Social Forums

Notably the World and European social forums

Only one other world is possible: communism. Destruction of world-capitalism is indispensable for it

AISF is nothing but an important weapon of the ideological arsenal for bourgeois mystification. It is in perfect continuity with the ESF( European Social Forum) and the WSF( the World Social Forum). The AISF following in the footsteps of the other forums leaves no stone unturned to create the illusion of the possibility of another better world free from the intensifying problems of life and livelihood without destroying the decadent world capitalist system, the root cause of all problems endangering human existence today. It has made lofty promises and assertions. Let us try to find out the real essence of these and the real goal to which they aim to lead us to.

An exploiting class can’t end exploitation!

The worst line peddled by the likes of Geldof and Bono is that “those eight men have the power to do some real good for the world”. They say that the world leaders meeting at the G8 summit could do something to alleviate the terrible poverty stalking the planet. That they could halt the destruction of the global environment. That all we have to do is to join the parade and shout loudly, or dance to the music of Live8. That enough pressure, applied gently and democratically, will make the leaders stop in their tracks and pay attention to the needs of the oppressed.

For the working class all jobs are precarious

In issue 279 of World Revolution we wrote an article (1) criticising the false alternatives to the crisis of capitalism posed by the activists present at the ‘Beyond the ESF’ event, which ran alongside the ‘official’ European Social Forum in October last year. This event, organised by the WOMBLES, attracted a wide range of ‘anti-capitalists’ from around the world with the promise of a “part conference, part direct action [and] part celebration of self-organised cultures of resistance”...

ESF: For a class perspective on job insecurity

Where the big meetings at the ESF considered how government policies could be changed, the fringe events 'Beyond the ESF' had proposals for action. Typically they put a positive spin on all sorts of activities that have nothing to do with the struggle of the working class. For example, a Class War meeting on the issue of precarity (job insecurity), extolled the virtues of the black economy, and saw petty trafficking (e.g. in contraband cigarettes) as an expression of the class struggle, just because those who engage in it are hassled by the police. At other meetings there were calls for individuals to shoplift, fare dodge and squat empty buildings.

ESF: Old reformism in new packaging

The European Social Forum, having visited Florence and Paris in previous years, passed through London in mid October. As before there were hundreds of meetings, seminars, 'workshops' and cultural events touching on a wide range of issues, and a concluding demonstration where everyone was able to dress up and make a lot of noise. While a Guardian (18/10/04) leader announced that "New politics takes a bow" and banners declared that "Another world is possible", it was clear that there was nothing 'new' on display and nothing that even hinted at the possibility of an end to capitalist society and all its horrors.

An Earth Summit of exploiters and despoilers

The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg from August 26 to September 4 addressed issues that are vital for the survival of the human species, just as the previous summit held in Rio did ten years ago. And just like Rio it will not mark a turning point in the despoliation of the planet but the start of a new descent as capitalism plunges ever further into crisis, dragging humanity with it. Capitalism threatens humanity

Only one other world is possible: communism

Between 12th and 15th November, the "European Social Forum" was held in Paris, a kind of European subsidiary of the World Social Forum which has taken place several years running in Porto Alegre, Brazil (in 2002 the ESF was held in Florence, Italy, while the 2004 event is planned in London). The ESF has attained considerable proportions: according to the organisers, there were some 40,000 participants from countries ranging from Portugal to Eastern Europe, a programme of 600 seminars and workshops in the most varied venues (theatres, town halls, prestigious state buildings) distributed across four sites around Paris, and to conclude a big demonstration of between 60 and 100,000 people in the streets of Paris, with the unrepentant Italian Stalinists of Rifondazione Comunista at the front, and the anarchists of the CNT at the rear. Though they received less media attention, two other "European forums" took place at the same time as the ESF, one for members of the European parliament, the other for trades unionists. And as if three "forums" were not enough, the anarchists organised a "Libertarian Social Forum" in the Paris suburbs, at the same time as the ESF and deliberately presented as an "alternative" to it.

'Anti-globalisation': an ideological trap for the proletariat

The success of the European Social Forum (ESF) in Paris last November is a striking illustration of the growing strength of the "alternative worldist" movement during the last decade. After some hesitation, the initially fairly limited audience (limited in kind rather than geographically, since the movement quickly attracted an audience amongst "thinkers" and academics) grew to take on all the hallmarks of a traditional ideological current: a popular reputation thanks to the radicalism of the demonstrations in Seattle 1999 during the summit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); then the media figures, amongst whom José Bové is the uncontested star, and finally the major and unmissable events: the World Social Forum (WSF) which aimed to be an alternative to the Davos forum that brings together the world's major economic players, and whose first three meetings (2001, 2002, 2003) have been held in Porto Alegre (Brazil), a town supposed to symbolise "citizens' self-management".

European Social Forum offers no alternative to capitalism

The World Social Forum has recently been held in Mumbai (Bombay), India. This grand festival of 'anti-globalisation' gathered together 80,000 people of numerous political colours and social backgrounds under the slogan 'another world is possible'. In a forthcoming issue of WR, we hope to publish a report on this event written by comrades in India who intervened at some of its many meetings and debates. In the meantime, we are publishing an article written by our French section, Revolution Internationale, on the European Social Forum held in Paris last November. As the article shows, this was yet another rally 'against capitalism' supported from start to finish by the bourgeoisie.

ESF: The only alternative world is communism

In the last few years, the movement which describes itself variously as the 'anti-globalisation' or 'anti-capitalist' movement, the 'alternative world' or 'global justice movement' has been in the forefront of protest across the world. Through its speeches, writings and demands everything is being done to give the impression that this movement is the bearer of a new analysis of the current social order and that it holds the key to doing away with all its ills. This is summed up in its slogan 'another world is possible'. What does this 'new social critique' really amount to?

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