Write On: Letters to the editor


New opportunities for socialists

The capitalist media are constantly conveying the message of doom and gloom.

Their reason is to instill fear into the workforce so as to try to prevent attempts by the trade unions to secure wage increases, and improve working conditions.

The current worldwide recession clearly demonstrates the instability of the capitalist system and the reason for its existence, namely, production for profit.

Socialists now have a better opportunity to advocate an alternative system based on production for use, and for the needs of the community.

The recession has proved that the concept that market forces can regulate the economy is completely erroneous.

Banking and insurance should be public utilities. Our task should be to persuade the majority of voters that the nationalisation of banking and insurance will be to their benefit. It is a step towards socialism.

When this occurs, a federal Labor government, in order to stay in line with its supporters, would be obligated to hold a referendum to add an amendment to section 51 of the Commonwealth Constitution so as to enable them to nationalise banking and insurance.

Bernie Rosen, Strathfield NSW

Jews and Palestine

I have never downplayed or distorted the evil that happened to Jews and other people in the Second World War and I share the empathetic sentiments expressed by many people for the Jewish people's pain and torment.

However, I think many people blur the distinction between criticisms of Israel and that of Jews. The guilt people feel about past atrocities should not stop them from seeing and standing up for what is just and right in the present day.

While I am not anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic, I am intensely critical of Israel. I firmly believe that the establishment of the state of Israel has not only been a massive disaster for the Palestinian people, but for Jews as well.

I feel great distress when otherwise good and moral people make no condemnation of the Israeli dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians, nor express any disapproval of the brutal occupation and oppression of the Palestinians.

People should not allow their rightful sympathy towards the Jewish people to close their eyes to the immoral actions of Israel. Indeed it is hypocritical to ignore and turn a blind eye to the suffering inflicted on another persecuted people because of the past misery of Jews.

Steven Katsineris

Hurstbridge, Victoria

It's the climate, stupid!

On the train back from the Canberra Climate Summit we saw one beautiful wind-farm with about 20 wind turbines on it. I don't remember seeing any solar panels. The thought of Peter Garrett saying that the solar panel rebates have been "too successful" just makes me laugh."

The deaths in the terrible bush-fires in Victoria will have been in vain if we let the mining, burning and export of coal just continue. The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS, or Crap Policy Rudd Sell-out) must be stopped; no concessions to the coal and aluminium industries, and no "cap and trade" nonsense.

I must congratulate GLW for banging on about climate disruption all this time. What was clear from the summit was that there are so many good, intelligent and creative people ready to work out ways for a just transition from our wasteful economy to a somewhat sustainable one. It is the corporations, and the governments they buy, that stand in the way.

We need that mass movement. And we need that message to get through to Rudd and company: it's the climate, stupid!

@letterauth= Stephen Langford

Paddington, NSW [Abridged.]

Population and environment

Baz Bardoe in GLW #781 attacks GLW for its position on population control, or rather he attacks his caricature of GLW's position.

GLW has never argued that the world's population can increase indefinitely, but it does argue that population increase is not the key driving cause of environmental devastation. It is the way people live, not the number of them, that determines their contribution to carbon emissions.

For example, Australia, with almost zero population growth, has a much higher per capita greenhouse gas output than heavily populated China or India. The country with the highest overall output — the United States — does have a large population, but not as large as India or China.

Resource consumption within Australia is very unequal: Cubby Station cotton farm consumes roughly half the flow of the Murray-Darling River system and two-thirds of energy consumption in NSW is by corporations, not individuals.

It is fundamentally this wasteful, privatised, corporate consumption of resources, with profit as its motive, that needs to be confronted if we are to rise to the challenge posed by the climate crisis. And it is the red herring of population growth as the key cause that stalls the transition to people-centred production, based on human need not private profit.

Peter Robson

Lewisham, NSW