Letters from our readers

3 May 2012

On “Germany’s ISSE, SEP denounce attacks on meetings in defence of Günter Grass

As a member of the ISSE in the US I fully support the German ISSE’s denunciation of these attacks on its fundamental democratic rights to assembly and free speech. Not only has Günter Grass been made the target of an intimidation campaign aimed at silencing all future opposition, but there has now been a concerted effort to silence the ISSE, the only genuine voice of socialist internationalism on college campuses. This effort is a direct result of the growing influence of the SEP and the ISSE on the youth and working class in Germany and a confirmation that the ruling class is fully cognizant of the objective threat to its interests represented by a working class armed with Trotskyism. The large attendance at the lecture given by David North in Leipzig last month did not go unnoticed. The obscene reference to an ice pick on the part of one of the provocateurs at the meeting in Leipzig on Tuesday confirms without a shadow of a doubt David North’s analysis of the thuggish purpose of the slanderous pseudo-biographies of Trotsky produced in the past few years. In one of the most memorable parts of his lecture in Leipzig he said:

“In these uncertain conditions, the bourgeoisie recalled the political atmosphere of the 1960s, when the writings of Trotsky—which had been suppressed for decades—suddenly became essential reading material for radicalized youth. In the far more uncertain economic environment of the new century, as workers and youth began to look for alternatives to capitalism, did there not exist the danger that Trotsky might again provide theoretical and political direction and inspiration for a new generation entering into revolutionary struggle? After all, the academic guardians of bourgeois interests asked, how many of Trotsky’s damned books were in print? Works such as The History of the Russian Revolution, The Revolution Betrayed, and, worst of all, Trotsky’s enthralling autobiography, My Life. What could be done to counter the revolutionary narrative of Trotsky’s literary masterpiece?”

It is important to remember that the historical memory of the bourgeoisie contains the distilled lessons of the class struggles of the 20th century, in spite of the fact that it has only relatively recently felt the need to resume the attack on Trotsky where the Stalinist thugs left off. This is precisely why the international working class must become armed with an even better understanding of the lessons of the history of the 20th century than the bourgeoisie, and must arm itself with an intransigently politically independent and internationalist strategy and perspective. The ISSE in Germany is absolutely correct in its determination not to back down. It is not an exaggeration to say that the determination and strength of perspective of the German SEP and ISSE now represent an objective factor in world history. The US ISSE stands in complete solidarity with you.

Rosa S
28 April 2012

On “Letters in defense of the German Socialist Equality Party

This is being written to add an additional voice of outrage at Berlin Technical University and Leipzig University in facilitating the suppression of the assembly and speech rights of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit.

Both academic entities should be aware that international eyes are aware of, and strongly oppose, these goings on.

While writer Gunter Grass is being accused of anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies it is in reality fascist thugs using Nazi-like tactics who are being enabled through cowardice and duplicity on the part of these supposedly academic institutions.

SZ
New Mexico, USA
27 April 2012

On “France’s Independent Workers Party backs bourgeois ‘left’ presidential candidate

The article laid out the history of this French party pretty clearly.

One sentence seems to apply to elections anywhere in the world today, affirming the international character of the struggle against capitalism and the ideas of the past: “Workers can oppose the measures being prepared against them only by preparing for a political struggle against whatever president comes to power. If [Hollande] wins, this means a struggle against the [PS] and its allies—the Left Front of [Jean-Luc Mélenchon], the union bureaucracy, and petty-bourgeois ‘left’ parties...”

Well said!

Kate
1 May 2012

On “Behind the right-wing racial politics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

Thank you so much for this valuable history. These characters—Jackson and Sharpton—are reprehensible, and need to be exposed. You are doing an important service in doing just that even as the identity politics drums are beaten louder and louder in the run-up to this sham of an election.

Trotting these two out in the name of equality is almost as laughable as the proposed importing of Lech Walesa to talk to the anti-Wall Street protesters on the subject of anti-capitalism. At least he had the integrity to back out of that. These two, and Sharpton and Obama, are not just shameless, but intentionally deceptive as to their real loyalties, that is, to the side of capital.

Christie S
Washington, USA
1 May 2012

***

A valuable addition to exposing the myriad ways in which identity politics serve to deepen inequality.

The behavior of such groups as the ISO and its duplicate organizations serves to clear the way, via a series of interlocking political “weigh stations”, to channel well-intentioned but naive dissent back into the Democratic Party. The outcome to all of this, in the healthier layers at least, is demoralization.

Nick
Virginia, USA
1 May 2012

On “CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’ interviews Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky

Thank you Fred. That was fantastic and fascinating, viewing it on my tiny mobile with increasing difficulty as the tears welled up towards the end. Have to recharge—me and the mobile—now!!

Most appreciated.

Best regards,

Andrew

UK
2 May 2012

On “US political establishment escalates attack on abortion rights

Also, perhaps important to mention that Bart Stupak is a Democrat, so in fact the original bill that didn’t pass the Senate had the wording from the Hyde Amendment, and Democrats supported this original version.

Thanks.

Thushara
29 April 2012

On “Jack London’s The Iron Heel: An enduring classic

Dear Sir/Madame:

As a former English Teacher and Professor in China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, I enjoyed your book review of Jack London’s book The Iron Heel. I feel it is the most important book of the 21st Century for humankind. Will the lesson be learned?

Cheers,

Milton
Nevada, USA
30 April 2012