Letters from our readers

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

On “US bailout of mortgage giants: The politics of plutocracy

The rescue of the free market banks and mortgage lenders using public monies as a lender of last resort is made clear. This is an implicit recognition on the part of capitalist economists that public ownership of the financial levers of the economy is the only solution for world stability—outside of another world war. Whilst the case has been made for socialist planning of the economy, the bourgeois elite will never admit their system to have failed. Their fortunes have been made on its ruins. Objectively the bankers have made the case for socialist planning, which only requires the subjective intervention of millions of people on an internationalist socialist program.



15 July 2008

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You write, “At the same time, [the bailout] exposes the cynicism behind the official mantra of ‘free enterprise.’ When it comes to big capital, losses are socialized. Only profits remain private.” Magnificent article! With this wonderful straight right to the nose! Thank you so much, thank you all for a sane word in an insane world.


Hausen am Albis, Switzerland

15 July 2008

On “Obama outlines policy of endless war

On PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Obama was asked, “Sounds like a zero-sum game taking troops out of Iraq, sending them to Afghanistan. Don’t Americans just look at that and say, we’re just going to stay at war?” He replied, “Well, no, no, no. I mean, keep in mind the scale and the scope. I mean, you’ve got 140,000 or so troops even after the next drawdown that’s been announced by the president in Iraq. You’re looking at 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. And an additional two brigades will obviously greatly supplement the force in Afghanistan, but you’ve also got NATO troops in Afghanistan. So the idea here is that we can leverage a significant amount of additional troops in Afghanistan if we make those commitments in the way that we can’t do in Iraq.”

There is certainly the suggestion of a shell game of numbers in all this: that the American people will tolerate an escalation, even a doubling, of US forces in Afghanistan; so long as those forces are substantially less than those remaining in Iraq.

So, for example, the US drawdown figure might plateau at 100,000 or slightly less; while US forces in Afghanistan increase from 30,000 to 60,000—not immediately, but in stages. Net result: 100,000 Iraq plus 60,000 Afghanistan, for a total in both countries of about 160,000—not counting contractors, who must obviously be counted somewhere.

Everybody happy?


Fairview Park, Ohio, USA

16 July 2008

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Bill Van Auken’s analysis and review of Senator Obama’s speaking and acts add yet another detailed picture of how America’s two-party but one-policy system operates. Obama billed himself as an agent of change early in his campaign for president. He’s now backtracking to assure America’s power elite that he will change little or nothing about America’s imperialist policies. One may sum up what we’ll get from President Obama as SS/DD.


16 July 2008


On “An exchange with an ex-Maoist booster for Obama

What is interesting to me Bill is that apparently Carl Davidson reads frequently and/or is concerned enough about the site to respond as he did. This raises questions—apparently, looking at his blog and reading his words, he does not seem to be in conflict with any of the elements of “mainstream” politics. Yet, he thinks of himself as a Marxist of some sort and replies to a Trotskyist site despite renouncing Trotskyism many years before. Is it simply because of frantic anxiety about what people say about him (like a stereotypical athlete or rock star?), is it because he is drawn to Trotskyism, or because he believes he can bring the Trotskyists of the ICFI on board his project?

He is so deeply involved with bourgeois politics and bourgeois political conceptions that his desire for change turns him into a living contradiction and a prop for the powers that be.


Yarmouth, Massachusetts, USA

15 July 2008

On the US Congress

What fun it would be to require members of congress to wear corporate patches on their clothes like Nascar drivers to show who they really represent.


15 July 2008

On former Charles Manson follower Susan Adkins

A MSNBC poll showed that 80 percent of respondents agreed with the answer to the question (paraphrased here): “Do you think Susan Adkins should be granted compassionate release? (1) “No, her crime was too heinous ... etc.”

This is institutionalized sadism. How can anyone take delight in this woman’s suffering? How can anyone inflict punishment upon a person, who, by all indications, was rehabilitated? This is an issue that the WSWS should address. Thanks.


Fraser, Colorado, USA

16 July 2008

On the World Socialist Web Site

I just want to say that I admire all the work that all of you on WSWS do. I don’t agree with all the commentary (my politics are perhaps not quite as far left as yours), but I find much of it excellent even so. I especially appreciate the arts and film reviews, which give a perceptive—but not dogmatic—”left” view of the arts.


Vancouver, Canada

12 July 2008