Letters from our readers

On “The debt limit deal and the social counterrevolution in America



Thanks for saying what needs saying. Beautifully articulated.


2 August 2011

On “The US debt ceiling deal


Social Security and Medicare are not, strictly speaking, entitlement programs because we, the workers, have been paying into it for our entire working lives. That is our money. It is not something we are demanding as an “entitlement”. We’ve already paid for it. What the government is doing is stealing our money. Call it what it is.


California, USA
1 August 2011

On “Egyptian military junta attacks sit-in on Tahrir Square


The bourgeois military in Egypt that seized power did so in order to save the elite. As with all military apparatuses around the globe, their purpose is to protect the assets of the ruling stratum.


This is why none of the demands that called for the re-nationalization of industry have been met. The pseudo-left organizations like the International Socialist Organization (ISO), Revolutionary Socialists (RS), the Democratic Workers Party and the Socialist Alliance Party that deemed the military apparatus would guarantee the demands of the revolution.


It is these pseudo-left elements that are to blame for the recent violence against protestors who are un-armed and defenseless against the state apparatus. At the first sign of struggle against such reactionary force, they flee the scene like the dogs they are. No trust can be given to such organizations.


These organizations like the ISO are the first line of defense for the bourgeoisie as they seek to confuse the working class and channel the anger into safe havens for the bourgeoisie…

In evaluating these events in Egypt it was the Socialist Equality Party that was consistent in its analysis of the Egyptian revolution and in stating that the task of the working class was to seize power for itself. The Socialist Equality Party called for the building of a new socialist party, which I have no doubt that the ICFI is working towards.


Those who are not consistent and truthful to the working class do not represent the workers. Is it time to give the Socialist Equality Party the opportunity to defend us?


Julian H
Queensland, Australia
2 August 2011

On “Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 5: A classic novel intelligently reworked, a light comedy and some less impressive efforts


I agree with the points made by Richard Phillips in the review of the two films Jane Eyre and The Arbor, one bringing out the power of Charlotte Bronte’s novel in film, and the weaknesses expressed in Barnard’s film which does not tackle the underlying social and political issues confronting generations like Dunbar.


There are a number of connections between the two writers which I think are significant.


Both writers were born within five miles of each other in the textile area of Bradford. Charlotte was writing at the beginning of capitalism’s ascendancy in the textiles, in which Bradford became the wool capital of the world within less than ten years; the other one produced during the protracted decline of the textile industry and the impact that had in one of the most depressed and impoverished estates in that area.


The Buttershaw estate, like many of those surrounding the major cities in Britain, suffered from huge decline in infrastructure. However, the fact that Dunbar was able to express in albeit a restricted way the shocking experiences of her family life was due to the fact that her generation was still educated in the great novels of the 19th century such as that of the Bronte sisters—Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Shirley.


When Buttershaw Comprehensive school was opened in the 1960s on the Buttershaw estate it boasted some of the best facilities of the schools in Bradford with its own swimming pool and theatre. Within less than fifteen years estates and schools like Buttershaw were turned upside down by the social and economic crisis from the late 1970s onwards. From that point on, the local council, in response to inner-city riots, sought to divide and rule through targeted spending based on identity politics in which all the outlying estates like Buttershaw were left to rot. The city became a test case for the sectionalisation of “community politics” where a middle class layer benefited from the impoverishment of inner cities.

These are the issues that Barnard fails to bring out.


Colleen S
2 August 2011

On “Report paints devastating portrait of conditions of US children


The banning of abortions in many states as well as the astronomical costs and limited availability of contraceptives are half of the problem. The other half is that schools do not teach children what happened in the 1960s as far as women’s rights are concerned and home-schooled children do not, generally, learn anything about things their parents do not morally agree with.

I often wonder as I walk down the streets and see 15-year-old children pushing babies around if they have ever even considered the fact that they did not need to get pregnant nor did they have to bring the child to term. It seems to me that all of the hippies of the 60s fighting the draft and fighting for equal rights have lost the battle and everything they worked for is slowly being purged from our national consciousness, our libraries, our television shows, our films and our art in general. In fact, if you were to ask most high-school seniors about Vietnam and the ERA they would not have a clue as to what you were asking them. I have to commend the people who control the present, for they really do control the past.


2 August 2011