PORTO ALEGRE, Jan 27, 2012 (IPS) - For five centuries, Europe has taken it upon itself to enlighten the world, teaching it ways to address and overcome crises, from ideas and wars to missionary work and genocides.
But it forgot it only held a part of the world's knowledge and now it is on the verge of the abyss, and it is time for a different approach.
That is the assessment made by Portuguese sociologist Boaventura Sousa Santos who spoke to an audience of 300 at the Thematic Social Forum (TSF), which is being held from Jan. 24 to 29 in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre and surrounding municipalities.
The TSF is an offshoot of the World Social Forum that originated in this same city in 2001.
This year's edition of the TSF focuses on "Capitalist Crises, Environmental and Social Justice" and has drawn some 10,000 participants.
The thematic meeting also promotes a future of widespread radical democracy, social relations based on the respect for human rights, and an end to international power structures that divide the world into a "centre" and a "periphery".Read the rest at IPS
Working Towards a Never-Ending Democracy
By Antonio Martins
Lot of interesting stuff coming out of Brazil lately. Brazil is clearly going to be the powerhouse of Latin America and a major player on the world stage as the world moves toward a more tightly integrated global economy. The thinking and sentiment emerging from this focus is decidedly more to the left the dominant US position.