Letters from our readers

On “What is behind the growing influence of the National Front in France?


Splendid analysis, hitting the nail right on the head! The French case closely resembles those of other European nations, like the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. “Social democrats” have been betraying the working class for over half a century (at least). Once they were considered the ideal bastion against Stalinism, and for that reason precisely they have been receiving subsidies and perks from the US foreign policy and security establishment. After the collapse of “real existing socialism” in the 1990s, the social democrats could not make the choice of representing the working class, since the social democratic leadership had been systematically corrupted. Part of the blame therefore lies also with the US government.

Hans V
9 March 2011

On “Obama orders resumption of military trials at Guantanamo


Mr. Obama has a proven track record that he will sell out any cause or individual at any moment to safeguard the puppeteers who move the pieces on the international chessboard. Even the soothing words he reads from the TelePrompTer cannot hide the fact that he couldn’t care less about real people on the real Main streets who are being bludgeoned each day in the name of “fiscal responsibility and security.”

Richard C
8 March 2011

On “Wisconsin workers continue protests as Democrats prepare surrender to Walker


Thank you for this insightful article, and indeed for all the coverage by WSWS of the struggles in Wisconsin and beyond.

I’m glad to know that Wisconsin workers are arriving at the understanding that a general strike is probably the only way left to fight back, especially since the public employee unions already accepted all of Walker’s demands on day one.

It reminds me of the last few years in California under the Schwarzenegger regime. AFSCME was so quick to capitulate to his demands that we all got a 15 percent reduction in real wages almost before we had time to blink.

Given their level of support, I was not surprised when I visited AFSCME’s web site today and found no call for a nationwide general strike of all public employees. Instead, I was invited to sign an internet petition that stated: “The radical proposals by the governors in Wisconsin and Ohio would not just gut public services and jobs, they would take away the rights of workers to collectively bargain and the basic freedom to join a union—effectively eliminating public employee unions”. What really gets the union bosses riled up is the threat of losing their own jobs.

As the Koch brothers’ project to destroy collective bargaining rights in America (and to gain private monopoly control of Wisconsin’s public utilities as well) continues unabated, AFSCME is throwing down the gauntlet with a petition.

I am heartened to see that more people see the assault on public workers as just one part of the grand strategy of the plutocracy’s war on the international working class. I hope that many more people will also come to realize the extent to which the unions are aiding the ruling class in their economic assault.

7 March 2011

On “Wisconsin struggle at the crossroads


This is the time for the Wisconsin protestors to gather together for a general strike. If workers could come to Wisconsin to join in the strike—this would be of great help. There has to be an action comparable to the Egyptian protests where there is an outdoor encampment with tents, food, toilets, cooking utilities, blankets, etc. Some of the protesters have to remain at the protest site at all times. The betrayal by the 12 Democratic Senators means delay in organizing the general strike would be very foolish. This is a desperate situation for the public employees in Wisconsin and as much help as possible must be mustered. Thanks for your great work in publicizing the Wisconsin situation and in opting for a general strike, which I support completely!

Steve H
Massachusetts, USA
8 March 2011

On “Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse: The social and the cosmic


This is very sad. When I visited Hungary last May after an absence of many years, I was struck by the globalized (Americanized, corporatized) culture that has overwhelmed film and television production there as it has elsewhere in the world. Hungary used to support its indigenous film industry and artists, even while some aspects of the former regime were repressive and constricting. There were some great films made in the 1980s, for example, sometimes very critical of the regime at the time. Now passivity, irrationality, dead-end nationalism are sold to the public, and the future of art is in crisis, as it is here in North America.

Kamilla V
British Columbia, Canada
7 March 2011

On “Barney’s Version: Should mediocrity be celebrated in this way?


Excellent review. I was tempted to go see (and pay for) this film today simply because it’s showing at our local “art house” cinema. I had a sneaking suspicion I would be disappointed—so thanks for saving me $10.

John C
Wisconsin, USA
5 March 2011