Zero Hora, January 14, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

The World Social Forum would only be another international festival for the exhibitionism of the left, with nothing special to it, if it did not stand out precisely by this one uncommon detail: it is the most shameless undertaking of ideological propaganda ever financed with public money, in this or in any other Brazilian state. It is illegal all down the line, and any citizen, through a very simple legal popular motion in Justice, can frustrate its realization at any moment.

Not withstanding its pretension of constituting a leftist “pendant” to the periodic encounters of theoreticians of capitalism in the Swiss city of Davos, it is nothing but a burlesque inversion of the Forum of Liberty, realized annually by the gaúcho conservatives with huge success. Between the two forums, however, there are three differences. First: the Forum of Liberty is realized strictly inside the law, with money from voluntary contributions from participants and sponsors. Second, in this forum the guests represent all ideological trends – liberal, conservative, nationalists, leftists –, whereas its “Social” version is a very élitist Club – where only the ideologically correct can enter – what marks with precision the distance between debate and propaganda.

The third difference is the most significant. In the Forum of Freedom, people are asked to speak according to their experience on the subject. No one steps out of one’s shoe in there. To me, for instance no one asks about unemployment or housing needs, problems that I only had contact with in the condition of speechless victim, and of which all I would have to say is that they really are a load of trouble. However, I have done better in areas such as education, culture, history, etc., and the Forum of Liberty asks me questions on these subjects. To talk about the banking system, they invite Gustavo Franco, who knows how to make the thing work. To talk about private enterprise, they invite Mr.Jorge Gerdau, who has one that works. And so on. On the other hand, the people from the Social Forum announce that they possess the solution to evils of great bulk: the misery of the poor nations, social exclusion, and things like that. It would be unfair to expect that these people showed us their achievement list – or, at least, their ideology – concerning the solution of these problems. We could ask, for instance: to how many people has socialism given a better life? If we exclude the members of the “nomenklatura”, who obviously had the best of lives, the amount we obtain as answer cannot be called void, because it is negative: in almost all the socialist nations, the quality of life is today inferior to the one before socialism. At best, it is the same: when Cuba brags about having the third or fourth place of the continent in quality of health and education, they omit that they already had it since 1951, eight years before the revolution. In other countries, such as Vietnam, hunger and misery reached apocalyptic levels, while in China the average salary of a worker, after half a century of redemptive murders “soi disant” destined to elevate their standard of life, is 40 dollars per month.

Against that, in this valley of darkness that is capitalism, the poorest fraction of the North-American and European population today have a consuming level much superior to the middle class of the fifties. In Africa, on the other hand – that according to the socialist doctrine would experience an amazing economic blooming as soon as the Europeans left with their damned colonialist investments – whole populations die of starvation today, and the Social Forum, according to what was announced in this same publication by the unforgettable Mr. Luiz Marques, will show us that the blame falls on the malevolent ex-colonialists that do not put their money there anymore. Such is the know-how that this people will come to transmit to the gaúchos in exchange for their tax money.

Of all the economic problems in the world, the socialist doctrine solved up to now only one: its own. Each of the people who disseminate this doctrine has a good job in a university, newspaper or research institution in prosperous capitalist countries, and not one of them was ever idiot enough to propose solving, not the problems “of the world”, but those from some socialist country. Not daring to take care of their own backyard, they became specialists on minding other people’s businesses. Socialism, as we well know, has no autonomous life, but feeds from the donations of insane capitalist dilettantes from New York and Geneva, which support it more or less like someone that keeps in his house a tank of alligators. In retribution, the alligators show their teeth and shake their tails to impress the visitors. This will be the sole utility of the Social Forum. The difference is that the salaries of the alligators will not be paid by insane capitalists from New York and Geneva, but by the gaúcho taxpayers.