The launch of Vijay Prashad’s latest book, co-authored with Noam Chomsky, ‘The Withdrawal’ took place in The New Theatre / Connolly Books on Thursday 8th September. Outlining the reasoning that led to this joint collaboration Vijay explained how they wanted to bring to a new generation of activists the political and military reasoning offered by the USA-EU-NATO for their aggressive military interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.
Vijay challenged the Eurocentric nature of many left activists, in particular the academic left and the manner in which they continue to impose an understanding of how struggles should be carried out, how “socialism” should be built and how in many cases their expressing find similarity with that of the political and military establishments such as the US-EU-NATO. He also outlined how in some cases they find themselves actively siding with imperialist interventions.
He went on to share his experiences of struggle within India but also that of the mass social movements across Latin America, identifying the importance of the left to re-engage and build the collective nature of struggle and society. Noting that the left should have greater empathy and understanding of people’s suffering Vijay also cautioned the dangers of reducing struggles to purely parliamentary means. He encouraged that activists should actively mobilise and engage working people and their lives. The collective actions of the masses that will be the determining factor of advancing the interests of the working class.
He also called for renewed solidarity with Cuba, not based upon nostalgia for Che or Fidel, rather to reach a new generation with the amazing social, economic and cultural advances being made by the Cuban people today. Overall it was a very positive evening. ‘The Withdrawal’ is already sold out but more copies will be available from Connolly Books in the coming weeks