Up in arms

A note from the editor

David Ransom

Who’s in the economic driving seat now?

A few months ago, when I started work on ‘The Great Rebellion’, an uprising by the Arab people was equally difficult to forecast as its outcome is now, as we go to press.

Media coverage in the West immediately suggested that the fate of the Egyptian people must rest in the hands of the US Government, which has funded the Egyptian apparatus of repression for so long. But despotism has been justified once too often by the ignorant and deceitful fantasy that the people of the region are wedded to Islamic extremism.

The truth is that the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings were just the most recent in a sequence that began in Latin America, continues through much of Asia and is a response to the despotism of free- market fundamentalism and corporate globalization. Because of this response, the ‘Third’ or Majority World has largely avoided The Great Recession and is now in the economic driving seat. And because of this – if for no other reason – the Western physician would be well advised to heal itself. It could do worse than begin by abandoning the prescriptions of the corporate media, which failed just as miserably to diagnose both the Great Recession and the Great Rebellion.

Elsewhere in the magazine we peep inside the paranoid minds of conspiracy theorists, give the humble honeybee a much-needed helping hand, and applaud the global mobilizations of Avaaz.

David Ransom for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Going for the jugular: demonstrators outside a branch of Vodafone in north London, December 2010.

Going for the jugular: demonstrators outside a branch of Vodafone in north London, December 2010.

Andrew Winning / Reuters

The Great Rebellion

The Great Recession may have stunned the Minority World, but the Majority World has survived more or less unscathed. David Ransom investigates why, and traces the outlines of a future that might just be worth having.

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‘It’s unprecedented!’ So said many people in Cairo during the dramatic recent uprising, that began in protest against ‘austerity’ measures and turned into a full-blown revolution. They were proud of being able to say so.

The contrast could hardly have been more stark than with a spin doctor I recently heard advise a British politician never to say ‘unprecedented’ at all. It sounds like an excuse, he said, and during these difficult times no-one is in a forgiving mood. Far better to say ‘inhe...




Features.

Ratnamala Tekam, a widow with her two children in Mangi village, in the cotton producing belt of Vidarbha. Her husband killed himself in March 2009 amid mounting debts, hunger and crop losses.

Bomb drops on Indian countryside

India may be one of the world’s current economic ‘winners’ but inequality is its fastest-growing sector, reveals Jaideep Hardikar.

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Illustrations by David Dees, a conspiracy theory artist, including one of his explicit Holocaust denial pieces. His work, which also covers corporate power, 9/11, 'chemtrails' and GMO foods, regularly appears on conspiracy websites and videos. The majority of these users promote him without being aware of his 'Holohoax' and climate change denial views.

Challenging the politics of paranoia

Cartoonist Polyp explores conspiracy theories and finds them not just dotty but dangerous.

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Alternatives.

Honeybees get a helping hand

‘Barefoot beekeepers’ adopt an alternative approach to safeguarding the threatened bee population.

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Opinion.

The US military budget

The US military budget

Overcoming empire is not a spectator sport.

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Schoolgirls attempt to prevent further damage to a police van that has been abandoned in the midst of student protests, London, November 2010.

Is it OK for protesters to damage property?

Two activists debate whether property destruction is a valid tactic for bringing about social and political change - plus your chance to join the conversation.

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Agenda.

Stop the tar sands trade talks

A protest against opening the EU's doors to Canada's polluting tar sands

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The next step: Western Saharawi fisherfolk are demanding the right to fish in their own waters.

The EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership

Morocco’s exploitation of Western Sahara’s fish stocks in choppy waters.

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Regulars.

Interview with Parvin Ardalan

Interview with Parvin Ardalan who is at the heart of the struggle for women's rights in Iran.

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Samoa

A profile of the Pacific island state.

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