The merit trap

Politicians of both Left and Right continue to march behind the banners of meritocracy and equality of opportunity as if this were all that is needed to achieve a fair society. But rewarding people for their ‘merit’ may be creating a new class system based on arrogant, insensitive winners and angry, desperate losers, writes Peter Adamson.

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NI 515 - Making peace in a world at war - September, 2018
Clockwise from top left: Students at the University of Botswana in the capital, Gaborone; Nthompe Rosinah Mothata selling her snacks in Gaborone’s bus station; looking out over the main pit of the Jwaneng mine in the Kalahari – the richest diamond mine in the world; and the Three Dikgosi (Chiefs) Monument depicting the leaders of the Bangwato, Bakwena and Bangwaketse ethnic groups – a set of bronze figures cast by a North Korean company and located in Gaborone’s Central Business District.

Country Profile: Botswana

Wame Molefhe profiles Botswana, where prosperity has morphed into corruption and inequality. But will the country’s future see it regain the sparkle its diamonds offer to the rich?

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NI 514 - The next financial crisis - July, 2018
Julius sits on the porch of his house in Trenton, New Jersey, looking north at Ewing Township where foreclosure rates are drastically lower.

Home sweet home

Ten years ago the world focused on the US foreclosure crisis as thousands lost their homes in dodgy mortgage deals. Today, the crisis is still a reality for many. Jack Crosbie reports.

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NI 514 - The next financial crisis - July, 2018

Calypso Rose

With a career spanning six decades, Tobago’s Calypso Rose has written more than 800 songs focusing on gender discrimination and social injustice. The 78-year-old, who has survived cancer and two heart attacks, spoke to Sian Griffiths.

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NI 512 - Public ownership rises again - May, 2018
Clockwise from top left: Smallholders forced off their land who have taken refuge in makeshift roadside huts; a street scene on Calle Mallorquín in Encarnación; giant otters on the Paraguay River; the Panteón de los Héroes at dusk in the capital, Asunción; a Mbya-Guaraní woman in her herb garden.

Country Profile: Paraguay

Paraguayan democracy may have come a long way since the end of dictatorship, but terror is sweeping its agricultural heartlands where farmers and indigenous communities are resisting attempts to take away what little land they have left.

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NI 510 - Black Lives Matter - March, 2018

The obscenity of extreme wealth

Some people have so much money they don’t know what to do with it – while most of us scrimp and save just to get by. Mark Engler reflects on the vulgar reality of extreme wealth.

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NI 509 - What's left for the young? - January, 2018

Get up, stand up!

Meet the Rastafarian lawyer fighting for cannabis freedom in South Africa. Interview by Alice McCool.

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NI 507 - Humans vs robots - November, 2017
All that glistens: Silicon Valley lights up as night descends.

Plutocrats and paupers

If job-killing robots will play a big role in our future, inequality could get turbo-charged. The counter-proposals on the table barely scratch the surface, argues Nick Dowson.

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NI 507 - Humans vs robots - November, 2017
Robocop for real, a police robot makes its debut in Dubai, May 2017. It will help citizens report crimes and answer parking ticket queries, rather than make arrests. 25 per cent of the Dubai police force will be robotic by 2030.

The age of disruption

Technology is changing society at breakneck speed but considerations of human impacts lag far behind. Dinyar Godrej sketches out some of the key political battles ahead.

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NI 507 - Humans vs robots - November, 2017
The flag of equality has many colours: a scene from the March of Equality, organized by LGBT and human rights activists in Kiev, Ukraine, in June 2016.

Firing up the change

The advantages of greater equality are clear – the more so as the negative effects of widening inequality in some countries become apparent. But how can we help turn the tide?

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NI 504 - The Equality Effect - July, 2017

The rich, the poor and the earth

While it is clear that equality matters in terms of health and happiness, surprising new data reveals that it is also better for the environment – in the more equal rich countries, people on average consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon.

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NI 504 - The Equality Effect - July, 2017

When we were more equal

A few fragments from the surprising history of equality. Cartoons by Ella Furness.

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NI 504 - The Equality Effect - July, 2017

The Equality Effect

The political landscape may seem particularly bleak at present. But, if we stand back and look at the bigger picture, the dominance of rightwing populists and neoliberal policies is likely to be a temporary blip. The evidence is mounting that greater economic equality benefits all people in all societies, whether you are rich, poor or in-between. Once this is widely understood, politicians and policymakers will be forced to take note, as Danny Dorling explains.

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NI 504 - The Equality Effect - July, 2017

Transgender – the facts

This New Internationalist fact spread looks the number of trans people around the world, the violence and discrimination they face, health, education, work, legal protections and vulnerabilities.

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NI 486 - The transgender revolution - October, 2015
CN Lester

Nine seriously easy things to do… to support trans people

Small things, as suggested by CN Lester. But if every cis – or ‘not trans’ – person followed them, we’d be living in a kinder world.

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NI 486 - The transgender revolution - October, 2015

Pathways & possibilities

Richard Swift examines the history of Utopian thinking that fundamentally re-imagines democracy and equality.

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NI 484 - Capitalism is spinning out of control - July, 2015
YES: Barb Jacobson is co-ordinator of Basic Income UK. A former member of Wages for Housework, she has been active in community organizations since 1991, mainly around housing and health. She works for the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association in central London.

Should there be a basic income?

Basic Income UK co-ordinator Barb Jacobson and author and sociologist Francine Mestrum go head to head.

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NI 471 - The war on whistleblowers - April, 2014
Kholoud and Nidal’s wedding video screening inside their apartment. Though seen as pioneers, they insist they are not fighting religion. ‘We believe in civil marriage as a civil right, and in Lebanon as a non-sectarian regime,’ Khouloud explains.

Love unites us

Nadja Wohlleben’s photos capture Lebanon’s silent constitutional revolution.

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NI 471 - The war on whistleblowers - April, 2014

The feral rich

How do they get away with it? Vanessa Baird investigates.

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NI 459 - The feral rich - January, 2013
The feral rich - how can we help them?

The feral rich - how can we help them?

A 10-point action plan for policymakers, illustrated by Kate Charlesworth.

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NI 459 - The feral rich - January, 2013

Laying into the poor

From the US to China, Owen Jones documents how the demonization of the have-nots is going global.

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NI 459 - The feral rich - January, 2013
Privilege looms large in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

India's elites have a ferocious sense of entitlement

A revealing set of US studies has got Urvashi Butalia thinking about how the rich behave in Dehli.

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NI 459 - The feral rich - January, 2013
Skilled and in control: an Argentine co-op member thins dough for tarts at a recovered bread factory in Buenos Aires.

Can co-operatives crowd out capitalism?

Wayne Ellwood argues that co-ops – democratic, community-focused – offer an egalitarian way out of our current mess.

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NI 454 - Co-operatives - July, 2012
Homeless in San
Francisco. Many
Americans are in
denial about their
dependence on
the state.

Now is not the time to hate the state

Many Americans are in denial about their dependence on social spending, says Mark Engler.

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NI 452 - Mental health - May, 2012

Articles in this category displayed as a table:

Article title From magazine Publication date
Making peace in a world at war September, 2018
The next financial crisis July, 2018
The next financial crisis July, 2018
Public ownership rises again May, 2018
Black Lives Matter March, 2018
What's left for the young? January, 2018
Humans vs robots November, 2017
Humans vs robots November, 2017
Humans vs robots November, 2017
The Equality Effect July, 2017
The Equality Effect July, 2017
The Equality Effect July, 2017
The Equality Effect July, 2017
The transgender revolution October, 2015
The transgender revolution October, 2015
Capitalism is spinning out of control July, 2015
The war on whistleblowers April, 2014
The war on whistleblowers April, 2014
The feral rich January, 2013
The feral rich January, 2013
The feral rich January, 2013
The feral rich January, 2013
Co-operatives July, 2012
Mental health May, 2012
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