Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
I have been reading the WSWS web site for some time, and I just wanted to compliment you on your excellent coverage of the recent US elections, the Clinton impeachment, and the mounting social crisis in the US. You are the best source of news about important events in US politics and society. I also thought you had by far the most fair-minded coverage of the spy plane incident with China that I could find. Since in your latest article on the “power crisis” in California you interviewed people from where I live, I felt obliged to comment.
We have not had rolling blackouts since March or April ... perhaps the blackouts mentioned refer to this or are because of other causes. This fact more than anything illustrates the manufactured nature of the whole power crisis. How could the state not have enough power in March, when temperatures were cool, and yet have enough power even on hot days this summer to avoid the rolling blackouts? I seriously doubt that conservation alone is making up all the difference. Apparently 86 percent of my fellow Californians more or less agree.
Thank you for your coverage, I look forward to continued reading.
26 July 2001
I read with interest your account of what the newly elected liberal government in BC is doing and wish for you to continue informing us of what is to come. Like the Bush administration these people are so asinine and pig ignorant as to be a danger to popular existence. The people are going to have to start erecting barricades and kicking some upper class butts if this is to stop and reason reenter public discourse.
We Americans are beginning to do this, though not as forcefully as we should. Canadians need to be more thorough and determined to fight their enemies. Both of our existences are intertwined and we need to get our acts together ASAP! The Chretien government is proposing an elimination of borders between our countries. Which is the first step to annexation.
4 August 2001
Regarding the speculation of late that the Israeli leadership is planning for an “all-out” attack on the West Bank and Gaza: such an attack may indeed happen (and soon), but what if it does not? Would Sharon’s not reducing the occupied territories to rubble in one massive blitz, should another “disco bombing” occur, be evidence of his heroically restraining the most violent passions of his governing coalition? No doubt the US’s mainstream press would so editorialize.
Obviously, Israel is trying to provoke “terrorist” attacks by Palestinians by stepping up its own program of murdering Palestinian activists and leaders (and many random innocents), but instead of “all-out war”, I think the signs point to the Israelis doing more of what they have been doing all along: bulldozing Palestinian homes, razing orchards and expanding settlements.
Taking total control of the whole of Gaza and the West Bank in one fell swoop would be very costly in terms of Israeli lives and internal and external support for Sharon’s ruling junta. Tens of thousands of Palestinian casualties—such as are anticipated by the purported Israeli military’s war plan—coming in a couple weeks time might be more than even the editors of the New York Times and the US Congress could stomach.
And, what would the Israelis gain? The way things are now, the Israelis have about as much control over the territories as if they had already booted out the Palestinian Authority. Army posts and Jewish settlements already command the high ground and movement of Palestinians within the territories is severely restricted.
Sharon knows that so long as the occasional Hamas suicide bomber kills himself and a couple of Israelis waiting for a bus, few Americans will denounce him for leveling another couple of dozen Palestinian homes, or sending his Apache helicopters in to shoot up “suspected terrorists” (and the odd wedding party) in response. Sharon is trying to provoke more “terrorist” attacks, but that’s business as usual.
Sioux Falls, SD
29 July 2001
I am an admirer of the WSWS and a socialist. I have a question for the Socialist Equality Party. I recently logged onto the Communist Party USA web site, and I was dismayed at how different their views were from this site’s. There was an article praising such chauvinistic and racist policies like affirmative action and quotas. There was ethnic pandering to many minority groups, not on a class struggle basis, but one of ethnic chauvinism. What troubled me was that true socialistic principles reject such appeals based on race and gender. Such appeals are divisive, and assist the ruling class in keeping the working class in subjection. Another thing I have noticed on many other Communist sites is the total rejection of Enlightenment thought and figures. Men like Jefferson, or Thomas Paine are ridiculed and marginalized.
They are viewed from an ahistorical and unscientific methodology. They are viewed by twenty-first century cynical values, not in the context of their time and place. They further ridicule these men’s struggle for social equality and liberty. My question is why is this? As socialists we must reject such ethnic and postmodern cynicism. What is happening to modern-day Communists?
Communists of previous generations admired men like Jefferson and Paine and viewed them in the context of their times. Any answers you can give me would be appreciated.
29 July 2001
Dear Mr. Phillips,
After reading your first review on the recent Sydney Film Festival (12/7/01), in which you indicated a series of articles by the WSWS would to be forthcoming , I have been keeping my eye out, so to speak, for the remaining postings. You have set a high standard in this latest article about the work of Satyajit Ray. While I had not previously heard of this filmmaker or his work, your description of some of the scenes from his Apu Trilogy were very moving.
The chosen extracts of his essay about The Bicycle Thief reminded me of Trotsky’s writings on art and culture, and also Voronsky in Art as the Cognition of Life. Your critique of his work (very importantly) succeeded in “critically illuminating” just what the universal concerns of art should, and must be. Art, according to Trotsky, “...is one of the ways in which man finds his bearings in the world” (The Aesthetic Component of Socialism, D. Walsh p. 25). Well done WSWS arts review.
2 August 2001