This is an excellent article, full of insightful analysis, and a good breakdown of what took place last Saturday.
My nephew, an arch-conservative who is presently without a job, even posted this on his Facebook page. Having been so insulated from leftist views his whole life, something about this article touched a nerve.
During my own personal financial hardships, I, too, was led to socialist opinions. More than ever, we need a wide circulation of views like the ones expressed by Bill Van Auken. I hope this article is read by millions of people. It certainly deserves to be.
Good work, Bill Van Auken.
1 September 2010
If Glenn Beck is a clown, he is Pennywise from It.
30 August 2010
I really enjoy and learn from the weekly historical briefs, and I am grateful to whoever came up with the idea and to those who write them up. I always learn something new (no matter how old), not only in the crucial areas of working class history and national and international political developments, but also in terms of scientific advances and cultural milestones. They help me to see the broad sweep of events and how they affect the present. I do not recall reading letters about this feature, but I am sure there are plenty of readers who feel the same as I do.
So whoever do/does them, your work is appreciated. Keep ‘em coming.
31 August 2010
I think the person in the letter [here] predicted everything that is happening in South Africa right now. The question remains, when will it happen here?
27 August 2010
The articles posted on your web site are very accurate and to the point. I retired from Ford Motor Co. several years ago on a 30-and-out package. The UAW helped me in that they protected my seniority in times of layoff, won medical benefits that helped my family in times of need, and negotiated a fair hourly rate of pay.
In the early part of my auto worker career, the union fought for ALL workers. Some time in the mid-80s, it became clear that union and company had become partners in some shape or form. The thing that always bothered me was that if you had personal ties with the local, you were taken care of. This meant getting an easier job on or off the line, or getting time off for “union business.” Basically it was a joke.
As far as the current state of the auto workers, it's hard to say what will happen next year when the contracts expire. I predict it will not be good. Believe me, you earn the $28 an hour they pay you. The hours are long and hard while being very physically demanding. I hate to see the new-hires getting only $14, but it's a sign of the times. Next year I believe the pensions will be frozen and even the veteran workers will be faced with a pay cut. You’ll have to invest in a 401k plan to have any money for retirement. It’s already in place for new-hires. So many companies have done away with traditional pensions and gone to this system. There will be more out-of-pocket medical costs as well.
With the economy being what it is, there will be no public support for the UAW. They have and continued to be unsuccessful in organizing any of the Japanese auto plants in this country. I have the utmost respect and praise for those who fought and even died back in the 1930s who challenged the auto companies tyranny. Unfortunately, I don’t believe tactics such as those would be effective in today’s world.
The next unionized groups to face a pay cut will be the NBA and NFL when their contracts expire next year. I expect a work stoppage in both leagues. As I stated earlier, your average person on the street (making $8-$10 an hour) will have no sympathy for those making the “big money.”
27 August 2010
Great photo of J.D. Norman. He looks like this American Psycho, bloodthirsty capitalist archetype. Not just looks like it, actually, but is the physical embodiment of that social type. Ready, willing, and able -- and eager -- to destroy some lives in the name of profit.
I appreciate that the WSWS has increased its photography and other media and continues to make technical improvements. It's valuable and compelling material.
31 August 2010
I'd be very interested to read a long-form political commentary on the role of Christian fundamentalism in America. It's a very important question and a politically interesting one. Why do so many in the ruling elite subscribe to Evangelical Christianity? What are the specifically American traits of the religion? What role does it play in broader political reaction?
30 August 2010
Once the foul seed of the "War on Terror" was planted and watered with the blood of the people of Afghanistan, it grew into one of the most poisonous and pervasive of weeds, ensnaring millions of victims, in that country and then in Iraq, and then in Pakistan. As we knew it would, the declaration of this unfocused "war" would make anything permissible.
All the financial elites of the world have to do is declare that there are "terrorists" or "al Qaida" in a country--any country. Then in rolls the military juggernaut to flatten the land and slaughter the people, leaving behind the resources that can be used by the global corporatocracy to line their pockets and build more weapons of war.
Meanwhile, the people of the United States become themselves victims of war, as their tax dollars are used to pursue this vicious policy while they are left without jobs, without healthcare, without homes and often with shortened lives. There is "no money" to assist the unemployed, the sick, the old, the young. The ruling class grow fat. The people suffer.
New Orleans remains a disaster area. The states are groaning under manufactured deficits whose repayment is forced on the working class. The food we eat, the water we drink, the infrastructure upon which an industrial nation depends all become unreliable and dangerous.
Where have we seen this before? In France in the 18th century. In Russia in the early 20th century.
The storm is coming. The wind begins to howl.
San Francisco, CA, USA
28 August 2010