Why I read the WSWS
13 June 2013
I began reading the WSWS soon after it began publishing on the Internet in 1998. At that time I was looking for a news source that did not misrepresent or gloss over or plain lie about the facts. It was really obvious from the very beginning the writers of WSWS articles were armed with incredibly powerful tools of analysis. I discovered anew Marx, Engels, and then Trotsky. I began to see how there could be ruling class interests that were set implacably against those of the working class, how these interests arose out of objective circumstances, and no reinterpretation or redefining could deny the historical path we were all on. Time after time, the accuracy of the Marxist analysis of economic, political, and social issues was proven correct. Over the next decade I witnessed the social forces identified by the writers of the WSWS play out fairly much precisely as they said they would.
In that earlier time I wanted to understand why the UN and the US were so determinedly focused on bombing Iraq into submission. I remember how several years earlier I had been appalled by the scale and ferocity of the US-led attack on Iraqi armed forces following the attempt by President Hussein to annex Kuwait. During the time of the Clinton administration it seemed difficult to understand how the West were continuing to use such disproportionate military power on an already beaten Iraq. Given the events unfolding, everything coming out of the mouths of politicians and the mass media was beginning to resemble nothing so much as propaganda. I wanted and needed to know the truth.
But as I continued to read the WSWS, it relentlessly challenged my perspective. I was confronted with the contradictions of the views I held of the world and my place in it. This was the case particularly with the WSWS articles covering the war in the Balkans and particularly the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. I had been convinced by what I had read from other sources of the justification for NATO strikes. The WSWS articles were not only unrelenting in their condemnation of the intervention but also presented the most insightful analysis of how the conflict began. Following the articles on the site through the next decade I found the quality of the analysis of world events was proven time and time again, and reading it over time was an education.
I followed with interest WSWS reports on the US elections, and began to understand the parallels with what was happening in my own country, New Zealand and elsewhere. I learned about the necessity for an international class struggle against the increasingly reactionary measures taken by the ruling class in each country as the global economy worsened year by year, and ever more corruption scandals enveloped the financial system. I learned about identity politics and realised the obfuscating role it had played in my own education. More importantly, I realised how it is used to block the merging aspirations of workers worldwide. I followed with interest the exchanges between the WSWS and the bourgeois left. I read with great interest the exchanges between David North and Steiner and Brenner. David North opened my eyes and I remember at that time acutely feeling I was seeing something clearly for the first time and wishing it had happened so much earlier in my life. The movie reviews by David Walsh were refreshing in their insight and illuminated what was missing in what passes for art coming out of the major film studios these days. The strong focus on science and rationality is always present in all of the WSWS output. What shines most clearly through all of the output of WSWS is determination to build a better world and the humanity behind its express cause.
Over the years the WSWS has been for me a strong beacon of light in a sea of lies and confusion, and a real wealth of knowledge always there to dip into. The arrival of the WSWS is not to be taken for granted. I realize eventually it requires more than just an audience but a commitment to a future for all of us. The WSWS reveals the increasingly desperate effort of the bourgeoisie to breathe life into the stumbling monstrosity capitalism has degenerated into. Karl Marx forewarned the world that the decay in capitalism is inevitable and its end must not be prolonged. Unlike Shelly’s creation there is not a speck of humanity left in the empty shell of that system. We must move on. The arrival of the SEP is the opportunity to become part of the cause, to establish a truly international democracy through socialism. This is the realisation I have arrived at. I am very grateful for the continued existence and growth of the WSWS.