Not always farce

In the Nov. 12 issue of the PWW letters section, Ken Bailey quotes Karl Marx thusly, “History repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Ken Bailey’s points about the Iraq war are well-taken, but this much-quoted comment by Marx is always given without the historical context in which it was written, leading to a serious misconception of Marx’s view of history.

Marx wrote these words in regard to Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Marx regarded Louis Napoleon as a joke. To quote this remark without mentioning that it was a reference to Louis Napoleon and his regime is to give the impression that Marx was saying that every historical event repeats as tragedy and farce.

Ernest FieldCleveland OH

Compassionate science

Bea Lumpkin’s article “Vietnam Today” (PWW 11/28-12/5) was both scientific and compassionate. It nearly brought me to tears. Well done.

The information is strikingly relevant to a Western civilization, which has been forced to forget the devastation caused by our political and business leaders. I hope that this brilliantly presented perspective can reach a wider audience of people beyond the frequent PWW readers. Thanks. In solidarity,

Cole WeintraubMoscow, Russia

Called but no one answers

I called the White House phone number from your editorial “That all may eat,” (PWW 11/28-12/5), but no one answered. It is a pitiful time in our country. I have never seen anything like it. My kids and grandkids don’t have food in their refrigerator. I have to go help them out and bring them some food. This administration doesn’t want to hear from us.

Gretchen LaugierNewtown PA

Outrageous GOP campaign ad

When the corrupt 1920s-era Chicago Mayor Big Bill Thompson explained his campaign slogan of “100 percent Americanism” as a trick to make his opponents look less “American” than he was, television didn’t exist.

Today the Republican Party is going Big Bill one better by running an outrageous campaign ad accusing critics of its Iraq war as aiding terrorists. Never mind that the Al Queda terrorists were the creation of the Reagan administration’s war against the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan in the 1980s and that Osama bin Laden worked directly with the CIA for many years.

The PWW consistently supported the Afghan revolution, whose victory, had it been achieved, would have made the Sept. 11 attacks impossible. The PWW should be proud of its brave stand two decades ago. By supporting the interests of both the American people and the people of the world, the PWW must continue to expose the arrogant lies of an administration which uses Big Lies to reap political rewards.

Norman MarkowitzNew Brunswick NJ

Don’t privatize Social Security!

I hope the PWW gives coverage to the attempt to privatize Social Security with a bill introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called “Social Security Solvency and Modernization Act of 2003” (S-1878), which was introduced to the Senate on Nov. 18. This bill is very dangerous. It calls for “the creation of personal retirement accounts.” That’s just another name for privatization and corporate thievery. With all Bush’s military spending and tax cuts for the rich you’d think Wall Street would be satisfied. But they still want to go after Social Security, too.

Gary DeSantisTrenton NJ

Response to police attack

The outrageous attacks against peaceful protest demands a greater response from organized labor than the filing of lawsuits against the police chief, the city of Miami, or whoever. Those well-protected Nazi-like police had a free hand in their abuse of our youth, and our retired union members.

We had and continue to have the right to demonstrate – for whatever reason – wherever and whenever “We the People” so choose. We must not let that right be taken away from us!

It seems to me we need a campaign that combines street heat and union organizing, right now, in Miami. I would serve as a volunteer in this union drive.

Jesse KernSt. Petersburg FL

The author is a retired member of Transport Workers Union Local 1790.