Author Archives: Tony Li
Soviet Communist Party after 1985
American Empire: Page 401.
“Gorbahev, who in March 1985 became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party at the age of fifty-four, brought much more dynamic leadership and a different set of assumption to the post than the aged leaders he succeeded.”
This organization/party is significant in the sense that Gorbahev can see the weakness the party has accumulated over the decades.He is trying to undertake major reforms to stop the internal decay, help boost the economy and also improve the daily lives of the citizen. The party after this year can also foretell the ending of the Cold War that is happening. Gorbahev tried to end the war by engaging in meetings with the United States multiple times over issues like cutting nuclear arsenals. In 1987, they agreed to a treaty calling for the elimination of all intermediate-range nuclear weapons. After this treaty, Gorbachev said Soviet Union will withdraw from Afghanistan. These actions are showing the end of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Freeman during this chapter is viewing a point where the economic, political, and military relationships around the world are being affected and the ending of the Cold War shows the changes that has changed since then. The fear of war, building weapons, affected foreign policies and domestic life.
Bush Administration’s Response to Iraq
American Empire: Page 411.
“Panama eased the way for the Bush Administration when it decided to launch a much larger military operation in reaction to Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait.
During President George H. W. Bush’s presidency, America has got into several conflicts with former allies and President Bush used this opportunity to further re-legitimize the use of force and maintain a massive military capacity. The defeat in Vietnam left the citizens of America having a very negative vibe towards war but President Bush took this opportunity to make the military strong and have some support from the public. They first went after Panama where they won versus a former American ally, Manual Noriega, and that made the public resistance towards war erode. Then after that, they went to war against Saddam Hussein for fear he would take over Saudi Arabia, which would mean Iraq would control a large amount of the world’s remaining oil. This view fits into Freeman’s argument about this era that war is sort of back and the Bush administration didn’t change anything about restoring stability after the Cold War.
Above And Beyond — Thing Called Love [Group Therapy]
Above And Beyond — Thing Called Love [Group Therapy]
The song I chose i called Thing Called Love by Above and Beyond. This is my go-to song most of the times when I want to listen to something because this song generates the feelings and emotions within me. The rhythm, BPM of the song is perfect in my opinion and it is a song most people can relate to. It is talking about wasted love, or to a further extent, wasted opportunities in life where it will just bypass you if you don’t take advantage of it. “Ad it’s a waste love that we all regret,” is so memorable because of the emotions this song and the genre called trance can provide for you
Harlan County, USA — Police Forces In New York City
In the documentary Harlan County USA, the main driving plot behind it revolves around the strike of miners and the overall involvement with regards to the union. The problems this documentary is tying to address is revolving around the issues of a monopoly on the labor market, inflation throughout the country making it near impossible to live with minimum wage anymore and health issues occurring from working in the mines. A particular moment during the documentary caught my eye and it was when the workers went to the city to get more publicity for this strike and the police forces are talking with the workers on strike. They had a conversation where the police force are asking them why they are doing this and they start to compare lives in a way. This is showing the different lives as well as different life styles. It is sort of foreshadowing the decline of unions and inflation making too much of an impact.
New York City — As an Organization
1) New York City
2) Page 334 — American Empire : New York City had provided a national model for an expansive, liberal notion of government in the decades after World War II. Government services included a large, free university system, a large public hospital system; a large mass transit system; public housing projects with over a half million residents; and a large, relatively generous welfare system.
3) This quote and institution or organization is relevant to Freeman’s view of the current situation. During this period, there were many organizations, presidents, plans that weren’t effective and as a result, everything was stagnant. This bright spot about New York City as a whole shows that things will progress later on and “Stagnation” will be gone eventually. There was pressure to lower the presence of government in everyday life and it is basically where the direction will sort of be headed.
Amtrak — The Railroad of Decline
2) Page 304 — American Empire : “The number in Philadelphia on public assistance jumped from roughly 200,000 in 1970 to nearly 340,000 in 1980. North Philadelphia so decayed that eventually Amtrak all but stopped using the stations there.
3) Freeman’s argument about the era is that it is on a slow decline and the landscape in general is changing. Everyone from the Northeast is moving south and west. The population is decreasing in major states like New York, New Jersey, and like the quote mentioned, Pennsylvania. I chose Amtrak as a significant representation of the state of the situation because the creation of Amtrak is like showing the direction the people are heading towards. Every time a new station is built, the city is starting to lose population, increase in inflation, and unemployment rate will increase.
Robert Moses’ Vision of Manhattan; Downfall of Bronx
The historical development of Bronx, as stated in page 11 of the Book “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” started in 1929 by a man called Robert Moses with a vision of leading the white exodus out of the Bronx. He wanted to make Manhattan a center for attention basically, and it caused most of the white residents in Bronx to move away while Robert is laying down a plan to reform the city. He wants to first build a highway system to connect from New Jersey to Manhattan to Queens. But by doing that, he will need to clear space for the highways to be constructed. There are Bronx residents currently living in the ways of the highway system but Robert doesn’t care. He demands the residents to move and this event led to the development of hip hop in the Bronx. With all the white residents away, Robert built new “tower-in-a-park” buildings for residents to live in. It became populated with African American and Latinos. This led to poor living conditions, arsenic cases for old buildings around the Bronx, and many other disastrous events. It led to gangs being formed for many reasons besides those stated above. It caused a rise in a way where people can connect with each other.
South Bronx lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs and the daily income is just half of New York City’s average. The numbers showed South Bronx is decreasing in every category. The collapse was called “A mythical wasteland, an infectious disease, a condition of poverty and social collapse, more than a geographical place,” by Robert Jensen.
The Women’s Movement
Page 262 from American Empire.
“Fighting sexual discrimination in employment often meant challenging gender stereotypes.”
The mention of this quote summarizes the entire event of the Women’s Movement. There are policies in place like the EEOC but those policies did nothing for the women in that era. They had to fight stereotypes and sexual discrimination. Freeman included this because it covers what that part of the book is about. It goes with his argument that women during that era were treated differently.
The Reason For The War At Vietnam
Page 222 in American Empire.
“The United States had very few economic or other interests in Vietnam before the war, little knowledge of it, and no particular expectation that a victory would bring deep or profitable engagement . American policymakers acted primarily out of ideology and a strategic outlook that saw any shift of control or power away from the United States, no matter where it occurred, as threatening its interests and security everywhere.”
I think this quote was included because it summaries a little reasoning behind the war against Vietnam. Later on in the chapter it discusses the reason. It became involved in Vietnam because of the relationship the United States has with France and many other wars, small details that eventually led to the conflict. I think Freeman thinks this part is important because it shows the status of America during that time and how if it felt threatened, they will make sure it will remain stable.