The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
The racism in the Sydney riots is deeply unsettling. More especially as racism seems to be on the rise in many places on the globe. But, thank you for the historical background and understanding you bring to your article. Local papers here in the US leave out the history and especially the agency of the media. My thanks and gratitude for a job well done.
12 December 2005* * *
Howard and his minions are clearly encouraging the lumpen elements that have been at the forefront of the racist attacks on Muslims. Similar tactics were employed by the Nazis against German Jews; namely, the repeated slandering of Jews by newspapers and Nazi officialdom, sympathy for the perpetrators of criminal violence against Jews and Jewish establishments, and the blaming of the victims of violence for somehow provoking the violence itself. These attacks on Australian Muslims have all the elements of a pogrom in the making.
13 December 2005
Every single action that John Howard has undertaken since entering public life, from the scandalous “Bottom of the Harbour” tax schemes, Razor Gangs and “Hip Pocket Elections” of the Fraser years; to “Children Overboard,” “Core and Non-core” election promises; to tax cuts targeted at those who need them least; and on through the bastardry of “Wedge Politics”; to the current assaults on traditional norms of freedom and democracy—all of it has been to the detriment of the legacy and of the people of this once-lucky country. In the Cronulla race riots we can finally see the fruition of his dream and of his life’s work—the total disintegration of Australian society.
13 December 2005
Harold Pinter’s Nobel lecture is something everybody needs to read and read now! I went on the Nobel web site and read the complete speech. It was more than simply lucid; it was poetic and was so in a way that would make all but the “gods” tremble for allowing the atrocities Pinter speaks of to have happened in the first place. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it is, indeed, morning and the danger is finally illuminated.
9 December 2005* * *
Great story. We need more like this and we are running out of people like Mr. Pinter. I’m not a socialist, but do believe you are trying to make the truth known and a better world. For this I’m thankful for all of us in this world.
9 December 2005* * *
Finally, we have the truth spelled out so eloquently, and as it should be presented to the world. My anger and frustration of matters presented in this article were finally put in plain English with such brilliant, honest candor. I applaud you Mr. Pinter for your speech and Mr. Grey for publishing in public media the grim truth as to what the big picture really is. Bravo!
West Chester, Pennsylvania
10 December 2005
When Senator McCain began actively stepping into the national spotlight about six years back, one could see just a bit of a possibility that this man could show some redeeming qualities. He has, in fact, drawn some sympathy for having been one of Karl Rove’s many victims. His attacks on this administration and direction of this war have shown that he may have some small amount of potential as a politician.
However, he has from the very start (as is mentioned in the article) supported this brutal imperialistic nonsense in the Middle East. He would need to be tested. Mr. Grey, your question for the senator was most perfectly set up and brilliantly presented. The way in which empirically accepted historical fact was used as the foundation was just beautiful! By dodging the question, the senator showed us all that he would in the next couple of years just fall back into that Republican Party line that robs from the poor and gives to the wealthy and the warriors. Salute to you, Mr. Grey! We can now cross him off of the list for sure!
9 December 2005
Thanks for writing this article, which I read with great interest. In outlining the stalemate in the WTO talks, you have illustrated very well the inherent contradiction of our current global economic framework where global capital is bound up in the archaic nation-state system. Consequently, your article exposes the abstract pipe dream that genuine freedom of trade really is under the current framework.
In the UK, of course, global freedom of trade is the thinking bourgeoisie’s flavor of the month, especially when it is given the gloss of “ethical capitalism.” The Economist magazine promotes it ad nauseam as the panacea for lifting the Third World from poverty. This of course has everything to do with the fact that our main “export” in this country is the global servicing of capital. Manufacturing is dead in the UK. Hence a more liberal global economic system would benefit UK ruling circles immensely.
Finally, to draw parallels between the 1930s and now is apt if not worrying. It therefore makes the historic task of the working class all the more urgent.
12 December 2005* * *
It seems that as private capital becomes more globalized in its ability to exploit profit opportunities around the world, nation-states find themselves increasingly pitted against each other in competition to retain and attract capital inside their borders.
But the arsenal of restrictive tools available to states to retain capital inside their borders has also been weakened by globalization. On the incentives side, trade policy remains one of the few remaining mechanisms that states can use to protect and expand profit conditions for attracting capital.
The intensifying competition between nation states for private capital also pushes their trade policies toward greater protectionism, making international agreements less viable. Each state seeks to offer private capital operating inside its borders maximum market protection from competition domestically and the widest possible market access internationally.
As each state seeks to create the most attractive trade and profit conditions for capital within its borders, conflicts will persist and international agreements will be broken. Global capital will continue to exploit competition and conflicts between states to secure the best profit conditions until and unless the profit motive is replaced by more democratically determined priorities, and states are made to compete in creating conditions for meeting them.
12 December 2005