‘The West is no longer the Motor of History’ UCLA Professor.

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UCLA history professor Vinay Lal speaks to the Indian website Newsclick about “the new movements developing in different parts of the world–from West Asia, North Africa to Europe and the United States. He sees the possibility of new politics emerging from this and how it can reconfigure the nation-state.

The most unfortunate revelation of our time as manifest in the various revolutionary movements against economic injustices and political dictatorships across the world is that

“politics has been evacuated of its meaning”

Whilst we are all captive to the idea or notion of the Nation State it is this same notion of the Nation State that is the most severe oppressor of human rights. Professor Vinay Lal asks whether there exists any different ways to forge notions of Political Community other than the Nation state and whether our present day revolutionary movements are at all thinking about the transgression of borders.

He questions whether the Nation State has the right to represent “the apotheosis of political possibilities” and sites the Palestinian question among others as a case in point.

After listening to this interview one may well be left in agreement with Lal that the Nation State is indeed “a vehicle of forms of oppression which cannot be managed.”Personally I would naturally find this line of thinking particularly convincing coming as I do from an sub-Saharan African patriarchal, one-party-hegemonic and strongly nationalistic political society.


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