Letters from our readers

19 January 2012

On “Wikipedia shuts down to protest censorship bills

This seems to be an attempt to legalize what was done to WikiLeaks (removal from the domain name system)—and more. A general pattern is emerging. The ruling class is caught unawares at first, and resorts to extra-judicial methods. Later on, new laws are being written to address these areas where they on legal terms fell short the last time.

We saw something similar in Obama’s latest bill to legalize indefinite detention and torture of people—something that was first done outside the law can now be done within it.

These developments, however, carry their cost to the ruling class in that they show to the oppressed class more and more clearly the real living class interests that lie at the root of the same laws. American people are finding out perhaps what the law was actually meant to do in the first place.

Thushara
18 January 2012

On “The Egyptian Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood and the apologetics of the Revolutionary Socialists

By far one of the most crisp and precise analyses of the role of the bankrupt “left” groupings and the nationalist parties, whom the politically inexperienced trail in the wake of. Far from just an example for Egypt, this far-sighted historical analysis serves as a general guide to anyone who wishes to understand the fundamental role the petit-bourgeois hangers-on of imperialism have played in the vast graveyard of the 20th century, and what they will continue to attempt if not fundamentally exposed by the work of a true revolutionary political perspective, provided by the Socialist Equality Party.

Nick
Virginia, USA
14 January 2012

On “Canada: How the NDP facilitates imperialist war

Very good statement of how the social democrats in Canada, like social democrats everywhere, are just the soft cover of capitalism and imperialism. I was in the NDP when… I was fool enough to think it could swing left over time. But it swung further to the right with each year. I was asked to be a candidate at one time but refused because of their support for NATO. This has where it has led. Support of fascism and war.

Christopher B
15 January 2012

On “Six dead, 29 missing as cruise ship runs aground in Italy

I wonder why passenger cruise ships have to be as large as they are. The Costa Concordia barely scrapes into the top 30 such ships in the world for tonnage and number of people it can carry, yet nearly 4,200 had to be evacuated.

Is it necessary to pack in as many shopping malls, restaurants, tennis courts and swimming pools onto a liner at the expense of ship safety and safety design guidelines? Are they too top heavy, and how should the weight be distributed in ships once they reach a certain size?

I frown on passenger liners also for the impact they must make on the maritime environment. They dump fuel (and carbon) into the oceans at a time when the seas are reaching their limits on how much carbon from the atmosphere they can absorb. This is known to be having an effect on mollusks and other shelled animals. Ships also carry chemicals on their hulls to discourage barnacles and other animals, and the chemicals could be reacting with salts in seawater to form toxic compounds that affect sea-life. Ships also make noise and this must affect those species of whales and dolphins that depend on echolocation to navigate and maintain social networks.

Cargo sea transport may be necessary but cruising is not always so.

Jennifer H
17 January 2012