Freedom Socialist Letters to the Editor — April 2017

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Analysis accessible

“Where we are and how we got here” [Vol. 38, No. 1] is concise and accessible and it offers an analysis of the last hundred years that you could expect from scholars studying, with the clarity of distant hindsight and dispassion, the events of half a millennium ago.

Mainstream analysts, acculturated to the synonymity of capitalism and democracy, would write that the fine tuning of the system with stimulus packages, coupled with tax cuts, would get the world’s economic engines purring. But such quick fixes never stand the test of time.

The Occupy Wall Street movement gave us the phrase, “We are the 99 percent.” If only all labor were organized, if only all labor leaders had workers’ best interests at heart, then general strikes, coordinated with consumers’ boycotting of goods and services, could bring business as usual to a halt for the world’s benefit.

Most people, however, abide conventional wisdom and many people are literally heavily invested in the present system and hope for its success, as their retirement security is pegged to the performance of the stock markets. A dialectical conflict for sure.

Herm Ross, Seattle


Too familiar a story

Helena Sheinkman’s article is a familiar story told succinctly [Vol. 38, No. 1, “Turkey: a police state in the making.”]

By localizing the cause of recent political eruption in Turkey to the class struggle of Kurdish workers protesting state privatization, she cuts through the perpetual fog that surrounds media outlets who attempt to explain the nebulous circumstances of the Middle East. On the surface it is presented as a baffling web of historical disputes, sectarian warfare, and religious extremists. Underneath, however, Sheinkman reveals the all too common narrative of state authority scapegoating minorities, acts of genocide, and big business allied with those in power.

The global call for revolutionary support is critical especially when considering the role played by U.S. imperialism in the regions where the Kurdish people reside.

Internationalism must continue to be one of our primary aims in liberating the working class, and ending U.S. hegemony in the Middle East a foremost priority in establishing a proletarian government.

Jared Houston, Seattle


Hidden history

Many thanks to Nancy Reiko Kato for her excellent column connecting the WWII internment of Japanese Americans to the current witch hunt against Muslims. [Vol. 38, No. 1, “Never again! No Muslim internment”].

A frequently hidden aspect of that history is that FSP’s predecessors, American Trotskyists in the Socialist Workers Party, spoke out strongly against the racist attacks on Japanese Americans, despite the treacherous compliance of nearly all other groups, including the Communist Party and the Japanese American Citizens League.

The Socialist Workers Party newspaper, the Militant, attacked Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 as “an indiscriminate and brutal witch-hunt … having the character of a racial pogrom” [March 7, 1942]. The article criticized the evacuation as a violation of the rights of Japanese Americans, “driving them from their homes, terrorizing them, and … encouraging the racial discrimination that is being fanned on the West Coast.” The SWP exposed the racist hysteria as being promoted by agricultural corporations greedy for Japanese-American farmland.

In another article, the Militant deplored the internment as “a repressive measure, based purely on racial discrimination and motivated chiefly by the desire of Big Business for additional profits, which is presented as a necessary part of the ‘war for democracy.’ ” [May 30, 1942]

Helen Gilbert, Seattle


A lot of struggle ahead

I am enclosing an article entitled “Thank You Sisters” on the Women’s March. Feel free to use it as you think best. [Editor’s note: read the article at]

There is a lot of struggle ahead. We need the FSP to do some leading and organizing as you always do.

Jaan Laaman, Tucson, Ariz.

The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email

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