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Columnists: ‘Seek the Truth’

I just wanted to thank you for printing Richard Stone’s column [“The Fiction of Social Justice,” Mar. 14]. Stone pointed out things that I have been meaning to write to you about, when various of your columnists write diatribes wracked with reckless hyperbole and outright fabrications, fabrications that play on the misconceptions perpetuated by single-minded fanatics who ignore reality to present a dark pessimistic world consistent with their aims to fix what doesn’t necessarily need to be fixed.

Okay, it’s not that bad. But it is common enough to see columns filled not with facts, but with popular misconceptions about just how bad the world is. Stone accurately hits the mark; people in their zeal for a particular cause often accept so-called “facts” that are based on fears, rather than the truth. The evil corporations are not destroying all our forests; they are replanting as much as they cut down. And foreign multi-nationals do not necessarily exploit native populations. No one forces them to work. They choose to work there. Work for pennies an hour may sound inhuman to you, but it is better than what they had before, as demonstrated by their choice to be there. By denying them even that, you damn them to even greater poverty.

I’m not saying that all of these issues are cut and dried. I give credit to John Reed for writing the only piece against the World Trade Organization [“The WTO vs History,” Feb. 11] that did not rely on visions of doom and gloom based on popular misconceptions and union propaganda. He did a good job of making me reconsider my opinions.

I commend The Tech for printing columns by the likes of Richard Stone or John Reed, and I encourage your columnists to seek out the truth, even when it does not fit their argument or their idealized pessimistic view of the world. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” -- words I live by.

Ben Ho G