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Mechanical power can be transmitted for hundreds of miles, men can communicate almost instantaneously by telephone, the chiefs of great organizations can be transported by airplanes, the cinemas can produce plays in every village, music, speeches, and sermons can be broadcast.

Would it be clearer to add "and" before "music" and drop (or keep) the last comma or change the commas at the end of the sentences to semi-colons?

Mechanical power can be transmitted for hundreds of miles, men can communicate almost instantaneously by telephone, the chiefs of great organizations can be transported by airplanes, the cinemas can produce plays in every village, [and] music, speeches and sermons can be broadcast.

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You have five independent sentences there. Each one is complete by itself if you just capitalize the initial letter and stick a period at the end. But if you concatenate them all together separated by commas, yes, that is considered "comma splicing."

To create one sentence out of all five "clauses" using commas to separate them, you need to put a conjunction (like and, for example) before the last one, as you have done in your second example.

But that can be slightly confusing when it comes to that fifth item, which has a list within it. As Robusto says in his answer, to eliminate this confusion is one of the primary jobs for the semicolon:

Mechanical power can be transmitted for hundreds of miles; men can communicate almost instantaneously by telephone; the chiefs of great organizations can be transported by airplanes; the cinemas can produce plays in every village; and music, speeches and sermons can be broadcast.

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You can use the conjunction or omit it, but given the interior commas in the last independent clause you should probably use semicolons as your list delimiter.

In the main, though this is about style. I would prefer such a list to be building to something, though, most likely with a break that pulls the reader out of the recitation. Example:

Mechanical power can be transmitted for hundreds of miles, men can communicate almost instantaneously by telephone, the chiefs of great organizations can be transported by airplanes, the cinemas can produce plays in every village, music, speeches, and sermons can be broadcast—yet for all our achievements we still have yet to conquer poverty, disease, war, or our own selfish natures.

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