BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Politics

  1. ‘Popular Imperialism’ in the USA: A Necessary Debate

    In 1898, with victory in the Spanish-American War and the official annexation of Hawaii, the United States suddenly found in its possession a significant overseas empire stretching from the Caribbean, across the Pacific to the South China Sea. The acquisition of these territories was a process of many years, and intervention in the Cuban War of Independence, as well as the annexation of Hawaii, was debated in the press and by politicians in the preceding decades. As Americans came to terms with their new colonial possessions and came face-to-face with often hostile colonial subjects, imperialist and racist sentiments were expressed…

  2. The Rendition Dystopia

    ‘Power is not a means; it is an end.’ – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four. The date 11 September 2001 is undoubtedly identified among the global population as one of the most significant dates in modern history. The acts of terror committed in the United States on that day continue to resonate with countless others across the world. Attacks such as those upon Paris in November 2015 and the Brussels bombings in March 2016 serve as stark reminders of the capabilities of human beings in causing harm to others. However, almost 15 years since the start of the War on Terror,…

  3. Sport: A Tool of Colonial Control for the British Empire

    Sport, as we know it, found its roots in the British Empire. Many of today’s most popular sports including cricket, football and tennis, were organised and codified by the British in the nineteenth century.[1] However, assessing the motivations behind this vast programme of sporting dissemination still remains relatively under-explored. This is puzzling considering that the spread of sports was a key branch of cultural imperialism, much like the spread of Christianity across the colonies. Sport, like religion, provided an opportunity for Britain to take cultural control of her Empire, whilst also encouraging British attitudes towards class and race to spread….

  4. Fractured Society: France and Islam

    France is still reeling from the horrendous attacks on its capital which left 130 dead. It asks itself: why us? While Islamist terrorism is a much worse scourge in countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in our Western bubble it is France that has suffered most: from Mohammed Merah’s murderous rampage in Toulouse and Montauban in 2012, to the Charlie Hebdo attacks at the beginning of this year, to the recent massacre in Paris. Meanwhile, a report by the French Senate in April estimated that of the 3000 plus Europeans who have left to fight for ISIS, at…

  5. The Irresistible Illusion of Success: Has Britain Learnt Anything From Afghanistan?

    On 16 January 2015, the last Victorian died. It is an incredible idea that at the start of 2015, Ethel Lang, who was born a subject of Queen Victoria, was even alive. During the course of Ethel’s life there have been many game-changing historical events: the founding of the British Labour party, two World Wars, the production of atomic weapons, and the invention of the Internet, Facebook, and the iPad, to name but a few. Thus, it is no wonder that crinoline-clad Victorianism in the present day feels alien. This feeling, however, is illusory. The Victorian era should not be…

  6. The Economic Case for Open Borders

    Ever since the human race evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago, humans have spread to all corners of the globe in search of better living conditions. This global spread of humanity is what distinguishes humans from most other living species. Of course, it is evident that movement of peoples did not end with complete migration to all parts of the world. Today, humans are tightly packed into a global economy that links all parts of the world through a complex economic and social system in which everyone is dependent on strangers from across the globe. In fact, Canada has…

  7. Do we really want a ‘UKIP of the left’?

    Following Douglas Carswell’s victory in the Clacton by-election (with an astonishing 59.7%), more serious questions are being raised about the legitimacy of UKIP’s threat to the three core parties in Britain. UKIP is incontrovertibly developing as an established figure in British politics with its mild successes in the May 2014 European elections and more recently, their first ever elected MP. With many right-leaning voters struggling to distinguish between Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats, UKIP is offering a viable alternative. So, as many writers have asked, why isn’t there the option of a ‘UKIP of the left?’ Personally, I wouldn’t vote…

  8. La France en crise

    Alexis de Toqueville once wrote of France, “Has there ever been any nation on earth which was so full of contrasts, and so extreme in all of its acts, more dominated by emotions, and less by principles; always doing better or worse than we expect, sometimes below the common level of humanity, sometimes much above it.” The tale of François Hollande as president is extreme, emotional and overwhelmingly negative. Hollande’s economic programme has been a big volte-face, illustrated in the replacement of left-wing finance minister, Arnaud Montebourg. Montebourg described the efforts to reduce budget deficits in the Eurozone as Kafkaesque,…

  9. Scottish Labour: An Obituary

    Whatever the result of the referendum on 18 September, Scottish Labour will never be the same. Over the past two years it has caused irreparable damage to its own reputation, estranging and insulting both its target middle-voters and its most loyal supporters. Many of the once proudly Labour Scottish left are divorcing themselves in favour of pastures new in the Scottish Greens, SNP and, curiously, UKIP. Labour’s adamant, almost ruthless determination to remain with the union has come at an unprecedented cost. It is the only remotely left-wing party which has sided with the No campaign, and its public image…

  10. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: A response to Gove’s English syllabus reforms

    Michael Gove recently caused somewhat of a furore with the announcement of his plans to remove American Literature from the GCSE English Literature syllabus, discarding John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in favour of Austen and Dickens. One fellow English Literature student wailed, ‘Now kids will never know about Atticus Finch, and that is just wrong!’ Much as their melodramatic anguish made me laugh, I could neither refute that their point was valid nor that I was equally infuriated by Gove’s decision. That is not to say that Charles Dickens is anything short…