Empire of things

When we talk about consumerism, the emotive arguments for and against are always black and white. Consumerism is painted as unnecessary and low or no growth is seen as the optimum state for people and planet. But what if acquiring objects and possessions is intrinsic to human nature? What if, in reality, the consumerism argument is far more nuanced, which should make us rethink how we spend, what we buy and which things are most important to us. Joining us to work out where next for consumer spending and give historical context to the rampant consumerism we seem to love is the author of ‘The Empire of Things’, Professor Frank Trentmann.

The Guardian, White Helmets, and silenced comment

In the crudest of ironies, The Guardian recently published a pro-imperialist article claiming critical discussion of Syria’s White Helmets had been ‘propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government’. It also closed its comment section, refused the journalists identified in the piece a right of reply, and declined to publish a considered response from a group of concerned academics. So much for Comment is Free. Since The Guardian has refused to do so, we have posted the piece in full, on behalf of the group, here at Renegade Inc.