Letters from our readers

1 May 2010

On “In Senate testimony: Goldman Sachs executives defend deceptive marketing of securities

Goldman seems to think that it works inside a box that is unrelated to the rest of the world and thus can act independently of anything going on around them. If it wasn’t for the existence of the United States population and economy, they wouldn’t exist. They seem to have some kind of blinders on that won’t let them see outside of what’s going on in their mind, meaning the transactions that they can make money from. I think that they think they are above everyone else and don’t need to think about them in a way that shows they are concerned. I think every one of the employees of Sachs and others whose actions ruined the economy should be forced to work for an hourly wage and live in poverty either in the US or some other country that has a lot of it. They should be forced to give all the money they and the company made to all those who lost their houses and jobs. They should be forced to face in a very personal way what they have caused. Only when their emotional development is sufficient should they be allowed to work in the same field.

Laurence T
Iowa, USA
28 April 2010

On “Video: SEP candidate addresses Oxford Union

David O’Sullivan’s speech started off slowly, almost hesitantly, until the point where he put down his notes and began to speak from the heart, fairly ringing with strongly-felt outrage! And he got a ringing round of applause, too. Well done.

Charles H
Texas, USA
29 April 2010

On “The hardcore composer: Gang Starr’s Guru dies at 43

I am a long-time daily reader and was pleased to see an article on the passing of Guru. My only complaint is that the article fails to discuss any of Guru’s Jazzmatazz albums, limiting its discussion only to what Guru did with Gang Starr. This is a mistake. Jazzmatazz Volume 1 deserves mention for its unique and soulful sound, the variety of collaborators Guru involved in the project, and Guru’s innovative effort to combine jazz, soul, and hip-hop. Volume 3 deserves mention because it features three absolute hip-hop/soul gems: “Keep Your Worries”, “Certified”, and “Supa Love”.

Thank you for the article, and keep up the good work.

Fraternally,

JB
28 April 2010

***

Thank you for your thoughtful assessment of rapper Guru. While I am not familiar enough with the genre to know of his work, I’m glad to see the WSWS address the importance of rap’s influence. It is, after all, the voice of a generation that has it a whole lot rougher growing up in America than, say, mine (I’m 61). From what I can gather, some of their raps, like those of Tupac, are being heard all over the world and their voices coming from USA must have a certain weight, as we are certainly depicted heroically and therefore, erroneously, by the politicians who are generally the ones given a voice in the media. I, too, regret that even so-called “socially conscious” rappers aren’t able to put their keen social observations into a revolutionary perspective, but writers and critics like yourself are a powerful tool in helping to make that happen by evaluating their lyrics constructively and steering them to the inevitable recognition that their situations are the political result of a rotting capitalist system and that there is, in fact, a solution. Meanwhile, I’ll go on YouTube and give Guru a listen.

Geraldine C
California, USA
28 April 2010

On “World markets plunge as Greek credit downgraded to ‘junk’ status

“Austerity” (poverty) for the people; profit for the few. This is the anthem of free-marketers, speculators and governments held hostage by them. The “Greek fire” is a monetary ruse used by centralized financiers to further their encircling despotism using capital as an instrument of power; ipso facto requiring the subjugation of workers (the many) to lives of imminent hopelessness and desperation, and governments to subservient powerlessness. It is a grand but deadly game that isn’t about money, per se. It is about power.

The vicious and controlling tyranny of “profit” over all other values has now staked its claim on governments because governments are a reflection of their populace. Quite frankly, the populace is ill equipped to give thought to alternate political and economic systems when never given the opportunity to choose another. The propaganda machines of capitalist ideologues have groomed the populace to favor the de facto system, to turn an uncritical eye to the machinations of capital, bankers, corporations, market speculators and profiteers, to measure personal worth by economic status, to champion competition, to reward the few and banish the losers.

Until a majority of individuals (the populace) in each country reaches an understanding that inherent human values supersede all others, there is no changing the governments, no changing the capitalist system or any other system from one that inculcates unbridled and unregulated self-interest to one that upholds social equality, justice, and general human welfare.

As far as I see, the socialist alternative will find a home in the heart of any person who transcends the present value system to adopt one that proclaims: I am most important of all—are you, because we are human beings! And human beings are more important and powerful than all the money on earth.

It begins and ends with the individual, I do believe, who can proclaim: I have a right to survive. You will not take that right away. And…I will survive!

It will occur in our lifetime because we (human beings) are more important and powerful than all the money on earth. It will occur!

Michael B
Maine, USA
28 April 2010