Dr. Sylvie Thénault: “I still have a lot of difficulty in admitting the idea that many French people did not know what was happening in Algeria during the war”
Dr. Sylvie Thénault. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your academic career, whether it is your master’s degree, your doctoral thesis or your accreditation as a researcher, is focused on Algeria’s war of independence. Where does your interest in the history of Algeria come from?
Dr. Sylvie Thénault: I have no personal relationship with Algeria. My interest came from the anti-racist movement in France in the late 1980s. I was a secondary school student at the time and the fight against the National Front, which was then beginning to take root in French political life, found arguments in the history of the Algerian war of independence. Thus, it was reminded that Jean-Marie Le Pen had been a lieutenant in Algeria and that he had used torture there. October 17, 1961, was also mentioned as evidence of the murderous nature of racism. The overall idea was that, in order for the immigrants’ children to find their full place in French society, it was necessary to heal the wounds of the past. So we had to talk about it and especially about its darkest aspects. Lire la suite »
Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul: “The widespread financial scandals affecting most sectors of national activity threaten the foundations of the Algerian State.”
Professor A. Mebtoul. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you read the current economic situation in Algeria?
Prof. A. Mebtoul: To understand the economic situation, it is interesting to refer to the annual ranking of The Global Competitiveness Report, of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which concerns the constraints of the business community and economic efficiency in the world, established on the basis of some 100 quantitative indicators from member states and international organizations (World Bank, IMF, ITU, ITC, UNESCO, etc.) as well as qualitative investigations carried out by the WEF itself. To make aggregation of heterogeneous data possible, all results are converted to a scale of 1 to 7. These 110 ratings are then grouped into 12 categories called « pillars », which are themselves divided into major « sub-indices ». In its 2018 report, the WEF study, conducted among 14,000 business leaders from 137 countries, provides a global ranking of the most competitive countries. To establish Algeria’s competitiveness ranking, the Forum based itself on 114 indicators grouped into the following 12 categories: Algeria is ranked 88th, far behind Morocco (49th position) and Tunisia (80th position). As for the level of corruption, (85th place), Algeria is very poorly ranked, corruption being the second biggest obstacle on the path of investors. In terms of public sector performance, the country ranks 81st and 54th in terms of safety. Lire la suite »
Dr. Kerry Bowman: “Environment degradation and climate change may well turn out to be the most violent and destructive aspect of capitalism”
Dr. Kerry Bowman. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Who do you think is responsible for the forest fires that are occurring in the Amazon? Don’t you think that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is directly or indirectly responsible for the fires in the Amazon rainforest?
Dr. Kerry Bowman: Bolsonaro is directly responsible for the increase in these fires without question. He has worked with pride to erode enforcement of Brazil’s environmental protections. He has also rallied for industries that want greater access to protected areas of the Amazon, sought to weaken the land rights of Indigenous people and eroded efforts to combat illegal logging, ranching and mining. Lire la suite »
Daniel McAdams. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your Twitter account has just been closed. Why?
Daniel McAdams: In August I was watching a segment of the Sean Hannity program while at a friend’s house and noticed that despite an hour of Hannity ranting against the “deep state” in the US, he was wearing a lapel pin bearing the seal of the US Central Intelligence agency, which most would agree is either the center or at least an important hub of the US “deep state” itself. I tweeted about this strange anomaly and as a comment to my own Tweet on it I happened to say that Hannity is “retarded.” Twitter informed me that I had committed “hateful conduct” for “promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” It is clear on its face that I did none of these. I used a non politically correct term to ridicule Hannity for attacking the “deep state” while wearing the symbols of the deep state on his very lapel. Lire la suite »
Prof. Richard Wolff: “Socialism represents the critical demand to extend democracy into the economic sphere”
Prof. Richard Wolff. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You have done a very important work throughout these years and you wrote among other things this remarkable book New Departures in Marxian Theory that you co-signed with your colleague Stephen Resnick. In your opinion, is there not a need for a revolutionary interpretation of Marxism far off the beaten track?
Prof. Richard Wolff: Marx and Marxism were themselves overdetermined (in Althusser’s sense) by their social conjunctures. So too will be the next revolutionary interpretation(s) of Marxism. The current global crisis of capitalism, built on its global collapse of 2008-2009, plus the criticisms by Marxists of (1) the rise and fall of the USSR and (2) other early experiments in constructing « socialisms » will together produce those next revolutionary interpretations. On this let me direct you and your readers to two works: S. Resnick and R. Wolff, Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR (Routledge, 2002) and also R. Wolff, Understanding Marxism (2019). Lire la suite »
Dr. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck: “Algerians took up to the street on February 22 because they were fed up with the system”
Dr. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck (photo Juan Luis Rod)
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You have worked on issues related to terrorism, including in the field. In your opinion, can we fight terrorism without fighting the ideology that generates it?
Dr. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck: It is tough to do so because bombs and weapons do not fight ideas. As long as the idea is there and is not fought and countered, then it will be hard to get rid of terrorism. Governments need to better develop both offline and online alternative narratives to extremist ideologies. We need to give young men and women better tools to be able to tackle extremist propaganda. These narratives should comprise social, media campaigns, educational campaigns for young people in schools, and civil associations…etc. Besides, as long as there is social injustice, marginalization, repression, etc., the specter of jihadism will continue to haunt many countries in the world. Lire la suite »
Dr. Stuart Newman. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your book Biotech Juggernaut, Hope, Hype, and Hidden Agendas of Entrepreneurial BioScience co-authored with Tina Stevens, you draw attention to the excesses of biotechnology and its ramifications with the world of money. Is biotechnology really at the service of the Man or has it become uncontrollable and dangerous for the human species?
Dr. Stuart Newman: Like all powerful socially implicated tools and methods, biotechnology can bring improvements to people’s lives while simultaneously increasing the advantage of the rich over everyone else or causing unintended damage. To take a well-known example, industrialization of farming has made agricultural products cheaper and eliminated much (although not all) backbreaking labor. But agribusiness has also done away with millions of jobs and placed remaining workers in physical and social danger. It has all but ended the innovative engagement with the natural world by farmers which, beginning in preindustrial times, yielded crops that have been among the greatest products of civilization. Factory farming of animals, moreover, is inexcusably cruel. Lire la suite »