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Ten years after the first World Social Forum of Porto Alegre

Global tensions and “altermondialisme” *

by Christophe Ventura, member of the association Mémoire des luttes

Par Christophe Ventura  |  11 October 2011     →    Version imprimable de cet article Imprimer

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Eight World Social Forums (WSF), a Polycentric Forum (that is to say, organised in several countries around the world at a same period of time), a “World Action Day” and a " World Action Year” [1] have accompanied a tumultuous decade that has propelled the world into a period of geo-economic and geopolitical instability.

1. –  A Brief Review of a Decade of Radical Change

The year 2001 was marked by three events concerning geopolitical, economic and civic affairs . Each, in its own dimension, would significantly contribute to shaping the ten-year cycle. In geopolitical terms, the deadly terrorist attacks of Al-Qaeda against the World Trade Centre in New York would unleash the apostles of the "clash of civilisations," intoxicate the neoconservative hawks of George Bush with imperialistic dreams and propel the world into a period of stalemate wars (Afghanistan, Iraq).

At the same time, the exploitation of “terrorism” by states would offer governments the opportunity to develop security measures as never before and to criminalise social protest in their own countries [2]. On the economic front, the entry of China into the World Trade Organization (WTO) would confirm the irresistible rise of the Middle Kingdom in world affairs and, above all that of those soon to be referred to as "BRICS" (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in the global economic competition.

Finally, with regard to social and civic resistance to capitalism, the birth of the WSF in Porto Alegre (Brazil), heart of the dynamics of successful social and political struggles in Latin America since the mid-1990s, and within just over a decade following the collapse of state communism, the rise and the beginning of "the mother of all movements" with an international dimension appeared. Composed of various associations, NGOs, trade unions, social movements (anti-war, the “without rights” , peasants, students, women, migrants, etc.) the global justice movement would gradually assert itself as a new plural, politico-social movement carrying proposals for radical reforms of the economic system and its international institutions (e.g. the IMF, World Bank, OMC, the European Union, etc.).

Since then, this movement has been present regularly on the international scene - with less public visibility in recent years, and with some limitations as we shall see - through the events of the WSF or at international meetings of the dominant (G8/G20, United Nations and European Union Summits, etc.).

 

2. –  2011: A World in Transition

In geopolitical terms, 2011 is proving to be an important year. US imperial power succeeded in decapitating al-Qaida, but contrary to what the hawks in Washington had imagined, its hegemony has found itself in a long and inevitable phase of relative decline. And all this while its armies are still very much locked in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The disaster of Fukushima and the “Arab spring” are the two cardinal events. In geopolitical terms, the latter is by far the most important since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Within the tectonic movement of the Arab-Muslim societies, which have expressed a powerful demand for democracy, the “jihadist” elements appear marginalized.

The Libyan situation has divided the world progressive movement on the issue of whether or not to intervene (in particular the European and Latin-American left wings). It also highlights the failure of the UN, trapped in a new NATO war which puts the spot light on strategic dissensions and errors within the Alliance, as well as the physical limits of its military capacities.

On the geo-economic front, China has firmly secured its place as the number two power whilst expanding its position in a new way in its history in the international business. The BRICS - which account for 40% of world population, nearly 20% of global GDP and 30% of land surface - are having their presence felt both on the economic scene and, little by little, in geopolitics. All indicates that their rise to power is not accompanied by a challenge of global capitalism and neo-liberalism. The BRICS are positioning themselves as competitors in the battle vis-a-vis traditional powers at the heart of capitalism.

Today, this exists from north to south and from south to north. The world is increasingly divided between those who benefit from the mechanisms of global capitalism and those who suffer from it, in the north as well as in the south. A new consequence of this movement is an increase in social conflicts in the workplace (strikes, salary and union demands, etc.). This is taking place in all countries of the "Deep South"  suppliers of manpower for the needs of the world.

One can easily imagine that this conflict will eventually lead to the emergence of powerful social movements capable of disrupting the capitalist balance in place and affect profits for both foreign and local investors. This incubation would then, on the international scale, probably lead to a higher level of struggle against global capitalism.

Thus the world is witnessing the gradual shift of the centre of gravity of the global economy towards South East Asia and new poles in the South (South America and Africa). This structural movement is taking place while global capitalism is sinking into a systemic crisis (simultaneously with the financial, economic, social, food, energy, environmental, and geopolitical crisis’). It started with the financial phase in 2008, the phase that hit the economies of the centre of capitalism (especially European) where the major players, places and flows are concentrated. In this context, there are no tangible signs indicating a willingness to modify this destructive course and unsustainable system among the elite decision makers. The governments, the media, the leaders and the "experts" of international financial institutions, the members of the global oligarchy (financial operators, super-rich, etc.), have no intention of questioning a system which enriches them manifold.

They have decided to make the people pay for their crisis by imposing widespread austerity measures which in turn push the world into a recessionary cycle with major social consequences. Faced with this deteriorating situation, important social movements are taking place throughout Europe (Spain, Greece). Leading these movements are the young generation and workers living on the poverty line, who are fighting against the foisting of unjust austerity plans on them and who condemn the current forms of representative democracy considered as exhausted and the bipolarisation of political systems.

The issue of alliances with other actors of the social struggle remains open since these movements have the greatest distrust of traditional organizations (political parties, unions, etc.).

Lastly, in Latin America - the only significant flaw in the neoliberal hegemony of the previous decade - the destiny of the continent is led by a majority of progressive governments within a context of significant economic hardship and a strong counter-offensive by the right wing.

These governments have relied on original link-ups between social movements and political forces in their phase for the conquest of power and for implementing policies breaking with neoliberal dogma. Today they are showing a combination of irreversible achievements as well as contradictions [3] and in some countries, are having to face a new challenge from social movements (indigenous and farmers in particular) who are criticising certain choices in development policies (extra-activism, agro-industry).

 

3.- What about the WSF and the “altermondialiste” movement ?

The 9th WSF [4] held in Dakar from February 6th to 11th met with undeniable success after 2010, a year full of action which resulted in the organisation of 55 events in 28 countries, events related to the process of anti-globalisation of the World Social Forum (with a strong momentum in Latin America and the Maghreb-Mashreq region).

Between 60 000 and 100 000 participants from all continents - with a strong African participation - and 70,000 demonstrators during the opening march were announced by the organisers. Hundreds of seminars, self-organised workshops, network of meetings by theme (water, migration, democracy, agriculture, etc.) strategy of convergence in order to develop international campaigns (preparation of mobilisations against the G8/G20, the UN Rio+20 conference on climate change for 2012, etc.) took place despite significant organisational chaos. This particular aspect has cast a glaring focus on the limits of the virtues of "self-organization left to itself" in the Forums.

Within this framework, as in that of the markets, there is no self-regulating "invisible hand". Total self-organisation benefits primarily to organisations and networks whose "Forum capital" (regular attendance, financial and political resources sufficient institutional power, etc.) is important and produces phenomena leading to unequal access to availability of resources by event (rooms, hours, use of facilities, reception conditions, media coverage, etc.).

This tendency of collecting resources from the WSF by large organisations and "regulars" of the movement was reinforced in Dakar, producing considerable tension in the first days of the event and during the review meetings between organisations and networks involved in the process.

3.1 – The WSF as an actor of the current struggles ?

This Forum was held in a very singular context. It started out with the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and concluded with that of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. But whereas the first WSF in Porto Alegre and its subsequent editions were directly the work of the actors of the on-going Latin American struggles (or that of the Indians in 2004), Dakar was largely a spectator of the "Arab Spring". The presence of some organisations and activists who participated in these events did not overshadow the fact that the majority of the important actors in the Arab revolts is not related to the Forum process.

Nevertheless, we can moderate this statement by arguing that the development of local, social, national and regional Forums in recent years (including the Social Maghreb/​​Mashreq Forum which will next be held in March 2012) and the diffusion of intellectual criticism of neoliberal globalisation were able to permeate the Arab dynamics.

Opinions within the WSF differ on this point. Immanuel Wallerstein summarises :

The WSF itself debated how relevant it was to popular uprisings in the Arab world and elsewhere, undertaken by people who had probably never heard of the WSF ? The answer given by those in attendance reflected the long-standing division in its ranks. There were those who felt that ten years of WSF meetings had contributed significantly to the undermining of the legitimacy of neoliberal globalization, and that the message had seeped down everywhere. And there were those who felt that the uprisings showed that transformational politics lay elsewhere than in the WSF. [5]

The analysis of Fathi Chamkhi, spokesman of Raid / Attac Tunisia, is as follows :

“A revolution has just taken place in Tunisia. This in itself is something of historic important. Giving more importance to this revolution is the fact that it has ignited an entire sector of world revolution, or a region of the new capitalist world order, which is the Arab region. In Tunisia, we have been fighting for years against neoliberal globalisation. From the start, we have been involved in the nascent anti-globalisation by the creation in 1999 of the Attac movement. In fact, we were present at the international meetings of Attac in Saint Denis, in June 1999.

We were among the first, in November 2000 in Marseilles, to organise a counter summit which we had named "The Other Summit" where we expressed our opposition to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. In some ways The Other Summit was the forerunner of the Social Forums.

We then launched the dynamics of a Tunisian Social Forum, which worked well until the dictatorship, aided and abetted by the bureaucratic leadership of the UGTT, (trade union), managed to stifle it.

Never, during all these struggles, were we able to raise any interest from active social networks of the WSF, let alone backing. It is however true, we were a weak social movement. To some extent this revolution is our revenge! We are so proud to have shown that little people can do big things! " [6]

The major geopolitical event of the "Arab Spring" - the dynamics of which will last over a long period of time having progress, setbacks and counter-revolutionary attacks - could mean that the next WSF in 2013 will be held in either Egypt or Tunisia. Or perhaps in Europe, where the "Indignados" movement in Spain is spreading or in Greece of the Syntagma.

How can the WSF help strengthen the new cycle of struggles ? And at the same time, how can this new cycle join in the development of international struggles for democratic, economic, ecological and social transformation ? From the perspective of the WSF, the first response must be to show practical solidarity with these dynamics in the absence of being able to impel them or to play a direct role in them. In this way, these dynamics will be able to reinforce the WSF process whose operational centrality is relativised in the current phase. Could this WSF process, at the international level, could facilitate the meeting and the convergences between the new processes ? It is still premature to answer, but it will certainly be one of the key reflections on the future of the WSF [7].

3.2 - The choice between an "event" and the building of a sustainable balance of power, what strategy and for what project ?

In recent years, salutary debates have taken place within the WSF and the global justice movement on their relationship with political forces and progressive governments engaged against neo-liberalism and imperialism (what we called the post-altemrondialisme) [8].

Henceforth, they must take into account the emergence of a new component among the democratic "unorganized self-organized" movements which are present in their current historical sequence. These are characterised by the fact that there are no parties, no leaders, and no mass organisations at the heart of the process. This particular “form” of political organisation finds its extension in a theorized and assumed distrust of political parties (also sometimes of union structures) and, even further, of all forms of "traditional organisations." If these movements are little or not at all present in the WSF process, they however, in their forms of mobilisation and demands, integrate a part of the culture, practices and claims (network organization, horizontal patterns of decision making, research for greater diversity of self-organization, demands for a new form of democracy, a denunciation of the dictatorship of the markets, etc.).

The WSF of Dakar confirmed the achievements and limitations of the Forums and the global justice movement. The WSF, which does not sum up the whole global justice movement, is a unique process of debate, networking and building of alliances for social movements and citizens around the world (at least those involved). It provides a continuously updated dynamic account, and is a lively chronicle of the evils of worldwide capitalism. This year, for example, it has identified the issue of land grabbing by states (particularly in the South) and private investors as a phenomenon of the structuring of global space.

In just one decade, it has succeeded in imposing an ideological, if not political [9] contradiction to neo-liberalism and has significantly contributed in delegitimising it in public opinion. The first stage (2001-2006) provided trade unions, political parties, associations, NGOs, etc., with a new intellectual matrix to decipher the evolution of neoliberal globalisation. The second phase (2006-2009), gave all these actors the possibility of creating new forms of internationalism - thematic and/or sector based - by building networks that are now developing their own agendas.

Thus, gradually and paradoxically, this process has generated a progressive empowerment of its actors - or a let-up in the central ties in the relationship between them and the Forum. New international networks in the field of trade unions, political parties or associations, have little by little been created or consolidated in recent years: the Sao Paulo Forum, the International Trade Union Confederation, the World Forum for Alternatives, the Climate Justice Now coalition, thematic platforms of NGOs, etc. And, all this thanks to their passage or immersion in the WSF.

In this sense, the WSF process has already fulfilled a part of its historical role. Nevertheless, and despite a significant accumulation of social and citizen movements over ten years in its dynamics - especially in Latin America and Europe - and the assertions of its universal values ​​and goals, the WSF and the global justice movement have not been able to mobilise sufficient forces so as to impose, directly and in a sustainable way in the international arena, where the real balance of capitalistic power lies.

In the international arena where it is in competition with the institutions of capitalism, markets and multinationals, the global justice movement is limited in its influence. The local and national levels, in relation with regional levels, at this stage of financial globalisation, are most efficient in accumulating and convening, when the need so arises, targeted and sector based forces, well established on the social and environmental fronts and to forge temporary alliances [10].

Since three decades the general socio-economic conditions, in which the movement is evolving, particularly in Europe, are characterised by a major transformation of the economic system (transition from industrial capitalism to financial capitalism) which in turn is leading to a relative and progressive weakening of the traditional working class; a crisis in the historical perspective of the labour movement and a degraded environment in the capital/labour ratio, a flexible job market that produces new social groups (a services oriented proletariat) structured by unemployment, job insecurity, occasional access to work, individualised careers, etc. The latter, consisting mainly of youth, women and immigrants, are inherently less socialised in areas of long, organised struggles, and awareness [11]. It is in the intervening spaces of these tendencies that the current battles are developing.

In its socio-cultural forms, the anti-globalisation movement is partly a reflection of social relations generated by global capitalism. Very different from what was the labour movement, even if to some extent, the struggle has continued, it has become a movement comprised of various other sector-based movements, without a dominant ideology. Bound together by related objectives and common "moments" these movements are not organised time-based or with a permanent coordination.

All of these combined factors which evolve with the crisis, set the pace and nature of the resistance. At the same time they also impose a limit on the political ability of a movement that reacts and resists configurations and consequences of the interaction between itself and capitalism by developing new social relations through political and social conflicts which it would be able to impose on capitalism as an offensive.

Thus, if the emergence of the global justice movement, particularly at the time when it was very visible (1999-2008), corresponded to a phase of renewal and growth of social and civic struggles against financial capitalism, these limits also indicate those of its present stage of development.

In terms of its political and philosophical project, the objective of the global justice movement remains the development of a globalised civic, political, economic, social and environmental plan for all individuals. This logic leads some of its most dynamic players, to hope for the coming of a new era of true global democracy [12]. Such an aim raises many policy debates. Indeed, capitalist globalisation is a peculiar problem. It stimulates permanent interstate competition with the aim of attracting ultra mobile capital outside of all political control [13]. This dynamic favours a structural separation between the economic and political spheres. And this, within a deteriorated capital/labour ratio.

At this stage of the evolution of the worldwide system, the anti-globalisation ideal is faced with a contradiction. From a historical perspective, unquestionably its subject matter resonates with that of the general orientation of capitalism with its logic of endless accumulation and continuous development of interdependence between states, the two go together, to "the formation of all encompassing units (of integration and domination)" [14] according to the words of philosopher and sociologist Norbert Elias.

This proves right when, in the late 1980s, he analysed the prospects for interaction between national and supranational levels, while the integration of the European Common Market was accelerating and the USSR was about to collapse, this was the beginning of what will be called a few years later globalisation : “On the technical and economic side the pressure of evolution and the pressure of competition between states in general will lead to (...) a higher level of integration than that of nation states and the constitution of confederate states. But this unscheduled pressure of evolution runs contrary to the pressure of “our” identity on the national level, and this latter is by far the strongest. Whereas at the time of transition from tribe to state, the resistance of tribal traditions rooted in the consciousness and sensitivity of individuals has almost no chance of imposing the perpetuation of the independence of tribes, the chances are greater that the tenacity of personality structures which oppose the pressure of integration to a higher level concerning the passage of national units to the formation of continental states or in any case post-national units, prevail.” [15]

Whatever opinion we may hold on the project of global democracy which has the support of some in the global justice movement - we would rather construct an international general interest – however the current socio-historical conditions, as we have seen, prevent its realisation.

Therefore, without relying on the prospect of having to wait for a future better world in a few decades or centuries, two questions arise. What are bases for social movements and, particularly that of the people, which could carry weight in the current play out ?

Would it be possible, ultimately, to develop on regional and global levels a time-table compatible with the prevention of serious consequences threatened by the ecological crisis in progress, a large enough number of social and political players having a common culture and a common project to confront capitalism ?

These issues shed light on the strategic debates that the anti-globalisation movement is going through concerning internationalism, the role of the state, sovereignty, the people, and the well know pair globalization/de-globalization, etc.

It is interesting to note that on all these issues, the approaches of the movements are significantly different depending whether they are in the North or in the South. Thus, the question of national sovereignty is perceived by some in Europe as a return to nationalism, meanwhile the same in South America and other countries of the South, is considered a tool of resistance in the face of the neoliberal international system.

 

4. - Which forum and what is the general situation of the struggles for the future ?

Today, it is clear that in terms of social struggles, the most militant fringe (trade unions, activist movements e.g. the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) is no longer at the forefront of the forum for process orientation. Major NGOs, on which a significant portion of the financing of the WSF depends [16] and who have a tendency of being fractious to any form of "politicisation", have taken over a very important role in the process and the preparation of this event. This reality has increased in recent years with the withdrawal of the monitoring process of the great movements of struggle of the South - especially in Latin America where important, popular victories were won at the same time as the preparation of each edition of the WSF between 2001 and 2006 [17] - where anti-globalisation organisations played a central role in the first historical phase of the Forums (for financial reasons, priority and capacity policies).

To some extent, the WSF process has to manage a passage of relay between its European and Latin American periods and its geographic and political expansion in Africa and Asia. Should this prove positive and in line with the changing international context, it however neither ensures the same strength as that of mobilised force which was forged around common struggles nor the same political and logistic relays rooted in a geographic space and modeled by social and political victories.

Moreover, as we saw with the development of the present day social and political struggles (those in the Arab world, Europe or Latin America or those we known about but which are rarely mentioned, in Asia and other developing countries) a new generation of political and social actors has come onto the field. If this generation seems to have inherited a part of the culture and is making the same demands as the WSF process, there is little in common between the two.

Under these circumstances, the WSF must seek to preserve its function as a space of convergence of all these struggles and identities - a critical task because there is no other choice-. And within this framework, it must permit an accrual of knowledge and understanding of different national situations and improve the sharing between the event and the processForum.

It must also rethink a format that allows for collective ownership of the networks. This is more than ever a deciding factor as the Arab revolutions and the movements in Spain and Greece have shown, it must facilitate the decision making of the lines of action to be taken by those in direct contact with actors of the political and social transformation that is unfolding on national levels with echoes throughout the region.

This is crucial to its future, while retaining its status as a common reference, it is no longer the sole centre of the construction of new socio-political issues at the international level.

For many years now an important question is being asked by the anti-globalisation movement and the WSF process. How to rethink their relationship as regards to political transformation ?

This question is not limited to the relationship between movements, parties and states, but let us take into consideration that the latter accounts for much when we look at the history of liberation movements since the industrial revolution. Can we be satisfied with a discourse – significantly present in several sectors of social movements - which in the name of legitimate criticism of bourgeois democracy and the exposure of failures, and even betrayals by some well known political parties, would result ultimately in theorising a division of labour between social movements and political actors ? And in so doing, we advocate, the construction of a line of separation between "civil society" and society tout court.We believe that dynamic structures are necessary and possible as shown by Latin American experiences, or by such as those taking place in the Maghreb.

Faced with the powerful forces of capitalism and neoliberal ideology, the forging of alliances (even if, initially, it means taking divergent paths) on different topics - political or social - is a historical necessity. Abandoning this perspective would mean to refrain from not going beyond protest and infra-political struggle against capitalism and neo-liberalism, whereas oligarchies are planning a reactionary substitute to the systemic crisis based on the development of xenophobia and extreme-right politics. All these questions will very shortly, be laid before the participants of the new generation in the struggles before them [18]. Therefore, a careful observation of the evolution of these struggles in Europe and the Maghreb-Mashreq will be necessary before the forthcoming elections in Egypt, and Tunisia and international actions will be launched to rally the movement of the “Indignados” in Spain (October 15th).

Traduction : Nadira Akbaraly

 

* We will use the french word « altermondialisme » or the english one «  global justice movement ».

Footnotes

[1] WSF : Porto Alegre/Brazil (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005), Bombay/India (2004), Nairobi/Kenya (2007), Belem/Brazil (2009), Dakar/Senegal (2011) ; Polycentric Forum (2006) : Bamako/Mali, Caracas/Venezuela, Karachi/Pakistan ; World Action Day (January 26th 2008), World Action Year (2010).

[2] The Berlusconi government’s brutal repression of popular movements against the G8 in Genoa in 2001 remains a symbol. However this cost the anti-globalisation activist Carlo Giuliani his life.

[3] Valter Pomar, "Latin America: the left in government," Utopie critique (n° 52, fourth quarter 2010). This remarkable analysis is proposed by Valter Pomar, member of the national board of the Workers’ Party (PT) in Brazil and executive secretary of the Forum of Sao Paulo.

[4] For a full account of  the "Year of global actions," read Gustave Massiah, "Preliminary report on the year of global action 2010" (http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/noticias_01.php?cd_news = 3023 & cd_language=). To these events, should be added the many others that took place at the local level and which document all of the dynamics of the social forums. To have a global overview, read Gustave Massiah, Une stratégie altermondialiste, La Découverte, Paris, 2011.

[5] Immanuel Wallerstein, « The World Social Forum, Egypt, and Transformation». (http://www2.binghamton.edu/fbc/archive/299en.htm). To read Immanuel Wallerstein ‘s “Commentaries” in french, see the website of Mémoire des luttes (http://www.medelu.org/_Immanuel-Wallerstein_).

[6] Interview published March 13th 2011 in the Mémoire des luttes dossier entitled “De l’impact des révolutions arabes dans le monde et sur les forces de transformation sociale” (http://www.medelu.org/spip.php?article766).

[7] For further information on this issue, please check (in English), Giuseppe Caruso, “The “miracles” of the Arab Revolution: Notes from the World Social Forum International Council meeting, Paris May 2011”. Giuseppe Caruso is a researcher and member of Network Institute for Global Democratisation (https://giuseppecaruso.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/the-%E2%80%9Cmiracles%E2%80%9D-of-the-arab-revolution-notes-from-the-world-social-forum-international-council-meeting-paris-may-2011).

[8] See Christophe Ventura « De nouvelles orientations stratégiques pour les Forums sociaux? » published on the website of Mémoire des luttes :  (http://www.medelu.org/spip.php?article444&var_recherche=de%20nouvelles%20orientations) and in the review Transform (No. 6, June 2010). See also, the proceedings of the international  conference « Vers un socialisme du XXIe siècle. Altermondialisme et post-altermondialisme », January 26th 2008 for the World Action Day (http://www.medelu.org/spip.php?article18)

[9] In fact, a limit that the WSF has fixed for itself - and which in reality is inherent to its organisation and its operations - is that, as such, it cannot lead to the development of a political project.v

[10] As the mobilisations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, or for the 2005 referendum against the European Constitutional Treaty in France or the Netherlands, mobilisations against the proposed pensions "reform" in France in 2010 or the Arab revolt and the European "Indignados" in 2011 have all shown.

[11] About the impact of all these elements on the situation in Europe, see Christophe Ventura « Limites et perspectives d’un mouvement social à l’échelle européenne », Utopie critique (n°52, 2010). Also available on the website of Mémoire des luttes (http://www.medelu.org/spip.php?article689).

[12] To have a complete and well-argued theoretical synthesis of this project, see Gustave Massiah, Une stratégie altermondialiste, La Découverte, Paris, 2011.

[13] On this issue, read Giovanni Arrighi’s major workAdam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century.

[14] This subject has been analyzed in its historical perspective in two books: La dynamique de l’Occident, Pocket, 2007 et La société des individus, Pocket, 2008.

[15] Norbert Elias, La société des individus, Pocket, 2008.

[16] A debate has begun on the financing of the WSF. Indeed, the WSF has become increasingly dependent on large NGOs, foundations and states (which may directly or indirectly subsidise the event through funds granted to NGOs with whom they have contacts within the framework of the WSF and beyond).

[17] War for water (2000) and gas (2003) in Bolivia followed by the election of Evo Morales to the presidency in 2005 election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (1998-2001-2006), Lula in Brazil (2002-2006), the debt crisis in Argentina (2001), continental mobilisation of all sectors of Latin American social movements against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) 1998 and the final failure of project in Mar del Plata (Argentina) in 2005, etc..

[18] The massive success of the movement of "Indignados" in Madrid the day of the overwhelming victory of the Spanish right in local elections (May 22nd, 2011) confirms this anxiety.





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