It is widely acknowledged that colours have meanings. Green means go, and a teacher’s red handwriting means a wrong answer, to name a few examples found in everyday life. However, red can also signify passion, violence, anger, and love. If a colour can have so many wildly different connotations, surely, they depend on what we have been taught to think about them, as opposed to inherent association.
The South China Sea was described by Iain Palot as “the most important waterway in the world” suggesting that due to its problematic claimants it remains “the issue in global politics”. The sea carries tremendous strategic importance, whereby $5 trillion of commodities (approximately 33% of the world’s shipping) flow through the region. Moreover, it contains profitable fisheries that are crucial for the food security of millions in Southeast Asia as well as in global trade, and it is believed that extensive oil and gas reserves lie beneath its seabed. Thus, the sea is contested by a number of superpowers as well as other, smaller countries in the surrounding region.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that books written about vampires are almost exclusively terrible, and in no case is this truer than in that of Twilight. Widely considered to be one of the worst books ever written, it is generally believed to have absolutely no literary merit whatsoever, despite the story itself being age-old and popular under many other circumstances. Among those circumstances is Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and to a lesser extent, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. What is interesting is that both of those books are hailed as literary classics and taught on many school curriculums, despite the fact that in terms of storyline, there is very little that actually separates them from Twilight. So why is it that the Brontë sisters’ novels are deemed masterful works of literature, whilst Twilight is relegated to the trash pile?
The Thirty Years’ War still remains one of the most brutal conflicts in human history; one that saw over 8 million causalities and millions more injured as a direct result of military action, disease and famine. In the 21st century, every geopolitical decision made by every nation state is governed by the causes, events and consequences of this conflict, and thus, it is one of the most significant events in the history of the modern world.
‘I remain committed to the faith of my teenage years: to authentic human freedom as a precondition for the highest good.’ So began Peter Thiel in his essay ‘The Education of a Libertarian’, where he laid out a manifesto detailing the challenges facing the modern libertarian cause. In it, he stresses the requirement to remain ‘apolitical’, he decries the influence that ‘welfare beneficiaries’ and ‘women’ have on his idea of a perfect ‘capitalist democracy’, and urges his fellow libertarians to abandon the world of politics and to instead invest in technology, what he calls ‘the machinery of freedom’. The piece certainly intends to provoke a passionate response. Thiel has perhaps, secretly, become one of the most influential figures of the 21st century: a co-founder of PayPal, an early investor in Facebook, and a member of the executive committee of then President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. So where was this charged call to arms published? Not in the New York Times, nor the Wall Street Journal, but on the website of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C.