Letter to the editor
Socialist speaker issues addressed
September 29, 2006
I am a member of the new campus organization Socialist Alternative. I would like to take this opportunity to address some concerns raised in the “Socialist talk leaves students wondering” letter to the editor in last week’s Voice.
The author of the letter had many valid questions concerning our speaker and socialism in general.
1. The statistics that Chris used in his speech were from public sources. Some specific citations were skipped in the interest of time. After Chris spoke, the room engaged in an open discussion with more than 14 participants. The meeting concluded with Chris giving a brief summary, in which he addressed questions left unanswered in the discussion.
2. Chris does not get paid to speak at these meetings. Chris is a student just like you and I. He actually took time off from school to go on a speaking tour of the United States, which was sponsored entirely by Socialist Alternative’s national members. Chris did not profit from this speaking tour in any way whatsoever.
3. Another question that was posed in this letter concerned a Socialist’s point of view on war. As we see it, in the contemporary world war largely benefits the owners and shareholders of corporations such as those producing arms or involved in rebuilding after a conflict. War does not, however, benefit the people who actually work for a living. These people are instead sent to die to help increase the profits of companies like Halliburton. We believe that the money spent on arms and occupation could be better directed into funding for education and jobs for people who need them.
While Chris mentioned the United States and Iraq many times in his speech, we would like to make it clear that he doesn’t hate the United States. Chris, like many people who live in this country, simply disagrees with the policies of the U.S. government.
I would like to encourage anyone with other questions, concerns, or a general interest about socialism to contact myself.