Letters from our readers

On “Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism


The UN has once again proved its reactionary credentials in serving as an imperialist cabal. Its denial by the Security Council members of representation and recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN is in stark contrast to the cynical rapidity with which all the “democratic” countries immediately gave the puppet Transitional National Council government in Libya installed by imperialist bayonets full recognition at the UN. French

President Sarkozy is opposing the rights of the Palestinians by insultingly telling them to ask for observer status at the UN, citing the example of the Roman Catholic Vatican state’s UN status.

All this proves the validity of Trotsky’s theory of the permanent revolution: the national bourgeoisie (in this case the Palestinian Authority) is incapable of securing the democratic rights of its people by cooperating with imperialist institutions such as the UN. The unity of the Arab and Jewish working class is clearly called for to break the deadlock.


Mick P
22 September 2011

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Dear Bill Van Auken and the SEP editors,


Agreement with and appreciation for this statement. And the title ... so true. Is arrogance frustrated followed by belligerence? Or is that already so operative that the pompous, self-righteous is set for the final act of a tragedy, where the blinded includes the chorus?


Michael S
22 September 2011

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Yes, Obama was the voice of imperialism. But that doesn’t explain the fact that his speech was received in silence. His audience of politicians and diplomats ranks highly among the most unprincipled people on planet earth. So the silence didn’t result from some suddenly acquired moral qualms—but rather the recognition of Obama’s political mortality. As Obama buried the Middle East peace process many of those present had already begun calculating strategies for a post-Obama world.


22 September 2011

On “What can be expected from the Pirate Party in Berlin?


The Pirate Party showed that it can be fashionable in its ignorance as an alternative voice. They would never, by a long shot, present a competitive drive to any socialist movement.

Challenging the ruling parties would be competition enough for the likes of the Pirate Party. Their slogan of “transparancy” is indicative of them avoiding having to question, exposing their ignorance to boot, much to the relief of the CDU/FDP/SPD and similar ilk.


Philip T
26 September 2011

On “Autistic man sentenced to prison in UK for Internet ‘trolling’


This is an excellent and timely article. There are instances that could with justification be called criminal (for example, a recent case in which a man was convicted for pretending to be a suicidal female nurse in an online chat room, where he successfully counseled vulnerable young people to kill themselves). But the remedy for the overwhelming majority of Internet “trolls” is to ignore their provocative comments. And sites such as YouTube have notification systems so that users can help weed out the worst offenders. It certainly seems to be the case that most of them suffer from mental illness, whether it is simply megalomania or a serious case of schizophrenia, bipolar illness or autism.

The right thing to do is to get these people the kind of help they need, not put them jail.


British Columbia, Canada
24 September 2011

On “Tacoma, Washington teachers union pushes through concessions


If you look at the three charts for unemployment that Gregoire made available at the ends of years 2008, 2009, 2010—it clearly shows how the crisis is worsening outside their control.


Each year, cuts are agreed to promising people that things will be better next year, but the story is the same every year. Aligning the three charts show this very clearly.


Thus, these cuts—despite what they claim in their public addresses—are not the end; they point to the direction—a steady assault on the working class.


You can find the three charts aligned in this blog of mine.


24 September 2011

On “Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant sets new standard for low wages


I made $8.50/hour stacking groceries in a union store in 1978. That was 33 years ago. How could they afford that? Why can’t they now?


25 September 2011