from a Socialist
am writing in response to a letter printed in the last issue of
the Review titled Socialist Responds to Mocking Letter.
Some people missed the satire in S. Andrew Smiths letter,
so I am writing to set the record straight. For anyone who cares,
S. Andrew Smith is not a member of the ISO as he claimed.
I am in Socialist Alternative, but I think that I can speak for
all socialists when I say that we fully support freedom of speech.
Genuine socialists support the right of all people to put forward
their ideas. We even support the right of S. Andrew Smith to write
mocking letters to the Review and we appreciate the existence of
a forum like the perspectives column. We also oppose the Sedition
Act, which makes illegal any conduct or language inciting rebellion
against the authority of a state.
That demonstrates another point: in the US right now, freedoms of
speech are unconscionably limited. Two years ago I went to the IMF/World
Bank protest in Washington, DC with other Oberlin students. Socialist
Alternative was trying to print up a pamphlet on global capitalism.
We had trouble finding a place that could print for us, however,
because the police had shut down three downtown Kinkos. The reason
given was that the Kinkos were printing literature for the protest
and the police did not like that. Sure this is against the first
amendment, but who are we going to call to defend our rights? The
police? Also, very rich people own all the major media. Assuming
there is some conflict of interest between the working class and
the very rich, freedom of speech is not equitably distributed. Even
if speech was politically free, it is really very expensive.