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Week 1 discussion question

Answers to Week Discussion Questions Numerous international relations theories were discussed during the first week es, and these included the Realist Perspective Theory, the Liberal Theory, and the Critical Perspectives Theory which consisted of several other theories: historical materialism, constructivism, feminism and environmentalism. All of the mentioned theories are able to explain how the society works from the beginning of the industrial revolution until the modern age, as well as in how the actions and interactions of all members of the society are able to influence the state’s growth and development. However, the most used theory and much discussed in the other readings and videos for the class is the Realist Perspective theory, which talks about THE STATE BEING THE MOST CENTRAL IN THE WORKINGS OF THE SOCIETY, AS WELL AS THE UNIFYING BODY WITH REGARDS TO THE INTERNAL WORKINGS OF THE STATE OR SOVEREIGNTY (Cohn 57). In the exit speech by former US President Dwight David Eisenhower, he discussed the possible EFFECTS THAT COULD HAPPEN SHOULD THE STATE BEFALL UNDER NEGATIVE INFLUENCES including the endangerment of liberty and security, thus the need to enhance both the state’s economic and military defenses (Eisenhower). Karl Marx was also able to explain this kind of centralization of power in smaller terms, such as the case of the capitalist or company-owner and the company’s employees. In the condensed version of Marx’s Das Kapital in Spark Notes, it was explained that THE CAPITALIST HAS THE UPPER-HAND WITH REGARDS TO THE HANDLING OF THE RAW MATERIALS AS WELL AS THE LABOR COSTS, ALLOWING HIM THE ABILITY TO DICTATE BOTH THE PRICE AND THE WAGES OF THE WORKERS (Marx). Mick Brooks also explained the circumstances on how capitalism relies on the realist approaches, such as THE UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARDS TO BOTH THE INCOME-GENERATING METHODS OF COMPANIES AS WELL AS THE INCREASE IN THE GAP BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR (Brooks). The same was also mentioned by Marilyn Waring in a short film, wherein THE POLITICAL PARTIES GET DICTATED BY THE LARGER COMPANIES IN DOING THEIR BIDDING DUE TO THE SUPPORT THAT THE SAID COMPANIES PROVIDE TO POLITICAL PARTIES, and instead of being able to read what the public wants, the laws mostly cater to the companies and subsequently, the rich folk (Who’s Counting?). Lastly, the same centralization of power in the form of the TEAM-UP OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE RICH LAND GRABBERS ROBBED THE NATIVE INDIANS IN WHITE EARTH SETTLEMENT OF THEIR OWN LANDS, WHICH IN TURN MADE THEM POORER THAN THEIR OWN ANCESTORS (Laduke 123). Based on the gist of the aforementioned readings, as long as the central body of power is able to control the weaker or the poorer members of society, as well as being able to follow what its supporters needed of them, there is no need to distribute the wealth among the citizens since the economy of the state is doing just fine.
2. Karl Marx mentioned in his Das Kapital that the labor power is able to provide surplus value or profit, and I agree with this. This is comparable to a country that is governed by realist principles, in the sense that WHAT DETERMINES THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE COUNTRY IS NOT HOW MUCH EACH OF ITS CITIZENS EARN NOR HOW SATISFIED THEY ARE IN THEIR WAGES OR QUALITY OF LIVING, BUT RATHER ON HOW MUCH MONEY THEY BRING INTO THE COUNTRY, and as long as they pay taxes and other payables that it all that matters (Gertner). Using an example of a worker-capitalist situation, because THE CAPITALIST IS ABLE TO BUY ALL OF THE NECESSARY MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT IN MANUFACTURING, AS WELL AS HAVING THE POWER TO DICTATE HOW MUCH THE LABOR COSTS OR WAGES WOULD BE FOR EACH EMPLOYEE, the costs of production and the product can easily be computed (Cohn 68). In other words, because the workers have no control as to how much their workmanship costs and must be paid, they can be exploited to the point that what they receive as wages may be a lot less lower than the work’s true value, and this is dictated by the capitalist in order to reduce production costs. The things that were manufactured by the workers in turn gives much income to the capitalist because aside from THE INCOME NOT GOING DIRECTLY TO THE WORKERS BUT STRAIGHT TO THE COMPANY OWNER, no matter how much the profit is, the salary of the workers remain stagnant and small (Gertner). In a similar matter, with regards to the law of supply and demand, the labor cost is still something that the company owner or capitalist can control, since other factors such as the costs of the equipment or raw materials are dictated by the manufacturers or suppliers. By adding value to the products (e. g. turning the raw materials into a more usable or functional form) THE CAPITALIST CAN DICTATE THE PRICES OF THE MERCHANDISE DEPENDING ON THE SUPPLY OF THE PRODUCT, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ALSO DICTATE HOW MUCH THE WORKERS ARE TO BE PAID FOR THEIR LABOR, at a fixed rate (Brooks). This difference between how much were paid for the equipment and raw materials (both have fixed amounts set by their manufacturers and suppliers) as well as how much the manual labor was paid (can be dictated by the capitalist) and how much the product was sold would be the total profit by the company or capitalist, and because there is no control over the other two factors (raw materials and equipment), the capitalist could only control the labor costs in order to gain profit. And because the labor force has no capacity to dictate how much they would want to be paid, the cycle of profit goes on for the capitalist.
Works Cited
Brooks, Mick. An Introduction to Marxs Labor Theory of Value. 15 October 2002. Web. 9 January 2013.
Cohn, Thomas H. Global Political Economy (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc., 2012. Print.
Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex (Dwight D. Eisenhowerexit speech, January 17, 1961). Perf. Dwight D. Eisenhower. 2006. Short Film.
Gertner, John. The Rise and Fall of the GDP. 10 May 2010. Web. 9 January 2013.
Laduke, Winona. ” White Earth, A Lifeway in the Forest.” Laduke, Winona. All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1999. 115-138. Print.
Spark Notes. Das Kapital: Chapter 7: Labor and Valorization Process (Karl Marx). n. d. Web. 9 January 2013.
Whos Counting? Dir. Terre Nash. Perf. Marilyn Waring. 2010. Short Film.

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