Category: Society

The Paradise Papers: Central to Society

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By Sarah Jasem

The Paradise Papers are 13.4 million leaked documents spanning the period between 1950 to 2016, which reveal the extent to which the assets of corporations like Facebook, and wealthy public figures from the Queen to Harvey Weinstein, are held offshore where they can be unregulated and untaxed. Almost 7 million of these documents are related to a law firm called ‘Appleby’, filled with lawyers who specialise in registering trusts and companies in overseas jurisdictions with little to no tax rates such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Mauritius. The leaks were passed on from German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ. Similarly, in 2016, the same newspaper leaked 11 million documents to the ICIJ where the tax avoidance was orchestrated not be Appleby but by Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama, hence the 2016 leak being marked, ‘The Panama Papers’. Continue reading “The Paradise Papers: Central to Society”

Opinion Piece – Ignorance Beyond the West: East Asia

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By Emma Temple

Broadly accepted connotations of Eastern Asia are likely but not limited to ideas of a technological hub, a catalyst for global progression not least on an economic level but also in terms of military and material power. There is not in political practice, however, an in depth understanding of the cultural nature of the area, and the roles that individual domestic cultures have in shaping foreign policy as well as global outlook. Continue reading “Opinion Piece – Ignorance Beyond the West: East Asia”

Comparing ‘populist’ revolutions: Ukraine and Egypt

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By Vladimir Ivlev

“The ultimate difference between a truly radical emancipatory politics and populist politics is that the former is active, it imposes and enforces its vision, while populism is fundamentally re-active, the result of a reaction to a disturbing intruder.” – Slavoj Žižek, “First As Tragedy, Then As Farce” (2008)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the overreaching Soviet social and political structure was replaced with swift liberalization of the markets and a bright promise of democracy. Yet, ironically, the Soviet structures of corruption and authoritarianism remained, giving the elite free reign over the new national civil and economic playgrounds. Two countries, Ukraine and Egypt, both having history in socialist policy, revolted against corruption at more or less concurrently. Continue reading “Comparing ‘populist’ revolutions: Ukraine and Egypt”

A (sarcastic) critique of “Identity Politics and the Political Spectrum”

20170403_124702 By Peter Marshall

ONLY A SITH DEALS IN ABSOLUTES

-Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

There comes a point when using the wholly academic Wikipedia to make a point becomes as bad as the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy (saying “Yeah, but Hitler thought/did that”). Mr. Ivlev wrote a Despatch Box article on the 9th of March criticising identity politics (or the politics of the “Social Justice Warrior”) and how it is neither left or right, but a liberal agenda. The intention of this article is to go through the article and criticise the wholly inaccurate portrayal of the many concepts Mr. Ivlev explores.

Continue reading “A (sarcastic) critique of “Identity Politics and the Political Spectrum””

The Fall of an Empire

daniela  By Daniel Atherton

Comparing the demise of the European Union to the collapse of the Roman Empire.

“A rising power on the peripheries in the North East, an overreliance on imported labour, a faltering economy, the rise of an inhumane enemy from the Levant, overexpansion, political instability, corruption within constituent members, the loss/lack of a uniting identity, mass migration including refugee influxes, and the weakening of central authority.”

Evan Andrews, The History Channel

You’d be mistaken for presuming that the above text is describing the demise of the European Union. You’d be wrong – but forgivably so. Continue reading “The Fall of an Empire”

The Politics of Fear is everywhere – how can we stop it?

14055118_1645172599129010_5639526167748039418_n-2 By Emma Temple

If there is one thing that binds together humans, politically or otherwise, it is a resounding fear of the unknown. Fear is the ultimate mechanism for control and as such is a primary feature of the discourse both within international relations and domestic politics. To combat this requires a significant overhaul of not only the way in which political debates are conducted, but also the way we as individuals choose to prioritise our political concerns. Continue reading “The Politics of Fear is everywhere – how can we stop it?”

On Gun Rights, Liberty and Revolt

Vlad By Vladimir Ivlev

Joe Average is your typical upstanding citizen living in the safe cradle of his imperturbable suburbia. No kids, no wife, no valuable possessions, no ambitions, and a daddy complex. Joe looks at his fellow citizens engaging in political discourse, imminently changing the channel to the 9 o’clock preview of the new Gilmore Girls season with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s™. Joe Average is content with his uneventful life. A contention that annoys the philosophy undergrad. Through a cruel karmic trick Joe is suddenly transported to a low-scale apartment, a dead-end job, a market clerk spouse and 2.5 kids. With his bank account drained and his relationship with his father normalized, Joe, realizing the predicament he is in, screams out loud “Is this my life now?”.

Continue reading “On Gun Rights, Liberty and Revolt”