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Standing Room Only 2-Pack

Program #ROYA018-ROYA016.

2 CDs

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. (Recorded at Princeton in 2012.)

Reimagining the World

The news item was brief and buried in the back pages: “India: Maoists Ambush Patrol, Killing 7 Soldiers. The attack occurred in a rebel stronghold in Jharkhand State. Thousands of people have been killed in the past decade in violence involving Maoists, who claim they represent India’s dispossessed, particularly indigenous tribal groups.” You may wonder, What’s going on? I thought India is a democracy. In India, the U.S. and other countries the actual functioning of democracy has largely been hollowed out. Yes, there are elections and people vote but the nexus of decision-making power lies elsewhere. Corporations dominate the political process. With their fistful of dollars they are able to exact outcomes that benefit them. As environmental destruction continues unabated we must reimagine a different world. One in which people and the planet are more important than profits. (Recorded in Chicago in 2013.)


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, Capitalism A Ghost Story and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. 

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