Letters from our readers
23 May 2008
The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the WSWS.
Of course, the US CIA’s own “country case book” warns that countries with a GINI coefficient of more than 0.45 in income inequality become subject to civil disorder and revolt.
By this measure, the US itself, at a GINI of 0.48, is much more vulnerable to civil disorder and revolt of the masses than are European countries, which average 0.32.
However, the more significant issue related to inequality is the ultimate elitist justification of inequality as being necessary for sufficient capital accumulation and growth.
It is beyond irony that the very analogy and allusion (illusion) that the ruling elite had settled upon in the late twentieth century as their last argument to keep the poor poor, and to justify the investment stream that can only spout from a high degree of global and US inequality; that a “rising tide will lift all boats,” is now so precisely and ineluctably the harsh and contradicting reality that, in the twenty-first century, is ushering in the rising tides of global warming that will sink the elite’s last justification of their sanctimonious economic inequality and eliteness—and sink the whole idea of “growth” as cancerous metastasis through negative externality dumping.
When this last illusion of “growth” requiring elite capital concentration is gone, then all justification of economic inequality is gone, too.
The recognition of abnormal and destructive growth as a being like a cancerous metastasis, and the diagnosis of elite concentration of wealth as the catalyst to that metastasis, suggests treatment by excising the casual elite.
However, a more humane medical treatment would suggest eliminating the very concept of “an elite,” rather than actually eliminating the elite.
Sanford, Maine, USA
20 May 2008
“Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” [G.W. Bush]
Dear lord, to deconstruct the lies and misconceptions in this quote is like trying to peel back the infinite Sisyphean onion—it’s endless and one’s tears seem to no effect.
Leaving aside the obvious—that Israel, the US’s proxy in the Middle East, has long since had nuclear weapons and that the US has enough of them to turn the whole world into a glass parking lot—it is of course a lie to call Iran any sort of threat to anybody—the case these people make that Iran is even a regional threat is, of course, another lie, a bald-faced provocation, their stock in trade.
As tragic as this whole scenario is, a cosmic absurdity conflated with inevitability, that GWB & Co. plan on a military attack on Iran to further terrorize the world and voters seems beyond doubt. It’s almost as though GWB is strutting forward according to some (reprised) script of the Gipper’s, circa 1979: That is, the notion of an October Surprise, redux, looms large. Reagan and his compatriots’ behind-the-doors subversion of the American electoral process is certainly an historical travesty and more seems yet to come from his downstream progeny.
In the intelligence community, such signs and omens of impeding portent such as those you cite are called “indications and warning.” When these horrid people do go forward with their plan, another crime against humanity, we can, of course, expect the Democrats, the putative opposition party, to lie down and play dead as they always do.
21 May 2008
Greetings and thank you.
A million thanks for writing this article about this terrible situation in South Africa. I have so much to say, write and ask that it is really hard to know where to begin. First, what do you believe is the root of this situation? In my reading, I learned that on the continent of Africa, many of the ethnic groups routinely migrated from area to area or region to region based on availability of food, cultural reasons as well as weather changes. How did it become so important for these nation states to close their borders (physically and emotionally) to their neighbors in need? One group that this article did not include is the refugees from Rwanda, primarily Tutsis, who are also living under harsh conditions in camps in South Africa. And this does not include the folks who are indigenous to the area and who are also being forced to live as nomads on their own land, as well.
I am not surprised at all that the ANC has not brought about any real change. I went to school with many of their children, and I saw no real difference between them and the children of the black capitalists in the US and the Americas. I am also not surprised that the Zulus seem to be the worst criminals in these acts. There is a problem with color in South Africa that is a direct result of centuries of white oppression. The Zimbabweans are usually darker hues and closer to black, and they are not considered human beings. (I too have experienced that at the hands of dark-skin black Haitians And the problem has grown worse in recent years as my economic situation has worsened and, not surprisingly, theirs improved.)
What I am concerned with is that a Pandora’s box has been opened in every nation state around the globe whereby ethnic groups are feeling the heat to attack others in groups considered less affluent and more vulnerable than theirs. [I experienced it in the Haitian community/”Little Haiti” Miami (and I am of Haitian ancestry!) and I also could not show my face in Liberty City, a traditionally African American neighborhood. Apparently, this ill is also affecting the nation state of Haiti (more so than usual) and throughout the Caribbean.]
I am not sure that we can blame it solely on the shortage of resources. That seems to be only part of it because the folks with the most are doing the most of the damage infliction. The problem to me seems to be that the powerful and rich capitalists are strangling the resources out of the hands and bodies of the weak and wretched. And so now a minority controls the majority, and this usually means that they want full power, which they use to justify their wicked acts.
Thank you for writing about this topic. It gives people like me food for thought. I feel less alone but more determined to continue in the struggle for full and complete self-determination.
Eugene, Oregon, USA
21 May 2008
Interesting apocryphal tale about the US senator. Until you hipped us to the fact that it was [Idaho Republican William] Borah, I was fairly sure it might have come out of conversation with the prez’s granddaddy Prescott who, according to some accounts, was pretty okay on Hitler himself.
Seattle, Washington, USA
21 May 2008