An exchange of letters on the April 20 march in Washington

3 May 2002

Wow, when faced with an honest and courteous attempt to build bridges on the left (AH’s letter), Bill Vann responded with a pompous and condescending speech that left me yawning. [See “Bill Vann replies to a member of the International Socialist Organization” 29 April 2002] In attempting to refute AH’s criticisms, he proved their truth. I have no idea which side has the better political analysis, but it’s clear which side is more open and accessible. WSWS is a great web site, but your chances of communicating with the masses are slim. Lighten up!

T,

Princeton University

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Dear T:

Sorry that you were upset by my reply. We begin from the proposition that our readers come to the WSWS in search of serious political analysis. But in your case that assumption is apparently unfounded.

“Honest and courteous attempts to build bridges” are all well and good, but it seems obvious that before building anything one should be clear what two points the bridge is supposed to connect, and whether the distance between them can be spanned. If such questions leave you “yawning,” you obviously haven’t begun to think seriously about politics.

As for your advice to “lighten up,” we are deadly serious about the history of our movement. Embodied in the principles and program of the International Committee of the Fourth International are the historic and often tragic experiences through which the world working class passed over the course of the twentieth century.

We’re confident “the masses” will grasp the gravity of these issues.

Bill Vann