Fighting Words

Justice-focused economists understand that the dominant world financial system is based on con- stant replenishment, and those who are unable for whatever reason to contribute to the system are simply disposable. If you're not contributing, you are a drain, and it's easier to allow diseases like AIDS, internal tribal fighting, landmines, and a few floods caused by newly designed electricity-generating dams to cull the ranks of the "unproductive" rather than create alternative methods of support for them.

In her new collection of essays, War Talk, Arundhati Roy rages about the connection between the profound violence on our planet, poverty, and the surge in corporate and military globalization. She writes with intense emotion for those considered "disposable" by capitalism and wonders how we can maintain our collective humanity in light of our callous disregard for everyone's inherent dignity.

Roy, author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things, is a trained architect, raised in southern India, who now resides in New Delhi. Her essays on issues of social justice have been published around the world and in two previous collections, Power Politics and The Cost of Living.

War Talk is a slim book, with only 112 pages of double-spaced, wide-margined essays, followed by a glossary (helpful for those unfamiliar with Indian terms), extensive footnotes, and index. Do not, however, mistake its petite design for light reading. Roy is an incisive, infuriated citizen of the world, and she is determined not to allow the powers that thrive on imbalance and inequity to silence her.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2003
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