Philosophy, Politics and Economics Personal Statement
Submitted by Ana-Sofia
I question my political beliefs most when I try to understand what my ideal world looks like - this internal debate made me pursue politics. My Mexican heritage is deeply political: my grandfather was a Mexican revolutionary, my great-grandfather was a leading Communist, and his father a politician with fascist ties. My grandmother and great-aunt belonged to the socialist movement which evolved into today's Zapatistas. This inspired my Extended Project Qualification in which I explore the relationship between the Zapatistas and anarchism, reflecting my deep interest in the extremes of political ideology. My near-fluent Spanish allowed me to interview a former Zapatista leader, Comandante Elisa and has moved me to study abroad during or after my degree. After Latin GCSE, as well as a year of Ancient Greek, I have come to develop an interest in ancient philosophy. How were liberty and equality perceived in the paradoxical world of slavery and democracy? I now wish to study political philosophy to analyse politics beyond the partisan formula; I believe there is an egalitarian alternative to our exclusive system.
Researching anarchism for my EPQ changed my initial impression of it from a lawless and chaotic society to a vision that is structured and more orderly. Moreover, Carol Ehrlich's 'Socialism, Anarchism and Feminism' transformed my perspective of feminism. She states that anarcha-feminism demands a world without power relationships, eliminating any scenario in which someone can oppress another person, regardless of gender. This philosophy spoke to me - not just as a young woman who grew up in a household of women and in a girls' school, but as a human whose political outlook stems from a desire to contribute to the world's social development. Although anarchism inspires me, I am aware that it faces great obstacles: economic challenges, individualistic human nature, and the logistical need for hierarchy. I want to explore these paradoxes in my degree.
In addition, my interest in economics began when I took part in the Student Investor Challenge. I enjoyed exploring market strategy but wondered how 'socially conscious' investors navigate the free market when you have to win at someone else's expense. I developed an interest in the mechanics of law when I shadowed two different barristers across two days - immigration and nursing law. I questioned the ethics of punitive justice, and whether alternatives such as restorative justice could be more effective. It is a potential career prospect for me, as it fulfils my deep desire to support others to overcome institutionalised obstacles. I am passionate about theatre: it has allowed me to refine my public speaking skills and my grasp on how art can be instrumental to political thinking. Having been born profoundly deaf (I'm now moderately-severely deaf), my passion for acting and classical singing helped me gain perfect speech when it was thought I would struggle to speak. I achieved Distinction in my Bronze and Silver LAMDA Awards and am excited to complete my Gold Award; I also attained a Merit in Grade 6 Singing and love singing in choirs. Growing up, I came to love fencing; I reached national level at age 11. I am eager to take it up from scratch at university - and possibly reach nationals again.
For my student newspaper, I write a piece on politics every half term. I educate readers on national politics; I strongly believe that an uneducated vote is a wasted vote and young people cannot waste the privilege of voting. In this role, I received the Highest Attainment Award in Politics. My interest in journalism led to work experience at the BBC and the Guardian. At the Guardian, I created my own podcast based on 'Mumbo Jumbo', a fictional book about Afrofuturism - an insight into how an artistic approach can engage readers with politics. I hope to cultivate my political scope, and equip my ideas with skills that will aid me in offering alternatives to our flawed system.