Has overconsumption dissociated us from the products we buy? An exploration of Degrowth

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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.

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The Audacious Rise of the Australian Populists

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By Christian Oliver

There truly is nothing quite like Australian politics. At the time of writing, the man currently at the helm of the Liberal National Party government is Scott Morrison, or ‘ScoMo’. If you know anything about Australian politics however, I might be so facetious as to suggest he will have been ‘back-stabbed’ and removed by a member of his cabinet by the time you get around to reading this. Although I am exaggerating, Morrison is the fifth Australian Prime Minister in as many years, and it is clear to see why so many Australians are losing confidence in mainstream politics.

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Commentary-Brexit: What Now?

On Tuesday evening, the Government suffered a historic defeat in the House of Commons. The Withdrawal Agreement that Theresa May has spent years negotiating and months trying to sell to MPs was decisively rejected-202 ayes to 432 noes. In the aftermath of this catastrophic defeat and the subsequent failed Vote of No Confidence, what now for Brexit? Some of our writers share their thoughts on the situation.

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Sudan: A Revolution in the Making?

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By Rob Johnston

The 2011 Arab Springs shaped much of the contemporary Middle East and North African (MENA) region, but the large, mainly desert country of Sudan appeared to be unaffected. That is until now. In the past four weeks we have seen increasing tensions within the country as protestors take to the streets, speaking out against current President Omar al-Bashir.

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To Be or Not to Be: UK’s EU Withdrawal, a Shakespeare Tragedy in the making? Opinion Piece on British Reality

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By Sophie Minter

On the 10th December 2018 the press release published by the Court of Justice in the European Union, while perhaps representing a figurative and patronizing shrug of the shoulders as if to say “it’s ok, we all make mistakes”, represented a significant public acknowledgment. We (The UK) now have other options than simply those of insanity. The contents of the press release outlining the judgment made in Luxemburg offers an essential second chance.

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How monolingualism is costing the UK £48 billion a year.

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By Kit Henderson

I’m sure by now that we’ve all heard about the diminishing take ups in Modern Foreign languages at GCSE, A-Level and degree level, while the number of languages on offer has increased dramatically take up is down, and there seems to be little to suggest that it’s going to improve, which is a problem. Beyond the obvious issue of Britons assuming everyone else will speak English, only to be perceived as arrogant, there is also a huge economic cost to our monolingualism, one that seems likely to increase.

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The Calm Between The Storms

By Thomas Sherlock

Today has been dramatic to say the least.

Two secretaries of state have resigned. Two junior ministers have resigned. Several MPs have publicly declared their letters to the 1922 Committee, calling for a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Theresa May. The necessary 48 letters have not been received (yet).

Studying politics often means deriving a strange sense of enjoyment out of tumultuous days such as this, and it’s easy to see why. Twists and turns at all corners, sudden character developments-it’s the same reason TV series such as House of Cards and Bodyguard entertain. However unlike those shows, today might have very, very real consequences.

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