Thursday, January 26, 2012


Gerald Lloyd Beeson in my POS 201 Spring 2012 class, describes the research of Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. Here is an excerpt from Gerald's essay. The prompt asked students to consider whether humans are by nature predominantly aggressive.

" Grossman, in his book “On Killing”, documents various research in military history that shows that men do not want to kill and that it was only by modified training received after World War 2 and the Vietnam War that they managed to increase military killing rates. Grossman cites the battle of Gettysburg, in which 90 percent of the 27,574 rifles found on the field of battle were found loaded and not fired, which means that the soldiers dropped them but did not fire them."

According to Grossman, video games replicate the army's 'train to kill' conditioning techniques, and is responsible for the rising rate of murder among the young.

Gerald Beeson adds ".... Alexia Eastwood points out that “EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE" from studies of psychology actually suggests that “OUR INCLINATION TO SHARE AND COOPERATE ARE HARDWIRED INTO OUR GENETIC CODE” (Eastwood, 1). Eastwood refutes the modern day assumption of economic modeling which is based on Homo Economicus. This theory is all based on the presumption that actions of all men are, essentially, self-serving (Eastwood, Man 1). Eastwood points out that the “ NOTIONS OF POVERTY AND WEALTH” are “SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS” and are not “UNIVERSAL”. She indicates that other societies demonstrate or represent wealth by redistribution or gift giving (Eastwood, 2)...

As you can see, there is clearly evidence that refutes the ideology that man is essentially a ego-maniacal, self-centered, violent and nu-controllable personage that needs to be monitored by a complex political structure. Society is the way that it is because of social constructions and the political systems."

Works Cited:

Eastwood, Alexia. “Revisiting Economic Man.” Share the World’s Resources. (2010 April 16): Web. 22 Jan 2012.

Grossman, Lt. Col. Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. New York. E-rights/E-reads, 2009. Kindle edition.


Claims about the morality of globalization, tend to revolve around the global income gap. To make your case, students should provide data (see my Guidelines).

Carolyn Cannafax wrote

'For globalization to succeed as an integrative rather than a divisive force, it cannot be formulated as a zero-sum game, or ultimately there will be no winners. Failure to instigate the necessary transformation throughout the international political economy will reformulate its governmental and corporate leaders as victims of their own malfeasance. All are subject to the same environmental degradation, social chaos and economic attrition, regardless of their economic, societal, or political positions.'

Her evidence of the zero sum game is the widening gap between rich and poor.

This 'gap' is subject to controversy. Anti globalists tend to assume there is a widening gap, whereas pro globalists want to believe the gap is narrowing.

It is not controversial that the US is experiencing a widening gap. reports the following:

"A widening gap between rich and poor is reshaping the U.S. economy, leaving it more vulnerable to recurring financial crises and less likely to generate enduring expansions.

Left unchecked, the decades-long trend toward increasing inequality may condemn Wall Street to a generation of unimpressive returns and even shake social stability, economists and financial-industry executives say. "

China, India and other Asian countries, as well as Sub Sahara Africa have seen a widening gap. Whereas, it has been argued that the gap appears to be narrowing in other parts of the world. But as we see in Week 1, INTL 5400, units of measurement of national wealth are controversial.

Here is an interesting article focusing on the debate about income inequality:

Key quotes from the article:

"The September 2004 issue of the prestigious American Journal of Sociology carries an article entitled ‘Accounting for the Recent Decline in Global Income Inequality’ (Firebaugh and Goesling 2004) arguing that global income inequality has declined in recent decades as a result of economic globalization. Firebaugh and Goesling’s main arguments revolve around rapid industrialization in the densely populated regions of China and India.

Robert Wade of the London School of Economics, a notable contributor to debates about global inequality (Wade 2004, 2001) shows that Firebaugh and Goesling’s conclusion of falling inequality is sensitive to a series of choices about measures (how incomes are compared, populations weighted, inequality measured) and data (based on national income accounts or household surveys). When alternative choices are made, global income inequality may increase rather than decline."

Probably sealing the deal, is the discovery that the World Bank got its figures wrong in 2008.

"Contradicting the Bank's celebrated decline in extreme poverty figures last year to less than a billion for the first time, the new measurements revealed a far less optimistic outlook - a total of 1.4 billion poor people in 2005,[1] revised from 986 million in 2004.[2]  A margin of error, in other words, of 42 percent, defining a quarter of the developing world as living without sufficient means for human
survival. "