I have just read this particular lecture for the first time (David North’s analysis of Lenin’s “What Is to be Done?”) and North’s concluding paragraph gave me chills—its profundity literally left me speechless. The reason is because, as a reader of the World Socialist Web Site since 2003, I am living, breathing proof in the truthfulness of Lenin’s (and North’s, and the WSWS’s) approach to raising the consciousness of the working class through painstaking analysis of concrete, topical issues of all strata of global society and its classes, without budging an inch from this approach in the direction of reformism.
Where I once found this approach maddening, as I voted for Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 while still reading the World Socialist Web Site daily because I was attracted to the insights and truthfulness of its analysis of specific topics and events, but not won over yet on genuine Marxist ideology, I now find myself seemingly able to feel, almost physically, an elevation of my consciousness on socialist terms. I do not feel that this is in any way forced or coerced (it has taken the better part of 9 years!), which is what lends the experience of realizing it all the more satisfying.
I cannot thank this publication enough for doing myself and no doubt others (and future others) the service of sticking to principle and providing for the working class an opportunity for perspective and analysis on almost every conceivable subject of contemporary society, as well as detailed analysis of history and theory. I owe myself just as much credit, of course, for carrying out the painstaking task of struggling with all the complex issues brought to the fore by this site’s writers, and the numerous debates (healthy, necessary debates) they provoked in me which have now allowed me to arrive at my present situation (which, I must stress, I feel, is only the beginning—only now after 9 years do I feel I am truly able to learn at a deeper, more profound level).
I express again my gratitude, and I hope everyone who writes for this site and who campaigns with the SEP knows that their work is not in vain. As I say, I am living, breathing proof that it is not.
New York, USA
26 June 2012
The question now is, given the imprimatur of the Supreme Court, what is now stopping other States, or indeed, other countries to enact similar racist, anti-immigrant legislation? In fact it is both a precedent and a green light given by the leader of the “Free World”! Of course, it is of a piece with the increasingly strident and ruthless drive by the global US imperialism overseas and within the US itself.
26 June 2012
Excellent essay. I do wish for more progressive science fiction. Remember the original series Star Trek episode called, “Errand of Mercy”? Of course that was so long ago…
New Hampshire, USA
27 June 2012
Priot to “Chariots of the Gods” the engineer thesis was explored by Nigel Kneale in his 1959 TV series Quatermass and the Pit (1959) directed by a refugee from Nazi Germany. Set during the height of the Cold War with explicit references to that era and aware of the dangers of militarism, it ended with a speech delivered by Andre Morell’s Quatermass emphasizing the role of human responsibility in opposing regressive tendencies in humanity. The Hammer studios Roy Ward Baker film version was a pale shadow of this pioneering series emphasizing themes contemporary sci-fi films have now abandoned.
27 June 2012