Letters from our readers

22 April 2006

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

On “The very rich in America: ‘The kind of money you cannot comprehend’

Kudos for another great article! I could not agree more. It is incomprehensible to me the kind of money that these people make. They truly are parasites.

The last time I visited the north side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I was deeply depressed by the visible signs of deterioration. The old steel-mill cities and towns that speckle the northeastern United States have been abandoned by the two major political parties. It gets harder and harder every day to get by. The Democrats and Republicans focus their politics around such subjects as the downtown business districts and prime real estate for big business. The working class has been left in the dust. As soon as my friends and I parked the vehicle, a homeless man came up to us and asked politely if he could wash our car windows for spare change. He explained to us that he has lost his money for a bus ticket back to his home located in LA (whether true or not I do not know, but I sympathize). Well, we gave him a $5, and he did a fine job with his newspaper and can of dirty water. This is becoming such a common site in cities around the nation. Something must be done. I’m sick of seeing humans living like cattle.

As we walked the streets going about our business, a van pulled up to a group of concertgoers at a local community center. A man of about age 60 got out. He was selling cappuccino drinks and bananas for $1. We bought some. Frankly, it saddens, enrages and disgusts me what capitalism reduces men to. Old men are forced to degrade themselves in order to get people to buy expired coffee drinks! Whatever pays the electric bill though! The Democrats offer nothing. We work harder than any CEO, all of our lives, and we see nothing. We create vast amounts of wealth, and we never see one bit. We watch our communities and schools crumble while the rich men play with their yachts. A radical reconstruction of the economy is in line—one where the vast amounts of wealth created by the working class will go to them instead of the top 1 percent of parasitic elite!

PG

Mercer, Pennsylvania

20 April 2006

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It truly takes one’s breath away, not just when we occasionally hear the specific numbers that America’s supreme corporate rulers tuck into their little goodie bags, but the way the supposedly “liberal” media report it. This week, Sanford Weill retires from Citigroup Corporation, and the New York Times created a loving video Valentine to bid him farewell. His soft voice is allowed to promote himself as dear Uncle Sandy, who—never mind the rapacious ruthlessness of 50 years of “deal-making” to create America’s largest international financial institution—merely tended to his little garden as he amassed an individual lifetime income close to one billion dollars (a teeny little factoid in the article), but now insists he humbly wants to go on to a retirement of Mother Teresa do-gooding. Shucks, the Times forgot to place a wimple on this horrendous man !

TH

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

19 April 2006

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God is not impressed. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.

YW

Woodville, Ontario, Canada

19 April 2006

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You’ve outdone yourself yet again, Mr. Walsh. Only a socialist publication—the socialist publication, as it were—could offer us such a vividly startling but eerily accurate outline of the activities and mindset of America’s (and the world’s) ultra-wealthy owners. One can only imagine, endlessly, the possibilities available to the remaining billions of us if such vast sums and resources were not constantly flowing in one direction: upward. In fact, to reflect for too long on such a state of affairs makes me sick, especially when I think of all the ways in which real people in every country are forced to struggle and suffer daily, largely unaware (for now) that the clique of unapologetic sloths that rules them has absolutely no regard for their interests, or, indeed, for the values of life, liberty and human happiness. Moreover, members of this clique have no reason to care.

The capitalist crisis can end in one of two ways. One of them is the destruction of our species, and along with us, the planet. But once again, the Marxists, with their tireless efforts, have it right, and have pointed the way out of this crisis. I do hope that you and I live to see the results.

IN

Sydney, Australia

20 April 2006

On “Fall, but no decline—The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History

That was an outstanding analysis. Thank you! I’m going to print it and pass it around some people I know who are interested in that period.

PF

18 April 2006

On “Britain: the death of James Callaghan

Thanks for your article about Jim Callaghan. I know it’s stale news now, but I haven’t seen such a concise and well written account of his government as this one because most of these other accounts I’ve read are attended by its own version of the ubiquitous ‘king-over-the-water’ myth, as you put it. By the way, I’m not a communist or socialist in the 4th International sense. In some respects I’d be a fellow traveller I guess, but in other respects probably not in that I seek to combine revolutionary politics with metaphysics and spirituality. I do however regularly read the WSWS for my world news because I like its subversive style, and I generally trust its pronouncements as being fact-based (even when the historical truth as such has worked to undermine desired ideological outcomes, the paper generally seems to stick to the truth which I admire, as in this article about Jim). In other words, it’s everything the mass media isn’t.

JQ

Australia

19 April 2006

On “Britain: Documentary reveals plan for coup against Wilson Labour government

I remember those years. The Wilson government was under sustained attack from all sections of the media including television light entertainment shows. Wilson was modern in outlook and the government had quite a few good ideas that it wanted to implement, but these were a direct challenge to the establishment who simply rejected change. The mentality of the retired military plotters and intelligent officers was truly mind-boggling. They were out of date, out of touch, and believed workers and unions were all communists and revolutionaries. At the time, of course, all the present-day Blair cabinet were “up the workers” until they got elected after that mad woman and John Major were voted out, and promptly air brushed their past away and got their snouts deep in the trough.

PA

20 April 2006

On “The economics of militarism: Hilary Clinton outlines Democrats’ big business agenda

Thank you for the article on Hilary Clinton’s stump speech. I have always been amazed at how thorough a job Bill Clinton did of hoodwinking the country, courting the derision of the religious right by cultivating a persona of “liberalism.” Clinton used “racism” as a perpetual bogeyman, railing against the horrors of hate crimes, seemingly always surrounding himself with black people during photo-ops, yet an analysis of his policies tells the real tale.

His tax reform package in his first term squarely saddled the middle/working class with the burden of balancing the huge debt accumulated by his two GOP predecessors, and his free-trade policies resulted in the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs. Most outrageously, when perhaps hundreds of thousands of black voters were disenfranchised in Florida in the 2000 election, he (still the incumbent at that point) did not utter a public word of protest.

The metamorphosis of Hillary into the right-wing pro-corporate, pro-military monster that she has become is truly startling. If you indeed oppose her in the November election in New York, I hope that you draw as much political blood as you can in the process. I have yet to find a serious book-length analysis/expose of her husband’s administration, program and legacy. The time is long overdue for some savvy political analyst to consider that task.

RS

20 April 2006

On “The Lula government and the ‘new ruling class’: The definite bankruptcy of centrism in Brazil

Congratulations, Hector, for your short and good review of the PT. I was very happy to read about Floretan Fernandes, whom I met several times in his house in SP. I also share your respect for this great man. He is a good example to follow and needs to be remembered.

NO

London, UK

20 April 2006