Letters from our readers

7 December 2007

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

On “Bush administration intervenes to shield Wall Street from housing meltdown”

Again, the rich do not play by the same set of rules as the rest of us. Everything’s in their favor. For them, profit is privatized and risk is socialized. By that I mean we get to bail them out on top of everything else when their predations and greed go south on them. The invisible hand is wonderful to them—they love it—until it knocks their teeth in. Then we, the working stiffs, get to pay... again.

RM

3 December 2007

On “The Amis-Eagleton controversy: The British literary elite and the ‘war on terror’”

Martin Amis’s supposed acumen with regards to depicting the human condition has been thoroughly exposed by his recent commentary on Islam. In novels such as Other People and London Fields, his portrayals of the working class always seemed to suffer from an air of suspicion. Beyond the refined dialogue of the cultural elite, there was only a maw of criminality that was symptomatic of the working class. It is little wonder that he imposes such a simplistic view on the imperialistic ventures in West Asia. For someone known for his observation of character, he has eliminated the key actors in the present tragedy: the United States and Great Britain. When the most dastardly acts perpetrated against the civilian population are a clear result of Anglo-American meddling, it is a little disturbing that a renowned novelist could advance such a myopic analysis of the roots of terror. To more accurately examine the causes of sectarianism would force Amis to confront the rapacious intent behind his own class loyalties and the depredations of global capital that have so handsomely rewarded Mr. Amis.

KC

3 December 2007

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This is another fine analytic piece of reporting from your site placing this dispute in a very relevant social and historical context. Several people have recognized Amis as a “poser” from the very beginning of his career where he emphasized style over any type of meaningful substance. It is not surprising that he was offered the position of Professor of Creative Writing at a time of rapid privatization of British education, where only the affluent will be able to attend higher education, sit at the seat of these rabid right-wing ideologues, gain credentials and reference letters so that they will speedily reproduce their masters’ voices.

There now remains a need not only for a change in the political system that WSWS has always championed, but also in the educational arena. We need a return of those oppositional alternative forms of adult education—Workers Educational Associations, bodies resembling the educational branches of Mechanics Institutes, along with new forms of those old Miner’s Libraries and self-help educational forums—that will combat the distortions practiced in those institutions that are now the playground of the idle rich or those obedient students desperate for paper qualifications who will not rock the boat.

The Amis phenomenon is just the tip of an iceberg in an extremely undemocratic culture, where the liberal readers of the Guardian and Observer will turn to the right, as their forebears did in the 1926 General Strike with university students aiding the Government. Congratulations again on this excellent writing that puts most newspapers to shame.

TW

3 December 2007

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Your article seeks to place Martin Amis in his social context to explain why he has followed his father’s journey to a reactionary stance. Yet I feel there may be a simpler explanation in their own individual characters. Reading their books (not only the later works), I have never felt that either of the Amises really likes people, particularly women, very much. A distasteful tone of misanthropy pervades much of their writing; it is only one step from this to finding specific targets (in Martin’s case, Muslims) for this more generalised dislike of humanity.

Your article does not explain the hatred, which is an aspect of their personality, probably rooted in their family relations and upbringing. It does, however, suggest an explanation for why it is directed at this particular target at this particular time in history.

RP

Hong Kong

3 December 2007

On “The referendum defeat in Venezuela: A warning to the working class”

Thank you for your coverage of this important election. It is in keeping with the WSWS’s high-quality and clear-eyed coverage of the region over the years. It is especially helpful to be able to give people copies of these articles (and those about Evo Morales) when they start going on about how “wonderful it is that socialism has come to South America,” and ask me if I am happy about it. Not so fast, I say—what is the nature of these (and other) governments? I appreciate your aid in explaining exactly why these are not socialist entities, and how nationalism, left or right, is something of which we should be very, very wary.

CMS

Portland, Oregon, USA

5 December 2007

On “The Jena Six: Mychal Bell’s case to be opened to the public”

Thank you again for clarifying the behavior of the “Democrats” in this matter. They are invested in the mirage of the integrity of the US federal system. It is as rotten as ever and will only become worse if we put our faith in it instead of our own rational observations.

SC

Los Angeles, California, USA

4 December 2007

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Yes, yes—Finally someone who writes to the root of this monstrous use of power. The last sentence of the article should be elaborated in great detail. Bravo to the WSWS.

CC

San Francisco, California, USA

4 December 2007