To whom interests to bury the WSF?

, by  CRUZ Mauri

It is known to all that WSF related processes have always been complex and with profound divergences between the multiple political nuances and involved actors. This fact should not be of any surprise to anyone. It is not an easy task to aspire the organization of an international joint action for the working class struggle, aside from all the other social fights for liberty, democracy, human, women and civil rights, religious freedom, children, youth, teen and elderly rights, the free assembly of peoples, for environmental protection and so many other agendas enough to cover these entire two pages. Even more than that, to articulate these fights and these actors under a same anti-capitalist strategy whilst suggesting a new order of things, synthetized in the idea of another possible world, urgent and necessary, is really quite complicated.

It is a complex effort, of difficult achievement, and which requires the patience and the tolerant ability to comprehend the times and movements of each process, each actor, each movement. Ever since its birth, the WSF suffered attacks from those who preached for its demise. I remember the preparation ahead of the WSF2009, in Belém, texts, documents and messages who announced it would be the last edition. Curiously enough, many from those who plan its burial until today.

Pablo Solon’s letter, although I respect his political history, makes no sense at all, for someone who is involved in the WSF organizational processes. Not even the proposal of an International Ethics Court was ignored by the Brazilian organizations of the IC. For that matter, those organizations are at the centre of the fight against the coup, acting directly in the mobilization and resistance, organizing protests, fundraising, and ensuring that the fight is reverberated around the world.

Professor Boaventura’s idea was born almost as an accusation against the IC, a methodological mistake by those who only accept the WSF in their image and resemblance. But that hasn’t discredited the idea that was well received by the Brazilian and international organizations that got onto organizing it in Brazil, as well as in Montreal, without splurge or main role disputes.

For the unwary or those distant to the international processes that involve the preparation of the WSF2016, there is no hypothesis of a burial of the WSF in Montreal. There will be not one, but many activities denouncing the coup in Brazil and the attempts to reverse achievements in Latin America. The environmental themes, the Mariana tragedy among them, the international crisis themes, the refugee crisis in Europe included, themes on democracy’s crisis around the world will be at the centre of the debate. 

This is not to say that the WSF doesn’t have serious issues in its organization dynamic, its working logic and its internal processes. The crisis of the International Council is public. Abong and CUT, just to name two Brazilian organizations, have been working towards overcoming this crisis without compromising the WSF’s future. As a matter of fact, recently having reread the Theory of Political Organization, a collection of writings by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Rosa, Gramsci, and Mao, it is possible to verify how difficult the history of the international organization of workers was and still is. The failures result from the same difficulty in democratically building consensus.

The crisis is always from management, or better, from dirigisme. The problems since the First International to this day still is who hegemonize the international organization process. Often, sectors that do not feel represented break away from the processes and divide up the fight. Thus has been the tragic history of anti-capitalist international coordination. This division of the struggle against imperialism interests only those against another possible world.

Well, I dare say that the WSF has put forth a political and methodological proposal that breaks with traditional concepts that the vanguard must decide over these processes. This political and methodological proposal often generates a scattered, complicated dynamic which, from afar, appears as inertia or lack of decision. The very crisis of the IC has to do with the idea of a self-proclaimed direction. Its aging and difficulty to open up, reconstitute itself and include new actors indicate that the organizations who participate in it, struggle in practicing what they preach. 

However, this is not reason to bury the WSF. The construction of consensus through political debate is always complicated. I have said that fifteen years is almost nothing in the life of an organization. Even less so in an international coordination with the dimension and objectives of the World Social Forum. I believe that, as in other editions, it won’t be this time that the sectors of the World Social Forum who criticize its processes will bury it. In fact, the WSF is self-organized, and as such, who could possibly decide to end it?

Mauri Cruz