We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, January 25, 2010

World Social Forum: Positive Reviews, On Balance

from Global Research website. 
Nearly a decade after its inception, and in spite of some reverses, on balance the World Social Forum (WSF) has proved a resounding success as a platform for planet-wide debate, from the point of view of the people most affected by the world's problems.

This is the conclusion derived from a close reading of texts by the principal activists and promoters of the forum for another world, which began in January 2001 as a counterweight to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an annual meeting of top business and political leaders and invited guests.

By the way, the World Economic Forum is holding its annual meeting this coming Wednesday through Sunday in Davos, Switzerland. According to Wikipedia:
The Annual Meeting has also been decried as a “mix of pomp and platitude” and criticized for moving away from serious economics and accomplishing little of substance, particularly with the increasing involvement of NGOs that have little or no expertise in economics. Instead of a discussion on the world economy with knowledgeable experts alongside key business and political players, Davos now features the top media political causes of the day (such as global climate change and AIDS in Africa).