Politics

Presidential Elections in Brazil: What Kind of Domestic and International Scenarios are Opening on the Eve of the Next 26th October’s Second Round?

By Simona Bottoni, Associate Researcher, Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG), Rome (Italy)

Results confirm that the last year’s presidential elections on October 5th were the most controversial in the current democratic Brazil: the PT candidate Dilma Rousseff, with her 41,5% of votes, has failed to avoid a second ballot, while the moderate Aécio Neves (PSDB) gained the 33,6%, far behind in the pre-election polls even compared to the other candidate Marina Silva (PSB), which succeeded the arena in full campaign due to the untimely death of Edward Campos, stopped at the 21,3% of votes.

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Address by Alfred Gusenbauer to the 12th Rhodes Forum

An Address by Alfred Gusenbauer, Chancellor of Austria (2007-2008), Co-Chairman, WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations”, to the 12th Rhodes Forum, September 27, 2014

What makes the “Dialogue of Civilizations” view on the world work? We are embarking basically from 4 central values: the one is that we are striving for a world without war; second that we want to have an equality among the human beings and social classes around the world; the third that we respect and promote cultural diversity; and the forth that we want to hand over our planet to the future generation in a shape that makes it still possible and enjoyable to share life on Earth, which means that we are also very much based on the ideas of a sustainable development of our globe.

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Non-Interventionism – the Forgotten Doctrine

A Paper by John Laughland, Director of Studies, Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (Paris), delivered at the 12th Rhodes Forum on September 26, 2014

I would like to draw attention to a specific characteristic of Western-backed regime change as it has been practised in recent years and decades. In nearly all cases, regime change has been accompanied by criminal prosecution of the old regime. To take just the most recent cases, Western intervention in Ukraine has been accompanied by a decision to put Ukraine under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the period 21 November 2013 - 22 February 2014. This means that the ICC will be able to prosecute the old Yanukovich regime for war crimes but not the new government, even though the new regime has fighting a war since April whereas Yanukovich never fought one at all.

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Peace and Security in Europe

(In the Context of U.S. Hegemony)

A Paper by Fred Dallmayr, Co-Chairman of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, presented at the 12th Rhodes Forum on September 27, 2014

This year we commemorate the beginning of World War I in 1914. The war was fought basically in Europe and devastated much of the European continent. Although announced as "the war to end all wars," World War I ended with a "peace to end all peace," thus paving the way to an even more disastrous war. After World War II, most Europeans (including political leaders) were looking for a prolonged period of peace. A European unification movement was started, with the intent to curb or eliminate national rivalries. However, at about the same time, the Cold War descended on the continent, dividing it into Western and Eastern Europe, separated by the Iron Curtain. One major symbol of the Iron Curtain was NATO.

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Hong Kong Protests: Why Imperialists Support ‘Democracy’ Movement

An Article by Sara Flounders published at Workers World on October 7, 2014

Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.

The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings.

In evaluating an emerging movement it is important to look at what political forces are supporting the movement. What are the demands raised by the movement, who are they appealing to, and what is the social composition of those in motion?

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The Exciting Potential of the Rhodes Forum

Brief Thoughts of a Muslim on the Emergence of Serious Counter-Hegemony
Prof. Junaid S. Ahmad, Pakistan

The recently concluded Rhodes World Public Forum that took place on the Greek island of Rhodes did not merely impress me because of the dreamlike natural beauty of the setting. Though that may have contributed to it, the real reason for the intense feeling of joy and hope I take from Rhodes is grounded in the unashamed liberationist political commitments that were reflected in our conversations and dialogues. Though of course the Forum is a platform for a “Dialogue of Civilizations,” which certainly implies – and should imply  -- respectful disagreement and differences as well, there was nevertheless an underlying resolve to forcefully confront the forces which militate against equality, justice, peace, and ecological sustainability in the world. The details of our tactics and strategies of realizing our vision for a transformed world may indeed be important, and may denote differences in approaches – but about the larger moral-ethical aims there was no serious doubt or disagreement.

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‘Americanization’ — without the ‘White Man’s Burden.’ What’s to be Done?

A Paper by Türkkaya Ataöv, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Ankara University, Turkey, delivered at the 12th Rhodes Forum on September 26, 2014

Global South is being assaulted, in ways more than one, by Global North, led by the United States for the last two-and-a-half decades. The attacks are redesigned, comprehensive, and widespread, with new hooks. They have been in the form of suggestions, pressures, interventions, attacks and invasions in political, economic and cultural realms. The United States presses for governmental and economic reconstruction models, whose costs are being borne by the great majority of mankind that faces inflation, unemployment, loss of state subsidies and other protections. Although the dream of prosperity is rhetorically a guiding beacon, it is not a bed of roses even for the Americans, not only because it is very narrowly shared, but also based on debt incurred by consumers, corporations, the government and the nation itself. How can the world economy sustain itself if dominated by financial speculation? However, the lower classes will not starve quietly. The question is what must and can they do. I intend here first to rate the regime changes enforced upon the Global South (periphery) and then suggest a different course to challenge the dependency.

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Avoiding a New Cold War and Ethnonationalist Provocations

A Paper by Valentina Fedotova, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, delivered at the 12th Rhodes Forum on September 27, 2014

The conflict between two social systems - capitalism and communism vanished after the USSR had collapsed and Russia had gained its new democratic image that yet varied from copying the Western patterns to embodying unique national features. In reality Russia’s democracy was far more multiform. The USSR had broken down and Russia became a new country with quite positive image in the West. We are currently witnessing the aggravation of the conflict between the West and Russia that is breathing new life into the conflict between the Western and non-Western worlds. The collapse of the former world order resulted in the emergence of brand-new states with no previous experience in nation-state formation. There is a number of ethnonational conflicts in the world that becomes unbalanced with the West supporting one or another party to the conflict.

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Report on Plenary Meeting “Peace and Security in Europe and Asia in the Context of American Power”

12th Rhodes Forum, September 27, 2014

The meeting was moderated by Chandra Muzaffar. The seven keynote speakers were Phyllis Bennis, Kumiko Haba, Fred Dallmayr, Junaid Ahmad, Sara Flounders, Tao Xie and Valentina Fedotova.

The moderator opened discussions with observations on why the question of peace and security in Europe and Asia has become so significant at this point in time. In both continents it is the desire of the US elite to perpetuate its hegemonic power that has provoked reactions that have led to tension and conflict.

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