John Murphy reviews Anti-Imperialism, a guide for the movement, Farah Reza (ed) Bookmarks Publications, £10 pbk
THIS USEFUL series of articles on imperialism and anti-imperialism in the world today offers itself as a guide to activists and concerned citizens who are relatively new to politics and are not political-party aligned.
A companion volume to Anti-capitalism, a guide for the movement, the movement referred to is the disparate mass of popular organisations that ran the popular demonstrations at Seattle and Genoa in recent years, and the campaign against the Iraq war in Britain.
It gives a useful directory of key British campaigning bodies, with e-mail addresses and web-sites for the Stop the War Coalition, Attac, CND, the Anti-Nazi League, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Amnesty, Drop the Debt Coalition, Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the Socialist Alliance and many others.
The book is divided into three parts: Issues, Regions, Players. Tariq Ali writes the introduction and Tony Benn writes the opening article on ‘The New Imperialism’.
Other topics in the ‘issues’ section are oil and imperialism, rogue states, racism, national liberation, nuclear weapons, civil liberties.
Under ‘regions’ come Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Colombia, the Balkans, India and Pakistan. Players and participants are examined in articles on the Bush doctrine, the British state, the arms trade, the IMF and World Bank, the media and the anti-war movement.
An omission is anything on trade unions as bases of anti-imperialist struggle. Or a critical treatment of the European Union, although the EU is referred to in passing as an attempt to develop a European-based imperial power as a rival to the US.
The book seems aimed at the many people whom current events are drawing into political activism, but who have no contact with traditional labour organisations. It offers a good,though not superb, political education for a tenner.
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