2003-03-20 – I am starting to feel as if the NGOs are slowly on the rise because they are perceived as the only organisations both doing something, and doing the right thing, while governments are perceived as being slow or corrupt, and big business is perceived as being corrupt. The problem is that people wake up to the stark realities: Nobody but the NGOs seem to actually be for the people.

People are being sick and tired of being cheated. I realize that I’m starting to sound like a communist revolutionary – but I hope that is just because I have finally had enough, that I have finally decided to become politically involved. What I feel is probably my own exhilaration because I am getting involved, and because I note that other people are getting involved, too.

As Arundhati Roy said in Porto Alegre at the World Social Forum (paraphrasing from the German edition of the MondeDiplomatique):

We should not just expose the Empire, we must besiege it. We must shame it, we muse deride it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubborness, our lust for life - and with our stories. The stories we tell each other, not the ones they are trying to impose on us. Globalization will implode when we don’t buy it - not their ideas, not their history, not their wars, not their weapons, and not their impression of the inevitable.

That is what I am trying to do. To speak up, in the office, amongst friends, stand on the street, join a demonstration. To say out loud: I believe the concentration of the media in the hands of a few is bad for us, that we should try to get other InformationSources, even if they cost a bit more. Because big business is not only StealingMoney – in its desire to sell, it is devaluing things we hold dear. Time alone. Time with our loved ones. Because that has no value to them.

NGOs are a way to express what we want. We don’t want to vote for party X or party Y. We want Human Rights, NOW! We don’t want to vote for one of the faceless member of paliament. We want less poverty, NOW! This is why people are tired of politics. Because politics has disconnected itself from our daily lives. We want clean air and clean water, NOW!

And the NGOs, however simple-minded they might seem, offer us this. They write proposals. They intervene on our behalf. They organize us. They weld our disconnected voices into a movement, an interest group, a political player. Every NGO turns into a tiny little political party in out-of-parliament opposition. Because we, the people, are in opposition.


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