Rights and wrong

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Once again, Bruce Crichton ­deploys his comic-book villain caricature of Marx in place of ­attempting to work out what Marx actually meant (Letters, 22 October).

Since Mr Crichton picks up on the phrase “despotic inroads on the rights of property”, he might care to consider what interfering with “the rights of property” might entail in a particular case.

Suppose I were to own in their entirety the northern counties of Scotland and decided to clear the human inhabitants off the land to whatever Godforsaken places they might fetch up in.

Would that be fine and dandy, because I own the land and so can do as I like with it? Or might such clearances legitimately be halted by the state, thereby making inroads on the supposed “rights of private property”?

Paul Brownsey

Department of Philosophy

University of Glasgow

As much as I enjoyed the early stages of the debate in these pages about Marx, I wonder if the relevant correspondents wouldn’t mind swapping e-mail addresses and continuing the conversation between themselves.

As the man himself said: “Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”

Angela Innes

Dundas Street

Edinburgh