Apologising for the past is a tricky business

Crikey readers have their say on the stories that matter to them.

Razer on The Wolf of Wall Street Will Fettes writes: Re. "Razer's class warfare: it's the economy, stupid (or why Scorsese is a girl's blouse)" (Thursday). Razer's piece is another almost unintelligible stream of consciousness which attempts to shoe-horn her regular thesis of liberals and feminists failing to grapple with the concerns of justice rooted in class inequality into commentary on Scorsese’s new film, The Wolf of Wall Street. As anyone familiar with Razer's work will know, she likes to make grand declarative statements against disembodied capitalised enemies: "The Left", "The Right" and "Feminists” -- and this gimmick is well-represented in yesterday’s submission. Whether it’s due to laziness or some kind of gross presumption that her views are self-evident, I don't know, but we must simply accept her rendition at face value because she never condescends to engage with a specific person or even a specific school of thought. Apparently she is blissfully ignorant about the literature on regulations and nudges that internalise externalities, capture our behavioural quirks and avert systemic risk; agglomeration regions which allow for limited industrial policy; central banking which is supported by everyone left of the Austrian school; and counter-cycle policy generally. Razer has simply vanished all meaningful distinctions in political economy with a wave of her hand. An impressive feat of sophistry! On expunging crimes committed under old laws Robyn Godbehere writes: Re. "When gay sex was a crime: campaign to expunge records goes national" (Friday). While I have sympathy for the guys who were criminalised because of their homosexuality during a time when homosexuality was illegal, we have to be very careful when demanding decriminalisation and expunging of their records today as it will leave the door open for massive demands for compensation when (not if) drugs become legal.  If you are jailed under the laws of yesterday, unless you were innocent, then you were jailed because you had committed a crime against society at that particular time when those laws were in place.

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