first thoughts - liberation begins at home


October will see the European Social Forum (ESF) come to London. This is the third ESF, popular with European globe-trotters, who may also have attended the World Social Forum which was held in Mumbai in January 2004.

There will be a lot of well-intentioned but woolly-minded speeches. Who pays? Londoners will have to cough up hundreds of thousands of pounds through the Greater London Authority, and the trade unions tens of thousands, to fund places for 40,000 socially concerned thinkers at Alexandra Palace and the university complex in Bloomsbury, as well as a final night's rally in Trafalgar Square.

The themes are pious, will attract the good cause brigade and be politically correct, but they will not advance the demise of capitalism one iota.

Do British workers need another new international organisation to tell them how to deal with war, racism, globalisation, social justice, the dispossessed and myriad other liberal causes? No. Has any international organisation ever been able to deliver national liberation and social advance in an individual country? No. Liberation begins at home, where the internal contradiction is paramount. Internationalism flows from that struggle. Soviets succeeded, attracting international support; International Brigades failed.

All the lonely left who want to huddle together at venues in London during October would do better to go home and use their energies in building their own respective working class movements to advance the conflicts and contradictions at home which will shatter capitalism.