Naomi Klein

Jørn Andersen jorn.andersen at
Thu Dec 5 10:15:37 MST 2002

On 09:45 05-12-2002 -0500, Louis Proyect wrote:

>The other problem I have with the anti-globalization movement is that the
>anti-capitalism, such as it is, seems utterly resistant to closing the
>circle and embracing Marxism. The whole discourse is in terms of greedy
>corporations, etc.

This is not what I hear from reports from people who were in Firenze
(Florence), 6-10 November.
(The European Social Forum in Firenze was by far the largest
anti-capitalist gathering in Europe so far - 57.000 took part.)

Not that this is a "Marxist movement", but Marxism can certainly find a
large audience.
People who had also participated in the Porto Alegre forum noticed that in
Firenze much more people saw it as "one movement" - meaning we do not only
have each our agendas of anti-war, anti-privatization, anti-IMF,
pro-environment etc. We are part of the same movement against the same enemy.

Many of the debates were about what the nature of that enemy is - and on
the other side: Which kind of movement do we need to counter this enemy?
What is the relation between political parties and the movement? How to
connect anti-capitalism with trade unionism?

Maybe in Europe it has been easier to "grow" from the experience of the WTC
and the Afghanistan war than it has in the US. (I do not know enough about
what the state of the movement is in the US.)

But the 1 million strong anti-war demo in Firenze on the last day of the
ESF is just one sign of the close relationship between the anti-war
movement and the anti-capitalist movement - at least in some of the
countries where the anti-war movement is strongest.

None of those I have spoken to about Firenze talked about hostility towards
Marxism. On the contrary most people were very open to Marxist ideas. That
does mean that the movement "embraces Marxism" - clearly there are lots of
non-Marxists and even anti-Marxists there.

But I think that if a Marxist organisation can win a huge audience for
Marxist ideas - provided it is part of the movement and is willing to take
part in activity as well as debates.

>If you are going to build an anti-capitalist movement, you'd better be
>rooted in a sharp-eyed class analysis. Our enemies certainly are.

No doubt.


Jorn Andersen
Internationale Socialister
Copenhagen, Denmark
E-mail: jorn at

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