Khara Sikhan

Why I read the WSWS

I started reading the WSWS after coming in contact with International Youth and Students for Social Equality at my university. I was searching for answers about the upcoming election—I had received a free “Obama 2012” bumper sticker but could not truthfully tell the world I supported him.

I am a student in Detroit, and I saw the education “reform” close down hundreds of schools around me and de-fund countless others. I watched as the auto companies began to reap in huge amounts of profit, but the poverty around me was not alleviated.

I was confused about the state of health care and the wars in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I was questioning whether the Democrats were actually the “Party of the People” that they so claimed under the banner of the New Deal. What could fix the world? What causes the problems of the world? These were questions that came to be answered by reading the World Socialist Web Site, and in particular the ICFI/Marxist Library section.

The first book I read was Materialism and Empirio-criticism by Vladimir Lenin. This provided the best framework possible for building the Marxist analysis of history, as well as for scientific socialism. I am grateful that the WSWS does not crowd its library for the farce of a “united left,” but is discerning and determined with the essays it archives.

As I broke from capitalistic idealism and liberalism to materialism and Marxism, reading the daily articles on the WSWS has helped me understand who exactly I am at this moment in history, and how I must proceed. The analysis of pseudo-leftism and identity politics is the best for protecting readers from groups or ideas that use socialist terminology, but are in reality counterrevolutionary.

Reading such analysis helps me learn how to find my way in this increasingly politicized world, since the WSWS analyzes ideas and events using evidence, not baselessly. WSWS articles do not treat events as discrete from any other event in history or from the capitalist framework, and explain each time what the connections are. This is the most grounding aspect of the WSWS: the knowledge of how “my” world is, in fact, the whole world, and how it is all related to past events.

The most important article in my arsenal is David North’s lecture: “A critical review of Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners .” Everything I was taught in high school history completely lacked the depth, facts, and perspective that this one lecture contains. The article discusses myths propagated before and after WWII about the German working class, the Jews, the “benevolence” of the Allies, and the evolution of society to socialism, and how each of these myths contribute to the maintenance of the private profit system of the transnational bourgeoisie. That the WSWS treats nothing with kid gloves, but with open eyes to all the horrors of the capitalist system and the sharpness of perspective to protect people from fantastical dreaming is the highest stage of thinking.

I am an IYSSE member, calling for people to break with the Democrats and the trade unions, and selling literature from Mehring Books to my peers. I call to build the IYSSE on my campus to unite students and professors with the working class at large. The WSWS is certainly the memory and voice of the working class—a tradition I am determined to know and uphold.