Letters

The US's contested borders

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An important addition needs to be made to Phil Marfleet’s excellent article on US anti-migrant campaigns (July/August SR).

Like all borders the US-Mexico border is entirely artificial. Mexico had won independence in a revolutionary war against Spain in 1821. At that time Mexico included Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California and part of Colorado.

Social reproduction theory

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Social Reproduction Theory, edited by Tithi Bhattacharya, has much more to offer than Sue Caldwell suggests in her review (July/August SR).

The essays provide a serious and rigorous attempt to extend a fundamental Marxist concept, the role of labour in creating value, to areas of life which have been neglected by many Marxist theoreticians, centrally the role of unpaid domestic labour in the reproduction of labour power.

Oppose arms monopoly

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I disagree with Emma Davis’s call for tighter gun controls in the US (May SR).

Firstly, anyone who is intent on killing does not need a gun — homemade bombs, Molotov cocktails, machetes and cars driven at high speed are generally effective.

The constitutional right to bear arms should be defended because it ensures that the state does not have a monopoly on being armed. The same state that Emma quite rightly says would not be touched by any restrictions.

Religion and resistance

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I read Peter Keighron’s letter, “Is Marxist theory on religion still relevant?” (April SR).

I had to write an article recently about the Quaker families Fry and Cadbury and their chocolate products. I ended up saying “they may have been Christian evangelists but they did campaign against the slave trade in the 18th century, so let’s give credit where it’s due.”

It was Christians, led by William Wilberforce, who finally ended slavery in Britain and Ireland.

Contradictions in Israel

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The extraordinary nature of the alliance between Donald Trump and the evangelical right in the US was once again put on display at the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Two evangelical pastors preached at the event, John Hagee and Robert Jeffress.

They both believe that the adherents of Judaism are damned to the fires of hell for all eternity and Hagee has, in the past, actually described Adolf Hitler as having been chosen by God to force the Jews to settle in Palestine.

Up with curationism?

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I enjoyed Noel Halifax’s review of the exhibition Another Kind of Life (April SR). It is a complex exhibition and as he says raises questions about the nature of photography and how it is exhibited.

I think that on the whole the rise of the curator is to be welcomed: it makes explicit the previously hidden biases of exhibitions. It makes clear that any artwork is a transaction between creator and viewer.

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