The Sandorian Grove: World Social Forum 2009: The Failure of Success    
 World Social Forum 2009: The Failure of Success1 comment
picture30 Jan 2009 @ 14:59, by Max Sandor

The World Social Forum [link] is going on since a few days in Belém, Brazil.

Quote from Open Democracy: [link]
The "alter-globalisation" movement gathers in Brazil at a moment of crisis in the system it has long opposed. But its triumph is qualified as it searches for a way to turn global breakdown into political opportunity, says Geoffrey Pleyers.

see [link]


The failure of success

In these circumstances, what is the point of the World Social Forum? It could be argued that it more needed now than ever: that is, to contribute actively to the building of a new and fair global order that can address deep problems of poverty, inequality, food insecurity and ecological crisis. The problem here is that the movement is more united in what it has been against than in what it should now be for. In particular, "alter-globalisation" activists divide into three distinct currents about the way forward.

The local approach

The first current of the alter-globalisation movement) considers that instead of getting involved in a global movement and international forums, the path to social change lies through giving life to horizontal, participatory, convivial and sustainable values in daily practices, personal life and local spaces.

... (more at the link above)

The advocacy approach

The second current of the movement believes that the way forward lies through efficient single-issue networks able to develop coherent arguments in areas such as food sovereignty and developing-world debt; in turn this work can become a route to raising broader questions.
... (more at the link above)

The state approach

The third current of the movement holds that progressive public policies implemented by state leaders and institutions are the key to achieving broad social change.
... (more at the link above)

The shared approach
The participants in the Belém meeting can justly welcome the failure of many aspects of an economic model they long opposed. But as they move beyond critique towards a new role in a transformed global arena, can they find some common ground among these three currents?

... (more at the link above)
(end of quotes)

Like in the past years, the World Social Forum raises the question if NGOs in general are not just another way of hidden manipulation.

New World Encyclopedia writes: [link]
Criticisms of such forums have entailed allegations that participating NGOs take the place of what should belong to popular movements of the poor. Some more radical critics argue that NGOs are often quasi-imperialist in nature, fulfilling a function similar to that of the clergy during the high colonial era of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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