New Internationalist

Cover for Big Babies

October 2007's Issue

Psychoanalysts believe that people can be ‘infantilized’ – stopped from growing up. Powerful politicians now seem to think that’s a neat idea. Dog-whistles and diversions of all kinds are designed to turn us away from active political engagement towards passive consumption. In the process, democracy gets hollowed out. Politics becomes another branch of management, left to a political class and an entire industry of spin-doctors, pollsters, ad agencies, lobbyists and dirty-tricksters.

But infantilizing all the people all the time is not so easily done. In this issue of the NI we wonder why, and take a sideways look into the empty space where grown-up political debate should be.

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Featured in issue 405

The language of supermarkets

The language of supermarkets

No sex education please, we’re Indian

Indian states ban sex education in schools

After the bombs

Bikini Atoll residents still demand compensation from US.

‘We can take it’

First in a new series by Maria Golia.

We are football

Uruguayans remain a ‘footballized’ people, according to Eduardo Galeano.

Because I am a girl... How young women’s rights are being ignored

Nikki van der Gaag reveals how, in many countries around the world, girls are still discriminated against, abused and treated as second-class citizens – just because they are girls.

Farzana Wahidy

Burqa and doves, by pioneering female Afghan photographer Farzana Wahidy.


Softcore by Tirdad Zolghadr

Eleven ways to leave your Mummy and Daddy

Michael Bywater gives us some pointers.

Bahia Blues

Bahia Blues by Yasmina Traboulsi

Bole2Harlem Volume 1

Bole2Harlem Volume 1 by Bole2Harlem

Magical thinkers

Trevor Turner has his finger on how the fantasies of evasion trip up the political class.

The Yacoubian Building

The Yacoubian Building scripted and directed by Marwan Hamed

Siren song – conspiracy!

The resistance to the status quo has not managed to escape the ravages of childish politics. Chip Berlet exposes the great conspiracy addiction.


Maskarada by Taraf de Haïdouks

Paternal deceits

The Indian scholar Ashis Nandy digs deep in the Western psyche to uncover the origins of our political condescension towards others.

Pushing your buttons – welcome to your second childhood

A visual guide to political manipulation.

A Mighty Heart

A Mighty Heart directed by Michael Winterbottom

Signs of infantilization

The tell-tale symptoms of a democratic ethos in distress.

Christopher and Peter Hitchens

Estranged brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens, opinionated columnists, have completed ideological journeys from far Left to far Right.

Dumbing down democracy

Puzzled by democracy’s failed promise, Richard Swift explores the way our political culture infantilizes both the elected and the electorate.

Big Bad World

Polyp on a new concept of fairness.

Trademark travesty

US health-product giant shoots itself in the foot

Plane speaking

Britain’s Camp for Climate Action inspires the world.

Cybercriminals, beware!

Code cracker gets four years in jail and loses rights to residency.

Hawks become doves

Falconers use their influence to help save one of the oldest indigenous groups on the planet.

‘Save our Slum!’

Resisting demolition of poor homes in Argentina.

Sri Lanka

Over two decades of conflict have bred a climate of impunity where human rights violations – killings and unexplained ‘disappearances’ of people – have become all too common.

Israel, Palestine and the hypocrisy of power

Noam Chomsky anatomizes the current US-Israel ‘project’.

Cover of the Smiley-faced monopolists of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

Smiley-faced monopolists

Smiley-faced monopolists

For Facebook, Amazon and Google, we have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification. This month's magazine looks at just how far down the line we are and asks how deeply exploitative and anti-democratic is this new ‘surveillance capitalism’ under which we now live. This month’s contributors include security expert Bruce Schneier, psychologist Robert Epstein and engineer and software activist Prabir Purkayastha.


Online now

After Ebola

The world’s media extensively covered the Ebola crisis at its peak, but now the epidemic’s impact on communities in West Africa has fallen off the news agenda. And while millions of donor dollars eventually poured in to help contain and defeat the virus, its after effects – social, cultural and economic – will continue to be felt for years to come. We take a critical look at the humanitarian response and health systems deficit. Ebola is not a new disease – it’s been around since 1976 – so why did over 11,000 West Africans die 2014-16? Did we learn the right lessons from the outbreak, and, with Ebola considered endemic in the region, is Sierra Leone ready if the virus returns?

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

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