Jeff

Why I read the WSWS

1 March 2013

The Iraq War began in 2003, when I was 16 and a junior in high school. I did not believe the calls for war, and realized, to some degree, that they came from both Republicans and Democrats. I began to look around, and read on the internet what passes for the left in the United States. A friend did an internet search for “socialism,” and came across the World Socialist Web Site. We both began reading, and for me, the other sources gradually diminished as I gained a sense of what they represented—an attempt to reform the Democratic Party.

The WSWS opened up a new world of thought for me, through its dedicated use of the Marxist method to analyze events. I remember reading a three part article by Joseph Kishore on a school library computer examining the reasons for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. In class, we would review the same event in moral terms, with the US as a worldwide force for good, not a nation-state with economic and political interests. The normal teenage skepticism of high school turned into an opposition to the pro-capitalist ideology in history, economics, and social sciences.

… I studied fine art, and the artistic criticism the WSWS offers was invaluable to make sense of the post-modern anarchy that dominates the liberal arts. I especially appreciated the historical, dialectic approach of Marxist art criticism, which examines art in its social context, and attempts to provide insight into artists, rather than dictates.

… I often began by exploring the WSWS art reviews archive, or took another look at “Favorite artists, works, and performers of the 20th century” [Edited by David Walsh]. It was like a cheat sheet on great art! … I was led to the fantastic work by Kathe Kollwitz, Otto Dix, Diego Rivera. … Rainer Werner Fassbinder DVDs, while also learning to appreciate early Hollywood movies…

The political and historical resources of the site were also invaluable—here were explanations of Stalinism, fascism, World War, and revolution—questions burning with importance for the working class and youth, but covered over and confused by the domination of identity politics on campuses. Then, as now, the WSWS is an invaluable resource—and it continues to improve. My only problem with the site is that it often has more content than I have time to read in a single day!

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