Letters from our readers


On “British Trotskyists challenge falsification of Spanish Civil War history


It should be no surprise how bourgeois academics and pseudo-intellectuals deny historical evidence in the pursuit of an ideological agenda. The WSWS is to be congratulated for its relentless challenge to the falsification of history by these “historians” and its insistence, instead, on the presentation of historical truths.

Stalin's slaughter of Marxist intellectuals, artists, and workers inside the Soviet Union in order to eliminate an effective communist opposition to his reactionary, nationalist-based politics is best described in the Soviet historian Vadim Rogovin’s books on the Stalinist period. Stalin's political agenda extended internationally as well. Marxist intellectuals and rank-and-file workers were killed in many countries by his agents or were slaughtered by the capitalist regimes themselves with his collusion. China and Spain are the best examples of Stalin's policies extended into the international arena. The defeat of the working class and the crisis of working class leadership that resulted from these policies helped set the stage for the fascist victories that culminated in World War II. The true extent of Stalin’s crimes against the working class globally can only be appreciated by the tying together of all of these events into a single coherent whole.

Gene C
California, USA
22 April 2009

On “Letters from our readers

A timely and salutary letter from Michael B. of Maine on the “tea parties.” One element that has not been mentioned so far but which received extensive coverage on the Web site of the French daily Le Monde was the use made of banners by those participating.

One stated, “Karl Marx would have been proud,” while another showed Obama as a Soviet soldier in front of the Kremlin. More revealing even than the new myth concerning Obama’s “socialism” is this fantasy of a return to the Cold War, at once both desired (America needs a new McCarthy, as if it did not already have several) and feared.

It is this rampant paranoia so redolent of the period from the Depression through the late 1950s, which Michael B. pinpoints in his accurate warning of fascism. Another banner, quite the most eloquent and sinister, read thus: “Barack Hussein Obama: where were you really born?” This was followed by “(Your Grandma said in Africa).”

This is a condensation of paranoia past and present. Past: the fear and loathing of the African-American. Present: the same mindset concerning Arabs. But perhaps both past and present are united here in the traditional pathology of anti-Semitism which may no longer be acceptable in America (except to isolated loonies who deny the Holocaust), but which has always found its historical and psychological roots in a hysterical reaction to socialism.

That so many younger Americans are sympathetic to socialism is an encouraging sign, but let us make no mistake: it is the tactics of the far right, neatly encapsulated in those banners, that governments will use if “social disorder” results from the current economic turmoil.

Reynold H
Paris, France
21 April 2009

On “The future of art in an age of crisis

Cannot thank the WSWS enough, and David in particular, for the very important work he is doing, by daring to think about art, culture and the media. Thank you.

Kim A
22 April 2009

On “Ahmadinejad speech provokes walkout at UN anti-racism conference


I liked your article. Too bad complete transcripts of the Iranian president's speech did not appear in the Western press—not that such censorship is anything new. Anyway, you do know that a “quantum leap” is something very small and not something very large, right? Keep up the good work.  I think the WSWS is the best place on the internet to learn about political matters.

New Hampshire, USA
23 April 2009

On “Racism and the 49 Afghan asylum seekers


Thank you, Patrick, for your article. The statements by politicians and their media cohorts regarding the plight of the Afghani asylum seekers are nothing short of reprehensible base misanthropy. The allegations of “going soft of border security” or that the Rudd government is “rolling out the red carpet” to asylum seekers are particularly repugnant. This ostensibly means that the government is failing in its duty because potential asylum seekers are not being turned back into no man’s land/ocean and their lives put into unnecessary peril. This is in keeping with the “every man for himself” misanthropic ethos underpinning capitalist socio-economic relations. Capitalist apologists attempt to pass this off as rewarding individual endeavour.

Just as with the children overboard vilification/scare campaign, we are presented with a picture of desperate godless, barbarian asylum seekers willing to risk their lives by committing reckless life threatening actions (throwing children overboard, dousing themselves in petrol) to secure asylum and safety.

While facts are unclear as to what has occurred, the likelihood is that the cause of the explosion that caused the deaths and injuries of over 40 asylum seekers was the direct result of the actions/policies of the government/border patrol. That they are in frenzied damage control suppressing information, speaks volumes.

Which of us believed the recent death of an innocent bystander at the G20 protests in England was due to a heart attack and not the result of police thuggery?

While socialist consciousness is yet to emerge, the workers themselves are rapidly and inexorably moving to the left as the governments that wield power over them move inexorably to the right. As governments must resort to more extreme and undemocratic measures to suppress the working class, the outrage and disgust over the daily crimes against humanity, against the workers, will not be tolerated and must result in the mass opposition of workers and their gravitating towards the SEP and the perspective of Permanent Revolution.

Melbourne, Australia
23 April 2009