World Social Forum 2005 – “Class, Multitude, Movements, and Parties: Building Alliances”, 27.1.2005 For many, Nine/Eleven 2001 (the terrorist attack in New York and Washing-ton) was proof of the fact that the action of just a few “players” can have lasting effects. Another popular example for this thesis we are used to are coup d'états. However, this thesis is wrong. Such actions have big symbolic value for the political and cultural self-image and can work as a trigger or catalysts – but that is all. Basic social transformations can be accomplished only in long-term intervals by a wide spectrum of players who interconnect all forms of the political (parties, movements, basic trends) and all political formations in them-selves. In such a player’s spectrum, movements and parties recognizing themselves alternately as components of one or several political basic cur-rents act as the most significant subjects. But just how does this happen? Which common denominator serves as a recognizable sign to them? Frederic Jameson has developed – albeit initially referring to the single indi-vidual - for this process of orientation the concept of cognitive mapping. The reality, according to Jameson, is represented in form of a map. This "map" is not consistent. The map gathers signs, texts, pictures, drafts, symbols, val-ues, experiences, principles according to their suitability to allow an orienta-tion in an environment. We could ask which maps of the political world the players carry around with them to orientate themselves, to define purposes and to select ways to that location. We could further ask which conse-quences they take from their (image?) picture, how they actively present themselves as a subject, appear recognizably in the political space through pictures, symbols, specific role modeling, cultures and social-aesthetic ap-pearances.
- What is recorded now on such maps is differentiated by what we deal with: movements, parties or political basic trends.
If we take the map of the socialist basic current, it must show at least one destination (or, put differently: a vision, a social fantasy or even an utopia to be reached) and many ways of how to reach that point (such as by way of elections) and with whom (and without whom) one is on the way.
- In contrast, the map of a movement – let us take the globalization-critical movement as an example – must contain in every case a cen-tral problem (e.g. neo-liberalism and the commodification linked with the latter), some ways how to solve it and an idea, how to follow these routes (and also with which organizations).
- Finally, the map of a party is full of suggestions regarding the technol-ogy of the routes; the map delivers an expert's assessment about the way with which political-social alliances and organizations purposes can reach their goals. Parties are experts of the instrumental and the political technology of power.