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Views in brief

March 16, 2007 | Page 12

Keep recruiters off our campus
Tony Blair's blood and lies
The real debate on anarchism

Keep recruiters off our campus

I AM a student and activist at City College of New York, where there will be a career fair, with all of the branches of the military represented. They will be preying on the most vulnerable.

I almost joined in 2004, and my sister did serve 10 years in the military--because we both couldn't afford college tuition. She fought in both Afghanistan and in Iraq, and was fortunate enough to come back in one piece. When she did come back, she said that she thought that Bush was a liar.

From experience, I know some of the deadly lies recruiters tell and how they pretend to be your best friend. Knowing this, I recently went to the career center to ask if there was some way I could get a table during the event. I told them that I would like to inform students of the risk of joining the military.

Not only that, but the military is a discriminatory institution that prohibits gays from serving openly. This is a direct violation of the school's anti-discriminatory policy.

Eventually, I was denied a table because they said I wasn't offering a job, nor did they have space. They said that the career fair was not the forum for me to express my opposition, and to basically take it somewhere else.

I went to the anti-discrimination office on my campus to inquire about the antigay policies of the military and the violation their presence on campus constitutes. The director said that the military was waived from that policy because of a Supreme Court ruling, and that neither he nor I could do anything. Where is the democracy in all of this?

However, on March 8, students will voice their opposition to the presence of the military at our school. This whole situation reminded me of a chant I heard during an antiwar protest that goes: (pointing at protesters) "This is what democracy looks like," and (pointing at the school) "That is what hypocrisy looks like."
Roberto Rosario, New York City

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Tony Blair's blood and lies

THE RECENT comment by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he feels anguish at the Iraqi death toll, but that it's not the Coalition's fault, is pure delusional fantasy.Yes it's true that the bulk of the killing is as a result of the insurgency, but the insurgency is a direct result of he and his master--George Bush--illegally invading a sovereign nation and causing the insurgency to happen.

You are guilty, Prime Minister. Guilty of mass murder, willful infanticide, mass destruction, fear and sectarian violence.

Your legacy to history will be the blood of innocents that you have shed in our name, using a deliberate lie. You don't need to worry about global warming--it's a lot hotter where you'll end up.
Ad Williams, Anglesey, United Kingdom

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The real debate on anarchism

I THINK in Paul D'Amato's "Are anti-authoritarians the real left?" (February 9) and "Is all organization authoritarian?" (March 9), anarchists have been propped as straw men. This has done a disservice to the debate, and has undermined our ability to win over those attracted to what the anarchists have to offer (though anarchists continue to mischaracterize the term "vanguard" as well).

Where I think Paul errs is when he equates the anti-authoritarianism of the anarchists with the principled pacifists we see in the antiwar movement. There aren't any serious anarchists who are blanket "anti-authoritarians." No serious anarchist would argue against the authority of a strike. No serious anarchist would argue against "submitting" to the authority of traffic lights.

Engels' "On Authority" is also weak, for the crux of his argument is that a revolution is the most authoritarian thing there is. Yet there is no contradiction in an anarchist arguing for revolution and being anti-authoritarian, for it isn't authoritarian to destroy the authority of a minority class.

The real root of the debate, I believe, is that anarchists and Marxists have entirely different views on what the state actually is. Does it serve the function of existing "over society"--only allowing for minority control--or is it a historical mediator of class conflict?

Also, whether if in the process of revolution new organs of society can emerge to replace the state, or if a new society, as Marx put it, is "not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges."
Alex Fu, San Francisco

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