As political systems across the Western world are threatened by a resurgent nationalist populism, what can we learn about this movement from the late Christopher Hitchens?
The Foxconn deaths garnered unprecedented media attention, both inside and outside of China. It was the first many people had heard of the Taiwan-based multinational, despite it being the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. In China alone, Foxconn currently employs over one million people at twelve factories. The products it manufactures – notable examples include the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Nokia, Kindle, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U – are staples of the developed world.
When a cult decides to gather – irrational and devotional as they are – not even a wet, miserable Melbourne evening can dent their enthusiasm. So it was on Monday night, that thousands of people flocked to Jeff’s Shed to listen to their leader, Louis Theroux, sermonise on all things weird and wacky. People were walking around in t-shirts and carrying tote bags with his face plastered on them. I was shocked, I must admit, to see just how many people this lanky Brit had seemingly seduced. He is, after all, about the most uncharismatic person on television.
Whereas the West sees the emergence of an Asian superpower as something unprecedented and potentially destabilising, China views her rise as a return to the natural order of things – to a time when she’s, once again, the world’s leading economic, technological and intellectual power.
A group of homeless men and women are occupying Melbourne’s City Square. I went down there to find out what they’re protesting and what they hope to achieve.