An HSBC advert recently caught my eye on the London Underground. ‘We are not an island,’ the billboard read. ‘We are a Colombian coffee-drinking, American movie-watching, Swedish flat-pack assembling, Korean tablet-tapping… wonderful little lump of land in the middle of the sea. We are part of something far, far bigger.’
Naturally, this insipid pitch by a transnational bank, trying – in the Brexit era – to position itself as enlightened, failed to mention its own border-crossing record of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and helping Swiss clients evade tax. But it still begs the question: has internationalism been so drained of meaning that it refers to nothing more than a diverse credit card history?
In this Big Story, we return to a different way of relating to ‘something far, far bigger’ than the nation-state: Third World solidarity, a radical tradition that sought to upend the order of things. It was a time when newly independent nations tried to prise open the rich world’s grip on power, deploying tactics from armed struggle to multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations. We hold up this emancipatory model of internationalism in the light of today – when there is no longer such a neat divide between colonizer and colonized, rich world and poor world – to see what can be salvaged to build an internationalism fit for the 21st century.
Elsewhere, the Cartoon History tells the story of the incorruptible Macli-ing Dulag, a Filipino villager who resisted a World Bank-funded dam project, and Margaret Busby introduces a lambent collection of writing by African women.
Yohann Koshy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
The prospect of a British government headed up by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – a veteran internationalist – should be a source of hope. But how would his government break from the past when the global economy is hardwired to extract profit from the Global South? Barnaby Raine proposes four ideas to help square the circle.
In 1984, President of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Sankara was perhaps the last ‘Third World’ politician, a revolutionary Marxist who felt a ‘special solidarity uniting the three continents of Asia, Latin America and Africa’.
The stories of women migrants making the desperate Mediterranean crossing to Europe are different from those of the men, marked by a higher level of exploitation and abuse. Lucia Benavides reports from Spain.
With the release of New Daughters of Africa, editor Margaret Busby explains why the collection – 25 years after Daughters of Africa was published – could not have come at a better time and introduces three stories from the anthology.
The story of Filipino elder Macli-ing Dulag, who led the struggle against the Chico Dam, as told by ILYA (with Yohann Koshy).