Letters from our readers

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

On “Live 8 Edinburgh: marching for the establishment”

The entire thing reeks of a scam. It reminds me of the corporate pep rallies I am forced to attend where the music is blaring and the bosses are grinning while mouthing platitudes and lies, with the exception that whereas the corporate pep rally is designed to delude employees, lift morale, and buy off a small number of those present, Live 8 was targeted at an international audience with the purpose of propping up the existing order by deluding workers into a perspective that sees no alternative to global capital.

Las Vegas, Nevada
4 July 2005

* * *

Dear WSWS,

Thank you for the insightful statement on the “Make Poverty History” campaign. If these ultra-wealthy pop stars were not so naive and idealistic in their approach to the epidemic of poverty (an epidemic that is inseparable from the global operations of the capitalist system) they might care to explain to those millions of souls they are intent on “saving” exactly why they are trapped in a cycle of destitution and hopelessness.

Of course, commercial success goes hand in hand with its natural class position. Bob Geldof, Bono and their ilk ought to remove the veil of petty-bourgeois liberalism that cloaks much of the entertainment industry, and study the facts: we, the international working class, cannot “make poverty history” until we attack the causes of poverty.

And to attack the causes means to differentiate our interests from those of the ruling elite and its defenders in high offices—those rich men responsible for poverty.

4 July 2005

* * *

The Live 8 concerts were a joke. Bono, Bob Geldof and others are being used so that the likes of Bush and Blair and others can look good. If they wanted to do something for Africa they would, but they are not interested. All they want to do is to continue the exploitation of the continent, so that their business friends can prosper. They know what Africa’s problems are; they know what is causing them, but they don’t have any interest in helping to solve them.

4 July 2005

* * *

Dear Sir,

I am so relieved that there is an organisation such as yours (in these troubled times) that stands for nothing less than truth. How masses of people can flock to the establishment begging for them to “adjust” their policies in order to adequately feed the world’s hungry is beyond me. I am by no means one to make moral judgments, but it strikes me that decades of drug and alcohol abuse may have mentally crippled or withered away the capacity for rational thought in the minds of Bob Geldof and the like. That, and the millions of dollars.

Sydney, Australia
7 July 2005

On “Claims that new president was hostage-taker: US prepares new provocations against Iran”

I found the recent attention given by the media to the possibility that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was involved in the seizure of the US Embassy in 1979 very puzzling. All of the usual speculation, yet no one seemed to question the fact that wouldn’t the background of someone who was the mayor of Tehran and the leading “hard-line” candidate for president of Iran be totally known to US intelligence? Whether he was involved in the embassy seizure or not, this whole thing is a farce and I think the timing demonstrates that it was orchestrated by the Bush administration solely for the purpose of continuing to justify the US hard line against Iran and deflect attention from the situation in Iraq.

2 July 2006

On “Atlanta officials continue campaign against the homeless”

Thanks for exposing the relentless attack on the homeless, as this article on the World Socialist Web Site does. Government tries to make the homeless less visible, often by keeping them in prison, sort of a revival of the debtor prisons of old. Increasing homelessness is itself one side of the attack on the whole working class.

In New York State, new regulations would deny shelter to children and families who are involved in disputes about their eligibility for shelter. Particularly in New York City, hundreds of thousands of affordable “rent-stabilized” apartments are being lost by vacancy decontrol. At the same time, providers and advocates for the homeless fear that a 20 percent decline in the value of city and state rent supplements that substitute for federal cuts to the Section 8 vouchers program, together with the requirement that participants remain on welfare, will make it more difficult for families and individuals to meet rents.

These facts were some of the information given at an Interfaith Convocation for Housing Justice on June 30 in New York City. However, the religious leaders could do no more than provide a platform for Democratic candidates for mayor in the November elections, who mouthed platitudes and ignore their part in the development of the city’s housing crisis. Even the capitalist mass media could not bring itself to give more than scant coverage to this appalling charade. Many in the audience of housing activists were interested to take a copy of a recent WSWS article exposing the social inequality between government housing budget cuts and CEO income increases. With the Democratic candidates and the religious organizations failing to offer real solutions for the magnitude of the problem that those working in the field know they face, a flyer advocating socialism became a welcome alternative.

New York, New York
4 July 2005