Released: May 28, 2018
In the 1970s and 80s, Torkil Lauesen was a member of a clandestine communist cell which carried out a series of robberies in Denmark, netting very large sums which were then sent on to various national liberation movements in the Third World. Following their capture in 1989, Torkil would spend six years in prison. In 2016, Lauesen’s book Det Globale Perspektiv was released in Denmark. In it, he explains how he sees the world political situation today, and his thoughts about the future.
As Lauesen details, we today live in a world of massive and unprecedented inequality. Never before has humanity been so starkly divided between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Never before has the global situation been accelerating so quickly. The Third World national liberation movements of the 20th century very much triggered the liberatory movements that did manage to emerge in the First World, and seemed for an all-too-brief moment to point to an escape hatch from history’s downward spiral ... but for many today that all seems like ancient history.
The Global Perspective bridges the gap between Third Worldist theory, and the question of “What Is To Be Done?” in a First World context. It is an important contribution towards developing an effective political practice based on the realities of the global situation, avoiding the pitfalls of sugarcoating the situation with the First World populations, or of falling into pessimistic quietism. It bridges the gap not only between generations, but also between theory and practice. As Lauesen says, “It is a book written by an activist, for activists. Global capitalism is heading into a deep structural crisis in the coming decades, so the objective conditions for radical change will be present, for better or for worse. The outcome will depend on us, the subjective forces.”
Torkil Lauesen is a longtime anti-imperialist activist and writer living in Denmark. From 1970 to 1989, he was full-time member of a communist anti-imperialist group, supporting Third World liberation movements by both legal and illegal means. He worked occasionally as a glass factory worker, mail carrier, and laboratory worker, in order to be able to stay on the dole. In connection with support work, he has traveled in Lebanon, Syria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Philippines, and Mexico. In the 1990s, while in prison, he was involved in prison activism and received a Masters degree in political science. He is currently a member of International Forum, an anti-imperialist organization based in Denmark.
Zak Cope is co-editor of the Journal of Labor and Society and co-editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. His is also the author of Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour under Capitalism.