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PV Democrats May Meeting
May 16, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Join us for our virtual May club meeting. Our meeting starts at 2:30, but join us at 2 pm to chat with other Democrats.
The theme for this month’s meeting is Impact of Jan 6th Events and The Global Turn to Authoritarianism: The Perils, Promise, and Prospects for Democracy
Dr. Vinay Lal, UCLA Professor of History & Asian American Studies – Vinay Lal was born in Delhi and raised in India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. Dr. Lal joined the history faculty at UCLA in Fall 1993. He has written on various aspects of the political and legal history of colonial India, sexuality in modern India, the popular Hindi film, the Indian diaspora, Indian documentaries, dissent in the Gandhian mode, contemporary American politics, the politics of culture, genocide, and more. Dr Lal’s most recent book is The Fury of Covid-19: The Politics, Histories, and Unrequited Love of the Coronavirus (Pan Macmillan, 2020); he blogs at vinaylal.wordpress.com and has a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/dillichalo.
Dr. Lal provided this synopsis for his talk: Many commentators, especially in the US, spoke somewhat pompously about ‘the end of history’ after the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union, overly confident that the twin blessings of liberal democracy and the market economy were now bound to become part of the global world order. What we have seen, to the contrary, is the turn to authoritarianism, even in “established” democracies such as the US as evidenced by the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th. I will suggest that the antecedents of “Trumpism” lie not merely in the policies of Trump, or even Reagan, but in the long history of American exceptionalism, and that the global turn to authoritarianism, as seen not just in the US but India, Poland, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Philippines, suggest that the search for a “just world order” and social justice remains elusive. It is therefore all the more necessary that “democracy” as a political form of government be seen not as an end goal but rather as a process, as a constant reminder that history is the struggle of the tension between the thirst for power and the thirst for justice.