The Bretton Woods system was the result of a grand financial conference at the culmination of the Second World War. The participants were delegates drawn from 44 Allied countries that were in coalition against the defeated Axis powers. The main purpose of the conference was to organize and regulate the international monetary and financial systems, which were thrown into disarray during the war. The chief outcome of the event was the signing of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The conference laid the foundation for the later emergence of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The priorities and economic models adopted by the WTO are a marked contrast to that of the Bretton Woods regime. The mantra of WTO since 1972 has been international trade liberalization. The Marrakech Agreement of 1995 officially replaced the other GATT regime. Although free trade is paid lip service, the arrangements are more favorable to countries and business corporations with bigger . . . Read More
The Second World War was a pivotal event not just for Britain but also for the rest of Europe. In the wake of the end of the war all art forms embraced questions about war in particular and human conflict in general. One of the important British films to emerge in the Second World War milieu was The Battle of the River Plate. Though the film is largely drawn from real historical events surrounding the war, it is a feature film and meant for entertainment. Though the story is broadly consistent with historical record, the dialogues were almost nearly invented. The challenge for the film maker venturing the world war genre is the upkeep of historicity. The British audience has always allowed a fair license for fiction in the genre for the imperatives of the narrative form. Even allowing room for fiction, the ultimate success depends on the degree of authenticity that the filmmaker could bring to his representation of real history. It is for this reason that critics were . . . Read More
The basic plot of the movie – that set on the last days of a dying young woman – hints at being a tear-jerking melodrama. But contrary to this threat My Life Without Me delivers a surprisingly novel representation of a life about to end. The announcement of death, instead of limiting the physical and mental possibilities of the young woman Ann, actually liberates her to explore them to the fullest. The film is rich in its philosophical content, particularly themes central to Existentialism. This essay will showcase how through the strength of her character and a preference for rationality over sentimentality Ann represents a true existential hero.
Hardly 23 years of age, Ann lives an arduous yet contented life. She lives with her young family in a caravan put out in the backyard of her mother’s house. Although the relationship with her mother is somewhat troubled, she has a loving husband and two adorable girls. Her father is . . . Read More
Plato’s Republic is one of the most influential works on political theory. The book is rich in logical deliberations and thought experiments in its endeavor to identify the ideal form of government for any society. Some of the ideas and theories articulated in the work include ‘theory of forms’, ‘definition of philosopher’, ‘immortality of the soul’, ‘metaphor of the sun’, ‘role of poetry in society’, ‘allegory of the cave’, etc. Of these, the most commented and profound idea is the ‘allegory of the cave’ that is presented in Book VII of the Republic.
The ‘allegory of the cave’ is a richly allusive and multiple layered illustration of the value, nature and consequence of knowledge. Though Plato is the author of the book, his role is one of committing to text the conversation between his mentor Socrates and his brother Glaucon. Socrates equates the darkness intrinsic to a cave to ignorance. To the contrary, the shining light is . . . Read More
David Irving is one of the most controversial modern historians. Born in Britain in 1938, Irving has written many books about the Second World War and its leaders. For example, he has written detailed accounts of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Goebbels, etc. In his books, he focussed on the military aspects of the war. But he created many controversies by associating himself with extreme Right-wing ideology. Even in his accounts of Second World War, there is a bias toward Hitler, his antisemitism and military aggression. Since Britain suffered both in terms of human and economic costs during the war, he hurt the feelings of his own people by showing sympathy to Hitler.
Since he began to writer about the Second World War during the 1970s and 1980s, he is considered as a revisionist historian. This is because plenty of books have already been published by the time he took up these projects. Other scholars have taken objection to his work for its inaccuracy and . . . Read More
Chapter 3 of the book is titled The Family as an Economic Unit. Here the authors discuss the importance of the concept of family for the functioning of neoclassical economic models. In the United States and other Western capitalist democracies, the neoclassical economics is the dominant paradigm for analysis and policy. In this context, it is interesting to study the institution of family from an economic viewpoint. While neoclassical economics sees the individual citizen as the basic unit among consumers, the family is the next immediate consumer unit. But herein lies a contradiction. For example, for the prevailing economic model to work one has to believe that individuals act as self-serving consumers. But families are founded on the notion of group-interest as opposed to self-interest, whereby one member of the family should forgo some of his/her wants for the sake of family’s wellbeing. Data gathered over the last century has shown that the family has . . . Read More
Salvador Dali’s 1931 painting named The Persistence of Memory is an intriguing work of modern art. The artwork became an instant success with the public audience and continues to be Dali’s most recognized work. At the core of the painting is Dali’s perception of physical objects as either ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. The depiction of ‘soft’ pocket watches in the backdrop of the landscape of Port Lligat comprises its unique appeal. In Dali’s own words, the artwork is a “hand painted dream photograph”, which projects a dream-like imagery. The central theme of the painting is the melting watch, which is a recurrent object in many of Dali’s paintings. The painting is best known for its surrealistic elements and can appear to be irrational, unsettling, paradoxical or even nonsensical. But beneath the veneer of this confusion lies its aesthetic merit and conceptual integrity.
In the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) . . . Read More
Both the first as well as the second world wars are landmark events in modern world history. Both wars are marked by involvement of the prevailing world powers of the day. In the case of the First World War, the principal actors were the European powers of Britain, Germany, Austria, etc with nominal participation from the United States. The Second World War saw a more meaningful participation from the United States of America, which was then set to become the leading superpower in the post war years. The rest of the essay will see a comparative analysis between these two wars.
The two wars are distinguished in the development and application of military technology. While the state of military warfare was rudimentary and simple during the years of the First World War, the Second World War saw significant advancements in military technology. For example, the advent of Tanks by the Third Reich is perceived by experts to be a crucial factor in the dynamics of combat during the . . . Read More
Discuss what Eisenhower meant by the “Military-Industrial Complex.” Why did the outgoing president feel the need to warn Americans about this? How justified were Eisenhower’s concerns? Was there any irony to this warning? Explain.
In his farewell address to the citizens of his nation, American . . . Read More
Right through its history, America has not hesitated to use force under the pretexts of principles, sovereignty and justice. American military intervention in world affairs has risen drastically since the end of the Second World War. The period following the Second World War saw America assume the role of a superpower that headed the western coalition in what was a bipolar world. In a way, the nuclear bombing of Japan was the first of its international digressions and the ongoing Iraq quagmire the latest. Since the collapse . . . Read More