Needed: A New International for a Just Transition and Against Fascism

Francine Mestrum

Abstract


Mestrum draws from her extensive experience in the World Social Forum process to outline some of the reasons for past failures of left struggles to come together around the kind of fifth Internationale Amin proposes. A new Internationale, she argues “will require some serious and honest self-criticism and a downright rejection of all romanticism and naive utopianism…. we have to look for solutions beyond the easy slogans and assumptions.” Mestrum identifies important structural and ideological rifts in the global left. She is also wary of localized movements such as those advocated by Sklair, fearing that they could detract from the left’s ability to coalesce around a strong structural critique of globalized capitalism. What she sees as essential is the construction of “alter-globalist” identities and solidarity across issues and borders. This will require moving beyond abstract “anti-capitalist” ideology to build inter-connected campaigns that tackle the complex inter-connections among movement struggles. While cautioning against slogans, she sees lasting wisdom in Enlightenment principles of freedom, equality, and solidarity and modernity’s respect for universalism and diversity. These can help advance a politics of system change that is “emancipatory and transformative, geared towards the full realisation of individual and collective human rights for all.”

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2019.952

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