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.
Influencing hearts and minds at home to achieve foreign policy objectives abroad isn’t anything new, but many people have become increasingly skeptical of half-truths in the mainstream media that help promote regime change in other countries. As public trust wanes and more critical questions are being asked about the real agenda around intervention, are we becoming more aware of modern day propaganda?
Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one of those ideas that has divided public opinion into two opposing camps: Those who think it would result in disaster, as humans cannot be trusted. The other camp feels that a UBI would be liberating, allowing people to concentrate on the important things in life, not just earning a living. Rutger Bregman is a writer, widely acclaimed for his book, Utopia for Realists. In it, he champions Universal Basic Income and a 15 hour work week. So, we went to the Netherlands to ask him if the time for these ideas has arrived.
On 16th October the world received a clear signal of what is valued by the ruling elites of the United States – John McCain was awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Centre. Whatever John McCain received that medal for – it was not ‘liberty’. History doesn’t actually ring a bell, but it does provide signals of what is to come. John McCain’s medal represents the hijacking of liberty to justify tyranny.
Stunning new Pentagon report declares the American empire is collapsing, revealing that the Department of Defense is waking up to the collapse of US primacy, and the rapid unraveling of the international order created after the Second World War. Important read by Dr Nafeez Ahmed on what is driving American decline, and what comes next.