Letters from our readers

On the WSWS

Very appreciative of the writing and reporting.

Wish I could send a contribution but I was put on unpaid “sabbatical” (essentially fired) by a community college in Pittsburgh a year ago for questioning administrative power and haven’t taught or worked since.

To the class that has made truth Verboten,
We say ‘Hands off’ of the brave Edward Snowden,
His disclosures reveal,
Crimes you’ve concealed,
Far from safe is the fate he has chosen.

The betrayal is exceptionally loathsome,
Shame on France for forsaking bold Snowden.
Once the home of Voltaire,
It’s now tres ordinaire,
To the US like the rest it’s beholden.

Who shot unarmed Ibragim Todashev,
Five times in the back, once in the head?
It’s justice miscarried,
Yet the story’s been buried,
To be kept for class reasons unread.

Thomas M
20 August 2013

On “ Father of Boston bombing witness killed by FBI announces investigation”

I am glad this young man’s father is pursuing answers. Someone must be held accountable for his son’s murder. The FBI account of what happened has changed at least once or twice. Why? I feel, as do many others, that this man was executed by the FBI. I wish his father success in his venture here—and I hope he doesn’t give up until he gets to the truth. It won’t bring his son back, but it may help someone else who would face the same end at the hand of FBI hit men.

Jane G
19 August 2013

On “ The sentencing of Bradley Manning”

A very well written perspective. Persuasive and subtle.

Anthony G
22 August 2013

On “Young Bank of America intern in London may have died from overwork”

I am curious to know how common amphetamine use is among the banking interns discussed in the article. In my opinion, there is no way anyone could put in the hours that these people do without taking strong stimulants. I would not be surprised to learn that the young man had died of an overdose. This is a tragedy all the way through. No job is worth putting yourself at that type of risk. However, people are desperate enough to do just that, and in the end, if they are lucky enough to get a job offer, they won’t make all that much money; certainly not as much as highly paid athletes who take steroids to gain a competitive advantage in their sports.

Andy H
Texas, USA
21 August 2013


I have been thinking about this article quite a bit, and have some additional thoughts on it.

It seems to me that the Bank of America managers who run the internship program knew exactly what they were doing. I’m certain they all went through the same thing before they were hired. While the interns do put in many hours of unpaid work, the purpose of the program is not to exploit the intern’s labor. Rather, the primary purpose is to develop certain personality characteristics in their future employees. I am sure that all of the work they do is mostly busy-work.

Interns who work tremendously long hours, to the point of exhaustion and beyond, are being trained to ignore their own needs for the sake of their employer. It will be much easier for them, once they have passed through this, to carry out whatever misanthropic policies the bank requires of them.

Every major corporation and financial institution in the world has similar programs which create legions of sociopaths. If they do well at their jobs, the Human Resources specialists at their organizations will identify them as potential senior managers, at which point they will enter further programs that will refine their sociopathic tendencies.

Ultimately, some of these people will go into government, as administrators and high-level bureaucrats. It’s not difficult to imagine the types of policies these people will inflict on the world. The Bank of America internship program, and others like it, are creating the future Eichmanns and Himmlers of the world.

Andy H
Texas, USA
22 August 2013

On the SEP (Australia) election campaign

I would like to thank Patrick O’Connor for his excellent analysis of the role of the Greens in the fight against education cuts and the contradictions within the WikiLeaks party. His analysis of the contradictions within the WikiLeaks party have come to the fore in recent days following widespread supporter disgust in the WikiLeaks preference deals, his articles have only increased in relevance. I hope to see more exposing these pseudo groups. The articles on the role of the Greens, I enjoy reading and using during debate with fellow students.

It is important to disseminate our analysis to the widest number of people. I believe many young people have good intentions but are falsely directed behind the Greens and the whole parliamentary framework; the only exercise of struggle for them is protest politics and reformism. I hope they soon see the problems of society are rooted in capitalism, our structure, rather than the major parties, our agents. I once had hope vested in pseudo-[left] groups; this has since been dispelled from developing an understanding of historical materialism through the literature of the Socialist Equality Party. Yours is the only party lifting the level of socialist consciousness in society, the most important work.

Western Australia
21 August 2013

On “The Big Change: Revolutions in Russian painting, 1895-1917”

Thanks for this wonderful review of such a complex and under-appreciated group of artists in the context of the period leading up to the Revolution! I particularly liked the way that the review brought out the connection between the rejection of the tradition of the Realists and the Wanderers as bound up with the rejection of the whole social order that was expressed politically in the Revolution itself. Also that this rejection took a variety of contradictory artistic forms, from symbolism with its elements of “otherworldliness” to the early purely abstract works of Suprematism and the looking backward to “primitive/folk” forms for inspiration. We are more familiar with how this played out in the art of Western Europe, but the Russian artists were equally, if not more, involved in pioneering these trends. Also, the attention to Vrubel’s work is very welcome. His was truly a powerful and unique artistic vision. I wish I could have seen the show, but your review brought it to life!

Anne L
21 August 2013