Thursday, January 26, 2006

An Ocean Runs Through It

Nothing contrasts the themes of the two World forums currently on in different parts of the globe than the vast expanse of the Atlantic that separates them.

Communist heartthrob Hugo Chavez is leading the World Social Forum in his capital city, Caracas. Another world, devoid of imperialism, nukes and most of all, Dubya, is possible for this bunch of "civil society" groups. Such a loaded term, ain't it?

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq, opened the forum on Tuesday.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the big daddies of the corporate world are slugging it out "to create the foremost global partnership of business, political and intellectual leaders".

That's the press release, btw. At the end of the day, the World Economic Forum in Davos is a giant talk-shop on how to correct international political blunders (read Iraq), devise new ways of expanding profits (economic), and play a facade that masks their collective intellectual bankruptcy.

The trouble with these forums is they fail to get the message across. Each is an incestuous circle, speaking to the already converted. How can solutions to pressing global issues emerge until yin interactes with yang?

Bring on the World Socioeconomic forum. Let Dubya have a heart-to-heart with Cindy, let Blair chitchat with Morales. Perhaps that will throw up suggestions, even if it entails lowering the elites' profiles.

The India story

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