Three days in Brussels: "Beyond the world crisis"
In October 2009, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the World Forum for Alternatives and the Transnational Institute invited a number of important leftist intellectuals and activists from around the world to Brussels for three days to discuss alternatives to the global crisis.
The preparatory work for this Conference took more than six months. The participants from North and Latin America, from eastern and western Europe, from the Maghreb and from sub-Saharan Africa, from India and from China submitted their position and background papers early, which enabled them to form the basis for a synopsis. This was in turn made accessible to everyone prior to the Conference, allowing them to prepare for the debates. Thus, the attempt was made not only to gather unilateral statements, but also to really enable a common debate at the meeting itself.
The goal of the Conference was to reveal the causes of the crisis and to discuss strategies for overcoming it. The crisis was seen as an opportunity to overcome the destructive capitalist mode of production. Five different dimensions of the crisis were central to the debates:
- The necessary transformation of the international economic system
- Food sovereignty and agricultural development
- The role of the state and the social movements in the policy of transformation
- The ecological question
- Ideas for a world beyond the crisis: Continuation of crisis capitalism or post-capitalism?
As immediate actions Pedro Páez proposes: In order to only create the possibility for a global struggle and to prevent world economy from falling into complete chaos and to also prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, an initial flow of 150-200 billion dollar to the South each year is needed. This needs to be combined with a strengthening of a New Regional Financial Architecture based upon a new type of banking prioritising regional sovereignty in food, energy, health care, science etc. New or already promised resources should not be distributed through the IMF but through new channels that are governed more democratically and lack the neoliberal adjustment conditions. To allow for more space for fiscal policies, moratoria on external debt should be held. This would also be a good opportunity to purge fictious capital. Regulation of speculative markets. Especially in markets like food production, all speculative mechanisms should be banned. Efficient and transparent mechanisms of control of capital need to be established. The introduction of the Tobin Tax could be considered a step in this direction.
The results of the discussions at the conference were adopted under the title the Brussels Perspectives and translated into all major world languages. This call is addressed to all progressive people, to fight together against the destruction of human and natural resources caused by the capitalist crisis.
As a follow-up to the Three Days of Brussels, a series of activities dedicated to the development of transformative projects which open up future perspectives is planned by the three organisers. At the same time, we will continue to work on global alternative networking. In the upcoming period, the World Forum for Alternatives will devote special attention to the development and propagation of a universal charter of the common assets of humankind.
We are herein transmitting to you the Brussels Declaration of the Conference in all major world languages, as well as a synopsis of contributions of the participants and the Report of the Conference. We would like to request that you disseminate the Brussels Declaration in your networks.
>> Beyond the World Crisis - Conference Page
>> Building a New Global Solidarity - Conference Declaration
>> The World Crisis and Beyond - Conference Reader