Freedom Socialist newspaper Letters to the Editor, February 2014

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Dangers of reformism

Your recent article, “Sign of the times: Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative unseats Seattle Democrat” [Vol. 34, No. 6], does an excellent job of connecting this local victory to the wider struggle.

I particularly like how Linda Averill points out the dangers of reformism and opportunism. I’m familiar with Socialist Alternative here in Germany, where they work within the Left Party, whose leadership is reformist, not socialist.

The Left Party, like the German Greens when they started out, has a radical-sounding platform, but they don’t fight for it. Their first priority is staying in parliament and entering into coalitions with the capitalist parties, so they spend their energies bargaining for gradual reforms that stay within the system.

The Left Party is currently in the ruling coalition of the city government of Berlin, and the mayor refers to them as his tame lap-dogs because they offer so little resistance to his capitalist policies. To the extent that Socialist Alternative remains within this framework, their revolutionary energies will be dissipated.

Preventing revolution is an essential purpose of parliaments and city councils under capitalism. I hope Sawant will remain an outsider in The Club and place the needs of the working class above the tempting perks that will be offered her if she goes along with the game.

William T. Hathaway, Oldenburg, Germany


Analysis is right on

Kudos to Freedom Socialist reporting about news in, “Heroic story of working class Detroit” [Vol. 34, No. 3] which revealed economic conditions there, and the difficulties working people are suffering.

This was a few months ago, but the analysis was currently proven true. On Dec. 3, 2013, the front page article in Epoch Times a business/financial paper reads, “Judge Rules Detroit Eligible for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.” The FS was ahead of the envelope.

Page A2 of the same issue of the Epoch Times has an article and a picture of hundreds of fast food workers demonstrating outside a McDonalds in New York City, as per the current issue of the FS, “McJobs — not lovin’ it” [Vol. 34, No. 6]. The FS news is right up to date if not a bit ahead, as usual.

Brian Barnett, Portland, Ore.


Analysis is dead wrong

Your article left me shaking my head in disbelief, mostly because you support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a creation of foreign powers that is supported by transnational capitalists, including no less than 14 billionaires [“Syrian revolutionaries defy Assad, jihadists, and imperialists,” Vol. 34, No. 5].

I am also amazed by your wildly false claims; for instance, your assertion that “on the side of the revolution is the mass of impoverished workers and displaced peasants, along with rural workers, university students, youth and small vendors.”

I would be interested in knowing if your position on Syria stems from a fundamental lack of understanding of imperialism, from a reflexive opposition to Russia, or if there is some other explanation.

Diana Barahona, Los Angeles


New Year’s salutations

Let me send all of you, your families and close people, positive and healthy Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s greetings.

Also let me salute you for the important and necessary work you do in the Freedom Socialist newspaper and the organizing done within the Freedom Socialist Party.

We’ll see what 2014 brings, but we can be sure more struggle is ahead.

Jaan Laaman , #10372-016, PO Box 24550, Tucson, AZ 85734

Doing long time

Could you please send me the Freedom Socialist paper. I am in prison doing long time. Thank you very much.

Pamela Wright, #8595947, 1916 N. Hwy. 36 Bypass, Gatesville, TX 76599

In solitary

I’m currently incarcerated serving the next couple of years in solitary confinement.

Can you please send me the paper? It would be greatly appreciated.

Christopher Santos, #W-91004, PO Box 100 (DDU), S. Walpole, MA 02071

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Editor’s note: The FS regularly gets letters from prisoners around the U.S. requesting gift subscriptions. To date, we’ve turned no one away.

Help is always needed to defray this cost. You can purchase a gift sub for a prisoner here.

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

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