the fire these times

58/Democracy, Counterrevolution, the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism (with Rohini Hensman)

Today we’ll be talking to Rohini Hensman.

She is an India-based Sri Lankan labor activist and feminist and an independent scholar whose book “Indefensible: Democracy, Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism” I’ve reviewed some years ago, and which will be the topic of our conversation today. 

In that book, she argues that the apparent anti-imperialism of many self-professed socialists amounts to explicit or implicit support for totalitarianism, fascism, Islamist theocracy and, ironically enough, imperialism.

She goes through the examples of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia, Russia and Ukraine.

This has been a concern of mind for a few years now and I wanted to take this opportunity to bring it to a wider audience, so I invited Rohini on to explore how such a supposedly noble political position – anti-imperialism – can be so easily corrupted.

You don’t have to identify with any -ism to find this topic informative. You just need to be someone who opposes authoritarian politics.

If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer.

Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.

If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts!

The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS.

Music by Tarabeat.

Photo taken from ‘The Syrian People Know Their Way’. Link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star