Letters from our readers

15 March 2011

On “The implications of the Japanese catastrophe

On the nuclear reactors, I would add a few points.

First is that the disaster is already beyond the scale of Three Mile Island. There were no records of any radiation poisoning outside the facility, and indeed, the meltdown was mostly contained. There have not been significant deviations in cancer rates, etc., to date, despite the plume of radioactive gas that was released.

With the Daiichi plant, it is already reported that people are getting radiation sickness. What is curious about this is the reported measure of radiation released into the populace and the amount of people falling ill. The reported value of 1200 micro Sieverts is at least two orders of magnitude lower than what is needed to induce sickness on the timescale given. This is using Wikipedia’s figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_sickness

As an aside, we are still (thankfully) many orders of magnitude before we are at a Chernobyl level event.

In addition to radiation released, the use of sea water poses a large amount of environmental problems. The water used in nuclear reactors is ‘deionized,’ as in pure H2O. Even the cleanest tap water is not nearly as pure as what is used in nuclear reactors. (In fact, pure H2O is not healthy for human consumption.) The use of sea water means that everything in the water is going to become irradiated, i.e., a large amount of radioactive material has just been created that will have to be dealt with at some point. Just putting it back into the sea will just start irradiating the Pacific.

Granted, I wouldn’t put it past capitalism to do just that...

“In a rationally planned global economy, the placement of dozens of nuclear power plants on the most active geological fault zone on the planet—and in one of the most densely populated regions—would be considered an act of gross negligence, if not insanity. But in the capitalist economy of rival nation-states, it was imperative for the Japanese bourgeoisie to secure an adequate domestic energy supply, as the country has little oil and gas and insufficient coal.”

Fantastic points. I completely agree that it is idiotic and negligent in the extreme to build nuclear reactors near major fault lines, especially considering how many Japan is a nexus of. At the very least, they need an adequate warning system in place, which exist. 9.0 earthquakes don't just happen. Smaller earthquakes are always the precursor to something like this.

All in all, a great article, so thank you both.

Cheers!

Bryan D
14 March 2011

On “Japanese earthquake causes catastrophic damage

In the early twentieth century Rosa Luxemburg wrote “Socialism or Barbarism”. This schema proved prophetic twenty years later during the Second World War. A proficient Marxist, Rosa was used to considering the relationship between the technical possibilities of the production process and the class basis on which it was organized (including the nation state). In order to give herself a trajectory for her future political action, her scheme was thus time delimited. Transformations in the tools and technologies organized under capitalism required a modification of this schema. Since the 1970s (at the latest) it had become, in reality, “Socialism or Extinction”. Along with the accumulation of capital we now have a second accumulation of processes that can interact to bring an end to the species. Today millions are surprised to discover that in Japan, where cities have recently burnt to the ground due to earthquakes, there are 55 nuclear power plants. And what, but the drive for profit, put them there. And the same drive for profit will put genetically modified organisms into the air we breathe and water we drink. The longer capitalism survives the less likely are humans to endure. And it is for this reason that I support the Socialist Equality Party. I believe that your rejection of capitalism is absolute.

As it should be for every humanist now.

Chris
Ireland
12 March 2011

On “Lawrence Porter at CAUS rally: ‘Utilities are a social right!’

Lawrence Porter, well said. The truth is been defended with clarity. I feel and stand in solidarity.

Eulogio B
14 March 2011

On “Socialist Equality Party members call for general strike at Wisconsin demonstration

Go Andre Damon—Bolshevism or bust!!!

TD
Sydney, Australia
11 March 2011

On “Wisconsin’s anti-worker law: An historic attack on the working class

The lines blurred when union officials sold out the workers for political access and their perceived relevance at the tables of power. These people are willing puppets... and are more than willing to toss pennies to the workers, while smiling and saying that they are really trying their best to get a few nickels to throw into the gallery.

Richard C
11 March 2011

On “The consequences of privatization for the Romanian working class

An excellent article explaining wider international processes hitting East European, former Stalinist block of countries. With just names and some industry data changed this article could just as well apply to any of the countries of ex-Yugoslavia. Once again the similarities of the Balkan states lead to inevitable conclusion that only united in the socialist Balkan federation, under the leadership of the working class and within the framework of the United Socialist States of Europe can we gain genuine independence from the imperialist grip. This is the perspective that only the WSWS advocates, and this is why I love you! Fight on!

Mirko L
Yugoslavia
11 March 2011

On “Gujarat court frames Muslims for train fire used to incite 2002 Gujarat pogrom

Pathetic in a single word, and they call it democracy, largest and many other flowery words to denote this hypocrisy—shame on them. Here democratic struggle was sold out to imperialism by the native, so-called liberal bourgeoisie (with Stalinists as close accomplices they are still blowing their trumpet of the two-stage theory in a backward country) and the country was divided on communal lines, which was utterly reactionary and led to all these right extremist groups finding their way to grow in this putrefied political atmosphere.

A Unified Socialist South Asia by workers for the majority, or a world destroyed by nuclear weapons in internecine war due to the madness of ruling bourgeoisie? It is for the workers to decide. Marxist Voice shows that there is no other simple solution to this otherwise complex problem created by partition in 1947. So, join hands to overcome all these hypocrites.

Regards,

Sathish
14 March 2011

***

This article provided a sharp insight. A couple of weeks ago I read some more of that judgment with its reasoning. I was distressed by its possible conclusion and impression on Muslims. Apart from the explanation of the meeting held by the local Muslims, call to people from the loud speaker of a mosque to assemble near the track, stoppage of the train and the subsequent attack, the judge made two more observations.

One was that the attack was not the result of the altercation of some passengers with the Muslim vendor and the teenage girl on the platform. The reason given was that besides being routine and minor and not sufficient provocation to kill the passengers, such tiffs or altercations took place earlier between the same Hindu pilgrims and the Muslim vendors at two more stations during the same train journey.

The judgment also went into the history of communal relationship between Hindus and Muslims at Godhra and blamed the Muslim community as responsible for riots that took place ahead of 2002. I saw no reason why the judge went into the past history and perceived causes of other incidents that may or may not have bearing on the current one. I wondered if his perception of the alleged past riots and Muslims being responsible had an affect in the current judgment.

Prabhakar
India 
12 March 2011