Letters from our readers

28 January 2014

On “German writer Georg Büchner: 200 years since his birth—Part 5

Until I had been reading the WSWS for a few years, I failed to recognize one of the key functions of the mass media, including my precious “All Things Considered” at NPR—National [Propaganda] Radio.

Every newscast includes the equivalent of a censure of any independent action by the working class. All complaints, and acts of resistance by the people, are directed back for consultation with duly sanctioned authority figures, including the terrorist-in-chief occupying the White House. Any departure from “lawful” action is treated as reprehensible, and deserving of police state approved violence.

Keeping that in mind, Sybille Fuchs has bestowed a lovely gift upon your readers with her five-part essay in honor of the 200th Anniversary of Georg Buchner's birth. (I see that Wikipedia has recently added her WSWS article as an external link to their Buchner page. A useful and appropriate addition.)

The following is surely a gift to humanity from the young Georg Buchner, 19 years old, going on 20:

"... I have recently come to realize that only the imperative needs of the great mass of the people can bring about change... My opinion is this: if anything can help in this age of ours, it is violence [enacted by the people]. We know what to expect from our princes. Every concession they have made they were driven to by necessity. And even their concessions were flung down like favors granted to a cringing petitioner, like some miserable toy aimed at making that gawking idiot the people forget how tightly swaddled it is... These young people are condemned for using violence. But are we not constantly subjected to violence? Because we are born and bred in a dungeon we no longer even notice that we are stuck in a hellhole chained hand and foot and with gags in our mouths. What on earth do you mean by ‘lawful state of affairs’? A ‘law’ that turns the great mass of citizens into beast-like slaves in order to satisfy the unnatural requirements of an insignificant and degenerate minority? And this law, sustained by brute force through the military and by the mindless cunning of its spies—this law is violence, constantly and brutally perpetrated against justice and common sense, and I shall fight it with word and deed wherever I can.”

My response? A sense of profound affection for the man who penned this message.

Randy R

Arizona, USA

21 January 2014 On “Obama poses as opponent of inequality ahead of State of the Union address

Obama’s posing as the great opponent of income inequality merely exposes him again as nothing more than an opportunistic politician whose words never match his deeds. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will have little or no effect on income inequality. ($10.10 is just a level chosen more for its sound bite appeal—ten-ten—than any grounding in reality) Before you address income inequality it helps to actually have an income, and to have an income you need a job.

Rather than pour trillions into Wall Street and billions more into unpopular wars and tax cuts for the wealthy Obama should be advocating a mass government stimulus to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure as roads and bridges crumble, water and sewer systems deteriorate, and the spread of modern technological networks stall. Such a stimulus program would create thousands of jobs and improve the nation. But neither will Obama propose such a plan nor will Congress enact such a program as it fails to serve the corporatist agenda that drives the political class in the US.

Only when the public elects people who will address the needs of the workers will things change; something that will be difficult if not impossible to accomplish under the current political system dominated by the two major parties. The public will have to look outside the two major parties to effect the necessary changes in national policy.

MZ

Maryland, USA

26 January 2014

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