Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,
Here’s another one! The author listed is a famous socialist, I bet comrade Scott won’t even recognize the name. I hope you enjoy. – Em
JT Scott: you can’t be a socialist if you’re a capitalist
By Peter Kropotkin
Ward 2 Councilor JT Scott made a name for himself as the self-appointed leader of a “socialist takeover” in Somerville. In reality he is by definition a wealthy, land owning bourgeoisie capitalist who cloaks himself in socialism for his own gain.
Socialism and capitalism are not mere philosophies where you can pick and choose which aspects you like from each. They are diametrically opposed economic systems. You can’t be a socialist if by definition you are a capitalist.
Let’s start with the obvious example that JT Scott is a business owner with numerous staff. He runs a Crossfit gym, as well as other shady businesses out of his house, where he controls the means of production and directly profits off the labor of other people. That is by definition a capitalist. If he were a true socialist his business would be a worker-owned cooperative where his workers had an equal share of profits, labor and ownership of the business.
JT Scott was kind enough to highlight all of his financial interests on his website, which you can find here. http://jtforward2.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/JTScott_2017_financial_disclosure_form.pdf
He does this for the sake of “transparency” but it reeks of defensiveness. According to his statements he has nothing to hide… except that he is a capitalist.
He lists ownership of two businesses, “Firebreather Fitness LLC” and “JTSRE Holdings LLC.” LLC stands for Limited Liability… Corporation! Not Limited Liability Co-op, a concept he claims to advocate for. He is listed as the “sole owner,” possessing 100 percent of the equity. A true socialist would share the equity of the business with his employees, not exploit their labor. I’m sure JT would say that he pays his servants handsomely, but that only makes him a nice capitalist, not a socialist.
This should be a pretty easy fix, one he’s had many years to rectify, but he hasn’t. One has to assume he likes his bourgeois standing in society, which is all well and good if one is a capitalist, but someone who calls himself a socialist should hold himself to a higher standard.
Now let’s talk about the property that he owns. As of his 2017 statement of financial interest JT owns over $2,093,200 in real estate in Somerville and Chelsea. This guy is literally a millionaire! His Crossfit is within walking distance of the future Green Line station, which will make his properties skyrocket in value. Will he use that revenue that he earned from being a member of the landed gentry to feed the poor? When he inevitably sells his gym will he split the revenue between his exploited laborers?
JT Scott owns a third property in Chelsea that he leases for profit. That makes him a landlord, the natural enemy of the proletariat. Is he a benevolent landlord? Surely his properties are rent-to-own cooperatives, leased at a reasonable rate, right? Nope. JT is charging $4,700 a month for his recently refurbished apartment in Somerville.
That is well above the market rate for a three bedroom apartment in the area. And that’s just for the house that he lives in! JT Scott is a proponent of affordable housing and rent control, something I support. We need rent control… to stop him!
JT Scott’s financial interests betray his socialist rhetoric. I won’t even spend any time on stories this paper already reported on, such as the $300,000 in gold bricks stolen from his house, the illegal Air BNB he had in his apartment, or the Go Fund Me fundraiser he threw for his failing business. There is simply too much evidence of JT’s capitalist tendencies for him to mount any defense.
I ask my comrades to truly look at JT and determine if he practices what he preaches. Many in his cult will look at this as an attack on their Dear Leader, but some must see what he is and choose to say nothing because he advances their cause. But the only thing he’s advancing is himself.
Groups like the Democratic Socialist of America should be abandoning their capitalist lackey, but the organization is teeming with capitalists that uphold white supremacy. The DSA doesn’t practice intersectionality with other activist groups and Somerville residents, particularly working families and vulnerable residents.
I want true revolution, which means equality and justice by any means necessary. I’m not about all this performative nonsense. It’s clear based on campaign donations that JT only lets in rich campaign donors to his inner circle. Constituents shouldn’t have to kiss ass and donate to political campaigns to have their emails answered. That’s not how a representative democracy should work. And it certainly ain’t socialism. That’s for sure.
Somerville deserves better! #TEAMTAUROforMAYOR2021