Letters from our readers

30 June 2012

On “The new aristocracy

Thank you for this wonderful Perspective! It reads like the best of the rallying cries—exposing the situation and calling us forward. I wanted to stand and cheer at the end of it.

Christie S
Washington, USA
28 June 2012

On “A barbarous dissent: The US Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama

US Attorney General Eric Holder, in his Chicago speech last March, drew a distinction between “due process” and a new invention of his so-called “judicial process”—“The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process,”—in a recent instance of the contorted reasoning of the ruling class in presenting the United States Constitution as a regressive and barbaric instrument designed to imprison and punish the population, instead of the historically progressive document it in fact was.

Now, the Supreme Court’s Fascist Foursome, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts, have provided another example of what we might call the “reactionarization” of the Constitution. They all agree, in their dissenting opinions in the case of Miller v. Alabama, that the fact that the accused was a child was of no importance. If the elected legislatures, representing the “will of the people,” wished to punish an offender by a sentence of life without parole, it is not the court’s place to say that the law was cruel and unusual and to strike it down as unconstitutional.

We should not fail to note their clearly expressed attitude that some form of executive authority should override the separation of powers doctrine and all existing protections against the enslavement of the people ... and that their position was just one weak-kneed liberal vote away from becoming the law of the land.

Roberts’ statement that the application of science should have no standing in the law because he can find no basis for it in “the text of the Constitution” is doing to the law what the deconstructionists have done to classical literature and history for several decades now: The “text” is not what you think it is. It does not say what you think it does. It has no value to society. It does not need to reflect any factual, scientific basis. It only says what its reactionary opponents say it says, and all previous commentary on it is nothing but meaningless bunk and professorial drivel.

The ICFI, in consistent opposition to this mindset, has published a considerable body of work analyzing the philosophical and political degeneration expressed by the Frankfurt School and its deconstructionist adherents (Jacques Derrida, etc.). This work should not stop at “mere” philosophical and political matters, but must be carried forward into the legal sphere.

CH
Texas, USA
28 June 2012

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The monstrous logic of Chief Justice Roberts and the dissenters in Miller v. Alabama, in accepting the fact that 29 legislatures had enacted laws imposing mandatory life sentences on young offenders as proof for continuing mandatory life imprisonment for children, finds a parallel in the judicial system under Nazi Germany. Counter to the results of the Nuremberg trials, even though many collaborators including judges then escaped punishment, the American justices’ logic would lead to acceptance of the barbarity of fascism, up to and including the Holocaust, because the German state claiming to represent the whole of the nation had approved that.

Once again, the World Socialist Web Site credits itself for exposing the increasing crisis over the growing anti-democratic movement in the ruling class and all sectors of its government. Thanks to Richard Hoffman for this article.

HL
28 June 2012

On “The way forward for the Quebec student strike

Kudos to the architects of the June 22 statement of Socialist Equality Party that was handed out to students, and others, who joined them in their protest march against the Charest government and its bill to increase tuition by over 80 percent, and more recent bill to criminalize peaceful protest and free speech. The statement is clear, precise and describes the situation perfectly. It should be the clarion call to all Canadians to wake up, and join the battle to throw off the yoke of slavery being tightened by Charest and Harper.

At the same time as the students give their all to work (to a great degree) within the system of what we have come to accept as Democracy Canadian style, Canada’s worst ever prime minister, Stephen Harper, and his neo-Conservative government, are headed for Quebec to recruit Brian Mulroney to assist with a renewal of the mighty Conservative machine’s sagging popularity in Quebec.

People the world over will remember former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for the Airbus scandal, and for the brown envelopes of cash he received from Hans Schriber in designated taverns. They will also remember that Jean Charest, a dyed in the wool Conservative, became a Liberal, in order to attain his present position as premier of Quebec. So, a Harper/Charest alliance will further add to the woes of the students and working people of Quebec.

To get an idea where undemocratic governments like Charest’s and Stephen Harper’s might well lead, everyone should read James W. Douglass’ book JFK and the Unspeakable, paying particular attention to how Western Democracy will stop at nothing to ensure that the affluent 1 percent who control the world scrutinize any gains made by working people are quickly [clawed back]. Simultaneously, shrink-wrapped plastic palates, loaded with cash are loaded on forklifts and dumped into the greedy hands of the rich who own the elected officials!

My greatest wish is that the students of Quebec strive to mobilize students across Canada and throughout the world to stop the dictatorship and plunder, and of the Charest and Harper governments.

As we Canadians read our morning newspapers, we must realize that the students in Quebec are leading a fight for the rights of every one of us who do not belong to the 1 percent of billionaires who have been baptized by the farce of Democracy as we know it.

Please keep up the good work Socialist Equality Party, World Socialist Web Site, and the courageous students of Quebec. Perhaps together your efforts will awaken the apathetic tolerance of working people worldwide, before it is too late. If it isn’t already so.

Raymond C
New Brunswick, Canada
24 June 2012

On “Blair blocked legal advice on invasion of Iraq

 

Just shows that when the bourgeoisie wants to go to war to either defend its strategic interests or wishes to participate in fresh looting, as Blair hoped for in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, then legal niceties can be dispensed with. All the reports will not make a jot of difference.

War is an integral part of imperialism and the only way to stop imperialist war is through the conscious struggle by the global working class to free itself from the influence of the reformist organisations, be they political or economic.

Dave T
UK
28 June 2012

On “Ridley Scott’s Prometheus: Shutting Pandora’s box?

Thank you for your insightful analysis and comments on Alien and Prometheus. There are two issues viewers of these films may wish to consider. Ms. Theron and Ms. Weaver are obviously intelligent and appealing presences: unfortunately the reality of interstellar space travel may present us with less attractive life forms. Given the vast distances between even the closest stars and planetary systems such travel will most likely be based on a non-Euclidean model of the universe.

What is liable to emerge from such a journey might more closely resemble the “visitor” in Howard Hawks’ 1951 The Thing than other more aesthetically pleasing alternatives. In judging the space vehicles of Alien and Prometheus through this lens one should also keep in mind the admonition of one of the scientists in The Thing: The alien (or visitor’s) spacecraft might contain a propulsion system that we might not even recognize as an engine. Secondly for those interested in exploring the monsters within us check out the estimable “Forbidden Planet”.

Peter L
Connecticut, USA
27 June 2012

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Hi Kevin,

You know, or course, that the progenitor to both these films is It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) directed by Edward L. Cahn.

In support of your contention that the directors of the more recent films “wanted to say: ‘enough of discovery and going into the great unknown, that path only leads to death and disappointment’”, the Wikipedia article describes the final scene in It! as follows:

“Earth may now be forced to leave the Red Planet out of all future manned planetary space exploration, ‘because another word for Mars is Death.’”

Randy R
Oregon
28 June 2012