Letters from our readers

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “The split in the AFL-CIO”

As a man who spent 20 years as a steward and officer of the American Federation of Government Employees, I agree with your analysis of the AFL/CIO. The main purpose of that organization is to provide career vehicles for the union cadre. The rank and file are secondary. I also agree that the interests of people of the United States are not served by the two-party system. A labor party is a good idea, if done right.

Aurora, Illinois
12 July 2005

* * *

Thank you, great article. I am printing and disseminating it.

Gainesville, Florida
12 July 2005

On “Living with the fear factor: Death by survival, written by Elizabeth Ruiz, directed by Dori Salois”

Thank you for posting “Living With the Fear Factor,” a thoughtful review of my play Death by Survival written by two members of your staff. It’s very encouraging for me as a playwright to have this particular play understood and appreciated by people who are not only theater artists but also political writers. Of all the good reviews the play has received, this one is the most detailed and thorough, and it brought me a lot of joy to read it over and over again, especially all those shiny parts about its effectiveness. It’s a challenging play, and I was pleasantly surprised that anyone wanted to produce it to begin with in the current theatrical and political climate (it contains around 40 characters), and now I am pleasantly surprised again that it has generated so much thought and discussion.

Also, the criticisms of the reviewers were of the constructive variety—which I appreciate. I even agreed with some of them! It’s rare for a playwright to get affirmation from a review and refreshing to get criticism that an artist can actually use. These two reviewers have restored my faith in the possibility of an intelligent and helpful theater review, one that actually focuses on the play and not the reviewer’s agenda.


Elizabeth Ruiz, playwright
2 July 2005

On “Live 8: Who organized the PR campaign for Blair and Bush?”

It’s disgusting and loathsome! These people will stop at nothing in their perpetual hunt for profit! Murdoch is a fink! What is a man like Blair doing in the Labour Party? How can a Labour politician consort with the likes of Bush?

11 July 2005

On “US rejects Assad’s concessions and steps up threats against Syria”

I am a mother of a young man who recently entered the US Army, and today he asked me what I had heard about Syria. He thought that after completion in the 82nd Airborne training program he might be going to Syria or Korea. I quickly went on Google to search “why US is in Syria” and there was your article. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the explanation and the detail. I feel compelled to have to know now that my son may be on his way overseas in just two months. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep up the good reporting.

Washington Township, New Jersey

3 July 2005

On “The politics of opportunism: a look at the International Socialist Organization”

Were I a member of the ISO, I would be truly disappointed to hear a keynote speaker say that socialism doesn’t matter and that they did not want to explain the Soviet Union. Not only does socialism matter, but also an explanation of the Soviet Union is critical in understanding how to avoid such mistakes in the future.

Perhaps, though, Mr. Camejo would not mind seeing such mistakes being made. He is already advocating a dismissal of history—could it be because he would cast himself as the next Stalin? We should count ourselves lucky that he does not have the force of personality to carry that off!

As for joining forces with the Greens or Democrats, etc., I would ask: What good is being inclusive if there is no cohesion? How can forces join to work toward a common goal if they are not agreed on just what that goal is? Short-term (e.g., anybody but Bush) goals are short-sighted. Any cohesion built is dissolved once the goal is reached, and any real progressive goals are pushed off indefinitely.

For any socialist organization, implementing socialism should be the goal.

Portland, Oregon
1 July 2005

On “How not to build an antiwar movement: a comment on the politics of the ISO”