Contemporary Issues Do contemporary issues raise questions about the viability of liberalism?
Chapter 12 • To what extent do contemporary issue challenge the principles of liberalism? • Principles of Liberalism. . . The rule of law Economic freedom Individual rights & freedoms Self-interest Private property Competition
Issues – How do they challenge liberalism? • • Postmodernism Extremism Consumerism Environmentalism Resource use Debt and poverty Racism Censorship
What is Postmodernism? • Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the rejection of objective truth and global cultural narrative. • It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, and motivations; in particular it attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus female, straight versus gay, white versus black, and imperial versus colonial. • Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from modernist approaches that had previously been dominant. The term "Postmodernism" comes from its rejection of the "Modern" scientific mentality of objectivity and progress associated with the Enlightenment. • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=y. TSKU 0 Fg. Zts
Postmodern Art • Postmodern art is a term used to describe an art movement which was thought to be in contradiction to some aspect of modernism, or to have emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as Intermedia, Installation art, Conceptual Art and Multimedia, particularly involving video are described as postmodern.
• http: //ww w. youtube. com/watch ? v=4 UMzih ZPUn. U
Is this Art?
Extremism “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents. ” - Robert F. Kennedy
• Why might some people adopt positions and actions that are so far from what is considered acceptable by most people? • How does this challenge liberalism? • When is an act extreme?
Consumerism “ A consumer culture invites us to want more than we can ever have; a culture of thrift invites us to be grateful for whatever we can get. ” • Which is the culture of our generation? Consumer culture of thrift? Why?
Consumerism – “The Story of Stuff” • Watch the story of “Stuff” – http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=g. LBE 5 QAYXp 8 • What is the most shocking concept revealed in the video? • What other issues can be linked to our consumer culture? • How do these issues threaten the principles of Liberalism?
Area of Spending US$ Billions per year Cosmetics in US 8 Ice Cream in Europe 11 Perfumes in Europe and US 12 Pet Foods in Europe and US 17 Business entertainment in Japan 35 Cigarettes in Europe 50 Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105 Narcotic Drugs in the world 400 Military spending in the world 780 Area of Spending US$ Billions per year Basic education for all 6 Water and sanitation for all 9 Reproductive health for all women 12 Basic health and nutrition for all 13
Resources • What resources do you think will be the “unobtainium” in our future? • “Flow” Trailer – http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=LGd 9 D 4 J 0 lag • “Avatar” – http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=c. Rdx. XPV 9 GNQ • What principles of liberalism promote resource consumption? • What principles of liberalism are in conflict with sustainability & preservation?
Do resources create conflict? • Oil? – Japan bombing pearl harbor because of oil embargo – US invading Iraq? (some think it was for oil) • Water – Will wars be fought over water? – How far would you go to get a water supply?
• Turn to figure 12 -18 page 436
Severe Drought • • • No water for crops Food shortage Land erosion Lower drinking supply Any others? • Challenge to liberalism?
Corporatism • Watch the intro to “The Corporation” http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Pin 8 fbd. GV 9 Y • Why are corporations encouraged to act the way they do?
• Nortel Networks, a company that is in bankruptcy protection, paid $45 million in bonuses to its top 1, 000 executives in March 2009; at the same time, the company laid off 3, 200 employees without severance pay. • In November 2008, the international finance company Citigroup received $45 BILLION in bailout money from American taxpayers. In March 2009, Bloomberg News reported that “Citigroup Inc. Plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for CEO Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants. . . ” – Canada & the World Backgrounder, Sept 2009
CEO’s – Are they worth their price? • Average pay for the top 100 CEOs was up 22% from its $8. 5 million average in 2006. • Thanks to their compensation increase, Canada’s highest paid 100 CEOs pocketed the average Canadian’s annual pay of $40, 237 by 9: 04 a. m. January 2 — faster than last year, when it the same calculation took them till and 9: 45 a. m. to rack up the average Canadian income.
What this graph means is. . . • If you work on January 2, by the time your computer has finished booting up on your first day back after the New Year’s holiday, the average CEO would have already banked what took the average Canadian worker an entire year’s worth of work to earn. • It’s worse for minimum wage earners: By just after noon on New Years’ Day, the highest paid 100 CEOs would have pocketed what takes the average minimum wage earner the entire year to earn.
• In 2007, the average CEO took home 259 times the pay of the average worker. • For the record, the “apples to apples” comparison of “top 50” to “top 50” between 1995 and 2007 shows the multiple increasing from 85 times average pay in 1995 to 398 times.
• Things have certainly changed since 1960, when then General Motors CEO George Romney (father of onetime Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) turned down a $100, 000 bonus, kept his salary at $225, 000 a year and declared that no executive should be paid more than 25 times the factory wage. • “I am old enough to have known both the CEO’s of 20 years ago and those today. I can assure you that we CEO’s of today are NOT 10 times better than those 20 years ago. ” • William Mc. Donough, Former New York Federal Reserve Governor
• Watch Obama blast CEO clip
The Environment • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=GKn. Lixuj SXo Who is to blame for the Oil Spill? What principles of liberalism have been criticized due to this event? • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=7 lxxsp. QB 7 p. Q How can the government respond effectively and still be able to allow private responsibility? • Copenhagen Climate Conference: – UN Climate Chief calls for immediate action – Rick Mercer – What is holding people/ nations back from making drastic changes to preserve our environment?
Global Warming • Watch Glenn Beck clip • Rick Mercer Clip • Kyoto – The Hour