Categories for Capitalism

Capitalism and World Countries Essay

Capitalism and World Countries Essay

Third world countries were seeking ways of making their erms of trade favorable and maximize its benefits from its involvement in international trade. NIEO aimed at overhauling international political and economic order so as to reduce the adverse effects of third world involvement in international trade. NIEO was simply seeking a reversal of the global trading practices institutionalized by the Bretton Woods system.

The term was derived from the declaration for the establishment of a New International Economic Order adopted by the United Nations general assembly in 1974.

It happened within the framework of North-South dialogue. It is very important from the onset to really excruciate what the New International Economic Order really is and its ramifications especially to the third world in the current global economic order. Primarily NIEO connotes policy directives adopted by the 6-77 with a view of stemming out the west’s hegemonic influence in the global economic pecking order.

The inspiration behind the NIEO can be traced to the came with the Bandung plan where optimism from the newly independent countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America were looking for ways of reforming the global trading and political system.

The main aim was to find a framework within which the third world would find the solutions to their problems of underdevelopment within the ideologue of interdependence imposed by the world economy.

The crux of this essay is to make an inference whether economic parity between the west and third world countries is possible in the global capitalist system. The begging question has always been whether the world would move towards a more poly-centric economic balance of power or whether it would be locked indefinitely in the cocoon of mono-centrism, with USA as the axis of the estern capitalist camp in their bid to maintain the status quo as pertains to the resources often with inadequate financial remuneration.

But as the third world were as passionate as ever about coming up with a new world order the west coalesced behind the so called Washington consensus and met the pro-third world movement with equal passion and desire to maintain the status quo. NIEO was an order that aimed at achieving the following; Ensure that third world countries were able to benefit from extraction of third world resources. Ensure that there was adequate capital flow from the centre to he periphery coupled with infusion of efficient and cost effective technologies in the third world countries. ? Rally for a reform of the global order and correct the mistakes arising from the Bretton woods order and institutions . Ensure that the third world got fairer terms of trade in the global trading system, together with reasonable value for exports to the periphery. Enhance the strength of regional organizations within the third world like the EAC, COMESA and others in Asia and Latin America, this was aimed at increasing the volume of trade within the third world and improve general conomic and technology transfer engagements within the third world.

And also enhance the third world’s right to set up regional marketing and producer organizations. NIEO also aimed at controlling the activities of Multi National Corporations, their activities and their roles as agents of transfer for ecology and capital to third world states. After a detailed study of the objectives of NIEO we can then begin the odyssey in discovering whether NIEO in its entirety was or is international and whether it qualifies to be referred to as an order.

Capitalist and Social Democracies & Cause Effect Relationship Essay

Capitalist and Social Democracies & Cause Effect Relationship Essay

Quality of Life

The quality of life of nation has always been the most important concern of any of the economic as well as the political theories. And there have been a number of parameters that are required to be looked upon so that quality of life of a nation can be explained on a broader scale. Technical financial terms like GDP per person are very much materialistic in characteristic and hence cannot be considered as a sufficient parameter to indicate the current status of the nation’s quality of life.

Some of the literatures have made recognizable adjustments in GDP factor by quantifying other important facets that are left behind while considering GDP measure.

The other considerable non market activities are social ills, environmental pollution and many others. But this approach has its own difficulties because it requires the assignment of numerical or monetary values to the various factors that constitute of a wider measure of socio-economic wellbeing and hence a number of processes have been developed to figure out a conclusive remark related to the quality of life while depending on a number of factors that make way for the proposed conclusion.

The main purpose of all the attempts has been to make out a list of variables that can be considered as a determinant of quality of life.

These measures have undergone a number of selection biases and there have been corresponding arbitrariness in those factors which have been chosen to access quality of life. The indicators that represent those factors have been assigned weights so that a single systematic measure could be achieved. The GDP has its own substantive purpose and despite all its shortcomings it has sufficiently been able to depict clear meaning to the prices that have objective weights for the goods and services that make it up.

The proposal suggests that the quality of life can be considered as an outcome depending on nine different factors. The factors and the indicators that are used to represent those factors are:

1. Material wellbeing: It depicts the average GDP of a nation i.e., GDP per person or per capita income. Indicator for this factor has been GDP per person, at PPP in $. It quantifies the very material or average prosperity of the nation. This material well-being is also very importance in enabling elderly people especially senior citizens to retain their independence in later life.
2. Health: This factor has its importance while quantifies the physical as well as mental health of the people. Indicators for this factor are life expectancy at birth and the average age of both male and female.
3. Political Stability and security: The overall development and policy of a nation is a multiple of this factor. The country is being provided ratings while depending on one of the nation as some base.
4. Family life: The condition of a family on an average is an indication of family life of the nation. The divorce rates are being given the status of indicator for quantifying this factor. The divorce rate per 1,000 populations is being converted into index of 1 to 5 with increasing number showing negative trend.
5. Community Life: A factor with value 0 or 1. The null value corresponds lower interest of common public in community life while 1 being assigned to those countries where community life often takes place in form public gathering either at church or trade meetings.
6. Climate and geography: This factor is being indicated through latitude values depicting warmer and colder climatic conditions of the nation.
7. Job Security: This factor is self explanatory and is being indicated through unemployment rate expressed in percentage.
8. Political Freedom: A mean to represent the condition of political and civil liberties with values ranging from 1 to 7 where 1 depicts completely free environment while 7 is provided to an excessively closed political condition .
9. Gender Equality: A very crucial social factor for the quantification of male and female social, economic and financial status with indicator being the ratio of average male and female earnings.

The above mentioned variables cover a very broad range of areas that can affect the quality of life of a nation. There a number of other variables that can also affect this quality of life like the education levels, the rate of real GDP growth and income inequality.

But in real sense this education level is little correlation between education and life satisfaction and this education level later decides income and finally health. But at the same time, this wellbeing has been found to get under negative influence in case of the job being poorly attuned to academic background of the person as well as its needs and aspirations. Hence this sophisticated tests being done over the above mentioned variables has strong correlation with simple measure of life satisfaction with considerations of both individual and behavioral measures.

Cause and effect Analysis

The Quality of life has been considered as the function with variables falling in almost six different domains. Under Material Wellbeing, the variables have been none other than the GDP and PPP. These factors are the very reason behind higher state of Material wellbeing. The value of GDP is actually aggregate marketed income of a country and at the same time depicts four different components that measure up to depict well being. The four components are effective per capita consumption flows, net societal accumulation of stocks of productive resources, income distribution – poverty and inequality and finally economic insecurity.

Health is another domain. The variables that fall under this category are life expectancy at birth i.e., infant mortality and average age. It can be indexed as physical quality-of-life index thereby attempting to measure the quality of life or well being of a nation. The numeric value of the factors associated with it is derived from infant mortality, life expectancy and average age with values ranging from 0 to 100.

Family and community is a very important factor which relates the internal condition of a family as well its social participation as an indicator of condition at the level of smallest unit level. The indicators for the quantification of this factor are divorce rate, gender equality and social gathering. Divorce rate is measured per 1000 families while the values related to gender equality and social gathering are decided on arbitrary pattern after comparing the data with some standard nation.

Figure (Fishbone diagram for cause and effect analysis Quality of life)

Political Stability is another extra personal factor which has its own impact. The country’s political condition is a sharp reflection of what policies does the country takes for boosting social and political stability. The better the political condition the better will be the future direction. Every thing right from security, freedom, development as well as country and its people’s future direction in terms of financial gain and income depends on the political condition. The indicators for the political scenario of a nation are stability, security, freedom etc. which are assigned some value according to the some established norms or formula.

Environment is another factor which has a deciding importance in country’s quality of living. The climate and geography are the indicators which are assigned some value play as variable while determining the quality of life. If we look at the list of nations in between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, the climatic condition over the region is almost the same and at the same time, almost all of the nations in this particular area are either developing or under developed. Hence the geography and climate has its own impact of quality of life. Apart from all the above mentioned factors, some auxiliary factors are also equally valuable. Job security and inflation are some of the few such indicators making an impact on quality of life.

Social Democracy, Capitalist Democracy & quality of life

Nation’s democratic condition is very much responsible in causing any effect on factors that make way for defining the quality of life. The material well which is indicated by the GDP and PPP is considered to perform strongly in a capital democracy if compared with social democracy. Now more money will get translated into better spending in health care and hence indicators like life expectancy and average life should be expected to be of higher order in case of capitalist democracy but the ground situation is very much different.

The world’s biggest capitalist democracy i.e., US has reformed its welfare programs in the year 1996 but the new provisions in the welfare act failed to provide both health and social benefits to under privileged. The health inequality is at its peak. Despite being one of the biggest spenders in health sector, its performance on health care index is much less than other OECD nations but the personal care policy that has been followed in social economy of United Kingdom and Ireland has helped in giving better results like prolonging life expectancy.

The two types of democracies have different philosophies on issues like political freedom, justice and social security. The idea for the development of next generation is to make way for equality of political and economic participation and at the same time basic chances of life for social justice expanded from legal and material preconditions for freedom and equal rights to equal dignity.

Political freedom has to be expanded from self determination of government to the taking charge of own life. Capitalist democracy has defined equal opportunity as providing uniformity in life but social democracy expands it to create space for developing personal predilections and talents.  The different approaches for the factors in case of social and capital democracies have made way for separate behavior of the same indicators in determining the performance of the nations on quality of life index.

Subject for study

The purpose of the proposed paper is to figure out relationship between above mentioned indicators and the quality of life in two different environments with one being capital democracy while the other one being social democracy. The democratic condition of a nation defines the very state of its people and their way of living. The points which have to be figured out in the study of the subject is the effect of the two type of democracies on each of the indicators and then how these changes will cause the change in quality of life of the nation and its people.


Each of the indicators has to be given some numeric value. These values are assigned on specific formulas and techniques that will either be in accordance with those used by UN or if necessary new formulas will be developed. The quality of life is the output function with final value being proportional to the values of the indicators.

Data Collection Methods
The next step is that of data collection. The data which has to be used for analysis is more of secondary in nature with most of them being categorized into three basic types.
• Documentary – with material in form written text or non written materials.
• Multiple Source – area based sources which are basically local journals and country exploration.
• Survey – public surveys while taking each and every class into account. It can be censuses or ad-hoc surveys

The above mentioned types of secondary information have to be extracted from books, journal articles, newspapers & magazines, conference papers, UN reports, archives, electronic database, internet, etc. The majority of the data will get utilized in figuring out a complete literature review with information gathered would give details of different indicators of quality of life, factors affecting those indicators and how are these going to behave in case of the two democracies that has been considered for discussion. In the present research we will generally lean on secondary data and the surveys will have to be done in two nations. For Capitalist democracy, United States of America has to be explored while for Social democracy, Ireland has been taken as case study. The details of a public survey can be taken from the surveys of United Nation and other reliable sources and the same could be used for the analysis in this case.


The data obtained through the various methods discussed above would be either quantitative or qualitative. Since the research requires interpretation of data that is likely to be enormous is quantity with proper statistical analysis. Quantitative analysis of the data is more likely to be secondary and exploratory in nature requiring proper summarising. The data that has been obtained through survey would mostly be categorical and will require proper scale based ranking.

Qualitative analysis of data is expected to be used more if it is being compared with quantitative analysis. It will require quantification up to certain degree but an overall non-quantifying method is more likely to be used through the data analysis and interpretation process and finally comparison of the final output. This would begin with categorisation according to possible unitisation, making out relations and then developing categories to facilitate it, and developing and testing hypotheses to reach conclusion.


The whole process has to be divided into a number of phases. The first phase is the analysis of the research problem according to the theoretical framework. The maximum required time for first phase analysis is one week. The outcome of this analysis will decide the type of data to be arranged or searched for full fledged analysis. The data search is mainly secondary in nature and the sources for the same are in the form of documentary, journals, research paper and surveys. The important thing is source reliability. There has to be at least two mid term analysis so that quality of the collected data that has been collected so far can be checked.

The schedule for the whole project is as follows:
Object Statement Analysis : 1 week
Data Search (First phase) : 3 weeks
Data Analysis (Mid term) : 1 week
Data Search (Second phase) : 3 weeks
Data Analysis (Mid term) : 1 week
Data Search (Third phase) : 3 weeks
Data Analysis (Final) : 3 weeks
Report & Documentation : 1 week
Total : 16 weeks


The main part of the total expenditure is in making this project will get utilized in data collection. Since the data collection is basically secondary in nature and most of them are freely available so the actual cost to be incurred in the same is in tune of $1000-$1500. So the maximum possible budgetary requirement is around $1500.


The final report project will have the following format:

1. Title
2. Research Question
3. Literature Review
4. Research Methodology
5. Conceptual Framework
6. Primary Research
7. Analysis
8. Findings
9. Conclusions & Recommendations
10. References


National Governors Association (2005), A National Health Care Innovations Program: A

proposal to increase the cost-effectiveness and quality of the U.S. health care system.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Resources (2003), Steps to a Healthier US: A
Program and Policy Perspective. The Power of Prevention.
European Observatory on Health Care Systems (1999), Health Care Systems
in Transition: United Kingdom, WHO Regional Office, Europe.

Osberg, L. & Sharpel, A., Comparisons of Trends in GDP and Economic Well-being – the Impact of Social Capital
Huo, J, Nelson, M. & Stephens, J. (2006) Decommodification and Activation in Social Democratic Policy Resolving the Paradox
Nueva Sociedad (2007) Social Democracy in the 21st Century

Economist Intelligence Unit (2005) Quality-of-life index: The Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life Index [Online] Available from:
Campbell, A., Phil C., & Rodgers, W. (1976). The Quality of American Life. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Diener, E., Sandvik, E., Seidlitz, L. & Diener, M. (1993) “The Relationship Between Income and Subjective Well Being: Relative or Absolute?” Social Indicators Research.
Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Frey, B. S. and Alois S.( 2002). Happiness and Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univeristy Press.
Elazar, D. (1984). American Federalism: A view from the states. New York: Thomas

The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 Essay

The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 Essay

This novel is broken into segments; the first of which discusses crisis’ that have occurred in the past that are similar to present day crisis’, for example, the Great Depression and the worldwide depression of 2008. The second segment analyzes the current crises, for example, the effects of the Latin American and Asian crisis in the 1900’s. Krugman also brings into light how countries thousands of miles apart have such a large impact on one another like a domino effect, for example, how when Russia experienced a financial crisis and economic reform, it devalued the Brazilian ‘real’, which then in turn effected the United States bond markets.

The author uses his knowledge and view to analyze the United States’ and other county’s economic issues. He critiques the mistakes that were made and the warning signs that governments should be aware of and not overlook in order to prevent economic failure. An example was the over confidence in capitalism success due to increase of technology, globalization to third world countries, and the fall of socialism and socialist ideas that were prevalent in international ideologies.

This confidence in capitalism blindsided Economists to an approaching depression. Krugman warns that even though an economy may be very strong, they are still subject to fall and should never take warning signs lightly, however these signs may not always be the same for every country. As brought up in the book, it is discussed that perfect solutions for fixing an economy in one country may not work as well, or at all, in another country, for example capitalism success in the United States versus Japan and Mexico.

Another example was when the British government devalued the pound and increased the interest rates. This led a strong economic recovery for Britain, but when Mexico tried this same tactic, it had no such success. Britain’s pound was devalued by 15 percent in 1990, thus being dropped from the European Monetary System’s Exchange Rate Mechanism. In 1995, the “Tequila Crisis” resulted from the mistake of the Mexican government not devaluing the peso enough and the GDP in Mexico dropped 7 percent and depreciated the peso by 15 percent, consequently.

This is also an example of the domino effect of economic downfalls in countries impacting others. Even though Argentina’s peso is governed by a separate currency board, since they call their money the peso as well, currency speculation from investors in other countries didn’t regard the currencies as separate, thus negatively impacting the country. Robert Lucas, a professor at the University of Chicago, states that Macroeconomics needs to move forward from depression-prevention since the problem “had been solved for all practical purposes. “The Great Moderation” speech, by Ben Bernanke, then provided support to Lucas’ claim by stating that the business cycle problem had diminished, however, Krugman explains that instances similar to the Great Depression have more recently occurred, and in other countries in the 90’s. In the late 1990’s, Thailand caused trouble to the rest of the surrounding Asian countries when they began making loans to foreign investors to try and help their struggling economy, consequently leaving them with crippled trade exports.

The Thai ‘Baht’ was devalued since these foreign investors were mainly only people who had connections with the government and the interest rates were much higher than other countries in attempt to boost their economy. This stipulation caused the economy to worsen, other countries to loose confidence, and for Thailand to loose investments. Krugman explains that if Thailand hadn’t tried to control the currency and interest rate, the ‘baht’ would have risen instead of causing their poor economy to expedite.

Another piece that Krugman brings up is the Hedge funds, which are privately and actively managed investment funds and are subject to the regulatory restrictions of their country. Two examples discussed in the book were with Asia and Russia. Hedge funds were used on Hong Kong’s capitalist government and were forced them to use government intervention and non-capitalist ways to take back their stock market. In Russia, hedge funds were more widely created to excel profits, but consequently, led to their financial collapse.

Alan Greenspan, on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, served from May 1987 to January 2006 and played a large roll in the 2008 crisis. It was believed that he was the best fit for his position because of his vast knowledge of the Great Depression. In the beginning of his term, the economy was stable with low unemployment rates and a rising stock market. Consequently, Greenspan “let the good times roll” and when the stock market was in a ‘bubble’ he cut interest rates, but to no avail.

This caused the unemployment rate to rise for almost three years and the recession to return. The housing bubble then developed in 2006 from the lack of Federal Reserve regulation of savings and loans and the “Shadow Banking System”. The housing market prices slowly skyrocketed to fifty percent over value but then suddenly dropped up to fifteen percent in the second quarter the following year. Krugman explains how this housing market crash crippled the United States economy, costing millions of Americans their lives as they knew them before.

I found this book very appealing considering my vague understanding of the financial system. Although at times I felt lost in the terminology, the majority of the time I was able to comprehend what Krugman was trying to get across to the audience. What I found most compelling was how the book brought into perspective how history has consequently been repeating itself and will only continue to do so. With the examples Krugman gives with the Great Depression, Japan, Mexico, and our own economy deficit in 2008, we can see the errors that are repeatedly made through history.

Krugman points out, while constantly questioning, why economic catastrophes keep occurring all over the world if all the signs leading up to them are ever so similar. If Mexico had used Britian as an example, they would have been able to get out of the ‘Tequila Crisis” much quicker. I also found interesting, yet disheartening, the amount of money that is lent to other countries and spent on helping them repair themselves when we ourselves have repairing to do in our economy still.

I understand that it is a cyclical effect, and we may not know every detail about what is going on, and for that I have to give the government credit, but at the same time I don’t agree with the amounts given away that we never see any benefit from. Krugman used the example of Russia’s debt and the twenty-two billion given to them for a stabilization plan that was unheard of, and another fourty-one billion emergency bailout funds to Brazil.

After reading this book, it has enlightened me about how an economy can get back on its feet and also what signs to look for in our economy so that we don’t repeat the past and we start learning from other country’s mistakes as well. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. “Krugman. ” About Paul. New York Times, n. d. Web. 04 May 2013. [ 2 ]. “Hedge Fund. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 May 2013.

Critique of Capitalist Economy Essay

Critique of Capitalist Economy Essay


Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels were great supporters of communism and were opposed to the capitalism way of economic system because they believed that it was a way of exploiting the poor and benefiting the rich in the society[1]. They did a lot of work as philosophers in addressing religious, political and economic issues. Karl Mark and Engels were supporters of communism and criticized the capitalism economy which was being advocated for by the developed countries. Thesis; communist economy is better than the capitalist economy.

There has always been a conflict between the counties in the west and the Eurasia on the way economic policies should be set with countries like the US supporting capitalism while the countries that were formally soviet union oppose it and want continue with the communism way.  To critically assess the reasons why communism is better than capitalism, the following is the analysis of negative impact of capitalism and the advantages of the communist economy according to Karl Marx and Engels.

The most notable writing is the communist manifesto.

Communist Manifesto

In 1848, Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels came together to write the  communist manifesto which was a proclamation of the unavoidable failure of the capitalist economy and wake up call to the workers all over the world[2]. The manifesto was commissioned by the communist league in England.

Capitalism described as the economic scheme where there is free market of capital i.e. facilities and money, the natural resources and labor (production)[3]. This kind of system allows individual entities like people and companies to the business owners and not the central government. They run the production lines, make much profit as possible since they are also the decision makers of the issues that are affecting the production of goods and services plus the sale of the same[4].

Communism on the other hand is described as an economic system which allows the distribution of the countries resources with the intent of creating a non stratified society. In this type of economy, the government owns the production means and there are no private entities that own the same business or industry. Communism is intimately associated with a German philosophy, Karl Marx because he was an activists and an economist and wrote so much literature about communism and criticizing the capitalism. In his works, he put forward postulations that capitalism would be overthrown and ultimately replaced by communism.

Since the individual ownership of the means of production would lead to exploitation, Karl Marx advocated for communism arguing that though the communism may vary from country to country, the following beneficial characteristics would still remain[5]; the planning, production and other operations in agriculture and industry are centrally organized, the system does not put up with opposition from other viewpoints and that only one political party runs the government.

Communism developed as reaction of employees to the unacceptable working conditions during the emergence and the increased industrial revolution according to Marx and Engels. In Marx’s view, capitalist should[6] give a chance to socialism a chance to excel because capitalism was deemed to fail the economy because it would create two rivalry classes in the society of the “haves” and “have not” hence a new economic system would emerge and replace the capitalism[7].

Though not popular in the 19th century, the communist manifesto became widely used and read document as people sought to actually establish the most efficient economic system during the era of industrial revolution.  As discussed by Marx and Engels, the communism economy would come as a scientifically proofed issue and according to the historic changes of phenomena as continuous processes. Feudalism grew and as expected it had to transform giving rise to mercantilism which also naturally translated to capitalism, from this reasoning, Karl Marx expected that the supporters of the capitalist economy would accept change as it was inevitably going to take place with capitalism transforming to socialism (communism).

Economy under Capitalism

In the manifesto of communism, Marx and Engels argue that employment would be greatly affected by the owners of the means of production. It also addresses the idea of ownership of private property and idea of communism. The employees are depicted to be suffering from alienated labor; the alienation of labor is categorized in to four groups[8]; first, as soon as the product is made it is immediately taken away from the creator; second, the workers are exploited in the production line (too much work un-proportional to the pay), third, the human beings are meant to work and increase productivity blindly and not in agreement with the normal human nature (from species being), finally, mutual satisfaction of the human needs is replaced by the benefit resulting from the exchange of the products (from other beings).

Marx analyses the Hegelian deduction of types of economies to explain how all the categories (salaries, rent, profits etc) were all alienated as a consequence of alienation of the human nature in the capitalist economy. This is because the structure of the economic system ultimately ends up dictating the way people come to live their lives in future, their behavior and determines the possible actions to be taken to stay on top. For instance, in the event that a capitalist economist intention is to remain in the industry (business venture) then he has to exploit the employees to the legal limit.

The capitalist will definitely end up being a ruthless exploiter despite being wracked by guilt or not because of the need to stay in control of the economy and apparently everything.  On the same note, employees are forced to take on the work offer as there are no sensible alternatives. Marx and Engels insist that it is for this reason that people have to rise above such oppression and take the bull by its horns so as to have a collective control of their way of life in terms of economy and societal development.

Commodity production is another aspect that is addressed by Marx as being used for exploitation. Commodity in the economy and business definitions is the product produced with an intention of exchange for legal tender or money in the market, as there exists a market, the product can be exchanged and that there is division of labor where a variety of products are produced, otherwise there would be no incentive for the exchange. With this kind of reasoning then, a commodity is described in terms of use and value.

The use is easily understood, but the value becomes a complex issue to deal with and the relative value for the exchange has to be elaborated. For instance why does some amount of a product exchange for a different amount of another product? The elaboration has to cover the labor input during production of the product or rather the socially obligatory effort put in at average level of intensity to yield the commodity[9].

This is where the labor theory understanding and interpretation plays a big role, and it states that the quantity of socially essential work time needed to produce the commodity should be the determinant of its worth. In Marx view, this argument has two stages and the first is, to say if two items are compared by equations with an equal sign, there should be a third item of identical amount in both to which they are reducible and which is common, the second stage is to look for the suitable ‘third element’ and in this case labor is the only reasonable element[10]. Labor force is therefore likely to be exploited in order to increase the value of the commodity as the use remains constant.

Capitalism is idiosyncratic; the capitalist economist does not only rely on the exchange of products as the source of profits but rather the progression of wealth, in the form of cash, with the intension of profit making by means of trading in the products and changing them into other products which can cost higher prices and generate more profits. According to Marx and Engels, no previous scholars have been able to clearly give an explanation of how capitalism as a whole would generate profits. There solution is that, the capitalists exploit the labor from employees, they buy employees labor effort for the day.

The price (value) of the product is established by the same means that is, the socially essential labor force needed to make the product. In such an instance, the day’s labor effort is the worth of the products required to keep the employee alive for one day. Taking for example a situation where commodities take about five hours to create, the  first five hours of the day would be used up on creating value that is equal to the worth of the salaries the employees would be compensated, this is the necessary labor.

Any other labor done above this is termed as surplus labor and it only benefits the capitalist economist to make surplus value for the profits. The analysis done by Marx reveal that labor called the variable capital and this because it is the only resource that can create more value than it is worth. Other items basically pass their value to the final processed product but cannot create any additional value and hence referred to as the constant capital. Profits generated by the capitalists are a result of employees working past the necessary labor to create value for the employer. This is the theory of profits as far as the surplus value of labor is concerned.

The rate of profit making is bound to fall as the industry increases its mechanization under the capitalist economy, by the use of more constant capital and little variable. As it has already been established that labor is the only resource that can add value to a commodity, less advancement on labor as a result of less capital will translate to a fall in the profits. Marx emphasized on the shamed labor and value of commodity[11].

Labor Theory and Value

The analysis of Marx and Engels basically emphasized on the reward of labor power and the other forces of production means, basically such resources as land and technology are necessary for production. The analysis of Marx differentiated the history of the means of production for instance the European nations developed from a feudal mode of producing products to capitalist economy. Marx believed that change would come at a fast rate because of the advance in technology. The understanding of the social relations of production to be involving groups of people who are classified based on the wealth they own or their income (social classes)[12].

Commodity fetishism is a description of what Engels termed as false consciousness and is intimately associated with the understanding of the ideology. The ideology was used to imply the ideas of the specific people (class) at a point in time in history[13]. Marx and Engels did not describe only the belief as half truth but as the most important political operation. This explains the way a class can control the production means in food and other manufactured goods, they contribute the ideas of production. People in capitalist are alienated from their own labor investment.

The alienation of the labor power as expressed by the Marxist supporters indicates it as the major feature of capitalism resulting in commodity fetishism. Before the emergence of the capitalist economy in the European market, many people who operated their businesses as producers or merchants used to purchase goods and resell them to earn profits.

The development of the capitalist economy came as a result of treating labor force as a commodity in itself; the peasants were allowed to exchange labor force with money from the rich people because they did not own any land which they could use to produce food from agriculture[14]. People were being paid according to the time they worked (they were selling labor and not commodity). Those who were in possession of land and the means of production were called bourgeois and they are the capitalists while the peasants who had to sell their labor power for survival were called proletarians[15].

The difference between the industrial capitalist and merchants is that the merchants purchase goods and resell them at some higher cost to earn profits depending on the changes of the laws of demand and supply in the market. The merchant practices arbitrage between markets while the industrialist capitalist exploit the labor market and the product under production[16]. For any profits to be created there has to be a surplus in labor market and value surplus.

Capitalism on the other hand can be very productive and develop very fast because of the enticement to reinvest profits in the developing technology and capital facilities. It is also the most innovative economic system as it has always changed the means of production and caused notable improvements.

With an attempt to cut down the labor cost, the capitalist economists are likely to invest more in the new technology and as a result considerably cut down the labor cost (less labor)[17]. Since Marx and Engels believed that the profits were from surplus labor, they also concluded that the profits would fall.


Marxism opposed capitalist and encouraged a move to communism (socialism) in which the economy distributes the resources equally to everybody in the community (nation). It does not promote private possession of assets and business.



Antonio R.J & Cohen. (2003). Marx and Modernity. Key Readings and Commentary. Blackwell Publishing

Mark K. & Engels F. (2007). Capital. A Critique of Political Economy Vol. 3 – Part 1. The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole. Cosimo

Moore S.W. (1957). The Critique of Capitalist Democracy. An Introduction to the Theory of the State in Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Whitman Publishers.

Preston P.W. (1982). Theories of Development. Taylor & Francis

Stalin J. & Wells H.G (1937). Marxism vs. Liberalism. An interview. New Century Publishers. New York retrieved on 5th February 2009 from


[1] Antonio R.J & Cohen. (2003). Marx and Modernity. Key Readings and Commentary. Blackwell Publishing

[2] Mark K. & Engels F. (2007). Capital. A Critique of Political Economy Vol. 3 – Part 1. The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole. Cosimo.

[3] Mooore S.W. (1957). The Critique of Capitalist Democracy. An Introduction to the Theory of the State in Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Whitman Publishers.

[4] Mark K. & Engels F. (2007). n 2

[5] Stalin J. & Wells H.G (1937). Marxism vs. Liberalism. An interview. New Century Publishers. New York retrieved on 5th February 2009 from

[6] Stalin J. & Wells H.G (1937) n 4

[7] Mark K. & Engels F. (2007). n 2

[8] Mooore S.W. (1957). The Critique of Capitalist Democracy. An Introduction to the Theory of the State in Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Whitman Publishers.

[9] Mark K. & Engels F. (2007) n 2

[10] Antonio R.J & Cohen. (2003). Marx and Modernity. Key Readings and Commentary. Blackwell Publishing

[11] Mark K. & Engels F. (2007) n 2

[12] Preston P.W. (1982). Theories of Development. Taylor & Francis

[13]Antonio R.J & Cohen. (2003). Marx and Modernity. Key Readings and Commentary. Blackwell Publishing

[14]Preston P.W. (1982). N 11

[15] Preston P.W. (1982). Theories of Development. Taylor & Francis

[16] Antonio R.J & Cohen. (2003) n 6

[17] Mooore S.W. (1957). The Critique of Capitalist Democracy. An Introduction to the Theory of the State in Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Whitman Publishers.

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The Principles of Cultural Capitalism and the End of Ideology Essay

The Principles of Cultural Capitalism and the End of Ideology Essay

Cultural Capitalism is capitalism that assesses the advancements not in the quantity of innovations, but in the socio-cultural benefits that the civil society acquires from it, it does not only promote the culture but it also builds on the old and new myths of culture. It plays a role in the coming of a new kind of society which is called the “post-industrial society”.

In Daniel Bell’s (1962) definition of this society which is post-industrial, the focus here will be services, not manufacturing and it must be a society led by information, and because it is the case what will be centralized are industries that bases on science.

New technical elites will take its rise and also a new principle of formation of classes will begin. It is also discussed that this kind of society will be of domination and the replacement of the system of the industrialized society.

Also in Bell’s view the “end of ideology” is understood as a point wherein the idea of history and ideology is or will be viewed as unimportant for the reason that capitalism and western democratic politics have already dominated.

But the end of ideology should not mean that utopia will also end along with it. Because ideology greatly makes things very simple that it turns out that people will not anymore feel the need to encounter their own difficulties by their own efforts, they will simply consult to the ideologies to solve the confusions for them.

These principles when spread by the destructive intensity of belief, ideas will also result to be apocalyptic. And on the other hand utopia tells where one wants to be, how to reach it, and gives justification on who should be paid. It is needed by men now, because men always have need of visualizing their capabilities and a way of combining their knowledge with enthusiasm (Bell, 1962). Reference: Bell, D. (1962). The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the Fifties: Free Press.

Global capitalism is the primary cause of world hunger Essay

Global capitalism is the primary cause of world hunger Essay

Evolution/ change are a way of life. People evolve, cultures evolve, and so do our economies. And with every change comes a considerable amount of resistance. The transition from feudalism to capitalism gathered its momentum in Western Europe in 18th and 19th centuries. Along with came chaos, ambiguities and insecurities. Numerous theories on Capitalism as good or bad also came along. Some include famous works by premier sociologists: Karl Marx and Max Weber.

Though Karl Marx’s most popular theories on “class and conflict” made him a capitalist critique, it is mainly Max Weber who’s considered to have developed a more rational theory on capitalism.

Defined in Max Weber’s term, Capitalism is a process where money becomes an end in itself consequently changing the values of society. Although capitalism is an age old phenomenon what makes it younger even now is the global face it has assumed over the past two or three decades. It is now used in combination with globalization hence, termed as global capitalism.

It has largely dominated the discourse on poverty and human development. Patrik Aspers (1) defines global capitalism as, “an economy that connects capitalistic actors from all over the world via production and consumption markets. ” The common attack on this phenomenon is that it has increased the disparity between the rich and the poor in the developing world and widened the gap between the developed and the developing world. What’s perplexing is to see how the same phenomenon that is acclaimed for the growing GDP in many emerging economies is also seen as the culprit in raising world hunger.

Global capitalism does not function in isolation. There are many other factors that determine its nature making it good or bad for human development. This paper will delve on those factors that have made this phenomenon so unpopular especially in the developing world. Also, to establish that global capitalism is not alone a cause per se of world hunger. Free Trade: Global capitalism means integrating the national economy into the world economy through breaking down of artificial trade barriers. In other words, allowing a free flow of capital across the globe.

A more popular term given to this phenomenon is that of “Free Trade”. Joseph Stiglitz (2)defines it as “the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and people across borders. Free Trade versus small –scale Farmers: There have been tall claims made on the benefits gained by the emerging countries out of free trade looking at their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth over the past decade.

While determining the effectiveness of Free Trade, most evidences are based on the number of jobs generated in emerging economies through this system. But this is also dovetailed by another question on whether these jobs also generate a livelihood option for the last common denominators in the developing world. The answer is quite evident from the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) that has taken a centre stage on the ongoing WTO (World Trade Organization) negotiations.

The most affected lot of the multilateral trading system are the small scale farmers in developing countries who are largely being affected by huge subsidies provided to farmers in U. S and Europe. This in turn helps these farmers to sell their products at much reduced rates in international markets than the small- scale farmers of developing countries can afford to sell even in their own domestic markets. Hence, forcing these very farmers to sell their produce at a lesser price than that involved in production.

One could argue that despite the farmer’s grievances, large flow of cheap food in developing countries could also mean that the poor and hungry benefit from floods of cheap food. The following fact answers this argument. World hunger strings from the current situation of small – scale farmers in the developing world: The UN report on World Hunger 2000, revealed failure of the 1996 target of halving the number of people who do not have enough to eat within 15 years. Robert. Drinan (3) in National Catholic reporter, states that a total of 842 million hungry in the world during 1995- 1997 increased by 13 million in the 1999- 2001 period.

The First Food Program Director, Kirsten Schwind points out that a vast majority of the world’s poor make their living off agriculture. Hence, failure in this sector also suggests that 50 percent of the people who live with hunger globally are these same small – scale farmers. United States and Europe: are they alone responsible for world hunger? Undeniably, the huge subsidies offered to farmers in the United States and Europe disrupts the global market. But this reason is not alone responsible for devastating farmer’s life in developing world.

This era of global capitalism also calls for a global accountability. It isn’t right to put the entire blame on the US and Europe. Kenneth AJ (4) clearly states that “hunger is a multi-dimensional problem that requires a multidimensional approach and intersectoral interventions in relevant areas, such as health, markets, learning and emergency preparedness. But too often the necessary investments have not been made. National level strategies usually exist, but they often need to be modified to take hunger into greater consideration. ”

Simply judging the interventions made by international institutes, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is not enough. Unless country’s own systems such as, domestic policies, their implementation, and their transparency are not evaluated, the current situation on world hunger will not improve. It is a stated fact that serious policy mistakes are dovetailed by crisis in the economic sector. What keeps many developing countries from benefiting despite numerous development projects are their own infected methods. Many people and many governments have misunderstood the meaning of liberalization.

They have mistaken it to mean liberating themselves off their responsibilities. The idea behind globalization was to make competition healthier. This could be done when each country facing an international competition ensures improvement on its infrastructure and provides its workers with latest knowledge on their skills. It is after all a country’s own responsibility. Unfortunately, the latest trend is to blame it all on the unhealthy competition led by free trade. Little have these governments done enabling their own citizens to face the global competition.

It is after all these policy makers who hold key to development of their own nation. They are the wheelers of the society who link the modern, pre – modern and postmodern together. When we talk about agricultural competition, besides looking at debates engulfing the distortion issue, it is also important for us to assess the country’s own performance in these areas. It is after all government’s responsibility to improve upon its agricultural production meeting market needs by assisting its farmers with latest techniques and knowledge on new variety crops.

Even if we agree for a while that many developing countries cannot afford the latest technologies, how do these governments then account for the dramatic increase in their GDP growth? India stands as the best example, where on the one hand many reports reveals the increased suicidal rate of the farmers, on the other hand there are reports flashing India’s growing GDP rate. A country with 60 percent population involved in agriculture, accounts for only 22 percent of its total GDP growth. Fair Trade involves paying a fair wage to the growers for their goods.

Ironically, the larger retailers involved in the selling of these goods exploit these growers by buying their goods, like coffee, cocoa and sugar, at world low prices and then selling the same goods at international markets at highly marked – up prices. The unequal ratio between the production cost and selling cost forces the small – scale farmers in developing countries to borrow money from the local lenders. These lenders decide their own interest rates which unfortunately keeps the farmers in perpetual poverty.

There is no supervisory authority that can help these farmers get a fair share for their produce. Caught between the vicious lenders and retailers, these farmers are constantly facing a blow. The government does little in bailing out these ill – fate stricken farmers. The borrowing chain does end with the farmers. This trend continues even with the government who borrows money from international bodies to finance their development through several development projects. The supervisory authorities spend little time in monitoring the international capital inflows.

These authorities also do not collect information on external borrowing by private corporations in their respective countries and in turn to use this information for managing their domestic policies. The excessive borrowing has direct link to hunger as these payments back to creditors outside the country are drawn from funds that should instead be invested in areas that need greater funding to lift people out of poverty and hunger. The money that is initially borrowed to invest its large portions in areas like agriculture, health care, education, job creation, etc.

helps little in elevating these spheres and is rather used up in dealing with the fluctuating market interest rates. Asian Crisis : a result of excessive borrowing: Prior to 1997, eight East Asian countries-Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia – experienced a rapid economic growth often called the “East Asian miracle”. Between 1965 and 1990, the GDP in these countries doubled. Their success was attributed to many factors such as free trade, macroeconomic policies and discipline, high saving and investment rates that attracted many foreign investors looking for a high rate of return.

With increasing pressure felt in the foreign exchange market there was a sudden flow of Thai baht in market against the US dollar (the currency speculators rushed to buy US dollar against the Thai baht). This resulted in Thai currency devaluation followed by withdrawal of foreign capital from other East Asian countries as well. What followed was the Asian crisis in mid – 1997 affecting currencies, stock markets and other asset prices of several Southeast Asian economies. Foreign investors lost confidence and withdrew their invested money from these countries.

Extensive borrowing in foreign currencies by corporations and other financial institutions while turning blind eye to currency fluctuation was the main culprit for this crisis. The ineffective financial supervision that encouraged short – term borrowing underestimating while the risk involved in exchange rate proved fatal. Role of the National Government: In several working papers much has been said about the international bodies and their role in the Asian Crisis. What is even a greater matter of concern is the role of national governments during the crisis. Nobody ever talks about their intervention.

It is true while dealing with global market; one normally expects the global bodies to be accountable for its success or failure. If that being the case, why don’t we abandon the idea of even being governed by national bodies if every downturn is expected to be addressed by the international ones? It is evident from the East Asian case that the supervisory authorities spent little time in monitoring the international capital inflows. The authorities did not collect information on external borrowing by private corporations in their respective countries and in turn to use this information for managing their domestic policies.

In earlier times whenever there was a failure in any sector, the only remedy seen for it was nationalization. Any failure in a sector in today’s time is handed over to privatized bodies with national government taking a back seat. The national governments have completely turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to its citizen’s problems. In fact for any rising problem it is the international market that is held responsible. Conclusion: The facts stated above clearly points out the loop holes existing in domestic policies and governance. Lian Greenfield (2001) has argued that the driving force behind capitalism is nationalism.

Many countries saw a strong economy as a way of strengthening the nation making capitalism as a means in this process. Hence, it wont be wrong to say that it isn’t global capitalism that is the primary cause of world hunger, it is the improper governance that has led to this disaster. Food availability, food access, and asset creation are virtues of a responsible government for which we cannot hold world systems alone accountable. A good government is one that ensures a proper and organized lending to its farmers helping them to cope with international prices through establishing local banks with reasonable interest rates.

This is just one of the many solutions a government can adopt to encompass failures in the agricultural sector considered one of the most important sectors of the emerging economies. A democratic country is one that lets the state make some of the economic decision, and the market and the civil society do others, though with different emphasis on these spheres.

References: Aspers P, Edling C, Hobson B. A Note on Global Capitalism. Sweden: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University; 2005. Stiglitz J. Globalization and its Discontents.

New York: Norton; 2002. Jesuit Fr, Drinan R. Report Shows World Hunger Increasing. USA (MO): National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company; 2004. Shwind K. Going Local on a Global Scale: Rethinking Food Trade in the Era of Climate Change, Dumping, and Rural Poverty. USA (CA): Institute for Food and Development Policy; 2005. Kenneth AJ. World Hunger Series 2006: Hunger and Learning. Italy: World Food Programme and Standford University Press; 2006. Reuven G, Moreno R. Government intervention and the East Asian miracle. Business Economics; 1997.

The ‘content’ of the newspapers Essay

The ‘content’ of the newspapers Essay

“The ‘content’ of the newspapers is not fact about the world, but in a very general sense ‘ideas’.” Fowler (Roger Folwer – Language in the News – Routledge – 1991 – Pg.1) In today’s society it would be naïve to assume that the news we receive is unbiased. It is safe to say the facts are reported if someone is murdered, the story maybe covered in the news, but the placement of the piece, emotive language used, duration or any other factors involved would immediately inform the audience to the merit of the story.

In effect dictating to the viewer the version of reality ‘they.,’ the media/government want us, the audience to see. The factors that govern what is reported are news valves and as it is recognised that this code of conduct exists we can, I personally feel, say that the media can, and does, reflect the political agenda or climate. The question of the news being created has been a topic of discussion since the dawn of media studies.

There are several different political theories or traditions of thought. The three I have chosen to concentrate on are the liberal, Marxist and pluralist theories. All to some extent see society as maintainable, they agree that the structure of society can be altered not by personal level events but by major structures, such as legalisation and reform.

To understand each theory better we must first look at how each theory or idea is applied to our society and in this case the construction of the news, starting first with liberalism. This body of thought was established by the end of the eighteenth-century. It’s economic theories favour the development of capitalism, seeing society as a group of ‘rational individuals in pursuit of their self-interest.’ Direction from the state is not needed, it’s job is merely to provide ‘external defence and internal order’. James Curran wrote: “A view of society as a system of class exploitation gave way to a new definition of reality in which different sections of the community were portrayed as being independent, with shared interest in common. The portrayal of labour as the source of wealth was replaced by the portrayal; of ‘profit’ as the mainspring of the economy.” ( Ed. James Curran – Mass Communication as a social force, in the media: Context of Study – Open University – 1997 – Pg.51)

They believe that talent is rewarded in a society where people are free and equal, the state is merely there to regulate the individuals personal freedom. The mass media is seen as accurate and reliable, run by groups of talented entrepreneurs, it should not be state run, but if necessary, sensibly regulated. Pluralism takes a more simplistic approach it depicts the message of the media as a circuit from ‘society as source’ to ‘society as audience’ it doesn’t believe news is created it accepts news values exist but hold them as a reflection of current public attitudes. The news is not ‘constructed’ the media, having no power, being used only to confirm and uphold the preconceived beliefs of society. Sir Nick Lloyd, the then editor of The Daily Express, was interviewed in 1991 by Nina Arnott for a communication studies project entitled Political Bias in the Press, he was reported as saying: “You can only get over to your own readers. The Express has four and a half million. That’s only a small percentage of the electorate and if people buy newspapers that reinforce their political view then you won’t change much.” (Stuart Price – Media studies – Longman – 1996 – Pg.374)

This mode of thought sees the audience as educated and selective and understands, unlike some effect studies, for example the hypodermic syringe or magic bullet that the audience is not passive and the message not direct, that ideas cannot be simply injected into the consciousness of an audience. The Marxist theory is more complex and can be broken into many subsections. Marxism, unlike liberalism, doesn’t support the idea that competition leads society onwards. Marx argued that workers co-operation would lead to a better future. He was concerned with the class system. Those who owned factories or shops, the bourgeoisie were comfortably supported by the labour of others. He wanted a society not controlled by the division between capital and labour. Marxism states that we live in a capitalist society divided into classes broadly speaking, working, middle and ruling classes. The power in society is found in the state, the mass media only exist to uphold the capitalist state in power.

The Marxist manipulative model, as its name suggests, believes the news is constructed and in some cases invented to influence public opinion and change society for political gain. The hegemonic model was developed by Antonio Gramsci he believed that the media whether knowingly or not is used to promote beliefs and ideologies of the dominant class in society. The masses, working class, need to believe that the views they are being given support their existing beliefs. The media does create the news and reality is being constructed not to bring about change but to maintain the balance of the governing body. The ruling ideas become the ideas of the whole society to allow capitalism to survive. Chomsky extended the hegemonic model instead of the media reflecting the dominant views of the elite, he thought the media was the elite. A countering view that could destroy the hegemonic model is that technology will and is shaping society’s views and beliefs. New technologies are allowing more people not just the elite to promote their ideas via the Internet or cheaper more accessible equipment. If this were the case the elite would no longer own the means of control and capitalism could fold if the masses were no longer spoon fed by the dominant class.

The theories of the Frankfurt school are another take on Marxism. They see the news as created and reality as constructed but instead of seeing society as a sponge and the masses merely absorbing the message, it believes there are differing levels of attention. Resistance to the message is found against marginal groups believing the sub-groups such as the young, ethnic minorities or women are less susceptible to the message. Regardless of whether the media constructs the news the effect on the audience will differ. Over the years many theories have been developed and documented to help understand the effect of the message on the audience, these are known as the effects studies. There are two I have chosen to look at in brief, they are the two step flow theory by Katz and Lazarfeld, inoculation theory and the psychodynamic effects study as well as earlier mentioning the hyperdermic syringe or magic bullet theory. The two step flow theory by Lazarfeld Berelson and Gaudet studied the 1940 US presidential election. It was based on the stimulus-response theory leaning on uses and gratifications. It proved inadequate so Katz and Lazarfeld published a new edition of the model. It highlighted the concept of opinion leaders who pass the message from the media, to the less active members of society.

This theory sees the opinion leader as a go between from the elite/media to the opinion leader to the masses. The inoculation theory believes that continued exposure to a specific message can lea to desensitisation. When we are continually bombarded with pictures of starving children in the third world, they do stop existing in an emotive sense and we do, to a degree, become desensitised to the original message. The phychodynamic effect is an extension or modification of the original cause and effect thesis. It recognises the importance of the interpretation by the individual. The effect of the message depends on the internal psychological structure of the individual. The effect studies help us to understand if, and how, manipulated society can be. Even if the news is trying to convey a particular message to maintain balance, effects change or merely agree with existing beliefs, we have to understand that everyone will process the information differently. With this taken into account there is a code of conduct that allows journalists to pick stories on set valves, that will give the clearest message, so no matter how it is processed the end outcome of a piece is constant. The operation of the selection of news is known as news valves.

These are ideas or assumptions that form the ideological background to the work of those involved in gathering the news. A number of writers have categorised the valves, none more concisely than Brain Dutton, who concludes that there are twelve main valves. These range from continuity, frequency and unexpectedness to unambiguity and reference to elite nations. They help to define whether a story is newsworthy; it would be if it had one or more of these elements. A story may have some or most of the news valves yet still not be newsworthy. Philip Jones- Griffiths a journalist during the Vietnamese conflict was interviewed by the photographic magazine 10/8 for a piece entitled Vietnam after the apocalypse No. 5/6 Spring 1981. He remarked: ‘If I had gone back to Saigon and into one of the agencies and had said, “I’ve got a story about Americans killing Vietnamese civilians,” they would have said, “So what’s new?” it was horrible, but certainly not exceptional, and it just wasn’t news.’ (Stuart Price – Media Studies – Longman – 1996 – Pg.207) This statement clarifies and answers the question, in my opinion; yes the news is constructed.

It is hard to pick just one political stance as I agree to some extent with all of them. The manipulation model and Marxist theory is closest to my view but it does not take into account the viewer’s understanding of the media. I feel, as I am aware there is a selection process to what is shown and an unbiased view cannot exist, as a viewer I am less susceptible to the message than others may be. I think we should question what we are told and consider carefully who will benefit. The more man evolves the quicker we are to manipulate the views of others for political, monetary or consumer gain. It has become such an art that we tend not to see it is happening.

We should be vigilant and make sure that the control does not lie prominently in the hands of a few elite. The immense power of the media especially the news should be carefully welded. As long as we understand the greater implications and see there may be a hidden agenda or something more manipulative afoot. The London Correspondent for CNN, Richard Blystone once said: “If you go to TV for your only news, then you’re lazy. If you go to TV for the truth, then you’re a loony.” (Stuart Price – Media Studies – Longman – 1996 – Pg.78)


Ed. James Curran – Mass Communication as a social force in history: in the Media Context of Study (Open University – 1997) Stuart Price – Media Studies (Longman, 1996) J. Hartley – Understanding News (Methuen, 1982) Roger Folwer – Language in the News *Routledge – 1991) S. Hall – The Manufacturing of News (Owen and Young, 1981)