The WSWS is the online publication of the world Trotskyist movement, the International Committee of the Fourth International, and its affiliated sections in the Socialist Equality Parties around the world. It launched publication in February 1998, and has been publishing continuously for the past 25 years.
The WSWS aims to meet the need, felt widely today, for an intelligent appraisal of the problems of contemporary society. It addresses itself to the masses of people who are dissatisfied with the present state of social life, as well as its cynical and reactionary treatment by the establishment media.
Our website provides a source of political perspective to those troubled by the monstrous level of social inequality, which has produced an ever-widening chasm between the wealthy few and the mass of the world’s people. As great events, from financial crises to eruptions of militarism and war, break up the present state of class relations, the WSWS will provide a political orientation for the growing ranks of working people thrown into struggle.
We anticipate enormous battles in every country against unemployment, low wages, austerity policies and violations of democratic rights. The World Socialist Web Site insists, however, that the success of these struggles is inseparable from the growth in the influence of a socialist political movement guided by a Marxist world outlook.
The standpoint of this website is one of revolutionary opposition to the capitalist market system. Its aim is the establishment of world socialism. It maintains that the vehicle for this transformation is the international working class, and that in the 21st century the fate of working people, and ultimately mankind as a whole, depends upon the success of the socialist revolution.
The partisanship of the World Socialist Web Site by no means excludes objectivity or honest debate. We welcome a broad exchange of viewpoints with workers, students and intellectuals who are seeking an alternative to bourgeois politics and capitalist economics. Polemics and debate, the dialectical means by which knowledge and truth are established, are an integral component of the WSWS. Only intellectual integrity and commitment to historical truth are required of those who wish to contribute to the site.
During the course of its more than 20 years of publication, the WSWS has been the authoritative voice of international revolutionary socialism. It has served as the indispensable political and intellectual guide for workers, students and youth all over the world who are seeking to make sense of events in a time of great crisis and human suffering, and to find a genuinely progressive—and, therefore, revolutionary—alternative to a dysfunctional capitalist world that is collapsing into barbarism.
On the fifteenth anniversary of the WSWS in 2013, the International Editorial Board produced an annual chronology, selected from our archive of more than 45,000 articles up to that point, in order to offer readers a comprehensive overview of the most important events from 1998 to 2013. We urge readers to study this chronology and see how the WSWS reported and analyzed the great events, political issues, social processes and intellectual controversies of its first fifteen years.
From the very beginning of the Clinton impeachment crisis, the WSWS drew attention to the underlying class issues and the implications of the right-wing effort to cripple or remove the Clinton administration for the democratic rights of the working class.
Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin, the greatest Soviet and Russian Marxist sociologist and historian of the second half of the 20th century, died of cancer on September 25, 1998, in Moscow.
The major imperialist powers launched an unprecedented multilateral war against Serbia. NATO, led by the United States but including forces from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other allied countries, rained bombs down on the tiny country, the largest fragment of the former Yugoslavia.
The year 1999 witnessed the launching of another neo-colonialist operation by the imperialist powers: the Australian-led and US-backed intervention in East Timor.
The outcome of the election was decided in the notorious Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, in which a 5-4 majority ordered an end to the Florida recount and then declared that its ruling could not be used as a precedent for any future action.
The initial response of the WSWS, written only hours after the attack, “The political roots of the terror attack on New York and Washington,” condemned the terrorist attacks and placed central culpability upon US imperialism.
From the outset of the invasion, the WSWS exposed the lies of the Bush administration that its illegal invasion of Afghanistan was an act of self-defense in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, less than one month before.
The ICFI issued a statement calling for a working-class boycott of the second-round vote to “deny legitimacy to the electoral fraud and provide a means for translating mass discontent into effective political action.”
In March 2003, the world watched on in horror as the US-led “shock and awe” bombing campaign lit up the nighttime sky of Baghdad with billowing clouds of flame and smoke.
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami devastated Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, killing nearly 300,000 people.
More than 1,800 people died as a consequence of the storm, mainly in New Orleans, where levees failed and most of the city was flooded.
In July 2006, the Israel Defense Forces carried out a massive invasion across the Israel-Lebanon border, leading to a month-long conflict that gripped the attention of the world and posed the danger of a far wider regional war.
On Monday, September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest US investment bank, filed for bankruptcy. The 158-year-old icon of American finance collapsed in the midst of a mushrooming crisis of American and world financial markets.
In the course of four weeks of brutal and one-sided violence, from late December 2018 to January 2019, Israeli forces killed more than 1,300 Palestinians while losing only a handful of soldiers.
The June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran revealed a bitter split within the Islamic Republic’s political elite. Incumbent President Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over several rivals.
The SEP campaigned for a citizens inquiry following the deaths of three children in a housefire on Dexter Avenue, Detroit, in March 2010. The fire occurred when the children’s mother, Sylvia Young, was out buying a spaceheater after the utilities provider, DTE, had shut off service in their home.
On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shattered the impoverished nation of Haiti. The death toll was a staggering 200,000 people, with many buried beneath cheaply-made buildings.
On June 24-25, 2010, Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted in an inner-party coup. An extensive US network of “protected assets” inside the Labor Party, together with right-wing faction leaders, maneuvered behind closed doors to remove Rudd and install Julia Gillard, the favorite of the Obama administration.
On April 20, 2010, the worst environmental catastrophe in US history began with the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well 50 miles off the American Gulf Coast.
The growing support for the work of the Citizens Inquiry into the Dexter Avenue house fire in Detroit led the SEP to form the Committee Against Utility Shutoffs (CAUS) in May 2010. The CAUS was a landmark in the fight to mobilize broad sections of the working class in opposition to the Democratic Party and the trade unions.
On January 14, 2011, the longtime US-backed Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in a revolution. The massive protests in the small North African country were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable cart vendor.
From January 25 to February 11, 2011, a revolutionary upsurge of the Egyptian working class toppled a decades-old US-backed dictatorship in the largest Arab country.
In early February, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker threatened to call out the National Guard if public workers resisted his anti-worker legislation. Teachers and other public employees responded by walking off their jobs and staging daily protests in the state capitol building, which was occupied by large crowds for weeks.
The United States responded to the eruption of revolutionary upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011 by stepping up its intervention in the region through the stoking of civil wars, first in Libya, and then in Syria.
In May 2011, the US organized an operation that led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden and several others. This execution-style murder—contemporaneous media accounts that portrayed bin Laden as armed and fighting to the death were later discredited—was followed by the removal of the body and secret burial at sea.
The Occupy movement tapped into mass opposition to the extraordinary levels of social inequality in America and around the world. The social and political outlook of those at the core of the protests, however, was hostile to the working class.
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the city’s center on April 15, 2013. The attack was utilized by the Obama administration to conduct an unprecedented military-police lockdown of an entire American city.
The imperialist campaign against Syria focused increasingly on allegations that the Assad regime was using chemical weapons against its own people, presented without any evidence.
By the end of the July 2013, the Egyptian military dictatorship consolidated itself through a bloodbath of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other anti-coup protesters. The US government endorsed the mass repression, with Secretary of State Kerry claiming the military was “restoring democracy.”
In 2013, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden released extensive documentary evidence of mass electronic surveillance and violation of democratic rights of the American and world population by the US intelligence state.
The Socialist Equality Party and WSWS mobilized support from workers, students and intellectuals throughout the Detroit area and around the world to defend the unique collection at the DIA from its threatened selloff or privatization.
In February, 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country’s capital, Kiev, having been forcibly removed from power by right-wing demonstrations backed by US and European imperialism. Yanukovych’s overthrow was the culmination of long-standing efforts on the part of the US to install a pliant regime with close ties to Washington on the borders of Russia.
From July-August 2014, the Israeli military pounded the densely populated and impoverished territory of Gaza with bombs, missiles and shells, killing nearly 2,000 people, wounding over 10,000 more and leaving almost half a million people displaced.
Over four years, beginning in August, 2014, the Australian political establishment conducted a campaign of events commemorating and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the imperialist slaughter of World War I.
The move for separation from the UK was led by right-wing nationalist forces, whose aim was to transform Scotland into a low-tax cheap labour platform for the benefit of the banks and transnational corporations.
In December 2014, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a 525-page summary of its voluminous report on the torture of prisoners in secret CIA facilities overseas, conducted between 2002 and 2007.
The aim of the inquiry was to uncover the social and historical roots of the bankruptcy of Detroit, expose the political and financial interests behind this attack on the working class, and provide workers and young people with the knowledge required to fight back.
The 2015 presidential election in Sri Lanka was a major political event for the working class throughout the region and internationally.
Syriza was swept to office pledging to end EU austerity and was hailed by the middle-class pseudo-left as a “radical” alternative to capitalism. In office, it imposed brutal austerity and carried out the most draconian anti-refugee policy in Europe.
The January 7 terrorist attacks that killed 12 and wounded eight at the editorial offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo were utilized by the French and European political establishment to boost police powers, promote racist propaganda and legitimize fascist parties.
The WSWS warned that those hoping a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn would “provide an alternative to austerity will be cruelly disappointed. The real measure of his campaign must be judged not on stated intentions, but on the essential criterion of the class interests served by the party and the programme he defends.”
The November 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris was utilized by French President Francois Hollande to suspend democratic rights and impose a state of emergency that lasted two years, longer than any time since 1955, during the Algerian war for independence against France.
While autoworkers demonstrated immense determination and courage to fight, the resort to gangster-like methods by the United Auto Workers demonstrated that the only way workers can defend their interests is by casting off the dead weight of this corporate-labor syndicate.
Flint’s population, some 100,000 people, including 9,000 children, was poisoned for 18 months through lead-contaminated drinking water before the official lies were exposed and the city returned to its original water source.
The SEP called for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum in opposition to all attempts to dragoon the working class behind one or other of the reactionary camps of the bourgeoisie. Our perspective was based upon the independent political mobilisation of the working class across Europe.
Factions of the Turkish military organized the failed attempted coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan out of İncirlik air base in southeastern Turkey, a center of over 1,400 US military personnel and hundreds more American contractors, and the largest stockpile of US nuclear weapons on the European continent.
The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election exposed before the entire world the terminal crisis of American democracy. Such is the degeneration of bourgeois rule that it elevated an obscene charlatan and billionaire demagogue to the highest office in the land.
The Trump administration launched missile attacks against Syrian government forces based on fraudulent and unsubstantiated charges, regurgitated by international media and later disproven by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against the population.
Leading officials from the United Automobile Workers union accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars is bribes from the auto corporations as they imposed labor contracts that slashed the wages and benefits of thousands of autoworkers.
The Maruti Suzuki 13 were framed up by India’s largest automaker, the police, the judiciary, the Haryana state government and India’s principal big-business parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Narendra Modi and the Congress Party of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, to intimidate workers seeing to defend their rights and conditions.
The Socialist Equality Party called for an active boycott of the French elections, which saw a second-round runoff between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
The deaths of thousands of people in Puerto Rico, covered up by authorities for over two years, are searing indictment of the criminal negligence and indifference of both the US ruling establishment and its two major parties, as well as that of the territory’s own governmental authorities.
The US bombardments of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, in 2017 were war crimes of horrific proportions. Both cities were reduced to rubble, with collectively tens of thousands of people killed.
Spanish paramilitary police mounted a violent crackdown on voters in the Catalonia independence referendum, wounding over 1,000 people. A dozen Catalan nationalist politicians were later sentenced to a decade in jail for sedition in 2019.
The #MeToo “movement,” which has seen the removal of leading artists and other figures on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct alone, has been used to attack democratic protections such as the presumption of innocence and the right to due process.