Letters from our readers

11 October 2012

On “Turkish, Syrian armies clash along border

I suspect that these mortar rounds that have been landing in Turkish territory are probably in fact being fired by the so called Syrian “rebel” forces for political purposes, i.e. supplying the justification for Turkish entry into the Syrian conflict. In such a case,which seems quite probable, Turkey would be able to invoke the common defense clause in the NATO treaty in order to justify NATO and hence US intervention in the Syrian conflict. This is the hidden hand that US imperialism has been actively playing; however, there is the very distinct possibility that the US power structure is quite divided in regard to what course to follow.

At the present time, the upcoming US presidential election would seem to be a somewhat paralyzing factor unless Obama wants to exploit the tension to once again put on the mantle of a “war president” and thus pull his chestnuts out of the fire. At this time I do not suspect that this will happen because I think the Democrats and Obama’s handlers want to turn governance over to the Republicans so that they can once again pretend to be the anti-war party while president Romney does all the war stuff.

Charles K
8 October 2012

On “A special message from SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

I thank you, Mr. Jerry White, for your brief appeal for support with an unimaginably rich statement of facts. Only socially concerned revolutionaries are capable of making such statement as yours. In the current climate of US elections, your statement naturally comes to compare with Romney’s shrunk government and Obama’s rights, freedom and liberty. It is my only hope that working class would behave with a deep sense of responsibility at the November 6 elections. Victory to the SEP.

IVE
Sri Lanka
7 October 2012

On “12,000 miners fired as South African strike wave grows

I am not at all surprised that the suppressed rage of suffering masses is breaking through the police lines everywhere, South Africa most recently, then it is hoped through the much more formidable lines of its own false leadership-claimants. These were over the centuries Whig, Social Democrat, Cosatu or International Socialist, but they had a common feature, a desire to make their lot more comfortable.

Nor is it the slightest surprise that a charge of conspiracy is made, agent provocateurs employed, constitutional rules thrown out, and jails spring up. That’s what they did in the time of the German kings George III, quite nuts, and his profligate King Regent of a son George IV. I am astonished at the silence of our artists in every medium. That’s unprecedented.

When William Blake was around, the Spa Field Riots of 1915 had not gone unnoticed. You know Romantic came from “roman” a medieval heroic poetry they imitated, not sentimentality about nature with a big N as your teachers may have told you. That infernal Tyger burning bright in the forest of the night were the dark satanic mills, as Blake saw them, devouring the lives of the poor to make way for the sheep out of which came the wool that was put through machinery by little, often mangled hands, while young boys crawled through chimneys to clean them of the soot left by the coal hauled from the mines by those who had once lived on the land where sheep grazed. Does that put the question, “Did he who made the lamb make thee?” in new perspective. South Africa, really.

There were also many kind souls with good intentions who thought all our problems would be solved if only we ate local, smoked weed, or got rid of the government, or at least the Federal Reserve. One character named Thomas Spence went around the Taverns where all manner of plans were hatched. William Blake was tried for high treason having been trapped by an agent provocateur of the kind hovering about the Occupy movement or urging foolish young Moslems to take the path to life-long incarceration having signed on to a police jihad. In any event, Spence had some effect on a simple solution that the land be divided and everyone go back to the pastoral state Blake describes in the Songs of Innocence.

Spence had very few followers when he died. Forty turned up at his funeral, by now really a kind of philanthropic society. They called in 1815 for a peaceful rally against the tax on the poor to pay for the war, the Corn Law, that was literally leading to starvation. A huge number of the new working class pushed beyond endurance turned up and met the defenders of order who behaved as police are increasingly behaving everywhere.

Let me set it up for you in case you had little history in your education. Napoleon had been defeated, and the triumphant ruling class building mansions everywhere evicted the poor and partied as if there were no tomorrow, as now, they thought it wise and proper to flaunt prodigious display while a volcanic eruption in Java brought on climate change that ruined crops, and the remaining bread was taken from the mouth of the poor, literally, by the Corn Law of 1915.

How did Blake put it in its original version: “ I wander through each dirty street near where the dirty Thames does flow, and in every face I meet marks of weakness marks of woe, in every cry of every man, in every voice in every ban, the German forged links I hear.” Very Detroit.

You may remember it as “mind-forged manacles” because this was really a pamphlet and the King, of German stock, had agents everywhere. A lot of people were hung for a conspiracy over the Lady Caroline affair because of a police agent, but the writers of the time employed the print media to good effect in that case, and even more after the Peterloo riots of 1919, very similar to what is unfolding before our eyes, not far away, but down the road, and deserving of notice in our post-postmodernist times.

A member of the ruling class who had a nasty fight over land turned up near Manchester to address what was to be the kind of small protest gathering he was used to addressing. This was Henry “the Orator” Hunt. The local gentry put together a militia to serve the role factory police serve in Chinese sweatshops. Tens of thousands of workers unexpectedly marched from the colliers and dark satanic mills raising high huge banners of labor today’s leaders have turned into a pathetic joke. The militia types were as bright as they are today, and charged as they had the miners so recently. 17 died, many injured, not a big deal usually, but these were desperate times.

Check out Charles Lamb on the Spa riots, and then that immortal art which arose from the Peterloo massacre of 1817. Shelley was passing out pamphlets on the streets. Lord Byron thundered in the House of Lords and wrote satirical masterpieces on the event and its aftermath. Keats rose from his sickbed to join the protest demonstration in London, the largest in British history to that time.

That was the British working class of that would-be poet and father of Eleanor, a published one, Karl Marx. The hero of Waterloo on which Peterloo is a joke, evil and reactionary Lord Wellington could not ride through the streets without being assaulted and the Prince Regent dared not show his face. Of course, the police and the courts were busy and the “war on terror” was on, then as now.

It got noted by artists then and really deserves attention now.

AL
Toronto, Canada
7 October 2012