Letters from our readers

On “WSWS arts editor David Walsh to speak October 24 at Toronto’s York University

I will be first in line to purchase Walsh’s new book of film reviews. What a wonderful (and important) idea to publish them in a single volume! I have read nearly every review, and I believe they should be required reading for every serious film, video and television artist. I would go so far as to say one’s filmic education is incomplete until one reads these reviews.

Adam C
New York, USA
17 October 2013

On “UK’s ‘Plebgate’ scandal: Police go unpunished for set-up of Conservative MP

Possibly the most shocking aspect of this affair is the idea that anyone could be offended by the word “pleb”, which is from the Latin for “people”. It became a convenient expression for showing disdain for us lower orders.

A century ago, the term was adopted by a movement for independent working class education. Trade Union-sponsored students at Ruskin College Oxford had gone on strike in defence of a tutor who had fallen foul of the establishment by allowing the students to study Marxism. The Establishment were promoting the education of workers through the University Extension Movement and later the Workers Education Association; these taught capitalist economics—marginal utility instead of the labour theory of value.

After the strike, the students formed the Plebs League and started a movement which provided training for a significant layer of worker militants. In later years, it fell under non-Marxist influence and many of the lectures were far from the original intention. It became the Labour College movement under the control of the Trades Union Congress, who finally closed it down in the 1960s.

The spirit lives on in the more modest form of a movement for Independent Working Class Education.

Mike M
Yorkshire, UK
19 October 2013

On “Salinger: Phony stuff

Your review of Salinger is unfair and biased. The aim of this film is neither to inform nor enlighten, but rather to rake in as much loot as possible. To explore the issues which you have suggested is contrary to the vision of the director and his backers.

17 October 2013