Definition of terms

In 1977 an electric outage in New York was an occasion for extensive property damage. There is no evidence that the rioters were Marxist, although public utilities are typically socialistic. The rioters were just greedy and unscrupulous. Perhaps Con Edison was too, but they did not riot.

With a hurricane there is often looting. When the home team wins a sports event, there may be looting. And yes, as Jim Mullen observed in his Op Ed last week, at some Black Lives Matter demonstrations there has been looting. I don’t condone any of the above looting. The looting is a separate problem from the darkness, the hurricane, football game or human rights violation.

Mr. Mullen uses the word “Marxism” as an expletive to blast anything he disapproves. Because he values property over human life I am justified in calling him fascist. He can call me a socialist because I believe in utility companies and in public police and fire and health departments and schools and libraries and roads and parks and flood control and EPIDEMIOLOGY and Social Security and Medicare. Environmental protection, food and drug inspection … it goes on and on.

But let us understand the terms we use before we write op eds or letters.

And when we read them.

Michael Ireland



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