Speaking of Empire and Resistance

Published by The New Press, 2005

A leading political writer and activist speaks out on the crisis in the Middle East, the war on terror, and the resurgent militarism of the American Empire.

Exiled from Pakistan in the 1960s for his activism against the military dictatorship, Tariq Ali has gained a reputation as one of the English-speaking world’s most forceful political thinkers, speaking out consistently against imperialism, religious fundamentalism, and, most recently, the misguided Anglo-American war on terror, including the disastrous fiasco in Iraq. Ali’s most recent books, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and Bush in Babylon, have been widely praised and read. A prolific and eloquent writer, Ali is also a captivating conversationalist, and Speaking of Empire and Resistance captures him at his provocative best. This series of interviews brings together Ali’s insights into a wide range of topics—among them the fate of modern-day Pakistan, the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the state of the Islamic world, and the continuing significance of imperialism in the twenty-first century. Speaking of Empire and Resistance reinforces Tariq Ali’s reputation as one of the most perceptive and engaging figures of today’s Left.

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From the archive

  • ‘The notion that democracy and capitalism are interlinked is nonsense’

    April 17, 2012

    Tariq Ali interviewed by the Indian Express.

    The 1960s were heady days — cultural and political revolutions, the death of Che Guevara and a raging Vietnam war. In the midst of all this was Tariq Ali, a young man in his 20s who had just arrived in Oxford from Lahore, and who ended up as one of the most prominent anti-American voices. After graduating, Ali led the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign against the war and has spent much of the life denouncing America and “neoliberal economic policies”. Ali has authored several books, but it’s his Street Fighting Years that became a cult read. Ali, now 68, is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London. He was in India this week to deliver a Faiz memorial lecture. In this interview, Ali talks to Uma Vishnu about the  …

  • ‘Libya is another case of selective vigilantism by the west’

    March 30, 2011

    ‘Libya is another case of selective vigilantism by the west’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, March 29 2011

    The US-Nato intervention in Libya, with United Nations security council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one dictator in particular and by so doing to bring the Arab rebellions to an end by asserting western control, confiscating their impetus and spontaneity and trying to restore the status quo ante.

    It is absurd to think that the reasons for bombing Tripoli or for the turkey shoot outside Benghazi are designed to protect civilians. This particular argument is designed to win support from the citizens of Euro-America and part of the Arab world. “Look at us,” say Obama/Clinton and the EU satraps, “we’re doing good. We’re on the side of the people.” The sheer cynicism is  …

  • Tariq Ali speaks to Democracy Now about the European Union’s Nobel Peace Prize

    November 27, 2012

    The European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year for its historic role in uniting the continent. Committee chair Thorbjoern Jagland praised the EU for transforming Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace.” The selection surprised many as it comes at a time when much of Europe is facing an economic crisis that threatens the EU’s future. Tariq Ali spoke to Democracy Now about the award and the state of the European Union.

    To see the interview visit the Democracy Now website.