major material asset. I am utterly convinced that the human species is bringing on the destruction of the ecosphere, and of course with it our own destruction as well. Seen from my perspective, now in my thirteenth year in the largely indigenous culture of Oaxaca, the urgency of changing the predominant global social structure is paramount. Unless we, the vast majority of the world's peoples, do it, in opposition to all governments, business priorities, money interests, and so on, our grandchildren will have no future.

      As you know from the Proposal recently submitted to the Trust (May 2011), the anarchist residents in #14 have proposed modifying the use of this property. (These residents are James Herod, Monica Spicher, Stephanie Baird, and David Whelpley, with input, I'm told, from two former anarchist house mates, Jeffrey Reinhardt and Alysha Suley). I have studied the proposal, and have discussed it with James and others. I am in substantial agreement with it, especially with the idea that the property be used to support the anarchist movement in Boston, as outlined in the proposal. Given our dire circumstances, just described, I now think this is the best use for the property. I would like to make sure that this happens. This radical change in priorities can be accommodated by establishing a new nonprofit corporation specifically to own the property to replace the current legal arrangement. I will deed the property over to it as soon as it is set up. I will then no longer be the legal owner. For me this is a somewhat urgent matter, given my age. I alerted the Trust to this issue well over a year ago.

      To avoid further delay in making this change of direction, beginning immediately, all vacancies in the house should be reserved for anarchists.

      I am very appreciative of the reliable commitment of the active Trustees to maintaining the Trust in operation. Thanks to all of you for your patience, help, and friendship. Sincerely --George

      It seems to me now (Friday morning) that what makes the most sense is to recognize that there is in reality a large area of basic agreement between "the two sides" -- the Trustees and the anarchists -- and that what now seems to be their conflict could probably be overcome if everyone was completely open and honest in expressing their thoughts. It would be great if they could come together and share their efforts. Paul said to me last night that he intended to meet with James and the other anarchists who are or recently were at the house after the Trustees have their meeting next week, to try to come to an accommodation. Paul is very non-confrontational, in contrast to James. I love them both and value their friendship greatly. I was surprised to have Paul tell me that Monica (Spicher) had been very approving of the grants the Trustees made to various groups devoted to the human rights of women. I don't recall James mentioning this to me, though in a conversation today he told me that indeed he had. I think this points to how essential it is for us to be informed of the thinking of everyone else associated with this "conflict". With hope for real accord among us, --George

[1] Sketch for a humane resolution of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an Emeritus Prof of Physics, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.
All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <>

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Initial posting of this page: 1 July 2011.
Last update: 1 July 2011