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Capitalism: A Ghost Story + India: The World's Largest Democracy

Program #ROYA016-ROYA017.

First Program: Capitalism: A Ghost Story

Capitalism is fairly universal in its practices allowing for some differences. The overarching goal is to satiate what one economist called its “werewolf hunger” for profits. The tar sands project in northern Alberta, the most environmentally destructive operation on earth, is proceeding apace, because it is a money-making bonanza. There is a telling cartoon in The New Yorker. A CEO of a major corporation is meeting with stockholders who are keen to hear about new dividends. He tells them, While long-term prospects for the planet are grim indeed with widespread misery, hunger, and wars, in the short term there are excellent opportunities for us to make more money. That sums up the corporate mindset. India has its own brand of rapacious capitalism. While hundreds of millions live in dire poverty a class of gazillionaires has emerged with maharaja-like conspicuous consumption.

Second Program: India: The World's Largest Democracy

India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act has given noncommissioned army officers a license to kill. And elaborate surveillance network maintains government corruption rackets. The corporate pillaging of India takes place behind state coordinated cover-ups. In conversation with David Barsamian, Arundhati Roy says the unsayable about the impact of these trends on India in general, and especially in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and of course Kashmir. While the Obama Administration forges “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century” for the United States, these partners in democracy are adopting colonial practices toward tribal and agrarian people.


Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and global justice activist. The New York Times calls her, "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence." Among her many honors are the Lannan Foundation's Cultural Freedom Award and the Sydney Peace Prize. She is the author of many books including The God of Small Things, The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile, Field Notes on Democracy, Walking with the Comrades and Capitalism A Ghost Story. Her introductory essay to B.R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste is "The Doctor and the Saint."

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