Letters from our readers

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

On “The sudden end of the New York transit strike: a preliminary assessment”

Thanks for another great article and the general coverage. As a member of the working class since I was able to work, the strikers have my full support. The media (predictably) harps on how “inconvenient” it is for the strikers to do this to NYC commuters. What you hear less of them saying, however, is that there is no convenient time for mass action, especially in a city like NY. If people just waited around for the proper time for things, nothing progressive would have ever happened in this country (from the abolition of slavery, to women’s suffrage, to the civil rights movement, to the anti-Vietnam movement, etc.).

I’ve been amused by all these grotesquely rich people (e.g., Bloomberg) saying the strikers are to blame, when they (the rich) earn more in one year than collectively half of NYC’s poor/working class (or the poor in general). And just in case we weren’t sure, yet again via cowardice and timidity, the Democrats (eh...hm, Mrs. Clinton who are you representing anyway?) have shown why they will never regain power in this country (nor the real respect and support of working people). Maybe they know real people are no longer listening to them, and that’s why they say so little in support or opposition of anything!

It seems like this has been the year of American-made tragedy: of victims left to die in New Orleans, and now, of underpaid NYC transit workers being threatened with fines and such for daring to improve their situation. Meanwhile, an imperial debacle rages in Iraq, thousands die (Iraqis and Americans), social programs are cut so the rich can be richer, an Austrian movie star sends a man who has spent 25 years on death row to death, the government spies on its own citizens (and admits to it!), agents shoot passengers on planes who they “think” has a bomb, the US holds people in “black sites” around the world, public education implodes, the number of homeless expands, AIDS continues to prove a more effective killer than any 20th/21st century dictator, and on, and on, and on....

If anything positive can come out of all of this muck, it’s that finally, after much, much too long, the veil of illusion has finally started to fall and people can see, This Is America. Hopefully, more people are paying attention.


23 December 2005

On “New York City transit strike was quashed by the unions”

I read with increasing gladness the letters to the editors pages of the New York Times during the recent transit strike. Despite the pro-management line of the Times, the vast majority of New Yorkers writing in not only supported the striking workers, but some noted connections between the Reagan-Era PATCO debacle and what was going on currently. Not only that, but many of the writers took issue with the blatantly anti-worker sentiment of the stories of the Times. (Bastion of Left Wing-ism my eye!)

This gives me hope not just because the readers have a longer-term working-class memory than they are often given credit for, but also because they are willing to speak out and call the Times to task for what has been a sad example of kow-towing to capitalistic interests and trying to pit worker against worker. I suddenly love New York!


Portland, Oregon

27 December 2005

On “With the White House defiant on illegal spying: Why no outcry for Bush’s impeachment”

There is no cry for the impeachment of Bush because no member of the Congress has the courage to call for his impeachment. We voters have given up on the obsolete and compromised two-party system. Those of us who are radicals use our time and money to support the WSWS and its programs. The half-measures of Moveon.org, the DLC and others who choose to work with the two-party system are less than useless and are greeted with massive apathy and disdain by voters. The supine Democratic Party is beneath contempt.


Whitehall, Pennsylvania

21 December 2005

On “Time names super-rich trio as 2005 ‘Person of the Year’”

It is interesting that Bono, a singer in a rock and roll band, is chosen to be among the “people of the year,” and yet he says he is, “against wishful thinking.” He remarks that he “hates it.” Although Bill Gates was born into wealth, his fortune and goal have been made and met by “wishful thinking.” The entire power behind the “PC computer revolution” of the past 25 years or so has come from people being able to take their wishful thoughts and have a medium with which to move them toward fruition.

Bono’s fortune has been made by his taking music and creating aural landscapes from which his listeners can utilize their wishful thinking. Was Bono always so opposed to wishful thinking, or has it come as he has risen above the sewer and so realizes that another’s wishful thinking may possibly cause his wealthy and elite world to collapse, or at least to cause him to be on an equal standing with the great majority of we wishful thinkers who imagine a world of justice and a world without fear, a world were each and every human can dream and live to see their dreams grow?

Bill and Melinda Gates have the common courtesy not to tell people, their customers, that they hate their dreaming and find it loathsome, even if they do. Bono has no such courtesy within him. He is in it for the money, as he has said before, and he has learned to fake sincerity with his listeners as all good salesmen must learn to do, and his listeners keep following.

But imagine, if you would, a world where all the people are living for the good of the entire creation. Imagine not having to live in fear of being murdered or of starving. Imagine a world without pseudo-religious fanatics rushing to bring about a holocaust because they believe it will bring about paradise. I’ll take this kind of wishful thinking to strive towards than Bono’s status quo any day of the week.


Upper Marlboro, Maryland

22 December 2005

On “Marx and democratic rights: Tony Evans, The politics of Human Rights: a global perspective”

Bravo! Your cogent analysis of Evans’s obscurantist effort reads like a breath of fresh air. As a former graduate student in sociology, I can attest to the accuracy of your claim that modern social science is buried in an avalanche of unclear language and deliberate obfuscation. Your appeal for readers to seek out the original works is truly crucial to the education of today’s working class. Marx and Engels wrote “for the masses.” Their analyses and observations are quite clear and very accessible to the modern reader. We certainly don’t need lesser intellectual lights “interpreting” the works of history’s great thinkers.


Forestville, California

27 December 2005

Holiday greetings

This is just a short note to wish you all a very successful, productive and prosperous New Year. Your informative and truthful commentary is much needed, especially during these times when the global and local corporate media increasingly lack the vision to bring to readers honest accounts of the wretchedness that characterizes the lives of ordinary people the world over. Thank you! Your dedication and hard work are very much appreciated.


23 December 2005