Below, please find copies of three messages that I posted to the "WSF-Discuss" mailing list earlier this Friday morning. "WSF-Discuss" is an ongoing international discussion about the World Social Forum. From the list's well-ordered archives the other texts that relate to these messages can easily be retrieved.

1. My first message relates to a debate on the role of Brazilian businessman Oded Grajew, one of the founders of the World Social Forum back in 2000-2001.

Piran Azad,

I am afraid you are not expressing your opinion clearly enough. Are you satirical? Sarcastic? What do you think about Oded Grajew? Has he played a role in the WSF process? If yes, has his role been positive or negative? Are you defending Oded Grajew against Peter Waterman's critical comments?

Or maybe you are of the same opinion that I am. I think it is fortunate that we have people like Oded Grajew with us. (With "us", I mean the participants in the WSF process.) He incarnates the bad consciousness of the many who go on like another world would not be possible. Moreover, he has drawn some conclusions and taken some positive steps to change this world. Therefore, he is a rare bird.

Grajew "believe(s) that institutions like the UN and national governments are not prepared to lead, but they must be part of the change." So do I. Besides, those who go on and on with their NATOs and nukes (via their WalMarts), are they not a little like you and me? Anyway, they seem to be many. We can hardly be as good as having to kill them all. So they just have to be part of the change, to quote Oded Grajew.



PS A propos the killing, I would would agree with that actor who created the monolog "Kill the Corporation". The corporation, however, is an institution. It is not people. At the very least, the corporation should be crippled.

2. In the second posting, I expressed my support for the Appeal to the member states of the European Union : EU should follow OSCE advice to solve the Ukrainian crisis now! The message is addressed to Swedish Friends of the Earth activist Tord Björk, who took the initiative to this appeal.

Thanks, Tord.

I have signed on the appeal to EU to support OSCE (and tweeted about it). Only fourteen people had signed before me. (Let's become many more.) Maybe it is because OSCE is unknown to the common man and woman in Europe, let alone in the other parts. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) " has its origins in the 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki, Finland" (Wikipedia). The CSCE was the culmination of the political career of Urho Kekkonen, the then president of the republic of Finland. Today, of course, Kekkonen is a dead dog. Ein toter Hund.

Qui sta il busillis. Da liegt der Hase im Pfeffer [oder der Hund begraben]. That's the fly in the ointment! "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." (Anais Nin) Yours, etc.

3. A note on the Italian intellectuals' fight about the naming of a new hotel in Turin.

Oh dear! Don't the Italian intellectuals have bigger issues to fight about than the name of a hotel? Besides, Gramsci is not only one of the greatest Marxist philospers, he is also one of the greatest Italians. So he really belongs to all who will stay at the hotel "Antonio Gramsci" in Turin, Italians and foreigners alike.

From today's perspective, however, Gramsci looks a little bit too Italian. This is because of what he choose to make his central problematic in his posthumously published Prison Notebooks, namely, the unification of the Italian nation. Not that I think that Gramsci ought to be criticized for having focussed on that subject. But then came the second world war, the nuclear age, and the internet. So the focus has changed, or it has to be changed.

Rather we have, nowadays, to try to walk in the footsteps of Altiero Spinelli, who was the secretary of the Communist youth organisation in 1927, when he, too, was imprisoned. (Gramsci had already been put in jail the previous year.) -- In 1941, while still deported to the traditional prison island of Ventotene, Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi wrote the famous Manifesto of Ventotene "For A Free And United Europe". Today Europeans ought to put that idea in focus. Plus the European Nuclear Disarmament.

As you may conclude from the foregoing, I remain a great admirer of the fabulous Antonio Gramsci. And, although I doubt that my voice matters in this particular symbolic fight, I would like to support giving that hotel his name.

La lotta continua,


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Thank you, if you have read this far. You may also want to know that I run in the elections to the European Parliament. For the Pirate Party.

                                                  But don't click on the picture yet. (The film is forthcoming.)