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Nicholas Barrett

Location icon Belgium

The Economist
Can liberal democracy survive climate change?

DESPITE RAGING forest fires and images of receding glaciers, the consequences of climate change seem vague and abstract, buried under a mountain of stats and UN reports. Many know the effects will be terrible but policymakers and journalists struggle to describe how it will change our way of life-and thereby get the world to act.

Reflections of America in a British's Author's Wall

The nightmares in John Lanchester's The Wall seem like a logical endpoint of the West's recent relapse into chauvinistic nationalism. John Lanchester has attributed the tone of his latest novel, The Wall , to a reoccurring dream in which he sits alone at night looking out across the sea.

The Economist
The transgender populist fighting fascists with face glitter

"This is an aesthetic century. In history, there are ages of reason and ages of spectacle, and it's important to know which you're in. Our America, our internet, is not ancient Athens-it's Rome. And your problem is you think you're in the forum, when you're really in the circus."

The Economist
The antidote to civilisational collapse

"It's 'fuck off' to everything," says Adam Curtis (pictured below), describing public sentiment today. The British documentarist sees himself as an optimist amid dystopians, and as a classical journalist whose medium happens to be film.

The Economist
Are liberals and populists just searching for a new master?

The rise of populism, nativism and nationalism in recent years has challenged perceptions of what ordinary people want from politicians. Some see the anti-establishment trend as a rejection of centralised power. Others suggest the real hunger is for a moral authority that appears to be lacking in today's capitalism.

Did Brexit kill Mark Fisher's theory of capitalist realism?

In 2007, the cultural theorist Mark Fisher was walking through a shopping centre when he heard the voice of Amy Winehouse singing "Valerie" over the speakers. Fisher's first assumption was that The Zutons, who had released the song the previous year, must have covered an obscure track from the 1960s, which he was now hearing.

The New European
Morrissey is dead

He was the voice of the shy youth who left the party early, went home alone and cried. But of late Morrissey's once ​rapier rhetoric has acquired a darker hue, superfan NICHOLAS BARRETT investigates Become a Supporter The Smiths performing live on The Tube Photo: Getty /Pete Cronin/Redferns My adolescence was Smiths upon Smiths upon Smiths upon Smiths.

The Economist
The bloody founding of St Petersburg

St Petersburg: Three Centuries of Murderous Desire. By Jonathan Miles. Random House; 488 pages; £25. To be published in America by Pegasus in March 2018. ANNA AKHMATOVA, one of Russia's finest 20th-century poets, once described St Petersburg as being "particularly well suited to catastrophes".

Steve Bannon, heir to Plato

Can you tell the difference between the sky at sunrise and at sunset? The red glow of a dying world order is all too easy to mistake for the promise of a new dawn. One man who believes he is witnessing a glorious sunrise is Steve Bannon, the White House Chief Strategist.

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