In defeat, defiance

When a coworker asked me what history could teach us about these elections, my answer was to quote Winston Churchill “we have lost a battle. We have not lost the war” and “in defeat, defiance.”

In an election in which less than 40 percent of eligible voters voted, the Republican party, with the votes of less than 20 percent of eligible voters, regained control of the Senate and picked up a few seats in the House by a well orchestrated media marketing blitz, led by the president, who raised 100 million dollars for the Republican campaign in the last weeks.

There are good reasons to be very troubled. The war danger is greater than it was before the elections and the administration’s ability to pack the judiciary and push its reactionary agenda in Congress is certainly greater.

But if we do not address the major structural problem in American politics, the non-voting working class majority, finding ways to bring tens of millions of non voters to the polls by giving them something positive to vote for, then we run the risk of greater disasters.

As Marx and Engels contended more than a century ago, to the ruin of both the capitalist and working class, if the working class is not organized effectively to resist capitalism’s self-destructive policies and advance its own interests, which are the interests of social justice and peace, the general interests of society.

Norman MarkowitzNew Brunswick NJ

Taking exception

It is a very rare event that I take exception to an article printed in the PWW. However, I must take exception – strong exception – with the content of Nov. 2 article entitled “Bridge Between Two Worlds” reviewing Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds.

As both a Communist and a person of Armenian descent, I cannot help but object to the characterization of Ataturk as a “hero” who led a “Revolution.” What Ataturk led was not a revolution: it was a couter-revolution, a fascist coup.

The cost in Turkey, to anyone’s estimate, was 1.5 million Armenians dead. How many Greeks were massacred? How many Jews deported? How many Kurds? How many Turkish workers exchanged, at best, one form of slavery for another?

The author acknowledges the atrocities, analyses the existence of racism. But she does not tie these things into her analysis. If she had, she might first have asked herself: what “revolutionary” government massacres its ethnic minorities?

The fact is, that the massacre of the Armenians would have been worse, but for the Armenian Republic’s incorporation into the Soviet Union and Turkish military defeat at the hands of the USSR on the shores of Lake Van in 1921.

Mychal SimonianPhiladelphia PA

For the Fund Drive

I am sending $50 in memory of Gus Hall, outstanding labor leader and Communist of this last century. His ashes were recentyl interred in Forest Home Cemetray in Chicago. He takes his final rest close to his old comrades, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, whose forebears hailed from my native Ireland. Elizabeth assisted James Connolly during his years in exile in America. He returned to Ireland to play a leading role in the 1916 revolt against British imperialism.

George HarrisonBrooklyn NY

Socialism is possible

I’ve just read and scanned your Oct. 19 issue. There are extremely informative articles in it by outstanding participants in our struggles for justice.

I’d like to see integrated, the ideology that takes us to struggle for the revolutionary change.

While it is essential to know the data of our persecution, it is impossible to enlist the involvement of the people unless we allow us all to envision the alternatives. It’s hard.

We shouldn’t have only to fight for jobs we really don’t want to do for 40 hours a week. There’s also playing the violin and visiting with the grandchildren and having a swim or a walk or a read. No one needs to be a carpenter or a doctor or a janitor or a mother all those hours a week. We all like variety. We all have many skills and want to learn others.

Since most of us are incapable of framing some lovely, desirable alternatives in ways that connect to all the information in the paper, we need to teach ourselves how to say these ideas; more, how to get other people to dig for their ideas, to look beyond what we’re told is ‘possible’ to building that other world that the USSR implied and that Cuba tries to do.

Norma JF HarrisonBerkeley CA