From En Marcha
Central Organ of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
No. 1129
February 20-28, 2002

World Social Forum

Social Democracy Defends the System

At the World Social Forum the demarcation between revolutionaries and reformists is becoming more and more visible and is presenting two different and opposed lines.

In the first days of February, more than 50 thousand persons gathered in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre for the Second World Social Forum (WSF), which clearly differentiated between those who are fighting against globalization to reform it and give it a human touch and those of us who are working to defeat it and build socialism. This reflects the complexity of the anti-globalization movement and the way in which the social-democratic currents are trying to divert it.


The WSF was under the clear leadership of social-democratic and Euro-centric sectors, particularly the PT [Workers Party] of Brazil, Attac of France and the Association of Brazilian Businessmen for the Citizens. They organized a wide range of events and forums, all with carefully chosen panelists, without allowing for other opinions and contradicting the "respect for diversity" of which they boasted. It was shameful, for example, that they did not invite the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], Fidel Castro, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo [mothers of the disappeared in Argentina] and other important representative forces of the continent.

Using the argument that the conference is made up of "social movements and civil society," for example, a small NGO was invited instead of a revolutionary Party with social influence. But the contradiction was most evident when among those invited one noted the presence of politicians, legislators and mayors, mainly from Europe, known to support the neo-liberal and imperialist policies of their governments. Ministers from France, Belgium and Portugal who attended were opposed by the delegates of those same countries.

The criticisms multiplied, moreover, due to the monopolization of the event by the NGOs, many with state (Brazil) or international (Europe) financing, which explains the weak and even populist statements by some of the social-democratic leaders who try to present a left image. Among them, Lula and the PT made clear attempts to soften the tone of the final statement, trying to please the Yankees who were being criticized. The more critical case took place when the CUT [Brazilian trade union federation] led by the PT and Attac sought, even by threatening to withdraw, to support the theory of the "two devils," arguing that the USA is "the worst terrorist" but putting the peoples and organizations fighting for national liberation in the same category.

Thus, the final statement put forward a list of just demands, but without any reference to the necessary struggle for socialism, the only real way to confront imperialism and its globalization. These ethnic, gender, environmental, economic and generational demands also have the support of the revolutionaries, but we know that they are insufficient, that a revolutionary struggle is required to take power to build a new society.

That difference explains why the final resolution says nothing about solidarity with the peoples of the world who are fighting United States, European, Japanese or any other imperialism. This is a serious duty towards those who are actively involved in the struggle and not only in events which have a carnival atmosphere.

In order to advance

The unity of the peoples and the various forces opposed to the brutal expressions of imperialist domination is necessary and effective. Therefore, events in which one can have a dialogue and share experiences will always be positive, but only when the theses of the revolutionaries are not excluded. Besides, a clearly anti-imperialist position should be expressed, very different from taking a position in favor of one imperialism against another, as happened at the WSF this year. On reading the final statement, one does not find a single word against the European imperialisms, forgetting their share in the responsibility for the war in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia or the blockade of Iraq. The statement ignores the fact that these countries are benefiting from the foreign debt and their criminal domination over other countries, especially in Africa.

One cannot ignore the fact that the initial spirit of the Forum was the struggle for socialism as the only way to overcome capitalism, for the non-payment of debt, for international solidarity of the peoples in struggle. It is not a matter of fighting against some examples of the brutality of the system, but of fighting against their cause which is the very existence of capitalism. Therefore it is necessary to work for the genuine unity of the peoples and their organizations, maintaining a class and independent character with regard to imperialism. We will continue in that struggle together with many other organizations of the continent and around the world, which express themselves in combating the system and imperialism of whatever color.

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