By Francis Forsey
In a society where mass consumption fuels day-to-day life, it is easy to become disassociated from the products we buy. UK consumer spending in the 3rd Quarter of 2018 peaked at £336,079 million, a record high since monitoring data began in 1955 (Trading Economics).
Capitalism, championed by Western states such as the UK and the US, has become the assumed norm. Francis Fukuyama referred to the post-Cold War period of rapid liberal, democratic, capitalist development as the ‘End of History’. The US has tasked itself with protecting capitalism’s market-based ideals, even going so far as to intervene militarily to protect the ‘light of liberalism’ (See: Vietnam conflict, US Intervention in Afghanistan 1979).
Whilst consumer spending is increasing, we are also beginning to see a significant rise in anti-consumerist movements in response. Year on year, more people are beginning to realise that such high levels of consumption are trapping our global population into a cycle of environmental and social degradation. Essentially, populations are realising that we are living in an environmentally unsustainable economic system.
By Malick Nythern Doucoure
In one of his widely acclaimed works – Politics – Aristotle Insists that man is a political animal because man is a social creature with the power of speech and moral reasoning. When contextualised in the world of today, one may argue that man politicises everything, from grammar schools to what curry we should order for dinner. This unfortunately includes climate change – a topic that if politicised, and it sure as hell is, could see work and efforts to tackle the issue severely delayed, which poses a detrimental risk to human beings across the planet.
By Katarina Salaj
Water, a natural resource of fundamental importance in sustaining all kinds of life. Something that we take for granted when we take our morning showers, make our favourite pasta or just drink a cup of tea. Population increase, economic prosperity and amplified consumption are just some of the reasons as to why we are now witnessing the fragility and limitations of this vital resource. In fact, water is the underlining cause of many social and political phenomena ranging from poverty, migrations to even civil unrest and wars. Its fundamental importance has led some to refer to it as the ‘oil of the twenty- first century’ (source 1) emphasising the need to understand the extent and gravity of geopolitical effects of its scarcity.