On Friday 13th November, 129 people lost their lives in a series of attacks in Paris reportedly carried out by Islamic State. They join the dead of Beirut, Suruç, Syria, Iraq and countless other war-torn regions as innocent victims of a conflict that knows no civilians.
The urgency with which we have to pull ourselves back from the brink is signalled not only by the brutality of the reactions, but by the fact that they are by now entirely predictable: airstrikes abroad, destructive of life but strategically pointless; attacks on muslim populations in the west, dubbed 'revenge' by a racist media.
All is fuel on the fire. More than ever, we need to understand the situation in all its complexities.
The vicissitudes of Italian history is full of lessons for the contemporary left. From the early days of Italian Communism under Gramsci and Bordiga, through the Communist-lead resistance to Italian Fascism, the emergence of Operaismo, the pathbreaking work of Italian feminists and the building of the largest Communist party in Europe in the post-war years, the country was once an inspiration for the radical left throughout Europe. Yet, in recent years many have struggled to understand what is happening politically in Italy with “berlusconismo” and the rise of Renzi and the Five Stars Movement
To discuss the past and present of the Italian left, Tariq Ali interviews Alberto Toscano, author of Fanaticism and reader in critical theory at Goldsmiths University in London.