MEET THE AUTHORS
and Vijay Prashad
Friday, 2 December 2016
1:00 - 2:00 PM
United Nations Bookshop,
GA Building, Visitors' Concourse
Karim Makdisi is Associate Professor of International Politics at the American University of Beirut and Research Director of the UN in the Arab World program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs.
Quite a bit to share with you this week. Sorry about that.
The world has not yet come to terms with the phenomenon of Trump. President Obama is on a world tour, perhaps to reassure US allies that Trump is not the wild card that he projected in the campaign. This was Obama's message in his press conference before he departed for Greece, where - on the streets of Athens - he was met with people angry about austerity and the Washington Consensus.
Meanwhile, CNN leaked sections of Trump's transition document - the main section being on trade. It
<R2P> A month ago, I visited Penn State, thanks to Sophia McClennen. The topic on the table was the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, which was the fig leaf for the West's attempt to give ideological cover for its wars after the Iraq debacle. The talk goes over the terrain of R2P, but falls heavily on Libya and Syria. You can listen to the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MiYazFZYpI.
Before the talk, I spoke to two very smart undergraduate students, who had read my book - The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution - a
Panelists will discuss: (1) What impact the circus-like election cycle has had on politics and progressive struggles and (2) what prospects do activists have under the new administration for addressing issues (like climate change, racism, imperialism and militarism), and what might be points of leverage? And (3) what are sources of hope going forward?
The newspaper above is from South Korea. It is the largest circulation daily. The headline is dramatic - Angry Whites Overturn America.
A Wall Street Journal poll taken just before the election suggested that two-thirds of Americans are embarrassed about the election. The result has certainly created a great deal of despair on one side and a sense of revanchism on the other. The social fabric is fragile.
A few hours after the election was decided, I wrote a short assessment for Alternet, which evoked Gramsci's idea of the Time of the Monsters. The take-away, I
<olden days> In simpler times, when two communists (one being Jarvis Tyner) in the United States ran for the presidency, when the class lines were firmly drawn and when the politics of liberalism and revanchism stood quite clearly - and unitedly - in the camp of the enemy.
Now things are messier. The US elections trigger 'projectile vomiting', as Barbara Ehrenreich writes in her wonderful Guardian essay: https://www.theguardian.com/…/us-election-projectile-vomiti….
<99 years> Almost a hundred years ago, the Tsarist Russian regime collapsed in the face of mass demonstrations. War and privations broke the iron cage of the Tsarist regime and opened the door first to a bourgeois government, and then to the Soviets. The second revolution of 1917 took place on November 7 (October in the Julian or Old Style calendar). The demonstrations began on International Women's Day on March 8 and culminated with the seizure of power by the Soviets on November 7. The actuality of revolution, as Lukacs put it, became imminent.
To commemorate the Revolution of 1917,
As you read this, across India, hundreds of thousand of kisans (farmers) are on the march - walking from the ends of the country to converge on 24 November in Delhi. They have many grievances, but one purpose: to get their voices heard towards a shift in policy. At our LeftWord Books blog, I have a short post that tries to lay out the farmers' agenda. You can read it here. In time, we at LeftWord Books, hope to publish a Kisan Reader - with essays on the struggles of Indian farmers from the 1940s to the present. Keep an eye out for it. The picture above is from the start
The US presidential season is almost over - it is like the end of a mini-series, a television show that has run out of steam. November 8 is the final episode. What comes next is anyone's guess? Wikileaks' surprises from John Podesta's emails about Hillary Clinton come at a furious pace, but so too do erratic things from Donald Trump. It is a mess. My most recent Frontline report is out this week, and it is on the death knell of this campaign. The report ends, like all such bluster, with a whimper, saying that Hillary Clinton 'is a reliable candidate. Ther