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Thanks for this amusing thread for us who do not belong to the global left. Jai Sen keeps us as always informed about the correct details and the left shows its ability to become really toxic. Who is actually causing this "toxic"" situation and language I leave to each one to judge for themselves. 

But the conflict between leftists being so deep I find promising. This makes your capacity to strangle independent people's movement trying to connect each other directly and not through your schemes weaker. While you are occupied with your internal division we who don't except your categories or your ideology might be able to shape a better future without them - between horizontals and verticals, open space or decisionmaking, antiAssad or pro Assad, anti nationalists or antiimperialists, luxury communists or not so luxury rural communists both labelling themselves ecosocialists to confuse the movement, Fridays for Future/BLM/Occupy/Arab Spring/Any youth protest about anything Hallelujah and the true class struggle. You really messed it up for yourselves.

As always Patrick Bond brings deeply relevant empirical evidence into the discussion. And as we know empirical evidence sparks, they can be interpreted in different ways.  I find the following quotes from one of the texts he sent interesting. I explain why after each quote:

"Unfortunately, these activists also bring with them certain infectious political diseases. Sometimes they are out to recruit members for their ultra-left sect or political party. Other times, as NGO workers who need to justify their existence, they insert themselves into struggles that may be written up in the next funding proposal. Still other times, one finds ambitious academics keen to distinguish themselves by getting the inside research track on some or other exotic rebellion, whose nuances they are best placed to enlighten their fellows in the academy about, while ratcheting up publication kudos. And, then lastly, one has the somewhat dated, free-floating, professional revolutionaries who genuinely believe they have something to add to these 5) Sociologists without Borders: http://sociologistswithoutborders.org/. P. Bond / Societies Without Borders 3 (2008) 4–19 11 struggles or, more accurately, that these struggles have something to add to the course of the battles they are already fighting. You see them attending marches, doing political education, writing letters and articles in the press or providing strategic advice to movements that often need assistance on the legal, logistical or financial fronts"

This is sharp and enlightening, especially the underlined passages. Of course those interests are legitimate. But they can only be brought into a useful synergy if they are ciratiled by this kind of straightforward assessment.

"In the African setting in particular, whatever is left of critical intellectual discourse, largely located at Universities, runs parallel to and is divorced from NGO activism. The requirements of funding agencies subtly discourage, if not exhibit outright hostility, to a historical and social theoretical understanding of development, poverty, discrimination etc. Our erstwhile benefactors now tell us, ‘just act, don’t think’ and we shall fund both!"

Here it is the final sentence which is so good, especially as I come from a tradition where we as activists develop our own theories and empirical knowledge while being what sometimes is called organic intellectuals in the movement. A tradition that quite often is seen as neglibale by NGO professionals, leftists and academics alike (which is fairly close to the truth. :) ).

"The second position was an argument about ‘Why Bamako does not appeal’ by four CCS associates: Franco Barchiesi, Heinrich Bohmke, Prishani Naidoo and Ahmed Veriava. They accused the Appeal and the WSF of degenerating “into an organized network of experts, academics and NGO practitioners . . . The WSF elite’s cold institutional and technicist soup, occasionally warmed up by some hints of tired poeticism, can provide little nourishment for local subjectivities whose daily responses to neoliberalism face more urgent needs to turn everyday survival into sustained confrontations with an increasingly repressive state.” 

This is also to the point. There is of course a political solution to this and that is to destroy the leftist control of the agendas of the movements with their false top down messages and constant abstract attempts at claiming Russia, Russia, Russia did it, OH Sorry Capitalism, Capitalism, Capitalism did it and my human capital invested in leftist dogmas can help you understand that, while I in detail separate direct linkages between the struggle other than through my obsession with anticapitalism as the only true linkage. 

This is why the separation of food sovereignty and democratization of energy silos at the last Global eco socialist digital gathering has to be challenged by saying no it's the time to call for an ending of the WTO patent regime, not repeating the reformist position so successful in the 90s regarding patents on medicines only, now patents on vaccine only, but the core of the regime with its radical extension of patent rights making it impossible to industrialize the South in the same way as the West was industrialized. Only be going against the belief that the agricultural issue is an issue of supporting exotic small farmers i exotic parts of the world and maybe even extending it to exoric parts of your own country it is about time to address the need to industrialize the South, necessary if we want to have small farmers in the future both in our own countries and the South and not large scale agricultural and forestry industries in the hands of western powers and banks. And of course also necessary if we want democratization of energy. Now this goes against the ecosocialist and more or less any leftist ideas where the connection of struggles is created by having everyone to understand that socialism is the solution and capitalism is the problem so the ecosocialist had great problems being confronted with a non leftist view on how struggles have to be connected. Burt maybe one day even leftists stops hindering the direct linking of struggles and starts to understand the need to go beyond reformist piecemeal demands seemingly radical as they are presented as the necessary limitation in the current situation but are actually a part of a fantastic leftist plan to make a revolution in 200 years or so. . 

That is why being against commodification of working conditions has to be added to the climate justice and environmental movement demands. This was truly a part of the environmental movement agenda but the left have replaced actual people's movement experience with their obsession of separating struggles claiming they should be connected by ideology and not a peoples movement programme that in every articulated special movement articulates the connection to daily life rather than abstract ideology. EG a peace movement connecting the militarization of daily life and not only geopolitics, a farmers movement addressing the urbanization of the countryside by people demanding that the smell should be like in clean parts of the cities. Of course in all these cases also addressing the antiglobalization connection, not by saying to people look here how fantastic  am knowing all these fancy abbreviations but by saying we are against privatization here in our municipality, in our country and internationally, when necessary of course add the specific abbreviation of current interest. In the peace movement the same addressing anti militarization which interestingly the left in my country and many others have been against to add to the concerns of the climate movement as they prefer top down alliance with imperialist liberals rather than building a people's movement addressing the concerns of people in common including their will for both peace on earth and peace with earth, so far from the leftist and eco socialist mind that they can't come up with such a simplistic idea and raher stick to their often repressive agenda to split movement and hiding their utterly strong inner contradiction behind a facade of being the solution. 

Quote from the material Patrik Bond sent again:

"A fourth position (which I am partial to) seeks the 21st century’s anticapitalist ‘manifesto’ in the existing social, labor and environmental movements already engaged in excellent transnational social justice struggles. The WSF’s greatest potential – so far unrealized – is the possibility of linking dozens of radical movements in various sectors. One of their struggles, the liberation of AIDS medicines from tyrannical monopoly patents which had previously prevented their consumption by poor people, has been sufficiently successful to claim both ‘decommodification’ and ‘deglobalization’ (of capital)

There are many other examples drawn from some of the finest networks of social justice activists presently active, in fields such as land (Via Campesino), healthcare (International Peoples Health Movement), free schooling (Global Campaign for Education), water (the People’s World Water Forum), energy/ climate change (the Durban Declaration), debt (Jubilee South), and trade (Our World is Not for Sale). The point, for those of us fortunate to study these movements, is not reification of everything poor people and their advocates do, especially given the kinds of conflicts – often unnecessarily ugly – that we in South Africa have seen emerge between advocates of the four political strategies suggested above. But it is to acknowledge that activists are driving the research forward in a manner that tells us more about the world than any other method, namely praxis in a non-reformist fashion. It behooves us to learn from their victories and failures, to both honor and lovingly criticize these comrades, if we want the most strongly rooted global justice program possible."

Here again Patrik Bond brings us valuable historic struggles to keep in mind. And of course there are more that unites him and me than one could guess from the comments I have been making above, something I can say of all the contributors to this thread. 

But there is a fundamental flaw in the taxonomy. There is a substantial difference between single issue campaigning of the kind Patrik Bond lists and Via Campesina. That is the difference between not only a multi issue movement but als between a class struggle movement and as far as I can understand class alliance single issue campaigning. This false categorization of Via Campesina is at the roots of the way leftists try to put themselves on top of things as the locus of uniting single issue struggles. The struggles should be united by ideology, not by movements finding their own connection to other movements and simplistic demands as peace, bread and land. 

In Sweden at the moment the kleft is puzzled as we environmentalists have started to challenge the peace movement building first Activists for Peace to address the Ukraine conflict as neither the peace movement nor the kleftists did this. This caused a severe attack from Atakntci Council and many others against us as well as the anti imperialist camp that could not accept that we claimed that the Ukraine conflict is not only a geopolitical conflict but also a socio-ecological. The corporations, whether they are American, Swedish, Chinese or Russian, want the black soil, one of the few large not yet depleted lands for agriculture still existing on this earth, the bread basket fought over so many times.  

We have been attacked by the mainstream NGOs, libertarian leftists, and Anti Assad trotskyists alike because they believe that we are proRussian and thus are the enemy of democracy etc although we never addressed the Syrian issue. We see it as different from Ukraine and less relevant for Swedish political struggles. We have been attacked by many leading journalists and academics, presented in the mainstream press as in the hands of Putin and by Atlantic Council as Kremlin's Trojan Horses. Meanwhile we have gradually expanded our political alliances.

At the moment our alliances expand rapidly due to that four people central in the environmental movement cooperation with La Via Campesina and other small farmers in Sweden initiated the Network People and Peace (NFOF) with the goal to work for both peace on earth and peace with earth as well as keeping Sweden out of NATO. https://folkochfred.wordpress.com/

The funny thing related to the discussion between open space and decision making structure is that NFOF is more close to the horizontal open space model than vertical decision making model. There is no elected board or leadership that can speak in the name of the whole network or make decisions. Instead all political decisions are made in consensus at meetings open to all individual and organizational members all present having one vote. The decisions are carried out by working groups. The small farmers who hate any external private or public cooptation by applying for funding have contributed initial finances and initiated a board controlling the economy in an orderly manner that can only pay money according to the decisions made by the network. 

The left is desperate about this, calls for majority decisions instead so we finally can solve disputes they have on our email list about abstract issues few care about. Meanwhile the Network has established successful campaigns on nuclear disarmament, against military exercises that brings Sweden closer to NATO, supporting the demand that small farmers must have a say in civil defense matters and that food self sufficiency has to be raised, a global restart for peace, environment and welfare and a campaign against harassment of peace and  environmental activists. All since the network was started April 19. 

So the environmentalists and small farmers organized a trap for the kind of leftists wanting majority decision making and an hierarchical structure that can have their concern for a clear geopolitical policy as a core issue, most of the time that means to say US is the biggest threat and Russia is not the problem or that we should only stick to traditional foreign and defense policy issues demanding a non-aligned Sweden. Poor them. Even some of their hardliners start to be worried about climate issues and seem to start to understand that they are in a network filled with people who think climate issues are relevant for a nwete work not only demanding peace on earth but also peace with earth. 

The claims made by leftists that the consensus rules would make the network impotent has been proven wrong. Separate working groups are preparing a bigger event next January challenging a half official yearly conference called People and defense where the people nowadays are lacking. Out of 67 speakers this year one was from a popular movement, the Red Cross and he spoke positively about the use of satellites to find refugees after a catastrophe. The rest were from the Atlantic Council, business interest ¨think tanks on security police, big corporations, military and political parties. Another working group is planning a large campaign next year for Peace, environmental and welfare while a third is carrying on the campaigns mentioned above and a fourth is a newly set up editorial team. The only problem at the moment we have are the leftists clogging our email list with their demand that everyone should exocet their specific view in US as the biggest threat so intensely that quite a few leave not only the list but also the network, precisely those we environmentalists need to make peace with earth also a central issue for the network. But time will show that our successful external work willutlast the old fashion leftist voices demanding that everyone should learn from them. 

So one could ask why I, who is an outspoken critic of open space horizontalism in this case is an outspoken advocate for horizontalism and consensus decision making and that there is no spokesperson for the network.  The reason is of course simple. Here the model is used to enable political action linking several movements, no separating discussion from action which is at the core of the disastrous open space model. It is also used to destroy the leftwing hegemony by focusing on political unity and not ideological unity nor nity behind a abroad or spokesperson that speaks on behalf of everyone. 

But what about political parties? Well that is of course also dealt with. As many peace organisations (and many movements in general) are dead tired of opportunistic left wing or any political party coming and going whenever they please trying to take center stage political parties are not allowed in the network.

But of course some of us cooperate with political parties in other fora. In practice this means the Activists for peace that has been the base for the political program of NFOF also joined another network started by a small communist party against the military exercises. Now they had the problem that quite a few do not want to cooperate with them including the big left parliamentarian party to not talk about the trotskyists etc etc. The left is so predictable in their attempt to commit political suciced and make themselves irrelevant. So Activists for Peace brought the mainstream environmental NGO Friends of the Earth along, the local Left parliamentarian party came along while the region stayed out, soon social demorcatic women joined etc etc. 

Now the question was how to formulate the political platform. Activists for peace were very much against the platform used in 2017 were the communist party and other parties dominated with their focus on security and firegin policy issues. Instead Activists for peace proposed the same platform as NFOF had, being against closer relationship to NATO and for nuceral diarmentent of course but also against rearmement for peace, environmental and welfare which was gladly accepted.  The two networks worked closely together, shared materia, etc. although the Network opposing the military exercise Aurora 20 is dormant at the moment until the postponed exercise becomes a current issue again while NFOF is addressing a wider range of issues.

So the leftist control of the peace and environmental movement is broken, something they do by separating the movements and issues challenging their superiority as custodians of the only unifying ideology there is according to them socialism and anticapitalism. The leftwing antiimperialista already have a hard time in the network that does not allow them to take control as the guidelines prohibit them from making their view the common view for all. The leftists very much in control of the climate movement in Sweden and to some degree globally will soon get similar problems when their desperate attempts to separate climate issues from peace issues will be challenged. 

The open space and decision making advocates in the WSF process will also have problems. Activists for peace are involved in the European process towards WSF in Mexico by initiating the linkage bwétween climate and peace as essential together with the ragye Sporing 2 network, European Youth networks against racism and for the environment as well as Transform Europe!

The organizational and content concept behind Activist for peace is directly hostile to open space fundamentalists and horizontalists which by an alliance between individual Attac career makers and social demorcatic trade unionists destroyed ESF in Malmö 2008. It is against the lack of acknowledging the need to address the issue of how to link the general discussion at WSF with a general program of action by some of the advocates. It is against the lack of interest in solving the fake conflict between open space and decision making from people like Boaventura Santos by saying yes to open space and yes to and Assembly of Social movement linked to a large set of clustered seminars on both resistance, solutions and celebration of movements of movements that scares the shit out of the strongest advocates of open space.But a solti they have no formal arguments they can use against making them powerless. 

And of course Activists for Peace have relations to both camps seeing no need for this bitter conflict among leftists to continue. The time was maybe not ripe before a solution like this as the main problem has not been different versions of SF but the lack of interest from multi issue international peoples movement to coordinate themselves better. Now has maybe the moment come when the best out of both open space and decision making tradition within the WSF process can be of use to international multiissue mass movements that address issues from daily life conditions for people in common to global power structures.That such multi issue movements might have matured enough to understand that they can us an Assembly of Social Movement process before, during and after WSF to coordinate their efforts better and aligning to other movements one maybe can read out of their individual Covid 19 statements which i collected and commented here:  https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/the-implosion-of-walls-between-movements-in-reaction-to-covid19/

All the best to all of you and as always a special thanks to Jai and his team who consistently makes our discussions possible.