Recently film and TV studios have been hopping on the diversity bandwagon, but Chicago has been the hub of theatrical diversity for far longer than it’s recent resurgence in the media. The Chicago theater scene is raved for being diverse and inclusive, but this idea of Chicago theater as diverse comes from smaller storefront theaters like Albany Park Theater Project, while bigger theaters like The Goodman use tokenism, work with complete all white or all minority casts, or split directly down the middle and have half and half.
Albany Park Theater Project is a theater performance group located in a very diverse part of Chicago. While looking through their website, I found their mission statement which states, “We are Albany Park Theater Project, a multiethnic, youth theater ensemble that inspires people to envision a more just and beautiful world. We are dedicated to art, to youth, and a vision of social justice” (Albany Park Theater Project). The term social justice is a very vague term and, in my opinion, when it comes to theatre, a vision of social justice would include diversity in the cast and in the works that are put on. Albany Park Theater Project, through their website, blog, youtube channel, and other reviews, has shown a wide variety of these elements as evidence to back up the claims made in their mission statement.
When you look up the word diversity, “the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization” (“Diversity”) is what appears. A diverse show is one that includes more than just one token ethnic character or simply one ethnic group, but incorporates multiple types of people to show a world that reflects our own. The Washington Post posted an article that tackles the growing diversity in television and points out how the main character in a show called Master of None “lives in a city that looks like New York — and not the surreal white New York of ‘Friends,’ or the equally surreal black New York of ‘The Cosby Show,’ or the diverse but crime-ridden New York of ‘Law & Order: SVU.’ Instead, it’s the real one, or at least the comfortably middle-class real one, where people work with, befriend and date people of all stripes” (Ramanathan). The audience watched “Friends” and loved it because the classic TV show was entertaining, but looked past the fact that it has an all white, reoccurring, cast. The same goes for the other two shows mentioned, but the problem with “Friends” and “The Cosby Show” is that they went too far towards either end of the diversity spectrum. “Law & Order: SVU,” included diversity, but showed the stereotypical views of each ethnic group which did more to discourage inclusion towards people of different ethnic backgrounds rather than encourage it. The idea of true diversity is inclusive of everyone and does not simply show tokenism or stereotypes in an attempt to be “diverse.”
When looking through Albany Park Theater Project’s website, the first thing I went to was their mission statement page. On that page was a short video that showed clips from their 2013 production of “Home/ Land” at the Goodman Theater, which show kids of different ethnicities discussing difficult topics like immigration, parents being taken away from their kids, and mass shootings of minorities. From that video alone, I see that their mission statement as a company has not simply changed given recent issues along the same line, but see that they have valued inclusivity and the sharing of stories long before illegal immigration came into the public light. Not only do they have diversity among their cast, but the works that they put on are written and told by people who have experienced the injustices occurring in the play. In fact, a faculty member Isaac Gomez, who works at The Theatre School, has written plays for Albany Park. On their blog, their most recent post is about the play “Ofrenda” written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Stephanie Paul and Maggie Popadiak. I that a photo of the cast (shown above) is the largest photo on the page, which includes a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. Albany Park’s mission statement emphasized “a multiethnic, youth theater ensemble that inspires people to envision a more just and beautiful world” (Albany Park Theater Project), this photo supports their claims of a multiethnic and youth ensemble. When I started looking into the themes of “Ofrenda” to see if it encourages telling stories that aren’t often told, I found a description in a Chicago Tribune article written by Kerry Reid titled “‘Ofrenda’: Themes of ‘home’ and ‘offering’ get the distinctive Albany Park Theatre treatment”. Reid describes “Ofrenda” as “a wide array of stories generated within the ensemble and collected in the community, collaborated with an outside playwright… The voices we meet in this narrative collage feel distinct, not filtered through a sole authorial voice” (Reid). The stories the communities and cast members tell are not often heard, and through Albany Park Theater Project actors and community members can share important stories that can inspire audiences to “envision a more just and beautiful world” (Albany Park Theater Project).
Albany Park Theater Project saw a need for diversity in theater culture in their area and a need to share stories theatre goers might not be exposed to. They make ethical and emotional appeals to readers to garner support their mission. Through this company they have been able to provide a safe space for youths of all ethnicities and backgrounds to come together and let their voices and stories be heard. Alumni from Albany Park Theater Project have often gone off to be public speakers and actors supporting the same idea of spreading important stories that would otherwise go unheard.
The Goodman Theater is Chicago’s oldest theater and began as a professional theater in 1925. Due to The Great Depression, maintaining a professional theater became too expensive and the Goodman Theater became the Goodman School of Drama. Slowly professional actors came back as guest artists and adjunct teachers and by 1969 the Goodman returned to its professional theatre title while also keeping the Goodman School of Drama. With this return to professionalism, the student actors began children’s theater productions that “played to large audiences for half a century and helped generations of Chicagoans become lifelong theatregoers” (Gray 217) Most theaters don’t last more than 7 years, it is remarkable that the Gooman has lasted almost 100 years to date and had such an impact on the theater scene in Chicago. Goodman set the stage for other theater companies to follow and encourage programs for youth actors and work with what the audience expressed interest in. The Goodman Theatre’s mission statement was longer than most and included mentions of multiple awards, once you got through all that you get to their real mission, “By dedicating itself to three guiding principles—quality, diversity and community—Goodman Theatre seeks to be the premier cultural organization in Chicago, providing productions and programs that make an essential contribution to the quality of life in our city” (Goodman Theatre). Contrary to Albany Park’s mission statement, the Goodman Theatre’s statement is specific in it’s goals. Despite including diversity in their statement, it is not something they advertise nor stick to in reality.
When going through the Goodman Theatre’s website some key differences between their’s and Albany Park’s websites is the lack of photo advertisement and lack of diversity within those photos. A fact sheet under the “Financials” tab on the “About” page has a breakdown of Goodman’s three guiding principles. The description of “diversity” states, “We are committed to making cultural diversity, aesthetic range, risk-taking and freedom of expression the fabric of the institution” (Goodman Theatre). When looking at the website, the first thing seen is images of the four upcoming shows, two of which include actual photos of actors where only one of the three actors shown is a woman of color. (Shown right) All other pictures on the websites opening page are graphically designed photos showing none of the people working on the projects or events advertised. Goodman appears to use tokenism as a smokescreen for being diverse. Tokenism is “the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort (as to desegregate)” (Tokenism) or the practice of making only a symbolic effort to be inclusive toward people of minority groups, and in terms of theater, by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of racial or sexual equality within the company. Their claim to aesthetic range as a “fabric of the institution” (Goodman Theatre) is a false claim and is tokenism not diversity. Continuing through the tabs along the top bar, all the photos that are shown are a majority white people with a few people of color or different ethnicities mixed in. It also appears that the photos are snapshots from different shows or events rather than for example women in a meeting shown for the “Women’s Board” link. From what is seen on their website there is not much follow through on their diversity statement. Further down on the fact sheet are statistics about their patrons, “According to audience surveys, patrons are, overall, about 19% people of color, while single ticket purchasers are about 26% people of color” (Goodman Theatre). Not only is their website not inclusive and representative, but the audiences who attend their shows are not reflected through this lack of representation.
When an outsider thinks of Chicago theater, their mind goes to the big name companies like Goodman, Steppenwolf, etc. and they view them as inclusive and the base of Chicago’s diverse theater scene. In reality it is the smaller companies such as Albany Park, Free Street, and more that are the true heart of Chicago’s inclusive and all-encompassing theater atmosphere. Bigger theater’s such as the Goodman use tokenism in an attempt to appear diverse and keep their more liberal patrons. While truly diverse theater’s such as Albany Park Theater Project cater to the other 64% of patrons not attending larger company productions.
The American Dream, today
It’s no exaggeration to say that just about every American has at least heard of the term – the American Dream since this concept has always been a popular and dominant theme in United States society. It is the center of the national culture and reflects people’s optimism about equality between individuals. In this report, I will analyze the ideology of the American Dream and its meaning in society presently.
As Sally Edelstein (2013) stated in her article that the seed of the American Dream was planted during the dark days of the Great Depression when a nation that had once been viewed as the land of opportunity was now mired, and germinated at the New York World’s Fair of 1939. The seed was nurtured and cultivated during the sacrifices and deprivations of World War II. By 1945 when the war ended, it was ready to be harvested and it would blossom into full bloom in the Post War years and beyond. It is difficult to define exactly the American Dream because it can be subjective and may mean different things to different people. Generally, the American Dream is usually understood as the perspective that all people are created equally with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a set of principles basing on the notion that each person has the right to seek for prosperity and happiness, regardless of where or into what circumstances they were born, meaning that anyone can become financially successful and socially upwardly mobile through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chances. This concept has long become the driving force for many U.S. citizens, motivating them to work hard toward creating a better life for their families and themselves.
The person often receives credit for first popularizing this term was the historian James Truslow Adams (Patrick J. Kiger, 2011). According to Adams, he explained the American Dream in his best-selling book in 1931 “The Epic of America” as it is not a dream of motorcars and high wages merely, but a dream of an equal society in which each man or woman could be able to reach their achievement and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of their circumstances of birth or position. However, the root of the American Dream could be much deeper. The tenets of this term were stated, even though not directly in the Declaration of Independence,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In the past, the American Dream was only for white people and used to have some basic ideas such as owning a home, a safe and secure neighborhood, or having a business that makes a profit and contributes to the national economy. When someone seems to have it all, including a well-paying job they love, a loving family they can provide for, a home they are proud of and can afford, and extra money to enjoy vacations and the other events that make life enjoyable, even if they aren’t wealthy, they are said to be living the American dream. However, nowadays, there are many different opinions in people’s perspectives when they have to talk about the American Dream as the meaning of the term has been changing over the past many years throughout history, depending on the context. On the one hand, some people believe that the American Dream means land of opportunity where anyone can become rich, successful, and respected if he or she works hard. For example, many immigrants migrate to the United States because the place has many big firms and multinational companies which can provide a variety of jobs and more chances of success in comparison with that in their home country. Another memorable event was on November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeated Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th U.S. president as well as the first African American in history to be elected to the White House. On the other hand, many see the American Dream as freedom and equal rights since they can do whatever they are passionate about without being judged. For instance, in general, the United States has very relaxed federal gun control laws in comparison with other developed nations such as Canada, Switzerland, and Japan — a mix of wealthy countries with similar and varying cultural backgrounds.
In this day and age, many citizens are now of the view that there is a need for a new definition of this dream which should also take into consideration the modern needs of the citizens as well as the core beliefs on which the US was founded. The American Dream which was more accessible to attain back in the days, however, had transformed, especially in the 21st century as economic inequality has increased over the years. Although it is still possible for people to live a happy and lucrative lifestyle through their perseverance, the lives of many average middle-class Americans and immigrants still have countless difficulties due to the lack of improvement in social mobility in society, making the American Dream seemed less attainable. The federal treasury is in danger, and the government, as well as policymakers, do not show any commensurate solution to the problems. This results in some people no longer believing in the American Dream and it is just an expectation.
Nowadays, with changing governments and overhauling global conditions, new virtues have been included in the American Dream as well as the meaning of this ideal has changed to aim different things to different generations. However, the concept of the American dream is still the very soul of the American nation, which is the ultimate idea that any citizen could have the right to pursue their notion of happiness, to follow their dreams, and achieve upward mobility or success if they put in the hard work. This ultimate idea is undoubtedly part of the American ethos, and likely always will be. As the world is changing every day, the American Dream will continue to evolve in response to the alteration and influence of the national economy with entrepreneurship and individual ambition, infusing a motivated perception to anyone trying to be successful in the United States.
Closing of Indian Embassy at Kabul – Is it Really Questionable?: online essay help
The Government has decided to pull out its entire staff from the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. This act of India has raised several questions from the experts and the analysts. It has been discussed that all the major powers, including Russia, China, and Iran, are present there and are maintaining their task; why not we? It should be better to have stayed there and help our citizens instead of leaving them in distress. India has also been advised to keep a consular of CE at its airport, similar to America. In the news, it has also been in the news that the Taliban has requested India to remain and also assured its safety. These are some of the significant factors that influenced India to leave its embassy in Kabul.
Position of India in Afghanistan:
Firstly, India is not one of the superpowers, especially when it comes to Afghanistan. India has never followed any national-based or any independent policy towards this particular Country. It is also true with any previous government of India. In short, India is not a significant player related to this Country like the USA. All we have done is to support what the Government of Kabul(whether Hamid Karzai or Ashraf Ghani) and America to what they have to do in the Country. It is entirely wrong to put all the eggs in Ghani’s basket; it means he can be considered suitable for sustaining the authority to maintain any developing country. But he cannot be perfectly said to be a good administrator. India has successfully invested nearly $3 billion worth of small and medium projects in the Country. It has also earned the goodwill of the citizens of Afghanistan through this. Still, it never got any prominent role and right to consult in the political matters of Afghanistan neither any negations from the stakeholders.
In short, India never got any significant role in matters related to this Country. Indian Government has been criticized for not establishing contacts with the Taliban. But as per media reports, they were engaged with the Taliban, but it was too late, and talk was little. It was essential to talk at the greater level with the Taliban as other superpowers such as Russia and China did. Even Iran, which is a Shia-majority country, was engaged with the Taliban. America, too, started to talk with the Taliban without any hesitation, ignoring that it’s a terrorist group that has killed over 2,500 American soldiers since 2001.
India did not want to upset Ashraf Ghani and could not talk to the Taliban as they refused to talk with the Indian Government. However, engaging does not mean endorsing, which Vivek Katiju said as an Ambassador. He further said that it is a severe lapse as we have to talk to people we consider distasteful, whether they are Pakistan, China or the Taliban. It is also the fact that nearly everyone is afraid of the gun-toting fighters of the Taliban, and it is pretty risky to talk or deal with them. The Government has even cancelled all the issued visas, which indicates rendering of consular assistance.
Even if the Taliban approaches the Indian Government and asks not to shut the Indian embassy in Kabul, what will be their reliability and proof will be that they will stay on their words? Also, India does not have any means to force or control them. If it was the USA in such a case, they could easily cause massive harm to their troops.
What About Other Groups:
Taliban is not the only reason why India has quit its Embassy in Kabul. The presence of other groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-state in Khorasan (ISIS k, or ISK) is also threatening. In reports, these groups have given thousands of fighters to the Taliban in their Jihad to fight with the foreign powers. So they can be an equal and potential threat to India like the Taliban. But, on the other hand, the Taliban has also demonstrated its suicide bombing activities on 26 August that has killed nearly 13 military persons of the USA and a more significant number of Afghans. If such a scenario happens with a single Indian, there would have been a severe outcry.
The Approach of Foreign Policy:
One can easily criticize the Indian Government for some foreign policies, such as aligning closely with the US. This has made Russia unhappy, and due to which it started maintaining its relationship with one of our major enemy China. Giving importance to Quad(a group containing India, Japan, Australia, and the US) is also one of the questionable decisions to ask for. The formation of the Quad is the American manoeuvre so that it can contain China. It is clearly an anti-china arrangement in which India’s involvement was not much crucial.
Finally, it can be said that the closing of the Indian embassy in Kabul is not at all a questionable decision as all the above parameters indicate that the Indian Government would not have survived happily at this place.
Racism in America (speech)
Have you ever been considered less than human or regarded as a possession or object based off of something you have no control over? Unfortunately, many people in America can honestly say that they have, which is entirely unacceptable in today’s world. Hello! I’m Sophia. I’ve been researching the topic of racism in America for the past few weeks and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned. Ever since America was founded, racism has been heavily present in our society, and that is something that needs to change as soon as possible. I’m going to be going over topics like civil rights, influential figures in black history, and the impact that modern anti-racist organizations have had in today’s world.
There has always been a fight for racial equality in America. Ever since the first Americans settled on the East Coast and kicked Native Americans off the land they’d had for centuries, there was a fight. And even now, hundreds of years later, we still see that fight in action – through our actions, through our words, and through amazing people. From the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, people have not stopped fighting for their God-given rights to life.
Now, there are several important figures I’d like to mention who were catalysts for racial equality movements. First, and probably the most well-known, Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a civil rights activist who certainly changed our world for the better. He was assassinated on his own hotel room balcony, April 4, 1968. Next, George Floyd. He was one of the main reasons for the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in mid-2020. He was suffocated to death under the knee of a police officer, May 25, 2020. Lastly, Tamir Rice. He was a twelve-year-old boy from Cleveland, Ohio carrying a toy gun. He was shot on sight by a police officer who felt “threatened”, November 22, 2014. Do any of these deaths seem justified to you? They shouldn’t, because they aren’t. And these are far from the only examples of people whose lives were needlessly taken from them because of their race.
Fortunately, there is a positive side to this story. The Black Lives Matter movement is an organization founded in 2013 shortly after the shooting of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. The group is committed to fighting to end racially charged police brutality and trying to make the world a safer place for black youth. Their message particularly took off in mid-2020 after the murder of George Floyd, and they used that momentum to bring light to other police brutality killings and emanding justice for these needless deaths: names such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Elijah McClain to list a few. Their impact extends far beyond just the 2020 resurgence, though. Today, nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, that message is still being taught, learned, and shared all over the US and the rest of the world.
I hope you enjoyed my speech. I also hope you come away from it with some more knowledge about racism and injustice in America, the people who helped shape our modern views on civil rights, and what we are doing to raise awareness for these things. Remember: racism hasn’t gone away, and it likely won’t for a long time, unless we as a country do something to make it better. Thank you!
The Effectiveness of Civil Disobedience in the Modern World: college application essay help
Law is the fundamental pillar of government, and it is a social construct that defines the boundaries of society. Although it protects the rights of the people, like all things created by humans, the law is not always perfect. Clarence Darrow, a famous American lawyer in the 1900s, once said, “As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” For centuries, civil disobedience has been a way for people to resist injustice and inspire change. Inequality, discrimination, and prejudice have been sources of protest because of the unjust laws that preyed upon minorities. As the world continues to evolve, humanity must adjust its laws based on the ever-changing demands of society. In the modern world, civil disobedience remains an effective way for people to voice their opinions on problems such as; data privacy, climate change and gun-control, along with economic disparity to ensure that the law remains fair and moral as the world changes.
Data privacy is a concern for people all over the world because of the amount of information that is collected through government surveillance. Edward Snowden, a former contractor in the National Security Agency (NSA), became known as a whistle-blower when he leaked thousands of documents proving how government agencies are abusing their authority by collecting personal information (“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”). In 2013, he proved that phone calls, emails, and most online activity were actively being monitored by the NSA without the consent of millions of people. In violation of the Espionage Act, Snowden faced multiple criminal charges in the United States but sojourned in Moscow, Russia to avoid punishment for his actions. Furthermore, at an interview in Hong Kong with Glenn Greenwald, Snowden remarked,
“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under… I would rather be without a state than without a voice” (qtd. in Francis).
Snowden’s efforts have brought the insidious and unconstitutional actions of organizations like the NSA to the public eye. As a result, ongoing debates on how to ensure the protection of personal information are an important source of contention for new legislation. For example, when companies like Facebook or Google became involved in data privacy scandals, Snowden’s actions brought attention to new legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation. Many of Snowden’s supporters praise him for trying to bring justice. However, others deem him as a traitor because of his ignorance of national security. Nevertheless, his acts of civil disobedience have brought positive change to society by alerting the world about the dangers of data theft. Although Snowden’s actions broke federal laws, not all forms of civil disobedience have to go to such extreme lengths.
Young activists are taking a stand against world issues like climate change and gun control. For instance, Greta Thunberg, an 18-year-old Swedish activist, has provided a voice for many recent generations, and was the youngest person to be named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019. Her fight against climate change began with a simple act of civil disobedience in the summer of 2018. She “sat alone each Friday outside the Swedish parliament, quietly protesting with a handmade sign that read: Skolstrejk for Klimatet. School strike for climate” (Dennis). Thunberg has garnered the attention of millions of people by leading marches and giving speeches in over 123 countries around the world. In addition, she has established an immense social media following, engaged in debates with former President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. World leaders cannot ignore the impacts of carbon emissions, fossil fuels, and pollution on the Earth. Likewise, there are several other young leaders taking initiative for the betterment of society.
One example is Emma González, a 21-year-old student activist, who led an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale three days after a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. Many students, parents, and teachers continue to suffer from the lasting effects of these traumatic experiences. She believes that people cannot afford to let these mass shootings become another forgotten tragedy, but they must be prevented altogether. At the anti-gun rally, González took a stance on the gun control debate:
Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS. (qtd. in Pires)
González and other gun-control activists achieved success when many state legislators enacted 50 laws throughout many states to restrict the access of guns. Ergo, nonviolent rallies have demonstrated that they have the power to inspire others, establish legitimate change, and shift opinions on ethical issues. On the other hand, once violence is introduced, protests can get out of hand resulting in people getting injured or even killed.
Additionally, around late 2018, a movement called the yellow vests swept across France. The supporters of the movement mostly consist of middle-to-low class citizens who barely were able to cover food, rent, utilities, and clothing expenses. When the French government raised the gas tax, these protestors turned their anger towards the government and called for taking French President Emmanuel Macron out of office. The main controversy around these protests include the use of violence by the government in response to these demonstrations. In fact, according to the French Ministry of Interior, by the end of 2019, 11 people had died while 1,900 peaceful protestors and 1,200 law enforcement officers were injured (McAuley).
In December 2019, Jean-Marc Michaud participated in a demonstration near the Place du Parlement to protest economic inequality, but he was seriously injured when a rubber ball fired by the police damaged his right eye. Michaud responded by saying, “The government claims that we are looters and violent protesters, but so many of us are just peaceful civilians… The government isn’t listening to us, and now they are trying to silence us with repression in the streets” (qtd. in Peltier). As French police officers resorted to violence to quell these demonstrations, a nationwide outcry fueled the yellow vest movement even further.
Despite the movement slowing down in 2020 due to the pandemic, many French supporters are far from giving up, and they believe that they still have the power to cause change. Already a group of yellow vests are planning to have a few candidates participate in the European Parliament elections. A French polling and market research firm estimated that 7.5 percent of the population would be willing to vote for yellow vest political candidates, and 40 percent sympathize with the movement in some way (McAuley). Therefore, dissatisfied French citizens are continuing to fight against the government to achieve justice for citizens facing economic hardship.
For years to come, civil disobedience is a potent method for people to fight against injustices such as data theft, environmental destruction, policies on gun-control, and economic inequality.
The Fight for Equality in “Battle Royal”: writing essay help
“Battle Royal” challenges equality throughout the narrator’s speech. People need to be shown equality because in this short story, the blacks were seriously injured when the whites made them go to boxing matches and they were tased/electrocuted when they took the money the whites left for them. The author Ralph Ellison shows in “Battle Royal” that there is an issue between race and the people need equality and social responsibility, so both races can be equal with one another.
The thesis shows the way that people need equality, so the blacks and whites can respect one another. The whites state, “We mean to do right by you, but you’ve got to know your place at times” (Ellison 11). This explains the way the whites are showing equality towards the narrator and soon it might happen to all of the blacks.
The short story shows symbolism with the dancing blonde woman, boxing match, blindfolds, the coins, and the speech. The “speech” symbolizes social responsibility between the white and black races. For example, the narrator of this story is wanting to read the speech about the way that people need to treat one another, but the whites did not listen to the speech until the end. The boxing match, the coins, and the blindfolds symbolize the suffering of the blacks. The boxing match symbolizes the way the blacks were in pain and suffering, while the whites were being comfortable and enjoyed watching the suffering of the blacks. The blindfold symbolizes the way the blacks suffered by getting knocked out in the boxing match.The narrator says, “Blindfolded, I could not control my motions” (Ellison 5). This discusses the fact that the narrator is blindfolded and he cannot control his mind and his display of knowledge for the speech. The coins symbolize greed by the whites. The whites gave the coins to the blacks, who are in need of money. But once they held a hand on the coins, they will be electrocuted. The dancing blonde woman symbolizes that the blacks cannot marry a white woman because there was a law that prevented interracial marriage, which is known as the “Loving vs Virginia” law case that prevented marriage from blacks and whites, according to the story’s historical content. The blonde woman has an American flag tattooed on her belly which symbolizes the way blacks were prevented from intermarriage between races in America. The narrator states “and yet to stroke where below the small American flag tattooed upon her belly her thighs formed a capital V”(Ellison 3). This explains where the American flag tattoo is located on her body and it relates to how the dancing blonde woman can be symbolized and the way she is a way to be used as the American dream.
The race experience explains that the whites treat all the blacks as animals by putting them in boxing matches and the whites were being forceful and brutal to the blacks by yelling to them and forcing them to punch one another. It shows how violent the boxing match really is, “In one comer I glimpsed a boy violently punching the air and heard him scream in pain as he smashed his hand against a ring post” (Ellison 6). Another race experience in this short story is that this story discusses mostly about the dancing blonde woman. The reason that this shows race experience is that this woman is trying to make all the white men be in love with her and they feared looking, were not disgusted so the narrator wants to read the speech and it is not about how people should treat one another. The short story discusses the way that blacks cannot be in an interracial marriage because it is a law for them not to break according to the culture that they are living in.
The background of this short short story discusses the historical content between the Reconstruction era to Jim Crow law era. The reason that the story occurred during the Reconstruction era is that the grandfather is discussing to his grandson about the way he was being in a relationship with the whites during the Reconstruction era and he was treated horribly by the whites being brutal to him. The prologue of this story discusses grandpa about his experience with the whites during the Reconstruction era: “I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country ever since I give up my gun in the Reconstruction” (Ellison 1). Afterwards, it continued around the Jim Crow law, when the whites were in contempt with the blacks, who are in suffering at boxing matches, shootings, fist fighting, or anything that the whites find that is considered violence. This quote explains how the blacks suffered in the boxing match as the whites were being soothed in this short story: “The harder we fought the more threatening the men became” (Ellison 6). This explains as the blacks are fighting one another they are suffering by being abused brutally. Another part of the quote, “the more threatening the men became” explains the men as the whites were making the blacks threatening one another as a form their race’s entertainment (Ellison 6).
In the short story, the narrator’s experience is calm in the beginning of the short story, then his experience was abhorrent, atrocious, gruesome, and cruel in the plot of the story, and his experience was then calm again. This promise the grandfather tells to the narrator of the story: “On his deathbed he called my father to him and said, “Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight”” (Ellison 1). This shows an explanation about the narrator’s grandfather giving him a promise that he discussed that he had a lot of trouble with his lifetime despite the fact of his race experience between the whites and blacks and he does not want it to happen to anyone, especially his grandson. Throughout the events of the narrator’s experience is that he is in a bad experience because he is in a boxing match and he may be afraid to go in the boxing match. During the boxing match, the narrator is fearful in this short story, when he is set in a boxing match: “I stumbled like a baby or a drunken man” (Ellison 5). So, the narrator decided to make a speech similar to what Martin Luther King Junior did with his “I Have a Dream” speech.
The narrator creates the speech, so the whites to listen about the way they are needing to get along with the blacks, because the speech can make them understand equality. They did not listen until the end. Then, the experience of the narrator seems to be exciting because he seems excited when he is reading the speech and the whites are listening to every word of this essay. Once he was done with his speech, the whites had given him a scholarship to college, congratulating him for his way to be helpful to the people that were living in all of America. This quote explains one of the things that was used in this speech: “When ever I uttered a word of three or more syllables a group of voices yelled at me to repeat it” (Ellison 10). This quote says when the narrator is reading the essay, the whites were yelling at him to repeat because they want to listen to what he is saying for this essay so they want to know what he is talking about and they might end their conflict with the whites and blacks once he finishes his speech.
In “Battle Royal”, equality is discussed for the whites and the blacks and why they are in an opposite relationship with each other. The analysis says that the blacks and whites need to be in a fair relationship. Equality should matter because this short story explains why the blacks and whites should be equal with one another and the blacks are wanting to stop being threatened by the whites.
Issues faced by society – gun violence, racism and religion
When our reality becomes so unsightly, we tend to deny the outcomes because we are ashamed to see the mess we have made. Reality has become too hard to accept because the issues in our nation have brought us to not be able to agree to disagree with our opinions. In today’s society, we find ourselves never being able to talk about issues that affect us negatively, but rather starting something chaotic because we get so caught up in our own points of view—but in our communities, we should come together and address these problems, such as gun violence, racism, and religion, as best as we could, so they can get fixed and not continue to grow. But our biggest question right now, is how? How do we get everyone to understand and listen to one another?
As we get into our most sensitive topics of today’s issues, one of our biggest problems is not taking into consideration what others have already been through. The word racism has been flourishing in the media for what we can consider, too long. African Americans have been dealing with racial profiling, attacks, teasing, and death because of their skin color. In an article shared from CNN, explains that “a white student at Yale called police because a black student was napping in a dorm building.” (Yan) When a small issue like this happens to someone, it is hard to believe that there is room for the slightest change. Aside from someone you catch on the street saying something disrespectful, our president, Trump “appears to be unifying America — unifying Americans in their denial. The more racist Mr. Trump sounds, the more Trump country denies his racism, and the more his opponents look away from their own racism to brand Trump country as racist. (Kendi) Making it more difficult for us to see our faults as a nation. Rachel Godsil, a researcher apart of an organization who helps reduce discrimination explains, “There are enormous health consequences to those experiencing these everyday harms… because of the constancy of this stress.” For those who have never experienced such a thing cannot relate to what these people go through. Racism is a never-ending cycle that has to be addressed before we have more people suffering this pain that brings us this rage that no one can understand.
People do not seem to realize how closely each of these issues relate to one another. We reached the era where nearly 40,000 people have died from guns in the United States. In an article it states, “this is the highest than any other since at least 1968, according to new data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.” (Mervosh) Which I believe will dramatically continue to grow. “Pro-gun advocates see guns as our best defense against armed criminals. Anti-gun advocates see the wide availability of guns as a greater threat than criminal violence. The issue seems to come down to what you fear more: criminals or guns.” (Gutting) Coming into the problem of, who is right, and who is wrong? People believe that the ones who should be allowed to carry a gun be certified, but even the ones who are supposed to be “protecting” us from the criminals, are the ones shooting us for no reason. So, when we come down to think of where we can come together and think of a solution, that is where most of us fail to agree to disagree.
As case numbers go up from unjustified police shootings, to mass killings, it brings us to a difficult decision whether guns should be allowed at all or not. After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, “House of Representatives held its first hearing on gun violence in eight years.” (Collins) Where it was thought to make it harder for people to purchase guns without well done background checks. “Senator Murphy believes the endless rejection of any gun legislation looks like a kind of “moral green light” to potential killers: “I truly believe these young men who have something very dark happening in their minds watch our silence and interpret it as an endorsement.” Meaning, if we keep these guns that is a way of lessening our crime rate for the next following years. People feel safe with guns but when will it be okay to own one without abusing your right to own one? We have heard these stories of people using their gun way too often it’s no surprise anymore.
Religion is an issue that ties to many problems emotionally. Not so long ago, our president, Donald Trump has brought attention to whether the government will continue to fund planned parenthood. Aside from planned parenthood being one of the top places specifically where young women go to have an abortion, they allow you to get a screening for any STI, plan B pills, birth control pills, and most importantly, where they get access to health care services. The biggest problem with why they do not want to keep funding is because of the abortion service. There has been discussion on “Pro-life or pro-choice.” Watson, author of Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion states, “We should be able to acknowledge the complexity of private decision making, without threatening the right of private decision making.” Meaning, us as a community should find ways in which we can accept what is going on without having to do things like, defund because we are not happy with a decision. For example, in an article published in 1989, Lucy Killea, who was running for California State Senate, put in her campaign that she supports the right to abortion. Bishop Leo T. Maher later wrote her saying she could no longer receive communion. Looking at this example from years ago, and now seeing that Trump is defunding Planned Parenthood shows that throughout the years, nothing exactly changes. The people who agree with Trump, who in a study from Mary Rezac, showed that 47% of Catholics are pro-life, will continue to support his ideas but what about the other half? Where do they fall in this discussion? Abortion is up to the women, her body, her choice and if we cannot find a way to talk about how these issues are affecting us, the government will not fund what is helping these girls who get pregnant.
Another growing issue within religion is the number count of r**es within the Vatican. People see the church as a sacred place to go for a time of help or to praise our savior, Jesus Christ, but recently they have found the priests, the ones we should trust, have been r**ing the altar servers. Pope Francis took the issue into his own hands, and people were not satisfied with the outcome of his speech. Before he can even finish what was being said, the ones who were victims of such abuse were expressing their anger and failure to address the problem. This brings out attention to the issue that we in reality, need. Without people expressing how they feel, how will anyone know it needs to be done? Victims need to come together and express what happened to them so justice can be done. Anna Barrett Doyle states, “As the world’s Catholics cry out for concrete change, the pope instead provides tepid promises, all of which we’ve heard before.” This becomes an issue when trying to solve problems because as soon as we get the idea that something will happen and it doesn’t, that starts even bigger problems like riots and controversial articles. As a community we fail at trying to express our feelings towards an issue. When one encounters someone with the opposing view, we tend to find ourselves loss of words when they don’t agree with what we believe. If we do not get to the root of the problem, the problem will never be able to go away. Pope Francis believes he is making a change, but he is only making it more difficult for Roman Catholics to believe what is really going on within the church.
In result, we have found that one of our biggest issues as a nation is coming together and seeing our most troublesome issues embellish when we least expect. If we do not try to come together and resolve these problems, we will never see the end of racism, gun violence, or our biggest issues in religion. We are always going to be so caught up in our own point of view that no matter how we try to end the controversy, it will continue to grow right in front of our eyes. We need to be willing to agree to disagree to even begin to address these problems. Most of these issues correlate with one another, so if we begin to eliminate as time progresses, these issues shouldn’t be as big as a problem as they are today. We are in a time of need for help. We need to keep working together.
Historical design development and impacts of new and emerging technologies: college essay help online
The origins of 3D printing trace back further than you might expect. In 1860 the photo-sculpture method was explored by Francois Wilhelm when he captured an object in 3 dimensions using cameras surrounding the subject and in 1892 Blanther proposed a layering method of producing topographical maps. Fast forward to 1972 Mastubara of Mitsubishi motors proposed photo-hardened materials (photopolymers) to be used to produce layered parts.
The 3D printer came about in the 1980’s. In the early 1980’s, Dr. Hideo Kodama, a Japanese researcher first invented the innovative layer approach to stereolithography through using a single-beam ultraviolet light laser to set photosensitive polymers. This was used as a means for rapid prototyping. Unfortunately, Dr. Kodama didn’t fulfil the application for a full patent due to a funding issue. In 1984, a group of French researchers, Jean-Claude André, Alain le Méhauté and Olivier de Witte came together to file a patent for the stereolithography process. Witte realisation was that when 2 lasers cross each other, a monomer liquid can become a solid polymer, the basic principle of the 3D printer. However, the application for their patent was abandoned by their French technology company due to a lack of proper funding.
Later in 1984, Charles (Chuck) Hull filed his patent for the process. He patented it as a method of consecutive thinly printed layers using UV light which pointed at a vat filled with a liquid photopolymer. This method bonded one polymer to the next with the help of CAM/CAD software to guide the path until a desired 3D object was produced. Stereolithography was such revolutionary innovation as it allowed designers to create ideas using digital data programs that could be uploaded to the printer to produce a tangible object. Hull’s patent was granted in 1986. Following this success, Hull co-founded the world’s first 3D printing company, called 3D Systems, to further commercialise it. This process of stereolithography established the basis of all 3D printing we know today. In 1987, they released their first commercial product the SLA-1 and is now classified as a transformative impact in engineering and manufacturing. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) process, another type of 3D printing processes, was developed by Scott Crump in 1989. Crump then founded the company Stratasys also in 1989, which is a global leader in 3D printers and 3D printer systems. In 2009, the company’s FDM printing patent expired, which offered the market FDM 3D printers, usually referred to as fused filament fabrication (FFF) for companies other than Stratasys 3D printers and open to public domain. Another key development was the RepRap Project (Replicating Rapid Prototyper) established in 2004 by UK Adrian Bowyer who established an open source project aimed to build a 3D printer that can print most of its own components and then could share with people all around the world.
The new millennium saw several success stories using the 3D printer in exciting medical innovations such as the first working kidney in 2000, the first prosthetic limb in 2008, the first prosthetic jaw in 2012 and in 2014 it was used to help reconstruct the face of a motorcyclist after a serious road injury. Testing of bio materials for regenerative medicine using a patient’s cell allowing 3D printing of small body parts (like ears and noses) have also increased media attention.
In recent years 3D printing has been able to assist with disaster relief. US not for profit ‘Field Ready’, were able to print spare parts such as pipe fittings to help repair broken pipelines after the severe earthquake in Nepal in 2015. A Japanese 3D printed drone was designed for search and rescue missions for disaster hit areas. 3D printed houses have similarly been used in disaster relief situations and now also a possible option for low income housing. In 2014 in China, a giant cement 3D printer was used to print 10 houses in just one day.
In the field of fashion 3D printing has opened the possibilities to expand beyond the traditional boundaries of design, allowing fashion designer to turn challenging design concepts into reality. From traditional production methods designers are now able to 3D print their own garments as one such young textile designer Danit Peleg with the first fashion collection 3D printed at home in 2014.
While there have been many positive developments as cited above, the first 3D printed gun in 2013 by Cody Wilson and the uploading of the blueprint for same has posed many questions as to where this might end.
Factors affecting success
Despite the 3D printer having been in existence since the early 1980’s its commercial viability and success has really only gained momentum over the past decade or so. This can be attributed mostly to timing, IP, pricing and market demand. In 2013 Obama’s State of the Union address claimed that the 3D printer had “the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything”. Faced with the rise of China’s dominance in manufacturing, there has been increased pressure for countries to produce products more efficiently and cost effectively. Manufacturers have been forced to explore the possibilities offered by new technologies to try to maintain their competitive edge. For example, the U.S Government’s investment in NAMII (National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) as an incubator for 3D printing technology and the commitment of companies such as General Electric, United Technologies Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Boeing, Stratasys, MIT and 3D Systems in investing in innovations using 3D printing helped promote this success. A window of opportunity was also created with the lapsing of certain patents around 2009 and subsequently there was a decline in litigation cases coupled with licensing activity showing steady growth. Pricing was also a key factor. At first 3D printers were not only expensive to produce but were also expensive to purchase and run. 3D printer prices have dropped (about 90% since 2009), from over $10,000 to less than $1,000 and this has also created a larger reach in the market for a more consumer friendly 3D printer that was a cost- effective option. So not only did larger companies have access to this technology, but basis this new affordability, more entrepreneurs and people with an appetite for experimentation have had a chance to explore new applications of 3D printing across different platforms and given the market’s increased demand for customisation these factors have all worked to give the 3D printer the status it enjoys today.
Role of agencies
There have been many agencies which have played a significant role in the innovation of the 3D printer particularly given the potentially huge benefits 3D printing has on manufacturing. NASA (National American Space Agency) has developed The Zero G 3D printer which manufactured the first 3D printed object in space and was active in lodging patents since 2009. The US Government recognised the upside of this phenomenon and funded the establishment of National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in 2012 (also referred to America Makes) which is an initiative to try and promote the application of 3D printer across different disciplines. Big industrials such as GE (General Electrics) with its new ‘Multi Modal” facility in India and its fuel nozzle and BAE (British Aerospace) utilising 3D printed metal parts in its fighter jets both are pushing the boundaries. Other smaller yet still significant players are Bureau Services such as Shapeways and iMaterialise which have offered companies access to a wider customer by being able to harness a central service with printers located around the world and within a few days able to receive their 3D printed part in the post. With regards to IP, one of the main legislative challenges about 3D printing is that its users are able to copy almost any object, with or without the authorization of those who hold rights to that object. This makes it hard to regulate and govern the legal rights and ownership to the copyrights or patents. 3D printing is challenging the government and patent agencies to transform the way in which they monitor and control issues of surrounding ownership as well as IP infringements.
We need entrepreneurs in the world as it is their creative, innovative, daring and out of the box thinking that has been so vital to evolution of ideas. Entrepreneurial activity has been significant to 3D printer design taking it beyond the realm of its initial purpose for rapid prototyping. Entrepreneurial activity has assisted with the acceleration and dissemination of ideas and in this respect, there have been some truly unique and ground-breaking applications on both a local and an international scale having enormous impacts socially, economically and environmentally. Initially the 3D printer used plastic, but this has now expanded to include finished items made from ceramic, metal, resin, concrete, silver, gold, stainless steel, food and bio material. The breadth of ideas range from prosthetics, dental implants, internal organs, customisation of jewellery, cake decorations to being able to 3D print cars, houses and spare parts. For example, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, an organisation dedicated to reducing plastic wastage in the ocean, have collaborated to create a 3D printed sneaker made from plastic recycled from the ocean. Without entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries, 3D printing would not have had the transformative impact on our world today.
Mass shootings – changes needed to gun regulation
On April 20, 1999 a massacre took place at Columbine High School in Jefferson County Colorado. The two teen shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people and wounded over 20 others. After, the two perpetrators turned the guns on themselves ending their own lives. At the time this was the worst high school shooting in US history. This event induced a governmental on school safety and gun control.
Following the shootings, a large amount of schools decreed zero tolerance policies. For those cases which regarded threatening behavior and violence on school grounds. This tragedy brought light to the importance of identifying risk factors for youth violence, as well as the need for the development and enactment of programs based on the early detection of these risk factors and prevention of school violence.
Researchers from the University of Northern Colorado have been examining the changes that schools have made since 1999 to prevent future incidents like Columbine. Surveys were sent out asking schools about mental health services and violence prevention programs before and after the event. The surveys showed the help after the shooting had increased by a large amount. A 20% increase in schools with crisis plans. 10% increase in group counseling. 9% of more schools had a crisis plan. 7% more schools offered social skills training. A larger number of schools not only increased their counseling but also school security. About 63% of schools had more advanced mechanism. 40% instilled stricter discipline. 17% started doing locker searches. 13% increased mental health providers.
Though this will make a big difference it’s not enough. Regardless of these changes many mental health professionals needed to be available in schools. Mainly to put together conflict resolution programs with students and parents. Sadly lack of funds were a major issue and the availability of people to help out. Thankfully many changes have been made in public high schools all over the US since the tragedy. Less is known about individual high schools across the states but as a whole safety has increased. Furthermore preventing youth violence is not only a responsibility of the school but also parents and students.
A large number of risk factors for the violence has been identified as history of aggression, history or mental illness, substance use, abusive childhood, bullying, depression, bad parenting, and violence in the media. Many places have been exposed to risk factors and early warning signs from the APA which expands on reasoning for the violence.
Not only have schools changed their ways of responding to situations like these but law enforcement as well. “Before the Columbine schooling no one knew what the term active shooter mean” (James Gagliano FBI) “Within 13 minutes of the first 911 call, Klebold and Harris fatally shot 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 other people before killing themselves with gunshot wounds to the head. SWAT teams entered the school 47 minutes after the gunfire erupted. An exhaustive FBI review of the police response at Columbine led to more rapid response strategy during active shooter situations.” After this the responding officers learned they would have to set up a secure perimeter around the crime scene before moving on the suspect. “The tactic, known in law enforcement circles as rapid deployment involving the first officer at the scene, began in earnest after the Columbine shooting.” (CNN)
A fine training program has helped the enforcements lower the threat. “The lessons learned from Columbine led the US Justice Department and other federal agencies to partially fund an active shooter program known as Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, Schweit wrote.
The training, which was developed by the San Marcos, Texas, Police Department and the Hays County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department and adopted by Texas State University in San Marcos, includes a 16-hour course that “prepares first responders to isolate, distract and end the threat when an active shooter is engaged,” ( Schweit)
“Another key lesson of Columbine: We need to prepare students and teachers better for an emergency. The Columbine shooters caught their high school unprepared. We’re less naïve now. Most kids and their teachers are now drilled on lockdowns and evacuations. Police departments have up-to-date floor plans and alarm codes.”
“No one can say for sure why Klebold and Harris committed such a horrific crime. Many people have come up with theories including being picked on in school, violent video games , violent movies, music, racism , Goth, problematic parents, depression, and more.
It is hard to pinpoint one trigger that started these two boys on a murderous rampage. They worked hard to fool all those around them for over a year. Surprisingly, about a month before the event, the Klebold family took a four-day road trip to the University of Arizona, where Dylan had been accepted for the following year. During the trip, the Klebold’s didn’t notice anything strange or unusual about Dylan. Counselors and others also didn’t notice anything unusual.
Looking back, there were telltale hints and clues that something was seriously wrong. Videotapes, journals, guns, and bombs in their rooms would have been easily found if the parents had looked. Harris had made a website with hateful epithets that could have been followed up on.
The Columbine Massacre changed the way society looked at children and at schools. Violence was no longer just an after-school, inner-city occurrence. It could happen anywhere”.
Even though this tragic event struck the community in such an extensive way there is still no end to these tragedies. There have been more than a dozen more shootings and we still haven’t learned our lesson till this day we still have no gun control and no sense of urgency toward this matter examples such as
2007 Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va. — 33 deaths
2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn. — 27 deaths
2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla. — 17 deaths
2015 Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Ore. — 10 deaths
2018 Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Tex. — 10 deaths
2005 Red Lake Senior High School, Red Lake, Minn. — 7 deaths
2012 Oikos University, Oakland, Calif. — 7 deaths
2006 West Nickel Mines School, Bart Township, Penn. — 6 deaths
2008 Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill. — 6 deaths
2014 Marysville Pilchuck High School, Marysville, Wa. — 5 deaths
After columbine you would imagine that things couldn’t get worse. In the 19 years since Columbine rocked America to its core, the country has seen so many more mass shootings that the attack isn’t even among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.
“Three of the five deadliest shootings have occurred in just the last year and a half. Let alone school shootings the lack of gun control has brought upon us”
The Harvest Music Festival: 58 killed
Pulse nightclub: 49 killed
First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs: 26 killed
Luby’s Cafeteria: 23 killed
This list can go on and on. This is where I have issue with both the NRA and our Federal, State and Local Governments. The NRA has made too many concessions and given away too many freedoms in order to effect a compromise. They continue to do this. I feel there needs to be a Criminal Background Check, and a Medical History Background Check to confirm whether someone that is a danger to society or mentally ill or unstable are not able to purchase firearms. Meaning they have not been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, or any other mental illness that requires drugs to maintain their “normal”. The problem seen in the states is first and foremost the culture around guns and gun ownership. What could be of some use to start to change that is tighter gun restrictions on who can own a gun and who can buy ammo etc. Some say that it’s easy to get a gun illegally which is true BUT most mass shootings seem to happen when a unstable person has easy access to guns. That is the major problem. I am not in support of banning guns necessarily but there is something to be said for countries that have. The statistics show where there are tighter restrictions on guns such as Canada and the UK there are less shootings and gun crimes in general. So my conclusion in not to ban all guns, or to make harsher punishments for people that commit gun crimes in order to deter future criminals; My point is mainly to say the government and other agencies need to help change the culture around guns and make it harder for people to get guns, especially automatic rifles and pistols. If everyone has guns there will be more gun violence not the other way. The logic behind the saying “the only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun” is simply not correct. This could be argued all day but I want to end on that note. The culture needs to change. Change has to be made in order to make progress we have to do better with who we let bear these weapons.
Gun Control – The Unforeseen Dangers of Unchecked Firearms
To say that guns are dangerous and need to be controlled is putting our situation mildly. Every year, 36,000 Americans die from guns, that is nearly 100 people killed every day (America’s Background Check 2019). The American situation is dire, with the need for reform on gun control increasing everyday. School shootings, gun related homicides, and gun related suicides can all be reduced or avoided with the help of more complex legislation. The second amendment needs to be amended as militias are not relevant anymore, and therefore, making it constitutional to pass advanced legislation to have more comprehensive background checks and restrict the American public from buying assault rifles.
Gun control has been an incredibly controversial topic for years, with many affected from gun violence every year and the need to be protected in one’s own home, many have clashing opinions. These opposing viewpoints have created many organizations that are for and against gun control. These organizations include the Brady Campaign which fights for more comprehensive background and checks and the National Rifle Association which want to keep the second amendment the way it is. These values have spawned many arguments about the pros and cons of guns, and if they need to be taken away from the hands of civilians. As stated earlier, many people are affected by gun violence, with mass shootings becoming one of the ultimate causes of fear. On December 14th, 2012, A shooter opened fire inside Sandy Hook elementary school. Adam Lanza, the shooter, fatally shot 20 children and adults. The police investigated what could have caused this to happen, as it turned out, Lanza had several mental health issues (Sandy Hook Elementary 2012). He also had access to these deadly weapons and mixed with his mental health, he become disturbed enough to become a shooter. Gun control activists say that this is why we need to restrict the sales of guns, meanwhile, pro gun activists say that this is why we need more guns to protect people from shooters.
The second amendment is a vastly outdated part of our constitution, as it merely states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”. In 1791, when this amendment became part of the Bill of Rights, there was no guaranteed safety by federal officials. People were forced to protect themselves from foreign and local threats. Yet, we now have organized police forces and a very powerful military, ensuring our safety from many perils. However, most militias do provide a sense of security for some local neighborhoods and families. Many patrol the Mexico-America border, stopping illegal immigrants from crossing (Bauer 2016). Yet, since militias are made up of private citizens, the government does not sanction their actions or beliefs. In fact, many of these groups are anti-government. A powerful and influential militia organization the Three Percenters warned, “all politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war” (Nuckols 2013). Such a rhetoric has been embraced by many other Militias, with many calling for training against government threats. These militias are afraid that the American government will/have been invaded by foreigners and will force them to give away all of their firearms. It is argued that the second amendment was created to keep the government from becoming tyrannical and dangerous. Although such an argument is very hard to make, considering the United States military is much more advanced and better equipped. Some of these militias have more discreet goals, such as instilling fear in the hearts and minds of immigrants. For example, three Kansas militia men were convicted of plotting to bomb a mosque and the homes of Somali immigrants. Luckily, they were thwarted by another member of their group who ended up telling authorities about the planned attack (Kansas militia men 2019). These groups do keep some people feeling safe and protected, yet, they instill fear in those who do, in fact, believe that these groups are legitimate in their goals and claims.
Complex legislature and revision to the second amendment would prove to keep Americans much safer than they already are. Among these emendations would be more complex and universal background checks. As stated by the Brady Campaign, “97% of Americans support an expanded background check system” (America’s Background Check 2019). A major error in our background check system is the private sale gap loophole. Private sellers do not need to use background checks, in fact, 1 in 5 guns are sold by private sellers, avoiding background checks completely (America’s Background Check 2019). Such a loophole can put american in serious danger, and closing this loophole would be welcomed by the majority of America. Currently, the Brady Campaign is fighting to keep Americans safe, but is met with resistance from groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Assault rifles in the hands of untrained, unprepared civilians is a fatal mistake for America. Assault rifles are fun to shoot for some, yet, many of the same guns are used by the United States military (Cook, Goss 2014). Such powerful weapons must be kept away from the untrained hands of the American public. Assault rifles, used by the military, are created to inflict the most amount of casualties the fastest. While many are not automatic and only fire one bullet every time the trigger is pulled, they are still incredibly dangerous (The Gun Control Debate 2019). Compared to various pistols and handguns, these assault rifles have much more power and many have additions, such as silencers, that can be added onto them. Such weapons include the AR15, a deadly variation of the military’s M16. The M16 is a common gun used by the United States government, meanwhile the AR15 is the civilian version. This gun is a semi-automatic weapon, however, it is legal to add a “bump stock”, effectively turning a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic assault rifle. In fact, in 1994 president Bill Clinton signed an assault rifle ban, which prohibited guns such as the AR15. In the following years, the amount of mass shootings did drop, however, they did not end (Myre 2018). Unfortunately, the ban expired in 2004, allowing the American public to buy these weapons of mass destruction again.
The ‘International’, the ‘Global’ and the ‘Planetary’: essay help free
What are the key differences between the ‘International’, the ‘Global’ and the ‘Planetary’? Why are these important?
The “International”, the “Global”, and the “Planetary” represent the stages of evolution of the discipline of International Relations, which was shaped by theories diverging on “the relationship between agency, process, and social structure” (Wendt, 1992, p422). This essay will attempt to identify, critique and reflect upon the most fundamental differences between the three. I identified their key differences to be: the conceptualisations of the international arena, types of politics, driving motivation behind their politics, types of actors, quality of dynamics, identities and interests, and security. In the subsequent sections, I will critically expose each of these concepts in the framework of the “International”, the “Global”, and the “Planetary”, and speculate on their relevance.
The International Paradigm
The discipline of International Relations, also known as IR, has always been divided by many theories on how to theorise the world, and whether or not elements such as history, philosophy, morals and politics played a significant role in it. The many theories which scatter across IR give to the aforementioned elements different grounds of importance, or no importance at all. In the realm of the discipline of IR, Realism is the Queen theory. The other approaches mostly had the merit of adding elements which the discipline acquired and assimilated through its evolution over the centuries. Nonetheless, the school of thought of Realism is the theory which provided the discipline with its foundation, structure and precise conceptualisation of the actors who rule the discipline of International Relations.
Realism states that the ground stage on which the international actors interact is within a timeless sphere of anarchy, in which States base their relations on Realpolitik, power politics. As a result, the quality of the elapsing exchanges is permeated by overbearingness and selfishness, prevarication of interests of the “stronger” State upon the “weaker” State, distrust, disloyalty, and so on. IR, according to Realism, conceptualises the international arena within Realpolitik, which means applying the original concept of Realpolitik to the international system. Realpolitik is a concept which was coined in Germany in the Nineteenth Century to indicate the pursuit of pragmatic politics, without taking much into account morals and ethics when making a policy decision. Applying the concept of Realpolitik to the international arena meant conceptualising an international system of relations which is more concerned with the pursuit of pragmatic objectives, of selfish politics which would benefit the single State who is pursuing it, rather than the international system. Therefore, the quality of the exchanges happening between States, in turn, did not offer fertile soil for the establishment of international cooperation between States or leagues of States.
It is an international system founded on, and functioning through, power politics. Because of the assumption that Anarchy governs the international system, the only possible actor who is strong enough to survive and interact with the system to pursue and defend its interests, is the State. Therefore, there is only space for State-based politics and the conception of the “International” is an inter-State system exclusively. This is the State-based paradigm of International Relations, and, as the only actors in the international system, they are depicted as rational and autonomous, acting in a static, and consequences-less anarchy. States come into the international arena already equipped with an identity and a set of interests. Therefore, a conception of pre-made identities and interests characterises the international arena, and the only objective of their interactions is power, to gain more and to protect what amount of power one has.
The Origins of The Discipline
To genuinely comprehend the discipline of IR and its mission, one must dive into its origins and subsequent evolution. Different philosophical beliefs and paradigms oppositely approached international relations through conceptualisations of study, politics, dynamics and instruments. IR finds its roots in historical, theoretical, philosophical, political frameworks which, once combined, coined the discipline, whose development culminated with its sudden fall after the end of the Cold War.
To further explain the historical, theoretical, philosophical, political origins of my previous statement I will refer to the work of International Relations scholar, Martin Wight, who was a professor at the London School of Economics.
Wight started studying International Relations when the discipline was gaining momentum and celebrity status in the United States in the 1950s, under the denomination of “A Theory of International Relations”. The scientific or behaviourist movement of the United States developed the belief that if you were to study behaviours attentively enough, one could explain the events that have intersected the faiths of countries in the past, present, and even predict future political intersections between States. This belief gave birth to Modern International Relations, as a rejection of “old” Realist views on the matters of International Politics. Therefore, this wave of Neo-Realism tried to move past the “obsolete methodology of existing general works about International Relations, especially those of Realist writers such as E. H. Carr, George F. Kennan and Hans Morgenthau, which formed the staple academic diet of the time” (Bull, 1976, p 103).
It is imperative to take in mind the element of history if one wants to genuinely understand why the theory of Neo-Realism, which undoubtedly represents an oversimplified framework of the exchanges between States, gained such relevance. This view on International Relations was developed right after the end of World War II, in a post-war world that had lost many things to a conflict which many, if not most, deemed useless, and, above all, evitable. Even the mere idea of a discipline which could avoid the repeating of such events, through the detailed analysis of everyday political events and politicians national and international behaviours, was sufficient justification or motivation for a world that had starved many years for hope.
Wight argued that “it is no accident that international relations have never been the subject of any great theoretical work, that there is “a kind of disharmony between international theory and diplomatic practice, a kind of recalcitrance of international politics to being theorised about” (Bull, 1976, p 114). Therefore, in an effort to alleviate this disharmony, he developed his vision to contribute to the debate, and he based it on the commingling of history, philosophy, morals, and politics. Wight “saw the Theory of International Relations […] as a study in political philosophy or political speculation pursued by way of an examination of the main traditions of thought about International Relations in the past” (Bull, 1976, p 103).
He initially decided to divide it into three main categories, each one representing a great thinker of the past. Later on, he identified a possible fourth category, the Inverted Revolutionists, based on a pacifist current inspired by Christianism, Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi.
The three main categories are the Machiavellians, from Niccolò Machiavelli’s ideals; Grotians, from Hugo Grotius’s; and the Kantians’, from the work of Immanuel Kant. Each one of them ideated their interpretations on the conception of human nature, the critical units of analysis of the international system, its dynamics and instruments, and the definition of political space and its characteristics.
Machiavelli theorised that the human nature is only driven by self-interest and permeated with greediness. He identified that the critical unit of analysis for understanding the international arena is the recognition of its state of anarchy, which is dominated by dynamics of warfare, power, security and gathering of resources. The political space, exactly like the human nature, is filled only with self-interest and no morality. Machiavelli provided the base on which Realist theories laid their foundations.
Grotius, unlike Machiavelli and the subsequent most fervent Realists, considers the human a rational being who operates within the State, which subsequently engages in international relations in an international system which, like men, runs on rationality. Everything about Grotius’s theory is permeated with rationality, and the quality of the dynamics of the international arena is a reflection of such. Indeed, he believed that the dynamics of the international arena are ruled by diplomacy, negotiations, institutions and norms because the political space is dominated by institutions and by order. Grotius represents moderation and the voice of reason for the successful establishment of an international system based on rationality and cooperation, not on violence and distrust like the system painted by Machiavelli in his most famous works, The Prince and Discourses in the First Decade of Titus Livy. Grotius speculates on the doctrine of an international system based on a society of states working together towards common goals, he dreams of an international society, in direct opposition with the sharp, realist concept of national societies above all. It is “the idea […] that international politics is not just a matter of relations between states, but also a matter of so-called “transnational” relations among the individuals and groups that states compose” (Bull, 1976, p112).
Kant theories that the human nature is good, peaceful, a supporter of solidarity and cooperation. He believed in a global community and in an ideal man who would contribute to its flourishment. The dynamics revolve around policies for cooperation, international trade and exchange, and they would eventually enable the development of a political space represented by a cosmopolitan society. In one of his works, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch”, he goes as far as developing a plan for governments of the world to follow to establish peace for the world, because peace has to come above all. He dreams of a political space which is characterised by the emancipation from State and by an international confederation and the disruption of geographical boundaries.
Moreover, Wight believed that “the truth about international politics had to be sought not in any one of these patterns of thought but in the debate among them” (Bull, 1976, p 110). Machiavelli’s theory is also most notoriously known as Realism. Grotius represents Rationalism, and Kant is Revolutionism, and each one is a founding brick of the discipline of International Relations. Each theory went through transformative changes over the decades. For example, Machiavelli’s Realism turned into Neo-Realism in the 1970s and 1980s and turned into Modernist or Positivist in the 1990s. Grotius’s Rationalism found a new key of interpretation in the English School, between the 1940s and 1960s. Kant’s Revolutionism went from Idealism in the 1920s – 1930s to Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Institutionalism in 1970s and 1980s .
The State-Based Approach to Security
I end this excursus on the origins of the discipline of international relations here, and I catch this occasion to list another key aspect which sets the International paradigm apart from the global and the planetary. And it is its State-based approach to security, which meant that only the State was in charge of taking the necessary measurements aimed at safety, preservation and survival of a country. This implied a severe limit at the protection of one’s nation because “weak” nations did not possess a force of power tantamount to the one of a “strong” country. Therefore, a “weak” state was in the thrall of the anarchic international system, and if a nation wanted to exercise its power to gain more resources, it could attack it, without an international community which would defend it or even dissuade a predator country from invading it.
The theory of Methodological Nationalism offered a base to understand and organise the life and cycles of IR. It provided the discipline with a source of legitimacy. “Methodological Nationalism […] equates societies with nation-state societies, and sees states and their governments as the cornerstones of social-scientific analysis. It assumes that humanity is naturally divided into a limited number of nations, which internally organise themselves as nation-states and externally set boundaries to distinguish themselves from other nation-states” (Beck, 2003, p 453). It’s the perfect theory to justify the Realist approach to IR. It combined realist accents with the belief that there is only one-world World, everything else merely points at other ways to look at the same one-world world. Methodological nationalism is founded on six core beliefs: a plurality of Societies; Societies are subordinated to the Nation-State; States run on territorial “State-constructed” boundaries (Beck, 2003, p454); State and Society both determinate themselves through a circular belief: the nation is creator and protector of Society’s plethora of rights, and the individuals of the Society organize themselves in movements to influence the actions of the Nation-State, which, in turn, also legitimises the State again; “both States and Societies are located within the dichotomy of national and international” (Beck, 2003, p454); the state is the provider of social order and provides the scholars of multiple disciplines with the data about the country necessary to them. (Beck, 2003). Moreover, the core elements of this theory engage in constant activities which result in continuous determination and further legitimisation of one and the other, without leaving any room for the introduction of new elements.
The Decline of legitimacy of the Discipline
The international paradigm of the discipline experienced a major setback after the end of the Cold War, which left everyone baffled. Also, it left everyone unprepared for the events which followed it. The discipline of IR lost credibility as a predictor of events because all of the academics and IR contemporary theorists indeed failed at predicting one of the most history-shaping events of last century. Moreover, even the assumptions of State-based politics faltered, especially after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of September 11th, 2001. The discipline was built upon the framework of conceiving the world from the point of view of a State, indeed a State-based approach, preferably a white, Western one.
The end of the Cold War put into question the sounding of the reasoning behind the discipline, and the terrorist attack struck the final hit. It forced scholars, and politicians alike, to recognise the existence of worlds beyond the “Western World”. I am not here to speculate on whether or not the terrorist attack would have happened if the united states had not imposed their ways in the Middle East for years on end. But I am here to point out that the terrorist attack lifted the veil and it made it impossible for the discipline to ever go back to its original frameworks.
I believe that, at this Realist stage, the discipline used to run on such limited territorial lines that its failure had always been around the corner. Proof of this is that it only took a major event such as the abrupt end of the Cold War for it to crumble and for the scholars to put its frameworks into question altogether. Nonetheless, I do believe that the ultimate cause for the failure of the discipline has to be found on the terrorist attack, which slashed the core beliefs of many, terrorised an entire world, and scarred a whole generation forever. The fear that came afterwards paralysed the world for a moment. Somehow, the introduction of an undefinable enemy turned the discipline of IR on its head. State-based politics, as flawed as they were, were easily graspable and easily manageable: they played alongside the rules of an accepted framework. But 9/11? What was that? Under what category would it fall in the limited structures “allowed” by the discipline? A terrorist attack from an undefinable actor was inconceivable; it did not fit even in the corner of the discipline. The discipline was lacking something. The discipline was wrong.
A Critique of IR, and The Rise of the Global
Eventually, what were the core beliefs of the discipline of International Relations, turned out to be their very own self-limiting beliefs which did not allow the discipline to evolve with time into a comprehensive and complete discipline which provides an adequate understanding of the world and the exchanges which elapse within it.
“The fact that worlds of power politics are socially constructed […] does not guarantee they are malleable”, which is one of the flaws which contributed to the fall of IR, and “through practice agents are continuously producing and reproducing (the same) identities and interests. (Wendt, 1992, p411).
It’s a discipline based on seeing, experiences and conceptualising the world from a State-based only perspective, which results into the provision of a partial and meagre framework of understanding of the exchanges occurring in the world. It is a very limited perspective which lent a voice only to the white, Western Elite.
At the break of the new century, people started looking for other outlooks to replace entirely the failure that the “International” represented. In this time of international (relations) crisis, talks about what will come to be known as the ‘Global’ sprung everywhere. They will bring into the conversation a mixture of concepts which classical IR theories did not cover: Constructivism, gender issues, the need for Morals, Critical Discourses, Post-colonialism, and subsequently, the rise of the Anthropocene.
The Main Paradigms of the “Global”: Social Constructivism and Critical Thinking
“The cosmopolitan perspective dismisses the either-or principle of realism: either the State exists, albeit only as an essential core, or it does not exist at all; either there is national sovereignty – a zero-sum game between national and international competence – or there is no sovereignty at all. From a cosmopolitan perspective, “Realism” is a kind of political irrealism because it neglects the possibility and reality of a second “Great Transformation” of the global power game” (Beck, 2003, p457).
These words from Ulrich Beck, one of the most significant theorists of the Global, summarise the stark contraposition between the “International” and the “Global”. In the 1990s, debates about the Global came in to dismantle the limiting beliefs at the core of the discipline, which flawed for its lack of inclusiveness and overbearingness. The arrival of the global represented the fall of the exclusive domain of binary Left and Right politics as well.
The opening of the discipline of IR to a Global Era brings a new opportunity to engage with the world from a non-State-based position, through the development of many, pluriversal approaches: Constructivist, Critical and Cosmopolitan approaches. The Global Era represents a commingling of these new approaches, and the final result portrays how “the cosmopolitan perspective opens up negotiation spaces and strategies which the national viewpoint precludes. […] The negotiation space the cosmopolitan viewpoint opens up contradicts the absence of alternatives.” (Beck,2003, p466).
They introduce new ways of seeing and thinking about politics, global interests, and global concerns. The Global aims at creating a universal vision to build a liberal and global community, in which the States are not the centre of IR speculation anymore. The international arena is also positively shaken up by the appearance of new international actors which are not states: it’s the rise of the global civil society and Non-Governmental Agencies (Kaldor, 2003). Moreover, through the development of new international dynamics, Nation-States become the product, not the subjects, of the international arena (Jackson, 1990; Krasner, 1999).
Two paradigms of thought especially shaped this evolutionary period of IR: the social constructive/liberal and the critical/deconstructive.
The maintenance of the inter-State system, alongside the rise in popularity of theories of Global sovereignty, characterise the new international order. The emergence of the Global requires a new understanding of the mechanisms of the international arena because “It is the collective meanings that constitute the structures which organise our actions” (Wendt, 1992, p397). Therefore, with the evolutionary passage towards a new stage of the discipline of IR, scholars and citizens alike require a new framework of concepts. Social Constructivism achieves just that by providing a sociological understanding of interactions which challenge previous IR thinking. Alexander Wendt, a leading Constructivist theorist, explains how Constructivists believe that the international system and its frameworks are socials constructs, not beliefs that should be taken as “a given” (Wendt, 1992). Therefore, the significance of everything regarding IR comes “out of interaction” (Wendt, 1992, p403). According to Realism, States come into the international arena already equipped with an identity and a set of interests. Alexander Wendt, in direct opposition to Realism, speculates on “how knowledgeable practices constitute subjects”, and how Constructivism can contribute to “identity and interest formation” (Wendt, 1992, p394). They elaborate on the idea that the creation of an identity and set of interests happen through the elapsing exchanges between States in the international arena. “Actors acquire identities by participating in such collective meanings” (Wendt, 1992, p397). Therefore, actors do not enter the international arena with pre-formed identities, but they create one during their contacts with other states. And the same goes for their interests, which are formed while experiences these exchanges. Different exchanges will show how countries can have a variegated set of interests, depending on the circumstances (Wendt, 1992). Therefore, identities and interests are not a given, and their establishment happens during the socialisation process.
The paradigm of the Critical thinking supported the rise of the global because it opened the door for the emancipation of security from the state-based approach. (Booth, 1991). Critical theorists, alongside Constructivists, discuss the treatment of human security and how the obstacles to human security are constructed. The particular interests of States are a barrier to a universalist liberal approach to global rights and justice. Instead, supporters of Foucauldian critics see the rise of the global as a negative shift. The pursuit of global liberal “governmentality” and “biopolitics” are a negative aspiration for the security of States, which will end up having to rely on the international community. “The undermining of the politics of state-based representation and the globalisation of regulatory power has become the starting assumption for the postructuralist “scaling up” of Foucault in critiques of global governmentality” (Chandler, 2009, p536). Lemke (2001) shows how Foucault used concepts regarding governmentality in a way closer to realism than constructivism, which indicates a critique of the doctrine and its “obsession” with subjectification.
Another fundamental difference of the Global, in opposition with the International, is highlighted attention on Morals and Ethics, which have to have a more profound impact on the decisions of the Nation-State. Indeed, the rise of humanitarian aid actions and acts of global cooperation are proof of that. The global perspective introduces a new critical theory of social inequalities which shines a light on the need to provide aid to nations, minorities or whoever is in considerable need (Beck, 2003). Beck (2003) critics how the original IR used methodological nationalism to remove from its agenda the tackling of global inequalities. “Thus, the bigger blind spots – and sources of error- of methodological nationalism linked to research on inequality will only be recognisable by means of a systemic switch from the national to the cosmopolitan perspective. It is only within the framework of such a new critical theory of social inequality that the fundamental asymmetry of inequality perception […] can be unravelled” (Beck, 2003, p459). Nonetheless, he highlights also how the shift to a global perspective is still not enough to put a real fight against inequalities. Until “there is no global jurisdiction and reporting institution to survey global inequalities, these will remain disintegrated into a motley pattern of national-state inequalities” (Beck, 2003, p461).
International cooperation also brings a Decentring of State-based approaches to security, which in turn, produces more equilibrium and guarantees more safety to “weak” nations. The global brings about the creation of a “cooperative security system, in which states identify positively with one another so that the security of each is perceived as the responsibility of all” (Wendt, 1992, p400).
A Critique of Methodological Nationalism
Globalisation theorists deeply criticise Methodological Nationalism, a stream of thought which profoundly shaped the direction of the original discipline of IR, through the definition of its narrow frameworks. Ulrich Beck, one of the most famous theorists of the cosmopolitan approach, offers a brilliant critique of it. Methodological nationalism only manages to produce a continuous cycle of self-limiting beliefs which do not allow room for adaptation to new contemporary challenges. It is tiring and continuous contraposition between them or us, north or south, weak or strong. Its concepts are not appropriate anymore in the rise of the global age. He calls for a “paradigmatic reconstruction and redefinition of social science from a national to a cosmopolitan perspective [which] can be understood as […] a broadening of horizons for social science research” (Beck, 2003, p456). “Social science must be re-established as a transnational science of the reality of denationalisation, transnationalisation, and “re-ethnification” in a global age – and this is on the levels of concepts. Theories, and methodologies as well as organizationally. This entails a re-examination of the fundamental concepts of “modern society” (Beck, 2003, p458).
The cosmopolitan age requires a redefinition of the understanding of sovereignty in both the national and international context (Beck, 2003). Therefore, he states that “traditional conceptualisations of terms and the construction of borders between the “national” and the “international”, domestic and foreign politics, or Society and the State are less and less appropriate to tackling the challenges linked to the global age” (Beck, 2003, p456). Therefore, the main focus on the debate of globalisation has to be “on gaining a new cosmopolitan perspective on the global power field, pushing new actors and actors’ networks, power potentials, strategies. And forms of organisation of debonded politics into the field of vision” (Beck, 2003, p 467). Nonetheless, Beck (2003), stresses the importance of not mistaking the critique of this theory for the end of the nation-state theory: nation-state will always exist or will evolve into a new concept close to a possible transnational states theory.
The new Era of Planetary Politics of the Anthropocene
From the 2010s, discussions about a new concept called Anthropocene replaced the Global, which had declined in popularity because the translation of the global theories into reality did not appear to focus on achieving global forms of liberal governments anymore, nor did its original aim seemed to carry a positive connotation anymore. Furthermore, “the lack of strategic engagement […] (was) fundamental to the appeal of the Global Ideology” (Chandler, 2009, p540). Therefore, the rise of depreciative theories of the global made the world of scholars look for another direction. The crisis of the global did not produce a return to the past of IR, but rather a perspective of the problematics of IR.
The rise of the Anthropocene is strictly connected with the development of theories on pluriversalism, multiple universes. Blaney and Tickner (2017) discuss how an ontological turn of IR could exorcise “singular world logics introduced by colonial modernity” and allow the discipline to interact with the conception of pluriversalism. By studying on various sources, they develop “the potentials of a politics of ontology for unmaking the colonial universe, cultivating the pluriverse, and crafting a de-colonial science.” (Blaney and Tickner, 2017, p293). They suggest the presence of alternative world realities, which could produce “multiple and hybrid “reals”” (Blaney and Tickner, 2017, p295).
Both Global and Planetary do not see the world in terms of State-based theories of strategy and interests. Therefore, there is no intern-national theory. The predominant discussions of these two theories are about the how we understand and see the world beyond the strict assumptions of the discipline of IR.
Bruno Latour (1993) goes as far as to say that the modern society is stuck in “great divides”, mainly in the frameworks of nature/culture, human/non-human, facts/values, mind/body. These separations allow Western society “to claim to represent a singular reality in a unified science untainted by political interest, power or culture. […] Nature and culture are not discrete categories but intertwined in a multiplicity of hybrid assemblages […] modernity’s particular mode of representing reality is not universally shared. […] many communities do not sharply distinguish humans and other entities, so that animals, plants, and spirits are as much “people” (with consciousness, culture and language) as “we” are” (Blaney and Ticker, 2017, p296). The western societies start paying attention the profoundly original ways of seeing the world, which come from cultures that they had ignored. From them they take new eyes to look at the world: they discern how human activities never separated themselves from the earth’s ecosystem. It is the explosion of a real global conscience with the birth a planetary community, who is aware of the environment and the consequences of humanity’s actions on the planet. This also brought the awareness of agencies that had always been ignored by western society in the international arena: the equal presence of Human and non-human actors; nature declined in many agencies: water, air, etc., and cosmos.
The Planetary is aware that humankind with its actions has changed the planet we live in: the ecosystem, flora and fauna. And the planetary politics have started addressing these problems and, thanks to the rise of a planetary sense of community, governments of many countries have started doing something about it.
The era of the Anthropocene in IR is still relatively new; therefore, there is not as much debate about is as there has been for the International and the Global, but it is visible how planetary seems to have taken away the biggest concern of original IR, which is the gain of power. The race for power which has theorised the first conception of the discipline has come very close to destroying our world and the most recent “update” on IR now works on how to “fix” the unfixable. Planetary politics can be regarded as the least optimistic era of our history, and the only stream of thought which has offered a possible way to save our planet comes from the cultures the western society had tried to crash and integrate within it for centuries.
I will conclude by stating that identifying the key differences between the international, global and planetary is crucial because they show the development of the frameworks within which humankind moved and evolved, over the centuries, the conflicts and the scientific developments. Therefore, these differences provide the world with a reflection of the changing times and the world’s rejection of a one-world World, hegemony and lack of representation of multiple identities, interests, and beliefs. We have only recently entered the phase of planetary politics, although 8 years in IR provide a discreet amount of material; therefore, it is too soon to speculate on whether or not the attempts operated by the Anthropocene of preserving our planet will be fruitful, but it is definitely an improvement from the “International” paradigm of IR.
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Organisational Behaviour: An Analysis Of A Team-Based Approach To Working In The Case Of Phil Jones
The aim of this essay is to discuss at length and critically evaluate group and team development and behavioural theories in practice, with reference to the case study concerning Phil Jones and his Gulf Project Team, within Engineering Co, evaluating if a team based approach to work is effective within organisations. It firstly establishes to what extent Phil Jones’ analysis of his group’s current situation is accurate, referring Tuckman and Jensen’s stages of group development in evaluating this. Then it discusses the possible interventions that could be made by Phil to allow his team to get back on track, and reach the performing stage of team development. It is then noted that a possible intervention that could assist the team in reaching this stage is to become a virtual team. The potential issues facing virtual teams are then evaluated, and are contrasted with the issues faced by Phil Jones’ team, with possible solutions offered to issues facing such virtual teams and virtual team leaders, allowing them to reach the performing stage. Finally this essay critically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of a team-based approach to work as a whole, drawing from Phils Jones’ case, a range of literature, and anecdotal experience to conclude that the use of a team-based approach to work can be an effective way of working, through the use of strong e-leadership skills and technology to manage teams virtually.
In contemporary society a team-based approach to working is becoming evermore common (Callanhan, 2004), and has become prominent among project teams in the engineering industry (Schaffer et al, 2012). Hence it is unsurprising that a project team; a group of individuals whom come together for an individual task, disbanding after its conclusion (Poel, Stoker and Van der Zee, 2014), is used in Phil Jones’ case for the Gulf Project within Engineering Co. Despite the high popularity of a team-based approach to project work, it is debatable if such approaches are the most efficient way of working, due to the myriad of issues which can arise amongst a team due to poor leadership, leading to them struggling to perform. However when teams succeed the benefits of a team-based approach to project work are reaped (Terry, 1999). Hence through an analysis of group and team development, discussion of interventions made to aid team development, and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a team-based approach, with reference to Phil Jones’ case, it can be established if a team-based approach to project work is effective within organisations in modern society.
Tuckman and Jensen’s Stages of Group Development in the Case of Phil Jones
Initially Phil Jones lacked the training to deal with people issues amongst the group and lead his team. Initially it must be noted that teams and groups are defined differently. A group consists of a number of individuals all of whom accomplish their tasks independently, which have a similar purpose (Gilley and Kerno Jr, 2010). Smith (1967) also gives the description of a group saying that it is two or more individuals who collaborate, share common objectives and norms and have a communal identity. Although different researchers, both give a similar description of a group in that individuals still have common goals. The definition of a team is very similar to a group, however; a group may not be a team but a team may be a group. Hence these terms cannot be used interchangeably. Baldwin et al (2008) defined a team as a group of individuals who have a great amount intercommunication and interdependence, sharing equal responsibility in their appointed objective. The clear difference between a group and a team is therefore the higher level of interdependence and equal responsibility a team has in achieving their objective.
To remedy his teams’ issues, to make them stop working as a group and start working as a team, Phil read about the stages of group development (Tuckman 1965). Tuckman and Jensen (1977), defined five group development stages, the initial two of which are; forming (Tuckman 1965); when team members get to know each other; unlikely to disagree with their teammates to avoid conflict at an early stage, and storming; defined by Bonebright (2009), as involving disagreements; with frictions in the group as the individual roles and tasks of team members can be unclear, leading to work moving slower than anticipated and team tensions. Phil concluded his group was stuck at the storming stage, and struggled to see how to resolve conflict and reach stages three, four and five defined by Tuckman and Jensen (1977) as; norming; where group members understand their roles and goals, feeling belonging among the team; storming; where the group works effectively as one, building on each others strengths and weaknesses, and finally adjourning; where the group completes their project, evaluates and disbands.
Using Tuckman and Jensen’s 1977 stages of group development conclusively Phil’s diagnosis of the situation is correct, as there are similarities between the storming stage of group development and Phil’s teams position. The case study exemplifies the transition of the team from the forming stage to the storming stage. Phil generated competition within the team, as in his opinion a team needs disagreements to achieve creative innovative ideas. Phil’s point of view is that teams need some debate, as this is what happens among teams in the storming stage, in order to reach the norming stage. Instead of this, the team ended up with more issues than accomplishments, getting stuck in the storming stage, resulting in Phil having to deal with more disputes between team members than project developments. This is common; according to Gersick (1988) many teams end up being stuck in the storming stage, never moving onto the performing stage due to poor management of disputes by leaders like Phil. Hence the project is falling behind due to the lack of clarity of instruction regarding team members roles from Phil as a leader, leading to multiple members completing the same work, resulting in a waste of capital and time. Fapohunda (2013) claims clarity is one of the main elements that concerns team members at storming stage, stating it is often the cause of all disputes regarding roles within in the team. This suggests that due to poor leadership from Phil through misguided attempts to bring the group together through conflict, to gain a sense of belonging as found in the norming stage, interventions are needed to overcome mistakes made by Phil to get out of the storming stage.
Hackman’s Team Leadership Mistakes In the Case Of Phil Jones
Hackman’s work (1998) is used to show the common mistakes made with teams, all of which are a common feature in the Gulf Project Team at Engineering Co. One of the obvious mistakes defined by Hackman (1998) and displayed by Phil Jones is attempting to build a team by managing them as individuals, encouraging members to lack communication with each other, hampering the norming stages characteristic of team spirit. In Phil’s team this is difficult to avoid, as the physical distance of the members placed in different locations hampers any attempt from Phil to motivate members not only communicate with him; the only member to have physically met everyone, but to communicate with each other to gain a sense of team belonging. This leads to another mistake featured in Hackman’s 1998 work, exemplified by The Gulf Project Team; a lack of agreement regarding roles, authority, and boundaries for all team members. This issue is also difficult to avoid within Phil’s team, as it is harder for the team to agree on limitations, delegation and boundaries if they can’t physically meet and work things out, suggesting that distance has again hampered the teams communication and sense of belonging. This exemplifies a further mistake made on Phil’s part featured in Hackman’s 1998 work; a clear lack of planning and execution of tasks. To resolve this Phil must show organisational skill, delegating work effectively, to stop time being wasted through duplicated work, fracturing the teams’ sense of belonging further.
The final mistake shown by Phil Jones featured in Hackman’s 1998 work, is assuming all the members of the ‘team’ have the necessary skills to work together, despite being a diverse group from multiple cultural backgrounds, who are unknown to each other. Phil shows poor leadership regarding his cultural awareness surrounding his authority and responsibility in decision-making, and is naïve, being “sure everything would somehow have fallen into place as at first people appeared to be committed to the project and the team”. The forming stage is crucial to team development. By distancing himself from this stage, encouraging team conflict over team belonging despite members’ diversity in the teams’ early stages, he has created a fractured team. He must rectify this; as workplace diversity is becoming increasingly important in society (Parham and Muller, 2008). Phil must not see this as an issue to progress, and accept today’s workforce is diversified. Instead of taking a Laissez-Faire approach, he must look to use this as an advantage, working to integrate cultures to produce the end result.
Phil is correct that his team is still in the storming stage of Tuckman’s stages development; hence he must address such mistakes. Phil must show leadership in the initial stages of getting the team back on track ensuring that until the team is norming it does not control itself, accepting delegation and clarity of roles and working practice. Once the team has a better understanding of each other he can allow them more freedom, as Matsudaira (2016) states “being a good leader means allowing the people around you to be experts in their domains”. Hence through understanding his team members and delegating efficiently Phil can get the best out of everyone, by drawing on motivation theories using social identity to get the best out of the team, giving each member a task suited to their skills they can be proud of. Lewis (2011) states social identity “refers to the desire of individuals to strive to maintain some perceived distinctiveness”. Hence if through interventions all dispersed group members can be motivated to take pride in the work through motivational leadership and a feeling of belonging through their role in the team, there will be no duplication of work and less conflict. Hence a key intervention Phil Jones could use to remedy all such issues and allow team to perform, and hence work as a team efficiently is the use of a virtual team.
The Use Of Virtual Project Teams To Reach The Performing Group Development Stage
A virtual team is defined as “a group of people who interact through interdependent tasks guided by common purpose and work across space, time, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by information, communication, and transport technologies” (Gassman and Von Zedtwitz, 2003 p.244). Hence though leading a team in person is difficult (Lilian 2014), virtual project team leaders face greater issues. Kayworth and Leidner (2002) found virtual project teams face similar issues to traditional teams, more strongly in virtual settings, coupled with challenges linked to dispersion of members, high reliance on technology and strong communication. Consequently specific leadership strategies are needed. The strategy utilized by managers of virtual teams is e-leadership, defined as “a social influence process, mediated by advanced information technologies, to produce a change in attitudes, feelings, thinking, behaviour and/or performance with individuals, groups or organisations” (Avolio, Kahai and Dodge, 2001 p.617). Hence e-leaders utilize technology to resolve virtual team issues by influencing team behaviour, as the goals of leadership; motivation, vision, determination and innovation (Spicker, 2012) are unchanged, however the mediums implemented to resolve issues are vastly different in virtual project teams.
The initial issue e-leaders face when managing a virtual project team is distance. Distance in a virtual team is established by geography, time zone, and familiarity among team members. In Phil’s case, geography and time zone impeded the team’s success, as though cultural differences were the reason why Phil was the key communicator in the team, to some extent the issue of coordinating an appropriate time for group communication due to differing time zones hampered simultaneous work, proving detrimental in motivating the team to communicate with each other individually. Studies show this assumption. Cummings (2011) found differing work hours caused by time zones burdens team members and leaders. Such levels of dispersion of team members as in Phil’s case can hinder team members familiarity with each other, as he is the only person on the team to have communicated with all team members, reducing social familiarity, which is important to how teams operate (Zaccaro and Bader, 2002). To remedy this e-leaders can address distance by responding quickly to distance specific issues regarding deadlines, then finding a good time to use virtual meeting software, enhancing feelings of closeness through diverse technologies, achieving team performance and greater organisational values. Hence in Phil’s case making the team virtual would be positive in this aspect, as the use of technology would aid the team’s success as schedules and deadlines could easily be accessed by all. Furthermore greater feeling of closeness among team members through the use of virtual meetings could be made, allowing team members to contact each other directly, rather than through Phil.
Though physical distance can be remedied through this, cultural diversity regarding national culture, and values caused by dispersion requires other strategies to be taken. Diversity can be problematic as like in Phil’s case cultural expectations regarding work ethic, work execution and job roles can vary regionally (Burnelle, 2012), causing friction, misunderstandings and fractured communication in the team, with further difficulties when there is a language barrier. E-leaders can solve issues related to cultural diversity by designing team-building sessions through technological mediums to ensure team members understand each other’s cultural differences. They can also address ambiguous online communications, ensuring no misunderstandings. Furthermore promoting a sense of belonging in a virtual team keeps members engaged and stops feelings of isolation from the rest of the team, reducing in and out groups (Leonard, 2011). Therefore through accommodating diversity through teambuilding and technology Phil would be best making his project team virtual as it reduces cultural frictions, and improves members sense of belonging.
Though diversity can cause communication errors within a virtual team, such errors can also be caused by technological breakdowns and, as in Phil’s case; a lack of clarity given by leaders regarding the roles and behavioural expectations of team members, leading to work being completed incorrectly. Hence if the qualities of effective communication; “quantity, frequency and accuracy of information exchange” (Gallenkamp et al 2011, p.8) are unfulfilled, communication breakdowns occur, causing frictions and hampering the team’s success as in Phil’s team. Communication is difficult in a virtual team, as face-to-face communication is omitted from most communicative mediums, potentially deterring emphasis on certain points. The lack of face-to-face contact may cause interactions to lose social or contextual information (Purvanova and Bono, 2009), such as a member’s higher professional status, or higher level of expertise on a subject. Hence to resolve such issues, e-leaders must ensure it becomes habit to team members to maintain continuous contact with each other, and analysing communications to ensure clarity is given regarding roles and expectations. Video-chat technologies can mediate this issue. Hence by making his team virtual Phil could resolve his teams and his own communicative issues.
Hence by improving communication e-leaders create social belonging within a virtual team, eventually creating trust. Trust is important within virtual teams as it motivates individual members to fulfil their role, building dependability (Uber Grosse, 2002). If trust is not achieved conflicts and low group satisfaction occur, deterring the team’s chance of success, as in Phil’s case. E-leaders can create trust through video-chats and electronic meeting systems, promoting communication, joint-efforts and a shared understanding of team issues. Hence through motivating his team to communicate effectively and hence building trust through technological mediums, over-coming distance and diversity, Phil could bring his team to performing stage as a virtual team, by becoming an e-leader. Therefore the use of project teams can be effective within modern society, should a virtual team be used due to recent technological innovations.
Strengths and Weaknesses Of A Team Based Approach to Work
However even when using a virtual team there are strengths and weaknesses of a team based approach to work, within a group of individuals. Some may say a team-based approach to work is far more effective than accomplishing a complex task individually. This is because several people can divide the work up, decreasing individual workload and providing many different ideas to cope with the complexity of a task. Wageman (1997) stated several viewpoints are more suitable when the task is complicated. This is also supported by Klein (2005) stating multiple people are required to carry out a task if the workload is extravagant. Working in a team on a complex task also increases levels of creativity when completing a task. Amabile, et al. (1996) states teamwork increases creativity, as members all have different and diverse backgrounds, combined with the fact that members’ ideas are challenged by others within the team to reach common goals. Furthermore Moreland (2006) explains that working in a team will increase the ability of members’ to specifically remember and recall important project information to reach common goals. This is because members of a group are aware of each other and remember different pieces of information better than other members would. If a member forgets a piece of information another may remember and be able to recall it due to goal interdependence. The degree of goal interdependence will have a significant impact on all members of a team. If there is a high level of objective interdependence, this will enhance team members’ execution of current tasks (Emans, et al., 2001). The authors believe that a high degree of goal interdependence promotes cooperation amongst group members, hence improving performance when carrying out projects. Furthermore Emans, et al. (2001) states that this greater execution of interdependent tasks is positively correlated to group members job satisfaction.
However using a team is not always the most efficient method to complete a task, as each member of the team has a different perspective. Therefore, in team discussions, each team member will have different perceptions, which makes decision time-consuming. Hinsz, et al. (2003) noted how teams are very contemplative in operation; hence their time to make a decision is very slow; whereas an individual’s decision-making process is much faster. Cognitive thinking is also impeded due to the way people communicate in teams (Cooke, et al., 2013). Diehl and Stroebe (1987) elaborated saying that communication of ideas and knowledge interrupts cognitive thinking by preventing other team members from creating ideas. This is so as one person in a team talks at a time, hence planting their idea first and mitigating others thoughts. Members also suffer from being able to challenge a group decision once it is already being carried out. Hence even if the decision is working out poorly, group individuals will generally fail at proposing alternative strategies. Hinsz (2015) stated that teams cause members to lose their own self-awareness and even if a member has knowledge that a team decision is incorrect, or working ineffectively they will not query it.
One of the most substantial disadvantages of working in a team is social loafing. Usually one member of a large team tends to exert much less effort than the rest of the team. This not only causes frustration in other members, but also reduces the quality of the project. Harkins, et al. (1979) found that in larger groups the average performance of each person decreased, with the explanation that some individuals felt like they could slack whilst remaining undetected using the group. However now more than ever it is difficult for individuals not to be called out on ‘social loafing’ in a group, if a project team is managed effectively through technology. With the innovation of cloud based constantly editable software such as Google Docs, e-leaders such as Phil Jones can continuously check on the pace of work uploaded by his team members, ensuring work is completed accurately, creativley and at an appropriate pace to ensure deadlines are met, and furthermore giving such leaders the ability to know which individual team members are doing the majority of the work, allowing social loafers to be pulled up through virtual devices.
Conclusively a team-based approach to work though popular, can be inefficient if team leaders fail to assert their authority and leadership skills in early group formation ad storming stages, hindering their team from reaching the performing group development stage as defined by Tuckman and Jensen’s stages of group development. However should interventions be put in place such as a virtual team, teams can overcome the variety of social and communicative challenges that can face a failing dispersed team as defined by Hackman’s work, and as exemplified in The Gulf Project Team. Hence virtual teams can allow teams to perform effectively, with a review of literature concluding the use of a team-based approach to project work is effective within organisations in modern society, due to recent technological advances.
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Construction of identity and images of the communion in post-colonial Indonesia: college essay help online
Coexist with colonist; Construction of identity and images of the communion in post-colonial Indonesia.
Subject area, aims and objectives
Britain, Dutch and Japan are the three empires which politically colonised Indonesia for more than 100 years. After gaining their independence in 1945, Indonesia began constructing their identity to state their power and gain recognition from other countries. However, during the transition period, there are possibilities that the formation of identity may produce by doing assimilation with former colonist country by adjusting and adapting the existing colonist identity legacy. The relationship during colonial period between the individual and socio-cultural space is as follows shaped in a dual hybrid position, a hybrid that represents the identity of Indonesian communion.
This research would like to examine the visual representation of Indonesian communion. The visual identity used by the state such as the national emblem, currency design, military crest, and maps–which the latest considered as Western imperial’s science and technology gifts– is a construction of the national identity through the symbolism which represents Indonesia’s in international circumstance.
Examining the identity formation and transition in pre and post-colonial Indonesia (a decade between 1940– 1950), which may generate some insight about how the hybrid of two visual identities–Indonesia’s and Colonist–coexist and later build the images of the communion in Indonesian minds.
Utilizing graphic design studies to excavate the complexity of identity construction during the postcolonial period which cannot be understood by conventional history narrative.
Examine and exploring the founded sources idea, and learn the method of combining the visual identification such as in symbols, colour or visual style which considered share universal visual language and mutual value for both sides.
Deconstruct how the product such as technology and science perceived and accepted by the natives and later adapted it as their identity. (Such as Map)
Experimenting and do iterative process with deconstruction method.
Examine the tools used by the government to certifies the identity and nationality during decades of transition. (contemporary: Passport)
Identify how national identity intertwined and influence with personal details (such as ID Card, Passport) which developed the image as a part of the community.
The research begins with the studies and history of postcolonialism, which commonly understand as an aftermath of Western colonialism or various form of imperialism, both represented in the historical period or state of affair. However, some argue that, etymologically, postcolonialism frequently misunderstood as a temporal concept; the time after colonialism has ceased, or the time following the politically determined Independence Day on which a country breaks away from its governance by another state. Gilbert and Tompkins (1996) suggested that a theory of post-colonialism must, then, respond to more than the merely chronological construction of post-independence, and to more than just the discursive experience of imperialism. The postcolonial theory thus establishes intellectual spaces for subaltern peoples to speak for themselves, in their voices, and thus produce cultural discourses of philosophy, language, society and economy, balancing the imbalanced us-and-them binary power-relationship between the colonist and the colonial subjects.
The Postcolonialism studies indicate a possible future of overcoming colonialism, anticipating the potential new forms of the global empire and new forms of domination and subordination (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2018).
Postcolonialism aimed at destabilising these theories (intellectual and linguistic, social and economic) employing which colonialists “perceive”, “understand”, and “know” the world. The postcolonial theory thus establishes intellectual spaces for subaltern peoples to speak for themselves, in their voices, and thus produce cultural discourses of philosophy, language, society and economy, balancing the imbalanced us-and-them binary power-relationship between the colonist and the colonial subjects.
Decolonized people develop a postcolonial identity that based on interactions between different identities (cultural, national, and ethnic as well as gender and class-based) which are committed varying degrees of social power by the colonial society. In postcolonial literature, the anti-conquest narrative analyses the identity politics that are the social and cultural perspectives of the subaltern colonial subjects—their creative resistance to the culture of the coloniser. How such cultural resistance complicated the establishment of a colonial society; how the colonisers developed their postcolonial identity; and how neocolonialism actively employs the Us-and-Them binary social relation to view the non-Western world as inhabited by The Other.
However, postcolonial theory is somehow problematic. John Lye (1997) argues that while the theory deals with the reading and writing of literature written in previously or currently colonised countries, or literature written in colonising countries which deals with colonisation or colonised peoples. The post-colonial theory focuses particularly on;
The way in which literature by the colonising culture distorts the experience and realities, and inscribes the inferiority, of the colonised people
literature by colonised peoples which attempts to articulate their identity and reclaim their past in the face of that past’s certain otherness.
It can also deal with the way in which literature in colonising countries appropriates the language, images, scenes, traditions and so forth of colonised countries.
Marxist Scholar Vivek Chibber (2013) express that postcolonial theory will remember for its revival of cultural essentialism and its acting as an endorsement of orientalism, rather than being an antidote to it. It is essentialized cultures, painting them as fixed and static categories and presents the difference between East and West as unbridgeable. On his book Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, Chibber focusing mainly on the strain of postcolonial theory known as subaltern studies. He makes a strong case for why we can — and must — conceptualise the non-Western world through the same analytical lens that we use to understand developments in the West.
Hand-held Subway, Geographic Pathologies, Finland’s Longest Road, Finland’s Unnamed Islands, Head of Spain. 1996-2008.
Various work from Nina Katchadourian which exploring the cartographic works. She deconstruct an existing maps and atlas of New York subway system, Finland’s highway, Spanish paper road map to create a new possibility of creating meaning and generates a new ways of seeing things.
Meta Haven Sealand Identity Project
Meta Haven collaborate on the Sealand Identity Project, which was to conceive a national identity for the Principality of Sealand, which is a self-proclaimed nation on a former war platform near the coast of the UK.
Sealand Identity Project was really a combination of this idea of sovereignty, self-proclaimed nationhood, in combination with this flawed entrepreneurial dream of starting an offshore business onboard Sealand.
History of Politics and Identity
Jonathan Friedman (1994) points out there were two aspects of the relation between social identification and the making of history. The first concerned the relationship between the social conditions of identity formation and the production of culturally viable past. The second introduced so-called scientific constructions of other people’s past into the same frame argument.
On the Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, Friedman (1992, p.41) acknowledges that history and discourse about the making of history are positional, that is, it is dependent upon where one located in social reality, within society, and within the global process. The idea is even applicable to the present discourse, which in no way represents an attempt to stand in some objective truth-sphere above or outside of the goings-on of the world. Objective history, just as any other history, is produced in a definitive context and is a particular kind of project.
Besides, he suggested that the discourse of history as well as of myth is simultaneously a discourse of identity; it consists of attributing a meaningful past to a structural present. Objective history produced in the context of a particular kind of selfhood, one that based on a radical separation of the subject from any particular identity, and which objectifies and textualises reality.
A country which merely liberated from their former colonist would be struggling in defining their own political identity and build their image of communion. As they build the identity on the top of the ruins of existing colonist structure, it would be unavoidable to eradicate their former identity. Even the previous one is arguably an already hybrid of different cultures. However, it was understood that images of the communion were built not only taking the references from the community itself, but also construct by external influence. Benedict Anderson’s theory regarding the identity of a community would be very fit to depict the condition of emerging, newly independent nation.
Anderson (1983, p.6) defines the nation as, “an imagined political community – and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign…It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion”. Anderson sees the nation as a social construct, an “imagined community” in which members feel a commonality with others, feel a “horizontal” comradeship with each other even though they may not know them. It could be said that the lasting appeal and political resilience of nationalism of newly independence nation affirm the strength of patriotic feeling and the enormous sacrifices people have made on behalf of their nation.
In the chapter “The Origins of National Consciousness”, where he argues that the convergence of capitalism, printing, and the diversity of vernacular languages led to the birth of national consciousness. Popular nationalism threatened to exclude the European monarchies from the new imagined communities, as the dynasties had dubious and often conflicting national credentials. They responded with what Anderson terms “official nationalism,” a Machiavellian appropriation of nationalist ideas to secure dynastic legitimacy and suppress ethnolinguistic subject groups within their realms. In the European colonial empires, official nationalism served as a tool of the imperial administration.
Census, Map, Museum.
In the more specific topic, Anderson introduces three institutions of powers– Census, Map, Museum–that profoundly shaped the way in which the colonial state imagined its dominion and the legitimacy of its ancestry. As the research emphasises on more pragmatic visual based identity, the writer considered it would be more fruitful on profoundly examining the Map topic. However, the assumption made after thoughtfully deal with the capacity of the author, which couldn’t afford further research on Census and Museum.
It could be said that the Mercatorian map, which brought in by the European colonisers via print, was beginning to shape the imagination of Southeast Asians, including Indonesia (Anderson, 1983, p. 247) Regarding most communication theories anti-common sense, a map is a scientific abstraction of reality. A map merely represents something which already exists objectively “there”. Anderson (1983) points out, “In the history, I have described, this relationship was reversed. A map anticipated spatial reality, not vice versa. In other words, a map was a model for, rather than a model of, what it purported to represent… It had become a real instrument to concretise projections on the earth’s surface… The discourse of mapping was the paradigm which both administrative and military operations worked within and served”
Map as a Logo
As an administrative and military tool, maps acknowledge the ability as the second avatar of one nation or empire, the map-as-logo. Its origins were reasonably innocent— the practice of the imperial states of colouring their colonies on maps with an imperial dye. British colonies were usually pink-red. French purple-blue, Dutch yellow-brown, and so on. (Anderson, 1983, p. 250) The map becomes a pure sign, no longer compass to the world. As the map then entered an infinite reproducible series, available for transfer to posters, official seals, letterheads, magazine which made them instantly recognisable and visible–the logo-map penetrated deep into the popular imagination, forming a powerful emblem for the anticolonial nationalism.
One of the most known examples of this process is what happened on the island of New Guinea. Dutch Empire settlement in Indonesia was made on the island of New Guinea and succeed to incorporate it into Netherland Indies in 1901 and made it in time for Dutch logoization. Dutch colonial logo-maps sped across in the colony, showing a West New Guinea with nothing to its East, unconsciously reinforced the developing imagined ties among Indonesian nationalist. Even Indonesian nationalist was struggling and made as a national sacred site in the national imagining, they never actually saw New Guinea with their own eyes until the 1960s.
Anderson (1983, p. 251) then relates that “the prestige of the colonial state was accordingly, now intimately, linked to that of its homeland superior.” As more and, more Europeans were being born in Southeast Asia, and being tempted to make it their home. The old sacred sites were to be incorporated into the map of the colony, and their ancient prestige (which, if this had disappeared, as it often had, the state would attempt to revive) draped around the mappers.
The “warp” of this thinking was a totalizing classificatory grid, which could be applied with unlimited flexibility to anything under the state’s real or contemplated control: peoples, regions, religions, languages, products, monuments, and so forth. The effect of the grid was always to be able to say of anything that it was this, not that; it belonged here, not there.
To provide a profound understanding of Map and its influence on the construction of national identity, the writers realised that the study of cartography is one of the best ways to explain it. While map in the previous point bears the capacity to become a witness of powers, the map also can produce their language. Polish-American philosopher Alfred Korzybski’s theory of general semantics states that; human knowledge is limited by our physical being as well as the structure of language. Though the human experience of reality is limited, yet increasingly see the world through more maps, bigger maps of more data, and more maps of bigger data.
Huffman and Matthews (2014) endorse that, “Cartographers have always been storytellers. This metaphor works well for thematic maps, but topographic or reference maps also tell stories: of the landscape, of the settlement, and of the shape of the natural and human-modified world that surrounds us… Cartographers take data and wrestle it before applying some graphical treatment that provides the narrative. They codify the story in a visual language that they hope speaks to people.”
While cartography has the ability to promoted scientific objectivity over artistic representation and vice versa, the scientific objectivity did not always go the actual representation, a metaphor involved in this work, such map does not always mean the territory. Like any other tools that generate knowledge, maps are informative, but they also can be deceptive, even threatening. At one time or another, it probably safe to say that all of us have been misled by a map designed to hide something the mapmaker did not want us to know, or drawn in such a way that we jump to false conclusions from it.
H. J. de Blij (1996, p. xi-xii) points out that Map crosses the line between information and advocacy. In which later he added that in the world of changing political and strategic relationships and devolving nation-sites, maps become propaganda tools. Some national government even go so far as to commit cartographic aggression, mapping parts of neighbouring countries as their own. Turkish Cypriots, Sri Lankan Tamils, Crimean Russians publish maps that proclaim their political aspirations, fuelling nationalism that spell disaster for the state system.
When the research go further in finding the capability and possibility of a map in manipulating or altering the fact, the research leads to an exciting book written by Dr Mark Monmonier, How to Lie with Maps. In this book, Monmonier (1996, p.2) acknowledges that in showing how to lie with maps, he want to make readers aware that maps–like speeches and paintings–are authored collections of information and also are subject to distortions arising from ignorance, greed, ideological blindness, or malice. The idea seems uncomfortable and uneasy to accepted as it lot of sense of offensiveness. However, he provides a stunning yet straightforward analogy. He offers the idea of the relationship of Map and Scale and its capability on defining the truth.
He took the example as follows; the square inch on the large-scale map could show inch on the ground in far greater detail than the square inch on the small-scale map. Both maps would have to suppress some details, but the designer of the 1:10,000,000-scale map must be far more selective than the cartographer producing the 1:10,000-scale map. In the sense that all maps tell white lies about the planet, the small-scale map has a smaller capacity for truth than large-scale maps.
That is the softball of how maps tell lies, then what about the other possible one? Such as Maps for political propaganda. A good propagandist knows how to shape opinion by manipulating maps. Political persuasion often concerns territorial claims, nationalities, national pride, borders, strategic position, conquests, attacks, troop movements, defences, spheres of influence, regional inequality, and other geographic phenomena conveniently portrayed cartographically. (Monmonier, 1996, p. 87).
People trust maps, and intriguing maps attract the eye as well as connote authority. The map is a perfect symbol of the state and an intellectual weapon–in disputes over territory. Naïve citizens willingly accept as a truth map based on a biased and sometimes crooked selection of facts.
Maps as Symbols of Power and Nationhood
The string of newly independent states formed after World War II, such as Indonesia, revived the national atlas as a symbol of nationhood. In the service of the state, maps and atlases play dual roles. Monmonier (1996, p.89) research confirmed that although a few countries in western Europe and North America had state-sponsored national atlases in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these served mainly as reference works and symbols of scientific achievement. However, between 1940 and 1980 the number of national atlases increased from fewer than twenty to more than eighty, as former colonies turned to cartography as a tool of both economic development and political identity.
Even tiny maps on postages stamps can broadcast political propaganda. Postage stamps bearing maps are useful propaganda tools for developing nations and ambitious revolutionary movements. In mail interest, it is useful to keep aspirations alive domestically and to suggest national unity and determination internationally. Postage stamps maps afford a small but numerous means for asserting territorial claims (Monmonier, 1996, p. 91). The war claims between India, Pakistan and China offer us an excellent example of this. Official government tourist maps show Kashmir as a part of India, on the other hand as a part of Pakistan. In reality, India controls the southern part of the state of Kashmir, Pakistan controls the northwestern part, and China controls three sections along the eastern margin. The other example is the Ligitan and Sipadan dispute. It was a territorial dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia over two islands in the Celebes Sea, namely Ligitan and Sipadan. The dispute began in 1969 as Malaysia put them on their official passport and tourism map. Thus it was mostly resolved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002, which opined that both of the islands belonged to Malaysia as British Empire, their former colonist, has already settled administrative work since 1930 on both islands.
The latest example given probably slightly capture how the state intervenes-wars, colonialism and national planning intertwined on mapping activities. However, these activities of the major powers not confined to their colonial territories, the very existence of which had left them with global rather than local strategic preoccupations. On Maps and Air Photographs, Dickinson (1979, p. 48) states that; stimulated by various motives, among which the discovery of potentially exploitable areas and resources and the complete delineation of boundaries against possible counter-claimants are two obvious ones, most European nations with colonial possessions carried out various surveys in them often very actively. At first, both the maps themselves and the bodies that produced them were slightly varied.
The initial stage of the research would emphasize on experimental design, as this approach is a careful balancing of several features including “power”, generalizability, various forms of “validity”, practicality and cost. A thoughtful balancing of these features in advance will result in an experiment with the best chance of providing useful evidence to modify the current state of knowledge in a particular design field. The goal is to actively design an experiment that has the best chance to produce meaningful, defensible evidence, rather than hoping that proper statistical analysis may be able to correct for defects after the fact.
In the realm of experimenting, the deconstructive method would be the fittest one to tackle the question and inquiry of this research. It is a strategy of critical form-making which performed across a range of artefacts and practices, both historical and contemporary. Deconstruction was born to uncover the meaning of a literary work by studying the way its form and content communicate essential humanistic messages.
Lupton and Miller (1994) argue that deconstruction offer the mode of questioning through and about the technologies, formal devices, social institutions, and founding metaphors of representation. That deconstruction belongs to both history and theory. In Derrida’s theory, deconstruction asks how representation inhabits reality. How does the external image of things get inside their inner essence? How does the surface get under the skin?
While examining the construction of the identity of the communion, it is important to trace its source, find the authenticity and telling of a story viewed as a passive record of events. The research foresees to gain a vast amount of result and new insight by studying the meaning of a sign and its relationship to other signs in a system. This principle is the basis of structuralism, an approach to language which focuses on the patterns or structures that generate meaning rather than on the “content” of a given code or custom (Lupton, E. and Miller, J. A., 1994)
How does the theory relate to the practical experimentation?
By experimenting with deconstruction would benefit the research in doing widespread disruption, founded on a challenged and remodelled idea of what existing idea/design can do and bring.
What is the theory for?
As a platform on the iterative process. The fundamental principle of deconstruction and how deconstructive method work help to maintain the system while doing experiment and records thought for future transmissions.
What process of experimentation will be used?
Experimenting by deconstructing existing visual material and try a different approach to generate the possible outcome and utilise the basis of structuralism, an approach to language which focuses on the patterns or structures that generate meaning rather than on the “content” of a given code or custom.
How the project recorded and keep track of what have been done.
Documentation by photograph, video, scanned artefact and scheduled digital/printed publication.
1st Iteration on deconstruction method: Deconstruction of Indonesia’s National Emblem.
2nd Iteration on deconstruction method: The study of Colonized and Colonist Map.
Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince – leadership and power: essay help site:edu
Niccolo Machiavelli’s, The Prince, is one of the most controversial books of its time. Because of its contents, Machiavelli is seen by many as symbol for evil and vice. The book was thought to be so abhorrent that it was banned by the Catholic church, and harshly critiqued by many of Machiavelli’s contemporaries. The Sixteenth Century treatise was meant as an advice book for princes on how to gain power and maintain it, but the methods he proposed for achieving these aims were unsavory to many. In the years following its publication, The Prince, horrified and shocked the general populace due to its challenging of the current view that a leader had to be virtuous and moral, asserting that it was better for a leader to be feared than loved, challenging the idea that a ruler gained his power from divine right alone, and its proposition that a ruler might employ unethical actions to secure his position and better his country.
One of the first of things that Machiavelli tried to do in his treatise is to separate ethics from princes. While, many of his contemporaries believed that a successful prince would be one filled with the usual virtues, like honor, purity, and integrity, Machiavelli threw this idea out a window. He did not believe that being simply having the “right” value system would grant a leader power and security. In fact, he argued that often, being tied down by such morals would be counterproductive to one maintaining their position. Moreover, “if a ruler wishes to reach his highest goals he will not always find it rational to be morale” (Skinner 42).
So, what characteristics did Machiavelli think would actually make a strong leader? His ideal prince is one who is cunning and ruthless. Machiavelli believed that, “a ruler who wishes to maintain his power must be prepared to act immorally when this becomes necessary” (26). A ruler should also not be worried about being miserly, for overall this will help rather than hurt his control (Mansfield). If a prince is too generous his people will also become accustomed to such generosity and be angered when it is not forthcoming, and in the long run he will have to tax his people to make up for what he has given away. Such ideas went directly against the Christian and humanist ideas about morality in Machiavelli’s time.
Another major point of interest that Machiavelli discussed throughout The Prince was the concept of fortune and its role in a princes rule. He believed that it was of the utmost importance that a prince try to win fortune to his side as best he can. Here again, Machiavelli differentiates from his predecessors. Many past philosophers believed that fortune would smile upon a ruler who was just and virtuous. Machiavelli disagreed with such notions. Morales had nothing to do with pleasing fortune. Instead, it was the more violent and ambitious ruler, who would seize the moment, that would have a better chance of winning fortune (Spencer). Machiavelli went so far as to compare fortune to a woman and stated that, “If you want to control her, it is necessary to treat her roughly” (87).
While Machiavelli did not think it was in a prince’s best interest to always be kind and good, he did note the importance of his subjects thinking him to be so. It is very hard to hold control a region, in which the people believe their ruler to be completely immoral. However, they may put up with questionable actions of a ruler if once in a while he does something that appears to be in their best interest. The crueler a ruler is the more crucial it is to appear to the public as being the opposite. Once the people are convinced of a ruler being virtuous, he will be able to get away with the most unscrupulous behavior.
Most people would consider it essential for a ruler to keep his promises and appear trustworthy, maintaining a good relationship with his subjects, not Machiavelli. Sometimes it is not realistic for a ruler to be able to make good on every promise. It may even be better for the people in the long run if he does not. A prince should not have qualms about breaking his word, “plausible reasons can always be found for such failure to keep promises” (Machiavelli 62). Moreover, if a prince prides himself on always keeping his word the people will always expect this. When unfortunate circumstances force him to deviate from what he swore to do, the people will be outraged, whereas if they expect promises to be broken it will not garner as much anger.
Another stable argument of Machiavelli’s book is the power of fear. Machiavelli believes fear is one of the best way to keep subjects in line. Fear is strongest of all the emotions and will give a ruler the most control. Striving for the people’s love is not as fruitful, due to mankind’s fickle nature. Andrew Curry of the Washington Post notes that for Machiavelli, “ Man’s weak nature was a constant as unchanging as the bright sun that rose above his beloved Tuscan hills.” A leader who relies on love to gain loyalty from his subjects, will find his people nowhere to be found when hard times come. Men tend to what they think is best for them, and due to this they will changes sides quickly. They will adopt a new prince quickly and shed their old one if they believe it will be prosperous for them. However, if the subjects greatly fear their leader they are more likely to obey him. If they believe their ruler to be lax they will think they can get away with some disobedience, but if a prince has made it clear that the consequences will be great they will hesitate (Machiavelli .
One of the main ways Machiavelli demonstrates the power of fear, is through generals and their handling of the troops under them. He praises the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, for his ability to lead such a large army of various peoples with little discord or trouble among his troops. Despite going through many lands unknown to his soldiers, and enduring times of trial, Hannibal was able to keep his soldiers in order because of their respect and fear of him (Machiavelli 60). How did Hannibal make his troops fear him? Through great cruelty, which made him the perfect Machiavellian leader. It was this cruelty that was key of his success according to Machiavelli. He argued that, “if he had not been so cruel, his other qualities would not have been sufficient to achieve that affect” (60).
Scipio was another general of the same period as Hannibal. Like Hannibal he was a brilliant military mind, and one of the greatest leaders of the era. Unlike Hannibal however, he did not exercise brutality with his troops to keep them in check. Whereas Hannibal’s troops would have never dreamed of revolting, for fear of the consequences, Scipio did lose control over his soldiers at fort Sucro, in Spain. Machiavelli harshly critiqued Scipio for this mutiny and no one else. It was Scipio’s easiness with his soldiers that had caused them to grow rebellious. Had he have been more severe in his command they would have been better disciplined (Machiavelli 60). Machiavelli praises Hannibal’s cruelty, while condemning Scipio’s friendliness with his soldiers.
Another aspect of the power of fear, which Machiavelli touched on was with the capturing of new regions. Under most circumstances successfully maintaining control over a newly vanquished city, and keeping its citizens in check can be quite difficult. However, in cases where subduing a city takes great force and bloodshed it will actually be much easier to keep. Most would think the opposite to be true, but Machiavelli argues that those who have been defeated will be to imitated to revolt, due to knowing what the conquerors are capable of (Mansfield). Machiavelli has complete faith in the power of fear. Essentially he believes that a prince should not be concerned about being excessively brutal when trying to defeat the defenders of a town, because in the long run it may actually help him keep dominances over said town. With advice like this, advising one to be cruel, it is no surprise that Machiavelli’s contemporaries were so shocked by his treatise (Spenser).
All of Machiavelli’s pondering about fear begs the question how far should a ruler go to be feared by his people? Machiavelli does acknowledge that there is a lined that can be crossed. A prince must strive to be feared without being completely hated by his subjects (Machiavelli 59) . It is fine for a leader to exercise extreme ruthlessness for the greater good as long as he is able to redeem himself in the eyes of the people. At a certain point, if pushed too far, a prince’s subject’s fear of their ruler will turn to anger and they will grow unruly. Therefore it is important for a prince to be calculated with his cruelty, and not just unnecessarily brutal.
A major issue during Machiavelli’s time was that of Divine right to rule. Essentially, king’s could justify their rule by it supposedly being God’s will, and they had to answer only to him. Only those chosen by God could rule. Machiavelli did not fully agree with this doctrine. He thought that almost anyone should have the right to rule as long as they were cunning enough to do so. Machiavelli cares most about leaders being competent. The foxes and lions should rise above the lambs. That is the best way for country to be assured of gaining strong leaders. With divine right there is no guarantee that a prince will be capable of ruling, and do what is best for his people. In his own region of Florence Machiavelli wanted a ruler who was effective, not one that was supposedly endowed by the creator. All of the advice given in the book is a challenge against divine right, as it shows how someone may gain power by his own actions and not divine right.
Machiavelli’s key argument against any sort of right to rule is that it is power alone that guarantees a prince his control. “a Machiavellian perspective directly attacks the notion of any grounding for authority independent of the sheer possession of power. For Machiavelli, people are compelled to obey purely in deference to the superior power of the state” (Nederman). Simply having the right virtues, divine right, or any other quantifiers of rule do not matter if one does not have true power. A prince’s subjects will stay in line if they know he has great power over them, but not always so if he his relying on their respect of his “divine right” alone.
One of the main themes running throughout all of Machiavelli’s advice seems to be that the ends always justify the means. Now even though Machiavelli never directly states this, he comes very close, and despite his advice being a bit more nuance than that simple phrase, it is not out of line to say that it represents his key ideas on princeship. Machiavelli was one of the first pessimistic realists of his time, and he based his advice on the negative side of humanity. He argued that a prince’s subjects will not always do the moral thing and so a prince should not either. Instead, he should take what actions he believes to be best for securing his rule and his province. Sacrificing a few is a necessary evil if it guarantees the safety of many (Machiavelli 58).
Machiavelli base much of his advice on the topic on real life rulers of his time. History.com points this out saying, “Machiavelli’s guide to power was revolutionary in that it described how powerful people succeeded—as he saw it—rather than as one imagined a leader should operate.” While his contemporaries where dreaming up the qualities of an ideal leader, Machiavelli believed he was giving a guide based on those he had seen be successful. Almost all of the leaders Machiavelli studied, he found to have exercised cruelty and brutality. Mansfield says thus of Machiavelli’s points on necessary evil, “The amoral interpretation fastens on Machiavelli’s frequent resort to “necessity” in order to excuse actions that might otherwise be condemned as immoral.”
One of the main ruler’s who Machiavelli based much of his advice on was Cesare Borgia. Borgia was the perfect Machiavellian leader. He was, “a crude, brutal and cunning prince of the Papal States” (History.com Editors). He lived in a chaotic time, and the entirety of his rule was face with challenges and uncertainty. Machiavelli admired his ability to handle the problems of his times with such decisive ferocity. He embodied all the traits the Machiavelli was advising the readers of his book to adopt.
Cesare was a man with many enemies and part of his genius lay in his ability to get rid of them. Where others would hesitate to move against powerful men, Borgia did not. He would kill remorselessly if he thought it would help him maintain his land. One of the main examples Machiavelli used to point out Borgia’s cunning, was his luring of the Orsini leaders to the town of Senigallia. He lured them with lavish gifts and lulled them into a false sense of security, promising treaties of peace, but once they had delivered themselves into his hands he killed them (Machiavelli 25). Machiavelli praised this exploit thinking it an exceptionally clever deception.
Borgia also proved his competence as a leader to Machiavelli in his handling of the land he inherited from his father, Pope Alexander VI. The people dwelling there were disorderly and defiant. They had not been well disciplined by their previous ruler, and were not used to really having to obey a leader. Borgia set out to right this wrong. He put an utterly ruthless man, Remirro de Orco, in charge of the area (Machiavelli 26). Many rulers would have told Orco to use caution when dealing with the subjects of the region. He should slowly begin to discipline them so that they would grow use to it over time. However, Borgia did the exact opposite. He gave his new governor complete control to be as severe and merciless as he saw necessary. He new that the cruelty the people would endure under de Orco would be for the better down the road as there would be more order and less lawbreakers.
Even the he knew that it was necessary to use brutality when dealing with his newly acquired land, Borgia did not plan on taking the blame for that cruelty. de Orco’s harsh regime had served to bring discipline to the region, but Cesare Borgia was not blind to the growing anger in those who were suffering under it. Here, in Machiavelli’s mind, Borgia showed his true genius and heartlessness. He killed de Orco and displayed his body in a town, successfully wining the favor of his subjects and getting rid of a possible rival. It Borgia who had put de Orco in charge in the first place, knowing fully well that he was a cruel man, and told him to be a harsh ruler, but the people seemed to forget this and saw Borgia as a hero for killing their oppressor. Those subjects who still had a dislike for Borgia, where too terrified by the execution to cause any discord (Machiavelli 26). So Borgia was able to make his people both love and fear, Machiavelli’s ideal situation. It is clear that much of Machiavelli’s arguments for doing immoral things comes from him having observed Borgia and his callous methods.
Borgia may have been brilliant in the handling of his lands and his enemies, but it was not his own cleverness that gained him his territory in the Romagna. Instead it was the cunning of his father, Pope Alexander IV. Alexander wanted to give his son a state in Italy to help him grow more powerful and, hopefully, eventually make him into a great ruler. However, he knew that he would not be able to do this through peaceful negations, as there were too many other factions who would have been opposed to it. Instead, the Pope would have to use force to size a state. First he sought out to make the states of Italy unstable, by aiding a French invasion of Milan. Doing this helped cause chaos, and the French gave the Pope troops to conquer the Romagna with. The Pope was able his transfer the newly captured states to his son (Machiavelli 24). These actions by the Pope where highly immoral; he helped sow ruin in his own country of Italy to gain a province for Cesare to rule, and he misused the power given to him by his position as Pope to do so. However, Machiavelli praises his ability to take actions that are deemed unethical by society to attain success.
In one chapter of his treatise, Machiavelli addresses those who gained the power from evil deeds. The first example he gives is of Agathocles, of Syracuse. Agathocles is the epitome of doing whatever it takes to get what you want. He was a mere ordinary man, but by his own actions he was able to rise to a position of power in the city of Syracuse. Wanting to become the king of Syracuse he began scheming how this could be accomplished. Eventually he was able to execute a successful coup, and have all his soldiers kill any opposers. He was dishonorable, a murderer, and a traitor, but he did achieve what he set out to do. Machiavelli does point out that these methods wont exactly win someone glory and fame, or at least not the positive kind, but he did commend Agathocles ability to gain power. He also mentions that Agathocles used evil “well” since he had to use it at all (Machiavelli 30-33). Statements like this, that a murdering traitor used evil admirably, are what make Machiavelli’s writing so controversial.
Machiavelli did not stop with Agathocles, he also gave an example more current with the time of a similar situation. Oliverotto of Fermo. Oliverotto had the same cunning and ambition as Agathocles. He too wanted to become the ruler of his hometown Fermo. So, with his mentor he conspired to overthrow the current ruler, his own uncle, Giovanni Fogliani. Oliverotto used his relation to Fogliani to lure him into a trap where he assassinated him, as well as the other leaders of Fermo. With no one else in his way he took control of the region. His immoral actions would have been condemned by most, but Machiavelli’s main issue seems to be that he was not able to keep the power that he gained, as he was killed himself later on. Oliverotto did not use evil well as Agathocles did (Machiavelli 32-32).
Few books have the ability to stir up as much controversy as The Prince. With it Machiavelli tried to set a new example how a prince should act and think, but one that would be found troubling by many in the decades that followed its publication. Its readers would shun it, ban it, mock it, and even go so far as to say that it was satire, because surely there was no way that Machiavelli had actually meant what he wrote. The main cause of all animosity towards the book, came from Machiavelli’s attempt to separate ethics from politics. In the treatise he argued that princes need not be virtuous, and that fear was a great tool to be used to control one’s subjects, better even than love. Furthermore, the book challenged divine right, which put at odds with the churches of the time, and lastly, it promoted the idea of using scrupulous methods to gain power. It is the combination of these four arguments, that were so against the current ideologies of the sixteenth century, that caused many to look at the book with disgust, and the reason why Machiavelli became known as an embodiment of evil.
Organizational change – responding to internal drivers
Organizational change in any business organisation is predominantly influenced by two forces called internal drivers and external drivers. Both can cause favourable as well as unfavourable impacts on organisational change. However, this essay will argue that it is more beneficial for the organisations to introduce changes based on its internal drivers because they are within the organisation and control of the management in bringing the change. Where as the external drivers are beyond the control of the organisation.
In this intensely competitive and globalised world ( Mdletye, Coetzee and Ukpere 2014) of business and management organisational change is very critical and indispensable for numerous competitive advantages. Therefore, companies of all kinds must either initiate change or if not face the natural death (Kotter and Cohen 2008). Hence, although change is task fraught with complexity and challenge (Graetz et al. 2011, p.2) it has become the inevitable phenomena for the successful survival of organization in this modern world.
Organisational change is the continuous process of renewing the firm direction, structure, capabilities, operations, systems and processes to meet the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers (Soosay and Sloan 2005 p.10). It is the movement of an organization away from its present state of status quo (Smith 2005) toward some desired future state to increase its effectiveness (Lunenburg 2010). Nevertheless, as most researchers have found out that, in reality, adopting new changes in the organisation is very difficult and doubtful of success (Robbins 2003 and Raftery 2009 as cited in Beshtawi and Jaaron,2014; p.129) and often land up with failure (Olaghere,n.d p.1; Gilaninia, Ganjinia and Mahdikhanmahaleh 2013). Therefore, in this increasingly uncertain and risky environment (Zhou, Tse and Li, 2006, p.248) it is very crucial to know how to adapt and change according to the environment and to change successfully has become a critical and timeless challenge for any organization ( Feldman, 2004; Pettigrew et al., 2001; Piderit, 2000) for continuous survival and success.
Organisational Change in an organisation is influenced dominantly by two factors called internal factors or internal drivers and external factors or external drivers (Esparcia and Argente (n.d) and Olaghere n.d, p.1).These factors are responsible for triggering the change in the system, policies, product, structures, services, management, performance among many other areas in the organisation (Senior 2002) (as cited in McGuire and Hutchings 2006). Ivancevich and Matteson (2002) consider technology, economic forces and socio-political and legal factors as important external drivers that cause organisational change. However, they argue that these external drivers of change are beyond management’s control and cause a significant impact compelling the organisation to adjust internal processes and systems (McGuire and Hutchings 2006). Conversely, internal drivers are those forces existed within the organisation that influence changes. They are system, structure, management style, leadership, resources, processes, products of the organisation (Esparcia and Argente, n.d).
However, internal factors are more critical to driving organisational change. Ivancevich and Matteson (2002) maintain that human resource issues and process considerations are the most common forces for change within the organisation. They argue that internal factors are generally within the control of management, although sometimes be more difficult to recognise and diagnose than external factors (McGuire and Hutchings 2006).
The external factors are more diversified and intractable compare to internal drivers (Yu and Zhang, 2010, p.3). The internal divers of change are easily influenced by external environments like politics, economy, technology, legal and society.
The external factors helps to determine the opportunities and threats that the company would face, but the internal factors help the company to identify its strengths and weaknesses (Ibrahim and Primiana, 2015, p.285) . Marcus (2005) (as cited in Ibrahim and Primiana, 2015, p.285) noted that organisations should be aware of its strengths and weaknesses and analyzed the extent to which companies can accommodate the opportunities and threats existed in its the external environment.
Anderson and Anderson (n.d) asserted that the most common reason for the failure of managing change with the organizations is the inadequate attention to the less tangible, yet very important, internal drivers such as culture, leader and employee behaviour and their mindset. So, it is very much evident the benefits of concentrating of internal drivers rather than external drivers. This is supported by Kotter and Cohen (2008; p.61) that managers must instigate change by creating the sense of urgency by touching the emotions of employees instead of reasons based on facts and figures. This is possible only through change in internal factors of business enterprise.
Many scholars have consented that internal factors are the key determinants of an organization’s performance (Kinyua-Njuguna, Munyok and Kibera 2014, p. 289) as they provide enabling environment to achieve its goals and objectives. Internal environmental forces provide strengths and weaknesses to the business (Tolbert & Hall, 2009) (cited in (Kinyua-Njuguna, Munyok and Kiber 2014, p.) Fr example, from their study on the effect of internal drivers on community-based HIV and AIDS organizations in Nairobi County, Kenya, Kinyua-Njuguna, Munyok and Kiber (2014) found out that the internal drivers such as organisational structure, strategy, skills, staff, shared values as well as systems helping the organisation to achieve their objective. As a result enhanced the employee performance.
The Resource-based view (RBV) theory, propounded by Penrose (1959) ( as cited in Kute & Upadhyay, 2014,p.68) supported that organizations can gain competitive advantage by concentrating on their internal factors such as abilities, skills, knowledge, capabilities and competencies with reference to technological changes. This is because of strengths and weakness in these areas can be managed and thus the need of enhancing these qualities within the employees can be determined and can be enhanced through continuous organizational learning culture. Furthermore, the following factors such as mission and goals, leadership quality, organisational structure, human resources, technology capacity, organisation culture, employees behaviours and attitude, and organisational performance has to be considered while introducing change in the organisation.
Organisation Vison, Mision, Goals and objectives
Every business organisation is being guided by its mission, goals and objectives pertaining to development philosophy and direction, planning, prioritizing programs, policies, management, organisational structures and everyday responsibilities (Emeka and Eyuche 2014). In nutshell the performance of the company depends on the mission, goals and objectives. Therefore, change in these domains would compel the firm to undertake organisational change to achieve their mission and objectives.
Leadership is one of the very important internal factors in an organisation change (Lunenburg 2010). The leaders have the important role in maintaining the measure of control over the environment of the organisation (McGuire and Hutchings 2006, p.197). The sixteenth century political scientist, Niccolo Machiavelli, stressed that the leader’s vision and future plans are critical in determining the shape and structure of the organisation (McGuire and Hutchings 2006, p.198). According to the organisational change models Cummings and Worley (1993) further recognizes that any change can be implemented successfully only by strong leadership who can garner commitment and readiness to change within the employees through shared vision and strategies to achieve the proposed new change and outcome. The way the managers or leaders establish the internal working structure and systems has influence on the performance of the organisation (Kinyua-Njuguna, Munyok and Kiber 2014, p.285).It means the structures and systems should be very favourable for the employees to work collaboratively everyday towards the shared goals of the organisation. Conversely, poor leadership and management would result in the failure of enterprise in the implementation of change processes and risking the orgainsation to disastrous consequences (Shiamwama, Ombayo and Mukolwe 2014, p.148). Effective leaders help organisations to surpass any internal obstacles and bring changes through envisioning the desired goals and objectives, energizing the employees, and enabling the resources and conditions (Zhou, Tse and Li 2006, p.253) which are paramount to overcome any external inhibitors of change and improve performance.
For instance, Steve Jobs, the founder of APPLE Computers, was eased out of the business because of poor management. He later went back into the business and was absorbed as a mere employee just to tap his original idea (Cole, 2004). in (Shiamwama, Ombayo and Mukolwe (2014)
Change in organizational structure involves redefining and regulating the organizational roles and relations by expanding or reducing audition, determining the decision making authority, selecting decentralised or central management type, regulating communication channels within the organisation ( İkinci, S.S.2014,p.123).It is another internal factor that act as driver of change. It is the way how jobs are allocated, coordinated and supervised through the system that facilitates communication and efficient work processes among the employees in the organisation (Elsaid, Okasha and Abdelghaly, 2013, p.1). In fact the successful execution and implementation of any plans and programs depends on it. The flat bureaucratic structure with decentralised decision-making system and horizontal reporting system among the teams and various managers are more preferred by the employees (Ohlson, 2007).This fosters faster and effective decision and action thus enhancing the efficiency and productivity of the employees and organisation as whole. The tall hierarchical system of organisation characterised by long bureaucratic steps to follow in execution and communication is rather a hindrance to the effectiveness of the performance (p.23). Decentralised administrative structures and processes thus enable a firm to better meet the new environmental conditions and effectively handle environmental turbulence (Damanpour and Evan, 1984)
Human resource in the organisation consists of the knowledge, skills, competencies, attitude and behaviours the workers possess ( İkinci, S.S.2014, p.123). Nurturing theses aspect of human resources will lead to personal growth and development which can alter an individual’s perceptions of organisational change, reducing the level of resistance (Bovey and Hede, 2001, p.546). It is the very critical asset that helps organisation to gain competitive advantage (Husso and Nybakk, nd, p.9).This is because they have the capacity to operate all the activities and in turn help to achieve the aims and objective (Mdletye, Coetzee, and Ukpere (2014) which otherwise would not be able to function at all. The researchers emphasized that human resource is the most important aspect, indeed the backbone of every organization and it is also the main source of resource for the effective function of the organization ( Wanza and Nkuraru,2016; p.192) and main strategic resource to gain sustainable competitive advantage in this age of globalization(Kute & Upadhyay, 2014). For example, the management’s emphasis on the human resource management such as employing highly skilled and educated people, providing professional training and encouraging learning from advanced technologies and skills made the employees more competent to achieve Huawei’s internationalization process more successful ( Yu and Zhang, 2010, p.23) .
Organisational culture is defined as the values, beliefs, norms, customs and behaviours that guide the employees towards the common goals (Awadh & Saad, 2013,) and that set the rule of decision making processes, structure and power (Wambugu, 2014, p. 80). Wambugu (2014) further noted that organisational culture empower the employees to do thing which deemed right and rewarding both at personal and organisational level. According to Wanza and Nkuraru ( 2016, p.195) and Awadh & Saad, (2013, p.168 ) organisational culture has strong bearing on the performance of the employees which is considered as the backbone of development of the organisation. The culture established as system in the organisation enhances employees’ commitment thus improves their input eventually achieving the desired productivity and profitability (Wanza and Nkuraru, 2016, p.193). They concluded from their research that a strong organizational culture acts as the source of synergy and momentum for teamwork and uplift employee performance (p.197).Thus it is worthy of developing organizational culture for sustainable future. For example, one of the internal factor that drive Huawei Technologies Company, a very small local IT company of China, to very successful internationalisation was the corporate culture, such as team work, adaptation, learning and customer-oriented service, being embedded in the behaviours of the Huawei’s employees ( Yu and Zhang, 2010, p.23)
Innovation is the main strategy to adapt to change, overcome organisational weaknesses, and add value to organization’s products and services in the ever-changing business environment (Sund 2008, p. 2). Being entrepreneurial with creativity and innovation helps organisation to gain competitive advantage (Ireland et al. 2003). Abdelgawad et al. (2013) proposed that entrepreneurial capability is instrumental for realizing a firm’s game-changing strategies for sustainable success in future. For example, Google, Amazon and Apple companies were once just start-ups grown to attract global market through their innovation (EBRD, 2014; p.1). Internal organizational drivers such as resources, experimentation, collaboration, administrative support play a significant role during this innovation process (Agolla and Van-Lill, 2013). So, establishing innovative culture in an organisation will drive the organisation towards favorable and successful change.
Attitude and Commitment
Most of the researches have shown that employees need to develop their attitude and behaviours for successful organizational performance (Bernerth, 2004). Therefore, it is indispensable for the organizational managers to develop and nurture employees’ commitment towards embracing change by bringing positive change in their attitude and behaviour. However, Anderson and Anderson (n.d) stressed that employees’ mindset, which is the root cause of one’s feelings, decisions and actions, has to be changed to bring organizational change. When introducing change people aspect is more critical than just about changes in systems and processes. Rather it is about people believing in change and wanting it to happen (Soosay and Sloan (2005 p.4). Since organisational change requires the participation of people, those involved must first undergo personal change for the success of organisational change (Evans, 1994).
Organisation Performance as drivers
Both the present and past performance are also drivers of organisational change. Some earlier researchers have pointed out that poor performance, that creates the gap between managerial aspirations and achievements, is an extra impetus for the firms to improve further (Greve, 1998; Tushman and Romanelli, 1985). On the other hand some researchers argue that successful companies continuously draw motivation from their success to improve and perform better for sustainable future, especially they face an uncertain environments ( Feldman, 2004; Tsoukas and Chia, 2002).in (Zhou, Tse and Li, 2006). The better a firm performs, the more likely it will invest in new product development and technology advancement to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage (Zhou, Tse and Li, 2006; p.251). As Brown and Eisenhardt (1997) observe, many successful firms, such as Intel, 3M, Hewlett-Packard, and Gillette, have undertaken constant, rapid changes, particularly in their new product development. For example companies like Apple, Microsoft and Samsung companies have undergone continuous rapid changes in development of new product.
The main purpose of this essay was to prove the advantages of responding to internal drivers than to external drivers while introducing change in the organisation. From this study it was found out that internal drivers are within the organisation that has direct impact on its everyday performance. Therefore, they are within the control and management capacity of the organization. If the internal performance, system, culture and resources of an organisation are excellent it is certain that any obstacles posed from the external environments can be nullified leading to very successful organizational change. Whereas external drivers are existed in the external environment of the firm and those are beyond the control and reach of the organisation. Yet, they can affect the internal functions of the organisation causing instability. Hence the external drivers are not to be undermined rather internal drivers must be activated towards meeting change in line with external drivers.
The Classical World: essay help online
The Classical Era, which flourished from the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD, saw the birth and spread of Greco-Roman ideas. These ideas became the basis for western civilization and laid a foundation of culture that has remained as relevant now as it was in ancient times. Ancient Greece, and later Ancient Rome, cemented their own ideals in the universal consciousness as the cultural standard to which all later societies were held to, and continue to shape contemporary perspective on art, architecture, and government, and other facets of modern society. Despite the core differences of modern and classical times and the centuries that have passed since, the knowledge and perspectives passed down by the Ancient Greeks and Romans remain an essential part of contemporary society and culture, while inspiring western civilization’s greatest accomplishments.
The cultural impact of Ancient Greece and Rome begins most tangibly with the Renaissance, a movement beginning in Florence and spanning through the 14th and 17th centuries. This period is seen as a revival of classical antiquity, with Renaissance scholars, artists, philosophers, and writers attempting to emulate what they considered to be a “golden age,” taking inspiration directly from their Greco-Roman forefathers, with their presence increasingly regarded as an intellectual heritage to be mined for contemporary use. The Florentine author Niccolò Machiavelli, for example, described his nightly retreats into his library in these memorable words:
“At the door I take off my muddy everyday clothes. I dress myself as though I were about to appear before a royal court as a Florentine envoy. Then decently attired I enter the antique courts of the great men of antiquity. They receive me with friendship; from them I derive the nourishment which alone is mine and for which I was born. Without false shame I talk with them and ask them the causes of the actions; and their humanity is so great they answer me. For four long and happy hours I lose myself in them. I forget all my troubles; I am not afraid of poverty or death. I transform myself entirely in their likeness.”
Francesco Petrarca, commonly anglicized as Petrarch, was a scholar who rediscovered the letters of Cicero, a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher and one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. This rediscovery is considered to have initiated the Renaissance, as scholars became interested in learning how the ancients developed their human faculties, powers, and culture, and in turn attempted to apply their findings to their contemporary societies. Through this discovery, Petrarch became the “Father of Renaissance humanism,” humanism being a Renaissance cultural movement that turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought. Petrarch firmly believed that classical writings were not just relevant to his own age but saw in them moral guidance that could reform humanity, a key principle of Renaissance Humanism. The humanists of the Renaissance believed that their mission was to revive the high Roman style of writing pure and eloquent Latin. When that flourished, they believed, art would as well.
The republican elites of Florence and Venice and the ruling families of Milan, Ferrara, and Urbino hired humanists to teach their children classical morality and to write elegant, classical letters, histories, and propaganda. Eventually, the humanism inspired by the study of the Greco-Roman world would bleed into the Catholic Church, a formidable and almost omnipotent deity of the Middle Ages. In the course of the fifteenth century, the humanists convinced most of the popes that the papacy needed their skills. Sophisticated classical scholars were hired to write official correspondence and propaganda to create an image of the popes as powerful, enlightened, modern rulers of the Church and to apply their scholarly tools to the church’s needs, including writing a more classical form of the Mass. Scholars wrote Latin letters and histories on behalf of the popes, and they even tinkered with the church’s traditional liturgy, trying to make prayers and hymns attractively classical. Humanist secretaries and popes wrote dazzling Latin. Though humanism, and therefore classical thinking, never truly permeated the Catholic Church fully, there was an influence of Ancient Greece and Rome on the Church and its leaders.
An easier and far more blatant appreciation of classical antiquity was seen clearly in the art and architecture of the Renaissance. Contrapposto, a sculptural scheme which was revived during the Renaissance, was originated by the Ancient Greeks. It is used when the standing human figure is poised in such a way that the weight rests on one leg (called the engaged leg), freeing the other leg, which is bent at the knee. With the weight shift, the hips, shoulders, and head tilt, suggesting relaxation with the subtle internal organic movement that denotes life. The Greeks invented this formula in the early 5th century BC as an alternative to the stiffly static pose—in which the weight is distributed equally on both legs—that had dominated Greek figure sculpture in earlier periods. Italian Renaissance artists such as Donatello and Andrea del Verrocchio revived the classical formula, giving it the name contrapposto, which suggests the action and reaction of the various parts of the figure, and enriching the conception by scientific anatomical study.
Donatello borrowed from the ancients with his bronze sculpture of David, the biblical hero known for defeating Goliath. Donatello’s David was the first freestanding bronze cast statue of the Renaissance era as well as the first nude sculpture of a male since the classical sculptures of ancient Greece. In Middle Ages, nudity was not used in art except in certain moral contexts, such as the depiction of Adam and Eve, or the sending of souls off to hell. In the classical world, nudity was often used in a different, majestic context, such as with figures who were gods, heroes, or athletes. Here, Donatello seems to be calling to mind the type of heroic nudity of antiquity, since David is depicted at a triumphal point in the biblical narrative of his victory over Goliath. In any case, Donatello’s David is a classic work of Renaissance sculpture, given its Judaeo-Christian subject matter modeled on a classical sculptural type.
Another artwork inspired heavily by ancient antiquity would be Botticelli’s painting titled, Birth of Venus. The theme of the Birth of Venus was taken from the writings of the ancient poet, Homer. According to the traditional account, after Venus was born, she rode on a seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera. In the painting, Venus is prominently depicted in the center, born out of the foam as she rides to shore. On the left, the figure of Zephyrus carries the nymph Chloris (alternatively identified as “Aura”) as he blows the wind to guide Venus. On shore, a figure who has been identified as Pomona, or as the goddess of Spring, waits for Venus with mantle in hand. The mantle billows in the wind from Zephyrus’ mouth.The story of the Birth of Venus is well described below by a Homeric hymn but its relevance to the painting is disputed as the poem was only published, by the Greek refugee Demetrios Chalcondyles, in Florence in 1488 (five years after the painting was completed as a wedding gift for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici in 1483).
Of august gold-wreathed and beautiful
Aphrodite I shall sing to whose domain
belong the battlements of all sea-loved
Cyprus where, blown by the moist breath
of Zephyros, she was carried over the waves
of the resounding sea on soft foam.
The gold-filleted Horae happily welcomed her
and clothed her with heavenly raiment.
The model for Venus in this painting has traditionally been associated with Simonetta Vespucci – who had been a muse for Botticelli, and was seen as the model for female beauty throughout Florence – especially for the Medici family for whom this painting had been created. There is added credence to this suggestion from the fact that she was born in the Ligurian fishing village of PortoVenere – called Port of Venus because there was a little Temple to Venus there from 1st Century BC.
The other model for the pose of Venus in the painting was possibly the Medici Venus, a first century BC statue depicting Aphrodite in a Venus pudica pose. It is actually a marble copy of an original bronze Greek sculpture that Botticelli would have had an opportunity to study whilst visiting the sculpture school or the Platonic Academy which flourished at the family home of the Medici in Florence.
The demand for this type of scene, of course, was humanism, which was alive and well in the court of Lorenzo d’Medici in the 1480s. Here, Renaissance humanism was open not only to the use of a pagan sculpture as a model, but also a pagan narrative for the subject matter, and although the Birth of Venus is not a work which employed Renaissance perspectival innovations, the elegance of the classical subject matter was something that would have intrigued wealthy Florentines who patronized this type of work.
The discovery of particular texts had enormous implications on Renaissance architecture. For example, with the discovery of the works of Vitruvius, an architect at the time of Augustus, there was an explosion of interest in ancient building. Vitruvius wrote an extremely important volume, De architectura libri decem (Ten books on architecture), where he introduced three principles to architecture: Firmatis (durability), Utilitas (utility), and Venustatis (beauty). Vitruvius talked about ancient buildings in a very significant way, not only in terms of practicality, but in an abstract way which emphasized what the buildings represented in both art and society. Similarly to how ancient texts could be applied to the values and aesthetics of contemporary Italians in the 15th century, so could ancient buildings be reduced to an essence, or a set of principles and ideals, that could be applied to the needs of 15th-century Italians, despite their differences from 1st-century Romans.
In particular, we can see in the career of Leon Battista Alberti, who was born in 1404 and died in 1472, how these ideas could be distilled into a set of principles that could apply to the conditions of the Italian world. Alberti wrote De re aedificatoria, or On Building. His work can be considered highly derivative, but Alberti’s purpose was quite different: to take an ancient text and apply it to the needs of his own time. Not only did he write a theoretical treatise on architecture, but he then went out and built buildings. In particular, in Florence, he designed the facade of the Palazzo Rucellai from 1452 to 1470, in which, again, the Vitruvian orders appear and in which the ideas of ancient building are made useful to a Florentine palace for a wealthy merchant.
In the more modern world, there is a wealth of Greco-Roman influence over the inception of the United States of America and its government. For example, the men who inspired the American Revolution and wrote the American Constitution were heavily influenced by the classical Greek and Roman world. The American founding fathers were well educated individuals, and they all had significant experience with ancient Greek and Roman authors since childhood. Historian Bernard Bailyn states, “knowledge of classical authors was universal among colonists with any degree of education.” Thomas Jefferson, writer of the Declaration of Independence, was taught Greek and Latin from the age of nine, and Benjamin Franklin received instruction in Latin at grammar school and became proficient in both Latin and Greek later in life. In Franklin’s Autobiography, frequent references are made to classical western figures, such as Cicero and Cato. James Madison learned Greek and Latin as a child, and “immersed himself in the histories of Greece and Rome.”
With classical schooling such an integral part of the founding fathers’ education, America’s first political leaders studied the works of the great Greek Philosophers, including Plato and Aristotle. Polybius, a less celebrated but still influential thinker, also left his mark upon the American framers of the Constitution. Through Polybius, the founding fathers were introduced to the Roman Republic as the “mixed government” described by Plato and Aristotle. They used Greek philosophy and the model of Roman Republican government in order to form a new nation based on ancient principles.
Philosophers from classical Greece proposed the separation of powers in government, an idea that the American founders adopted for their new nation. In addition, The Roman Republic (509-27 BC) served as a direct model of government for the writers of the constitution. Greek and Roman political thought was critical in shaping the government of the United States of America.
Plato writes that that a strong state should contain elements of both democracy and tyranny, so that the state has a mixed government. His political philosophy, particularly his idea of a “mixed” constitution, would have far reaching effects among later philosophers. His mixed government would ultimately be brought to life in the American Constitution.
Aristotle believed that a mixed government, like the one described by Plato, would halt the decline of government into anarchy. In Aristotle’s mixed constitution, defined in his work The Politics, there were to be three branches of government: “All constitutions have three elements, concerning which the good lawgiver has to regard what is expedient for each constitution…There is one element which deliberates about public affairs [“legislative” branch]; secondly, that concerned with the magistrates [“executive” branch]…and thirdly that which has judicial power.”
This three-tiered mixed government of Aristotle would ultimately find its way into the Constitution. Aristotle also established the principle that the rulers of a state should be subject to the same laws as the rest of the populace; to Aristotle, the rule of law is better than the authority of “even the best man.” This concept of a “ruling official subject to the law” is an integral idea to modern government, where all political figures are supposed to be subject to the same legal code as the average citizen.
In addition to the foundation of government inspired by the ancient world, the influence of classical antiquity can be seen in some of America’s most iconic architecture. Prevalent between about 1780 and 1830, Federal style drew inspiration from the Greco-Romans. The influence of Ancient Greek architecture is apparent in the use of columns and colonnades. Thomas Jefferson was an architect during the Federal period, and he designed not only his own home, Monticello, but the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in this style.
Greek Revival architecture also became widespread in the U.S., and in the middle of the 19th century it became known as the national style, as it was used extensively in houses and smaller public buildings of that time. This style generally featured the Doric Order in larger buildings, and simpler Doric columns topped with a small pediment (without a frieze) in houses. The first major public building built in this style was the Second Bank of the United States, built in Philadelphia between 1819 and 1824, though most famous is the Lincoln Memorial, its exterior echoing that of the Parthenon.
The heritage of the classical world has been one which later societies have taken and made relevant to their own contemporary aesthetics, visions, and ambitions. From the Renaissance to the formation of the United States, Greco-Roman ideals have paved the way and inspired art, architecture, and civic duty, all the while remaining the standard for which culture strains to meet. Despite its antiquity, the classical world has remained both relevant, adaptable, and innovative, inspiring some of western civilization’s greatest feats.
Power dynamics in psychotherapy – reflective literature review
Choice of topic
On receiving the assessment paperwork for my client, I felt overwhelmed and challenged by her status, and that she had previously worked with my placement director. My first reaction, was that I would not be good enough for her as a trainee.
When discussing my responses with my supervisor, she helped me to identify where this had come from, and the skills and knowledge that I had would be beneficial to this client.
To build up a working alliance, Finlay (2016), p.15, with this client, who I will refer to as Kirsty, (not her real name), the progress was slow, and I became very aware of my own counter- transferential feelings. There were areas of her narrative which I felt really in contact with.
Conducting the search
An on-line search Google scholar, using terms like, ‘The Dance of Power’ which returned results of 51, 200,000. Further searches were conducted which brought back similar figures
I then altered the search criteria to ‘The Dance of the Counter-transferential Phenomena’ which brought back 34 Items and this search was done via Wiley on-line Library. This appeared more manageable, and a further search via the same library with a different search term, ‘Undoing Trauma’ brought back just one result. This still was not what I was looking for, so I chose to remain with the search criteria of power within the therapeutic relationship.
So, within the literature, Webster’s dictionary defines power as; ‘the ability to act’ and ‘the capacity to produce and effect’ and ‘the possession of control, authority or influence over others’
Proctor (2017) states how she defines power as being related to how society is formed, and groups of people, who differ from the ‘norm’ have less access to power. These groups could be women, disabled, Black minority ethnic (BME) or working-class people, gay or lesbians. Male or females, young or old.
She suggests that these groups could be oppressed members of society who may have experienced violence or intimidation and who have little experience of power within the relationship.
The history of power within the therapeutic relationship dates to Machiavelli in the 16th century and Hobbes in the 17th century as cited by Proctor, (2017). These two theorists had different views when talking about power. It was not until the twentieth century that Hobbes view of a modernist theory was favoured. Clegg (1989) Hobbes theory of power influenced the basis of thinking around power from a modernist and structural viewpoint.
The modernists view.
This was a new form of expression that was developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This was the era when counselling and psychotherapy developed. McLeod (2009) p. 37
The Structural Theories.
These theories lie within the context of modernism and take a single point of view, that is concrete and belongs to a person. It is assumed that power is an experience that can be found in the form of economic, social, physical, or psychological capacity. For instance, Day (2010) cites Robert Dahl (1957) as, “A has the power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do”.
These theories have emphasised the controlling, oppressive and negative angle of power. These structural theories have been critiqued as it assumes that the power is always ‘power over’ another.
Lukes, (1974) argued that it is the ability of one person, to get another, to do something that (s)he might not otherwise do. He argues that this power is a result of conflict between actors to determine who wins and who loses.
However, Arendt, (1963) saw power as being related to people joining together and making unbreakable promises. Arendt observed a difference between ‘power’ within relationships and ‘authority’ that is given to an individual because of their role. Hindess, (1996) suggests that this moves power towards a relational process and relying on the consent of others.
Elias, (1978) suggests that power is not something a person owns, but it is a trait of human relationships. This view is supported by Lukes, (1974). Elias further suggests that power relations are formed in relationship and that it is a result of living together and interdependence. This phenomenon is like a game of tug of war; a trial of strength between two sides pulling against each other. Oxford English Reference Dictionary (1996), p. 1548
Foucault suggested that power follows the concepts of Nietzsche in that knowledge and thought, theories and discourses are penetrated by values, Daudi, 1986 as cited by Proctor 2017. This approach formed the basis of Foucault’s work. He sees this power relationship as not responding to others, but on their actions. Thus, it is an action upon an action. Day, (2010).
This view of power suggests that power is inherent in all relationships so it both enables and limits actions, thereby helping individuals to broaden their boundaries, Hayward, (1998)
From this perspective, “Power is everywhere…because it comes from everywhere”. Foucault (1980). Power is involved in all social interactions, because ideas operate behind all language and action. Lukes (1974).
Foucault focused on how power was used in society, such as sexuality, (1976), madness, (1967) or criminality, (1977). He looked at the aims of those involved and the tactics they used to achieve those aims and the counter actions of others to achieve the same objective. In his deconstruction of the power within these institutions, he defines ‘disciplinary power’. He defines this as “comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets”. Foucault, (1977), p.215. He emphasised the ‘struggle’ that occurs between individuals and groups in society as the discord is taken up in response to the behaviours of others. Day, (2010) suggests power operates systematically within a society not from above.
Perspectives of Power in the Psychotherapy Relationship
Whilst searching the literature, I struggled to find any published research. Where references have been uncovered, these have been philosophical or theoretical perspectives on the subject; or individual accounts of personal and professional experience. Sanders, c (2017), Totton,(2009), Amitay, (2017), Lazarus, (2015).
Positions of Power
From the literature, there appears to be four philosophical positions:
Power as a destructive and oppressive force in the psychotherapy relationship;
The psychotherapy Relationship as a process of liberation and empowerment of the client.
Power as a relational, inter-subjective process in the psychotherapy relationship; and
The denial of the existence of power in the psychotherapy relationship.
At the end of the 1980’s, the central thoughts about how the imbalances between the therapist and client can result in oppressive and destructive outcomes for clients. The following debates concentrated on the abuse of sexual boundaries and forms of discrimination and prejudice against minority groups. Bates, (2006); Lago, (2006); Masson, (1989); Smail, 1995. The way the psychotherapeutic relationship exists between the client and therapist means that there is a potential for abusive relationships in the dialogue between the client and therapist. Spinelli, (1994). This reflects a structural position on power, Day, (2010), Proctor, (2017). So, the therapist in these circumstances, has ‘power over’ the client which renders them ‘powerless’ and vulnerable.
Within the literature, Masson (1989), describes power in the therapy room as having destructive elements and that the therapy could be a form of abuse. Another form of destructive power, could be therapist abusing the client by disrespecting the sexual boundaries, Chesler, (1972), Sonne and Pope, (1991) and Gabbard, (1996).
It is suggested that these destructive ways can operate at an unconscious level thus leaving the client vulnerable to past, negative experiences. Herman, (1992) believes that it is important for the therapist to avoid using their ‘power over’ Proctor, (2017), p. 13 the client for their own needs or to direct the client’s life decisions. Day, (2010).
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, (BACP) state that under their Ethical Framework, the counsellor has a commitment to avoid harm towards the client, (2015).
It is assumed from this point of view that power is dangerous and destructive to those who are powerless. Often power is viewed from an ethical or moral basis, looking at what is right or wrong. In simple terms, power is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Furggeri, (1992). This view assumes that is a possession, that is in limited supply and this then forms a structural perspective of power. The client is seen as powerless and the therapist powerful. It could be argued that this is an extreme form of domination and repression. Thus, power is viewed as monolithic, unitary and unidirectional. Procter, (2002)
Psychotherapy as Empowerment for the Client.
An alternative perspective of power is seen as positive with the therapist power being good. Psychotherapy is an empowering process for the client and thus enables the client’s autonomy. This line of argument is seen in humanistic literature, feminist literature. Brown, (1994). The British Psychological Society’s (BPS), 2009 division of counselling psychology, states explicitly that it works to ‘empower the client’.
Carl Rogers was one of the first proponents of this. Rogers suggested that the therapist’s role was to avoid power over the client and also refrain from making decisions for them. Rogers supported the client’s autonomy and how they achieved this. So, the decisions are made by the client for themselves. Rogers, (1978)
Bozarth, (1998) argues that the crux of this theory is that the therapist does not intervene. Natiello, (1990), states, “…. Offers a morality of power as well as a methodology for arriving at that morality”. (p 268). She maintains that the person-centred approach offers the client the opportunity to claim his or her own personal power rather than being reliant on the power of others.
Similarly, Freud theories of psychoanalysis argue for the analysist to use their power of rational authority to free the mind of the client.
Fromm, (1956) argues that over the duration of therapy, the client frees and cures themselves from an attachment to irrational authority. Benjamin,(1995) challenged Freud’s position states “ Already idealised for his knowledge and power – his power to know her – the analyst is now internalised in the relationship of knowledge as power over self, a practice in the domination of self whose meaning Foucault (1980) has made unforgettably problematic” p. 154
Frosh, (1987) states that object relations, like psychoanalysis, sets itself up in the feeing of a person’s psyche. He argues that its objectives are to free the client from fixations created by ‘bad’ experiences and to promote internalisation of the more nurturing possibilities experienced in the relationship with the therapist.
This assumes the client is powerless and vulnerable and the therapist has the power to empower the client. Client’s therefore are viewed as powerless. This could be seen as a structural position where power is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and one either has it or not. A moral argument could be where one form of power is ‘right’ and others are ‘wrong’.
A Relationship of Mutuality
The psychotherapeutic relationship is viewed as one of mutuality. Aron, (1996) views this as involving mutual generation of data, mutual regulation of the relationship, mutual recognition of the others autonomy and openness on the part of the therapist as to their client’s impact upon them. Aron argues that power is dynamic that is constantly struggled with in therapy and therefore needs ‘to be continually examined, articulated and worked through’, p151. He suggests that therapists need to question their decisions with regards to ethics as well as questioning their authority and domination in the relationship, referenced in Proctor, (2002) p 133.
Frosh, (1987) believes that the objectives for therapy is to allow the client to explore the power in therapy as it copies and reminds the client of internalised introjects from their formative years. He suggests that an approach which is politicised and recognises the reality of social structures. He argues that part of the difficulties relating to change is that people need to identify, re-experience and re-frame these introjects to help to give them a new meaning in their life. Totton, (2000) argues that it is the therapist’s role to help the client find another genuine and authentic psycho- political position. The relational position, therefore sees the power dynamics as being central in the therapeutic relationship. It is suggested that power is aligned to knowledge and neither the client or the therapist can ‘know’. Thus, it is thought that it is present in all relationships rather than being a possession of the client or therapist. It is therefore unavoidable and potentially both positive and negative. Proctor, (2002) it could be argued that this view, might undermine the role of structural differences in power in society reducing it to an intersubjective process.
Concluding thoughts of the literature
Relational perspectives in psychotherapy have started to think about ‘power’ as dynamic and inevitable. Proctor, (2017). However, despite this recognition of power, the discourse on the power dynamics in psychotherapy has remained at a philosophical level. Much of the literature can be seen as a critique of other psychological therapy or it attempts to show how therapists can misuse the power differential with their clients. The question to be explored and researched further would be how psychotherapists experience the phenomenon of power with their client’s and how it can be worked with in a clinical setting.