Who's Bringing the Keg?
If the forums don't want to become the Fifth International, they should also avoid becoming a social Woodstock.
-from the Nation Magazine March 6th, 2006 issue
The above quote was metioned in realtionship to the World Social Forum held in Caracas recently, a sort of meager attempt at an international leftist congress. Again, I cannot help but think that globally even the Left is experiencing a "crisis of tradition". Gone are the days when leftists were paragons of discipline, altruism and culture. Gone are the days when the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci could give workers Latin grammer exercises to better their minds in dialectical thinking. (The most ironic thing about this latter thing is that Gramsci is the darling of the New Left, and if he tried to do this same thing today, he would be accused of "Eurocentrism" of the highest degree.)
In truth, the old succeses of the Left were based on a very much Christian attitude whose forunners were St. John Chrysostom, the monastic fathers of the desert, and the Gospels themselves. With that spirit of sacrifice and brotherly love taken away, the workers' hammer has turned from steel to glass. Now in this age of self-interest and self-fufillment, always one of the goals of the revolution, any collective action shatters into factionalism and accusations of racism, sexism, imperialism, homophobia, etc. Like all people today, the "oppressed" band together in interest groups for very myopic goals.
So what then? What else more is there to do than party, if real social action is impossible?
Indeed the Left has so deconstructed itself that only the goals compatible with global capitalism have been acheived (that is, complete personal license), while oppression and exploitation go on unabated.