Less than a year ago as a recently ex-Libertarian, I read Marx and Engels seriously for the first time. Soon I was reading Lenin (and coming up on the boundary of my ability to understand Marxism on my own) and determined that if I was serious about this, I would need to join a party to put it in practice and further develop my consciousness. I did what any young and naïve person might do and sought out the Communist Party, USA. When I began reading their newspaper, People’s Daily World, I was struck by the incessant cheerleading for Obama and the Democratic Party in the election. This was not an organization I wanted to be involved in. I first came across the Socialist Equality Party in a campaign video showing Jerry White in Findlay standing with workers and outlining the basis of his candidacy and principled politics, to which I was very attracted. I was moved by the way he spoke bluntly and truthfully about the issues facing both the American and international working classes. This is how I came to read the World Socialist Web Site.
Reading the WSWS was a watershed moment in my development as a Marxist. It was like uncovering a treasure trove of smart analysis, clear perspectives, objective reporting, and pointed commentary. It was almost too good to be true and I was skeptical at first that such a resource could really exist. The WSWS really is that good though. Their eye toward the context in which events occur guides their analysis, a feature lacking in virtually every major news source. The ability to put out such a high quality publication truly speaks to the power of the perspectives behind it. It was through the WSWS and SEP that I first encountered the life and ideas of Leon Trotsky. The WSWS was and continues to be absolutely essential to my development as a Marxist, as it has been for so many people, especially young people like me. This is a testament to the great foresight displayed by the ICFI in undertaking this project 15 years ago.