Presentation on theme: "Islamophobia in the media A political motivation The use of Christianity Theory of alienation -Marx and modernMarx and modern production The psychology."— Presentation transcript:
Islamophobia in the media A political motivation The use of Christianity Theory of alienation -Marx and modernMarx and modern production The psychology of creating an other What is Islamophobia? Works Cited Image List
According to Marx, alienation of the worker begins with his alienation from the products of his labor within the Capitalist Mode of Production. The perceived alienation from other human beings by the capitalist mode of production as outlined by Marx has increased along with the efficiency of this production mode. Marx outlines his theory of Entfremdung, or estrangement, in his Manuscripts of 1844. He states that the object which labor produces – labors product – confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labor is labor which has been embodied in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labor. Labors realization is its objectification. Under these economic conditions this realization of labor appears as loss of realization for the workers; objectification as loss of the object and bondage to it; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation. Most professions today are involved with production. Even when no physical production of commodity is involved, the current system interprets the career as having a product. One example of this is the current attitude toward education, through which classroom curricula are geared toward obtaining concrete test scores, and schools are focused on generating a concrete profit. For instance, at Texas A&M, the income each professor makes for the school is calculated by adding tuition paid by studentslarger classes generate more tuition dollarsand factors in the weighted value for semester credit hours of different types and levels of courses. (Mangan) Furthermore, the advent of new technologies since Marxs time has further distanced workers not only from the product they are making but from the other people involved in the process of making it. A company can have people designing hardware in one country, another set of people actually manufacturing the hardware in another country, and have the technical support for the hardware outsourced to yet a third country. Click for next page Home page
Not only is there an imposed distance between worker and worker or worker and product, but the capitalist system lauds production work as the most important, minimizing the importance of other active functions such as work within the household and his own active functions, his life activity. (Marx) This estrangement makes individual life in its abstract form the purpose of the life of the species, likewise in its abstract and estranged form. The education example again comes into play here – the students at Texas A&M are treated as consumers of a product, and their consumption, not their human experience, is what defines the work of the professors. How much each individual can consume and produce is what is measured, and this, rather than some factor of human connection, becomes the abstract purpose for which human beings are meant to exist. One particularly vivid illustration of this type of alienation in the modern world comes in the form of a film by Godfrey Reggio entitled Koyaanisquaatsi. The title comes from a Hopi word meaning life out of balance. The following sequence from the film depicts footage from large cities such as New York and San Francisco, as well as work in an Oscar Meyer factory. The section of the film entitled The Grid depicts human functioning and interaction with technology as highly mechanical. There is a heavy focus on individual parts of the body interacting with machinery, such as the hands purchasing and inserting tickets to and from machines to power a system of mass human transportation, presumably to or from work. At 1:12 in this video, a mother moves her babys outstretched hands inward so that he can fit through the mechanized gate. Even at a young age, the child is learning in a literal sense how to function within a streamlined system designed for efficiency, getting as many people at one time from one place to another as possible so as to increase their production efficiency and boost the citys economy. In the factory scene beginning at 3:20, the camera focuses on the object being manufactured, with the human limbs only entering to intervene on the object. The product is the center of the lives of these workers. Click to next pageClick to previous page Home page
Koyaanisquatsi: Clip 1:Clip 2: Click to previous page Home page
The Christian Bible includes a theme of service and salvation which, when manipulated to do so, can present the American Christian identity as the redeemer of other, purportedly less legitimate religions. Christianity itself contains a narrative of redemption and self-sacrifice, with a god-prophet who died to save mankind from its sins and the ability to be redeemed in the eyes of God. Several passages in the Bible reference the sacrifice of God and Jesus, including John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (King James Bible) According to the Christian religion, the potential for eternal life is contingent upon this sacrifice. The Bible also calls upon individuals to follow in Jesuss footsteps through self-sacrifice and service. Romans 12:1 states, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. The living sacrifice of Gods followers is meant to parallel but not equal Jesus sacrifice of his life, as the sacrifice presented by followers is one of service to God. Click for next pageHome page One of the aspects of this service is spreading the word of God, and increasing his following while saving the souls of nonbelievers from damnation. Mark 16:15-16:16 state: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Not only, then, does the Bible require the spread of Christianity for Christians themselves, but as a necessary factor in keeping nonbelievers from a deplorable fate. Through this dogma, Christians are destined to save the nonbelievers. Furthermore, these Christians are being observed by God and the world as examples. As put in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. This passage was used by John Winthrop in the early days of the colonies and is still used in modern political speeches.
To presume that I could adequately address the politics behind Islamophobia in America in one brief segment of one project would be quite absurd. Nonetheless, it seems equally absurd to discuss Islamophobia in America without acknowledging that its origins are, in large part, politically motivated. The medias depiction of Islam both fuels and is fueled by the desires and fears of American majorities, and these desires and fears are directly linked to the current political climate. I will not spend much time here explaining the milestones of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the purposes of this project I will assume a basic knowledge of these recent events in history. I will, however, touch upon the fact that these wars are widely thought to be economically motivated. I refer the reader to the following articles, not to attempt to indoctrinate to my particular view on these wars but to point out something that is important to keep in mind when discussing Islamophobia: that while ideology may be an important part of the mentality surrounding Americas relationship with countries with Muslim majorities, there is a persistent economic and political force behind them. Lest a reader come away from my project thinking that I am attempting to convince them that America is on a purely ideological crusade, I present the work of individuals who have done a far more thorough job than I could in a small space of discussing potential economic motivations for these wars. This article outlines the reasons for which many believe that the war in Afghanistan was economically motivated: (http://www.counterpunch.org/monbiot2.html) Noam Chomsky has also written in some length on this subject, both regarding Afghanistan and Iraq. (http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20080708.htm)http://www.counterpunch.org/monbiot2.htmlhttp://www.chomsky.info/articles/20080708.htm By the rationale of these arguments, the otherizing of Muslims and media propagation of fear is a means to an end. The wars, Americas role in them, and the rhetoric surrounding them explains why Muslims in particular are the current object of American ostracizing and fear. Next pageHome page
Politicians who are in support of the wars have been quick to use the propensity of people to unite against an other to their political advantage. Probably the most salient example of such a politician is George W. Bush. In his 2004 State of the Union Address, he stated that Home pagePrevious page
Works Cited "Address to a Joint Session of Congress Following 9/11 Attacks." American Rhetoric. N.p., 20 Sep 2001. Web. 15 Nov 2010.. Chow, Rey. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Print. Cohen, Jere. Protestantism and Capitalism: The Mechanisms of Influence. New York: Walter de Gruyter, Inc, 2002. Print. Elliott, Gregory. "Social Psychology." Brown University. Providence, RI. 13 Nov 2008. Lecture. Gottschalk, Peter, and Gabriel Greenberg. Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008. Print. Guevara, Ernesto Che. "Socialism and Man in Cuba." Ocean Books. Ocean Press, 12 Mar 1965. Web. 13 Nov 2010.. Guyutt, Nicholas. "'The Outskirts of Our Happiness': Race and the Lure of Colonization in the Early Republic." Journal of American History. 95.4 (2009): 986-1011. Print. Hajela, Deepti. "Pamela Geller's 'Leaving Islam?' Ads Cause Controversy." Huffington Post (2010): n. pag. Web. 22 Oct 2010.. Jackson, Richard. Writing the war on terrorism: language, politics and counter-terrorism. New York: Manchester University Press, 2005. Print. Mangan, Katherine. "Texas A&M's Bottom-Line Ratings of Professors Find That Most Are Cost- Effective." Chronicle of Higher Education. (2010): Print. Marx, Karl. "Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844." Translated to English by Martin Mulligan. Karl Marx Works. Progress Publishers, 2009. Web. 22 Oct 2010. Smith, Ben, and Maggie Haberman. "GOP Takes Harsher Stance Toward Islam." Politico (2010): n. pag. Web. 22 Oct 2010.. "Text of President Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address." Washington Post 20 Jan 2004, Print. "Weapons of the Spirit." Chambon Foundation. Chambon Institute, 20 May 2009. Web. 15 Nov 2010.. Home Page
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