Why I read the WSWS
21 March 2013
I started reading the World Socialist Web Site after my girlfriend suggested that I take a look. I had previously been involved in anti-war marches, including the anti-Iraq march in 2003 and had been active in discussing its political impact with friends and fellow workers. When I first started reading the site I was impressed by the viewpoints expressed by the contributors and the breadth of subjects covered.
As a humanities teacher I was deeply affected by the socio-historical issues I was teaching to my pupils and became more and more aware of the politics surrounding injustices internationally. As I read articles on the website I was amazed by the depth of analysis that was available. I had visited other websites to compare the analysis and found nothing near to what the WSWS was offering.
I began to use articles from the archive to aid my teaching on Russia and the revolutions and shared articles with students on the unification of Germany and Hitler’s rise to power.
As a teacher of history I was interested in the provenance of text and sources in the school history books that I had been using and wanted to find analysis of the historical events that provided a fresh perspective. The majority of the texts that were used had quotes from historians like Richard Pipes and dare I say it Robert Service! The WSWS allowed me to include analysis that showed a completely different view that students would never have been aware of previously.
Beyond the historical aspect of the web site, I began to share articles with colleagues and discussed the impact of the union action on workers in the teaching profession. I shared an article: Britain: Government’s flagship academy schools failing with the entire teaching staff when a school I taught in had been forced to become an Academy. The response was extremely positive and many read the article and wanted to discuss it further. As a result, I began to become more involved with the Socialist Equality Party, taking part in interventions both in London at the Trades Union Congress in 2012 and in Cambridge where I interviewed workers and had the privilege of contributing to the web site.
In addition to the political articles that I was reading, I also became an avid reader of the arts reviews. The film reviews were excellent and I discovered films which I may have missed without the web site such as Frozen River and The Edukators. I also discovered the band Spoon and now have enjoyed four of their albums. The end of year reviews of both music and films is something I always read and respect. Again, the quality of writing and analysis of these articles is outstanding.
I started to read the WSWS because I was angry. I continue to read the WSWS because I am hopeful. The overthrow of global capitalism by the international working class is a step closer through the existence of the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International.
So what happened to the girlfriend that led me to the WSWS? Well, she is now my wife and we are both candidate members of the SEP.