New Internationalist

Put people first

So, what are banks for, exactly? Not to create global turmoil and drain the public purse, surely! Come to think of it, what’s money for? Or houses? Or credit? Or taxation? Or the economy? Or the environment… or… or anything? With the global economic system in meltdown, the once booming chorus of ‘Let the Market Decide’ is pretty ragged and unconvincing these days. And a good job too. Welcome, the Age of Possibility - the main theme of this month’s New Internationalist. In it, we look at how to create the kind of world we want to live in. We envisage a people-centred economics that serves the majority. And we seize the opportunity for some real democracy, for a change.

April 2009, Issue 421

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Other ways to explore New Internationalist: Sample our past issuesBrowse by theme
The Age of Possibility
As the empire of international finance collapse, David Ransom finds the chance to reset the compass towards democracy, equality and the survival of our planet.
A month in the life of the Majority World
Recession heads South – and meets resistance.
Meltdown – THE FACTS
How free-market fundamentalism brought the world to its knees.
Naked Emperors
It's time to ask some very basic questions, like: What are banks for? What are houses for? What's credit for? What's the economy for? Or, for that matter, what's the environment for? Vanessa Baird suggests a 10-point economic detox programme.
Inside North Korea
A rare glimpse into the world's most secretive country, by French aid worker Jérôme Bossuet who spent three years there.
Essay: A Savage Environmentalism
Jeremy Seabrook on how bogus environmentalism is threatening some of India's best friends of the environment.
Less means more
After meeting Carlo Leifert, a professor in ecological agriculture who has been researching low-input farming, Wayne Roberts is now convinced that the merging of farm, food, health and environment concerns will become the new normal.
Star Trek - Episode 1: The G20 and the B.O.R.G. Supremacy
G20 communiqué goes boldy nowhere where everyone has gone before…
Big Bad World cartoon
Polyp tackles climate change.
Letter from Cairo: making room
Even when the odds are stacked against them, Maria Golia observes her neighbour's family taking life as it comes.
Making Waves
Viyakula Mary talks to Ewa Jasiewicz.
Egypt's President Mubarak may have survived six assassination attempts but does not escape the New Internationalist treatment.
Southern Exposure
A haunting and sensitive glimpse into a Malaysian orphanage by photographer Abdul Rahman Roslan.
'Male cleaners for hire'
Kenya: The dangerous practice of ‘widow cleansing’ is starting to come out into the open.
Badge of dishonour
Forests: Scouts log tens of thousands of acres of forestland
Bulldozed lives
Albania: World Bank project leaves families homeless.
Murdered for the music
Censorship: 11 orchestra members ambushed and shot at by an armed group, on their way home from a wedding performance.
Slaves to chocolate
Major chocolate companies still using child labour.
Africa to Appalachia
Sissoko’s warm-toned vocals and fluid kora work, counterpointed by Stone’s banjo-picking make for a wonderfully expansive sound on Africa to Appalachia.
Trés Trés Fort
Congo’s amazing disabled rhythm-maestros Staff Benda Bilili.
Modern Life
Respectful, real and engrossing: Modern Life in rural France.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
Although Gandhi is a household name all over the world, Babasaheb Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution and the first person to fight effectively for the rights of dalits (aka ‘untouchables’).
The Final Bet
The first ever Arabic detective novel to be translated into English.
Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity
Sander L Gilman delves into culture to demonstrate that our belief that fat can be identified with a number of character flaws.
Tony Manero
The late 1970s. A kitsch television show is looking for a Tony Manero impersonator. Tony who? Horribly, wonderfully real, and incredibly repulsive.