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Democratic conventions

Now that products are being pumped out into already saturated markets, it's not surprising that the culture that capitalism creates is centred on: 'Me! Me! More! More!'. For many, life's main goal has become: 'The one with the most toys wins'. We often hear how soul-destroying this culture can be. But what does it do for our political structures? The rich terrain that we're tilling in this program is whether capitalism is cultivating democracy, or killing it.

Democracy must be one of the most exploited words in the English language. So much is being done in its name. We're supposed to be living in it. Iraq has been invaded so that the people of the Middle East can start enjoying it. Together with New Internationalist co-editor, Richard Swift, leading lights in the field shine their intellect on ways to rebuild our political and economic foundations so that societies can better deliver democracy's main prize - power to the public.

  • Author of Radical Democracy, Douglas Lummis outlines where the concept of democracy comes from and where it could go.
  • British mental health professional Trevor Turner sorts through the ways politicians dumb-down debate, and what it means for short and long term decision making by governments.
  • Susan George - whose many books have stimulated debates amongst progressive people around the world - outlines a new economic order that would address climate change at the same time as strengthening democratic structures.

Africa meets Europe in the musical backdrop for this program, as Saba - who was born to an Ethopian mother and an Italian father - sings her way through the divide between the two continents in her debut CD Jidka.

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