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Suggested reading on BID issue in city

To the editor:

The latest entrenchment of the BID in Northampton is a continuation of a process that I, a few years ago, characterized as “the privatization of public space.” One consequence of such creeping commercialism is the mistaking of a self-serving defense of BID for a judgment of its objective value.

Another is an inability to recognize the BID’s agenda as, in principle, no different than a timber industry remake, in its own image, of an erstwhile public forest.

So, for any public official who might be reconsidering their support for BID, I can recommend “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere,” by Jurgen Habermas, for a broader historical perspective on this current local conflict.

Don Schneier


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