Letters from our readers

On “The Egyptian junta’s fraudulent elections and the tasks of the working class



Thanks, comrade, for the article. I especially liked this phrase, “misnamed Revolutionary Socialists (RS)”—a precise adjective which describes the politics of petty bourgeois radicals.



29 May 2012

On “US threatens military intervention in Syria following Houla massacre


Isn’t it possible that the Houla massacre may be the work of infiltrators from Libya and other countries who wish to bring on a full-scale NATO invasion of Syria? The circumstances surrounding this incident as described in the WSWS.org article do seem suspicious. Already there are Internet rumours that the Houla killings are a “false flag” operation to be blamed on al-Assad’s government.


Jennifer H
29 May 2012

On “Remembering the Ludlow Massacre



May I express my delight in seeing an image of Big Bill Heywood from a period too little known in the first installment of articles on a period that deserves to be studied and studied again. Given how closely those times resemble our own, I urge WSWS readers to read up on the literature and polemics early American Socialism, Eugene Debs especially, to see how native and from the soil Socialism is in America, not as alleged a foreign imprint at all.


Toronto, Ontario
29 May 2012

On “Harry Belafonte provides an historical insight into the civil rights movement’s decay

I very much appreciate that the author of this article shows us in the words of MLK that he was cognizant of the treachery and bankruptcy of capitalism and would surely have taken a turn to actively supporting socialism had he been allowed to live. In spite of Mr. Belafonte’s unwillingness to sign on as a “firefighter,” I am nevertheless grateful to him for accurately retelling this valuable piece of history in his book. Many thanks to Mr. Mazelis and the WSWS. Great work always.


Geraldine C
California, USA
25 May 2012

On “More US states pursuing drug testing for welfare recipients


They already found out in Florida that less than 1 percent of the welfare recipient adults tested positive for drugs, and I think most of those were marijuana, which stays in your blood stream for about a month.


The average for drug use is 3 percent. Therefore the poor in Florida obviously do not have the money for drugs. I have been on welfare in 1989, and I can guarantee that they provide barely enough for rent and utilities, along with food stamps. If you spent any of your money for drugs, you could not afford to pay your rent.


They are making it so everyone believes that the poor are slackers, drug users and wife beaters, or women living alone, having children, one after the other, just for the money. The money one would get for another child would definitely not make it worth having another child for the money.


The legislators in these states are constantly saying that the poor are slackers, just sitting there taking unemployment benefits, rather than a job until the money runs out, spending all their EBT at the track, etc. Another effort to divide and conquer.


27 May 2012

On “The Avengers: Not at all the way truths can be explored


I must say, I was waiting for this article to be written. I always seem to find myself at odds with the arts reviews here. I have a few comments. You are correct in your assessment that the movie appeals to the basest sensibilities, but I wonder what the movie would have looked like had you, or anyone else, written or directed it. Do not mistake this for any kind of disrespect or condescension, it is only that I have a hard time picturing this film being anything other than what it was.


I agree with you, the film was pointless, silly, and had more than a hint or two of jingoism. However, I enjoyed it. As a life-long comic book fan, I felt obliged to see it. I knew what to expect, but also, I knew what not to expect. A question, though: Is it that given the wealth of backstory to build upon, the film failed to deliver something as profound and thought-provoking as the comics from which it is derived that causes this distaste? Or is it that you expected something even more than that? In a movie based around a group of superheroes saving the planet, I don’t think I would expect the film to try to foment a mass uprising or enlightenment. Should it have?


One last thing: You state “the gargantuan box office figures are partly attributable to the abysmally poor selection of films currently gracing America’s cineplexes,” but is this really a fair criticism? Whenever more artistically sound films do make it to the theater on a national level, here at least, they are seldom met with the reception they deserve. Sad as it is to say, films like the Avengers are what sell, and until we can take the profit motive out of culture and entertainment, I think we can expect to see more of the same from Hollywood. This is not to deride the movie-going population. No, we have been involved in a fight to save culture and promote consciousness for quite some time now, against a seemingly endless number of forces and reactionary elements. It is through efforts such as yours and so many others on the WSWS that we will eventually overcome such obstacles.



Oregon, USA
26 May 2012

On “Dissecting class relations: The film collaborations of Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter


Thank you, Robert, for this very incisive article. In fact, this time last year I chaired a successful doctoral dissertation defense on the Losey-Pinter collaboration by a doctoral candidate who is now in teaching film in China as part of a summer school and who intends turning the dissertation into a book. Robert Aldrich also worked with Losey as assistant director on The Prowler and M. He also appears briefly in The Big Night and was a friend of blacklisted director Abraham Polonsky for the rest of his life. Although not blacklisted, Aldrich managed to keep the faith of that important 1930s cultural tradition and develop and modify it in several creative ways. That is the subject of my 2003 book Body and Soul: The Creative Vision of Robert Aldrich. As WSWS knows, it is really important to keep knowledge of past achievements alive.


Tony Williams
28 May 2012