Letters from our readers

19 November 2009

On “BBC poll shows widespread disaffection with capitalism

Hi Julie,

Thanks very much for showing the significance of this BBC poll. It confirms an ongoing change in the psychology of masses of people, which those campaigning for the SEP have seen in the much more favourable response we get from many different layers, but particularly from the young. I think one reason for the BBC doing this poll and report was to give a warning that for all the hoopla over the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the grip of the capitalist propaganda machine is becoming increasingly tenuous, and they are feeling the strain. (Note that the BBC currently sees no need to air programmes that appeal to this 23 percent who want to replace “fatally flawed” capitalism; instead it is continuing on its previous path of dumbing down and moving to the right.)

Thanks again,

Tony J
12 November 2009

On “India: Union calls off militant Rico strike

Among all the details, the last paragraph with Wall Street’s comments angered me most. The prime reason for American and European auto giants to establish production/assembly units in India and Asian countries is the relatively very cheap labour. Having moved, the inevitable labour discontent and unrest should at best be accepted as a business risk. Saving on labour cost and again blaming labour for struggling for better pay and conditions shows there is end to greed.

Prabhakar
India
14 November 2009

On “Statement of the Bund Sozialistischer Arbeiter, October 18, 1989—Part 1

I really enjoyed this series and found it informative and illuminating. I’ve been wrestling a lot with what I think about the former workers’ states…in particular what happened there in 1989. This series of articles shows quite clearly that support for the workers’ state in no way encompasses support for the Stalinist bureaucracy. This is one very crucial difference between the ICFI and the rest of the Stalinophilic “Trotskyist” left. No matter what they say, they all supported those murdering bastards, and were among their most vocal defenders in 1989. On the contrary, the World Socialist Web Site points out that the Stalinist bureaucracy is the very reason that the workers’ states fell. The destruction of socialized property forms had been prepared over the previous 40 years by the very people that the rest of the “Trotskyist” left naively thought would defend them.

Nick P
14 November 2009

On “US, British media transform tragedies into war propaganda

Twelve days ago, I returned from an emergency family visit to the UK. While there, I was disgusted by the way that New Labour has hijacked Memorial Day to promote the Afghan War, with huge posters showing a coffin returning to England and (obviously) shaming the viewer not to “support our troops.” The television, whether in news or banal quiz shows, featured everybody wearing the red poppy and nobody displaying the white poppy that symbolizes the need for peace. My daughter’s evening homework involved a reading on the significance of Memorial Day that fully described the horror of World War I and the reasons for the poppy image (both red and white). Unfortunately, the idea of the “war to end all wars” and the sacrifice of that earlier youthful generation was entirely absent. Instead, an appalling campaign now co-opts the earlier somber significance of Memorial Day into a perverted version of the USA’s “Support our Troops,” no matter what conflict they are now involved in.

Tony W
13 November 2009

***

Since the UK and US citizens’ anti-war sentiments regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have increased, so has the number of pro-war films being shown on TV, along with an extended coverage of “Remembrance Day,” at every opportunity, interviewing soldiers and involving them in any way shape or form. Clearly, this positive spin on war is the ruling elite’s response to counter the development of a serious anti-war campaign.

Barry W
UK
13 November 2009

On “US Army major kills 12 at Fort Hood, Texas

It took a day or two to figure it out, but now the air has cleared. The media and the powers that be are also covering up and downplaying a basic fact about this case, due to its timing. This crucial fact is that the killer was a medical doctor, an MD psychiatrist. This is amidst a “health care” bill being rammed through Congress in this period, like so much of a Wall Street bailout. It’s a very ironic fact that amidst the “good faith” effort to make a health care “reform” with ample Medicare cuts, one lone hypocritical doctor makes a massacre. A satirist could never write a better plot.

JB
14 November 2009

On “Australian Pabloites prepare NPA-stype dissoltion

The Australian Pabloites’ preparation for an NPA-style dissolution into the Socialist Alliance confirms in a negative way the international character of the proletariat’s struggle. The fact that the Democratic Socialist Perspective draws its inspiration from the NPA dissolution in France represents an adaptation to a new stage in the crisis of global capitalism by these petty bourgeois elements who are maneuvering in defense of their national bourgeoisie in its attempt to transfer the burden of the global crisis and recession onto the proletariat.

Internationalism, which is at the core of the program and perspective of Marxism, develops in a constant struggle for historical continuity against all the complex shades of Pabloism. Pabloism since its inception in 1953 attempted to liquidate the building on independent revolutionary parties of the proletariat. Your very well researched historical analysis is an important contribution to the struggle for the building of an international party of the proletariat, which is represented by the ICFI.

Rod R
Melbourne, Australia
14 November 2009

On “Naval clash between two Koreas as Obama heads to Asia

Great article From John Chan on North Korea.

There might be a fundamental interest for the US government to be so aggressive with North Korea. I think one should look at the great potential of NK: if a railroad is reopened between NK and SK, the Russians will calculate that doing some serious rework of the Trans-Siberian will become profitable. Right now it takes one month to ship goods from SK to Europe; by train it could take one week and cost a bit cheaper.

If one adds to the mix the long-delayed project of a submarine railroad tunnel between Japan and SK, one contemplates the prospect of enormous changes in world politics, which the US government would want to oppose at any cost. This is in line with the renewed interest in the works of Mackinder mentioned by Julie Hyland in a recent article, quoting his statement, “Who rules east Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the world-island; who rules the world-island commands the world.”

Olivier
France
12 November 2009

 

On “Britain: The Cambridge Review—A damning refutation of Labour’s education lies

Taniya Kent’s article on Cambridge Review brought out the sorry state of education in UK and rightly shows to WSWS readers that the report is a “damning critique of the destructive impact of Labour assault on state funded education” and reveals the continuity in the assault, no matter it is a new leadership now.

However, what is done to expose the private profiteers who made filthy lucre, thanks to opening up education to private players—nay, predators? Exact details of the plunder, and the details of rags-to-riches stories, will help teachers union activists to bring out the international ramifications and nature of naked exploitation of what once was a field of service.

M R Chandran
Tamil Nadu, India
16 November 2009

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