Cultural Change and Future of Humanity Term Paper

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Subject: Economics
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #50136299

Excerpt from Term Paper :


Change of cultures:

In this case the example of the economic life of the Trobriand Islanders has been taken and they are a tribal group living on a coral archipelago near the north east coast of New Guinea. This tribal group is like other South Sea Islanders of the Melanesian origin, and they have a well developed method of chieftainship, an excellent ability in different crafts and an excellent level of art. They are certainly not savages. According to general measures of culture they are representative of one level but certainly inferior to the tribes of Polynesians, North American Indians, Africans and Indonesians. Yet even they are well organized in terms of economics. The chief in the Triobrands had general rights over all the land in the area, and within the district. This gives him a title of master, and accordingly he is able to exercise some rights like deciding which of the lands are to be cultivated, a general arbitration in disputes regarding land, and other such matter. (The Primitive Economics of the Trobriand Islanders)

At the same time there is a garden magician who is also called the master of the garden and he also functions for different areas required for gardening in that society. Exactly the same title is also available for some notables or sub-chiefs who also have to carry out certain duties for the land. Apart from all these owners there is also a person within the village community or another person who has the responsibility who is said to own the land. He can use the plot himself or give it on lease to somebody else and the lease payment method is quite complex. Apart from all these garden plots, the chief, magician and the important individuals also own a number of plots. ((The Primitive Economics of the Trobriand Islanders) This makes it clear that the society there is quite different from the society that we are used to.

There used to be constant fights between tribal groups in the beginning of the century, and this led to the missionaries then starting the playing of cricket as a substitute for the local wars. Here cricket is not played in the way it is played in India or the West Indies, which are quite similar to British cricket. In many instances India and West Indies have performed better than the British who taught them cricket. Here the game has been changed to suit the local environment, and their requirements. The cricket teams here are very large and four to five times the size of teams in British cricket and generally consist of all males in a village clan. When they go to another village for a cricket match, they move in colorful costumes, dancing to their own music to the other village. This dancing spirit continues during the breaks that take place in the game and then they have dances in their own style and that is almost like being choreographed. The dances also bear reference to their own colonial past and demonstrate during the course of the dance that they have ever seen. This makes them even imitate the American bombers which came there during the Second World War. (Trobriand Cricket)

As we have seen earlier, the chief is the person who keeps giving out gifts and thus imposes burdens on the participants. This is done regularly and at all opportunities so that everybody is obliged to him. This happens during dancing, merry making or communal working. During earlier times when there were wars between different groups, the chief had to first call his headmen and during that time also gifts would be given. Then there would be a ceremonial gathering when the entire assembled crowd would be given food and that includes their favored pig's flesh, along with betel nuts and coconuts. During the course of war also the chief had to supply his warriors with food. Thus a very important part of their life is also the distribution of food on almost all occasions. (The Primitive Economics of the Trobriand Islanders) Colonialism was not very different for the people in this group, as they are subservient to a number of authorities from their own groups in any case. The use of cricket by them is with an objective to highlight the events of the past, and is a sort of record keeping or history which they would not be able to do otherwise. These tribes do not have much of reading and writing, and it was even less during earlier periods.

The future of Humanity:

There has been an economic crisis in Thailand since the end of 1990s, and the reason for this is globalization. This has been defined as "Globalization refers to a multidimensional set of social processes that create, multiply, stretch, and intensify worldwide social interdependencies and exchanges while at the same time fostering in people a growing awareness of deepening connections between the local and the distant." (U.S. Imperialism through Globalization in Thailand) This is the reason why the markets of Thailand were opened to competition from other countries at the end of 1980s and the 1990s. This has also created the local ASEAN free trade area. The force of economic globalization requires a global market with free trade, and this means internationalization of trade and commerce. This is also part of the talks that are going on continuously with Thailand by the American President. The choice of the system is supposed to assure the people that elimination of present barriers to trade among the different countries will give the customers more choice, increase global wealth, ensure peaceful relations between countries and spread all new technologies all around the world. (U.S. Imperialism through Globalization in Thailand)

This is always promised in free trade agreements and Thailand has promised to lower tariffs which will give the American automobile companies an advantage. Due to the decrease of tariffs, countries in a strong position like the United States will benefit, but not weak economies like Thailand. At the same time, globalization is affecting cultural activities in Thailand, and an example can be seen in the spread of American type of fast food in Thailand. It can be seen that there are 88 McDonalds in Thailand apart from Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King. This is the spread of American culture in Thailand. Even in education, the Americans have a great influence and many of the private schools in the cities of Thailand are owned by Americans. The result of globalization is that the poor in the poor countries become even poorer. The only solution to avoid this part is to bring the transnational corporations under the control of the government. (U.S. Imperialism through Globalization in Thailand)

The entire system of capitalism is an economic system controlled by people who have the economic power in the country, and who own the productive part of it. An example of this can be seen in the case of Bill Gates whose wealth increased from $16 billion to over 450 billion. This growth is higher than that achieved by more than 50% of the combined American population. The people who have to meet their expenses through work are generally not able to even meet their regular consumer debt, and are generally not able to accumulate any asset which will produce income for them. The reality is that only capital breeds capital, and this for only those who own it. The nature of the economy does not matter to the worker and he has to sell his labor in all types of economies -- capitalist, socialist, some combination of the two or welfare.

The worker receives his income for his work. The nature of the bosses is immaterial, whether they are the…

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