John H

Why I read the WSWS

11 May 2013

I would like to offer my congratulations to the WSWS for its 15 years of unequalled insights into the ongoing developments in the capitalist crisis and the struggles of the working class.

My involvement in political activity began in the early 1980s when I joined the Workers Revolutionary Party, then the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International. My political education, however, only started during the split in the movement in 1985, the period when the International Committee was able to provide a clear historical analysis of the national opportunist degeneration and betrayals of the WRP leadership and elaborate on what were the real issues at stake: the defence of the programme, perspectives, and heritage of the Fourth International. This is powerfully explained in “How the Workers Revolutionary Party betrayed Trotskyism.”

For genuine Trotskyists the 1985-86 split was of immense historical importance and laid the political foundations for the extraordinary advances made by the International Committee since and, in particular, in the development of the World Socialist Web Site.

In 1998 when the WSWS began publishing online I did not have a computer and would travel for about 30 minutes to visit a friend who had a PC so I could download articles to read later. I obtained my first computer soon after and for the sole purpose of accessing the WSWS every day. I encountered some hostility to the turn taken by the Trotskyist movement to publish on the Internet. Members of my family initially thought it was a “betrayal” to stop producing a newspaper, but over time this attitude changed as the site became an absolute must-daily-read.

I’m currently in South East Asia and depend on the WSWS for accurate and honest reportage. It is the only publication able to provide a clear and coherent analysis of the fast moving political events—in this region and internationally—and the unfolding global economic crisis and the drive towards war.

As a documentary photographer, I was delighted to have the WSWS cover my exhibition on migrant workers at Oxford University in February 2011. In 2008 I had the opportunity to be part of a WSWS team which travelled to central Australia to report and photograph the impact of the Australian government’s Northern Territory “intervention” on Aboriginal communities. (Rudd Labor deepens Howard’s assault on Aboriginal communities) The “intervention” was not only a direct assault on the democratic and social rights of Aboriginal people and their communities but a testing ground for future attacks on all welfare recipients, indigenous and non-indigenous alike. The experience left a deep and lasting impression on me.

We are about to enter a profound period of enormous class struggles on a global basis. What has been made clear over the past 15 years is that the WSWS is the only publication that shows a way forward for the international working class.

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