As the WSF was winding down in Belem in Brazil, Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo spoke with Walden Bello about his thoughts on this year’s meeting.
Al Jazeera: How has the 2009 World Social Forum different from the past years’?
Bello: This represents the triumph of the World Social Forum over the World Economic Forum.
Basically I think that what the forum has been standing for is the strong critique of neo-liberalism and warning the world of the kinds of difficulties neo-liberalism was bringing to the world.
And I think that now this economic crisis has really shown that we had a prophetic voice. A consistent voice of critique that was being put forward.
And what has happened now is in fact the sum of our fear, but at the same time I think that the WSF held out a hope; a hope that there could be a different world from the kind of neo-liberal capitalism world that Davos represented.
And I think that people are now looking to the World Social Forum more than ever for the kinds of alternatives that we need, to be able to restructure the world now that neo-liberalism has failed, now that capitalism is in severe crisis, now that the whole system has lost its legitimacy. Read more