Letters from our readers

19 September 2013

On “ Detroit emergency manager proposes elimination of retiree health care

“For married city workers [under 65] with a family, annual deductibles would increase to $1,500.” If I’ve read the article right, this deductible sucks up the proposed $125/month health care stipend to the very last penny.

Any monthly stipend added to paychecks for whatever purpose, including paying for health care, will instead go directly into paying for groceries, rent, fuel, and utility bills. When the time comes for paying medical expenses, they will still have to come at the expense of other necessities.

Why? Because the recipients are workers, who by definition have already had the surplus value of their labor taken from them. From what meager leftovers they are able to take home after income taxes, more is taken out for sales taxes. For most working families, it is hard enough to get by without having levied on them a requirement that they save, and never touch, $125 per month except in case of medical need.

The Murdoch media love to describe working people as irresponsible spendthrifts with an over-attachment to “entitlements” and “easy credit.” This is a vile slander; the grim reality is that income fails to meet need, and the situation grows worse over time.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that “Everything that the poor man spends is forever lost to him, and remains in or returns to the hands of the rich.” Now, however, the ruling class is out to render Rousseau’s analysis passé, by simply not giving the working class anything to begin with.

CH
Texas, USA
13 September 2013

On “ Fullerton, California authorities attempt to cover up police murder of innocent homeless man

Not one decent human being to be found in the gutless pack who murdered and tortured this man for doing nothing. Trying to maintain a position to be able to breath is considered to be resisting arrest, and then the actions of the pack mentality is attempted to be excused by the lack of funding in relation to mental health. He was not the one acting mentally deranged, the pack of so-called officers were. No one is safe from this type of mentality. They should all be charged and doing time; there would be empathy in war zones. This man was tortured. This has left me as a human being feeling sickened.

Wendy
Queensland, Australia
12 September 2013

On the WSWS

I have been reading the WSWS fairly regularly for the last several years. I can say that the intellectual quality of the articles surpasses an above-average piece of academic work produced by progressive-minded professors in the world.

Every article comes from a specific philosophical standpoint (materialism and dialectics).

Every article is in the tradition of revolutionary Marxist theory of society.

Every article, directly or indirectly, draws out the political implications.

Every article rightly connects a specific major problem—whether it is threatened sale of the arts collection in Detroit or the mounting debt problem of students or the fact of growing social inequality or whatever—to the need for political mobilization of workers and the youth around a socialist agenda, both in a city, in a country and internationally.

The discussions are bathed with the fire of internationalism. The discussions are animated by anger against injustice produced by capitalism and its institutions and by a spirit of criticisms against all sorts of pseudo-left tendencies, including union bosses, which are, more or less, conscious or conscious, representatives of factions of the (left?) bourgeoisie.

The site is the greatest source of Marxist commentaries on the contemporary problems of the humanity. No doubt about that.

No aspect of society—the economic, the political, the cultural or the ecological—is left out.

As a university teacher, I can confidently tell everyone that the WSWS has become a great Marxist educator, both for the educators (teachers) and the students.

I have consistently encouraged my students to read the articles, and specifically, the articles concerning their own research areas.

They have been enormously benefiting by reading the articles. The site is greatly complementing whatever little theoretical training I can impart within the constraints of the academia.

The site does carry articles that explicitly deal with theory (both philosophical theory, and theory of society and political economy) but I hope to see more of these.

However, I completely understand the idea that intellectual energy has to be concentrated on educating the working class through sophisticated, theoretically-informed commentaries on how big business and its governments are exploiting and oppressing working people and the youth everywhere in the world.

A heart-felt revolutionary salute to the writers who contribute to the site.

RDJ
Canada
17 September 2013