World Politics Lucky Question #13

Here's lucky question #13 -- only one more this whole semester!

On p. 250, Todorov writes: "'The man who finds his country sweet is only a raw beginner; the man for whom each country is as his own is already strong; but only the man for whom the whole world is as a foreign country is perfect' (I myself, a Bulgarian living in France, borrow this quotation from Edward Said, a Palestinian living in the United States, who himself found it in Erich Auerbach, a German exiled in Turkey)." Is he right?


World Politics Question #12

In class today we covered quite a bit of ground relating to the ambiguity of the forces driving Columbus, but one thing that we all agreed on was that Columbus' way of knowing was somewhat different from ours. (Of course, Todorov presents the situation this way, so that's not a surprising conclusion for us to come to.) Hence, this question for us to wrestle with: is our way of knowing better than Columbus' way of knowing?

Note that I'm italicizing the word "better" to call attention to it. We tossed around a lot of stuff in the last fifteen minutes of class about how we now "knew more" or had "made progress" since Columbus' time; there's an implied value-judgment there, and I want to bring it to the forefront of our online deliberations.

Note also that I am not defining what "better" means. That's up to us to grapple with. [Also: this is something that Todorov grapples with throughout the book.]


World Politics Question #11

With the common event prep and such, I neglected to post this until now -- sorry.

When addressing the problem of global poverty, is it better to concentrate on meeting people's basic needs, or to concentrating on modifying structural conditions? In other words, give people the basics, or give people a broader set of opportunities?


World Politics Question #10

Ruggie argues that the social purpose of the Bretton Woods system was to enable states to pursue full employment policies, which in a way implies both that a) a wealthy state is one with full employment and b) a wealthy individual is one with a job. The question is: do you agree?