World in Crisis
On December 17, 2010 Muhammad Bouazizi, a street vendor in a small town in Tunisia, burned himself to death. He was protesting harassment and mistreatment by state authorities. His death fueled a revolt in Tunisia which toppled the Ben Ali dictatorship. The spark spread to Egypt and within weeks the decades old Mubarak regime was overthrown. The so-called Arab Spring rocked the entrenched old order. Those revolutionary currents have stirred the waters elsewhere. The economic collapse is shaking things up in the U.S. Witness the Occupy Wall Street movement. Americans, fed up and struggling to make ends meet, watch their military bomb and occupy countries from Pakistan to Yemen, are taking to the streets. Citizens are challenging and questioning the status quo. Are we on the edge of genuine change in the structure of power and privilege? Interview by David Barsamian.
Tariq Ali, an internationally renowned writer and activist, was born in Lahore, Pakistan. For many years he has been based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. A charismatic speaker, he is in great demand all over the world. In his spare time, he is a filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. He is the author of many books including The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Pirates of the Caribbean, Speaking of Empire & Resistance with David Barsamian, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, The Obama Syndrome, The Extreme Centre and The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan: A Chronicle Foretold.