Our Readers Speak Out

Dear editor,

I am writing especially to congratulate you on your July issue. Your coverage of the Balkan War was brilliant and in the best Marxist tradition. I found the discussion between Cockburn, George, and Seligman particularly stimulating.

The Blair “New Labour” government has shown that the social democratic leopard has not changed its spots since the betrayal of August 1914. In domestic and foreign policy it is trying to out-Thatcher THATCHER!

I also appreciated Nat Weinstein’s Marxist analysis of “Inflation? Deflation?” In Britain, as in the U.S., capital is on the offensive. Inflation at 2.5 percent is well below the government’s target and the lowest it has been for decades. Unemployment is falling, with the jobless at a 19-year low of 1,280,100.

But in spite of the decrease in the (unemployed) reserve of labor, the rate of increase in average earnings in the first part of this year dropped from 4.6 percent to 4.3 percent. This, of course, has not stopped the bosses from voting themselves fat-cat salary increases and bonus share options.

That is why I appreciated Paul Siegel, in his review of Daniel Singer’s book, stressing the current importance of parts of the “Transitional Program,” as I did when I spoke to the Fourth International’s Youth Camp last year.

I think with the growing disparity between the earnings of theheads of corporatioins and those they employ, the demand to open the books should be high on the agenda.


Charlie van Gelderen,

Cambridge, England

Dear editor,

Defending the Million Youth March was more complicated than you front-page editorial lets on. [Socialist Action, September 1999]. Why? Because the march’s leader and spokesman, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, is a notorious anti-Semite. Not one to embrace the idea of the essential unity of humankind, Muhammed, at last year’s march, attacked Jews, gays, and even Native Americans.

In 1994, at a speech at Kean College, N.J., when he was an aidfe to Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad called Jews “hooked-nose, bagel-eating, lox-eating impostors” and “blood suckers.” He calls New York City “Jew York City” and said the holocaust was justified.

This is why the march fell about 994,000 short in its projected attendance. To demagogically attack Jews for the economic problems of Black youth is to practice what Marx’s friend August Bebel labeled “the socialism of fools.”

As a supporter of Socialist Action, it was disappointing that your editorial ducked this aspect of the march.


Michael Steven Smith

New York, N.Y.


The editor replies:

We acknowledge that the issue of anti-Jewish scapegoating by Khalid Muhammad should have been addressed.

In past articles (see our October 1998 issue) we criticized Muhammad, while pointing out that the real dangerous anti-Semitic bigots are in the ruling class. New revelations about Richard Nixon illustrate that. The issue of “anti-Semitism,” was just the rulers’ excuse to ban or disrupt the Million Youth March.

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