A US drone killing innocent children in Afghanistan, or the 2008 financial crisis disrupting global economies, growing up I always hoped to eradicate poverty and conflicts that existed within our societies. The truth is that the laws of economics, politics, and philosophy govern our society more than hope.
As an adamant advocate of a democratic system, Eric X. Li’s “A Tale of Two Political Systems” Ted Talk challenged my conventional views regarding democracy being a legitimate universal political system. Li argued that China, a single party state, went from a poor agricultural country to the second largest economy in the world without democracy. While a single party state may have its own flaws, the most potent idea Li presented was that human societies are constantly evolving, meaning we can never have a universal political system. Since a universal political system may never be possible, Li cemented my desire to understand the mechanism for political analysis ranging from political philosophy to public administration, allowing us to objectively identify and resolve the flaws in any political system. However, a political question like “Should Russia become the USA’s ally?” is incomplete without economic considerations.
After reading “Why Globalisation Works” by Martin Wolf I was able to see how economic concepts can bridge political and ideological gaps between countries while promoting greater economic welfare and alleviation of poverty. I was personally intrigued by Wolff’s emphasis on the importance of an individual’s right to pursue economic advancement being a core element of the world’s democracies. It allowed me to see the symbiotic relationship between economics and politics since political ideologies like democracy are reminiscent of economic policies like trade liberalization. Philosophy will deepen my understanding regarding Economic and Political theories through evaluating their origins and rational thinking behind them. For instance, Bentham’s principle of “happiness of majority” can be considered the basis for a feasible moral authority that mirrors the governance of a democratic system. Similarly, Adam Smith’s ideology of self-interest accumulating in greater economic growth changed the 18th-century trade policy from mercantilism to free trade.
Studying A-Level Philosophy has developed my critical analysis skills, particularly when scrutinizing ethical theories like Deontology and Utilitarianism. Currently, I am examining Richard Swinburne’s Problem of Evil; How the existence of evil poses a threat to and provides evidence with the existence of God, and it is fascinating to see how philosophers are able to convey two distinct viewpoints from a conceptually similar point. Philosophy has reinforced the idea that economic and political issues can be viewed through different lenses. In History, I studied the totalitarian regimes of Mao and Stalin, which consequently made me cautious of the evidence provided; evidently, opinions and seemingly factual data were altered due to political bias. This strengthened my ability to formulate convincing arguments to approve or disapprove political and economic theories. The Trade Quest program increased my understanding of how macroeconomic policies can alter consumer and business behavior. Evidently, the increase in Fed rates in the USA, in November 2017, led to a decrease in consumer spending and business optimism. Subsequently, the program required me to analyze stocks which enhanced my ability to synthesize information from various quantitative and qualitative data sources and draw sound economical and statistical judgments.
Moreover, participation in MUN conferences has enhanced my ability to express my ideas succinctly and fluently, which has been integral in articulating economic and political arguments. During my EPQ I gained invaluable knowledge regarding the influence of North Korea’s philosophy of ‘Juche’ on the economy and political system. The ideology allows the economy to avoid dependence on international trade and enables the government to maintain conformity over its population. The project reinforced the importance of the three disciplines to be studied collectively in order to understand and resolve global issues.