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How The Good Life In Developed Countries Depends On The Exploitation Of Underdeveloped Ones

1073 words - 5 pages

The good life in America, or anywhere else is based on the same fundamental human needs, which are physiological. However, with the advent of modernity it has evolved to include many other resources that would be impossible for a single civilization to acquire. Currently, we cannot fulfil those fundamental and luxury needs without the exploitation of cheap labor in under developed countries. However, the good life is more than just the fulfilment of the basic needs; it is the fulfilment of all the human needs. The cost of the good life is reliant on the suffering and exploitation of others whether or not it is intentional. In the Annals of Labor, John Bowe describes the horrid conditions that migrant workers face in the American agricultural industry. Similarly, the Woodcutter by Robert Gwathmey shows how black workers in the south were destined to hard labor jobs with relatively little income. The Clash of Civilizations describes how the Western civilization took advantage of their modernity to assert their dominance and oppress other cultures. Overall, the west has used their advancement to exploit the under developed nations around the world for their resources and cheap labor.
America has rough history regarding the treatment of minorities, especially when the poor treatment leads to a better life for the oppressors. The good life for westerners has evolved over the course of modernization all of which began with the industrial revolution and continued over a few centuries. All cultures based off the major religions want to modernize, but cultures must change over the course of modernization in order to be successful. The needs of the people of western culture have expanded to the point where the cultures must interact on a regular basis. The resultant global economy led to a massive amount of trade. Nations that had valuable resources, such as oil experienced a massive influx of wealth without totally modernizing. The west would intervene to the point to keep potentially hazardous governments were in power, such as the Shah of Iran (Huntington). The major religions dictated the values of civilizations and ultimately affected how they conducted themselves in foreign relations. As a result, the middle east aimed to not “modernize Islam, but to Islamize modernity” (Huntington 99). Civilizations have clashed since the beginning of time, the recent western dominance is not the root cause as there has always been a dominant civilization. Modernization has just increased the frequency and extent that the civilizations have contact with each other. Since the west chose to use their power to gain global influence they forced the other major cultures to face modernization over a shorter period time, which never allowed their respective cultures to fully accept the reality of modernizing. Another issue is the combination of western culture and modernization. Are modernization and western culture inseparable? The world experienced a wave of...

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