John de Graaf and team’s well researched and eye-opening book “Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic” brings up several issues ailing contemporary industrial societies, such as deceptive mass advertisements, over-population, environment damaging toxic dumping, corporate greed, etc. Such lifestyle and social trends are no where more ostensible than in the United States of America. The USA, being the world’s largest economy and the world’s only military superpower, can virtually dictate terms of trade for the rest of the world. And being the torch bearer of unfettered laissez faire capitalism, American business interests often dictate government policy decisions. This heady mix of wealth and power need to be counterbalanced by accountability and responsibility for the general public. But, going by the evidence presented by the authors of this book, the outcomes so far have been harmful for the people at large and the environment in which they live. The poor . . . Read More
The Bhagavad Gita, which is part of the classic Indian epic the Mahabaratha, records the dialogue between Arjuna, the Pandava warrior prince and Lord Krishna who is also his chariot driver. When faced with the prospect of fighting his own cousins in the field of battle, Arjuna is despaired and aggrieved. He communicates his moral dilemma to his mentor and guide Lord Krishna, who in turn offers Arjuna a discourse on Hindu dharma. While the advice is directed to Arjuna, it is also broadly applicable to all human beings in different contexts in their lives. Krishnaderives his code of conduct from the ancient Hindu tradition of Varna Dharma, which was an extension of the caste-system followed in India. According to this system, members of each of the four castes have their own social roles to perform. Striving to fulfill these roles without questioning them is considered a virtue. Arjuna, having born into the Kshatriya caste (the . . . Read More
The United States of America, in spite of being an economic superpower also carries the notoriety for exorbitant healthcare costs and disproportionately poor health outcomes for patients. Moreover, the present healthcare system is so structured that the world wide economic recession in progress is bound to have serious consequences for the healthcare industry as well. The new healthcare system being proposed will attempt to tackle these obvious problems while also suggesting improvements for making healthcare delivery more efficient. The other centerpiece of the proposal is to make health insurance affordable for all Americans so that it serves as an extension of social security in times of distress.
At present health insurance coverage of American citizens is covered by their employers, which puts them in danger of losing insurance along with their jobs. With the global economic recession more acute here in theU.S., the country has seen unprecedented numbers of job . . . Read More
Body piercing, alongside tattooing, has become more common over the last few decades, especially made popular by the hippy culture of 1970s America. Body piercing is related to other forms of body modification such as branding, cutting, binding, inserting implants, etc in an attempt to change the appearance of the individual’s body. More broadly, body piercing can be grouped along with appearance enhancing cosmetic surgeries and gender change operations. People give several reasons for undergoing such alterations to their body parts. Those who undergo form changes usually do it for improving their appearance or to bolster their identity. Psychologists and cultural commentators, on the other hand, tend to view body art as an expression of deeper emotional disturbance with respect to the person’s self-esteem and self-identity. This essay will explore and present different viewpoints on the subject, by way of citing appropriate evidence from scholarly sources.
Body piercing . . . Read More
Given that the Conservative Party is the oldest political establishment in Britain, a study of its history and evolution will reflect broader socio-economic changes. From the earliest days of parliamentary democracy in Britain to the current modern polity, the Conservative Party has withstood many upheavals and challenges. This essay attempts to identity the main features of British conservatism by way of studying its primary political representative that is the Conservative Party, the implication being that not all policies of the Conservative Party have been consistent with the theme of British conservatism and vice versa.
Conservatives have never been known to support universal health care. The reluctance of the Conservative party to support an efficient and public funded healthcare system remains one of its major criticisms. Conservatism in Britain is also associated with staunch nationalism and the concept of “one-nation”. The Tory party’s attempts to . . . Read More
David Gartman in ” Three Ages of the Automobile: The Cultural Logics of the car ”, argues that the history of automobility may be divided into three ”ages” Does Michael Moor’s Film, Roger and Me, substantiate or contradict Gartman’s analysis? Explain.
According to David Gartman, the automobile has carried additional connotations beyond its basic function of transportation. In this broader notion of the automobile, each model of car or truck carries meanings and identities unique to it. The twentieth century being the age of the mechanized automobile, has seen three distinct ages of evolution of the automobile, each set within its larger cultural context. In its first age, when western industrialized societies were still class-based, the car acted as a symbol of power and wealth and served to distinguish the privileged from the under-privileged. In its subsequent . . . Read More
Food, alongside air and water, is an essential resource for human survival. While these natural resources keep us alive and help life to grow, when they are not available, it would lead to starvation and even death. Sadly, at the turn of the twenty first century, a large number of people are on the edge of starvation. According to United Nations Human Development Report, each year millions of people lose their lives as a result of starvation. In continents such as Asia and South America, which have several developing nations, starvation, which leads to malnutrition and disease, pose a huge challenge to their development. The situation is much worse in Africa, where the societies have not emerged from the exploitation suffered during the colonial period. Having said so, the advanced nations are not completely free of starving people. A small but significant percentage of the population in North America and Europe has very low or no income, which puts them below poverty line. These . . . Read More
Introduction: The tussle for supremacy between England and France goes back to ancient history. After several failed attempts in previous centuries, the Normans finally defeated the English in the Battle of Hastings in the year 1066, thereby changing the course of the island’s history significantly. Not only did the Normans take over the political reigns but also effected profound changes to the cultural and linguistic heritage of the people of England. This essay will attempt to show how the Norman Conquest of England left a lasting impact on future generations of English in the social, political, literary and cultural realms.
Immediately following the Norman Conquest, the religious orthodoxy of England faced a serious threat to their material possessions, as the new rulers ordered despoliation of church treasures, imposition of punitive gelds and taxes, introduced new mandates of knight service, and lay magnates’ seizure of the estates belonging to . . . Read More
Homosexuality, for major part of human history has been considered a taboo; the origins of its condemnation can be traced back to primitive religious beliefs and ancient superstitions. As societies become more advanced and modern, with attendant increase in awareness of the subject, a greater degree of tolerance and understanding of homosexuality is seen these days. Moreover, the issues of gays and lesbians are increasingly being discussed in . . . Read More
The study of the history and origins of support for Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia is highly relevant in the contemporary world. From a study of the rationale and motive of such groups, we can arrive at the security implications for the Australian government and the preventative measures that could be taken to thwart any possible terrorist attacks.
To begin with, the term ‘terrorist organization’ should not be interpreted to mean a formal hierarchy of personnel who are assigned fixed responsibilities and duties. On the other hand they imply propaganda and support mechanism whose aim is to recruit willing individuals from the Islamic world to participate in the holy war, also known as ‘Jihad’. Consistent with this fact, the term ‘Al Qaeda’ was not Christened by Osama bin Laden; rather, it was the United States intelligence agency CIA that referred to the Islamic activists led by bin Laden in this manner in the mid-1990s. Al Qaeda, translated from Arabic, literally . . . Read More