Letters from our readers

7 April 2012

On “The Bradford by-election and the need for a revolutionary socialist party

If George Galloway is not the very definition of a populist demagogue politician, then I don’t know what is. He comes across as a nippy terrier happy to grab your ankles and give them a tug, but if you challenge him on some real issues and put him on the spot over his ethics, he’ll most likely run away.

Interesting also that after he was elected, he promptly married a woman almost half his age. Apparently she is his fourth wife. Normally I wouldn’t comment on politicians’ private lives, but the circumstances in which he married this woman and his previous wives’ sourness towards him suggest he is self-serving and not above self-glorification and self-worship.

Jennifer H
6 April 2012

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So disappointing to hear you attempt to discredit George Galloway. I would very much imagine that you have many things in common ... no one person or organisation has all the answers, or is without flaws. Don’t distract from the real enemies of the oppressed and marginalised in our society and the wider world. I also wish to commend you on most of what you publish and stand for. I understand the passion and commitment to justice and equality that you represent.

Regards,

John M
S. Wales, UK
6 April 2012

On “Jerry White visits Cooper Tire workers and Michigan students

 

It was a bit sad to see the heads hung low at Cooper Tire when Jerry White returned to speak to the workers. I’m always a bit surprised when I hear people say they aren’t socialist, even after being subjected to something like that. It seems like the real solutions for the working class have and will continue to originate from socialist sources.

I understand the difficulties, though. I had the same problems myself in coming to grips with the terms. The sooner folks get wise to that, the sooner we can get this ball rolling. Thanks for keeping up the good work and let the Cooper Tire guys know that I see them struggling and hope to help. We can be in this together if they wish it.

 

Vance O
6 April 2012

On “The killing of Trayvon Martin and racial politics in America

Great article, Joe. Naturally as someone who lives just a short distance from Sanford here in Central Florida, I am following events as closely as possible and time will allow.

After speaking to a good number of people here and getting their feedback, I think that there is a strong sentiment regarding the out of control gun laws that have led up to this “stand your own ground debacle.”

The other major theme seems to be the overall corruption of police departments in the South that contributes to the situation.

As someone who grew up in the South and has lived here all his life explained to me: “When I was growing up it was just the case that there were certain people who the cops and the folks running things just thought deserved to be killed so that when it actually happened nobody was concerned because they all felt that that person deserved what they got.” That gentleman went on to explain that in his opinion the only reason that this case got so much attention was because Zimmerman was not a cop. If he had been a cop nothing would have happened.

I am familiar with one particular case here in Volusia County where the sheriff’s deputies went to a man’s home and just killed him in a hail of gunfire and then bulldozed his home. The justification was that this person had mental health issues and that the neighbors had complained about him or something that he had done.

As this gentleman was white there was no obvious racial bias at work, just the old basic truism of the South that some people should be killed because they are “strange.”

Charles K
Florida, USA
5 April 2012

On “Seven dead in shooting at Christian college in northern California

The shooting at the Christian college in California is a chilling reminder of the fragile state of society today. The fact is that a society based on a kind of bourgeois-glorifying, austerity-minded Social Darwinism puts enormous and unnatural pressures on people. People who have trouble dealing with these pressures—financial, social, personal, psychiatric—are left all alone, or worse, are punished at every turn.

The most vulnerable and confused individuals are bound to react in an unpredictable and anti-social way in such an unpredictable and anti-social environment. Instead of caring for every member of society and consistently providing social support, protection and fulfillment, what we have is the effort to atomize and isolate everyone. It is a brutal system, and what results are acts of brutality at every level.

Terrence M
Massachusetts, USA
4 April 2012

 

On “An interview with writer Nick Flynn: ‘The job of an artist is to look at the realities of existence’

Thanks for a fascinating interview with Nick Flynn, Joanne. It was refreshing to read an artist expressing a seemingly genuine interest in your review. His apparent desire to engage in the class issue through his art and insightful thoughts on the challenges one faces to get a film made in Hollywood were wonderfully honest. And in my opinion Flynn may have a point when he states: “I believe that when you confront people with an actual story, as opposed to a category like ‘the homeless,’ then you stand a chance at influencing a transformation.”

However, it was a shame to see him end the interview with his views on Obama: “I’ll probably end up voting for him, because it’s basically all we have.”

Perhaps by adopting such a defeatist attitude, he answered his own question as to why Joanne thought the film was “tentative.” Ultimately, by remarking that Barack Obama is “basically all we have” it seems Mr. Flynn, like so many of his liberal artistic peers, is simply falling into the “lesser of two evils” mentality. Such a mentality inevitably, whether one is conscious of it or not, influences one’s artistic outlook. And despite his apparently genuine anger about Abu Ghraib, I left the interview wondering what his thoughts might be on Obama’s continuation of the detention camps in Guantanamo Bay.

Yours sincerely,

RF
New York City
3 April 2012

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Read your excellent site every day but you excelled yourselves with the interview with Nick Flynn. Fascinating job. And the Trotsky lecture was superb as well. Keep up the brilliant work!

Steve
France
4 April 2012

On “Why are the critics lauding Titanic?

Indeed, Cameron’s Titanic is “ephemeral”.

Mr. Walsh’s analysis and exchange with the readership at WSWS is eternal, and well worth rereading. Thank you for reposting these excellent reviews.

Randy R
Oregon, USA
5 April 2012