Another World Is Possible
January 24, 2004 10:52 AM   Subscribe

The World Social Forum, the grassroots answer to the World Economic Forum, just ended in Mumbai, India. Speakers included Nobel laureates Shirin Ebadi and Joseph Stiglitz (who got the most applause), and the always provocative writer Arundhati Roy. [More Inside.]
posted by homunculus (9 comments total)
Many Dalits ("untouchables") marched from different parts of India to join the forum as part of the Dalit Swadhikar Rally. The forum had 13 languages, no logos, and one serious scandal. But some people were unimpressed with the event.
posted by homunculus at 10:56 AM on January 24, 2004

I hear Arundhati Roy is a good novelist...
posted by crank at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2004

Great article by Roy. I can't read her writing without hearing her delightful accent.
posted by scarabic at 1:58 PM on January 24, 2004

committed to building a society centred on the human person.

It's nice to see that libertarians and objectivists are reaching out a little more these days.Ä
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:32 PM on January 24, 2004

I read Arundhati Roy's article and it was annoying in the way a bad commercial is dully irritating, especially after youv'e seen it a thousand times. Her article only gets a little fresh towards the end when she (being the mouthpiece of, of, well, she doesn't really say what her movement is, only what it's against) calls for battle. Roy practically calls for violence (or at least winks at it) against members of the "New Imperialism". She is filled with passion about perceived wrongs of global capitalism, ignoring it's amazing capacity for increasing wealth for everyone. Not that there aren't things to be fixed about capitalism, but as it stands it is the best economic system we have (raise your hand if you want to live in communist Russia). And that's where Roy's call for battle falls apart. She has nothing to offer except for an end to the way things are. That too often leads to fascism, communism, or totalitarianism.
posted by mr. man at 7:04 PM on January 24, 2004

The best allegory for New Racism is the tradition of "turkey pardoning" in the United States.

Frankly, nobody is better at satirizing Roy than Roy herself.
posted by dhartung at 9:55 PM on January 24, 2004

WSF is one of my favorite subjects. That's because I'm from Porto Alegre, Brazil, home of the first 3 editions of WSF (and, unfortunately, it seems, home of the 2005 edition).

During the last 3 years, I had to put up with people telling me that another world is possible. Yet, this event that should be a chance for debating new ideas to deal with significant issues is nothing of that.

It's not a debate. The committee in charge of organization will not take any enrollment of anyone with a different idea, opinion or position, thus killing dialog and diversity in it's root. All that is left is a bunch of people yelling the same slogans again and again, breaking into McDonald's restaurants and reviving their own version of Woodstock (with rock, pot, sex and ecological showers).

And all of this is possible due to the sponsorship of local governments (Porto Alegre, the city, which has been governed by Worker's Party since 1988 and also the Rio Grande do Sul State Government).

I've read Arundhati Roy's article. I'm really not surprised at all. I've been reading this kind of text for years. It's always about how things should be, but never about how we arrive that (or, at least, how we do that without taking the obvious paths of revolution, socialism, communism, etc).

It's funny how she mentions corporate media. As if the whole media was right-winged, corporate media. We should know better, it's just a matter of reading Mr. Antonio Gramsci.
posted by rexgregbr at 8:59 AM on January 25, 2004

Various faces of the WSF
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on January 25, 2004

Post-Marx From Mumbai
posted by homunculus at 9:34 PM on January 27, 2004

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