Conversations with History: Institute
of International Studies, UC Berkeley
This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations
with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public
Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.
Welcome to a Conversation
with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our
guest today is Tariq Ali, who is a writer, broadcaster, filmmaker, and a major
figure in the European New Left. He is the author, most recently, of The
Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity, and is an editor of the New
Left Review. He's on the Berkeley campus to deliver the 2003 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturein
- Background ... influence of family
... education ... religion ... family memories of genocide
- Coming of Age ... no Pakistani nationalism
... freedom of expression in Pakistani university ... Oxford ... opposing
the Vietnam War ... investigating U.S. war crimes in Vietnam ... importance
of activism ... today's opposition to the Iraq War ... remain engaged
- Writing, Culture, and Political Consciousness ...
fiction vs. nonfiction ... earlier nonfiction: ideological and arrogant ...
political role of poetry ... vitality of poetry in Islamic culture ... dumbing
down of Western culture ... discouragement of critical thinking ... underground
cultures under repressive regimes ... complacency in the West
- Moderninity and Islam ... lost opportunities
for Reformation ... materialist reason vs. monotheistic fundamentalism ...
dual critique: imperialist intervention and failure to unify
- Resistance to Imperialism ... classical
revolutions in the offing ... limits to Europe as a balancer ... resistance
from within the empire ... need for political party ... economic failure
without visible alternative dooms reform ... ferment in Latin America
- Conclusions ... advice for students:
question and doubt ... democracy incompatible with capitalism
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