Ben Trent

Why I read the WSWS

3 April 2013

When I was at university I became involved with the British Socialist Worker Party (SWP). Even then I found the SWP’s paper lacked any real substantive commentary or analysis, consisting of simple and often banal reflections on extremely serious events that I felt required a much deeper analysis than was ever offered.

In the final year of my undergraduate degree, while writing my dissertation on Lenin and the Bolsheviks, I was lucky enough to be in contact with an SEP member who advised me to read Trotsky’s opus, The Revolution Betrayed. I found this gave me a deep insight into the revolution, but more importantly, the degeneration of the Soviet Union under Stalinism.

Around the same time I was also advised to start reading the WSWS. Initially I read a few articles, but over the next year and half my interest grew substantially. It provided a reasoned and well constructed analysis, in a readable and accessible way but without being reductive, generalised or over-simplified.

The WSWS was a central reference point to the events of 2011 including the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, the riots across the UK and the Occupy movement. It showed the relation they had to the global capitalist system, their historic foundations and the perspective required to unify the international proletariat.

During my postgraduate study in Modern History I took a far deeper interest in the Russian Revolution. In Defense of Leon Trotsky by David North, which I had first discovered on the WSWS, and several other lectures and articles on the site were very helpful in grounding my academic study as well as my political outlook. I read The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (the US and UK versions) which gave me a fantastic understanding of the heritage of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

I have now finished my Masters. I’ve become more and more involved with the ICFI and since 2011 have read the WSWS on a daily basis. I’ve found it to be the most important, up-to-date and reliable news source available and highly recommend it. By using the Internet over the last fifteen years the ICFI has given a far greater scope of exposure to its revolutionary perspective.

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