Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just War Theory Essay

Explain Just War Theory - Essay

Just War theory is a notion that involves issues of justice in philosophical, political and religious aspects. The notion generally refers not only for obtaining the answer whether the war is just, but also in order to understand why wars are generally fought. The foundation of this theory goes back to ancient times, to be more exact to Ancient Greece.

In modern sense Just War theory means that was by itself has no negative meaning and can be even just and have positive side at certain conditions.

People percept war as something destructive, taking lives and bringing sorrow, tears and grief. This theory emphasizes not on the destructive side of the war, but on the justifiable and unjustifiable use of forces in it. It is more about reaching particular goals and means that are used in it.

According to the Just War theory war cannot always be just. It can be so, when it meets several criteria. I would like to discuss three of them, which are the most interesting to my opinion. The first one refers to the case when force is involved for punishment of those who have done something wrong, for correction of those people deeds. To my opinion this argument is not natural from the point of view that bad things generate use of force, which is wrong as well, and there is no place for mercy, forgiveness and love. Remains just an aggression.

The second one refers to the notion that just properly informed public authorities can use force in accordance to their views. My personal opinion that empowerment of public authorities may lead to confusion. As use of force involves many lives as those who will be going to struggle and those who will protect themselves, and giving many people’s lives into hand of one group of authorities, who just take the decision and may not fully take the responsibility, is not correct.

The third one is about last resort case, when force is used just when all other peaceful means are used and depleted. This argument seems to me rather controversial, as I cannot evaluate it objectively, and each separate case should be viewed and estimated. Probably this is the only argument that I can accept, but only upon certain circumstances.

There are also three key elements that just war should contain: discrimination, proportionality and minimum force. Discrimination refers to directing force to the militaries only and not involving civilians. Proportionality refers to the ration of used force to what was done wrong. Minimum force is clear, as it refers to limiting of people deaths and destruction.

In general I would like summarize that evil presumes evil only. It is well-known phrase. But I stand for the notion that each side should take the responsibility for their own actions and understand all consequences of any of them. I am against violence and I think that any use of force cannot be justified, as not everything during war time can be controlled and innocent people can die, and I am for love, peace and prosperity!
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Essay on Exchange Rate Systems

Essay on Exchange Rate Systems

We are going to analyze the option for Canadian company to acquire goods from non-Canadian supplier, and see how the exchange rate fluctuations of different currencies may effect the economic benefit of the selected company derived from the transaction, as compared to the case if the transaction and payment were delayed for three months. After the calculations are made and the best option out of the six possible options is identified, we will elaborate on the importance of exchange rate movements to the international importer/exporter.

From the table, we can see that the performance of the Canadian dollar on the international markets would have improved significantly over the next three months, as the currency has appreciated over all three of its counter parts (USD, JPY and EURO). Looking at the calculations provided above, and on the % increase of the value of Canadian dollar over time, it is apparent that the best option out of the six options initially available for the company would be to purchase the materials in three months from now from the American supplier.

Since the fall of the Bretton Woods system, nominal and real exchange rate fluctuations exhibit large and persistent departures from purchasing power parity.

The interpretation of this phenomenon relies on the failure of the law of one price among internationally traded goods. Firms tend to set prices in the buyer’s currency (pricing-to-market, PTM) and do not adjust prices to changes in the nominal exchange rate. (Betts and Devereux, 2000) As a consequence, following a money expansion, the money market equilibrium requires an increase in the consumption price level.

With sticky-product prices and PTM, nominal exchange rate hardly affects import prices. For a given change in relative money supplies, a larger nominal exchange rate depreciation is needed to clear the money market. As a result, PTM magnifies exchange rate responses to monetary shocks. “PTM behavior generates deviation from the law of one price whose volatility is somewhat consistent with the data.” (Betts and Devereux, 2000)

Large nominal exchange rate fluctuations are attributable to the presence of non-traded goods. The more closed the economy, the larger the exchange rate fluctuations. Indeed, when the law of one price holds, non-tradables reduce the impact of import prices on the consumer price level. The money market equilibrium requires a larger exchange rate depreciation following the expansion in the money supply. The literature tends to discard this explanation to exchange rate fluctuations since Chari the researchers assert that the relative price of non-traded goods play no role in accounting for real exchange rate fluctuations. (Betts and Devereux, 2000)

It turns out that financial structure, international price setting, preference parameters and nature of shocks are key determinants. Concerning price setting schemes, nominal prices are fixed in the producers’ currency, so that prices for consumers change one-for-one in the short run with changes in the nominal exchange rate (“producer-currency-pricing,” hereafter PCP). (Betts and Devereux, 2000) A number of recent papers are based on models in which nominal prices are set in advance in the consumers’ currency. In that case, in the short run, nominal exchange rate changes do not modify the prices faced by consumers (“local-currency-pricing,” hereafter LCP) assumption. (Betts and Devereux, 2000)

The new generation of dynamic general equilibrium models manages to mix simplicity with a rich behavioral structure. Obviously, the optimal outcome depends crucially on the price setting rules and on the kind of shocks that affects the economies. When prices are sticky in the producer’s currency, pure producer price index (PPI)

inflation targeting policies achieve the first best allocation. (Betts and Devereux, 2000) The nominal exchange rate is thus free to adjust to the required fluctuations of the terms of trade. It may be considered optimal to have a flexible exchange rate regime.

Nevertheless, when inefficient shocks hit the economies, monetary authorities face a trade-off between the inflation rate and the output gap stabilization: it is no longer possible to reach the first best allocation. So they cooperate optimally to adjust gradually the producer price levels, the output gaps and the terms of trade.

In that context, exchange rate fluctuations amplify the inflation/output gap trade-offs so that it may be optimal to limit exchange rate movements.(Betts and Devereux, 2000) A fixed exchange rate regime is even fully optimal under some parameter restrictions. As far as coordination gains are concerned, some non-negligible welfare improvements from cooperation are likely to exist even if shocks are efficient.

The liquidity effect has been already analyzed in an open economy setting. The researchers aim at reproducing the dynamic responses of the interest rate, the nominal exchange rate and the output given by a structural VAR model, following a monetary expansion. By using a two-country framework, economists measure the role played by the liquidity effect in the international transmission of economic fluctuations. (Betts and Devereux, 2000) Given the limited participation assumption, monetary shocks generate a nominal exchange rate overshooting that accounts for a substantial part of the huge observed nominal exchange rate fluctuations.

Nevertheless, the law of one price and the purchasing parity power hold such that the real exchange rate equals one.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Essay on Sitcoms

Essay on Sitcoms

Today TV offers us a very wide variety of assorted television shows. It is for sure that each and every person may find something interesting for him/her on TV. Each of us can educate him/herself trough watching educational and history channels, we may practice our erudition watching intellect shows, or we can entertain ourselves through watching documentaries. However, what is surprising, is that even though, there are so many advantageous shows out there on TV, we all find ourselves watching shows like situational comedies (sitcoms) instead.

From one point such a fact seems to be surprising, since the sitcoms appear to be silly and inane at times. Nonetheless, no matter how foolish the sitcoms are they will always be popular within us. This is so simply due to the reason that when watching sitcoms we recognize ourselves in the characters on the screen. In my short essay I would like to reflect on the article by Richard Butsch titled “Five Decades and Three Hundred Sitcoms about Class and Gender” that gives a detailed description of the last five decades of sitcoms.

According to Mr. Butsch, in the core of good situational comedy lays in any case an element of recognition, something that reminds you of challenges you face in your own life, and makes you laugh as a result (p. 112). People have always liked to laugh at themselves, though indirectly. Consequently, the genre of sitcoms enjoyed wide popularity from the time it was first created. The author of the text presents five-decade history timeline of the sitcoms. As can be seen from this timeline, Americans have a long-lasting love affair with situational comedy shows, as well as those adorable characters that make everyone chuckle.

The first decade of sitcoms described in the text lasted from 1950 till 1960s and was mainly built on the working and middle class stereotypes. In 1970-80s the situational comedies continued to dwell upon the topics concerning the lives of the middle and working class people. In 1980-1990s, in addition to the constant middle-working class topics, such topic as a representation of subordinate groups prevailed (Butsch, 128). The new millennium sitcoms presented us with new types of characters. The series were again based on the black/white middle and working class, though only two of the ten black families appeared to be working class, the rest were successful entrepreneurs (Butsch, 131).

Having read the text by Mr. Butsch and having examined the conclusions he presented at the end of his study, we could realize that, even though, the genre of sitcoms has changed over years the principal concepts stayed exactly the same (Butsch, 133). What is also peculiar that the format and style of sitcoms has not evolved harshly over the last five decades. Today, as in 1950’s sitcoms’ characters do not learn or develop across episodes. Also, these characters tend to go astray and then learn the value of the close family, neighborhood, or social bonds. What is also remarkable is that the fact that we watch sitcoms has not changed either. Probably it is because we take wicked pleasure in watching the sitcoms’ characters go through hardships even while we secretly understand that we are really watching ourselves.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Essay on Computer Memory

Short Essay on Computer Memory

Computer Memory Advancements
Computer memory, also known as computer data storage, is various digital and recording devices that store information for a designated period of time ( The predominant form of computer memory, as the permanent data-retention capability of various types of information ensures reliable storage. The ability to write and rewrite to the same device an unlimited number of times substantially increases the utility of data storage over non rewritable technologies. The large marketplace for computer-based storage has resulted in significant R&D effort being deployed, which has successfully reduced the cost per bit of storage.

Tape-based storage
Magnetic storage was first used widely in early voice recorders, which originally utilized an iron based (ferrite) wire for storage and later a thin tape, coated with a magnetic oxide, which revolved around a tape head (, 2007). The head could either apply an electric field, which would magnetize the material under the head at that instant in a particular orientation to write data, or, alternatively, sense an electric field induced by the previously magnetized material passing close to a coil of wire, to read the data.

This tape-based storage was widely used for data retention in early computer systems. However, the spool-based nature of tapes means that the access time for information is a function of the current position of the tape and the location of the data. Where information is located close to the current tape position, data is much more quickly accessed than information stored further away. This time difference can be a matter of minutes. Where the order of access to data is not known in advance, this results in slow and unpredictable operating speeds as the tape is wound forwards and backwards. Furthermore, this rapid acceleration and deceleration can lead to tape stretching or even snapping, both of which affect reliability. For archival storage, tape offers an attractive combination of low cost and high data-storage capacity and is widely used in this application area (, 2007).

Magnetic disks
The precursor of the magnetic disk was the drum. Obsolete today, the drum provided the first device where the speed of data access was largely independent of its location. A drum comprised a cylinder of magnetic coated material mounted on a spindle and rotating at up to several hundred revolutions per minute. Close to the outer surface of the drum is a line of read- write heads. Each head is associated with one slice of the drum, known as a track, and reads/ writes data on that track only (Tyson, 2007). Since the drive is continuously rotating, it takes only a few milliseconds for a piece of data to be accessed. This is in marked contrast to tapes, where spooling from one end of a tape to another may take minutes. However, the cost and complexity of drum-based storage meant that originally only the largest computer systems could make use of it.

The benefits of drum-based storage led to a demand for a lower-cost method of storage for mass-market applications. The magnetic disk was developed in response to this demand. As its name implies, a disk is a single flat circular sheet of material coated with a magnetic layer, once again organized as concentric tracks. Each track comprises a number of sectors with inter-sector gaps to permit easy determination of where the head is (Tyson, 2007).

The disk spins horizontally and a single head moves across its surface to read/write data. The single head reduces costs. Furthermore, since the disk is lighter than the drum it could be rotated more quickly, hence reducing access time. It is this essential approach, developed in the 1960s, to using a disk (or sometimes a platter of vertically stacked disks) that contemporary disk-based systems use.

Developments since the 1960s have been many, but the essential structure has been retained. Storage density has been improved by using materials with much more powerful magnetic properties, permitting more bits per unit area to be stored. Disk heads have moved closer to the disk platter (sometimes only a fraction of a millimeter away) in order to pick up the weaker currents induced by high-density storage (Tyson, 2007). This latter development has necessitated hermetically sealing the disk and head within a dust-free environment. Such an encapsulated storage device is often known as a Winchester disk. These disks are the most widely used today in contemporary information storage systems.

The floppy disk, a device that uses flexible plastic coated with magnetic material for the disk, has been widely used since the mid-1970s as a low-cost, low-density, portable storage medium.

Future developments
By the early 1990s the predominance of magnetic disk storage was coming to an end. The text-based nature of information storage was challenged by multimedia data. Such databases required orders of magnitude more storage than text. Consequently, the demand for storage capacity rapidly increased. Second, new materials with superior magnetic characteristics proved to be expensive and difficult to manufacture. For applications where data is read-only or for applications such as archiving where data is only written once, compact-disc (CD) technology was rapidly adopted. The development of writeable and erasable optical-disk technology in the mid-1990s changed the whole data storage process.

MP3 is a file extension which describes one of a series of software formats that allow efficient compression of digital video and audio data, mp3 stands for ‘MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group), audio layer 3’. MP3 uses ‘psychoacoustic compression’ to remove all superfluous aural information, including the elements of a recording that a human ear cannot detect, allowing it shrink the size of a music track on a CD by a factor of 12 without noticeably sacrificing audio quality. The availability of music in this format accounts for a high level of web and Internet use by people, who can download tracks and albums to highly portable mp3 personal stereos, car stereos and home stereos.

A computer-based information storage and retrieval medium based on laser-technology and a strong, highly resistant optical disk CD-ROM (Compact Disc - Read Only Memory) is one of the most popular and familiar of computer-based media (, 2007). It can hold the equivalent of about 250,000 typewritten pages, or 500,000 catalogue cards or 500 high-density floppy diskettes. Its capacity ranges between 500 and 680 million characters (Mb) depending on the type of CD used. It uses the same technology as the audio CD for recording and reading data, and can have full multimedia functionality. CD-ROM players have become standard microcomputer peripherals, and CD writers with which users can record their own CDs are becoming increasingly common.

Computers are, in numerous ways, machines for remembering. Most obviously, they store data and programs in a variety of formats, and come equipped with a number of different memory storage devices (on PCs labelled ‘A-drive’, ‘C-drive’, etc.). One of the prime selling-points of computational devices is their memory capacity, their RAM size and their gigabytes of storage space.

But computers are memory devices in other ways —not just in their ability to store our files and thoughts, but also in terms of the memories that accrete around them. Like many of the significant objects that are assembled computers are woven into the life narratives and accommodated in the life patterns. Understanding the complexity of the human-computer interaction—and acknowledging that it involves emotion as much as calculation—can give one a much fuller understanding, therefore, of the many memory-making uses of the computer.
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Essay on Maggie in Everyday Use

The Character of Maggie Essay

Maggie is one of the two story narrator’s daughters, the youngest one. We get acquainted with her mostly by means of Mama’s description, Mama’s view, but partly due to the replicas of her sister Dee as well.

The fate of Maggie is rather tragic. She has barely survived the fire, unleashed by her sister, and has received awful injuries both to her body and to her soul: “Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie’s arms sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in little black papery flakes”, recollects the narrator (Walker 25). Having withstood such a deep stress, Maggie has become a bit awkward and homely with her feet shuffling, eyes hidden, “the burn scars down her arms and legs” (Walker 23) and her thin corpus moving clumsily. Knowing, that she is far not perfect, she tries to be unnoticeable and stands “hopelessly in the corners” (Walker 23); cowers, tries to escape attention to her personality, tending to be invisible. She is really ashamed of her ugly scars and doesn’t know where to hide her undermined heart.

What does she have to oppose to her sister? The latter is firm, confident and purposeful: Maggie is sure, that “her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that “no” is a word the world never learned to say to her” (Walker 23). She is educated and knows her own price. She could no longer stay under the oppression of the old poor house, of her narrow-minded family. All her nature has always struggled for something better and more essential, and being a fighter, she is never going to look back for someone left behind: “She would always look anyone in the eye.

Hesitation was no part of her nature” (Walker 25).

Meanwhile, Maggie does know about herself that “she is not bright” (Walker 26). Mama emphasizes that “Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure” (Walker 25) and adds: “Like good looks and money, quickness passes her [Maggie] by” (Walker 26).

And it’s quite natural, that Maggie feels much envy as well as awe to her more successful sister. Dee-Wangero brings much glimpse and tinsel from the world, Maggie will never get a bare chance to get acquainted with. She tries to suit with her maybe the most festive red blouse and pink skirt and really falls apart when “Asalamalakim” turns to her with greeting. What is more, Dee-Wangero takes her less fortunate sister with nothing but hatred and disguise. She enjoys calling her foolish, with “brain like an elephant’s” (Walker 30).

What can Maggie have in common with such people? With people, who try to find benefits everywhere around them, even if it formally means the robbery of the poorest and the dearest…

Maggie does have much to oppose to them. Deep inside her touchy tender world she has a priceless treasure. She is true and honest. She is wounded by Dee’s attitude to churn, which has long and respectful history. Family values mean much to Maggie, what is alien to Dee-Wangero. And though Maggie’s protest is rather weak and generally implicit, this strong passionate faith to routs is her reliable core.

Mama has promised to make the reliquary quilts a wedding present for Maggie.

Dee-Wangero considers such a decision to be stupid, she claims, that her sister can never appreciate such a thing. But it is Dee herself, who can’t appreciate the true values of her family!

It goes without saying, that such accuse depresses Maggie. But instead of protest and justifications, she wants the quits to be given to her sister. We may think that’s just nothing but the evidence of her weakness, of her disability to fight, of her decision to give up. Moreover, Mama describes her act as the behavior of someone accustomed to loss or never “having anything reserved for her” (Walker 34).

Should we look deeper? Without any doubt. Having nothing but calamities and struggles throughout her life, Maggie is strong enough and wise to please her sister, who is morally poorer.

It is Dee-Wangero who deserves compassion, not Maggie. Leading her way to the high purpose, Dee stayed blind to the real beauty of her origin; she stayed deaf to the voice of her ancestors. She betrayed her family, she betrayed her name for better life, for artificial wellness:

“No, Mama,” she says. “Not ‘Dee’, Wangero Leewanika
“What happened to ‘Dee’?” I wanted to know.
“She’s dead,” Wangero said. “I couldn’t bear it any longer,
being named after the people who oppress me.” (Walker 28)

Maggie, being trapped in the surroundings she grew up in, is able to carry the torch of her family tradition through the ages, through the rains and hurricanes of life. She has truth on her side and deserves much respect, what has been fortunately appreciated by Mama.

We can’t say that her future life may to any extent be enviable or full of joy. Of course, it’s hard to imagine her completely happy or successful. But that is the one who makes us recollect our own mistakes, revise our own system of values and realize the range of our problems, often far-fetched and absurd.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Political Communication Essay

Political Communication Essay

The speech of Sen. John McCain first of all deals with the foreign affairs of the United States and its actual geopolitical orientations; to stress the point more distinctively, it is devoted to the last events in Iraq and the role the States play in them. He appeals to the audience in order to explain the core of the newly elaborated strategy, being implemented by General Petraeus. Moreover, in conditions of tough counteraction from the Congress, he tries to prove the necessity of this plan and to involve the audience he appeals to in their matters. In general, the main thesis of the speech can be formulated as the following: The war leaded by the States in Iraq has truly noble foundation, it is expedient, equitable and indispensable; admitting defeat is out of the question; terrorism must be fought against till the very end. McCain strongly believes in appropriate audience’s comprehension and response.

To win the interest of the addressees, he does his best to sound convincing and representative and creates the image of a faithful maintainer of “security, opportunity, peace, and hope” and claims to fight for historical justice and not for the seats in Congress, as against to the Democrats, whom he accuses of reckless behavior.

The situational audience comprises the Virginia Military institute cadets, but it’s clear from the context, that the target audience goes beyond them, even beyond the social group they belong to. We can say it for certain, that McCain’s speech is to be heard by the whole community, it’s up to form the entire public opinion, to reach the conscience of those who don’t feel indifferent to the point and, necessary to admit, are aware of the subject. In other words, the response of the public should be based on essential knowledge of the reasons and course of the war under consideration.

A further advantage of it is the tools McCain does choose to get the power over the audience, to influence their personal convictions. In the first place, the speech is incredibly passionate and emotional, it bursts with eloquence and skillfully adopted lexis. The rhetor doesn’t hide his feelings and attitude to the problems he has to touch. The tone rises more and more, becomes more and more tensive, as he goes on in his stream of thoughts. He tends to foresee the reaction of the opposite side and therefore his speech becomes much dependent on verification, which is greatly constructed by the speaker. He himself mentions the negative effect of the war and sincerely assumes it, expressing pity and sympathy to the death of innocent Iraqis, to the loss, mourning and fatigue of the American nation. Saying “We Americans”, he treats the public as peers and in this way tries to cause their trust.

Apart from this, he manages to use the facts of sorrow as convincing justifications as well, stressing that the throes and sacrifices should not be left in vain, but they will, if the USA admits defeat.

Furthermore, the inner, semantic structure is carefully supported by the logical structure of the discourse, each paragraph has its specific purpose and significance. To start with, McCain hastens to assure the cadets in his trust and hope he puts on them and then turns to the persona of George Marshall, employing it to affirm, that their “cause is just, necessary and winnable”. It is difficult to say, that the narration is homogeneous, as he goes down to the horrible events of 2001, and then returns up to the moment, and then attracts attention to the facts of his own experience. Still the passages don’t disturb, the paragraphs are connected with logical issues, with special phrases and markers, ear-catching formulations are widely used across the speech. The ideas are supported by accurate examples, such as the story of Petty Officer First Class Mark Robbins, which without any doubt is strong enough to go deep into the souls of the listeners, to touch their inner worlds and again to make the entire appeal sound realistic and to a certain extent pathetic.

Besides, McCain effectively draws on other kinds of rhetorical strategies. Here and there we face expressive metaphors, such as “egregious disservice”, “ruthless tactics”, “determined, resourceful and bold commander”, “swirl of events”, “horrendous violence”, “depraved indifference” etc. Not to mention how often he appeals to globally and vitally important values, including such items as: historical importance and global stability, security and modernity, peace and hope, future and progress, human rights and moral credibility, humanity and, after all, patriotism.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

English Essay on Democracy

Essay about Democracy

Speaking about equality and modernism it must be mentioned one more important concept as democracy as it is based on those two previous concepts. Thus “Green Book”, written by Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddaf depicts such an idea that mass participation of people in the political government guarantees the successful development of the society at the heart of justice, freedom and equality. But it must be underlined that the concept democracy itself is historically determined.

It is possible to speak about originality of democracy understanding in the ancient Greek policies, in medieval cities or in the days of French bourgeois revolution and the USA acquisition of the national independence in the XVIII century. But in our century the most actual is correlation of democracy as the scientific category with socio-political tendencies, peculiar for our century.

Examining democracy as an ideal, a theoretical model, it is possible to speak about the mechanism of democracy display, correlation of majority’s and minority’s will, priority of the collective (Rousseau) or individual beginning (Hobbes) in the principles of public self-government. The role of antipode of democracy is given the state. The example of such a model of democracy is presented in A. Lincoln’s pronouncement: “the people’s constitution, the people’s government; made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people” “power of people, power for people, power by means of people”.

The competitive beginning, fight between groups in distributing of material and social welfares, role statuses in the society, in the spheres of power prevail at the rationally-procedural approach. The main attention is concentrated on making a decision by a dominant group. In that way there is alienation of electorate from the direct participating in power. The prevailing form of democracy is representative democracy. State, higher political power play the role of an arbiter, regulating activity of those groups. The role of executive power increases notably.

If to appeal to the normatively-empiric model, here legal norms, constitutional principles come forward on the first plan, within the frameworks of which, a population chooses one or another alternative of community development, or, using the words of Joseph Alois Schumpeter, there is a principle of the «structurally - organized competition». The constitutional principle Priority becomes the priority one. There is combination of representative and plebiscite forms of democracy, the equilibrium of legislative and executive authorities is also provided.

In the light of the adopted triad it is possible to examine the numerous theories of democracy: elite, pluralistic, liberal, collectivistic and many others. Here are the most general approaches to the essence of democracy.

Examining democracy as the power of people, it is necessary to comprehend a concept «people» itself. It is possible to interpret it in a demographic (population), ethnopolitical (ethnos, nation) and in civil-political aspect. In this case people equate with a civil-state union, the component parts of which to a different extend participate in the public state life. Consciousness of state unity, will to the political solidarity, high civil sense of justice are peculiar to this part of society. That part of the society, which has no general interest and sense of civil solidarity and aspires only to satisfaction of the narrowly-private, mercenary interests, is named a rabble.

In this connection it is competently to define the universal values of democracy, its inalienable properties. So, reading the works by Plato and Aristotle we meet such generally valid criteria as civil equality of rights, equality before a law and equality in rights for legislative initiative. Ambiguous interpretation of these values is given in modern researches, because, as it seems to us, mixing of criteria of approach to the bases of democracy essence and mechanism of its realization. If to make an effort to generalize the valued bases of democracy, it is necessary to select at first the table of contents of democracy ( equality of rights, freedom, political and ideological pluralism, humanism, social order), secondly, functional intercommunication of the state with people (constitutionalism, co-operation of power and people, electiveness and under-control of authorities, participating of people in the management, freedom of civil associations, openness and publicity of information freedom), thirdly, principles of realization of democracy (competence and responsibility in making a decision, consensus in permission of conflicts, priority of collective will, equilibrium of civil and national interests).
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Essay on Aboriginal Rights and Land Claims in Canada

The problem of aboriginal rights and land claims is one of the most serious problems modern Canada is currently facing. In actuality, this problem is the result of the long-lasting discrimination and deprivation of the native population of Canada of its rights. Basically, the discrimination affected practically all spheres of life of aboriginal people, including economic, social, political, and even cultural. At the same time, the rights of aboriginal people and their land claims are basically motivated by their natural desire to have the equal rights compared to the rest of Canadians, have larger economic and political opportunities in order to be able to maintain the normal life of their communities without permanent hopes for the help of the national government. In such a way, the problem of aboriginal rights and land claims are closely interlinked for aboriginal people of Canada do want to have equal rights but they cannot fully realize their rights, which they may formally have, if they do not have real opportunities to realize and protect their rights. In this respect, they apparently need the economic basis, which they could use simply to maintain the socio-economic development and survival of their communities and which, therefore, could provide them an opportunity to protect their rights more effectively. What is more important is the fact that the satisfaction of land claims and increasing economic power of aboriginal people of Canada will give them a substantial political power or, at any rate, a chance to protect their rights on the political level, through the implementation of the new legislation, for instance. In such a way, it is obvious that aboriginal rights and land claims involve legal, economic and political issues, which will be analyzed in terms of this paper.

Historical background
Obviously, it is hardly possible to understand the current problems of aboriginal people of Canada without the brief analysis of the historical background of these problems. To put it more precisely, the current problems of aboriginal people, such as the violation of their basic rights, as well as the land claims that are now the subject of heat discussions are the result of the historical development of relationship between the native population of Canada and European colonizers, whose descendants actually occupy the dominant position in Canadian society.

First of all, it should be said that the discrimination of aboriginal people has accompanied the development of Canada since the creation of this state or, to put it more precisely, since the start of European colonization. It is worthy of noting that it is only in the second half of the 20th century that some positive changes have started to occur under the pressure of the local communities, basically that of native people, and even under the pressure of international community. Such a pressure was basically determined by two facts. On the one hand, the civil rights consciousness of aboriginal people grew stronger as they got more and more integrated in Canadian society and, therefore, acquiring the knowledge about their civil rights and fully realizing the enormous gap that existed between them and the ruling elite of Canada as well as the rest of Canadian society. On the other hand, there was a growing socio-economic pressure, especially from the part of large corporations, including multinational ones, on aboriginal communities. As the result, their rights, limited they were, were oppressed even more since their economic opportunities became scarce.

Gradually, aboriginal people of Canada faced a dilemma they had to solve: either to continue the lifestyle they had led before and gradually became fully integrated in Canadian society and totally lost their unique culture and traditions, or, alternatively, to struggle for their civil rights and opportunities which should be based on preservation of their communities, uniqueness, national culture and traditions. The latter was apparently impossible in the situation when aboriginal people were simply forced to leave their land either because of the low economic opportunities for the elementary survival or because of the official decisions taken by authorities.

As a result, the struggle of aboriginal people for their rights and land claims became a natural consequence of the dramatic deterioration of their socio-economic position and practically permanent and systematic violation of their human rights they were conscious of.

The legal status of aboriginal people and land claims
As it has been already mentioned, aboriginal people were traditionally discriminated and occupied the lower places in Canadian socio-economic hierarchy. At the same time, their legal status proved to be quite different from the rest of Canadians to the extent that it was even possible to speak about the existence of unique communities which lived in accordance with different laws compared to other Canadians. Such a situation was actually also determined by the historical development of Canada and aboriginal people.

In fact, it should be said that various conflicts between aboriginal people and Canadian authorities as well as Canadian companies were quite often and traditionally such conflicts were solved by means of negation. In other words, when aboriginal people had some claims they needed to negotiate with the government in order to achieve the goal they were striving for. In practice, this means that the relationships between aboriginal people and Canadian authorities were built not on the set of legal acts and norms but was rather a subject of discussions and, unfortunately, to a significant extent, this trend is relevant even nowadays (Asch, 126). As a result, it was only when a community of aboriginal people managed to raise the claim concerning land, for instance, than it was only in this case the officials would negotiated and attempt to find some solution of the problem of aboriginal people while other communities, which might have the similar problem but did not claim, would simply ignored. In other words, the rights of aboriginal people were not really protected by the legislation and the law was not common for absolutely all aboriginal communities while it was only due to negotiations claims of aboriginal people could be satisfied and their protected.

Naturally, such a situation was totally unacceptable for a democratic country and aboriginal people started to struggle actively for their rights and land claims became one of the major subjects and consistent part of this struggle. In this respect, it should be said that Canada first established policies on aboriginal claims only in 1973 (DuCharme, 3) and negotiations were used to solve these claims. In fact, this approach is still widely applied to claims of aboriginal people in Canada. It should be said that now these are optional processes that provide aboriginal people with an alternative to going to court to resolve their claims. This means that nowadays the legislation does work and aboriginal communities can protect their rights and satisfy their claims, including land claims appealing to the court.

At the same time, in the current situation, negotiations are the best way out of the problematic situations, especially concerning land claims because in such a way both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people can find mutually acceptable ways to resolve these claims (Asch, 131). Specialists estimate that, at the present moment, negotiations lead to the situations, when all parties win that naturally maintain the balance of rights of all Canadians, including aboriginal people (Usher et al, 113).

In actuality, it is possible to estimate that that land claims of aboriginal people are an effective legal way of the protection of their rights either through negotiations or courts rulings. In this respect, it should be said that land claims of aboriginal people are based on the their rights and legislative acts implemented mainly in the second half of the 20th century. In this respect, the Constitution Act of 1982 is particularly important because the existing aboriginal and treaties rights of aboriginal people have been recognized and affirmed under the section 35 of this act (Asch, 215). On the other hand, it is necessary to underline that the common law concept of aboriginal rights has been recognized by courts.

Speaking about the claims, it should be pointed out that they may be divided into two major categories: comprehensive claims and specific claims. Comprehensive claims mainly deal with unfinished businesses of treaty-making in Canada. As a rule, these claims arise in areas of Canada where aboriginal land rights have not been dealt by with treaty or with other legal means. In such situations, modern, forward-looking treaties are negotiated the aboriginal group, Canada and the territory or province.

These treaties are enshrined in legislation and provide a clear, certain and long-lasting definition of land rights for all Canadians, naturally including aboriginal people (Usher et al, 122). The treaties include certainty about the ownership, use and management of land and natural resources for all parties, while some treaties even include provisions relating to aboriginal self-government (Asch, 179). Obviously, this provides aboriginal people with opportunities to protect and realize their rights since the legal status of land and the rights of aboriginal people are clearly defined. Consequently, aboriginal people receive an excellent possibility to get equal rights and opportunities to other Canadians. It is worthy of mention that since 1973, twenty modern treaties have been negotiated across the country. They involve over 90 aboriginal communities with over 70,000 members. What is more, negations are still continued and remain the major tool of resolving aboriginal people’s claims, including land claims.

Also, there are specific claims which basically deal with past grievances of aboriginal people, which may be also called as First Nations. These grievances relate to Canada’s obligations under historic treaties or the way it managed First Nations funds or other assets (Miller, 134). Specific claims also arise from the improper administration of lands under the Indian Act or other formal agreements. It should be said that over 460 specific claims have been concluded to date across the country (Asch, 237).

Political and economic factors of land claims
Obviously, the land claims of aboriginal people resulting in negotiations or court decisions are the result of the growing civil rights consciousness of aboriginal people. At the same time, land claims also have socio-economic and political background, which naturally affects the legal decisions of the problems of aboriginal people. To put it more precisely, land claims are often motivated by socio-economic factors because aboriginal people naturally want to benefit from the use and management of land that historically belonged to them. Moreover, in the current situation, the ownership and use of land may become a source of the socio-economic prosperity of aboriginal community. On the other hand, it is necessary to remember about the possibility of the misuse of land by non-aboriginal people. What is meant here is the fact that there were the cases when lands, which aboriginal people claimed to be of their own, were used by some companies in their own interests, for instance, for output of natural resources. Naturally, such exploitation could lead to the deterioration of the environmental situation, prevention of aboriginal communities of performing traditional socio-economic activities such as agriculture or hunting, and, what is more, aboriginal communities were simply left aside of the profits from the exploitation of the lands. As a result, they raised land claims.

In this respect, political factor is also quite important since aboriginal communities naturally need the political support from the part of legislators who could improve the existing legislation and guarantee aboriginal people the protection of their rights and equal opportunities but aboriginal people, to a significant extent remain underrepresented.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that aboriginal rights and land claims are closely interlinked. In fact, land claims may be viewed as the attempt of aboriginal people to protect their civil rights and get to be really equal to other Canadians. At the same time, the resolution of land claims in favor of aboriginal people create a socio-economic basis for their equality, though this basis should be extended on the political level in order to make aboriginal people wider represented in the national politics.
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Research Paper on Jihad

Jihad: Its Relationship to and Difference from Warfare

Traditionally, Jihad is perceived by non-Muslims as the holy war which naturally implies some military actions targeting the elimination or defeat of all enemies of Islamic faith. Often, Jihad is associated with certain extremist movements that use military methods of struggle to achieve their goals which they attempt to justify by some sacred reasons in order to pretend that they are acting in accordance with the will of Allah1. However, such a view on Islam is very simplistic and has little in common with the real essence of Jihad as a very important part of Islamic religion and culture. In actuality, such an erroneous view on Jihad is basically determined by the lack of knowledge about Jihad and its role for Muslims, while the regular wars of Muslims against non-Muslims, which were often framed within Jihad concept, contributed considerably to the different perception of Jihad by non-Muslims. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to deny totally that Jihad has nothing in common with warfare. On the contrary, warfare may constitute a part of Jihad or it is rather one of the forms of Jihad but the real concept of Jihad is much more complicated than just warfare, which it may resemble for an individual who has a vague idea about the essence of Jihad.


First of all, it is necessary to briefly dwell upon the major similarities between Jihad and warfare that will also help understand the reasons for the erroneous view on Jihad as a pure warfare. In this respect, it should be said that often Jihad really implies military actions, wars against non-Muslims or infidels who do not want to accept Islamic faith and deny it arguing that it is only their faith is right2. It is worthy of mention that having a different religious views can hardly provoke Jihad as a war since traditionally Jihad is rather a defensive doctrine. To put it more precisely, Jihad implies the defense of Islam and Islamist value when there is some threat to them. In fact, the ultimate goal of Jihad is to improve society and, in the case of warfare, this implies that Jihad may include the war which could improve the society, especially those of infidel, resulting in the conversion of the latter in Islam3.

It is worthy of mention that Jihad is the only form of warfare permissible under Islamic law. In actuality, it may target against not only non-Muslims but also against rebels, highway robbers, violent groups, etc. and the methods it uses are military methods4. Consequently, it is quite logical to estimate that Jihad is a warfare which has religious beliefs as the ideological basis of war.

However, there are significant differences between Jihad and warfare. The differences are obvious even in the methods that Jihad admits in the process of war. For instance, Jihad forbids killing women, children, and non-combatants, while warfare, as the historical experience of human society proves, uses all methods and in the 20th century the killings of civilians, including children and women became a norm of warfare, the norm totally rejected by Jihad.

At the same time, it is necessary to underline that Jihad is much broader term than warfare or a Holy war. In actuality, Jihad is a very complicated concept which implies the purification and perfection in the struggle in the way of Allah.

Basically, Jihad does not necessarily mean the real, physical war against some people. In stark contrast, Jihad as a Holy war is just one of several categories of Jihad and not the most important one. In this respect it should be said that there are four categories of Jihad many of which cannot be found in warfare: Jihad against one’s own self, Jihad of the tongue, Jihad of the hand, and Jihad of the sword5.

Actually, it is only the latter category that may be associated in a way with warfare since it implies military actions, though even this category has certain differences from warfare which have been already mentioned above, namely the limitations in killing people.

Naturally, it is possible to argue that Jihad of the tongue, for instance, may be viewed as a part of warfare since it implies the struggle for the minds of people by means of verbal conviction or conversion into Islamic faith. In fact, the struggle at large which is the basic point in Jihad is also the major common feature of Jihad and warfare. However, this similarity disappears as the major goal of Jihad and warfare is revealed because Jihad is hostile to mercantile goals of warfare, instead it targets perfection of society and each individual, including self-perfection. In fact, Jihad is rather a struggle of good against evil which is not physical but also spiritual struggle that makes Jihad different from the struggle typical to warfare.
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