I am a longtime supporter of the International Committee of the Fourth International and started reading the World Socialist Web Site in 1998, a few months after its launch. I previously read the International Worker newspaper, which was excellent but only came out every two weeks so it was always a few weeks “behind”, whereas the WSWS can give analysis of the latest developments instantly and can provide an enormous archive of articles.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like not to have the WSWS. Recently I was really appalled to hear someone say he finds it hard to watch the television news because “it’s all about wars and bad things happening … it’s so depressing.” It made me think of Spinoza: neither to laugh or cry, but to understand.
Without the WSWS one would be left at the mercy of the latest lies and distortions of the capitalist media, or, maybe worse, the twisted bunkum of right-wing conspiracy theorists on the net.
I read the WSWS every day to get a Marxist perspective on everything that happens. I always make sure I read all the editorials, lead articles and perspectives documents, such as the resolutions of the last congress of the German section of the ICFI which I found particularly well argued and clear. Nick Beams’ articles on the economy are vital; I often find Jean Shaoul’s articles very illuminating such as those on UK government spending and the Private Finance Initiative. I read most of David Walsh’s film reviews and I support the struggle against the guys who “prefer to leave their brain at the cinema door”—and I’ve got the scars to prove it! In general I try to understand and remember as much as possible so I can explain things to other people.
One article that stands out was a letter by Dave Hyland following the death of Corin Redgrave. Dave goes over a fascinating history of his experiences in the revolutionary movement, and he shows a remarkable understanding of the position of educated middle class personalities working in a proletarian milieu. He argues that Redgrave’s artistic talents should have been used to educate others but instead Redgrave was more or less destroyed by Healy.
These days I seem to keep meeting young people who say they want to travel in order to understand the world and find their place in it. I can’t help feeling they’d do better to just stay home and read the WSWS. It would give them a much better understanding of the world and who knows, they might decide to take part in the struggle to change it!