Letters from our readers

18 January 2007

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

On “An exchange on the presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich”

With elections due in Australia this year, your reply to the objections raised serves as a timely warning. If predictions are correct, an increasing number of people here will move to supporting the Greens as a “left” alternative to Labor, for much the same reasons as expressed by the correspondents. The inevitable disillusion that occurs when the “pseudos” show their true colours does far more long-term harm to the socialist cause than any analysis conducted with the correct methodological approach. One could very well say that any socialist analysis and/or action done without this is useless.

JH

Rooty Hill, NSW, Australia

12 January 2007

* * *

I support the WSWS and Jerry White’s position on Dennis Kucinich. During the 2004 campaign, I supported Kucinich with financial donations and by talking him up to my friends and family. At one point during this time, I spoke to Joanne Laurier on the phone, and in the course of the conversation I mentioned Kucinich and she articulated a position similar to Jerry White’s. Later, this position was published in the WSWS.

I was skeptical of the WSWS position, but it was proved correct by Kucinich’s actions during the Democratic convention. I was stunned and outraged, although if I’d believed Joanne, I wouldn’t have been. It was at this point that I completely gave up on the Democratic Party. I can see now that I had been deluding myself since the early sixties, when I first began to believe that there was a good reason to support the Democrats. I think I partly knew this, but could not bring myself to fully admit it until 2004.

Thank you to Jerry White and the WSWS for constantly explaining this with reason and facts, not wishful thinking as so many of us had been using.

JB

Scotch Plains, New Jersey, US

12 January 2007

* * *

RV of Georgia writes: “Do you not remember that he held back his support for the heavily flawed and sickeningly bourgeois Kerry campaign until the very last minute? This showed those of us who understand the difficulty in affecting the actions of the power elite in this country that he was a courageous camper amongst an army of lame and self-interested Democrats.”

I do remember that, but I also remember that very last minute, when he went to the anti-war protesters and asked that they fall in line for the good of the party, since what was most important was defeating Bush. It was then that Kucinich showed his true colors and intentions. In the end, he backed the “sickeningly bourgeois Kerry campaign.”

This is a very important thing to remember, just as it is important to remember that Gore did not protest the Supreme Court decision handing Bush the 2000 election, and Kerry did not insist on Ohio’s votes being counted in 2004. In the end, their interests are no different than the Republicans’, and it is too troublesome to take action on behalf of the voters who demand change.

A candidate who betrays the will of the people “at the very last minute” is twice as guilty, in my view, in that the time spent being led along the primrose path could better have been focused on building a party which would have benefited the people. He is a red herring.

CMS

Portland, Oregon, US

12 January 2007

On “Democratic congressman reintroduces bill for military draft in US”

So Nancy Pelosi has not fulfilled her promise to keep this meddling pro-war Democrat busy with committee work so that he would not have the time to reintroduce his dangerous “Kill Bill.” But did she (and the Democrats) ever intend to do so in the first place? Elsewhere, one of your writers has answered the criticisms made against his article on Kucinich. Again, this reveals that the Democratic Party is no longer a “people’s party” but a corporate killer party, as well as one engaging in McCarthyite intimidation of 5,000 Illinois faculty and civil service workers who may lose their jobs unless they sign a document admitting that they are “non-compliant” with the law.

Please keep up this good work and destroy the illusions of those deluded modern Don Quixote figures who continue to romanticize a corrupt and murderous Democratic Party despite the evidence you carefully display on your web site.

TW

12 January 2007

* * *

It is my belief that the only motive for Rangel’s push for the military draft is to make obvious the discriminatory nature of the volunteer army, that it is basically the poor and jobless who join the military, with the goal of having an income and benefits and the hope of a paid college education. It is, it seems to me, a sly way to force people of all classes to see what equal sacrifice really means, and to reject war. It is all too easy to be entirely separated from the sacrifice of the few when there is no possibility that one will have to actually make any personal sacrifice. Rangel’s intent is to point this out to those who are insulated by our class structure.

CS

12 January 2007

* * *

I think the idea of a draft is appalling—the fact that the congressman (Rangel) would even toy with the idea and the lives of Americans. We entrust our government with the responsibility of safeguarding our well-being (which, by saying that out loud for the first time, sounds absurd). It is irresponsible for them to even toy with that well-being.

CD

12 January 2007

On “David Hicks enters his sixth year of detention at Guantánamo Bay”

John Howard and Phillip Ruddock can see that the tide of public opinion is changing and are now pretending that they want Hicks tried as soon as possible. Do they really think that Australians are idiots? Hicks should have been freed five years ago. He hasn’t been charged with any crime. The people that write letters to the daily newspapers are in the main unintelligent, uneducated, racist rednecks that are a scab on Australian society. The mythical war on terrorism is getting out of hand and we are all suffering because of it. Howard is always talking about Australian values. If he means his values, then the country will be the laughing stock of the world.

TM

Newborough, Victoria, Australia

15 January 2007

***

On “Australian government cuts thousands of welfare recipients off benefits”

A very timely article. Upon opening my mail today, I was informed by Centrelink that my Newstart allowance had been cancelled, as I own in excess of assets allowable to receive welfare payments. I knew there was something amiss, as the sum total of my assets has actually diminished, due to the drop in real estate values (my two-bedroom unit is my most valuable asset).

I rang Centrelink for an explanation. They told me the ruling had been made because I had moved from one suburb to another. (I had moved from my parents’ house into my own unit.) They claimed that as the surname of the owner of both properties was the same (how highly unusual—a son possessing the same surname as his parents), I was, in fact, the owner of both properties; therefore, it was likely that I would be drawing rental income. The nature of this obviously wild assertion, manufactured without supporting evidence, given as a reason to suspend my payments, in itself demonstrates its fraudulence.

The fact that I have been receiving welfare payments for a number of years, based on my declaration that I own no more than one property, and now I am accused of owning two, could constitute a serious breach of the law, necessitating further investigation to determine whether fraud has been committed. No such considerations were included in the notice. Digging a little deeper would reveal that I am a sole property owner, something they have little interest in learning for themselves.

I believe this is the first shot fired, signaling a qualitative acceleration of the assault on the working class by the ruling elites, planned to take place after the next election. The anti-terror laws, the tougher stance on law and order, the military call-out bill, and the High Court’s ruling that virtually hands executive fiat to the government have been put in place specifically to launch this fascistic assault that is required in defending the existence of capitalism itself and meeting the labour demands of transnational corporations.

DD

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

15 January 2007