Friday, October 9, 2009

Hobsbawm – Democracy and Working [Blog # 5]

    This reading of The Age of Empire by Eric Hobsbawm was an important fraction of this historical survey. Chapters 4 and 5 focused on democracy and work perceptively. One significant part to understand is the definition of democracy. What defines democracy? I believe democracy is social equality and economic freedom. I say economic freedom because within democratic systems, capitalism and other forms of economic methods bring about a class of people. Some might be rich and some might be poor. Therefore, although, through democracy, we are free socially, however, economic success is not guaranteed for everyone. Therefore, there is a direct connection between chapters 4 and 5. That is, that with the lack of economic freedom, everyone must gain their best position within the economy. Thus, everyone must work to gain their most out of the democracy. As they say, nothing in life is free.

The formation of the democratic politics was a long and tough process. Democratization was advancing, however, its transformations for politics had barely begun. The main problem was a lack of supporters for the ideas. Because of this, many states were disagreeing with each other, leading to tensions and a disturbance in unity. Unity is a critical aspect in order for any type of system to work. Unity involves the cooperation of all of the inputs for the output to be powerful. In other words, if unity is not there, something would not work. This was the problem because multinational politics confronted with the national movements. Each country or state had their own ideal and idea on how to run their government. If the spread of democracy was going to truly advance, all of the states must agree and incorporate their knowledge within the process, however, this situation was not advancing into success. There were many fears and dangers involved with democracy politics. Despite this, various states individually opened their minds to democracy and remove the limitless of other forms of political ideals.

The working class began to rise also during this time period. The numbers of wage workers throughout the world great extensively throughout the world. The number of people who earned their living by manual labor for a wage was increasing in most countries. With the rise in workers, the rise in organization of those workers increased significantly as well. I have a few inquiries for this section of the reading?

  • What type of social revolution would the work force undergo?
  • Why was unity between states and countries an important factor?
  • What role did democratic politics have in the work system?

My personal opinion of this week was that I felt that Hobsbawm interestingly discussed the political and social aspects within these two chapters alone.

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