WSF, Participatory Budgets...

Patrick Bond pbond at
Sun Feb 3 23:57:25 MST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Derrick O'Keefe" <sankara83 at>
> 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
> glorious participatory budget of Porto Alegre whenever one is asked about
> alternatives?

No, but it'd be more convincing if you had comrades in the P.A. favellas to
make the point, agreed? (I'm always accused of substitutionism by the way,
as a white petit-bourgeois radical nailing ANC neoliberalism.)

> >Anyhow, it's a good time to take a look at this whole international
> >scene. Comrade Louis used to just write it off as a wank a couple of
> >ago, before Seattle.
> Great idea.  And I think we need a merciless criticism of all things
> existing, including all NGOs existing.

Yes, we're using chapter eight ("NGO's in the Service of Imperialism") in
the 2001 Petras/Veltmeyer book *Globalization Unmasked* to great effect here
in SA and Zimbabwe.

>  ...
> For instance, the Council of Canadians and their spokesperson Maude Barlow
> have constantly

Yeah, until April 2001. Then she was radicalised by QC protests and by July,
when I met her for the first time at a Vancouver conference ("Blue Planet"),
she was trying to bring together the best radical critics of privatised
water from across the world--and succeeding marvelously. I don't have my
report on that conference handy (it's at, coauthored
with Karen Bakker)... but you'll see that she's moved on a long way from
mere nationalism. No, she's not a Marxist leader. But the direction she and
her water-sector allies are heading towards, is where all Marxists should
be, I'd assert (apologies--a pre-advert for a new book on the topic coming
out very soon: *Unsustainable South Africa: Environment, Development and
Social Protest*--some of our work in this area is at

> promoted the idea that the biggest problem was that
> governments at all levels were losing power to *foreign* corporations.
> our "democracy" was being eroded.  Anything but to explain the reality
> our governments and the imperialist system were THE problems.

Ok, come to Jo'burg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, August
2002, and help us make that very point, comrade!

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