Letters from our readers

26 April 2012

On “Ontario unions try to provide cover for NDP’s support for austerity budget

I read your leaflet at the Toronto rally this weekend. It absolutely hit the proverbial nail on the head. I am a retired teacher and have watched how the unions in the education field have lined up their members behind the Liberal party for years. The Liberals don’t represent working people. And they never have. Same goes for the NDP. Can’t see a bit of difference between them and the Liberals. It disgusted me to see all the other groups handing out leaflets in one way or another promoting these traitors. You are entirely right. We need to rebel against these fakers in the labour movement. Keep up the great work.

RG
Toronto
23 April 2012

On “Canada: To defeat McGuinty and Harper, workers must rebel against OFL and NDP

Canada is not immune to these kinds of austerity measures. This is just the beginning, as I see it. The same thing is happening in Greece, Portugal and Ireland. People are killing themselves because they can’t survive under these draconian conditions. Striking doesn’t seem to work anymore, as workers always lose because their unions sell them out every time. However, if workers were to join forces in a number of countries, a very strong opposition would be built and their power felt. People need to realize that this is the only way forward.

WT
Toronto
23 April 2012

On “Pro-Israeli provocateurs unsuccessfully try to disrupt SEP (Germany) meeting in defence of Günter Grass

I have never heard of this “Anti-German” tendency, and so naturally decided to consult Wikipedia. Although one certainly has to keep the limitations of Wikipedia in mind, it comes as little surprise that the movement apparently cites as influences Adorno and Horkheimer. What is left to say about a grouping that treats the authors of “Dialectic of Enlightenment” as serious intellectuals, except that they deserve contempt from their philosophical dilettantism?

Not being able to read German myself, I can only assume the aforementioned Indymedia article makes use of two standbys for critics of the ICFI, namely portraying acts of self-defense as unbridled aggression, and holding up the invocation of the law in the face of harassment as proof of our pro-capitalist stance.

Tom A
23 April 2012

On “University authorities and police seek to prevent Berlin meeting in defense of Günter Grass

Thank you for your article that well explains the anti-human nature of US, German and Israeli establishments, which have held hands tightly to increase prevailing misery in the three nations. The nation state today in our world has become a grave for the humanity. Your last paragraph that recommends a way out for the people in the countries concerned is clear and straightforward. Political establishments in the nation states are competing with each other to pauperise masses, to benefit warmongers and heartless investors in the name of development. We have to ask the question, development for whom? The social divide in Israel, as you have pointed out, is heartbreaking. So is its Indian counterpart. There are 800 million people—i.e., 3/4 of the world’s largest democracy—under the poverty line, if we take US$2 as an individual’s daily income. The international working class in unison should rise up against bourgeois democracy in favour of international socialism. Hats off to Günter Grass. My tributes to your article.

IVE
Sri Lanka
25 April 2012

On “Large neo-fascist vote shakes French presidential race

And so, to what pretty pass have we come to when journalists can uniformly characterize Francois Hollande as a “socialist”? No real socialist wants to impose right-wing free-market policies on the masses or wants to further the austerity agenda of the central bankers through radical privatization and debt peonage. Yes, Hollande officially runs as a Socialist Party candidate, but this only underscores the fundamental Orwellian distortions of language that now reign supreme on the global stage. Why not call Hollande what he really is: another obsequious prostitute for the global oligarchs who are the real wire-pullers behind the scenes, and who reduce virtually all politicians to pseudo-populists and posturing sycophants. Enough of this cheap and criminal hypocrisy, more reminiscent of Stalin than Marx or Rosa Luxemburg.

Paul K
24 April 2012

On “Memorial for Christopher Hitchens in New York City: A gathering of the unprincipled and politically clueless

Excellent article, David. When I first read about this “celebration” on the Guardian web site, I was sickened. The same people who fall for Obama as “progressive” also fall for Hitchens as a “contrarian.” It is interesting to see how Martin Amis has replicated his father Kingsley Amis’s lurch to the right. Amis senior ended up as a bitter, small-minded old man, and his son is doing the same.

One suspects that Hitchens’s atheism was less a conviction based on reason than just another item from his “contrarian” toolbox. It is well known that his anti-Muslim stance began when he discovered that he had Jewish ancestry. There followed his sudden ferocious defense of Israel in all matters. What, if anything, was sincere about the man?

Carolyn
California
25 April 2012

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I am in complete agreement with your position regarding the event for Christopher Hitchens. What are people like Sean Penn thinking, if anything? What comes through about the attendees is their lack of knowledge and understanding about what’s happening in the world today—or are they just sellouts?

Rose R
25 April 2012

On “The Breivik trial

 

Thanks for the article. Really important warning considering the crisis situation that we are in right now. The parliamentary democracy method has become a luxury to the bourgeoisie to rule. The pseudo-lefts underestimate two important dangers which the working class is facing: one is inter-imperialist conflict leading to third imperialist war, and the other is the danger of fascism. Both have all the potential to lead the whole of mankind to extinction. Let me conclude by quoting the words of a great revolutionary: “It is either barbarism or socialism, the working class has to choose.”

Regards,

Sathish K
25 April 2012

On “Dick Clark, longtime host of American Bandstand, dead at 82

I am amazed by your relatively favorable and shallow article about Dick Clark. I was born in 1944 and grew up in Philadelphia. I began listening to Rock n’ Roll on the radio at an early age and was aware of pretty much every AM station on the east coast that played Rock n’ Roll, including all those in Philadelphia, New York City, Buffalo and Boston, to name a few.

You mention that the show was not integrated while it was in Philadelphia, despite Clark’s claims. Surprisingly, you do not mention Matthew Delmont’s recent book, The Nicest Kids in Town, which details how Bandstand’s producers actively kept black kids off the show. Clark wasn’t “given to exaggerating” as you say, he was lying.

In those times, it was not remarkable that there were no black kids on the show; nobody expected that. What was obvious, and was one of the reasons I hardly ever watched the show, was the fact that Dick Clark promoted white artists who did covers of songs by black artists. This was discriminatory and deprived the original black artists of income. The white artists’ covers were also inferior to the black originals. Although Dick Clark wasn’t the only one doing this, there were many white (and black) DJs who didn’t.

Dick Clark epitomized the exploitation of popular culture for private gain. To me, he was a despicable person.

JDB
New Jersey, USA
25 April 2012