[Marxism] Re: Wallerstein and Mumbai-Resistance

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Mon Feb 2 22:56:28 MST 2004

The best general, mainstream report on MR-2004 (that I found so far):

A militant platform


"Mumbai Resistance-2004, a platform of over 310 political movements
organised parallel to the WSF, claims that the latter cannot provide a
proper focus and orientation to the struggles against imperialist
globalisation and war."


Someone asked for Trotskyist, or post-Trotskyist takes:

New Internationalist magazine:

An opposing parallel meet, Mumbai Resistance 2004 Against Imperialist
Globalisation and War, is being held across the road from the WSF
–somewhat galling for the organizers, but an interesting development.


Socialist Worker:

Throughout the meetings, opposition to U.S. militarism remains a
constant theme. The WSF's final rally renews the call for worldwide
demonstrations to mark the March 20 anniversary of the U.S. invasion on
Iraq. Despite the emphasis on opposing imperialist war--and the
universal calls for solidarity among social movements--remarkably few
speakers have raised the need to support the Iraqi resistance.

Only a few make the point of saying that the oppressed have the right to
resist--and that self-determination means outsiders shouldn’t determine
the political forms of resistance. The issue of supporting the Iraqi
resistance is one important factor that gave rise to a
counter-conference--called Mumbai Resistance 2004--that is being held
across the street from the exhibition grounds where the WSF is taking

The counter-conference, which was organized by India's far-left
organizations, is raising important questions. But attendance is much
smaller than the WSF. This is a sign that the debate, like the Iraqi
resistance itself, is still in its formative stages.


Alex Callinicos (now of Globalise Resistance):

there are other signs of success. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winner,
chairman of
 Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and ex-chief economist of the
World Bank,
 came to Bombay to outline the case for a more humane and regulated
capitalism on
 the same platform as the Indian Marxist economist Prathap Patnaik, who
 argued that capitalism can't be reformed, the great critic of
imperialism Samir Amin,
 and two socialist activists, Dita Sari from Indonesia and Trevor Ngwane
of South Africa.
 That a former senior US official came to debate with us is a real
tribute to the
 movement's power.

 “Meanwhile for sheer spectacle, nothing could beat the opening
ceremony, as tens of
 thousands sat listening to speakers like Arundhati Roy and Jeremy
Corbyn amidst an
 Indian night illuminated by the screens that projected huge images of
the speakers to
 the crowd.

 “But what light did the Bombay Forum throw on the development of the
 movement? First of all, the long-standing debate over the relationship
between social
 movements and political parties was given a different modulation. In
Porto Alegre the
 presence of the Workers Party (PT) was so all-informing that it could
be taken for
 granted (Olivio Dutra, one of the founders of the Brazilian Forum and
now Minister of
 the Cities in Lula's government, represented the PT in Bombay). India
has the largest
 Communist movement in the world - two mass parliamentary parties, the
 quasi-Maoist Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party
of India
 (pro-Moscow in the days of the USSR), plus various Marxist-Leninist
 organizations that often lead very large and militant movements in
different parts of
 the country. The WSF couldn't have happened in India without the
support of the big
 CPs at least: their presence in the Indian Organizing Committee
 non-aligned activists and intellectuals) was discreet but important.

 “A related issue concerned the participation of NGOs in the WSF.
 uncontroversial in Brazil, this was hotly contested in India where much
of the left have
 developed a fierce critique of the NGOs for creaming off activists into
 bureaucratic jobs and confining the movements they back to relatively
narrow issues.
 This critique - plus the WSF's exclusion of armed struggle groups (some
 organizations are still involved in guerrilla campaigns in some regions
of rural India) -
 was used to justify the organization of two rival forums, one of which
 Resistance 2004) took place at the same time as the WSF. It was a flop,
attracting a
 few thousand compared to the 100,000 who thronged the WSF - yet more
 that cultivating revolutionary purity for its own sake merely isolates
you from those
 whose interests you claim to represent.”

from World Social Forum Mumbai [Report 5]
 by Alex Callinicos
“Globalise Resistance brings together groups and individuals opposed to
the global growth of corporate power.”  [N.B.: “opposed to
”  --cb]


See also:

The League for a Fifth International:

Many of the delegates have also been sponsored to attend by NGO money,
some of which, in turn, is raised from government grants from the very
regimes the movement seeks to challenge.

This phenomenon has already caused a split in the movement in India with
many of the Stalinist and Maoists groups and their front organizations
denouncing the WSF. They have organised the rival Mumbai Resistance 2004
conference which is taking place simultaneously across the road.

Whilst many of their criticisms may be correct, by sidelining themselves
they consolidate the grip of the reformists over the mass movement.

It would be premature to suggest that it is already too late to
transform the WSF into anything other than the talking shop its leaders
would like it to remain.


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