As Asia looks forward to a progressive future, the technologies of mass communication will play an important role. At this point in time, it is the Internet, with its various forms of information dispersal. But, as this medium becomes more common place, the wielders of power will attempt to put restrictions on its use. Empirical evidence shows that the Internet can be successfully controlled. A case in point is the drastic concessions that Yahoo Inc. was compelled to make to facilitate enforcement of local laws. If local laws are not enforced through the Internet, the service providers may be forced to adopt the most stringent among them in an effort to breach none. But, this is only hypothetical and it is equally likely that the most liberal (the least restrictive) among the set of national laws would be chosen. In fact, during the last few years of the twentieth century, when the Internet was growing and consolidating, it was at its most liberal and least regulated (Milton . . . Read More
President Barack Obama recently struck down the Bush Administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information-the so-called “gag rule”. President Obama’s ruling has elicited both joy and consternation within US. Do those very different reactions indicate something about where people stand on issues of moral relativism? If so, explain; if not, explain why not?
One of the first acts of the new President Barack Obama’s is the overturn of the ‘gag rule’ which bans federal funding of international organizations that support abortion and family planning. This overturn is as much motivated by political reasons as it is by moral standards espoused by the new administration. For example, ever since its initial imposition under the leadership of Ronald Reagan the ‘gag . . . Read More
Conventionally, mass media was perceived as the Fourth Estate, implying that it is separate and autonomous from the three main branches of government. While such is the idealized theoretical understanding of the definition of mass media, the reality is stark and discouraging. Far from its founding ideals, journalism here in the UK, as elsewhere in the world, is conducted within a narrow framework of rules in concert with political and corporate powers. Its primary role in a liberal democracy would include unwavering upkeep of ethical standards, unbiased reporting of political developments and a detached commentary of the cultural aspects of society. But, evidence from electronic and print media today reveals that the media houses have largely failed to live up to their defined roles. This essay will expound on this thesis by way of citing relevant examples from scholarly sources.
One of the talking points amongst the . . . Read More
How well a business corporation performs in financial terms is significant for a broad group of people that includes potential/existing investors, creditors, employees or managers. With differing information needs and purposes, each category of stakeholders should be provided with data that is comprehensive, relevant and reliable, so as to allow an informed opinion to be reached on the corporation’s financial performance. However, all too often, the general public is left out of this equation. A corporation’s operations have direct and indirect effect on the general public, who don’t have a “stake” in the company in the conventional use of the term. Yet, business corporations are purely economic structures, whose sole purpose is profits and whose foresight stops with the next quarter. This essay tries to discuss the existing norms of accountability, its deficiencies and areas that need improvement.
The only document that a company in the UK . . . Read More
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