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Letter to the Editor: Canton Citizens Aren’t Clueless Clients

November 5, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:

Most readers likely agree with me that November 9-–and the end of the screamfest–can’t come soon enough. Canton Compass has enjoyed an abundance of submitted letters like this one and now revenue-paying “Pop-Up Ads” like those from Not On Our River PAC (NOOR) that ask incredulously: “Why Won’t Our Town Listen To Its Own Experts?”

Letters and the mailer from NOOR similarly are prefaced with a preachment that we should “Listen to the EXPERTS.” They then parade out a “Who’s Who Of Local Has-Beens” whose EXPERT pronouncements must be obeyed or Canton will perish from the Earth. This is propaganda in its final shrill crescendo.

John McKnight in his books “The Careless Society” and “The Abundant Community” discusses the self-serving way that EXPERTS have made a profitable business out of destroying the capabilities and confidence of communities that were formerly powerful and satisfied.

McKnight points out that EXPERTS in their marketing pitch sell CARE by equating it to Love. They aren’t the same. CARE is paid professional services whereas help from our loving community is freely given. Once we let paid CARE displace what loving help formerly provided it is tough to get it back.

EXPERTS can’t earn a living providing “Professional Services” unless they have reliably helpless clients. Thus, the first task of an EXPERT is create a client. To be a good client, you must be convinced that you are unqualified to diagnose whether you have needs the EXPERT can service. Next the client must be convinced that only the EXPERT is qualified to come up with ways to meet those diagnosed needs. And finally the client must be convinced that “CARE” from a large team comprised of this first EXPERT and a bunch of his colluding networked EXPERT associates is essential to life. This is the basis of the modern consumer economy.

A community that has the capacity to support lives of satisfaction holds a different set of beliefs than those the consumer economy teaches us. This abundant community has basic tenets:

1.) We are responsible for each other.
2.) We have the capacity to provide what we need in the face of the human condition.
3.) We organize our world in a context of cooperation and satisfaction.
4.) What we have is enough.
5.) We live with the reality of the human condition.

Canton is an Abundant Community full of local citizens quite familiar with the use and outfitting of cars, trucks, homes, garages, neighborhoods, etc. Together we comprise the “honest-to-goodness American town” my Mom, Peg Perry, celebrated in her June 1951 letter quoted at Page 11 of Canton’s POCD. We are qualified to make up our own minds.

Our local DPW guys have worked this town for years. They know their own equipment and space needs. They worked with our Town staff including our own licensed professionals to design a garage to meet those needs.

These public servants are Canton’s real experts and they are asking us to VOTE YES.

NOOR can’t accept that. They cheerfully gave their “EXPERTS” hundreds of thousands of our taxpayer dollars in fees to recommend that we blow millions more on a Garage-mahal based upon what other towns have done. They are quite resentful we haven’t gleefully chugged their EXPERT’s Kool-Aid.

NOOR’s message to Canton’s Voters and DPW is that we must never forget that, as mere ordinary citizens, we are helpless clients who would be clueless without their benevolent “EXPERTS” to tell us what to do. That’s their mantra. I don’t buy it. I don’t think we’re helpless. Do You?

Lans Perry


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