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« HUGE Chavez | Main | Time to Get Practical »

Fred Halliday: Bin the WSF?

Oh Dear. Fred Halliday in Sunday's Observer in the UK, on why he thinks the World Social Forum belongs in the "Third Dustbin of History". I don't think he's arguing that all activists need PhDs before they're worth listening to. But he is on a quest for "tougher" thinking, and on that it's hard to disagree.

Link: It's time to bin the past

January 31, 2005 in World Social Forum | Permalink


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Fred Halliday has proposed here with his supposedly humourous Three dustbins theory a crude, ill-informed, simplistic "analysis" of the alterglobalisation movements which gather at the WSF. His article just relies on the usual prejudices that these movements have to constantly suffer from. The examples presented as evidence of the lack of engagement with issues such as violence for instance suggest more stereotyping on his part than a clear demonstration (are all Palestinian or Northern Irish violent??). The issue of violence is one that the movements constantly engage in and discuss. The critique of globalisation is actually highly sophisticated.... but maybe the real problem is that these debates take place outside the clear boundaries of academia (even though there is a larger number of PhD holders in these movements than ever credited for, if such traditional evidence is necessary), that the "thinkers" are not necessarily celebreties. It doesn't mean that our thinking is shallow or naive.
If Halliday was ready to actually really engage with our debates rather than dismiss them, he might get a better idea of what we stand for.

Posted by: benafan | 2 Feb 2005 12:08:26

We commissioned a reponse to Halliday's article from Peter Waterman: Fred Halliday, come down from your mountain!

Fred Halliday’s verbal assault on activists at the World Social Forum rouses Peter Waterman to a passionate defence of the “global justice and solidarity movement

Posted by: Solana Larsen | 11 Feb 2005 00:07:59

Posted by: account | 22 Apr 2007 12:23:37

One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth half-a-hundred half-finished tasks.

Posted by: Chhipa | 23 Feb 2011 06:17:13

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