World Social Forum – Alternative to Capitalism (As a starting point for a debate)


Mottos: “Capitalism, the capitalist market economy as a world system essentially is not a reformable system. Whatever is transformed in it, however its existence is extended by the latest, most sophisticated or brutal methods of repression, the main problems remain: the inconceivable inequalities that are the natural consequences of the given relationships of the production and the distributions, the poverty, the environmental degradation, the dissipation of the material goods on the basis of market logic, renewed outbreaks of violence and wars as the way of existence of the great powers, the unemployment, the gender inequality, and the permanent reproduction of institutions of oppression. This system can only be conquered globally! Do not occupy the streets, but the working places!”

Comandante 2017


The social forum movement seems to come to life again. One of the reasons behind this is that the so-called political or parliamentary left as part of the political management of the capitalist system is in a serious crisis both in the European Union, and outside its borders, for example in the United States or Russia, not to mention the pro-Nazi regimes in Iraq, or Turkey. This time I would not speak about the economic factors of the crisis, but rather about the political crisis of the European left. These parties, including, of course, the Hungarian so called left-wing parties, do not have any original initiating power, they are in the final stages of spiritual depletion. In many places, like in Hungary, the most original initiative is to start “nursing” again, just like in 1989, an inexhaustible, but less meaningful idea of “catching up to the West”, which nobody believes in, since the bleeding of the welfare state has been taking place even in Sweden for a long time.

The crisis, of course, continues to favor the right-wing. Social democracy, not to mention the communist parties have suffered electoral defeats in Austria and Germany, too. No new left-wing whatsoever has emerged on the European political horizon.

Now the time for the social forum movement can come again if a realistic anti-systemic, anti-capitalist alternative is set up by the most active and most organized part of the civil society on pan-European and global level. The halt of its earlier development and even its decline were partially linked to the failure of their organizing capacities – thanks to the parliamentary left-wing parties present in the forum – were dedicated to the illusion of the possibility of a good capitalism and they were wrong. Of course, in contrast, the concept and the idea of a socialist, beyond-capitalist world would in no way represent some abstract theoretical declarations, revelations, the proclamation of an abstract socialism. It can only break through concrete demands, ideas, plans, existing social movements, which can be shaped in every country according to national specifics.
The following program points can be considered by the civil organizations thinking in non-capitalist alternative, especially in the Eastern European region, where the “overthrowing” of the authoritarian regimes can be displaced in social dimensions only through a wide, massive social self-defense movement.

1. The basic problem, the starting and ending point for all other problems lies in the system change and then its amendment in 2010, when a completely distorted ownership structure, above all the “oligarchization” of (land) property came into being. The system must be attacked at these points, that is, for the wider groups of the society a plural property structure, i.e. the freedom for founding cooperatives (“the owner of the land is the one who cultivates it”). Job creation must be realized from the budget resources that governments have squandered for their own social background, their clientele, their collection of votes (giving money, armaments, police state, etc.). Instead of public-financing the stadiums, the churches, and capitalizing the relatives, the buddies, the party companions and the clientele in general, instead of the forced public work, investments needed for public buildings (eg community social and cultural infrastructure, etc.), public health-care and (higher) education. No need to nationalize, but to widen the job-creating needs and capabilities of local governments. A small step towards the multisectoral mixed economy … Even capitalists do not be horrified, and the politicians of government, the political personifiers of capital will not scream at the denial of communism’s crimes …

2. In the social field, the existence of millions of lower classes must be strengthened. Instead of nationalism, racism, ethnic insanity, persecuting the Roma and migrants it is perhaps the most important social task of the Left – independently of politics – is to root the cultural upheavals of the population and the civilian “folk” educational structures and self-learning circles found in the Hungarian tradition.

3. The concept of political democracy needs to be complemented with the notion of economic democracy so that every person becomes part of the concept of ‘democracy’. The authoritarian regime of 2010 and its exclusionary constitution must be rejected. Social rights must be declared in the Constitution.

4. The basis of anti-capitalist left-wing politics in its endeavors involves the trade unions and the civilian self-organizations as the main organizational support. Namely, if the Left is above all not the advocate of the wage earners, the workers and the unemployed, it liquidates itself on the altar of a semi-peripheral capitalism that does not provide any prospect either for the Hungarian and the Eastern European societies, or for the vast majority of the societies of the world.

Fight on! Do not believe in parties, but in your own self, in your social organizations such as the (world) social forum.

This paper was written down by Gizella Madarász

Translated into English by Matyas Benyik

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  1. Visszajelzés: Szociális világfórum – a kapitalizmus alternatívája (Kiindulópontként egy vitához) – MEBAL

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