International Relations: The meaning of some important acronyms

a.LDCs, NICs, and EDCs

The “Dependency theory” states that “underdevelopment and poverty in the Less Developed Countries (LDCs) is the result of exploitation by the Economically Developed Countries (EDCs). The more industrialized countries of the North are normally seen as the most developed countries with a GPB Dependency approach, contrary to the Marxism, thinks that the developed countries are making of the Least Developed Countries a large external market, a source of primary product, such as oil, and a bloc for profitable investment opportunities with low-wage labor.

b. The OECD

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and was created in 1961 by the United States, Canada, other 15 countries in the Western European bloc and Turkey. It admitted mostly some least developed countries that had close economic ties to developed countries explains Rourke (p.431). 30 members of this economical group are developed countries. It serves as a forum to discuss economic issues while offering technical assistance to member in need. About 70 Less-Developed Countries such as Brazil and Least Developed Countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa are linked to the OECD.

c. The Group of Eight (G-8)

The G-8 constitutes the group of the eight more industrialized countries in the world. The G-6 started in 1975 in order to face some important global issues such as the warmth planet and also important economic concerns. Initially composed of France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the G-6 became the G-8 with the integration of Canada (1976) and Russia (1998).  One of the political goals of the most industrialized countries was to support the non communist world by providing financial and technique support to the countries facing inflation after the oil crisis in 1970, and the consequences of the cold war ended in 1997. ((www.cfr.org)

d. The UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s funds has been created in 1946 after the WW II in order to provide food, clothing and health care to people in Europe severely affected by the after war situations. European children, at that time, faced famine and diseases. The first administration that provided for the kids in Europe had officially become a part of the United Nations in 1953. Then, the UNICEF started a global campaign against yaws and some other globally threatening diseases, reports the UNICEF official website (www.unicef.org). Six years later, the United Nations had adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child which defined the basic rights of all children in the world to have access to health care, education, shelters and nutrition. UNICEF is now one of the most powerful wings of the United Nations providing to the Least Developed Countries kids important basic cares.

e. The GATT and WTO

The basic World Trade Organization (WTO) started with 23 countries after the World War II. They were devoted to International economic cooperation in the frame of the “Bretton Woods” multilateral agreement, and included initially the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The 23 countries members of the GATT were among the 50 primary countries to draft the basic agreement of the International Trade Organization. After the opening of the trade barrier between the basic 23 countries of the GATT during 1946, the negotiations allowed about 45,000 tariffs concession for over $10 billion. The World Trade Organization cannot be considered as a simple extension of the GATT. It replaced it completely in order to provide a better international permanent Institution. The GATT has existed until 1995. Since then, “the WTO has the mission to deall with the complexity of the GATT and handle the disputes that normally arise under the GATT.. The headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland,” recalls Rourke (p.422).
f. The IMF

The International Monetary Fund has been created with the theory of New International Economic Order. This institution has the mission to stabilize the flow of dollars, euros, yen, pounds, and other currencies (Rourke, p. 424). It has been created in the early 1940 because the United States thought it was important to create stability in the international change market. IMF started its operations in 1947 with 44 countries as members, (Rourke, p.425). With the severe impact of the New International Economic Order on the Least Developed countries, the IMF has increased its intervention in this 

g. The NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement has been adopted in 1994 to create a free trade market between Mexico, Canada and the United States. This trilateral block has agreed to eliminate tariffs between them three. More than one half of the United States imports from Mexico, and also one third of the United States exports to Mexico are free of tariffs. It has been said by the critics that Mexico has benefited a lot from the NAFTA by reducing the poverty level and by increasing the income level for people in Mexico. On the other hand, the Mexican farmers had to face the brutal competition of the industrialized produced food from United States, which makes it difficult for the hands based agricultural techniques to survive.

On an industrial level, some big American companies have outsourced their business in Mexico low-wage workforce is employed, causing a decrease of job opportunities for American blue collars.

Leontes D

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights and LLDCs

The Universal Declaration of human Rights was adopted by the General Assembly of the  United Nations on December 10, 1948. The main goal of the Human Rights declaration is to recognize “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” can we read in the preamble of the text published on http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/. This statement has a great importance for people living in non democratic countries, where the violation of human rights by the officials, the supporters of an autocratic regimen and the armed groups are frequent. For example, in Haiti, the human rights Organizations have often times referred to the declaration of the Human rights in order to condemn what is going wrong in the country and to remind to political authorities that the power doesn’t give them the authority neither to put opponents in prison without valuable reason, or to kill at all. Therefore the Universal Declaration of the human rights is very practical and useful. 

The second point of the preamble sustains that “whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,” (www.un.org). The term “rule of law” also used in the united Constitution and referred, sometime, as the due process of law prevent political authorities from illegally arresting people or to persecute them because of their opinion. The rule of law comes into play to support the First Amendment of the Constitution. It doesn’t seem that people in United States are persecuted for their political opinion. This is a common thing in underdeveloped countries where a dictator is the law. We have heard recently about a TV channel in Venezuela being suspended by the power because of free choice of information to be broadcasted. It had happened in Haiti where journalists, members of the opposition, Human rights advocates used to be persecuted and punished by dictators in violation of the article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that stipulates “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” (www.un.org). If only the “rule of law” could be respected in above mentioned countries? the leaders guilty of human rights violations could be prosecuted even after they lose the power. Only this kind of international consent to protect the individual rights could give a practical sense to the universal human rights.

For now, the basic rights of individual from countries that signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are far from being respected. With a level of 65% of illiterate in the Haitian population before the earthquake-since thousands of literate have died. Also, a 50% college drop out rate of  Black American in United States. Something needs to be done to make of the article 26 of the Declaration a reality. The article 26 states “everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit,” (www.un.org). Practical, sure the text is. Applicable, sure it is. Applied, no it is not!

Leontes D.

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U.S./Iraq war: the beginning of the crisis in 1997-1998

The American Journal of International law in its volume 92.724 reported the historic progression of the Iraq crisis. Iraq was accuse doth by tem United States and the United Nations to have stocked weapons of mass destruction. The government of Saddam Hussein was directly accused to have used those arms against civilian and military opponents. It was reported that about 5,000 Kurds were gassed with chemical arms in the Northern Iraq in 1980. For that reason, the United States used diplomatic diplomacy via the United Nation Security Council to force Iraq government to accept international inspection of its arsenal. In 1991, the Security Council Resolution 687 required the Iraq government to surrender to a weapons inspection. The Special commission of the United Nations created especially for that oppose was called UNSCOM. But, Iraq leader at that time, Saddam Hussein, mislead the United Nation’s commission and refused to comply with the resolution. The crisis erupted when the Iraq leaders expelled the American members of the commission. Iraq requested the end of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations on August 6, 1990, 4 days after the Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. When the Iraq government started blocking the UN inspection by accusing the commission of being an American led espionage group, the United States reacted by reinforcing the economic embargo against Iraq. As a diplomatic strategy, the Iraq government initiated a public diplomacy in which it made of the United States the principal responsible of kids and women mortality in Iraq because of the economic sanctions. Saddam Hussein also claimed that the inspection [process was a violation of Iraq’s territorial sovereignty. This public diplomacy was successful, and the United Nations voted the resolution 986 in 1996 to allow Iraq to exchange oil-for-food. When the Iraq government interrupted the inspection process in 1998, the United States had chosen the military action despite the message of Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations calling Iraq to comply. The United States had simultaneously implemented their public diplomacy against Saddam Hussein labeled as dictator and accused of being responsible for the misery of the Iraq’s population reported the website http://www.infoplease.comministration and the Britain government have decided publicly threaten Iraq of military action. On the other hand, they reinforced their military presence. Finally, in October 1998, United States and Britain struck four days of military actions focused on command centers and missile factories. In his address to the nation, December 16th, 1998, President Clinton tried to convince the public opinion by using public diplomacy. He argued that “Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world,”(www.cnn.com). Unfortunately, the dialectic military won over the arm of the dialectic. References: Clinton: Iraq has abused its last chance, 16 Dec 1998, Retrieved on July 16 2010 from: http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.iraq.speech/ http://www.jstor.org/pss/2998137

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The functions of diplomacy

The functions of diplomacy are:

– Communication: Transmission of important national information, intentions, and persuasion. Indeed, diplomacy is used in order for a government to convey, in a persuasive way, its view to another one. In doing so, the official figure of the government tries with insistence to convince the other government to cat in a way that reflects the expressed interests. For example, “oral and written communications, either delivered directly or through public statements, can be good diplomatic strategy. Washington has repeatedly assured Beijing that United States policy does not favor an independent Taiwan and will not support an unilateral Taiwanese declaration of Independence,” (Rourke, p.270).
– Advocacy: Diplomacy is also a tool for advocacy. It allows a government, via its diplomat, to create cultural and political playground to promote its vision and values. For example the exchange program of The United States manages by the Office of Cultural Affaires has been helping people from different countries to visit America, and to have a better understanding of the democratic values.
– Negotiation: Diplomacy is an important instrument of negotiation to conciliate divergent point of views or divergent political tendencies. For example, he effort to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program had been concluded through a multilateral form of diplomacy. Indeed, a “six party talk hosted by China, and also include Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States,” (Rourke, p.263) had provided great results. With the growth of new technology, it is easier to maintain contact among countries and to persuade them to be implied in Multilateral Diplomacy.

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Constitution interpretation: Originalism v. Activism

Originalism vs Activism: understand the debate.
To understand the debate between the supporters and the opponents of originalism or activism scholars, it is important to define what the terms mean. The concept “originalism” is defined by lexic.us as “the belief that the United Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it.” On the other hand, the activists of the “living constitution scholar of thoughts agree on the fact that the constitution can be actualized by the judges and courts in order to fit the new social and scientific matters that didn’t exist or were not deeply analyzed when the founding Fathers voted the constitution of United states.
In the present context dominated by the “world cup 2010, I could use a metaphor to say that two justices of the US Supreme Court, representing the originalist and the activist teams, are publicly playing the future of the United constitution, and the way it should be interpreted.
Stephen Breyer, judicial activist appointed by the President Bill Clinton in 1994, in a video available on youtube.com, says he think that “there are six tools: text, history, tradition, precedent, purpose and consequence. But, he thinks that some of us (the originalists) emphasize the first four and try to avoid the last two. And they are quite thinking when they are doing that, it is less likely for them to get subjective. So, he thinks that the originalists have to emphasize in many cases the last two which are “purpose and consequences.” However, the main question is how to stay objective while a court or a justice has the responsibility to interpret the United Constitution and to adapt the content to new, modern, social and scientific issues? According to Breyer, the justices have to be honest, they have to write down what they are doing; never having a secret motive, explaining to the reader exactly what is going on in the opinion. Finally, the act is a significant check on the subjectivity of the judge,” says Stephen Breyer.
On the other hand, Antonin Scalia, judicial originalist, who was appointed by the President Ronald Reagan in 1986, sustains that “the problem is the limitations in a statute adopted by the legislature are as much a part of its purpose as is the general purpose (like protecting civil rights). No legislature pursues a general purpose at all costs. There are only some limitations. We are willing to do it? Update here, no further.” He criticizes the activists who normally use the “consequentialism approach” simply to bag the question, and to assume the answer. Assuming that the statutory limitations were not intended because it will limit the purpose is a wrong approach, says Scalia. The US Supreme Court justice formally states that he does not think that the Judges should decide to interpret the constitution based on what consequences they like or don’t like. “When you get away to try to give them the fairness meaning, you are in trouble’” he argues.

Opinion
I agree with the originalism way of thinking because, the constitution is a basic document that needs to be used as guideline. It is dangerous to leave to the judges the authority to interpret the constitution in a way that cannot be free of subjectivity. There nothing more subjective than the method offered by Breyer as a check and balance a check and balance technique. Indeed, if the judge has his sole conscious to indicate the objective interpretation of a piece of original law, America will be subjugated under a regimen of contradictory interpretations. It is simply impossible to a human being to be free of secret or political motives as Breyer says. The living constitution tribe should realize that we would have as many interpretation of the constitution as personal or political interests during the existence of the constitution if it was to simply adapting its text to social changes. The debate is not about whether or not we should create legal frame capable to adjust to the social and scientific changes that have occurred. The key is how to make amendments? In this case, I fully agree with the originalist’s view expressed by Scalia. He advances that “if you want to change things, you don’t have to use the constitution to do it, use the legislature. That’s what we do in democracy. It is very undemocratic for the court to say make the change.” Obviously, in a democracy, the government of the people receives authority from the people through election. Therefore, the legislature is legally mandated by the people to handle those changes. Not the judges.

Conclusion

The only thing that both the activist and originalist can agree on, the constitution is a set of values and serves as a corner stone to understand the vision of the founding Fathers.It needs to be preserved. It cannot be altered based on political interests.
It is important to recall here the message of judge Robert A. Bork, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, who repeated the warning attributed to Daniel Webster, “remains as timeless as the document he revered. “Miracles do not cluster,” he said, “Hold on to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands — what has happened once in 6,000 years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution, for if the American Constitution shall fall there will be anarchy throughout the world,” (The great debate).This warning is more than powerful. Sincerely, I think that the debate is not about updating the approach of the constitution. It had happened before with the women rights to vote and the end of the discrimination against black people in this country. The issue is about how to make changes and what institution should be legally entitled to amend the constitution?
The legal process followed in the past when the Bill of rights, the first ten Amendments of the United States Constitution was voted by the congress in 1789 is the same we need to apply when it comes to change the constitution. When James Madisson introduced this set of amendments, it was also a way to teach to us and future generations how to constitutionally face social changes. On the other hand, the judicial review process can still be used by the judiciary power if there is need of invalidation of a somewhat legislative or executive document. The constitution is the corner stone of the system. Let’s keep it alive.
Leontes D.

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Separation between State and church today in United States

Is our present-day notion of the “separation of church and state” at odds with the Founders’ vision of the role of religion in our democratic republic?

I agree that the founders’ vision of the role of religion in a democratic republic is threatened by some legal decisions that have been taken in order to “erect a wall of separation between church and state,” (Hugo LaFayette Black, February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971). Based on Associate Black’s interpretation of the First Amendment in the case McCollum vs. Board of education (1948), he decided that government could not administer religious instruction in public school. From that time, the expression of faith or religious beliefs in the school place has been seen as unconstitutional. Some schools have reinforced the decision by adopting internal policy on wearing a pin with religious message. The same thing is happening in the workplace. Black prohibited the free exercise of people faith in the God the founding Fathers believed in. In fact, the Black’s decision to restrict religious freedom in the school environment is also an automatic violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution.

The Supreme Court misinterpretation and the future of the Nation

The misinterpretation of the highest legal institution of the United States, if it’s not corrected, will sink the country into division, immorality, and intolerance. The text of the first amendment which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” (www.constitution.net) was not intended to separate the States or the Nation for God. Instead, it was to guarantee the freedom of religion without a state giving specific privileges or rights to one or another denomination. Georges Washington, the first President of the United States declared “while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords the government its surest support.” I would paraphrase here the declaration of Pat Buchanan saying that the idea of separating the government and the American beliefs in God is like separating the blood from the body (www.youtube.com, Separation of Church and state).

The declaration of independence itself mentions “God” four times. It is clear that the founding Fathers do believed that the nation should be founded on the principle that all men are created equal before God. The non theists, with arrogance, had threatened to introduce legal action against the actual administration. Michael Mewdow, in his intervention on Fox, the White House use of the word God during the official ceremony of inauguration was unconstitutional, (www.youtube.com, Separation of Church and state). In fact, since the beginning, the President of the United States has always sworn on a Bible, which clearly demonstrated the religious orientation of the nation. It makes sense to ask what money Mewdow using? Is that the one with the inscription “in God we trust”? Religion has been a choice since the foundation of the United States. The Judeo Christian approach has been adopted in order to lay the base of a very strong spiritual and moral nation. But, it was clear that the State doesn’t have the right to promote one religion over another. The direct link between the state and a specific religion is what the founding fathers wanted to prevent. Such a link could lead the country to a somewhat theocratic system, and could instill passion and intolerance. In fact, the United States is seen by as the only nation where every one can pray his/her God without the fear of persecution. The plurality of religion is a sign of democratic plurality. It prevents the country to fall into any kind of theocracy where the tyranny of a government could reign as a God’s mean.

Do present conditions demand this separation?
No present condition requires the interpretation that has been made by the Supreme Court of the Constitution. I agree with Spalding that there is a need to go back to reinstate the basic spiritual and moral values. Therefore, “Americans must abandon the interpretation maintained by the Supreme Court, that religion is in conflict with freedom and that any endorsement of religion creates an unconstitutional religious establishment,” (Spalding, The meaning of Religious Liberty, 2007). The Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation, Matthew Spalding, thinks that “there is a close connection between America’s deepest social ills and the weakening of religious participation and the abandonment of traditional moral norms taught by religion,” (Spalding, 2007). The traditional religious moral values were seen by the founders of the nation as solid bridge to direct us the people towards equality. They wanted to build a strong nation where both the pursuit of happiness is a common goal despite uniqueness of the individuals. Whatever you see God as “human freedom achieved through the right political organization, or as redefined by Walter Rauschenbusch, to whom Christianity is the social gospel of progress,” (The Progressive Movement and the Transformation of American Politics, Thomas West and William Schambra, 2007) the future of the nation and the citizens’ faith in God cannot be dissociated. “Far from wanting to expunge religion from public life, the Founders encouraged religion as a necessary and vital part of their new nation,” (Spalding, 2007).
Conclusion
I think that D’Souza came in with the right interpretation of the founding Fathers’ idea of separation between state and religion. It was a “solution to religious and ethnic conflict,” (D’Souza, 2006). To him, “the Founders were all too familiar with the history of the religious wars in Europe, specifically their legacy of havoc and destruction. They were determined to avoid that bloodshed in the New World. Not that the Founders were anti-religion. On the contrary, they were religious men who insisted that political legitimacy and rights derive from God,” (what’s Great about America, D’Souza, 2006). So help us God!

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American Values

1-The Principle of Equality

“All men are created equal” can we read in the Declaration of Independence. Matthew Spalding, in his essay Independence forever: Why America celebrates the Fourth of July, says that “this assertion was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the declaration, not for that, but for future use.” He is right. Based on the principle of equality and the 14th Amendment of the United States constitution, black people fought to conquer their civil rights. Also, the principle of equality has been the angular stone of the battle of American women who required equal rights to men in the States. The right to vote has been earned. Now, American women have to keep fighting in order to brake the ceiling glass that has prevented them from getting access to the presidency of the United States-the same way, in the past, they have been kept from important church responsibilities.

Personally, I do like the principle of equality because it allows us to feel that we have the same chance and opportunity to design our life in the society. Despite the fact that the principle has not been fully applied, as the minorities keep fighting for equal rights and responsibilities, it opens the door to a brighter future, to repeat Spalding. Now, the best thing is to educate generations to come on the value of the principle and how to keep them alive. The western civilization, as it was defined and structured by the founders of the nation, has to be preserved. “A civilization is not something we simply inherit or ever finally possess. Each generation, individually or collectively, needs to make continual effort to appropriate it anew because a civilization is not passed to us at birth,” (Robert Royal, The Intercollegiate Review, 1998, p. 3). Therefore, American citizens have to face the challenge of the survival and the renewal of the values and virtues of the founders of the nation.

2- The Rule of Law
I have chosen to place t the rule of law right after the principle of equality because I think they are tight together. Feeling that you are equally treated by your fellow citizens is one thing. But having the confidence that your rights are protected by the legal established government is a different one. The rule of law finds its legal explanation in the due process of law mentioned in the 14th amendment related to the Citizenship Rights. This Amendment underlines that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html).
In the past, unlimited power was delegated to a King, and the United States wanted to break this circle. Any kind of Government which is placed over the law will undoubtedly break the law, and will also cause injustice to people. No body should have unlimited power or uncontrollable rights of decision over a citizens or the population. The United States constitution guarantees the rights of the individual to be protected. Any unfair measure should not be adopted against the citizen. The founders of the nation wanted to mark the end of the despotism where the law was the king himself. The governments are instituted to secure the fundamental rights guaranteed by law. Unfortunately, in some underdeveloped countries, like Haiti, the governments keep violating the basic rights of the population. People used to be arrested or killed because of what their opinion. The famous Haitian Journalist, whose wife was recently the spokesperson of the United Nations, was killed in 2000 before the local of his radio. The crime is still unpunished. Generally speaking, the despotic, dictatorial and anarchic powers make of corruption their law with no respect for human rights. To face these types of government, Spalding states that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,” (Spalding, Why America celebrates the Fourth of July, 2007).

2-The Pursuit of Happiness

The United Nations have been working to convince governments, worldwide, to invest more in the human kind. The Human Standard Index was created in order to evaluate how well the citizens are living in all the countries around the world. The United States should be proud to have been listed, for the past years, among the first 20 countries in the world with a high level of quality of life (13th in 2009) while Norway, Australia, Iceland, Canada, and Ireland ranked in the top five according to the UN report that you can read by following this link http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2009_EN_Table_H.pdf. Obviously, there is room for improvements in human well-being in the United States.

On the other hand, the United States is seen as the land of opportunity by people around the world. Why? Dinesh D’Souza, in his text titled What’s Great about America, wrote that “America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country,” (D’Souza, 2006). I agree with him on that. Everyone has the opportunity to shape his/her destiny in United States. Legal immigrants same as citizens have the right to pursue their dreams. Since rights always come with responsibilities, the adjustment is not easy. But, the avenue of success is not reserved to people from a certain social class or a race. With determination, constant effort, and a clear vision of what I want, I am sure that in United States, my dream can be realized.

Leontes D.

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More or less government: Understand the debate

Understand the reasoning behind the concept of “Less Government”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” (Ronald Reagan, speech of January 20, 1981). According to people who see the government as a problem, the pattern follows by the governments to have the population’s attention focus on a problem in order to get reaction and to propose a solution is a vicious circle that will cause government to get bigger and bigger. For the opponents of big government, “politicians always offer solutions that imply an expansion of the government size,” explains the video produced by the stopandlook group, which video is on youtuve.com. Two main accusations against big government: overspending and concentration of power.

The case for Big Government

I understand that some of you are opposed to a big government in good faith without taking into account the danger of a more stratified society led mainly by the big corporations. I have to express my disagreement with the opponents of big government. First, I don’t think like Reagan said that government is the problem. In a capitalist society like America, injustice, inequality and abuses could increase without an efficient government with the needed human resources, specialized agencies, budget, and the right technology to cope with the challenges of the moment. With all my respect to people who think big government is the problem, I must say that inefficient government could be a greater problem to guarantee the basic rights prescribed by the constitution. In his book, the case for big Government, Jeff Madrick, Editor-in-Chief of Princeton University Press, he stated that “in terms of what critics say, it may sound that the government is too big. In fact, there is very little evidence of that, (Jeff Madrick). In his interview to Brigitta Van Rheinburg released on youtube, he argues that “Government does many helpful constructive things, and in a complex, big complex economy, we need government to be a full partner with business, with us as human being; but also, he thinks, a government that will help the nation responses to change, create the assets, solves the problems that also change.

Big challenges, big governments

Second, Jeff Madrick says, and I agree with him, that we are becoming a more stratified society. He repeated the words of a University professor who used to say “tell me what college you go to and I’ll tell you what zip code you grow up in.” This is actually true. The rich people can choose whatever the private school they want for their kids. But, if you have to send your kids to a public school, it is required to send them in the one listed by the county school board. You and I know the role of the schools, as one of the social reproductive structures, in shaping our future. Despite the big fight of the government to make primary education available for all, still there are invisible conflict to keep some minorities from reaching the level of equality, prosperity and happiness written by the founding Fathers. According to Jeff Madrick, it is required now to have a four years degree to make the same kind of money people use to make with a high school diploma. By contrast, we need the help of the government to make higher education accessible to people in order to improve their life. It is not to the private to do it. For example, you and I might be very critical to government expending, but we have the possibility to get access to a better education by using the government financial aid system at a lower interest rate.

Big Governments are not always bad

Third, Jeff Madrick compares in his book the level of productivity of the United States with socialist countries led by big governments. For example, France and Norway who have big government have higher productivity than we have in United States. In the same vein, manufacturing wages are higher in Norway, Netherland and Germany, (The case for big government). That means, it is not exactly true that bigger government is less efficient. Moreover, in United States, the CEOs were making 30 times the amount paid to average worker in 1969. Now they are making 300 times more. In fact, wages do not increase in United States. The period between 1947 and 1973 family income doubled after inflation, explains Madrick, but from 1973 to 2005 the wages barely grow. Should we wait for the corporate to create conditions to create wage increase and growth? No, big corporations have one goal: making more profit. The goods and services are more expensive while the wages are lower. The big corporations are increasing the credit cards interest rates while jobs are decreased in the country. How to get big companies like BP to follow the standard of environmental protection? How to face terrorist threats and cybercrimes? The debate is not about the size of the government, but about efficiency.

Opinion

I think it is easy to make of the government the bad guy. However, the truth is, without a balance created by the specialized agencies of the government, the rich will become richer and the poor will be poorer. Therefore, it is vital to encourage an objective analysis of the question without an exceptionalism approach. An objective reading of the Stephen Lazarus text helps a better understanding of the context in which the founding Fathers wanted a strictly limited government. “With the powers of government strictly limited, he said, citizens could be free to pursue their particular vision of happiness and good life.” Do you feel that these rights are endangered today? How to guarantee the basic rights of the citizens in a more complicated society without better regulations and a social contract that guarantee the natural rights? The rights of the citizens are considered by Dr. Roger Pilon to be a “type of property.” “A government with limited power, reasoned the Founders, the rights to life, liberty, and the freedom to pursue happiness belong to citizens as other property they might possess. They wanted to prevent any possibility of tyrannical government developing in the will make a better guardian of this property than an unlimited government which can easily misuse its powers. They wanted to prevent any possibility of tyrannical government developing in the colonies,” (Recovering the Jeffersonian vision of limited government, December 1997). This contextual explanation is helpful to understand the spirit of the concept of limited government. Are the United States citizens feeling that the government’s powers have been misused against their rights? Then, they have to use their right to vote in order to reverse the process.

Final Touch
Nobody ever said that a government will get it all right all the time. However, the constitutional rights the founding Fathers enumerated seem to me respected. In my opinion, with all my respect, what most of my pro “less government” classmates have said to justify that liberty is endangered in United States are more subjective than objective arguments. If the community itself could guarantee better services for the population, why do you think the government has taken over? Don’t you also think that the configuration of the communities has changed? I like who came in with the health care reform example to explain that the actual administration has made it worse instead of fixing it, and I understand them. But, your fundamental right to vote against this administration, to send petition and to press the interest groups to voice in favor of a more elaborate text exist. Who came in the one we had before? Who profited the most? Was it normal that 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical (The American Journal of Medicine)http://www.pnhp.org/new_bankruptcy_study/Bankruptcy-2009.pdf Definitely, there was a problem somewhere! Who can fix it? Are the corporations and the big insurance companies? We need a more deep critical thinking approach of the national problems.
Leontes D.

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MEN AND WOMEN: EQUAL AND DIFFERENT

History of the Patriarchal Society

Men and women are born with some generally accepted differences. The hard wings of the feminist movement will start a words fire again anyone who states that women and men are different. However, the problem is not the difference that makes the inequality they are fighting to end. The inequality comes from socially old beliefs and cultural characterization of the women by thinking that women are inferior and should be kept in second role. A lot of critics attribute this patriarchal society model to ancient history and tradition. In his text the “The patriarchal family history” Christopher Dawson explains that “The knowledge of the past was confined to the history of classical civilization and to that of the Jews, in both of which the patriarchal family reigned supreme,” (catholiceducation.org). It is clear that feminists have been very critical to religious beliefs and church that have been keeping women from being treated as equal as men. He also sustains that “While the patriarchal family in its original form was an aristocratic institution which was the privilege of a ruling race or a patrician class, the Christian family was common to every class, even to the slaves,” Christopher Dawson says. Consequently, the American society built on the basic values of the Christianity owes much to the patriarchal civilization and culture exposed in the Old Testament. However, two principal characteristics of this societal phenomenon, les education and lower socio-economical status of women, tend to disappear over time in the modern society.

Are there innate differences between men and women?

The research channel publishes on youtube.com a debate about sex difference. On a genetic level, both men and women are the same. Steven E. Rhoads, Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia in his reflection about the subject taking “sex difference seriously” states that the argument in his book is about the differences about the nurturing nature of women, violence and anger management had valued him to be criticized by the feminists. His research has demonstrated that many women are pretty much the same. The difference between men and women is the fact that men are looking mostly for casual sex while women are looking for an emotional connection before sex. 14 out 25 people who were born without penis and raised as girls had convinced their parents before the age of 14 that they find themselves to be boy. In fact, their teacher have seen a great need to dominate others and they shown men characteristics in their aggressive behavior.

Before even the gender stereotypes, 12 months age girls respond differently than men to voice and faces around them. In fact, women are different sexually even society tend to influence the gender through cultural and educational system. Most women are care about close relationship. Baby girls look at people face more than baby boys do. Other research has found that teenage boys are playing together in order to show authority. They tend to stand in a lateral position. On the other hand, teenage girls are playing together to build relationship, and they tend to face each other when talking.

Cultural traits

Family is the door by which we enter the world. The basic transmission of our values and visions of the world come from what we have learnt from our family. It happens that the gender role playing is a process taught by our family, church, school, and the society. Generally, the reproduction of gender differences is also culturally based. For example, until now, women in India have to accept a husband who has been chosen by their parents instead of their own choices. Women tend also to follow the trend to be psychologist, teacher, or social worker. Both their natural aptitude and social stereotypes determine these choices. Normally, women are better in reading facial expression than men. “In many cultures, women are given greater latitude than men in expressing certain emotions,” (Nevid, p.326). So, Myers states that “women’s nonverbal sensitivity helps explain their greater emotional literacy,” (Myers, 2008, p. 382). Indeed, women are more intuitive, show greater empathy and, they are better in walking in someone’s shoes.

Ideological Oppression of Women

Equality feminists do think that both men and women are equal before the law. Then there is no difference. On the other hand, gender feminists have the tendency to hate men. They think that women are systematically oppressed by American culture. I think that the “equity feminism” which praises women realizations, while encouraging a partnership with men, is more productive. I agree with Professor Harvey C. Mansfield of Harvard University who came with the idea of a new feminism. “We need a new feminism because we have a new way of life,” he said. In term of “sexual behavior, Professor Mansfield questions the “hook ups,” which he initially referred to as “polymorphous promiscuity” are good for women. I do also think that imitating men’s tendency to be attracted by the physical aspect of sex is not a good thing for women to pursue. In fact, Professor Steven Rhoads confirms that most of the women who tried that felt the need to go back to the intimate aspect of sex. Radical feminism, to me, is more destructive than constructive. Christina Hoff Sommers seems to promote the kind of “equity feminism” that can be regenerative for the feminism movement in the 21st century. There is necessity for women to keep fighting for legal rights guaranteed by God and the United States constitution. But, the old radical feminist approach, which suggests that “women should dominate men” will be destructive for the family and the society. “It has been well documented that wives assault husbands at approximately the same rate as husbands assault wives,” reports Wendy McElroy in “Politicizing the Housewife.” Are we moving towards a more divided society with a higher rate of divorce?

Leontes D.

Works cited:
Carole Wade & Carol Tavris (2003). Psychology, Custom edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

David G. Myers (2008). Exploring Psychology, Seventh Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.

Dawson, Christopher. “The Patriarchal Family in History” taken from The Dynamics of World History, (ISI Books, 2003).

Christina Hoff Sommers. “Who Stole Feminism” Touchstone Books
(May 1995); retrieved from American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on July 27th, 2010
http://www.aei.org/book/517

Dialogue on the post:

Hi my friend,

I thank you very much for your feedback. You came in with some important historical facts and speeches that confirm a longtime categorization and stereotypes. The way you said, the inequality problem is not only a  matter of men and women relation in the society.  It is a general problem of social organization, classes relation, social groups interaction, and minorities oppression. We understand that women came a long way to get their rights respected. They need to keep fighting in a more inclusive way than the exclusivism preached by the radical feminist. There is a French expression “ote-toi que je m’y mette”  or precisely “get away so that I replace you”. This formula will not help us in resolving the issue.

I agree with your essay saying that 75% of women say that they are working because they have to. Let me tell you something, some men would rather staying home if their wife could make it on her own. i think that it is a matter of what you like and the way you are feeling happy. But, the radical feminism has messed it all. It is like a battle to replace men and to prove them that they can do anything that men do. Competition will lead us to destruction, cooperation defines our common success.  

“Women are born with different qualities, interests, and values. It does affect them personally and professionally. For one example, women on television and in the movies, have to look pretty, the need to have a shapely body, and be a seductress on screen,” you said, and I agree. I think that there is an intrinsic need for women to feel beautiful and desired. Ladies, would you say that this statement is in straight line with the gender typing approach? I don’t think so. Let me ask another question: Do you feel always like a men or always like a women? In some circumstances, my wife seems to be stronger than I am, while in some other cases, she has to lean on me. Would this confirm the theory of an American Dr. in Psychology from Chinese background who states that both men and women carry the same kind of hormones. It depends on what genetic markers predominate. We have also to recall here the researchers of the University of California who made a surprising discovery. “Eric Vilain, an assistant professor of genetics at UCLA, compared the activity levels of genes in male and female brains in 10-day-old embryonic mice—days before they developed sex organs. He found 18 genes that were more strongly active in male embryonic brains, and 36 that were revved up in female brains,” reported psychologytoday.com on October 24, 2003 (http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200310/genes-influence-gender-identity). The finding highlights the importance of genes in early sex and gender identity contrary to the scholars that claimed “hormones are the sole influence in gender identity,” (psychologytoday.com).

That i is funny, we are talking about gender identity and gender equality, what about inter and intragender equality and inter-and intragender identity??? Read this finding: http://www.springerlink.com/content/p121310u2u487u07/

Everyone is unique!!!

Thank you all,

Leontes D.

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