Letters from our readers

6 December 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

On "Uncovering the truth about Trotsky and the Russian Revolution ‘continues to run my life': A conversation with the remarkable David King"

Thank you for this wonderful interview and word of the impending book! I have long enjoyed David King's books, and think that his effort in preserving and spreading these images is very important work.

Christie S

Oregon, USA

4 December 2008


A wonderful, hopeful story.  I look forward to getting this book as soon as it is available in the US. It would seem to be uncannily coincidental that this work is coming out at this historical time. Finally, there is a real alternative to the delusion of the capitalist bailouts, coming from the annals of history, at a time when its message could resonate with large numbers of people.

Ernie M

4 December 2008

On "An interview with British filmmaker Mike Leigh"

It was a treat to have both David's Walsh's review of Happy-Go-Lucky as well as his interview with Mike Leigh this week on the WSWS site. As ineffable as the creative process may be, it was good to gain some insight into the way Leigh works as well as have some frank acknowledgement of its limitations.

I have eagerly sought out as many of Leigh's films as I can find, and one of the most endearing qualities of his work is the underlying quality of "gentleness" that emanates from so many of his characters. It reminds me of a comment David made apropos of the Stephen Frears' film High Fidelity:

"[...]the positive impact of the film results principally from the kindness and affection with which it was made. In exercising ‘gentleness' once again, Frears perhaps holds up, deliberately or not, an alternative to the almost unrelenting harshness of everyday life just at the moment."

Leigh of course brings a lot more to the table than Frears; Leigh evokes the qualities of kindness and affection in more compelling dramatic contexts. If he occasionally lapses into sentimentality in doing so, Leigh nonetheless never descends into cynicism, a vice that plagues all too much of what is shown on the Big Screen today.

Colin B

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5 December 2008


I just wanted to drop you a note of appreciation for your questions with Mike Leigh. I've been an avid fan of his work for some time now and many of my thoughts were mirrored in what you've asked him, especially the relationship between art and social change. I'm a filmmaker myself and these issues are extremely relevant in the daily creative process.

Much thanks,


New York City

5 December 2008

On "UK photographic exhibition: Images of War"

I want to commend the World Socialist Web Site for covering this exhibition and bringing it to life for me on the other side of the world using this effective footage. I also want to extend my appreciation to the artists. Art such as this is vitally important and needs to be promoted. The true horrors of war are rarely (if ever) exposed by the mainstream media.  The redesign of wsws.org is demonstrating daily the powerful direction the WSWS is taking to educating the working class, and it gets more exciting by the day.

John B

Ontario, Canada

3 December 2008

On "Washington exploits Mumbai attack to promote ‘war on terror'"

The very use of the term "war on terror" by any administration is an admission that it has failed to curb terrorism on their own soil. How can a country that could not prevent terrorism on their own soil wage war against another country in the name of "war on terror" and win against them?

CTS Kumar


4 December 2008

On "In bid for loans, Detroit auto makers outline plans for drastic downsizing"

This article doesn't discuss recent claims that the total valuation of the automaker's stock is worth only a few billion dollars and that it would be much cheaper to buy and nationalize the companies than it would be to make the loans they request.  

Recent articles I've read say that the automakers quit making cars during WWII and made other things.  A discussion on the possibilities of using the Big Three to manufacture wind turbines and other items that would shift our energy dependence away from oil would be welcome.  I'm surprised that the oil companies aren't using their excess profits to buy up the Big Three in an attempt to prolong inefficient fuel consumption.

It has long been known that the Big Three have bought up patents and killed ideas that would build more fuel-efficient cars, so a discussion on the opportunities that would be presented if the people suddenly owned these patents would also be welcome, as well as an assessment of the impact to the long-term economy if the American auto industry started making cars that last as long as those of their Japanese and European rivals.

Further discussion on the GM plans to eliminate brand lines is also warranted.  At a time when we are needing a shift to smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, the GM plan is to retain Cadillac and eliminate Saturn, which seems to be entirely contrary to success in the future.

Troy J

Arkansas, USA

4 December 2008

On "Republican wins Georgia Senate race as Obama lies low"

Excellent point about the Democrats' seeking safety behind a less-than-60 percent margin by "letting" Republican Saxby Chambliss be re-elected. One important point you didn't mention about the Georgia elections, however: the State of Georgia is election-fraud central. Georgia's elections are run lock-stock-and-barrel by Diebold Electronic Voting Machines, or whoever gives them their marching orders. According to one source, "Georgia is the only state in the union that plans to conduct future statewide elections on unverifiable voting equipment. It is time for a major overhaul of Georgia election law, equipment and procedures." (voterGA.org)

Bill B

Georgia, USA 5 December 2008