WSF, Participatory Budgets...

Derrick O'Keefe sankara83 at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 3 15:07:46 MST 2002


And no, no one I know
>who is active in grassroots struggles thinks participatory budgeting is
>going to work under conditions of neoliberalism (a local activist and I
>made
>this point in the 1996 Socialist Register, predicting Brazilian PT cities
>would continue to disappoint).
>
>So, give us a break from sterile purism.

It seems we're in pure agreement on this point.  So, is it sterile to
criticize the participatory budget, or is it sterile to wax poetic about the
glorious participatory budget of Porto Alegre whenever one is asked about
alternatives?

>Anyhow, it's a good time to take a look at this whole international radical
>scene. Comrade Louis used to just write it off as a wank a couple of years
>ago, before Seattle.

Great idea.  And I think we need a merciless criticism of all things
existing, including all NGOs existing.  Please don't confuse my criticisms
of certain groups/trends in the "radical scene" with writing off the whole
scene.

If K after K is utilized (usually rightfully) bashing the Heinz-57
vanguardists then I feel that the 31 flavors of progressive NGOs deserve
equal scrutiny.

For instance, the Council of Canadians and their spokesperson Maude Barlow
have constantly promoted the idea that the biggest problem was that
governments at all levels were losing power to *foreign* corporations.  That
our "democracy" was being eroded.  Anything but to explain the reality that
our governments and the imperialist system were THE problems.

Derrick O'Keefe









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