Letters from our readers

2 February 2013

On “For workers’ power in Egypt!

Dear comrades,

This article brings to the fore the crisis of revolutionary leadership within the working class of Egypt. It seems to me that time is now ripe for an re-analysis of the role of Stalinism—in particular its dirty collaboration with the bourgeois nationalist layers, Nasserites, et al. Without this, is it possible for all the lessons of Trotskyism to be brought into the revolution, sweeping not just Egypt but Mali, Algeria—and which must reignite in Tunisia, too—to win the working class to the banner of Trotskyism? Stalinism played a particularly dirty role in Egypt, and without these issues being confronted head on, I think not.

John U
30 January 2013

On “A reply to Michael Moore’s defense of Zero Dark Thirty

This film by Bigelow clearly puts imperialism in a favorable light. To whatever extent Moore and Bigelow are able to divert attention from that central fact benefits the ruling establishment, which would very much like to go right on with neo-colonialism and the inevitable crimes against humanity that follow. Hence, Moore’s piece at Huffington Post . But the only thing the arguments in that piece prove (as if even more proof was needed) is that when it truly comes to fighting for workers’ interests, here and around the world, denizens of the same social strata as Moore, Bigelow, etc., can’t be trusted.

Greg
31 January 2013

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Excellent critique of Moore’s squalid argument. Thank you.

Siusaidh
Montreal
30 January 2013

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I thought the last two paragraphs summed up the basic problem with the present version of cold-war liberals. Their inability to break with the paradigm of American capitalism— often because their livelihoods depend on it—leave them ultimately defending the indefensible.

Guy M
31 January 2013

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The idiocy of identity politics is now to be seen in all of the feminist glorification of women being allowed in combat zones. A particularly revolting article appears on the UK Guardian web site with an American woman serving in the IDF talking about how wonderful it is. It is really becoming sickening to see the extent to which identity politics warps the judgment of a significant number of people so that they find ways to “accept the unacceptable,” since it suddenly is no longer unacceptable. If the torturers are female, or the gay men are allowed to get married, then suddenly it becomes a victory for gay rights groups or feminist groups and they will support any policy that they consider to be some kind of plus for their cause. Witness the gay groups who cheered at the re-election of Obama.

These identity advocates are willing to ignore or wish into nonexistence all of the crimes of imperialism and give their support to enemies of the people on the basis of isolated issues. For the government and the military industrial complex, they are the ultimate cheap dates.

Carolyn
California, USA
30 January 2013

On “Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet: Aging and the artist

What a very intelligent and positive review, Joanne. You’ve placed all these artists in a very relevant past and contemporary context that will not be found in most mainstream reviews. Their past historical achievements are really important to remember no matter how much they have moved in other directions now. The ageing process is one affecting us all, whether artist or ordinary person, and it is important to keep fighting for what one believes in until the end—as the sterling example of the inspirational force of the Fourth International has shown.

Tony W
1 February 2013

On “Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables: Social misery, with a vengeance 

I can recall 1996 and going to a giant movie house and seeing it absolutely packed with teenagers getting ready to watch Shakespeare! Shakespeare for crying out loud! Let’s remember that art should be for the masses, and things which cannot be appreciated and understood by the man on the street may not really be art at all. Baz Luhrmann’s modern-day adaptation may have been scoffed at by the critics, but the point of the work was understood and enjoyed by all that evening.

If Les Mis moves the world one step closer to social equality then not a penny spent on its production will have been wasted.

PK
29 January 2013