Building walls to demarcate nation-state borders has been gaining political traction, as of late. The phenomenon of building walls is ultimately seen as a solution, and an easy answer for complex problems: a “if we can’t solve it, let’s just insulate ourselves from it” mentality is taking hold. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Tom Vanderbilt takes aim at the wall building phenomenon and dispels the metaphor–and promise–that president-elect Donald Trump used to bolster his campaign and appeal to voters: building a border wall on the Mexico-U.S. border.
Religion has been notoriously hard to define since before the common era. Make the definition of “religion” too exclusive and well-established movements such as Scientology are left out; make the definition too broad, and everyday fads such as CrossFit suddenly become “religious.” Using the functionalist definition that David R. Loy uses in his essay “The Religion of the Market,” a religion is defined as a historic worldview that teaches humanity what the world is and our role in the world. Under this definition, market capitalism can be defined as a religious movement that has replaced traditional religions in Western society’s search for purpose and happiness.
A new McDonald’s location has opened up at a controversial location in China: inside a former Taiwanese president’s villa. The home belonged to President Chiang Ching-kuo and his family, but they only lived there for about a month before fleeing to Taiwan. They left very few possessions behind and multiple families rented the house later on. Although the house was declared a cultural heritage site in 2003, part of the home was already converted into a Starbucks a few weeks ago.