Cody Stephens

Why I read the WSWS

20 April 2013

I discovered the World Socialist Web Site in 2006 or 2007. When Bear Stearns collapsed in March of 2008, the wsws stood virtually alone in clearly and accurately predicting the depth of the crisis that would ensue. After the Bear Stearns takeover I began reading the wsws regularly, and it was my guiding light over the next several months of economic turbulence. I knew very little about capitalism when it began crumbling down around my ears in 2008, but I understood that I was living through a momentous event and one that would prove consequential in my own life and those around me. I struggled to understand the crisis not just on the surface, but also at the level of its root causes. The articles by the wsws, especially Nick Beams and Barry Grey, cut through the financial esoterica and explained the economic collapse in a way that was clear and understandable.

More importantly, the website offered satisfying explanations of the longer term causes and consequences of the crisis. Through reading the website I came to see that the historic meltdown was rooted in the inherent general contradictions of the capitalist system and in the long decline of American capitalism specifically. While the bourgeois media still insisted the financial collapse was a temporary aberration, the wsws said in no uncertain terms that it marked a historical turning point in global capitalism, and that any “solution” to the crisis would entail shifting the economic burdens of a recovery onto the working class. The ruling class has forced workers throughout the world to accept a permanent reduction in their standard of living in order to restore the profitability of the capitalist system. This restructuring of class relations has entailed, among other things, a disturbing growth of the bourgeois police state. The wsws has spoken out in opposition to every step in the deterioration of democratic rights.

Throughout these years of crisis, the wsws has continually exposed the lie of recovery not only through serious economic analysis, but by telling the stories of the workers whose stories get left out of the mainstream media. At a time in which the bourgeois press has become a scripted affair, the wsws has carried on the lost art of original reporting. I have been particularly impressed by the increasing use of video clips interviewing workers. I commend wsws reporters for allowing workers to tell their stories at length, without interruption. The effect is often powerful and moving.

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