As cops brutally drove protesters back from Davos, using state violence to prevent demonstrations in the vicinity of the World Economic Forum, 12,000 “representatives from citizens’ groups” met together in Porto Alegre, Brazil to develop an “alternative” to the economic model of the WEF. This conference, called the World Social Forum, was organized by various parties—including the Partido dos Trabalhabores that holds power in that region of Brazil—and organizations. As is typical of the left, the WSF sought to draw groups from across the radical and liberal political spectrum (and even succeeded in drawing a few anarchist and autonomous groups to participate). Thus, their rhetoric was as bland and noncommittal as their practise. Speaking of creating a different design for globalization and developing strategies for laying “the foundations for a fairer economic model”, the forum as a whole emphasized “more citizen involvement”, “more opportunities for democratic participation” in the global economy. While a few dissident voices—mainly from the anarchists and autonomes who made the mistake of attending this forum—called for the end of capitalism, it is clear that primary thrust of this forum was, in fact, to find a way to preserve the present social order in a more humane and democratic form, to preserve the trajectory of capitalism in a way that will allow more people to actively participate.
But let us consider: Is a death march worth continuing because we’ve eradicated the whips and cattle prods? Does the right of the marchers to choose who will direct the march or what the details of its continuance will involve mean anything when the basic reality remains the same, with an end that is guaranteed: death in the fullest sense—of creativity, imagination, joy and wonder, and ultimately of our physical being as well? In reality, chatter about citizen’s participation and more democracy is an absurdity in a world in which more and more people are pushed from their homes and pushed into undocumented migration in the attempt to survive—thus, finding themselves excluded from citizenship and “humanity” as recognized by the state—precisely by the actions of the democratic states. Attempting to make the present social order more just and more ecological is equally absurd when one considers that it must expand in order to survive and such expansion means the increasing dissemination of the poisons necessary for economic production, the increasing spread of misery, disaster and death. In light of the present conditions of existence, the World Social Forum was a farce. Alternative methods of exploitation and domination guarantee the destruction of any life worth living as surely as the present forms do. Ultimately nothing short of the total destruction of the present social order can put an end to the death march that is our civilized reality, and all those who seek to merely restructure the methods by which this death march advances are as much my enemy as those who presently direct it. Anarchist and revolutionaries would do well to avoid being taken in by such absurdities as the World Social Farce. We have better things to do.