Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. — Marsha Norman

The sky is falling and it’s early in the morning but it’s okay somehow.  I spilled my coffee it went all over your clothes.  I have to wear mine now.  I’m almost always late and my hair’s a mess even when it’s straight.  But so what – I’m better off every day.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Timo Cruz: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Botswana’s continued economic strategy is to exploit the country’s mineral worth and invest the proceeds from mining in improving social and economic conditions and create new economic opportunities, while at the same time encouraging foreign aid and private investment.

Botswana; A Case Study

 

Contributing Factors to Success:

Economy

  • At independence in 1966, Botswana was amongst the poorest countries in Africa and in the world, with a GDP per capita of just $91. 95% of the population was rural and over a fifth of the total population was dependent on famine relief (Tregenna 2006)
  • It is particularly noticeable that, over the full thirty-year period, there is no country with a faster growth rate of GDP per capita. (Leigh 2005) pg 1
  • At independence, agriculture was the largest single sector, but the mining sector which was negligible at independence, grew much more rapidly with the development of diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, and later soda ash, making it the largest sector by the end of the 1980’s (Leigh 2005) pg 1

Education

  • Primary school enrolment has gone from 66,100 in 1966 to 319,100 in 1995, representing an average compound growth rate of 5.4 percent per annum (Leigh 2005) pg 4
  •  Major emphasis has been placed on providing basic education and primary healthy care throughout the country.  In recent decades, gender balance has consistently involved great than 50 percent female enrollment (Leigh 2005) pgs 4-5
  • In health care, virtually all-urban residents and 83 percent of rural residents are within 15 km of a primary care facility.  One results of this has been a dramatic fall in infant mortality-from 100 per 1000 live births in 1971 to 45 in 1991. (Leigh 2005) pg 5

HIV/Aids

  •  The exception to the success story in healthy has been the spread of HIV/AIDS.  A substantial portion of the sexually active population-about one quarter-is now HIV positive.  Recent reports indicate that, by 2000, AIDS will be responsible for 64 percent of the deaths of children under five in Botswana (New York Times, 1999)
  • Botswana has the highest or second highest rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, at about 40%. (Tregenna 2006)
  • Life expectancy in Botswana has declined to 36.3 years (UNDP HDR 2005).

Political System

The government is still multi-party system, while after independence. many other African countries have abandoned the system for one-party military regimes by the 1970’s

 

 

 

First good move government made:

  • Being a poor country Botswana adopted open policy towards foreign investment
    • Open policies paid off well-leading to discovery and successful exploitation of copper, nickel, and diamonds-increasing the flow of donors

Second good move government made:

  • Gained access to the EEC for beef exports in 1975
  • Cattle-number one export

Conclusion:

Botswana’s continued economic strategy is to exploit the country’s mineral worth and invest the proceeds from mining in improving social and economic conditions and create new economic opportunities, while at the same time encouraging foreign aid and private investment.

 

 

MLA

 

  1. Leigh, J C. Botswana – a Case Study of Economic Policy Prudence and Growth. 2 Sep. 2005. 19 Nov. 2008 <http://www.frameweb.org/ev02.php?ID=12650_201&ID2=DO_REDIRECT&gt;.
  2. Maipose, Gervase S. POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL DYNAMICS OF SUSTAINED GROWTH IN BOTSWANA.. . <http://cgdev.nonprofitsoapbox.com/storage/cgdev/documents/Africa/Maipose%20on%20Botswana.pdf&gt;.
  3. regenna, Fiona. Explaining Botswana’s Growth. Sep. 2006. 19 Nov. 2008 <http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/policy_library/data/01387/_res/id=sa_File1/Tregenna_Botswana.pdf&gt;.

 

 

APA

  1. Leigh, J. C. (2005). Botswana – A Case Study of Economic Policy Prudence and Growth. Retrieved Nov. 19, 2008, from http://www.frameweb.org/ev02.php?ID=12650_201&ID2=DO_REDIRECT
  2. Maipose, G. S. (n.d.). POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL DYNAMICS OF SUSTAINED GROWTH IN BOTSWANA. Retrieved Nov. 19, 2008, from http://cgdev.nonprofitsoapbox.com/storage/cgdev/documents/Africa/Maipose%20on%20Botswana.pdf
  3. Tregenna, F. (2006). Explaining Botswana’s Growth. Retrieved Nov. 19, 2008, from http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/policy_library/data/01387/_res/id=sa_File1/Tregenna_Botswana.pdf

Barber is a man whose political theories have been dedicate for the past 25 years to improving upon government and attempting to make a community in which citizens are all an integral role in government. By giving the power to the people, Barber believes citizens will become more informed and demonstrate their civic duty. By addressing the idea citizens are only engaged when they elect their representatives in the current system, Barber remedies this thought by giving all the power back to the citizens.

According to Benjamin Barber’s argument throughout Strong Democracy, the ideal form of government is a government in which individuals are an integral part of the governing process. Throughout his article, Barber attempts to find alternative forms of government to the liberal democracy. Barber, similar to French catholic writer, Louis Veuillot, finds issue with a representative government due to the idea “when I vote my equality falls into the box with m ballot, they disappear together” (Tercheck, 171).  A democratic citizen is a citizen whose sole responsibility is to elect a representative, and whose democratic responsibility stops there.   Without the ability to make decisions to determine their own policies, Barber argues a democratic citizen is not really free at all.

Barber main argument against a representative government is the idea that representation impedes upon the community’s ability to function and promote justice.  He argues freedom, equality, and justice are all values only promoted through a government ruled by the individual, rather than representation.  He presents the argument citizens are upheld to laws they were not truly part of making.

In order to fix the problem of representative government, Barber outlines two forms of government, unitary democracy and strong democracy.  A unitary democracy calls for consensus of all, in which citizens “achieves his civic duty identity through merging his self with the collectivity, that is to say, through self-abandonment” (Tercheck, 173).  This creates a form of government in which government is synonymous with community.  By giving up the individual, a unitary democracy stresses the importance of community.  This form of government attempts to resolve conflict, increase individual participation, and combine interests of the community.  Although Barber makes the argument this government can occur in any type of community, its possibility is very slim in a larger country.  By surrendering individual rights for the community, there is sure to be backlash from citizens.

Although Barber argues citizens are upheld to legislation they played no part in making, they also benefit from other legislation they also had no part of making. By asking individuals to give up their individuality for the common good, government is ran by the masses of uneducated and uninformed individuals.  Self-abandonment is not possible when many individuals have little to not interest in politics.

A second form of government Barber prefers to liberal democracy is strong democracy.  A strong democracy is self-government rather than a representative government.  Similar to Machiavelli, Barber believes the will of a group would be wiser than a small group of princes, “the majority of the plain people will day in and day out make fewer mistakes in government themselves than any smaller body of men will make in trying to govern them” (Tercheck, 174).  His idea of a strong democracy focuses on participatory politics by subjecting citizens to each and every decision.  Barber believes a self-sustaining government of participation and community would yield a productive form of government.  Citizens must be responsible for the daily decisions made that affect their community.

Barber’s argument for strong democracy assumes citizens want to be engaged, and part of the political process.  By merging together the public and private worlds, citizens are no longer able to think for themselves, but instead are held accountable to a government by the people.  Barber argues that through strong democracy the idea of participation draws a line between the masses and a citizenry, “masses make noise, citizens deliberate; masses behave, citizens act; masses collide and intersect, citizens engage share and contribute” (Tercheck, 176).  Barber believes strong government will change citizens from an uninformed mass to an informed citizenry.

Barber sees the future of politics in strong democracy due to the fact of the model’s accountability to the individual.  It is the citizens responsibility to achieve results, rather than relying on others to make decisions for them.

Unlike other selections, Strong Democracy was published only 25 years ago.  Barber’s believes his model could be presented to a modern government, and provide solutions to modern day problems.  His model is one that would not be feasible in a country such as the United States.  Not many individuals would willingly go through self-abandonment for the betterment of the government.  Barber has appeared in the news for many of his thoughts and ideas, and was interviewed on the Colbert Report, in March of 2007.  Barber has promoted his books throughout publications and televisions shows to promote many of his ideas.

Barber is a man whose political theories have been dedicate for the past 25 years to improving upon government and attempting to make a community in which citizens are all an integral role in government.  By giving the power to the people, Barber believes citizens will become more informed and demonstrate their civic duty.  By addressing the idea citizens are only engaged when they elect their representatives in the current system, Barber remedies this thought by giving all the power back to the citizens.

 

Management constructs strategic plans that establish general goals for a firm. The strategies designed to meet the goals are executed by the various executives responsible for a firm’s operations, marketing and finance. Financial plans must fit within the general strategic plan of a firm. These plans require forecasts of when a firm will need outside sources of finance.

Test 3 Study Guide

Chapter 16

Hold period return (hpr)-total return (income plus price appreciation during a specified time period) divided by the cost of the investment

 

Internal rate of return-percentage return that equates the present value of an investment’s cash inflows with its cost

 

The return an investor earns depends on the flow of income (dividends or income), the price paid for the security, and the sale price.  The holding period return is the percentage earned on an investment without considering how long the investor held the security.  Since the holding period return disregards time, it does not include the impact of compounding.  The hold period return often overstates an investment’s true, compounded return for securities held for more than a year.

The true annualized return, which is also referred to as the internal rate of return, determines the rate that equates the present value of an investment’s cash inflows and its cash outflows.  This return encompasses the initial cost of an investment, any dividends or interest received, the sale price, and the time period. The computation produces a true, compounded rate of return.

Studies of returns from investments in common stock have found that investors earned, over extended periods of time, returns in excess of 10 percent.  This annualized return varies with the time period selected and varies from year to year.  The annualized returns were higher for smaller stocks, but their returns are also more variable.  Bonds and Treasury bills generated lower returns than stocks but their returns were less variable, indicating that these investments were less risky.

 

Chapter 17

Closed-end investment Company-investment Company with a fixed number of outstanding shares that are bought and sold through secondary markets

 

Open-end investment company-mutual fund that issues new shares and agrees to redeem the shares on the demand of the shareholder

 

Mutual fund-open-end investment company that stands to issue and redeem its shares on demand

 

Net asset value-asset value of a share in an investment company; investment company’s assets minus liabilities divided by the number of shares outstanding

 

Discount-extent to which the price of a closed-end investment company’s stock is less than that share’s net asset value

 

Premium-extent to which the price of a closed-end investment company’s stock exceeds the share’s net asset value

 

No-load fund-mutual fund that does not charge a sales commission when individuals purchase shares from the fund

Load fund-mutual fund that charges commissions when individuals purchase shares from the fund

 

Global fund-mutual fund whose portfolio includes foreign and U.S> firms, especially those with international operations

 

International fund-mutual fund whose portfolio is limited to non-U.S. securities

 

Regional fund-mutual fund that specializes in the firms in a particular geographical area

 

Index fund-mutual fund whose portfolio seeks to duplicate an index of stock prices

 

Instead of directly investing in securities, you may buy shares in investment companies.  These firms, in turn, invest the funds in various assets, such as stocks and bonds.

There are two types of investment companies.  A closed-end investment company has a specific number of shares that are bough and sold in the same manner as the stock of firms such as IBM.  An open-end investment company (a mutual fund) has a variable number of shares sold directly to investors.  Investors who desire to liquidate their holdings sell them back to the company.

Investment companies offer several advantages, including professional management, diversification and custodial services.  Dividends and the interest earned on the firm’s assets are distributed to stockholders.  In addition, if the value of the company’s assets rises, the stockholders profit as capital gains are realized and distributed.

The types of assets they own may classify mutual funds.  Some stress income-producing assets, such as bonds, preferred stock, and common stock of firms that distribute a large proportion of their income.  Other mutual funds stress growth in their net asset values through investments in firms with the potential to grow and generate capital gains.  There are also investment companies that specialize in large cap or small cap stocks, particular sectors of the economy, and tax-exempt securities.  There are even mutual funds that duplicate an index of the stock market.

To select an investment company, you should match your objectives with those of the particular fund.  The past performance of the fund may also be used to select funds, however, the historical returns may not indicate future returns.  The management of few mutual funds has outperformed the market over the market as a whole.  This performance is consistent with the efficient market hypothesis, which suggests that few, if any, investors will outperform the market over an extended period of time.

 

 

Chapter 18

 

Sole proprietorship-firm with one owner

 

Partnership-firm formed by two or more individuals, each of who is liable for the firm’s debts

 

Limited partnership-partnership in which some of the partners have limited liability and are not liable for the partnership’s debts

 

Limited liability-individual’s personal liability extending only to his or her investment in the firm

 

Corporation-economic unit created by a state, having the power to own assets, incur liabilities, and engage in specific activities

 

Charter-document specifying the relationship between a firm and the state in which the firm is incorporated

 

Bylaws-document specifying the relationship between a corporation and its stockholders

 

S Corporation-corporation that is taxed as if it were a partnership

 

Most firms are sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations.  The differences among them are related to the numbers of owners, permanence of the business, ease of transferring ownership, owner’s liability, and taxation.  The development of S corporations and limited liability companies has blurred the distinctions between corporations and other forms of business.

In terms of revenues and earnings, corporations are the most important form of business.  Corporations are established in a state and received a charter from that state that specifies the relationship between the state and the corporation.  The relationship between the company and its owners (stockholders) is specified in the bylaws.  The advantages associated with large publicly held corporations include permanence, ease of transfer of ownership, and limited liability.

Businesses are subject to taxation by federal and state governments.  Federal corporate income tax rates rise to 35 percent as the firm’s taxable income increases.  If the corporation operates as a loss, the loss may be carried back three years to offset earnings that were previously taxed.  This carry back results in the corporation receiving a tax refund.  If the previous three years’ incomes are more than offset by the loss, any remaining loss is carried forward to offset future earnings.  This carry forward may be extended up to 15 years; however, for the loss carry forward to produce tax savings, the corporation must generate earnings in the future.

 

Chapter 19

Break-even analysis-technique used to determine that level of output at which total expenses equal total revenues (resulting in neither profits nor losses)

 

Fixed costs-those costs that do not vary with the level of output

 

Variable costs-those costs that vary with the level of output

 

Total costs-sum of fixed and variable costs

 

Total revenues-price time’s quantity sold

 

Payback period- period of time necessary to recoup the cost of an investment

 

The break-even level of output occurs when revenues exactly cover expenses.  Revenues depend on the number of units sold and their price.  Total expenses depend on fixed costs, which are independent of the level of production, and variable costs, which rise and fall with changes in the level of output.  Although break-even analysis does not determine the most profitable level of output, it is a useful tool when management anticipates introducing a new product or substituting fixed costs for variable costs.

The payback period determines the time necessary for an investment’s cash inflows to recapture the investment’s cost of initial cash outflow.  Investments with the fastest payback are preferred.  Like break-even analysis, the payback period does not determine an investment’s profitability or its contributions to the value of the firm.  The technique also has major weaknesses such as its failure to consider the timing of cash inflows.

 

 

Chapter 20

 

Operating leverage-use of fixed factors of production (fixed costs) instead of variable factors of production (variable costs) to produce a level of output

 

Financial leverage-use of another person’s or firm’s funds in return for agreeing to pay a fixed return for the funds; the use of debt or preferred stock financing

 

Operating leverage brings to the foreground the importance of fixed costs relative to variable costs.  Firms that have large fixed costs have operating leverage.  These firms must achieve a higher level of sales to break even.  Firms with costs that fluctuate with the level of output do not have operating leverage; they may achieve profits a lower level of production.  However, once profitable levels of output are achieved, the firm with more operating leverage will experience more rapid increases in operating income for given changes in production.  This increased variability of operating income increase the business risk associated with the firm.

All assets must be financed.  There are two basic sources of finance: debt and equity.  IF a firm uses debt financing, it is financially leveraged.  If the firm is able to earn more with the funds acquired by issuing debt financing, the firm increases the owners’ return on their investment.

Although the successful use of debt financing increases the return on equity, it also increases financial risk.  If the firm experiences a decline in sale or profit margins, it must still pay the interest and retire the principal.  Failure to do so may result in bankruptcy.  Thus, while the use of debt financing may increase the return on equity during periods of success and growth, the opposite may be true during periods of difficulty.  Then the use of debt financing reduces the return on equity, as the firm must meet the fixed obligations of its debt financing.

 

Chapter 21

 

Optimal capital structure-combination of debt and equity financing that minimizes the average cost of capital

 

Cost of capital-weighted average of the costs of a firm’s sources of finances

 

Marginal cost of capital-cost of additional sources of finance

 

All assets must be financed.  While there may be a variety of securities, there are ultimately only two sources: debt and equity.  If the firm uses financial leverage, it increases risk, which may increase the cost of the components of the firm’s capital structure.

One component of the capital structure, the cost of debt, depends on the interest rate that must be paid and the tax saving associated with the deductibility of interest payments.  Another component, the cost of preferred stock, depends on the dividend that is paid and the net proceeds from the sale of the preferred stock.  The third component, the cost of common equity, depends on whether the firm uses retained earnings or issues new shares of stock.  New equity is more expensive because of the flotation costs associated with the sale of the new shares.

The cost of common stock is an opportunity cost concept: It is the return necessary to induce investors to own the stock.  This cost may be determined by adding an equity premium to the interest paid creditors such as bondholders.  An alternative approach to determine the cost of common stock is to use the capital asset pricing model, which incorporates the return on a risk-free security, the return on the market as a whole, and the systematic (market) risk associated with the stock.  A third approach uses the expected dividend yield and expected growth to determine the cost of common stock.

Management’s task is to determine the best combination of debt and equity financing that is, to determine the firm’s optimal capital structure.  That structure takes advantage of financial leverage without unduly increasing risk.  That combination of debt and equity financing minimizes the overall cost of capital and minimizes the value of the common stock.

Once the optimal capital structure has been determined, that combination of debt and equity should be maintained.  However, even if the proportions are maintained, the marginal cost of capital may increase, as the firm has to pay flotation costs and issue riskier debt with a higher interest rate to raise additional funds.

 

 

Chapter 22

Capital budgeting-the process of selecting long-term investments, primarily plant and equipment

Net present value (NPV)-present value of an investment’s cash flows minus the cost of the investment

Internal rate of return (IRR)-rate of return that equates the present value of an investment’s cash flows with the cost of making the investment

Hurdle rate-return necessary to justify making an investment; often set higher than the firm’s cost of capital

Mutually exclusive investments-two investments for which the acceptance of one automatically excludes the acceptance of the other

 

Capital budgeting is the process for making long-term investment decisions, such as whether to expand plant and equipment.

The net present value (NPV) technique determines the present value of an investment’s cash inflows and subtracts the current cash outflows to determine the net present value.  If the net present value is position, the investment is selected.  If the financial manager must rank competing investments, those investments with the highest net present value are selected first.

The internal rate of return determines the discount factor that equates the present value of an investment’s cash inflows and outflows.  IF this internal rate of return exceeds the firm’s cost of capital, the investment should be made.  IF the financial manager must rank competing investments, those investments with the highest internal rates of return are selected first.

The rankings determined by the net present value and the internal rate of return might conflict.  Such conflicts can occur when there are differences in the costs of investments or differences in the timing of their cash flows.   Reconciliation of the conflicts may be achieved by analyzing the reinvestment rates.  If the financial manage must choose between the net present value and the internal rate of return techniques, the net present value is to be preferred since it makes the most conservative assumption concerning the reinvestment of cash flow (that is, the cash inflows are reinvested at the firm’s cost of capital).

Both the net present value and the internal rate of return capital budgeting techniques use forecasted cash inflows.  These forecasts are expected values and cannot be known with certainty.  An investment’s risk must be analyzed on a stand-alone basis in which the financial manger considers only the risk associated with the investment.  An investment’s risk, however, may also be analyzed in a portfolio context in which the impact on the firm and its owners is considered.  If a portfolio approach is used, risk investments whose returns are poorly or even negatively correlated with the returns from other investments may reduce the firm’s risk exposure.  The lack of correlation has a diversification effect that reduces the firm’s risk.

Chapter 23

Percent of sales-forecasting technique that assumes specific assets and liabilities will vary directly with the level of sales

 

Management constructs strategic plans that establish general goals for a firm.  The strategies designed to meet the goals are executed by the various executives responsible for a firm’s operations, marketing and finance.  Financial plans must fit within the general strategic plan of a firm.  These plans require forecasts of when a firm will need outside sources of finance.

Some assets, such as accounts receivable and inventory, automatically explain with increases in the firm’s sales.  Other assets, such as plant and equipment, have to be increased after a firm reaches a certain level of sales.  Once capacity is reached, further expansion will require additional investment in plan and equipment.

All assets have to be financed; so projecting a firm’s level of assets is crucial to the financial health of a firm.  One forecasting technique uses the percent of sales.  It expresses all assets and liabilities as sales increase.  A more sophisticated forecasting technique uses estimated equations (regression analysis) to estimate the level of assets and liabilities associated with various levels of sales.

Either technique may be used to construct a projected balance sheet that indicates a firm’s estimated future assets, future liabilities, and future equity.  IF the estimated assets exceed the estimated liabilities plus equity, the financial manage must plan today to find the finance required by the forecast of the

It does imply that Marxism has misunderstood the liberal and liberal democratic preoccupation with the form and limits of state power, and that this misunderstanding is an inextricable part of classical Marxist political theory. It is a misunderstanding with implications, rich in consequences, for how one conceives politics, democracy and the nature of political agency

Questions still to be answered

 

1)    Road to Serfdom

2)   Callinico’s critique of Fukuyama thesis

3)   Held’s critique of the Fukuyama thesis

 

 

 

The End of Ideology

 

  • Modified Marxist framework-defined by Marxism-Leninism
  • Analyzed the so-called ‘end of ideology’ as the realization of a highly repressive order-the “one dimensional society”
  • By ‘the end of ideology’-Lipset, one of the best known exponents of this position, meant a decline in the support by intellectuals, labour unions, and left-wing political parties for what he called ‘red flag waving’-the socialist project
  • Lipset argued within Western democracies it doesn’t matter which political party controls the domestic policies of individual nations
  • The fundamental problems of the industrial revolution have been resolved
    1. The workers have achieved political citizenship
    2. The conservatives have accepted the welfare state
    3. The democratic left has recognized that an increase in overall state power carries with it more dangers to freedom than solutions for economic problems
  • Lipset affirmed fundamental consensus on general political values-in favour of equality, achievement, and the procedures of democracy-confirmed legitimacy on present political and social arrangements
  • Western democracies would come to enjoy a future defined by progressive stability, convergence in the political views of classes and parties and by the steady erosion of conflict

 

Similarities between “One Dimensional” and ‘End of Ideology’ Theories

 

  1. High degree of compliance and integration among all groups and classes in society
  2. 2.  Stability of the political and social system is reinforced as a result
    “One Dimensional Society
  • Marcuse rejected ‘end of ideology’ theory
  • Marcuse claimed they all shared a similar starting point: an attempt to explain the appearance of political harmony in Western Capitalism in the immediate postwar years
  • Marcuse pointed to a multiplicity of forces which were combining to aid the management and control of the modern economy

 

 

  1. 1.   Spectacular development of the means of production
  • As a result of growing capital, radical changes in science and technology, mechanization and automation
  • Increase in private bureaucracies
  1. 2.  Increasing regulation of Free Competition
  • Consequences of state intervention which stimulates and supports the economy and leads to the expansion of public bureaucracy
  1. 3.  Reordering of national priorities by international events in the permanent threat of war
  • Created by The Cold War and the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe

 

 

  • These trends in society were leading, Marcuse contended, to the establishment of massive private and public organizations which threatened to engulf social life
  • A crucial consequence of this state of affair Marcuse labeled ‘depolitization’: the eradication of political and moral questions from the public life by an obsession with technique, productivity, and efficiency
  • The single minded pursuit of production for profit by large and small businesses, and the state’s unquestioned support for this objective in the name of economic growth, set a highly limited political agenda
  • Public affairs became concerned merely with debating different means to an end (i.e. more and more production)
  • Depolitization resulted from the spread of ‘instrumental reason’-spread of the concern with the efficiency of different means with respect to pregiven ends

 

 

Overloaded State

 

  1. A. Pluralist starting point: characterize power in terms of fragmentation-power is shared and battered by number of groups representing diverse and competing interests.  Therefore, political outcomes are the result of numerous processes and pressures-governments try to mediate and adjust between demands
  2. B. Postwar market created booms in consumer goods, new housing, and in television and entertainment industries
  3. Higher standard of living
  4. Decline in respect for authority
  5. Groups learnt to press politicians and governments hard to promote their interests
  6. IN order to secure votes, politicians promised more than they could provide
  7. Political parties wanted to increase the standard of living
  8. Parties pursued strategy of appeasement for fear of losing future votes
  9. Agencies were set up but failed to med the ends for which they were originally designed
  10. Public spending became excessive, therefore inflation increased
  11. The state destroyed the individual’s ‘free, private enterprise’
  12. Vicious cycle set in motion, political leaders were less responsive to democratic pressures and demands

 

Legitimation Crisis

 

  • The form and operation of democratic institutions was essentially dysfunctional for the efficient regulation of economic and social affairs, a position broadly shared with the New Right
    • Only focusing on class relations and the constraints on politics imposed by capital and an adequate basis could be established for understanding crisis tendencies

 

  1. A.  A Marxist starting point: Political parties maintain power through resources generated by private capital accumulation.  They must make decisions to promote business (capitalist) while trying to be neural between all class interests so that mass electoral support may be sustained
  1. B. The economy is organized through private appropriation of resources which are socially produced
    1. Production is organized for profit maximization
  2. The economy is inherently unstable-disrupted by crisis
  3. In order for economic and political order of contemporary societies to be maintained, extensive state intervention is constantly required
  4. Governmentshould rescue industries in trouble
    1. The bankruptcy of a big firm can be a threat to stability
  5. Government and the state should expand their civil service
  6. Government should finance itself through taxation and loans from capital markets without jeopardizing economic growth
  7. Government cannot use ‘stop-start’ approach to economy between party changes
  8. The state should intervene in the economy-choice, planning, and control
  9. If this can not be fulfilled the state will face “legitimation and motivation crisis’
  10. In this case, a ‘strong state’ may emerge, a state which promotes ‘order’ over anything else
  11. If 10 happens, a vicious cycle may be set in motion
  12. The fundamental transformation of the system cannot be ruled out-it does not happen due to an event but instead a process-continuous erosion of the existing order’s capacity to be reproduced and the emergence of alternative institutions

 

The Minimal State

 

  • Laissez-faire aka free market society is the key objective of a minimal state
  • Nozick presented the argument for the ‘minimal state’ of the ‘framework for utopia’; the least intrusive form of political power commensurate with the defense of individuals’ rights
  • He sought to establish that ‘mo more extensive sate could be morally justified’ because it would ‘violate the rights of individuals’ not to be forced to do certain things
  • Individuals were extraordinarily diverse
  • There is no one community that will serve as an ideal for all people because a wide range of conceptions of utopia exist

 

‘Ideology of the New Right’

aka Neo-Liberalism or Neo-Conservatism

  • Concerned to advance the cause of ‘liberalism’ against ‘democracy’ by limiting the democratic use of state power
  • Robert Nozick and Friedrich Hayek
  • View political, economic life to be individual freedom
  • The extension of the market to more and more areas of life
  • The creation of a state stripped of ‘excessive’ involvement both in the economy and in the provision of opportunities
  • The curtailment of the power of certain groups (for instance trade unions) to press their own goals
  • Construction of a strong government to enforced law and order
  • Project an image of markets as ‘powerless’ mechanisms of coordination and in so doing neglect the distorting nature of economic power in relation to democracy

 

Hayek’s critique of Democracy

 

  • Hayek saw fundamental dangers in the dynamics of contemporary ‘mass democracies’ these dangers are
    1. Propensity for arbitrary and oppressive majority rule
    2. Progressive displacement of the rule of majority rule by the rule of its agents
  • Similar to Plato to Schumpeter but Hayek deployed them as part of an appeal for the restoration of a liberal order or a ‘legal democracy’
  • Hayek’s view— unless the demos is constrained in its actions by general rules, there is n guarantee that what it commands will be good or wise
  • To the ‘doctrinaire democrat’ what the majority wants ‘is sufficient grounds for regarding it as good… the will of the majority determines not only what is law but what is good law”
  • This ‘fetish’ of democracy leads to the false suggestion that ‘so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary’
  • Hayek argues that democracy is by no means infallible or certain
  • Similar to Schumpeter insisted that we must not forget that ‘there has often been much more cultural and spiritual freedom under an autocratic rules than under some democracies and it is as least conceivable that under the government of a very homogenous and doctrinaire majority
  • Democratic government might be as oppressive as the worse dictatorship’
  • Democratic control may prevent power form becoming arbitrary but it does not do some by its mere existence
  • It is only by distinguishing between ‘limitations on power’ and ‘sources of power’ that political arbitrariness can begin to be prevented
  • Hayek argues democracies are coercive because knowledge is limited, we can only know about the needs of those around us, let alone millions of people
  • Any systematic attempt to regulate the lives and activities of individuals is oppressive and an attack on their freedom— a denial of their right to the ultimate judge of their own ends
  • Hayek said that it is only in specifying ‘’the means capable of serving a great variety of purposes’ that agreement among citizens is probable
  • Like many other neo-liberals, Hayek made it clear that if democracy means ‘the unrestricted will of the majority’ he should not be counted as a democrat
  • Citizens can enjoy liberty only if the power of the state is circumscribed by law—by rules which specify limits on the scope of state action—limits on individuals to develop their own views and tastes to pursue their own ends and to fulfill their own talents and gifts
  • In Hayek’s view, democracy is not an end in itself, it is a means- a ‘utilitarian device’ to help safeguard the highest political end: liberty—- restrictions must be made on democratic governments
  • Legislators should not meddle with the rule of law-for meddling leads to a diminution of freedom
  • A government can only legitimately intervene in civil society to enforce general rules, rules which protect ‘life, liberty and estate’
  • Hayek, “ a free, liberal, democratic order is incompatible with the enactment of rules”
  • Governments become coercive if they interfere with people’s own capacity to determine their objectives
  • When protected by a constitutional state, no system provides a mechanism of collective choice as dynamic, innovative and responsive as the operations of a free market

 

Ideology of the New Left

  • Inequalities of class, sex and race substantially hinder the extent to which it can legitimately be claimed that individuals are ‘free and equal’
  • Carole Pateman and C.B. MacPherson
  • Inspired by republicans such as Rousseau, by anarchists, and by what were earlier called “libertarian” and “pluralism’ Marist positions
  • Questioned the idea that individuals are “free and equal”
  • Questions whether the existing relationship between men and woman, blacks and whites, working middle and upper classes, and various ethnic groups allow formally recognized rights actually to be realized
  • The formal existence of certain rights is, while not unimportant, of very limited value if they can not be genuinely enjoyed
  • New Left thinkers generally accept that there are fundamental difficulties with orthodox Marxist theory
  • They formed a theory that moved beyond a juxtaposition of Marxism with liberalism
  • 2 sets of changes are emphasized in New Left writings as vital for the transformation of politics in the West and East
  1. The state must be democratized by making parliament, state bureaucrats, and political parties more open and accountable
  2. New forms of struggle at the local level (through factory based politics, the women’s movement, ecological groups) must ensure that society, as well as the state, is subject to procedures which ensure accountability

 

MacPherson and Pateman on Participatory Democracy

 

  • Maintaining that liberty and individual development can only be fully achieved with the direct and continuous involvement of citizens in the regulation of society and state
  • MacPherson argued for transformation based upon a system combining competitive parties and organizations of direct democracy
  • The party system itself should be reorganized on less hierarchal principles, making political administrators and managers more accountable to the personnel of the organization they represent
  • If parties were democratized according to the principles and procedures of direct democracy-and if these participatory parties operated within a parliamentary or congressional structure complemented and checked by fully self-managed organizations in the workplace and local community
  • Only such a political system, in MacPherson’s view would actually realize the profoundly important liberal democratic value of the equal right to liberty and self development
  • Entrenchment of interests of all kinds was an obstacle of participatory government MacPherson argues

 

Pateman argues participatory democracy:

  • Fosters human development
  • Enhances political efficacy
  • Reduces a sense of estrangement fro power centers
  • Nurtures a concern for collective problems
  • Contributes to the formation of an active and knowledgeable citizenry capable of interest in government

 

  • If people know there are opportunities for effective participation in decision making, they are likely to believe participation is worthwhile

 

  • For self determination to be achieved, democratic rights need to be extended from the state of economic enterprise and other organizations in society

 

  • Both MacPherson and Pateman rejected the view that the institutions of direct democracy would be extended to all political, social, and economic domains while the institutions of representative democracy are swept aside, and that complete political and social equality could be created through the self-management of all spheres

 

  • MacPherson and Pateman sought to combine and refashion insights from both liberal and Marxists traditions

 

Criticisms of MacPherson and Pateman

  • They assume people want to be active democratic citizens
  • They fail to give details on how the economy should be organized, how institutions of representative and direct democracy are to be mixed, how households and childcare should be related to work, how those who choose to “opt out” of the political system do so, or how problems of the ever changing international system should be dealt with

 

Factors that led to the demise of the Soviet Union

  • 1980’s reform process was initiated in the USSR by Mikhail Gorbachev-perestroika

 

Specific Policies

  • Soviet decision to replace the Brezhnev Doctrine (the policy of protecting the ‘achievement of socialism’ in Eastern Europe by force if necessary) with the Sinatra Doctrine (the policy of tolerating nationally chosen paths to progress and prosperity ‘do it your way’)
  • By removing the threat of Red Army or Warsaw Pact intervention
  • Refusing to sanction the use of force to crush mass demonstrations, the ‘Sinatra Doctrine’ effectively pulled the carpet from under East European communism
  • The gradual erosion of communist power in the civil societies and economics of the Soviet bloc

 

    1. Soviet economy’s lack of integration into the world economic system protected it in the short term from the pressures and instabilities attendant on achieving competitive productivity levels necessary for a sustained role in the international division of labour: in particular, in relation to technology and innovation
    2. Renewed geo-political pressures that followed from the intensification of the Cold War in the late 1970’s and 1980’s given momentum by Reagan and Margaret Thatcher
    3. Significant conflicts and schisms had emerged in the Soviet block during the previous few decade leading to massive acts of repressions to contain dissent in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and in Poland

 

Fukuyama on the end of history thesis

  • Provided a reassuring counterpart to early preoccupation with the U.S.’s fall from hegemony but in their confident and assertive tone, went someway to restore faith in the supremacy of western values
  • Fukuyama formerly deputy director of the US State Department Policy Planning staff celebrated on only in the ‘triumph of the West’ but also as he put it ‘the end of history as such, that is, the endpoint of mankind’s ideological evolution and universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government
  • His main point: the current lack of competitors’ against political and economic liberalism in the world ideological market place is surely hard to refuter

 

Four main components

1)   Broad emphasis on conflicts among ideologies as the motor of history

  • History as a sequence of stage of consciousness or ideology, systems of political belief that embody distinctive views about basic principles underlying social order

2)   End of history has been reached because ideological conflict is virtually at end.  Liberalism is the last victorious ideology.

  • The chief rivals to liberalism in the 20th century: fascism and communism either failed or are failing

3)   The end of history should not be taken to mean the end of all conflict

  • Conflict can arise from nationalistic and religious groups [i.e. those outside the liberal world]

4)   Fukuyama is not wholly unambivalent about the ‘end of history.’  It will, he suggest be a ‘very sad time’

  • There will no longer be daring leaps of human imagination and valiant struggles of great principle; politics will become an extension of the regulative processes of markets
  • Idealism will be replaced by economic management and the solving of technical problems in the pursuit of consumer satisfaction

 

 

 

Criticism of Fukuyama’s argument

1)   Liberalism cannot be treated as a unity

  • Locke, Bentham, and Mill embody different conceptions

2)   Fukuyama does not explore whether there are any tensions or even contradictions between the “liberal” and “democratic’ components of liberal democracy

3)   The degree to which inequalities of ownership and control create differences of interests that can spark clashes of value, principle, belief within the West and between the West and the “developing world” is also barely considered

4)   Fukuyama neglects to inquire into the extent to which market relations are themselves power relations that can constrain and limit the democratic process (223)

 

Callinico’s Critique of Contemporary Capitalism

v The collapse of Stalinism in 1989 was not the defeat of Marxism but the authoritarian distortion of Marxism.  And what in 1989 was not “democracy” but “capitalism’

v The present era is constituted by a single unified economic system, marked by exploitation and inequality

v “Really existing capitalism” is characterized by

  1. The growth of corporations beyond the control of individual nation-states
  2. Cyclical crises involving overproduction
  3. Anarchy and waste
  4. Poverty in the heartlands of the West
  5. Massive disparities in life chances between the West and the rest
  6. Creation of life threatening side-effects of uncontrolled capitalist accumulation in the form of, for example, global warming

 

In Callinicos judgment, ‘capitalism stands condemned’ it is time to resume the classic Marxist project of direct democracy

 

Callinico’s on Liberal Democracy’s failure to live up to its promises

Alex Callinicos sees these promises as

1)   Political participation

2)   Accountable government

3)   Freedom to protest and reform

 

“Really existing liberal democracy” fails, he contends, on all 3 accounts—this is shown through

 

1)   Largely passive citizenry

2)   The erosion and displacement of parliamentary institutions by unelected centres of power

3)   Substantial structural constraints on state action and in particular, on the possibility of the piecemeal reform of capitalism

 

Democracy can only come from below from the self-activity of the working class

 

 

In the liberal tradition of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the political has often been equated with the world of government and the citizens’ relation to it

Marxism maintains that the key source of contemporary power-private ownership of the means of production-is unacceptably depoliticized by liberalism

 

 

Callinicos critique of Stalinism

  • Callinicos interprets Stalinism as a counter-revolutionary force which created at the close of the 1920’s an anti democratic state capitalist regime—that is a regime in which the state bureaucracy extracted surplus value and regulated capital accumulation, fulfilling the role once performed by the propertied class
  • Stalinism destroyed the possibility of a radical workers’ democracy installed briefly in the Soviet Union in October 1917 under Lenin’s leadership

 

1)  Marx’s work, subsequently enriched and refined by Marxist scholars, provides an account for epochal transformations,

  1. Cast in terms of underlying conflict that develops between the relations and forces of production and between classes, which both mediate and intensify conflict.
  2. This account offers an indispensable framework for the collapse of the Stalinist order

2)  A basis exists for understanding the specific nature and evolution of Stalinism.

  1. The concept of “state capitalism” identifies the contradictions that exists in Stalinist regimes-between exploiting a dominant class that runs the bureaucracy and state factories, and the working classes, excluded from any effective control of the productive forces.
  2.  It was this contradiction that brought the Stalinist regimes to an “immense crisis”

3)  In defining a project of human emancipation, classic Marxists provide an alternative to existing class-ridden regimes in the West and the East.

  1. In championing a conception of socialism as “the self-emancipation of the working class” classic Marxism upholds a vision of ‘self-conscious independent movement of the immense majority, in the interests of the immense majority’
  2. This is a vision of socialism from below

 

Neither state socialism nor liberal democracy can provide a political programme of participatory democracy, which ultimately failed to address the economic power of capital and thus the primary obstacle to the transformation of democratic politics

 

 

Critique of Callinicos critique of Stalinism

 

One of the chief problems

  • Concerns the questions that arise when the capitalist order is presented as an all embracing totality within which all aspects of social, political and cultural life are in principle, located
  • Some mechanisms of institutional ordering (the modern states-system, the representative principle for instance) and some types of social relationships (gender inequality and ethnic discrimination, for example) existed before the advent of modern capitalism and have retained distinctive roles in the formation and structuring of politics
  • One implication of this is the concept of mode of production and class analysis are too limiting

Additional questions to rise:

  • If not all differences of interest can be reduced to class and if differences of opinion, for example about the allocation of resources, can stem from a variety of interpretations and social locations, it is important to create the institutional space for the generation of, the debate about, alternative political strategies and programmes, as many of the social movements in Central and Eastern Europe sought to do from 1989 onwards
  • Without such space, it is hard to see how citizens can be active participants in the determination of the conditions of their own association
  • Politics involves discussion, negotiation and deliberation about public policy—which cannot take place according to wholly impartial or objective criteria

 

Stalinism should not simply be interpreted as an aberration of the Marxist project, a wholly separate and distinct political phenomenon.  Rather, it is an outcome—though by no means the only possible one—of the ‘deep structure’ of Marxist categories with their emphasis on the centrality of class, the universal standpoint of the proletariat, and a conception of politics that roots it squarely in production.

 

This argument does not imply that Stalinism was an inevitable result of the revolution of 1917—there were many complex conditions that determined the fate of the revolution

 

It does imply that Marxism has misunderstood the liberal and liberal democratic preoccupation with the form and limits of state power, and that this misunderstanding is an inextricable part of classical Marxist political theory.  It is a misunderstanding with implications, rich in consequences, for how one conceives politics, democracy and the nature of political agency

 

 

Summary Points:

 

  • Callinicos and classic Marxists more generally defend the desirability of certain social or collective goals and means.  For them, to take equality and liberty seriously is to challenge the view that these values can be realized by individuals left, in practice, to their own devices are in a ‘free marker’ economy and a restricted or minimal state.  Equality, liberty and justice cannot be achieved in a world dominated by private ownership of property and the capitalist economy; these ideals can be realized on though struggles to ensure that the means of production are socialized i.e. subject to collective appropriation and to procedures ensuring social control.
  • For Fukuyama, the good life follows from the progressive recasting of the modern world on liberal principles.  Political life, like economic life, is-or ought to be- a matter of individual freedom and initiative, and the more closely it approximates this state of affairs, the more it can justifiably be claimed that the political good has been achieved

 

Democracy is inadequate for Fukuyama and Callinicos

Fukuyama

  • Democracy is ultimately eclipsed by the affirmation of individualist political, economic, and ethical doctrines
  • The question and problem of democratic accountability take second place in the imperative of individual liberty in the face of political regulation
  • Equal justice can be sustained among individuals if, above all, individuals’ entitlement to certain rights or liberties is respected and all citizens are treated equally before the law

Callinicos

  • The categories of class, class conflict, and production displace the necessity of a thorough analysis of democracy
  • Despite the recent consolidation of liberal democracy, the common use of democracy in political discourse, and its practically universal invocation by political regimes a the end of the 20th century, it has not been at the centre of these thinkers’ political reflections and theoretical analyses

 

 

Violence can be destructive and self-destructive, but at times it can also bring about redemption.

Both genders are faced with inequalities and respond differently to those inequalities.  Both films focus on a life-changing road trips and not only the effect the world had on each of the characters, but also the effect each of the characters had on the world.  Thelma and Louise were pioneers for women attempting to escape from violence, by taking a stand, whose detour becomes the entire trip.  Ernesto and Alberto journey in Motorcycle Diaries served to expand the world they knew, and as a result, took action to correct many of the inequalities to improve the lives of many.

For Thelma and Louise, what began as a road trip became their journey.  The best friend duo are two opposite gender stereotypes of women.  Louise is an independent woman whose focus on herself.  Louise holds her own and supports herself, and lives alone.  She seems to always take control.  She drives the car and makes the decisions.  Louise constantly is at battle with developing and maintaining assertiveness in her relationships.

Thelma reinforces the media’s stereotype of the female homemaker in the 1950’s.  She is found to be the naïve, passive female unable to make decisions for herself.  We find out within the first scenes of the movie Thelma does not think about consequences or plan ahead.  Her whimsical packing style shows no pattern or thought, but instead impulsive mindless decisions.  While the gender stereotype of woman is generally for the hegemonic identity is through their relationship with men.  This is clearly displayed through Thelma.  Thelma is blindly drawn to men who victimize her.  Her constant relational identity denies her a self-identity.  She has always been with her husband and never knew anything else.  Thelma’s character provides the audiences proof of the importance of self-identity.  Because Thelma lacked self-identity she was unhappy and unfulfilled in her life.  When she was not relationally identified to her husband, Louise takes that role.  Thelma has never had to make decisions for herself.  She moved directly from her parents home into her husbands home.  It is even repeated many times that Frank is “her husband not her father.”  She has always been told what to do, particularly by men.

Thelma correctly guesses Louise was raped in the past, but Louise refuses to talk about it, typical of male behavior.  Louise harbors a burning rage from her past, which shapes her into the assertive, strong willed woman she presents herself as.

When Brad Pitt’s character takes advantage of her, it seems to be her breaking point.  There is a clear personal transformation for Thelma’s character after she has been taken advantage of for the last time.  Thelma becomes more assertive and self-confident, more like Louise, while Louise remains the same.  The transformation illustrates the females who portray male characteristics are more desirable.

The male characters Ernesto and Alberto provide Motorcycle Diaries with the male norm of friendship.  Ernesto and Alberto venture off on a 5000 mile journey through South America with nothing but a few belongings, a motorcycle nicknamed “The Great One,” and themselves.  As they travel farther into South America, the same problem arises in each country with the poor, indigenous citizens being oppressed and taken advantage of.

The strong relationship between females, as shown between Thelma and Louise, is unlike any other human bond.  As stated in her book, Tannen claims women’s friendships tend to be based on a more intimate sharing of personal details and problems than are males (246).  This holds true in the comparison of Motorcycle Diaries and Thelma & Louise.  Comparatively similar movies, the audience is able to extract a stronger sense of the female protagonists compared to the radical intellectual males who have limited conversations.

Extracting the male attributes given to Louise and the male protagonists of Motorcycle Diaries, there is a clear contrast between the ability of men to take action in a situation.  While Thelma was helpless and unsuccessful with her attempt to escape, Louise immediately put a gun to Harlan’s head and did not think twice about shooting him in the heart.  Ernesto and Alberto find themselves fortunate enough to travel South America, but what they find was not what they had expected.  Faced with a clear inequality among individuals across the land, Ernesto completed his degree and used his education to become the leader of the Cuban revolution.

Tannen goes on to argue that “women can learn from men, for whom friendship is more often built on doing things together than on talking to each other, just as men can benefit for adopting some of women’s ways of creating close relationships by talking more (239).

Many similarities arise between pairs of the characters.  There are many similiarities between the dominant characters in both films, Alberto and Louise.  Both characters provide the means for the transformation (automobile).  Throughout their journey, Alberto emerges as a dominant character as he concocts many fabricated stories as a means for shelter and food, while Ernesto nods and smiles.   Louise takes control of the trip, expressing her self-assurance.  Both characters have a strong sense of self-identity, characteristic of male behavior.  The two characters that enter a transformation from weak and passive to empowered and proactive are Ernesto and Thelma.  Both characters suffer from relational identity, typical attributes of a female character.  Thelma’s only identity is found through her connection with her husband.  Females are encouraged to engage in a connection, and Thelma only knows herself through such a connection.  Ernesto is infatuated with his crush, who cannot promise him she will wait for him while he is gone.

Many issues of gender circle around the concept of sequence.  Generally, men are able to deal with simultaneous events, while women prefer events in order of sequence.  Thelma is a clear example of such a female thought process.  She fulfilled her role as female by getting married and was ready for the next step of children, but it was her husband who was not yet ready for children.  This was also an area in which Louise fulfilled a female stereotype.  Louise refused to marry Jimmy until she had fulfilled her dreams and goals, refusing to settle down until she was ready.  Louise was able to see the relationship between Thelma and her husband and refused to settle down.

Motorcycle Diaries did not contain the deep character development found in Thelma & Louise because the movie was not about the two individuals but instead the inequality and repression that they encountered during the 5000 mile trip through South America.  As opposites, the interactions that we do encounter through the film is through short conversations mostly centering on conflict.  Although the trip is a journey to explore South America, the entire trip reaches a turning point once they enter the leper colony.

As doctors, Ernesto and Alberto travel to the leper colony to meet up with a doctor to learn first hand more about the deadly disease.  As they arrive upon the colony, there is a stark difference between those plagued with the disease and those who are healthy and well.  In fact, an entire river separates the island into the two halves.  Ernesto refuses to accept the negative stigma associated with those on the sick half of the island.  He does not support the separation between healthy and sick and after presenting a poignant speech; Ernesto makes a symbolic and bold decision.  Ernesto makes a symbolic swim from the island of doctors through the dangerous murky waters, to the other side of the island where the sick residents reside.  This heroic and selfless act gave a sense of hope to those whom could not help themselves.  They rejoiced in Ernesto’s brave swim.  Even though they were powerless and shunned by society, Ernesto immediately emerged as their voice and their representation.

While their roles and purposes are quite different, these films propose same-sex friendship emerges as a necessity for self-fulfillment in both genders.  Without their friends by their side, this transformation of both Thelma and Ernesto would not have occurred, and the two would have remained in motion with their monotonous mindless daily routine without thinking twice.  Without someone to talk to, and someone to escape with, there is no way to begin to understand the psychological pain Thelma would have had to endure for the rest of her life with Jimmy.  With the journey put into action by Alberto, there is no telling when or even if the Cuban Revolution would have occurred.

The concept of violence is heavily prevalent and entrenched in each movie.   Thelma and Louise respond to sexual violence brought on by a male figure.  It is then Louise is haunted by a sexually repressed past, of which the details remain unknown.  There is also the psychological damage drained on Thelma, whose mentally abusive husband refuses to present her with respect and instead diminishes and form of self-confidence she may have had.  The constant mention of violence throughout Motorcycle Diaries presents the viewer with a preview of the next step in the journey.  Ernesto’s struggle to stand up for the day laborers presents his first attempt to stand up for those who have no other choice, but unfortunately brought about little results, if any.

Violence can be destructive and self-destructive, but at times it can also bring about redemption.  Each gender uses violence in a different way to bring about results.  Although their final acts of each film were polar opposite, the males and females presented in this move refused to cave in to a system in which they were victimized.  Thelma and Louise refused to be further victimized by a system and escaped the only way they knew how, going out in a blaze of glory. Whether this solution was self-destructive or redemptive is up for discussion, but according to the final scenes of the movie, redemption is the only word that can describe their expressions.  Motorcycle Diaries leaves the audience inspired and hopeful as we have seen Ernesto develop into a wiser and experienced young man.  As the scene moves forward and his plane takes off, a montage of indigenous South American people play, and we are able to see Ernesto was able to make a change for the better for all walks of life.

The argument arises for whether Thelma and Louise is a feminist film.  It is a film about women written by a woman and co-produced by a woman and empowers women, but yet it
            http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,973242,00.html

Without a set of agreed-upon concepts, scientists could not communicate their findings of replicate each other’s studies. Communicatin based on the intersubjective sharing of knowledge and understanding would be impossible. It is important to remember that concepts are abstractions; they are based on sensory perceptions and used to convey information in a very concise manner.

  1. Describe the assumptions underlying the scientific approach

The scientific approach is grounded on a set of basic assumptions, fundamental premises considered to be unproven and unprovable.  These assumptions are necessary prerequisites for conducting the scientific discourse.

    • Nature is orderly.  The most basic assumption of the scientific approach is that there are recognizable regularity and order in the natural world; events do not just occur.  For scientists, nature is the term used for all empirically observable objects, conditions and events that exist independent of human intervention, including human beings as biological systems.
    • We can know nature.  The assumption that we can know nature is no more provable than are the assumptions that nature is orderly and that the laws of nature do exist.  This assumption expresses the basic conviction that human beings are just as much a part of nature as any other object, condition, or event.  Although each of us possesses unique and distinctive characteristics, as human beings we can be understood and explained by the same methodology used to study other natural phenomena.
    • All natural phenomena have natural causes.  The assumption that all natural phenomena have natural causes lies at the core of the scientific revolution.  By rejecting the belief that forces other than those found in nature cause natural events, the scientific approach opposes fundamentalist religion as well as spiritualism and magic.
    • Nothing is self evident.  Scientific knowledge is not self-evident; claims for truth must be demonstrated objectively.  Scientists cannot rely on tradition, subjective beliefs and cultural norms to verify scientific knowledge.
    • Knowledge is based on experience.  If science is to help us understand the real world, it must be empirical; that is, it must rely on our perceptions, experience, and observations.  Perception is a fundamental tool of the scientific approach, and it is achieved through our senses.

 

  1. What are the aims of science as a knowledge producing enterprise?

The ultimiate goal of the social and all other sciences is to produce a cumulative body of verifiable knowdge.  Such knowledge enables us to explain, predict, and understand the empirical phenomena of interest to us.  We believe that a substantial body of knowledge can be used to improve the human condition.  The social scientists aim is to provide general explanations for “why?” questions.  There are two basic types of explanations; deductive and probabilistic.  Deductive explanation calls for

    • A universal generalization
    • A statement of the conditions under which the generalization holds true
    • An event to be explained
    • The rules of formal logic

When using deductive explanations a scientist explains phenomena by showing that it follows from an established universal law.  Not all scientific explanations are based on universal laws.  This is particularly so in the case of the social sciences because few, if any, meaningful universal generalizations can be made.  Instead, social scientists, as a rule, use probabilistic or inductive explanations.  When compared to universal laws, the major limitation of probabilistic generalizations is that conclusions about specific cases cannot be drawn with complete certainty.

 

  1. Describe the research process and its stages

Scientific knowledge is knowledge grounded in both reason and experience (observation).  Scientists employ the criteria of logical validity and empirical verifiability to assess claims for knowledge.  These two criteria are translated into scientific research through the research process.  The research process is the overall scheme of activities in which scientists engage in order to produce knowledge.  The research process consists of seven fundamental stages, problem definition, hypothesis construction, research design, measurement, data collection, data analysis, and generalization.

 

  1. How is science actually carried out both as a cyclical process of reasoning and observation and as a social institution?

The most characteristic feature of the research process is it cyclical nature.  It usually starts with a problem and ends with a tentative empirical generalization.  The generalization ending one cycle serves as the beginning of the next cycle.  This cyclical process continues indefinitely, reflecting the profess of a scientific discipline and the growth of scientific knowledge.  The research process is also self-correcting.  Scientist test tentative generalization-hypotheses-about research problems both logically and empirically.  If they reject these generalization, they formulate and test new ones.  In the process, scientist reevaluate all the research operations they have performed because a tentative generalziaton may be rejected not only because it is invalid but also because of errors in how the research was conducted.  Our idealized reconstruction of the research process is not inteded to be rigid, it is meant to convey the underlying themes of social science research.

 

  1. Discuss the four functions of concepts in social science research

Concepts are heuristic devices; as such, they fulfill several important functions in social science research.  First and foremost, they provide the tools for communications.  Without a set of agreed-upon concepts, scientists could not communicate their findings of replicate each other’s studies.  Communicatin based on the intersubjective sharing of knowledge and understanding would be impossible.  It is important to remember that concepts are abstractions; they are based on sensory perceptions and used to convey information in a very concise manner.

    • Concepts provide a common language, which enables scientists to communicate with one another
    • Concepts give scientists a perspective-a way of looking at phenomena
    • Concepts allow scientists to classify their experiences and to generalize from there
    • Concepts are components of theories-they define a theory’s content and attributes

 

  1. Distinguish between conceptual definitions and operational definitions, and give an example of each from one of the social sciences you have studied

Conceptual definitions are concepts are that described by using other concepts.  Coneptual definitions are neither true nor false.  Concepts are symbols that permit communication, they either useful for communication and research or they are not.  They point out the unique elements or qualities of whatever is defined.  A definition must include all cases it covers and exclude all cases not covered.  They should not be circular.  They should be stated positively.  They should use clear terms, whose meaning is agreed upon by everyone.  Operational definitions describe a set of procedures a researcher can follow in order to establish the existence of the phenomenon described by a concept.  Scientists require the use of operational definitions when a phenomenon cannot be observed directly.  Operational definitions define what to do and what to observe in order to make the phenomenon studied perceivable and understandable.

 

 

 

This memorandum addresses the strategic points necessary to continue legislation condemning the recent violent actions of the government of Zimbabwe against peaceful opposition party activists and members of civil society. This concurrent resolution has been held at the desk of the Senate since April 26, 2007. Despite previous legislative efforts, this has not fully succeeded in gaining the momentum needed to reach the Senate agenda.

Strategic Memorandum

 

 

To: John Forkenbrock, L.D.

 

From: Megan Moran, L.A.

 

Date: August 8, 2007

 

Re: Reintroduction of the resolution condemning the government of Zimbabwe against peaceful opposition party activists and members of civil society

 

 

 

This memorandum addresses the strategic points necessary to continue legislation condemning the recent violent actions of the government of Zimbabwe against peaceful opposition party activists and members of civil society.  This concurrent resolution has been held at the desk of the Senate since April 26, 2007.  Despite previous legislative efforts, this has not fully succeeded in gaining the momentum needed to reach the Senate agenda.

 

This memorandum is intended to lay out an updated legislative plan of action that will set the tone on the condemnation on African dictators.  This concurrent resolution expresses the sense of Congress that 1) the state-sponsored violence taking place in Zimbabwe represents a serious violation of fundamental human rights and the rule of law and should be condemned by all responsible governments, civic organizations, religious leaders, and international bodies; 2) the government of Zimbabwe has not lived up to its commitments as a signatory to the Constitutive Act of the African Union ad African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.  Congress also condemns 1) the government of Zimbabwe’s violent suppression of political and human rights; 2) the harassment and intimidation of lawyer attempting to carry out their professional obligations o their clients and repeated failures by police to comply with court decisions; and 3) the harassment of foreign officials, journalists, human rights workers, and others.

 

The initial reports concluded Zimbabwe has create a large scale humanitarian crisis in which 3500 people die each week from a combination of disease, hunger, neglect, and despair.  It is the duty of the US Congress to take a stand and condemn such disregard for human rights. In 2005 the Government of Zimbabwe launched Operation Murambatsvina against citizens in major cities and suburbs throughout Zimbabwe, depriving over 700,000 people of their homes, businesses, and livelihoods.  On March 11, 2007, opposition party activists and members of civil society attempted to hold a peaceful prayer meeting to protest the economic and political crisis engulfing Zimbabwe, where inflation is running of 1700% and unemployment stands at 80% and in response to President Robert Magabe’s announcement that he intends to seek reelection in 2008 if nominated.  Under the direction of President Mugabe and the ZANU-PF government, police officers, security forces, and youth militia brutally assaulted the peaceful demonstrators and arrested opposition leaders and hundreds of civilians.  This piece of legislation is in direct response to this event and should be handled immediately.

 

This concurrent resolution sponsored by Rep. Thom Lantos in the House has 31 cosponsors and Senator Barack Obama has 7 cosponsors in the Senate.

 

Since the bill already has been drafted, the difficult research and writing has already been completed.  It is now the job of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and the other 7 cosponsors to gain momentum in the Senate to get others informed and excited.  Getting Senator Obama to stand of the forefront of this issue will let both the citizens of the United States, and the international community knows we are serious about this issue.  We must ask Senator Obama and the other 7 cosponsors, all of whom are influential members of the US Senate, to write “dear colleague” letters to inform other Senators’ office about our current legislation.  Their role in this process can make a large difference.  Included in the “dear colleague” letter should be a summary analysis of our bill.

 

This bipartisan condemnation is non controversial and should not receive strong opposition from either side.  But since the Democrats are taking a strong stance on these issues, it is in our favor that the Democrats have taken the majority in Congress.  However, one problem that may arise is the amount of personal responsibility the US Congress may feel towards taking action against condemning the actions in Africa.  The costs of such a question may also pose a problem in the signing on of more Republican cosponsors.  Congressmen may be unwilling to sign onto legislation dealing with the international community, wanting to remain solely committed to the American forefront.  This delay in signing on may cause more destruction in the African continent, Zimbabwe in particular, urging our total commitment.

 

I have searched through Thomas and found other Senators who have sponsored/cosponsored legislation that deals with attempting to solve problems going on within the African continent.  Hopefully, once these cosponsors join this piece of legislation, they will bring with them their networks and connections to gain us further support.  For example, Senator Russell Feingold (WI) sponsored S.Res.76 a resolution calling on the US government and the international community to promptly develop fund and implement a comprehensive regional strategy in African to protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian operations, contain and reduce violence, and contribute to conditions for sustainable peace.  Senator Clinton (D-NY) also sponsored similar legislation, and cosponsored Senator Feingold’s as well.  Rep. Donald Payne (NJ) also introduced a piece of legislation H.R. 2003, which signed on 83 cosponsors to encourage and facilitate the consolidation of peace and security, respect for human rights, democracy, and economic freedom in Ethiopia.  With such a large turnout for Rep. Payne’s piece of legislation, I am confident in the ability for this piece of legislation to become a bill as well.  Additionally, due to Senator’s Clinton and Obama’s current political situation, it is possible they may have more persuasion and pull than ever before, which we should take full advantage of.

 

Another very important issue we must focus on is to increase the awareness of our piece of legislation in order to move to it to floor when Congress comes back to session.  Since this piece of legislation was introduced in the first session, we do still have time to get our piece heard in the next session.  By introducing it in the first session, we have strategically placed ourselves at an advantage over those who will introduce their piece of legislation in the second session.

 

Overall, I am certain that with our piece of legislation we will not run into serious problems, and we will find it easy to find support among Senators in order to bring it to the Senate floor.

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