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
Throughout the history of the United States, there has been conflict between established order and the general public. Even the very conception of an independent union of states separate from the British crown was an act of rebellion. The story of David Gilbert is one of many such struggles for progress. Landmark events in our history such as the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more recently the fight for gay and lesbian rights, have all contributed to the strength of our democracy, improved civil liberties and fundamental rights for citizens. Argued in this vein, the radical political confrontation carried out by people such as David Gilbert is not as villainous as it is made out to be.
One might take issue with some of the tactics employed by David Gilbert and his associates in their efforts to fund their organization and to carry forward their political agenda. But the motivating principles behind their acts of protest . . . Read More
Khalid Muhammad was the former leader of Nation of Islam (NOI), which is a radical black nationalist movement founded in the last century. This organization has close links with the New Black Panther Party, which is distinct from the original party of the Black Power movement. Khalid Muhammad is right about many of the grievances against mainstream America. Starting from the education system and continuing into judicial, legislative and executive institutions, the systems prevailing in the United States undermines progress and equality for blacks and other minorities. This is most evident from the high rates of incarceration and conviction of blacks. I also agree with Khalid Muhammad view that the white dominated American society had obliterated the native, indigenous cultural, religious and linguistic heritage of black Americans of African descent. In his interviews with talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Phil Donahue, Muhammad iterates the founding principles of Nation of Islam . . . Read More
Public opinion is divided on the issue of whether or not American schools should adopt year long curriculums. But conventionally, schools across the country have adhered to schedules that would give pupils a break of three months followed by nine months of study. In recent years, some journalists and commentators have suggested that year long schooling could benefit the students in the long term. This essay will foray into the arguments made by proponents of year round schooling.
At the root of the debate is the fact that the knowledge and acquired skill levels of students in America is on a steady decline. This is indicated by statistics pertaining to standardized test scores. The supporters of year-round schooling argue that such an arrangement would help improve the knowledge and skill levels of students. In other words,
“With the heightened emphasis on standardized test scores and the implementation of rigorous, mandatory tests for promotion and . . . Read More
Reading through the essay titled ‘Apostles of Hatred Find It Easy To Spread Their Message’ was a moving experience for me. As I completed reading it, I was left with mixed feelings of pity, anger and a sense of helplessness. I agree with most of what the author had to say in the essay. The essay concisely captures the circumstances that led teenager Jeff Weise from Minnesota to go on a shooting rampage in his high school. There are several sentences in the essay that was effectively constructed. These include the following: “I won’t subject you to a treatise on why these people are abhorrent. If you don’t already know, you need more help than anyone can give you in a few inches of newsprint”(9)….We recognize that while change is a challenge, it is also a condition of life”(12)…Makes you sorrow for the boy even in the midst of your anger at him”(15)”. But the one that made me reflect and think deeper is this: “We recognize that while change is . . . Read More