Letters from our readers

On “The war on Libya: a new eruption of imperialist rivalry


Class war in the space of moribund nation states and imperialist war on the world scale are complementary to each other in the reproduction of brutal capitalism in the global arena. As a result of this horrific process, social disorganization is beyond toleration by the individual. Endurance is difficult. I wish the SEP’s revolutionary project based on the theory of permanent revolution every success.

Sri Lanka
5 April 2011


I do feel that we are starting World War III; our president is bent on starting World War III. He doesn’t want peace, he has given in to war, he knows better, he doesn’t have the poor, the unemployed at heart. He’s for big business, bankers’ interest, Wall Street. He doesn’t care about schools, education, college tuition. Both parties have turned their backs. I feel the only party that represents anything is the Socialist Equality Party.

Sincerely yours,

Paul M
Washington, USA
4 April 2011

On “The war against Libya and the eruption of European imperialism


Thank you for the excellent and trenchant analysis of the war on Libya, especially the piece on the amnesia of Professor Cole. He is not alone in his haste to enter the camp of Western imperialism. The veteran South African journalist, Allister Sparks, who rose to prominence for his fearless reporting on Steve Biko, in a recent opinion piece in the South African daily, the Cape Times, gave a ringing endorsement of the US-NATO attack on Libya. Like Professor Cole, Mr. Sparks dismissed the notion that oil played any part in the calculations of Western powers. Much of his article consisted of a particularly shameful groveling before the Obama administration. As a former fierce opponent of the US led war of aggression on Iraq, Mr. Sparks should know better than this.

Eric G
South Africa
5 April 2011


At the same time as the British government was making threats against the Libyan government it was announcing redundancy plans for the armed forces. 11,000 military personnel are to be made redundant, about 6 percent of the existing total. And there is no sign at all that the British government will make the large sums of money available that would be required for a serious UK imperialist intervention in the Middle East or Africa. On the contrary, as in the interwar years, the Conservative government looks to reduce expenditure on the armed forces.

In the same penny-pinching vein the USA has stopped firing off cruise missiles and flying sorties over Libya. The French are the exception but here too, I see no evidence at all that the French adventures will make any significant difference to the competitive position of French capitalism. As for Germany, its exports to China are now larger in value terms than its exports to the USA. Clearly German capitalism has a host of new opportunities that arise with the decline of the American hegemon. And here political conflict is certain. In my opinion the German elites will bet on peace and victories on the market, not military terrain. And they may bet also on new political alliances. This possibility now haunts the British and French elites.

5 April 2011


What goes around, comes around, especially when humanity’s basic problem, the capitalist system, rules and the working class has not yet fully awakened. It was, after all, a period then called “The Great Depression” which united much of Europe in that first squalid scramble, say from 1873-1995 by the calculation of modern economists who call it the Long Depression. Twenty years of peace among Europeans in this period, while the powers of Europe joined hands and looted Africa, North and South, East and West with monstrous crimes committed everywhere. And always the holiest justifications and the purest motives.

Before the Italians dropped poisoned gas on Libyans and Somalians, the Congo was decimated for the private profit of the “company” accurately portrayed in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, one of many examples. There are very bad things now on track, and not only Africa. For some will be left out of this indecent scramble for the wealth of others as Germany had been. And we know what that led to.

Toronto, Canada
5 April 2011