United front

Sam Webb’s (2/16) “On the Necessity of Socialism” correctly assesses that the main emphasis now and for the foreseeable future is on the immediate struggle of the working class and people against the right danger.

In the same issue, Jarvis Tyner offers “It’s time for the labor and civil rights organization to unite” but, can that be enough to check the “whiff of fascism” from becoming a pungent odor?

German fascism led the United States to join with the Soviet Union to defeat it, as the whole world was threatened.

George Bush and the right wing of the Republican Party, along with some of its moderates are moving in a direction of war, into a possible nuclear war abyss that is not just a danger to us, but to the rest of the world. It is, therefore, a problem the whole world – socialist and capitalist nations – must confront NOW, requiring them to form a united front in order to stave off a catastrophe, endangering the existence of all mankind.

Jerry Atinsky

via e-mail

Women and socialism

“The working women’s movement has for its objective the fight for the economic and social, and not merely formal, equality of woman.

The main task is to draw the women into socially productive labor, extricate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ free them of their stultifying and humiliating resignation to the perpetual and exclusive atmosphere of the kitchen and nursery.” So wrote Lenin 82 years ago and the same applies throughout the world today.

Someone once said the best way to see where a country’s development is was look at its treatment of women. In the late 1980s, 91 percent of the East German women were employed; 87 percent of all women in the GDR had gone through vocational training; 25 percent held university degrees.

New mothers received 1,000 DM and could stay home for one year with 90 percent of pay, up to two more years unpaid, with their job guaranteed. Mothers were entitled to 25 to 65 paid days off a year to take care of a sick child. (Now, a parent gets only five days.) Day care costs were only 55 pfennigs (cents) a day, including meals.

The USSR’s Constitution of 1936 called for “the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries, and kindergartens” and Khrushchev, at the 20th Party Congress in 1956, actually addressed “get[ting] down to … providing state nursery and kindergarten accommodation for all children of nursery and preschool age whose parents want it” – increasing such enrollments tenfold by 1960.

Barry Stoller

via e-mail

Kudos on Enron coverage

Tim Wheeler’s article (2/2), excellently written, lays wide open and clearly shows the collusion, robbery and deception carried on by the Enron Corporation, implicating other corporations also with the elected and appointed government officials including our President.

A Reader

via e-mail

A contribution

Our Jewish Cultural Center is closing its doors. Therefore, in disposing of our finances, we are happy to send your wonderful organization the enclosed contribution, hoping that it will help you continue your valuable work on behalf of justice, friendship and peace in the world.

Vito Magli

Miami Beach FL

Political prisoners released

Mexican environmental activists Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera have been released (11/8/01) from jail following 30 months imprisonment under false charges. Both compesinos had been fighting logging in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Amnesty International, Sierra Club and labor activists had been fighting for their release. The New York City Coucil passed a resolution condeming the Mexican government for imprisoning Montiel and Cabrera. In Los Angeles, Mercedes Chavez circulated petitions for their release.

Unfortunately, the precipitating event was the murder of their lawyer, Digna Ochoa, as she worked in her office in Mexico City.

International scrutiny and pressure must now be placed on the Mexican government to catch the killers and the antilabor, antienvironmental elements behind all this.

Nick Bart

New Haven CT