Letters from our readers

1 November 2008

On Democracy Now! and the working class

Amy Goodman's program this morning had a segment entitled "Why Don’t Barack Obama and John McCain Talk About the Working Class?" 

Her program raises an issue that merits some attention on wsws.org because it is so obvious: the working class is the big majority with no true conflicts among themselves. However, she had on her show a Michael Zweig, author of a study called Economic Stimulus and Economically Distressed Workers.

Goodman went on to thoroughly confuse working class with distressed people at the bottom. No one stated the basic truth that neither candidate shares or will advance working class interests. This has got to be one of the most mixed-up and screwed-up interviews I have heard. I have never seen so much partially right material mangled with thoroughly wrong material. 

Many of your site readers listen to her program and have long wanted to take her on on the issue of class. She has given an opportunity to take her on and explain to her what the working class is. She and this program would be a good subject for an article.

28 October 2008

On the Los Angeles Times’ endorsement of Obama

The Los Angeles Times endorsement of Obama came with a proviso. They wrote that they were not "sanguine" about Obama's economic policy, complaining it was too populist, while praising John McCain's as the kind that would stimulate job creation. So much for the Times being a "liberal" paper, or maybe that's what passes for liberalism nowadays.

Los Angeles, California, USA
28 October 2008

On “German economics expert compares bank managers to persecuted Jews
While I agree that Sinn was cynically manipulating the issue, there is a partly valid point buried in his comments which deserves to be better flushed out. In fact, the political right wing has often had an attraction towards banking conspiracy memes in ways which typically do seek to exonerate the capitalist system. Henry Ford was a strong advocate of such themes, and of course Ford was awarded by Hitler for his general efforts. So the charge made by Sinn is not completely detached from reality.

In the USA, a popular version of this among the Right is to charge that the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 was a bankers’ conspiracy intended to take away a glorious free market economy. In fact, the economy of the USA in the 19th century had been thoroughly tied to a pattern of steady expansion to the West. When this pattern of expansion exhausted itself after 1890, the patterns of monetary structure were bound to demand change. Yet many conservative ideologues do like to make it seem as if a utopian capitalist paradise had existed in the 19th century, which was taken away from us all by a conspiracy that Henry Ford sought to oppose. I won't try to boil all of these scattered trends down in a single word, but there are clear points where one can detect a whiff of fascism in such ideologies.

Of course, that doesn't count against the WSWS analysis that more appropriately fits the current trends into a long-running crisis in the global capitalist system. But it is worth better flushing what some people are too easily drawn into, and noting the logical errors.  I hesitate to harp on the sometimes overused term "fascism" when many people whom I've encountered have simply been drawn into accepting ideological precepts from the Right without identifying them as such. But, for example, in many right-wing tracts which harp on the bankers’ conspiracy meme, it's common to find a strong counter-position drawn between the pre-1890 and the post-1898 US.  The first is often associated with an era of national greatness, while the second is identified with the sinister beginnings of globalism. What actually occurred was that after the West had been exhausted as a route of colonial expansion, the US then began positioning itself to become an imperial power in the larger world. There's an obvious continuation there. But many conservatives explicitly reject the drawing of a line that connects these eras. Among those who refuse to see such a connection, the Protocols of Zion are occasionally invoked as an explanation of why the US began turning towards the global economy. Many of those who invoke such an explanation will also be harshly critical of "bankers" in their ideological framework. So there is a grain of truth to what Sinn mentioned, though I agree that he is not the one to honestly depend upon for such points.

Patrick McNally
29 October 2008

On “US defense secretary expands pre-emptive war doctrine to include nuclear strikes
I think we have to be quite concerned about the next move by the US ruling elite. The combination of the following events should provide a chilling warning to the entire world:

(1) What reaction will the U.S. ruling elite take to the stagnant move of the US push for global hegemony? The Bush regime came to power in 2000 believing they were going to march straight through Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and maybe a few more in a matter of months, yet eight years later, they find themselves still stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(2) Recent odd Powell/Biden warnings that a President Obama "will be tested."

(3) Obama's support for increasing the war in Afghanistan and pushing on into Pakistan—an event that is already occurring.
(4) Increasing desire and willingness of the US ruling elite to use nuclear weapons to promote their push for global hegemony.

(5) Recent comments by Gates suggesting nuclear weapons be used against those standing in the way of US global hegemony.

(6) The possibility that 9-11 was a false-flag event promoted by the US ruling elite in order to manufacture support for their imperialist pursuits.

(7) The possibility that nuclear missile fuses were not "mistakenly" shipped to Taiwan.

(8) The possibility that there is something much more sinister at the foundation of the Minot incident.

Florida, USA
30 October 2008

On a letter on religion

I saw a letter where the writer wrote of a deity being behind some initiative. I prefer initiatives started and controlled by humans. A hurricane is also said to be an initiative or act of god. No one seems to control the damage a hurricane does. But human acts can be changed at the will of humans. Human acts can also be stopped if they bring damage. That isn't true of acts of god.

30 October 2008

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