Letters on the Enron scandal

Dear Editor,

Many thanks for the excellent article on the inherent and pervasive criminality in the Bush administration and Enron. As usual, the razor sharp scalpel of Marxism cuts to the quick, exposing the rot at the heart of the capitalist order.



18 January 2002

I think too little attention is being paid to the economic significance of Enron. Specifically, I believe the global impact from this company’s fall is as great if not greater than the events of 9-11. The basis for the fall, the empty nature of the company, the balloon economics which formed the foundation of its vast wealth, is not far from the lack of foundation which belied the world economy prior to the Great Depression.

It would be most helpful if a detailed enumeration of the economic “how did it happen” were brought out into the open. I know it is a lot of work but it will be worthwhile particularly when we contemplate the likely possibility that Enron is not alone. Which of the big fortune 500 companies will be next to fall?

Thank you for all your good work.


Brooklyn, New York

18 January 2002

Just wanted to say thank you for an incredibly insightful article. I am on your mailing list and frequent the web site, and I am never short of impressed by the scope of your topics and depth of the articles. A truly impressive set of writers on your staff.

Americans need a better understanding of US foreign policy now more than ever. I applaud your writers’ efforts to make this discussion of paramount importance. Truth will prevail only when we are able to look at all sides of the story, and regrettably this does not occur in mainstream media.

Thank you for your objectivity. Keep up the good work!

Best regards,


Brooklyn, New York

18 January 2002

While I am not a socialist, I really believe I share Mr. Walsh’s opinion about the Enron mess. We live in a corporate state, and they control everything. However, it would be sure nice if they played by fair rules.

18 January 2002

Dear Comrades:

Regarding Enron: Excellent article!

“The more critical issue is grasping the extent to which Enron as a criminal and parasitic enterprise expresses the social essence of the Bush administration and the American ruling elite as a whole.”

“The first lesson to be drawn from the Enron scandal is the need to place it in this political and historical context” [ WSWS, 18 January 2002]

To this I would add:

Your article raises the essential point, that, corruption or no; legality or no; Enron and Bush show how capitalism operates. The heart of this lies in commodity production, imperialism, the international division of labor, the conflict between this and the nation state, the conflict between the means of production and the social relations, and, most fundamentally, the objective basis of revolution in these.

With something this big happening—and with the fallout including potential domino effect bankruptcies in brokerage houses and banks still to come—the essentials should be laid out baldly and plainly. I say this on the basis of discussions with others, too ... people want to suggest this check or that balance or the other reform ... but the “problem” is not essentially in the political sphere but in the mode of production. In short, capitalism enriches an increasingly tiny minority of capitalists and their lackeys and impoverishes everyone else. Who, then, is correct in their analysis of the economy? The Federal Reserve? Or Karl Marx? Karl Marx, who not only discovered the essential character of capitalism, but who, with Friedrich Engels and others, built a party, the International Working Men’s Association, to prepare and lead the international proletariat for socialist revolution. The Socialist Equality Party and the Fourth International stand on the shoulders of these giants—and Lenin, the Bolsheviks, the Communist International before Stalinization, James P. Cannon, and Leon Trotsky.

Legality or no, corruption or no, mistakes or no—capitalism impoverishes workers, enriches capitalists, and in imperialism, marks “reaction down the line” in all affairs. This is rooted in commodity production; this is as inevitable as the sunrise—this is not only political crisis, but social; rooted in the mode of production and in the entire historical development of capitalism and imperialism up to this point. The Socialist Equality Party and the Fourth International and their program are the only way forward for the working class. This is, I think, the “political and historical context.”



Minneapolis, Minnesota

18 January 2002

Dear Mr. Walsh,

Your article, “Enron and the Bush Administration: kindred spirits in fraud and criminality,” is excellent. I plan to direct my students to it and would love to give out hard copies in my Political Science class, with your permission.

I am an American exile teaching in a university in Thailand. All of the issues you cover so well in the article are those that I keep reminding people of as I attend academic conferences throughout the world. Especially the brutality of the Bush family and the fraud with which they came back to power.


19 January 2002

What a great article! You are right about the Bush administration and its criminal dealings. Clinton was crucified during the Lewinsky scandal. Wait ... did you forget about Whitewater? Somehow, Whitewater was oddly missing from your piece. Tell me, how is the Enron debacle different from Whitewater? Could it just be that the wounds are fresher? I thought journalists were supposed to be impartial and report the un-jaded facts. Shame on you.


19 January 2002

The whole rotten, sordid, cannibalistic 200-year history of capitalism can be summarized in one word: Enron.



19 January 2002