FOCUS ON TRADE, NUMBER 97, FEBRUARY 2004

NUMBER 97, FEBRUARY 2004THE Mumbai World Social Forum was, by general acclamation, a Great Success. But what does success mean and where do we go from here? In this (delayed due to technical problems) issue of Focus o­n Trade we don’t attempt to answer these questions but, in keeping with the post-modern character of the WSF, we have an eclectic collection of reflections: some of the pixels that make up the Big Picture.

(The WSF, by the way, is now immortalised in the latest novel of Britain’s best-selling spy writer John le Carre -- “Absolute Friends” -- an angry (passionate, clumsy, compelling) shot at the New Imperialism of Bush and Blair. At o­ne point, the shadowy but extremely rich Dimitri attempts to prove his capitalist-loathing anti-globalist credentials to the anti-hero Mundy by invoking the luminaries of the movement. “I have acquired many books o­n the subject,” he says. “I have in mind such writers as the Canadian Naomi Klein, India’s Arundhati Roy who pleads for a different way of seeing, your British George Monbiot and Mark Curtis, Australia’s John Pilger, America’s Noam Chomsky, the American Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and the Franco-American Susan George of the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre. You have read all these fine writers Mr Mundy?” The dialogue is as unconvincing as the character, but at least Le Carre knows (more or less) who is o­n the side of the angels (as his “absolute” character George Smiley would say). Is this counter-hegemony? Comments welcome.)


DON’T WAIT FOR “ANOTHER WORLD”

By Isabelle Delforge

THE WAR IS FAR FROM OVER

By Mary Louise Malig

NO F-16s IN OUR GARDEN

Herbert Docena

WHAT I DID IN MUMBAI

By Alec Bamford

A NEW LEFT EMERGING FROM THE OLD?

Ji Giles Ungpakorn