Social Darwinism is an instance of abuse of Darwinism. The Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection – a seminal work of 19th century British explorer Charles Darwin – is the basis for the later construction called Social Darwinism. But the latter deviates from the original theory in that it co-opts selective aspects of the theory in explaining human differences. In other words, Social Darwinism extrapolates some and deliberately neglects other features of the theory of evolution in explaining social disparities such as class, racial, cultural and political differences.
When European imperialism of the bygone age is revisited, one can see leading intellectuals of the time indulging in Social Darwinist interpretations of the empire. They explained that the European/Caucasian races are a better breed of humans compared to the colored populations, and thereby possessed the right to civilize the latter by means of imperialist enterprise. In what is a self-fulfilling . . . Read More
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an ongoing practice among many primitive peoples of the world. Rooted in religious doctrine and mysticism, this practice is a form of abuse against women, for it deprives them of attaining full sexual pleasure. Both the United States and the United Nations are powerful political entities that can do something about this problem. The United Nations, as part of its pledge to uphold principles stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) document, has been at the forefront of efforts to curb this practice. The United States, on the other hand, has also chipped in with funding and lobbying efforts to eradicate FGM. But these efforts have not been sufficient to significantly reduce the occurrence of FGM. The rest of this essay will foray into the successes and failures of the US and the UN in protecting victims of FGM and also in preventing it.
The United Nations has brought up the issue of FGM under its broader program for . . . Read More
Football Hooliganism has been given plenty of attention in all forms of the media. One of the reasons why it has garnered such coverage is because it is apolitical and suits all political parties to condemn it. Furthermore, the violence and vitriol involved in acts of hooliganism are material that are easy to sell. In other words, the sensationalism inherent in news items of this sort interest audiences of different age groups and backgrounds. So one could argue that media’s extensive coverage of this phenomenon has more to do with marketing the media product rather than any upkeep of journalistic values. With this understanding one could also see the role of police in a different light. They could be perceived as agents in the content creation process, who contribute by giving information and video footage of hooligans. And since the media seldom question instances of police mistreatment of hooligans, they tend to act brashly and ruthlessly in controlling the . . . Read More
European imperialism of the last few centuries were heavily centered on the perceived moral responsibility of its leaders toward other supposedly backward regions of the world. Also referred to (not without a sense of irony) as the White Man’s Burden, this notion of cultural, religious, scientific and administrative superiority over far-off civilizations had led to several negative consequences. Irrespective of the real intentions (some are benign while others are pure snobbery) behind this construction, it has not ceased to exist with the demise of conventional projects of imperialism.
Rudyard Kipling, a writer who captured the essence of British imperialism in India, acknowledges the duplicity and hypocrisy that White Man’s Burden entails in his poem of the same title. The opening lines of the poem stingingly point out presumptions about cultural superiority by the White folk: “Take up the White Man’s burden-; Send forth the best ye breed-; Go bind . . . Read More
The Olympic Games is the most celebrated sporting event for all nations in the world. Almost every sporting discipline is included in the itinerary and most of the countries in the world participates in it. It showcases human virtues such as perseverance, courage, determination, etc and in this respect it serves as a theatre of drama. It also brings forth such intense emotions as ecstasy (upon winning a medal) and dejection (upon failing to win) in its participants. At a political level, the games bring together people from many nations, with different religious, cultural and economic backgrounds. This makes the Games a mosaic of the entire gamut of human civilization. (Wallechinsky, 2004) This essay will pertain itself those episodes of the Olympic Games that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century. These episodes are quite significant in that they played an influential role in shaping social and political developments to follow. The rest of this . . . Read More
Supply Chain Management (SCM) has become an integral part of many manufacturing companies’ production processes. SCM came to be recognized as crucial to the success of a business especially if there is high competition within the industry and room for inefficiencies are low. First pioneered by Japanese automobile companies like Toyota, SCM is essential in order for companies to implement lean manufacturing methods. SCM strategies need to adapt and evolve according to the needs of the economy. Hence, the early strategies employed by Japanese automobile firms are no longer fully applicable today. Especially in the recession stricken economic situation of today, new innovative ways of managing supply chains have to be devised. What follows are five such prominent strategies.
Strategy 1: Adopting a demand-driven approach to production based on inputs from real-time demand data. This strategy quite useful both when applied to pre-production and post-production supply chain . . . Read More
In political science studies, it is not often that one reads of American Imperialism. The term imperialism is almost exclusively associated with colonial exploits of major European powers such as Britain, France and Germany in the West; and China and Japan in the East. Although a late joiner of the imperial club, the United States is by far the most dominant in this group. With the entity called the United States of America having emerged only toward the end of the eighteenth century, it was only in the subsequent centuries it could meaningfully expressed its imperial goals. And since Latin America is its closest neighbor, it was natural for the United States to take active interest in developments in the region. Often disparagingly referred to as US’ backyard, it was in Latin America that US’ imperialist goals were first implemented. (Field, 1978, p.659) And the continuation of these goals has led to genuine grievances among Latin American intellectuals and masses . . . Read More
Despite gaining no legal or religious sanction, the adult movie industry is one of the biggest and thriving contributors to culture and economy. Here, adult movie is defined as that whose content is majorly comprised of implicit or explicit sexual acts (of various orientations) and action movies that are adult certified due to excessive violence or profanity. In other words, the term ‘adult movie’ is interpreted in this essay to include hardcore and soft-core pornography, as well as those that are legally permitted but contain sexual content, violence or profanity. In polite societies and in family environments mere mention of pornography can elicit embarrassment, shock or disgust from people. But interestingly, such reactions are not pronounced in response to violence and profanity, although these are equally harmful influences. Nevertheless, while people hesitate to talk about indulgence in pornography in the public space, it continues to be a part of their . . . Read More
As manufacturing industries are steadily replaced by services industries, the concept of productivity assumes new meanings and dimensions. Improving productivity automatically reduces costs incurred by companies, thereby boosting the bottom line. As a consequence, the company has more resources at its disposal to spend on R&D and supplementary services. So, there is incentive for managers to improve service productivity. Productivity is usually measured as the quantity of output produced with respect to the quantity of inputs. So, a higher ratio indicates higher productivity. Compared to manufacturing industries, it is much difficult to measure productivity in services industries, especially those that are enabled by Information Technology. (Saari, 2006) Yet, management gurus have identified a few proven techniques for improving service productivity, which are discussed below.
One way of improving service productivity is by applying operations-driven . . . Read More
Mid-life crisis refers to the observed phenomenon of depression, low motivation and lack of purpose seen in the middle of adult lives. This crisis is seen by psychologists as a product of several factors, including complacency, boredom, hormonal changes and natural ageing process. This is especially more pronounced in men than women, as the former’s social and family roles and responsibilities start to alter at mid-life. There is incentive for both psychologists and the general public to understand this phenomenon, as it affects a sizeable portion of any given population. Lifestyles adopted by people, especially in modern urban centers, as well as sedentary working styles are also said to contribute to the onset of mid-life crisis. Stress, either work related or due to strained relationships, also plays a role.(Bishop, 1999, p.417)
In popular culture, mid-life crisis is often associated with break-up of relationships, divorces, etc, especially when it happens . . . Read More