1. There are a seemingly endless variety of laws, restrictions, customs and traditions that affect the practice of abortion around the world. Globally, abortion is probably the single most controversial issue in the whole area of women’s rights and family matters. It is an issue that inflames women’s right groups, religious institutions, and the self-proclaimed ‘guardians’ of public morality. The growing worldwide belief is that the right to control one’s fertility is a basic human right. This has resulted in a worldwide trend towards liberalization of abortion laws. Forty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where induced abortion is permitted on request. An additional 25 per cent live in countries where it is allowed if the women’s life would be endangered if she went to full term with her pregancy. The estimate is that between 26 and 31 million legal abortions were performed in that year. However, there were also between 10 and 22 million illegal abortions performed in that year.Feminists have viewed the patriarchal control of women’s bodies as one of the prime issues facing the contemporary women’s movement. They abserve that the defintion and control of women’s reproductive freedom have always been the province of men. Patriarchal religion, as manifest in Islamic fundamentalism,traditionalist Hindu practice, orthodox Judaism, and Roman Catholicism, has been an important historical contributory factor for this and continues to be an important presence in contemporary societies. In recent times, govenments, usually controlled by men, have ‘given’ women the right to contraceptive use and abortion access when their countries were perceived to have an overpopulation problem. When these countries are perceived to be underpopulated, that right had been absent. Until the 19th century, a woman’s rights to an abortion followed English common law; it could only be legally challenged if there was a ‘quickening’, when the first movements of the fetus could be felt. In 1800, drugs to induce abrotions were widely advertised in local newpapers. By 1900, abortion was banned in every state except to save the life of the mother. The change was strongly influenced by medical profession, which focussed its campaign ostensibly on health and safety issues for pregnant women and the sancity of life. Its position was also a means of control of non-licensed medical practitioners such as midwives and women healers who practiced abortion.The anti-abortion campaign was also influenced by political considerations. The large influx of eastern and southern European immigrants with their large families was seen as a threat to the population balance of the future United States. Middle and upper-classes Protestants were advocates of abortion as a form of birth control. By supporting abortion prohibitions the hope was that these Americans would have more children and thus prevent the tide of immigrant babies from overwhelming the demographic characteristics of Protestant America.The anti-abortion legislative position remained in effect in the United States through the first 65 years of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, even when it was widely known that the drug thalidomide taken during pregnancy to alleviate anxiety was shown to contribute to the formation of deformed ‘flipper-like’ hands or legs of children, abortion was illegal in the United States. A second health tragedy was the severe outbreak of rubella during the same time period, which also resulted in major birth defects. These tragedies combined with a change of attitude towards a woman’s right to privacy led a number of states to pass abortion permitting legislation.On one side of the controversy are those who call themselves ‘pro-life’. They view the foetus as a human life rather than as an unformed complex of cells; therefore, they hold to the belief that abortion is essentially murder of an unborn child. These groups cite both legal and religious reasons for their opposition to abortion. Pro lifers point to the rise in legalised abortion figures and see this as morally intolerable. On the other side of the issue are those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’. They believe that women, not legislators or judges, should have the right to decide whether and under what circumstances they will bear children. Pro-choicers are of the opinion that laws will not prevent women from having abortions and cite the horror stories of the past when many women died at the hands of ‘backroom’ abortionists and in desperate attempts to self-abort. They also observe that legalized abortion is especially important for rape victims and incest victims who became pregnant. They stress physical and mental health reasons why women should not have unwanted children.To get a better understanding of the current abortion controversy, let us examine a very important work by Kristin Luker titled Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Luker argues that female pro-choice and prolife activists hold different world views regarding gender, sex, and the meaning of parenthood. Moral positions on abortions are seen to be tied intimately to views on sexual bahaviour, the care of children, family life, technology, and the importance of the individual. Luker identified ‘pro-choice’ women as educated, affluent, and liberal. Their contrasting counterparts, ‘pro-life’ women, support traditional concepts of women as wives and mothers. It would be instructive to sketch out the differences in the world views of these two sets of women. Luker examines California, with its liberalized abortion law, as a case history. Public documents and newspaper accounts over a 26-year period were analysed and over 200 interviews were held withheld with both pro-life and pro-choice activists.Luker found that pro-life and pro-choice activists have intrinsically different views with respect to gender. Pro-life women have a notion of public and private life. The proper place for men is in the public sphere of work; for women, it is the private sphere of the home. Men benefit through the nurturance of women; women benefit through the protection of men. Children are seen to be the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement of having the mother as a full-time loving parent and by having clear role models. Pro-choice advocates reject the view of separate spheres. They object to the notion of the home being the ‘women’s sphere’. Women’s reproductive and family roles are seen as potential barriers to full equality. Motherhood is seen as a voluntary, not a mandatory or ‘natural’ role. In summarizing her findings, Luker believes that women become activists in either of the two movements as the end result of lives that centre around different conceptualizations of motherhood. Their beliefs and values are rooted to the concrete circumstances of their lives, their educations, incomes, occupations, and the different marital and family choices that they have made. They represent two different world views of women’s roles in contemporary society and as such the abortion issues represent the battleground for the justification of their respective views.According to your understanding of the author’s arguments, which countries are more likely to allowabortion?
 





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  • By: anil on 05 May 2019 02.30 am
    Refer to the lines of the 2nd para "In recent times, governments, usually controlled by men, have ‘given’ women the right to contraceptive use and abortion access when their countries were perceived to have an overpopulation problem, when these countries are perceived to be under-populated, that right has been absent." According to this, we can say that option A is the answer.
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MCQ-> There are a seemingly endless variety of laws, restrictions, customs and traditions that affect the practice of abortion around the world. Globally, abortion is probably the single most controversial issue in the whole area of women’s rights and family matters. It is an issue that inflames women’s right groups, religious institutions, and the self-proclaimed ‘guardians’ of public morality. The growing worldwide belief is that the right to control one’s fertility is a basic human right. This has resulted in a worldwide trend towards liberalization of abortion laws. Forty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where induced abortion is permitted on request. An additional 25 per cent live in countries where it is allowed if the women’s life would be endangered if she went to full term with her pregancy. The estimate is that between 26 and 31 million legal abortions were performed in that year. However, there were also between 10 and 22 million illegal abortions performed in that year.Feminists have viewed the patriarchal control of women’s bodies as one of the prime issues facing the contemporary women’s movement. They abserve that the defintion and control of women’s reproductive freedom have always been the province of men. Patriarchal religion, as manifest in Islamic fundamentalism,traditionalist Hindu practice, orthodox Judaism, and Roman Catholicism, has been an important historical contributory factor for this and continues to be an important presence in contemporary societies. In recent times, govenments, usually controlled by men, have ‘given’ women the right to contraceptive use and abortion access when their countries were perceived to have an overpopulation problem. When these countries are perceived to be underpopulated, that right had been absent. Until the 19th century, a woman’s rights to an abortion followed English common law; it could only be legally challenged if there was a ‘quickening’, when the first movements of the fetus could be felt. In 1800, drugs to induce abrotions were widely advertised in local newpapers. By 1900, abortion was banned in every state except to save the life of the mother. The change was strongly influenced by medical profession, which focussed its campaign ostensibly on health and safety issues for pregnant women and the sancity of life. Its position was also a means of control of non-licensed medical practitioners such as midwives and women healers who practiced abortion.The anti-abortion campaign was also influenced by political considerations. The large influx of eastern and southern European immigrants with their large families was seen as a threat to the population balance of the future United States. Middle and upper-classes Protestants were advocates of abortion as a form of birth control. By supporting abortion prohibitions the hope was that these Americans would have more children and thus prevent the tide of immigrant babies from overwhelming the demographic characteristics of Protestant America.The anti-abortion legislative position remained in effect in the United States through the first 65 years of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, even when it was widely known that the drug thalidomide taken during pregnancy to alleviate anxiety was shown to contribute to the formation of deformed ‘flipper-like’ hands or legs of children, abortion was illegal in the United States. A second health tragedy was the severe outbreak of rubella during the same time period, which also resulted in major birth defects. These tragedies combined with a change of attitude towards a woman’s right to privacy led a number of states to pass abortion permitting legislation.On one side of the controversy are those who call themselves ‘pro-life’. They view the foetus as a human life rather than as an unformed complex of cells; therefore, they hold to the belief that abortion is essentially murder of an unborn child. These groups cite both legal and religious reasons for their opposition to abortion. Pro lifers point to the rise in legalised abortion figures and see this as morally intolerable. On the other side of the issue are those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’. They believe that women, not legislators or judges, should have the right to decide whether and under what circumstances they will bear children. Pro-choicers are of the opinion that laws will not prevent women from having abortions and cite the horror stories of the past when many women died at the hands of ‘backroom’ abortionists and in desperate attempts to self-abort. They also observe that legalized abortion is especially important for rape victims and incest victims who became pregnant. They stress physical and mental health reasons why women should not have unwanted children.To get a better understanding of the current abortion controversy, let us examine a very important work by Kristin Luker titled Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Luker argues that female pro-choice and prolife activists hold different world views regarding gender, sex, and the meaning of parenthood. Moral positions on abortions are seen to be tied intimately to views on sexual bahaviour, the care of children, family life, technology, and the importance of the individual. Luker identified ‘pro-choice’ women as educated, affluent, and liberal. Their contrasting counterparts, ‘pro-life’ women, support traditional concepts of women as wives and mothers. It would be instructive to sketch out the differences in the world views of these two sets of women. Luker examines California, with its liberalized abortion law, as a case history. Public documents and newspaper accounts over a 26-year period were analysed and over 200 interviews were held withheld with both pro-life and pro-choice activists.Luker found that pro-life and pro-choice activists have intrinsically different views with respect to gender. Pro-life women have a notion of public and private life. The proper place for men is in the public sphere of work; for women, it is the private sphere of the home. Men benefit through the nurturance of women; women benefit through the protection of men. Children are seen to be the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement of having the mother as a full-time loving parent and by having clear role models. Pro-choice advocates reject the view of separate spheres. They object to the notion of the home being the ‘women’s sphere’. Women’s reproductive and family roles are seen as potential barriers to full equality. Motherhood is seen as a voluntary, not a mandatory or ‘natural’ role. In summarizing her findings, Luker believes that women become activists in either of the two movements as the end result of lives that centre around different conceptualizations of motherhood. Their beliefs and values are rooted to the concrete circumstances of their lives, their educations, incomes, occupations, and the different marital and family choices that they have made. They represent two different world views of women’s roles in contemporary society and as such the abortion issues represent the battleground for the justification of their respective views.According to your understanding of the author’s arguments, which countries are more likely to allowabortion?
 ....
MCQ-> The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round. The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities. Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work. The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over. The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?
 ....
MCQ-> The broad scientific understanding today is that our planet is experiencing a warming trend over and above natural and normal variations that is almost certainly due to human activities associated with large-scale manufacturing. The process began in the late 1700s with the Industrial Revolution, when manual labor, horsepower, and water power began to be replaced by or enhanced by machines. This revolution, over time, shifted Britain, Europe, and eventually North America from largely agricultural and trading societies to manufacturing ones, relying on machinery and engines rather than tools and animals.The Industrial Revolution was at heart a revolution in the use of energy and power. Its beginning is usually dated to the advent of the steam engine, which was based on the conversion of chemical energy in wood or coal to thermal energy and then to mechanical work primarily the powering of industrial machinery and steam locomotives. Coal eventually supplanted wood because, pound for pound, coal contains twice as much energy as wood (measured in BTUs, or British thermal units, per pound) and because its use helped to save what was left of the world's temperate forests. Coal was used to produce heat that went directly into industrial processes, including metallurgy, and to warm buildings, as well as to power steam engines. When crude oil came along in the mid- 1800s, still a couple of decades before electricity, it was burned, in the form of kerosene, in lamps to make light replacing whale oil. It was also used to provide heat for buildings and in manufacturing processes, and as a fuel for engines used in industry and propulsion.In short, one can say that the main forms in which humans need and use energy are for light, heat, mechanical work and motive power, and electricity which can be used to provide any of the other three, as well as to do things that none of those three can do, such as electronic communications and information processing. Since the Industrial Revolution, all these energy functions have been powered primarily, but not exclusively, by fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide (CO2), To put it another way, the Industrial Revolution gave a whole new prominence to what Rochelle Lefkowitz, president of Pro-Media Communications and an energy buff, calls "fuels from hell" - coal, oil, and natural gas. All these fuels from hell come from underground, are exhaustible, and emit CO2 and other pollutants when they are burned for transportation, heating, and industrial use. These fuels are in contrast to what Lefkowitz calls "fuels from heaven" -wind, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass, and solar power. These all come from above ground, are endlessly renewable, and produce no harmful emissions.Meanwhile, industrialization promoted urbanization, and urbanization eventually gave birth to suburbanization. This trend, which was repeated across America, nurtured the development of the American car culture, the building of a national highway system, and a mushrooming of suburbs around American cities, which rewove the fabric of American life. Many other developed and developing countries followed the American model, with all its upsides and downsides. The result is that today we have suburbs and ribbons of highways that run in, out, and around not only America s major cities, but China's, India's, and South America's as well. And as these urban areas attract more people, the sprawl extends in every direction.All the coal, oil, and natural gas inputs for this new economic model seemed relatively cheap, relatively inexhaustible, and relatively harmless-or at least relatively easy to clean up afterward. So there wasn't much to stop the juggernaut of more people and more development and more concrete and more buildings and more cars and more coal, oil, and gas needed to build and power them. Summing it all up, Andy Karsner, the Department of Energy's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, once said to me: "We built a really inefficient environment with the greatest efficiency ever known to man."Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, a scientific understanding began to emerge that an excessive accumulation of largely invisible pollutants-called greenhouse gases - was affecting the climate. The buildup of these greenhouse gases had been under way since the start of the Industrial Revolution in a place we could not see and in a form we could not touch or smell. These greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide emitted from human industrial, residential, and transportation sources, were not piling up along roadsides or in rivers, in cans or empty bottles, but, rather, above our heads, in the earth's atmosphere. If the earth's atmosphere was like a blanket that helped to regulate the planet's temperature, the CO2 buildup was having the effect of thickening that blanket and making the globe warmer.Those bags of CO2 from our cars float up and stay in the atmosphere, along with bags of CO2 from power plants burning coal, oil, and gas, and bags of CO2 released from the burning and clearing of forests, which releases all the carbon stored in trees, plants, and soil. In fact, many people don't realize that deforestation in places like Indonesia and Brazil is responsible for more CO2 than all the world's cars, trucks, planes, ships, and trains combined - that is, about 20 percent of all global emissions. And when we're not tossing bags of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we're throwing up other greenhouse gases, like methane (CH4) released from rice farming, petroleum drilling, coal mining, animal defecation, solid waste landfill sites, and yes, even from cattle belching. Cattle belching? That's right-the striking thing about greenhouse gases is the diversity of sources that emit them. A herd of cattle belching can be worse than a highway full of Hummers. Livestock gas is very high in methane, which, like CO2, is colorless and odorless. And like CO2, methane is one of those greenhouse gases that, once released into the atmosphere, also absorb heat radiating from the earth's surface. "Molecule for molecule, methane's heat-trapping power in the atmosphere is twenty-one times stronger than carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas.." reported Science World (January 21, 2002). “With 1.3 billion cows belching almost constantly around the world (100 million in the United States alone), it's no surprise that methane released by livestock is one of the chief global sources of the gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... 'It's part of their normal digestion process,' says Tom Wirth of the EPA. 'When they chew their cud, they regurgitate [spit up] some food to rechew it, and all this gas comes out.' The average cow expels 600 liters of methane a day, climate researchers report." What is the precise scientific relationship between these expanded greenhouse gas emissions and global warming? Experts at the Pew Center on Climate Change offer a handy summary in their report "Climate Change 101. " Global average temperatures, notes the Pew study, "have experienced natural shifts throughout human history. For example; the climate of the Northern Hemisphere varied from a relatively warm period between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries to a period of cooler temperatures between the seventeenth century and the middle of the nineteenth century. However, scientists studying the rapid rise in global temperatures during the late twentieth century say that natural variability cannot account for what is happening now." The new factor is the human factor-our vastly increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil as well as from deforestation, large-scale cattle-grazing, agriculture, and industrialization.“Scientists refer to what has been happening in the earth’s atmosphere over the past century as the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’”, notes the Pew study. By pumping man- made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humans are altering the process by which naturally occurring greenhouse gases, because of their unique molecular structure, trap the sun’s heat near the earth’s surface before that heat radiates back into space."The greenhouse effect keeps the earth warm and habitable; without it, the earth's surface would be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit colder on average. Since the average temperature of the earth is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the natural greenhouse effect is clearly a good thing. But the enhanced greenhouse effect means even more of the sun's heat is trapped, causing global temperatures to rise. Among the many scientific studies providing clear evidence that an enhanced greenhouse effect is under way was a 2005 report from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Using satellites, data from buoys, and computer models to study the earth's oceans, scientists concluded that more energy is being absorbed from the sun than is emitted back to space, throwing the earth's energy out of balance and warming the globe."Which of the following statements is correct? (I) Greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. They should be eliminated to save the planet (II) CO2 is the most dangerous of the greenhouse gases. Reduction in the release of CO2 would surely bring down the temperature (III) The greenhouse effect could be traced back to the industrial revolution. But the current development and the patterns of life have enhanced their emissions (IV) Deforestation has been one of the biggest factors contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases Choose the correct option:....
MCQ-> I want to stress this personal helplessness we are all stricken with in the face of a system that has passed beyond our knowledge and control. To bring it nearer home, I propose that we switch off from the big things like empires and their wars to more familiar little things. Take pins for example! I do not know why it is that I so seldom use a pin when my wife cannot get on without boxes of them at hand; but it is so; and I will therefore take pins as being for some reason specially important to women.There was a time when pinmakers would buy the material; shape it; make the head and the point; ornament it; and take it to the market, and sell it and the making required skill in several operations. They not only knew how the thing was done from beginning to end, but could do it all by themselves. But they could not afford to sell you a paper of pins for the farthing. Pins cost so much that a woman's dress allowance was calling pin money.By the end of the 18th century Adam Smith boasted that it took 18 men to make a pin, each man doing a little bit of the job and passing the pin on to the next, and none of them being able to make a whole pin or to buy the materials or to sell it when it was made. The most you could say for them was that at least they had some idea of how it was made, though they could not make it. Now as this meant that they were clearly less capable and knowledgeable men than the old pin-makers, you may ask why Adam Smith boasted of it as a triumph of civilisation when its effect had so clearly a degrading effect. The reason was that by setting each man to do just one little bit of the work and nothing but that, over and over again, he became very quick at it. The men, it is said, could turn out nearly 5000 pins a day each; and thus pins became plentiful and cheap. The country was supposed to be richer because it had more pins, though it had turned capable men into mere machines doing their work without intelligence and being fed by the spare food of the capitalist just as an engine is fed with coals and oil. That was why the poet Goldsmith, who was a farsighted economist as well as a poet, complained that 'wealth accumulates, and men decay'.Nowadays Adam Smith's 18 men are as extinct as the diplodocus. The 18 flesh-and-blood men have been replaced by machines of steel which spout out pins by the hundred million. Even sticking them into pink papers is done by machinery. The result is that with the exception of a few people who design the machines, nobody knows how to make a pin or how a pin is made: that is to say, the modern worker in pin manufacture need not be one-tenth so intelligent, skilful and accomplished as the old pinmaker; and the only compensation we have for this deterioration is that pins are so cheap that a single pin has no expressible value at all. Even with a big profit stuck on to the cost-price you can buy dozens for a farthing; and pins are so recklessly thrown away and wasted that verses have to be written to persuade children (without success) that it is a sin to steal, if even it’s a pin.Many serious thinkers, like John Ruskin and William Morris, have been greatly troubled by this, just as Goldsmith was, and have asked whether we really believe that it is an advance in wealth to lose our skill and degrade our workers for the sake of being able to waste pins by the ton. We shall see later on, when we come to consider the Distribution of Leisure, that the cure for this is not to go back to the old free for higher work than pin-making or the like. But in the meantime the fact remains that the workers are now not able to make anything themselves even in little bits. They are ignorant and helpless, and cannot lift their finger to begin their day's work until it has all been arranged for them by their employer's who themselves do not understand the machines they buy, and simply pay other people to set them going by carrying out the machine maker's directions.The same is true for clothes. Earlier the whole work of making clothes, from the shearing of the sheep to the turning out of the finished and washed garment ready to put on, had to be done in the country by the men and women of the household, especially the women; so that to this day an unmarried woman is called a spinster. Nowadays nothing is left of all this but the sheep shearing; and even that, like the milking of cows, is being done by machinery, as the sewing is. Give a woman a sheep today and ask her to produce a woollen dress for you; and not only will she be quite unable to do it, but you are likely to find that she is not even aware of any connection between sheep and clothes. When she gets her clothes, which she does by buying them at the shop, she knows that there is a difference between wool and cotton and silk, between flannel and merino, perhaps even between stockinet and other wefts; but as to how they are made, or what they are made of, or how they came to be in the shop ready for her to buy, she knows hardly anything. And the shop assistant from whom she buys is no wiser. The people engaged in the making of them know even less; for many of them are too poor to have much choice of materials when they buy their own clothes.Thus the capitalist system has produced an almost universal ignorance of how things are made and done, whilst at the same time it has caused them to be made and done on a gigantic scale. We have to buy books and encyclopaedias to find out what it is we are doing all day; and as the books are written by people who are not doing it, and who get their information from other books, what they tell us is twenty to fifty years out of date knowledge and almost impractical today. And of course most of us are too tired of our work when we come home to want to read about it; what we need is cinema to take our minds off it and feel our imagination.It is a funny place, this word of capitalism, with its astonishing spread of education and enlightenment. There stand the thousands of property owners and the millions of wage workers, none of them able to make anything, none of them knowing what to do until somebody tells them, none of them having the least notion of how it is made that they find people paying them money, and things in the shops to buy with it. And when they travel they are surprised to find that savages and Esquimaux and villagers who have to make everything for themselves are more intelligent and resourceful! The wonder would be if they were anything else. We should die of idiocy through disuse of our mental faculties if we did not fill our heads with romantic nonsense out of illustrated newspapers and novels and plays and films. Such stuff keeps us alive, but it falsifies everything for us so absurdly that it leaves us more or less dangerous lunatics in the real world.Excuse my going on like this; but as I am a writer of books and plays myself, I know the folly and peril of it better than you do. And when I see that this moment of our utmost ignorance and helplessness, delusion and folly, has been stumbled on by the blind forces of capitalism as the moment for giving votes to everybody, so that the few wise women are hopelessly overruled by the thousands whose political minds, as far as they can be said to have any political minds at all, have been formed in the cinema, I realise that I had better stop writing plays for a while to discuss political and social realities in this book with those who are intelligent enough to listen to me.A suitable title to the passage would be
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MCQ-> The persistent patterns in the way nations fight reflect their cultural and historical traditions and deeply rooted attitudes that collectively make up their strategic culture. These patterns provide insights that go beyond what can be learnt just by comparing armaments and divisions. In the Vietnam War, the strategic tradition of the United States called for forcing the enemy to fight a massed battle in an open area, where superior American weapons would prevail. The United States was trying to re-fight World War II in the jungles of Southeast Asia, against an enemy with no intention of doing so. Some British military historians describe the Asian way of war as one of indirect attacks, avoiding frontal attacks meant to overpower an opponent. This traces back to Asian history and geography: the great distances and harsh terrain have often made it difficult to execute the sort of open-field clashes allowed by the flat terrain and relatively compact size of Europe. A very different strategic tradition arose in Asia. The bow and arrow were metaphors for an Eastern way of war. By its nature, the arrow is an indirect weapon. Fired from a distance of hundreds of yards, it does not necessitate immediate physical contact with the enemy. Thus, it can be fired from hidden positions. When fired from behind a ridge, the barrage seems to come out of nowhere, taking the enemy by surprise. The tradition of this kind of fighting is captured in the classical strategic writings of the East. The 2,000 years' worth of Chinese writings on war constitutes the most subtle writings on the subject in any language. Not until Clausewitz, did the West produce a strategic theorist to match the sophistication of Sun-tzu, whose Art of War was written 2,300 years earlier. In Sun-tzu and other Chinese writings, the highest achievement of arms is to defeat an adversary without fighting. He wrote: "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence." Actual combat is just one among many means towards the goal of subduing an adversary. War contains too many surprises to be a first resort. It can lead to ruinous losses, as has been seen time and again. It can have the unwanted effect of inspiring heroic efforts in an enemy, as the United States learned in Vietnam, and as the Japanese found out after Pearl Harbor. Aware of the uncertainties of a military campaign, Sun-tzu advocated war only after the most thorough preparations. Even then it should be quick and clean. Ideally, the army is just an instrument to deal the final blow to an enemy already weakened by isolation, poor morale, and disunity. Ever since Sun-tzu, the Chinese have been seen as masters of subtlety who take measured actions to manipulate an adversary without his knowledge. The dividing line between war and peace can be obscure. Low-level violence often is the backdrop to a larger strategic campaign. The unwitting victim, focused on the day-to-day events, never realizes what's happening to him until it's too late. History holds many examples. The Viet Cong lured French and U.S. infantry deep into the jungle, weakening their morale over several years. The mobile army of the United States was designed to fight on the plains of Europe, where it could quickly move unhindered from one spot to the next. The jungle did more than make quick movement impossible; broken down into smaller units and scattered in isolated bases, US forces were deprived of the feeling of support and protection that ordinarily comes from being part of a big army. The isolation of U.S. troops in Vietnam was not just a logistical detail, something that could be overcome by, for instance, bringing in reinforcements by helicopter. In a big army reinforcements are readily available. It was Napoleon who realized the extraordinary effects on morale that come from being part of a larger formation. Just the knowledge of it lowers the soldier's fear and increases his aggressiveness. In the jungle and on isolated bases, this feeling was removed. The thick vegetation slowed down the reinforcements and made it difficult to find stranded units. Soldiers felt they were on their own. More important, by altering the way the war was fought, the Viet Cong stripped the United States of its belief in the inevitability of victory, as it had done to the French before them. Morale was high when these armies first went to Vietnam. Only after many years of debilitating and demoralizing fighting did Hanoi launch its decisive attacks, at Dienbienphu in 1954 and against Saigon in 1975. It should be recalled that in the final push to victory the North Vietnamese abandoned their jungle guerrilla tactics completely, committing their entire army of twenty divisions to pushing the South Vietnamese into collapse. This final battle, with the enemy's army all in one place, was the one that the United States had desperately wanted to fight in 1965. When it did come out into the open in 1975, Washington had already withdrawn its forces and there was no possibility of re-intervention. The Japanese early in World War II used a modern form of the indirect attack, one that relied on stealth and surprise for its effect. At Pearl Harbor, in the Philippines, and in Southeast Asia, stealth and surprise were attained by sailing under radio silence so that the navy's movements could not be tracked. Moving troops aboard ships into Southeast Asia made it appear that the Japanese army was also "invisible." Attacks against Hawaii and Singapore seemed, to the American and British defenders, to come from nowhere. In Indonesia and the Philippines the Japanese attack was even faster than the German blitz against France in the West. The greatest military surprises in American history have all been in Asia. Surely there is something going on here beyond the purely technical difficulties of detecting enemy movements. Pearl Harbor, the Chinese intervention in Korea, and the Tet offensive in Vietnam all came out of a tradition of surprise and stealth. U.S. technical intelligence – the location of enemy units and their movements was greatly improved after each surprise, but with no noticeable improvement in the American ability to foresee or prepare what would happen next. There is a cultural divide here, not just a technical one. Even when it was possible to track an army with intelligence satellites, as when Iraq invaded Kuwait or when Syria and Egypt attacked Israel, surprise was achieved. The United States was stunned by Iraq's attack on Kuwait even though it had satellite pictures of Iraqi troops massing at the border. The exception that proves the point that cultural differences obscure the West's understanding of Asian behavior was the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. This was fully anticipated and understood in advance. There was no surprise because the United States understood Moscow's worldview and thinking. It could anticipate Soviet action almost as well as the Soviets themselves, because the Soviet Union was really a Western country. The difference between the Eastern and the Western way of war is striking. The West's great strategic writer, Clausewitz, linked war to politics, as did Sun-tzu. Both were opponents of militarism, of turning war over to the generals. But there all similarity ends. Clausewitz wrote that the way to achieve a larger political purpose is through destruction of the enemy's army. After observing Napoleon conquer Europe by smashing enemy armies to bits, Clausewitz made his famous remark in On War (1932) that combat is the continuation of politics by violent means. Morale and unity are important, but they should be harnessed for the ultimate battle. If the Eastern way of war is embodied by the stealthy archer, the metaphorical Western counterpart is the swordsman charging forward, seeking a decisive showdown, eager to administer the blow that will obliterate the enemy once and for all. In this view, war proceeds along a fixed course and occupies a finite extent of time, like a play in three acts with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end, the final scene, decides the issue for good. When things don't work out quite this way, the Western military mind feels tremendous frustration. Sun-tzu's great disciples, Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh, are respected in Asia for their clever use of indirection and deception to achieve an advantage over stronger adversaries. But in the West their approach is seen as underhanded and devious. To the American strategic mind, the Viet Cong guerrilla did not fight fairly. He should have come out into the open and fought like a man, instead of hiding in the jungle and sneaking around like a cat in the night. According to the author, the main reason for the U.S. losing the Vietnam war was
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