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Politics, Philosophy and Economics intertwine to act as major global driving forces. Due to the interactions between the three, exemplified in tax cuts leading to greater inequality in the US, I am deeply interested in studying these combined disciplines at a higher level. Inequality was an issue I encountered when visiting India and witnessing its devastating effects.
To begin to understand its economic underpinnings, I read ‘Capitalism: A Ghost Story’ by Arundhati Roy. I was intrigued by how the text was presented as an expose of the Indian Government, providing a deeper insight into the sacrifices people have been forced to make to fuel the government’s (and in turn, global conglomerates) thirst for growth and consumerism. Shocked, I decided to follow the issue further, discovering India’s top decile possessed almost 75% of its wealth, whilst the GINI coefficient trend showed the problem to be ever worsening. I also considered how the issue was prevalent within our own local communities in the UK. This led me to attend a lecture by Danny Dorling, titled ‘Peak Inequality’. I was particularly interested in his example of how the UK private school sector is now the second most expensive in the world, whilst also displaying clear market failure as inequality of access to education evidently exists. My desire for studying economics stems from a yearning to deepen my understanding of such issues. I am interested in the interplay of politics and economics. I recently considered how the Turkish Lira falling to 50% of its value within the year affected international politics, as President Erdogan’s hold on power over his 15-year rule has relied on economic stability, and similar to Italy’s Berlusconi in 2011, this economic crisis may end his political career. My interest in international politics was further fuelled by following the Brexit negotiations.
As exemplified by the resignation of both David Davis and Boris Johnson on the same day, the volatility of the political climate was exposed. This particular case poses a significant threat to the government, potentially putting the UK in a weaker position approaching the Brexit negotiations. The volatile nature of politics at the present time has constantly gripped my attention and thus, I am excited to study the intricacies in a more academic capacity. Having undertaken a MOOC with Yale in political philosophy I was captivated by the theory of utilitarianism, leading to further research in which I found Mills’ rule utilitarianism to bethe most complete, where one no longer has to rely on a case by case calculus as seen inBentham’s version. However, Bentham’s version intrigued me with his claim that men can be ruled by two sovereign masters; either pain or pleasure. This seemed to contradict the view that men can be governed by love or fear, as seen in Machiavelli’s “Discourses on Livy”. With further study, I aim to examine numerous views to draw my own conclusions and understand if men could truly be as simplistic as both scholars claim. Outside of academic study, I have developed a number of skills from my involvement in both the school’s rugby and cricket 1st team. I have captained our 1st XI for cricket, providing me with experience as a leader whilst also learning how to operate under pressure. I also completed work experience with the brokers RJ O’Brien, working as a trade assistant on the commodities derivatives desk.
Here I was exposed to a professional, fast paced environment with a requirement for immense attention to detail. I have been fascinated by the interaction of politics, philosophy and economics, not least how Locke’s liberalism links to Smith’s liberal economic theory in stating governmentsshould not interfere. Locke argues a government’s only obligation is to protect our natural rights, whilst Smith reinforces ‘laissez faire’ economics in ‘The Wealth of Nation
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