Book Launch and discussion with Vijay Prashad on the geopolitics of the Middle East in the broader context of revolutionary history, featuring Aaron Jakes and Ahmad Shokr.
The death of Fidel Castro was not unexpected. He died at 90, even as he had faced hundreds of assassination attempts by the CIA and its associates. In The Hindu, I wrote an appreciation of Fidel's role as the voice of the Third World. It drew from my memories of hearing him speak at the 1983 Non-Aligned Movement meeting in New Delhi and the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. 'Castro, for the Third World', I wrote, 'was not merely another leader. He was the mirror of its aspirations. That mirror is now shattered'. You can read the short essay here. A longer discussion
In 1927, Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou made the silent classic Metropolis. The film is set in 2026, where wealthy industrialists - such as Joh Fredersen - reign over workers who live beneath the ground (picture above is a still from the film). It ends with an anarchic workers' uprising.
In the current issue of Frontline, there are many reports on Trumpland. Perhaps the most important is an essay by Aijaz Ahmad that anchors the issue. My own report, coming after, merely catalogues the 598 day election and its aftermath. You can find it here. Th
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….