Letters from our readers

On “Martin Luther King and the fate of the civil rights movement



Dear WSWS,


Thank you for Patrick Martin’s article on Martin Luther King, Jr., and the fate of the civil rights movement. The piece briefly describes the unveiled MLK Memorial in Washington D.C. as “a gigantic statue of the civil rights leader, surrounded by walls on which are displayed quotations from many of his speeches and writings.” There is something else to add—the thirty-foot granite sculpture is done in the Stalinist socialist realist style! The work was outsourced to China, where it was sculpted by an artist who has made statues of Mao Zedong. Monumental Stalinist art is a totally unacceptable way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.



29 August 2011

On “The rape of Libya


“Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.” An apt conclusion!

However, it also demonstrates a shift in Obama administration’s foreign policy in the face of steadily diminishing economic power of the US. With Syria, Iran and Yemen currently in its sights, social disturbances and riots emerging throughout the world, sharp and bellicose rivalries increasingly frequent between the US and rival capitalist powers, and with a world economic and financial catastrophe looming, could we be witnessing the end game to this destructive and self-destructive system, that threatens the very life on this planet? Marx’s insightful dictum that “capitalism creates its own gravediggers” is true, except the latter are dispersed and lacking in consciousness and leadership.


26 August 2011

On “Verizon workers denounce union agreement to end strike


This is a despicable act by the union at Verizon and the fact that they’ve agreed to call off the strike without negotiating any demand clearly shows the treachery of the union. This is exactly the role of the union at the Indianapolis stamping plant, which was a sell-out of all the workers there. But to go back without negotiating the jobs of the 80 workers who have lost their jobs as a result of having to fight in the first place, is something else. These 80 should be placed at the top of the negotiating agenda, and if not, every man jack at Verizon should go on strike to secure this as a matter of working class loyalty.

It clearly proves where the loyalty of the union leadership lies. There is clearly no union on this entire planet that serves the interests of workers. The time is now to break with these pro-capitalist traitors and build independent organisations of the working class. They have no perspective to win anything for workers at all in this period. Their perspective is to do the bidding of the rich industrialists, who never have to strike for pay increases—just like the bankers and financial elite. They just take it because they can. As for the union bureaucrats, they serve the same privileged interests as them.


Malcolm B
29 August 2011

On “The Help: A civil rights era film that ignores the civil rights movement


A very revealing review, Joanne. Critically aware and historically astute in many respects. Do I see this as an early example of Hollywood beginning to change its history to suit the new, ugly prevailing ideology? Perhaps a version of that General Robert E. Lee biography defending slavery so beloved by Michelle Bachman is in the cards? So, too is Kathryn Bigelow’s new version of Air Force One with Obama in the Harrison Ford role defending America from an Arab version of Ming the Merciless. Finally, maybe a remake of Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (1961) is imminent with Rick Perry in the title role and including a 100 percent Hollywood happy ending. The possibilities are endless!


Tony W
27 August 2011