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Bell Hook's demand for a love ethic rather than a domination ethic is a vital step toward achieving long-term justice and peace around the world. It is a positive way to engaging states and individuals of different cultures and social backgrounds. The ethic of dominance, in contrast to the ethic of love, places an emphasis on monetary gains. Hooks (244) contends that people tend to rebel against control only when their self-interests are challenged. In this regard, someone resisting one form of dominance supports another. In other words, people's desire for change is always selfish. Hook suggests that the ethic of love is needed to bring liberation and collective transformation of societies. The ethic of love enables people to care about the concerns of the oppressed and exploited individuals in society. For instance, the civil rights movement in the United States led to the liberation of Black people from White domination because it was based on the ethic of love. He further argues that the common and highest good for all people is achieved through love. The world continues to experience evils of war, injustice and oppression due to continued ethic of domination.
In PAX 200, I saw the ethic of domination being manifested in capitalistic and communistic societies. From the course, I realized that the two forms of domination – communism and capitalism – are fighting against each other in the leading world economies. Western countries such as the U.S. have dominated the world due to accumulation of wealth and capital. On the other hand, China is pursuing a communist form of domination. However, the Western ideals of capitalism are also starting to infiltrate into Chinese society. For this reason, two forces work against each other in the Chinese society. As citizens of China push for capitalism, the Communist Party maintains its monopolistic power.
Communism exhibits domination by controlling resources and political relations of a country. On the other hand, capitalism is also a form of domination because it focuses on materialistic concerns such as accumulation of wealth at the expense of social and spiritual welfare of the people. In this regard, the ethic of domination is manifested in all spheres of Western and Eastern societies. It is also seen in Western world where Whites dominate the Blacks by means of controlling national resources and political relations. As the capitalistic and communist forms of domination continue to play a role in society, the quest for liberation and justice continues to experience setbacks.
In the course, I have also experienced the ethic of love in the study of the civil rights movement as well as the struggle of Chinese citizens towards capitalism. As the leading Communist Party in China tries to exercise power over its citizens, the people continue pushing for international and free trade. For instance, Hong Kong has experienced two economic systems as it embraces capitalism even after its control was transferred to Communist China. The commitment of the citizens of Hong Kong to encourage free trade in a communist society shows that the ethic of love, which focuses on the benefits of free trade for the people.
Hooks (245) argues that it is possible to get healing and reconciliation across the world despite the hopelessness and despair caused by the ethics of domination. He suggests that healing and reconciliation can be achieved through love. People will only move against domination when they start to love one another. Love leads to freedom. It enables people to liberate themselves and others. Hook also suggests that people show love by giving service to others. Citing Peck, he suggests that love is the only means by which we can extend ourselves to others; hence causing healing and reconciliation among people.
To achieve liberation, Hook suggests that people should collectively focus on social change through love ethics. Healing and reconciliation can also be achieved by recruiting masses of people to the liberation movements so that they can collectively fight against domination and bring liberation and freedom. The ethic of domination is sustained by violence; but love goes against such stance. In this regard, love is used to heal people who have been oppressed by domination.
Johanna Macy suggests that compassion and insight are necessary because they give people the power and passion to move. Compassion opens one’s heart to the pain of the world (Hooks 248). Insight enables a person to understand the radical interdependence of things. Every human heart experiences the opposing forces of good and evil. Insight allows people to understand the consequences of our actions. Compassion and change can be used as weapons to heal the world. This argument is relevant to our society because people oftentimes make unreasoned decisions that lead to violence. With insight and compassion, we can understand our interrelatedness and think about the consequences of our actions. Before taking any action, we cannot think about ourselves only, but also about the welfare of others.
My personal self-care activities include critical thinking, cleanliness, healthy eating, and positive relations with others. Before taking any action, I take time to think critically to understand the consequences of my actions. I also keep myself neat and clean at all times, and eat healthy food to keep my body healthy. I also care about others and relate positively with them to gain comfort and satisfaction in my heart. However, I also give space for renewal and healing by participating in community activities that will promote social change in the society.
I belong to spiritual American communities in which the values of freedom, liberty and unity are espoused. As suggested by Howard Thurman, I can best learn love as a practice of freedom in the context of my American community. Love in my community can be practiced through service to others, compassion and individual commitment to duty. As an individualistic society, the U.S. shapes a personal character of duty and responsibility towards freedom. Everyone has his or her roles to play in the community; but such roles should not interfere with the personal spaces of others. In this regard, the members of the community demonstrate love by respecting each other and performing their duties with a lot of commitment and transparency. If people can respect each other and speak openly and honestly to each other, they promote freedom in the society.
People also learn love service in these communities through service to others. In American churches, people engage in community projects and activities to support their communities. By doing these activities, they encourage love and responsibility of duty; thus promoting freedom and liberty. Individuals also provide services to humanity by participating in charities and donating money to organizations that offer services to third world countries. Through such activities, people learn to love one another and encourage freedom, peace and liberty across the world.
In the future, I would like these communities to be more united and engage in collective action rather than individual responsibilities. I believe that people working together can do more than what an individual can do as a matter of responsibility. I hope that in the future our communities can bring together people with goodwill and engage them in communal activities intended to benefit everyone regardless of sex, age, gender or political affiliations. Such a form of unity can help people to learn love as a practice of freedom in the community.
My service to the world is to provide support financially and morally to the needy people in society. At home and the workplace, my service is to help people achieve their full potential. I use the money I get at work to buy food and other basic needs to my family and those in need. I also help the people I serve at work to meet their needs and achieve their goals. Furthermore, I give advice to younger people to help them find the right path to follow in life, including the pursuit of peace and justice. These responsibilities enable the world to live in peace, justice and freedom. It is also my duty to serve communities through participation in social activities that bring people together in the community.
PAX 200 enabled me to analyze and practice my service to the world in a responsible and dutiful manner. Through the course materials and class activities, I have learned the values of love that encourage me to continue serving others and helping communities to prosper. The course has enabled me to gain insight on my service to the world. I have also learned the ethics of love that can help people move away from the ethics of domination and achieve freedom in their communities. As I serve the needy and participate in social actions, I use the knowledge I gained from PAX 200 to exercise compassion and insight for the benefit of all people and all communities across the world.
Question 1: Doing Business in China
As an American doing business in China, technology can have a great impact on my business. Particularly, the internet can help the business to gain visibility across the areas where internet is accessible. However, the government’s control over the internet in mainland China can have a profound impact on online business. Controlling the internet prevents many people from accessing information about the business. The communist country also exercises control over for profit businesses, leading to lack of freedom to do business. Inconsistent point of view on businesses causes instability, risks and possible losses or low profits. Rapid urbanization and forced relocation of citizens may cause changes in the business customer base. Customers may increase in the urban areas and reduce in the abandoned towns. This instability may destabilize business, but it may also increase customers in certain areas. The public relations campaign in China may also influence the buying behavior of consumers, leading to decreased consumption of certain products that the government may target in its public relations campaigns. This activity limits the people’s freedom of choice. The Chinese government may not be trusted in international business because it controls economic activities, thus barring entry of businesses. China’s dealing with the U.S. is not friendly, so American businesses operating in China may not get a good market in China due to negative publicity.
The continued growth of Chinese manufacturing affects American businesses because the market is flooded with Chinese products which dominate shelves in many parts of the world. The advantage of this growth is that it leads to increased competition, leading to low prices for consumers. The disadvantage of the growth is that it causes American manufacturing firms to lose marketing opportunities, leading to loss of jobs and incomes for American businesses. American policy can be changed to encourage the consumption of American products in the local markets so that American manufacturing firms can dominate the local market. For instance, the government might set tariffs and other limitations for the importation of products that can be produced locally.
Question 3: Pros and Cons of Communism and Capitalism
Capitalism eliminates poverty by encouraging wealth accumulation and free trade. It also motivates workers to work well to increase their income. It also encourages economic growth through liberal markets and freedom of the private sector. It also encourages competition, leading to efficiency of production and attracting of foreign businesses to the free market. On the negative side, capitalism may not consider the class welfare, especially for the lower class. Capitalism creates a stratified society with rich people dominating the market and poor people lacking access of the markets. Communism helps to break the class stratifications and bring equality among members of the community. It also promotes efficient government decision making and good access to healthcare and college education due to government intervention. However, communism may increase poverty. It may also cause low motivation among workers, leading to poor performance.
Hooks, Bell. “Love as the Practice of Freedom”, In Hooks, Bell. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge, 1994. Print.
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