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Marxism vs. Pacifism

Kudos to the City Paper for running the dueling letters of Alan Barysh and then Max Obuszewski

Kudos to the City Paper for running the dueling letters of Alan Barysh (Marxist) (Mail, 7/18) and then Max Obuszewski (pacifist) (Mail, 7/25), in which they detail a difference between taking the path of reform (Max) or the path of revolution (Alan).

When the elephant in the room is Capitalism-a word that ONLY the City Paper DARES to mention-these debates are most crucial (in a country that prefers not to see elephants!)

Knowing these two as I do and being friends with the 20 or so other pacifists and Marxists in Baltimore (yes it’s an exclusive club), let me add a chirp or two to the squawking.

It is the height of ludicrousity (my word) for these two brilliant young activists to be squabbling. Of course there is room for both reform AND organizing around the basic Marxist tenets. (A deeper debate might be between violent or non-violent tactics). Here’s an example: a Marxist might actually vote against repealing the “Dream Act” when it comes up as a choice on the ballot.

I propose that these two NOT debate, but just join me in the latest demonstration by ANSWER-a very helpful socialist action group here in town.

David Eberhardt

Baltimore

SRB: Crony in chief

In last week’s Mobtown Beat (“Audit? I Hardly Know It!,” June 25), Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is quoted as snapping at a citizen, “Why would it take a charter amendment for the comptroller to do her job? Do I need a charter amendment to do my job?”

Clearly not. This mayor (evidently) sees her job as blocking oversight and protecting corrupt agencies (as well as her cronies). This would mean the comptroller’s job consists of turning a blind eye to fiscal irresponsibility and corruption. If this is the case, no amendment is needed. But if the job of the mayor is to fairly, responsibly, and transparently administer the business of running Baltimore; if the comptroller’s job is to ensure the fiscal integrity of our fair city; surely a charter amendment is the first step we should take, followed by a recall vote.

I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the castration of the audit bill, which even in its original form, would have held the City to a far lower standard than any non-profit (or for-profit business) operating in this country. The idea that a petty tyrant like Stephanie Rawlings-Blake can hold the transparency of municipal government hostage is sickening, and shows we need change we can believe in. Starting with the mayoralty.

Jason Lewis

Baltimore

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