Some Comments on The Bamako Appeal

1. First and foremost, I want to defend this initiative, since I think it is urgent and positive that movements inside the Global Justice and Solidarity Movement propose some alternatives. We cannot limit ourselves to be against neoliberal policies, we also need concrete alternative measures and we have to show in what way another world can become possible. Therefore, I fully support this initiative. It should not be seen as an effort to unite the whole movement around this one text, which at any rate would be impossible. Rather, I see it as one proposal that can co-exist with three, four or five other proposals that can be discussed within the open space the WSF should continue to be.

2. This being said, I regret the undemocratic way this proposal has come about and has been presented. What organisations where invited in Bamako and on what criteria? Why is there no possibility for amendments? Why has the ‘Consensus of Porto Alegre’ of last year not been discussed? Why is this text being presented by a group of white men?

3. About the content of the text: the Bamako Appeal contains lots of excellent ideas for ‘another world’. I somewhat regret that it is worded in the terminology of the ‘old left’ and uses words and concepts that young people of today are not familiar with. It is a proposal for a new kind of socialism, without clarifying what this socialism exactly means.

4. Most of all, I regret that some newer concepts and ideas are not included in the text or are only touched upon very broadly. I think a proposal for a really other globalised world, should reflect on:

  • Global public goods, ecologically and socially, including public services
  • A global system of social protection, based on social rights and going beyond ‘poverty reduction’
  • Global and multicultural citizenship
  • Global democracy, especially focusing on the interlinkages between the local, the national, the regional and the global level
  • A new concept of sovereignty, in the context of d.
  • Ecologically sustainable development, linked to another economic and financial/monetary organization
  • World public finances, global taxes, etc.

5. This important Bamako Appeal, which I fully support, can be an opportunity to broaden the debate and to involve other people and organisations.