The poem titled “The Moment” is a beautifully illustrated and compactly presented work, and its meaning is especially relevant for contemporary societies. The poem is organized in three stanzas of six lines each. The first stanza sets up the narrative by making the claim about human beings’ ‘ownership’ of earth. The second stanza counters the first stanza by explicating the inherent folly behind the notion of ‘ownership’. The final stanza qualifies the second stanza by giving reasons for why human beings cannot be owners of the planet. The poem can be summed up thus: Whenever human beings start believing that they have mastered their environment and start believing in a misplaced sense of superiority over mother nature, then they are setting up their own doom. We as a species will always remain products of nature and to that extent subordinate to the wellbeing of our natural environment. Through the course of our planet’s history, we as a species are only recent . . . Read More
The phenomenon of economic globalization, which took off in the last four decades, has come to define this period in world history. The trading relations between the developed and developing countries reached unprecedented heights during this period. While this boosted the Gross Domestic Products of the involved countries, the distribution of wealth within nations has been highly disproportional. Evidence shows that globalization has not reduced the percentage of human beings living below the poverty line. Such poverty has forced most rural communities to seek job opportunities in nearby cities, which has made the cities over populated, polluted and losing their cultural heritage. The critical assessment of whether or not cities are increasingly becoming more like one another should be made in this context. This essay purports to do the same by perusing relevant scholarly sources to support the claims.
There is copious evidence to support the contrarian view that neo-liberal . . . Read More
There is a strong case to be made for industrial societies to change over to renewable sources of energy. At the centre of the debate is the unsustainable continuing fossil fuel usage and the attendant environmental degradation. The United States is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels in the world and has been a major contributor to greenhouse gas induced global warming. Hence it is only logical that it takes a leadership role in adopting renewable energy practices across the board. As of today, less that 10 percent of energy usage is tapped from renewable sources such as wind energy, hydroelectric energy, solar energy, etc (Bradley, 2000, p.24). Though the transition will not be without its share of practical difficulties, persisting toward a renewable energy future is a wise and noble goal for policy makers in the country. The first major step toward that end would be to support manufacturing and marketing of electric cars (either purebred or hybrid) so that it replaces . . . Read More
There is little doubt as to the necessity of a civil government in order to protect the right and liberties of individuals. As long as the government remains loyal to its founding objective, namely that of serving the interests of the general population, its need and importance cannot be contested. On the theoretical front, there are many proposals and underlying rationales for structuring the government in a variety of ways. As early as the seventeenth century, nearly a century before the French Revolution, the British political philosopher John Locke had deliberated upon the function and role of government in civil societies. His Second Treatise on Government, in particular is a comprehensive collection of essays on various aspects of social organization. But theories do not always translate into practice and so governments always do not fulfill the purpose for which they were conceived and formed. We should also remember that electoral processes and democratic institutions that . . . Read More
The Public Relations industry, which is an offshoot of the traditional advertising industry, turned into a dominant business institution through the course of the twentieth century. The two countries that pioneered this industry are the United States and the United Kingdom. In the case of the former, Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, is widely acknowledged as the founding father of the industry. In the United Kingdom, the government propaganda campaigns to mobilize support during the two World Wars made clear the importance and potency of strategic PR campaigns to influence and control public opinion. Toward the end of the century, as business corporations became the dominant institutions of our times, the scope of PR widened and assumed new roles in the commercial realm of product marketing. At the birth of the new millennium, the ascendency of digital technology into the mainstream has once again enhanced and redefined the nature and role of public relations industry. . . . Read More
Resistance and dissent against established institutions have proven to be difficult throughout the history of organized societies. Even today, many parts of the world languish under the rule of autocrats, plutocrats and oligarchs, where opposition to authority is silenced by coercion or crushed by force. Even in the so-called democratic countries there have been political prisoners and radical rebels who are pressured in so many different ways to abide by the will of the ruling elite. For all its claims to be the ‘land of the free’, the United States had passed draconian laws under the PATRIOT Act, to take away hard won civil liberties from the general public. In effect the Bush Administration took advantage of the psychological fears of the general public in the aftermath of the 911 terror strikes and created a legal atmosphere that stifled dissident voices and undermined legitimate resistance campaigns.
But when we look at the history of human civilization, . . . Read More
The problem of Third World Debt has been a talking point in international political meetings for more than half a century now. The new world order that had emerged with the end of Second World War had divided the world into three distinct political groups. The first was led by the United States and its allies, the second comprised of the former Soviet Union nations and the rest belonged to the Third World – a conglomeration of economically and politically backward nation-states. While the first two groups have lost their exclusiveness with the end of the Cold War, the block of poorest nations have essentially remained stagnant during this period (Loewenberg, 2005, p.17). Not only do these nations face internal challenges but they also have to contend with massive amounts of debt that they owe to developed countries. This issue will be the focus of the rest of the essay, which will elaborate on the merits and demerits attached to the policy of totally writing-off the debt . . . Read More
The association between rape and war goes as far back as recorded history. Among all evil actions that human beings are known to commit, rape is only next to murder in terms of its barbarity and cruelty. It is also a sad fact that irrespective of widespread acknowledgement of the tendency of human beings to indulge in rape, no significant progress is made to prevent this social evil. Most instances of rape tend to coincide with war and its immediate aftermath. This has parallels in the animal kingdom when males of most species combat with each other to win access to females in heat. But the crucial distinction to be applied in this regard is that the animals are acting as per their nature. In the case of humans, they have a developed mental faculty that is capable of applying ethical principles to their actions. Hence there is no justification in mimicking animal behavior while at the same time undermining the faculty of reason and justice that is so uniquely human. While it is . . . Read More
John Steinbeck is arguably the most prominent littérateur of his generation to have adopted the cause of working class America. His most famous work The Grapes of Wrath depicts the everyday travails of a westward migrating white American family in search of better economic opportunities. Of Mice and Men, another prominent work, is a much smaller novel both in terms of the number of characters as well as the social situations they find themselves in. Steinbeck started his career as a journalist before taking up novels and poetry as his primary avenue of writing. Steinbeck’s books generally deal with the desperation and resilience of poor Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century. His works also serve the purpose of a social documentary and present a picture of systemic injustices in the United States. His outstanding literary life culminated with the conferring of Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, four years before his demise . . . Read More
1. How did the flooding affect commodity markets? Describe, in detail, what happened to energy prices. Look at the markets for the following commodities: crude oil, unleaded gas, and natural gas. Does Ike constitute a supply or demand shock? Explain yourself clearly.
Hurricane Ike moved inland from the Atlantic Ocean in the second week of September 2008. The magnitude and scale of devastatation was not as great as that of Hurricane Katrina that preceded it, but it still caused a turmoil in the commodities markets. The Southeastern coastal regions of the United States were the worst affected during Hurricane Ike. Since most of the nation’s oil and gas refineries are located in this region, the supply-demand equillibrium was disturbed by the temporary shutdown of these industries. The state of Texas in particular, which is home to some of the biggest oil corporations in America, was badly affected during the hurricane. The off-shore oil drilling . . . Read More