Zach Reed

Why I read the WSWS

The World Socialist Web Site has been the single most important influence on my political development. It overturned my initially idealist outlook on society and politics and fostered my interest in art and culture. Before reading the website I had nothing but an instinct of being working class, sentiments against social inequality and oppression and a vague sense that a socialist revolution was necessary, although I had no idea how this was to be done. The only reading I had done up to that point was the Communist Manifesto.

I began reading the WSWS in my first year at Sussex University in 2008 after coming into contact with the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE). The first thing that attracted me was the way the WSWS uncompromisingly speaks for the interests of the working class and provides the way forward by raising its political consciousness. There was nothing else providing the depth, seriousness and socialist perspective given by the WSWS.

I feel the greatest impact the WSWS had on me was demonstrating socialism as an objective necessity. It explained that with each deepening of the capitalist crisis, the working class is driven further into struggle. However, revolutionary leadership is required to reach a progressive solution.

The WSWS puts to death all the claims that Marxism is irrelevant and dogmatic, and exposes its opponents as the dogmatists, who either have no clue or lie through their teeth.

In 2009 I joined the Socialist Equality Party and began building the ISSE at Sussex. The WSWS’s many articles helped counter the post-modernism and anti-Marxism that was rife throughout the courses (which are often dressed up as Marxist) and which found expression amongst students. Many of the figures dealt with in the philosophical polemics and essays were promoted in various ways at Sussex.

I am excited by the 15th anniversary and the opportunity it provides me to review everything that has come before I started reading just over five years ago. I am proud to be able to write for the WSWS today.

I still find amazing the far-sightedness that was shown in founding the website. Back in 1998 my family did not have a computer let alone internet access. Today I am able to read the website on my phone whenever I have time and where ever I am. I feel the whole ethos of the website captures the internationalism of our movement both in terms of its accessibility, its worldwide coverage and the work and collaboration that goes into it.