PW readers speak: Tariffs vs. international working-class solidarity
A Filipino boy walks past a mural depicting the slogan "Workers of the World, Unite!" from Marx's Communist Manifesto.

People’s World readers offer their take on a number of recent articles featured in our pages. The comments below have been proofread and edited for length. Join the discussion on the PW website and on Facebook. Your thoughts could be the next to appear in this space.

Re: Steelworkers and Ohio lawmakers welcome Trump’s tariff on dumped steel

Henry Millstein says:

This is a very short-sighted position. Despite the ridiculous assurances from our Prevaricator-in-Chief, trade wars are neither good nor easily won. No one should be taken in by promises of industrial jobs roaring back—and if a trickle do appear, they’ll be far outweighed by larger losses of jobs in other sectors of the economy. Moreover, from a Communist perspective, protectionism is counter to international working-class solidarity. Workers need to stand together across boundaries, or they’ll all be losers.

 

Re: Steelworkers and Ohio lawmakers welcome Trump’s tariff on dumped steel

Wayne Nealis says:

Well, well…..and the “free traders” and Wall St. swindlers whine along with the NYTs et al. American unions have always been right on this question. Americans should pay more for products we make and buy domestically. It’s quite ironic this action was taken by a president on the extreme right who wins an election as a champion of the industrial working class. While Trump has shown he is no friend of labor, the so-called “friends of labor,” the Democrats, have routinely sided with Wall Street. The danger is that Trump will win over more workers with these actions. This is more evidence the working class and organized labor needs a political party of its own!

 

Re:  The Boston Declaration: A prophetic appeal for revolutionary love

Jeanne Smith says:

I couldn’t sleep tonight so came downstairs to work on my computer. To my healing and delight, I discovered your insightful essay on this website. I experienced a great sense of relief in reading your treatise, although I am well aware that our struggle isn’t over yet. I thank you for pounding away on a subject that has been haunting me since this last election. The time has come for us to take a strong stand against prejudice, bigotry, sexism, war-mongering, etc. We need to stand together and hold accountable our leaders, day by day and week by week, until the threat has passed. Sad to say, we still have three more years until that may happen.

Still, we must persist. We cannot give up, or the results could be disastrous.

 

Re: Josephine Baker: Iconic entertainer, Resistance spy, and American hero

Earl Clay says:

Thanks so much, Chauncey K. Robinson, for this outstanding article about this outstanding Black figure in world history, Josephine Baker. When Josephine Baker danced, she danced with her fingers, toes, hips, and posterior—a genius, like a Kitt, a Duhnam, or a Simone, a royal like King David. She went from collecting junk on desolate St. Louis rails to collecting hefty coupons in teeming famed halls, in not French-named towns like St. Louis, but in the defining French city of Paris. Finding herself there to fight the “good fight” against fascism, the polar opposite of the socialism advocated by so many current day activists and anti-fascists, she did not falter, but rose in grandeur, in that mighty spirit of her African ancestry. May Josephine Baker’s name and fame live on in eternity, in Africa, in Europe, in Asia, in the Americas, and in struggle.

 

Re: Off-season anthem drama for the National Football League

RW Ryley says:

I think Trump intends to keep this issue of fake patriotism front and center. The “take a knee” controversy obviously had nothing to do with disrespect of the military, law enforcement, or first responders. Trump needs to constantly stir-up his largely older white base, and this was just another way of doing that. Lost was the real issue of police brutality.

I think Trump intends to intensify this strategy in the years ahead. Trump crony Vince McMahon has announced a born-again XFL football league which is supposed to commence play in 2020. Remember that McMahon’s wife Linda is a Trump cabinet member (head of the Small Business Administration), and both are big Trump supporters. As the gurus behind WWE’s pro-wrestling con, both Trump and McMahon are masters of “staged events,” more often than not pitting a “good guy” vs “evil guy” theme.

Finally, note that under the XFL structure, players did not have contracts with individual clubs, but with the league. So every player is an employee of the league whose bosses write, apply, and enforce whatever rules they choose. McMahon has already stated that any player who refused to stand for the anthem would not be permitted to play.

If no players protest, keep your eye on what happens next. Just as McMahon and the WWE control who’s a “good guy” and who’s a “bad guy,” if McMahon wants to give Trump an opportunity to grandstand, don’t be surprised if a couple of players are (behind the scenes) told to kneel (burn a mini-U.S. flag?) so McMahon (or whatever McMahon stooge is commissioner) can suspend them and Trump can type away tweets praising the XFL as the “pro-American” football league.

Trump thrives on hate, and this issue has so many possibilities I don’t think Trump can pass up. My bet is the plans are already in the works.

 

Re: Germany’s “socialists” enter another “grand coalition” with conservatives

Norman Markowitz says:

This is a fine, albeit depressing article. What about Die Linke, the left coalition party? What Europeans call “neoliberalism”—defunding social welfare programs, reducing regulatory legislation aimed at industry and finance, reducing corporate and income taxation to further “growth,” and eliminating public sector jobs—are recycled versions of old-line conservative policies which both helped bring about the Great Depression 90 years ago and then made the depression worse, producing the great expansion of the Nazi Party in Germany and its eventual victory. The great failure of the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Germany at the time was their failure to end their own civil war on the left and unite on an anti-depression program against both the Nazis and the conservatives; it was not the SPD’s failure to support the conservatives. Die Linke and the anti-coalition SPD elements offer the best chance for Germany to free itself from the vicious cycle of neoliberalism feeding on neo-fascism.

 

Re: Vietnam: 50 years after the Tet offensive

Sam Webb says:

A very good and informative read. That said, I have two concerns. First, does it make sense to say that a “socialist-oriented market economy” is an oxymoron? And, second, can any take on Vietnam after 50 years avoid the subject of the depth and extent of Vietnam’s democratic culture and practices?


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Contributors to “The People Speak” round-up of discussions and debates happening on the People’s World website and on our social media networks.

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