Graham Beverley

Why I read the WSWS

6 March 2013

I found the WSWS in late 2005, as a high school student and minimum-wage worker in rural south-eastern Ontario.

Canada’s Liberal government had just escalated its intervention in Afghanistan and sent thousands of troops to fight a brutal counter-insurgency war in Kandahar. I had no idea about any of it, until a couple of older friends told me they were leaving to be deployed.

I was angry, searching the internet in the library of my Catholic high school on my spare period. My history teacher, straying from what was specified in the curriculum, had talked a little bit about Leon Trotsky in our class on the Russian Revolution. I felt that the war my friends were being sent to kill and to die in was just like the First World War that the Bolsheviks rejected—the orders were given by the rich and pain and suffering borne by the poor, regardless of their nation.

Searching for more information I came upon an article on the WSWS that criticised Canada’s social democratic party, the NDP, for supporting the Liberal government in parliament while they escalated the war. The article mentioned Trotsky and the Fourth International.

I was amazed to find what could genuinely be described as internationalist journalism. Immediately I wrote in to the author and started a correspondence. … I was 16, and had recently bought The Communist Manifesto after first hearing the word “capitalism” in a song by my favourite hardcore-punk band, Refused. I didn’t know at the time that this correspondence would grow into a lasting intellectual relationship, one that would challenge and educate me more than high school or (to be quite frank) my courses in university. …

The WSWS led me to many great works of history, political economy, philosophy, and political theory that are now instrumental to the way I think and interpret the world around me; Hegel, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg, Voronsky, Ilyenkov, Rogovin, etc. ...

The WSWS uses a truly historical and dialectical materialist outlook to analyse the contemporary development of the capitalist system and provide crucial political leadership to workers internationally. Its thorough and relentless criticism of the established leadership of the working class, in the trade unions, the social democratic and Stalinist parties is a product of this Marxist method.

… Where other publications cut and paste quotations from Marxist classics without context to justify their opportunist political positions, the WSWS advances a principled perspective based on a complex and nuanced understanding of Marxist theory.

As a recent graduate, still employed for barely more than minimum wage, I am convinced that this perspective articulates my class interests. I read the WSWS every day and have recommended it to almost every worker and young person I know.

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