The Obama Syndrome: A Live Interview with Tariq Ali and Joel Whitney

As part of his tour to launch The Obama Syndrome, Tariq Ali appeared at New York’s Asia Society September 17th, 2010 where he was interviewed on stage by Joel Whitney, Founding Editor in Chief of Guernica magazine.

From the archive

  • ‘Ali talks down the Obama era’

    March 20, 2011

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Mark Naglazas for the West Australian, March 1 2011

    It was one of those moments that will live in the memory of all those who witnessed it, registering and resonating as powerfully as the Moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 and, for a younger generation, the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

    We all knew that Americans would one day vote a black man into the White House but when Barack Hussein Obama put one hand on the Bible and recited the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States, even those who had not voted for him understood the significance of the event for a nation built on the blood, sweat and tears of slaves.

    There were cynics, of course, who tried to smear the 49-year-old Harvard graduate as  …

  • “Greek Democracy is in Tatters”

    November 27, 2012

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Kostas Pliakos for Counterpunch, November 15th, 2012

    You have said that Europe is falling apart financially and that we should go back to the drachma. Do you insist on this view? This is a difficult dilemma; could the country survive without any similar moves in other European countries?

    If Greece is to break free from the shackles of the Troika it will have no other option but to revert to its own currency. It won’t be worse than what is happening now. In fact it will be better because it will presage a return to reality and a break from total dependence on a currency over which the peripheral EU states have no control. A number of eastern European states who have preserved their own currency till now are better off than Greece, Spain, Ireland  …

  • The AAP is more confusionist than anarchist

    February 10, 2014

    The following is an interview with Tariq Ali conducted by the Times of India


    How do you analyse the AAP phenomenon — is this anarchism entering politics with street protests becoming a popular mode of official expression?

    AAP is one of the many parties on the globe that’s benefited from a widespread distrust of politicians and mainstream politics. People feel disenfranchised — whoever rules, their conditions remain the same. In Italy, the Five Star movement stormed into national parliament on a similar basis.

    These are effectively single-issue parties. AAP is more confusionist than anarchist. As for elected governments mobilising people on the streets, why not? History is shaped by the nameless masses.

    But can AAP, which shifts from leftist resistance against FDI to populist promises of subsidised water and electricity, provide a coherent economic roadmap?

    It is contradictory. All  …