The correlation between free market capitalism and the democratic organization of society through civil society institutions and their members is steadily declining. The post 9/11 political order, seen as an accelerated mode of democratically unchecked globalization, is marked by increased militarization and repression of social organizations and democratic rights.
Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, South India: Kumar takes a small plaster elephant from the rows displayed on the glass cabinet of his shop. He starts drawing lines on the floor with its foot. 'The government wants to turn this place into a second Taj Mahal. Straight roads everywhere so you can see the monuments.' We've been talking about the recent wholesale destruction of most of the street trees.
Going to my flat in London from Heathrow last month, I found myself in a minicab driven by a man who spoke little English. But he was, like me, a Pakistani immigrant, and he told me in Urdu that his German was quite good. He had moved to the UK only recently. When I asked him why, he replied: "Because after ten years of driving a taxi in Germany, I never drove anyone who looked like you."