Response 5

Manuel Castells: “Occupy Wall Street”

“We demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we’re doomed without it.”

Literally: With President Barack Obama in office, protestors want him to put together a special task force to put an end to corrupt corporations. The main issues raised by Occupy Wall Street are social and economic inequality as well as, greed, corruption and the and the undoing of  corporate influences on politics; particularly from the financial standpoint. Furthermore, protestors are advocating for a just democracy, governmental control by the people and for the people rather than a corporatocracy; an economic and political system controlled by corporations especially for corporate interests.

Intellectually: Income inequality is one of the main priorities for the protestors as this ongoing problem in the United States needs to be addressed louder and cease to exist. The primary goal is to make the economic and political relations in all societies less inclined in being hierarchical and distributed as evenly as possible. The movement’s prime concerns deal with the manner in which large corporations control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, damages what is suppose to be a democracy, and is unstable.

Emotionally: Anger over high and rising inequality is evident by protestors however, I do not believe a society has ever come close to making wealth distribution equal. Income equality is not possible just as elimination of poverty is not possible. The problem is that the lower class of society still has to work for survival, food, shelter, and medical attention. If the 1% (i.e large corporations) wants to hold onto their large share of all their commodities, land, and entertainment resources, all they have to do is provide a minimum amount of food, housing, and medical services to the 99%.

Lewis Mumford: “The Automation of Knowledge”

“Automation of knowledge; the institutions that have promoted this special kind of automation are now the main power plants and the control centers of the grand system of mechanized production and depersonalized consumption and machine-fed leisure that characterizes our Western way of life. Nowhere has this become move evident than in our educational programs.”

Literally: Mumford explains to his readers that in this day and age, individuals’ knowledge is controlled by institutions who essentially seek to operate solely on technology that causes detachment from self-awareness of one’s mind/body. Many institutions have been established to create organizations around technology to not only do things for an average individual but to ultimately think for them as well. In a sense that cognitive thinking of an individual is no longer needed in Western civilization.

Intellectually: Because scientific advancements was always important by prominent and scholarly figures of the world, the work to see it through never stopped. And when strides were made, advancements continued unwillingly and gradually, society conformed to the advancements of science and technology at the same time, losing human personality.

Emotionally: Westernization has been a phenomenon that has been spreading across the globe at a tremendous rate. My parents’ homeland Nigeria has always been on the receiving end of these western norms and value system where the negative aspects of these western norms and value system is now something that is witness in the lives of many Nigerians. Yes, there may have been positive aspects however, the negative impact of westernization has since influenced and changed the culture of many tribes and ethnic groups in the country. It’s disappointing that it has come to this because generation after generation, Nigerians are losing their culture and what it means to be Nigerian. My siblings and I still hold onto what we know and love to be Nigeria. I believe Westernization puts a damper on cultures who are not asking to be revamped or scientifically advanced.

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2 Responses to Response 5

  1. Rownak C says:

    I like how you understand the core of a problem idealistically AND practically. You provide some very good points to consider regarding the issues we face in our world today.

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