Guys, please critique my politics paper?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by legal eagle, Oct 11, 2005.

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  1. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    This is still very raw, non-proofread, and not complete. The first question is complete though. Any input would be appreciated, thank you

    paper is on bottom of page
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  2. anomaly

    anomaly If you weren't around for the original HA.net spli

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    You should have just cut n pasted
     
  3. Apollo

    Apollo Guest

    "generally describes the general scheme"

    redundant.
     
  4. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    yes, like I said this is the raw non-proofread version. I actually caught that before i showed it to my prof and markered it out.
     
  5. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    And I figured you guys didn't want to read 9 pages of text in a forum box, so i left it as a word doc.
     
  6. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    final version below
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  7. willm1

    willm1 They say, shark in it for the moneys.

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    It's going to remain a B paper until you clean it up completely.

    "Obviously the manipulation of democracy at this large of a scale is an inherit drawback of the Clientelism system, since votes will be heavily skewed for the wrong reasons."

    "Obviously" sounds like you're patronizing the reader. Leave it out. "Since" also sounds strange in a formal paper. There are a lot of little things that I notice in the paper, but it's mainly just style.
     
  8. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    Is it just wording and not content? I agree with your criticism on that though. :hs:
     
  9. 6SpeedTA95

    6SpeedTA95 OT Supporter

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    I think your biggest problem is wording. You really need to re read this thing in detail a couple times. I'm not an english major, in fact its definately not my strong suite so I'm not going to make suggestions on how to re word parts of it. But it desperately needs it. I think the content overall is pretty good, it just lacks fluency. Wording should fix that :)
     
  10. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    :bigthumb:
     
  11. BlackBeard

    BlackBeard Shiver me Timbers

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    it lacks particular elements of style...

    like someone said before, substantively its fine..
     
  12. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    well that is good i guess? So just clean up my wording and language and I should be set? :hs:
     
  13. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    Im gonna go proofread the entire thing and finalize it to be handed in. Ill repost it then, since the critiques will be much more helpful at that point.
     
  14. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    Finished product.

    4.
    “The core of this system of machine politics is the exchange of economic and social favors to poor and socially fragmented population in return for support,” (Stone 91). As a brief excerpt, this describes the general scheme in which political activity is conducted in Jamaica. It is a system based primarily on incentive granting, which relies on the belief that individuals will not get involved with nor support politics unless incentives are presented. Similar to the 19th century American political machines, Jamaican Clientelism provides a system in which all groups and classes exchange favors and services to one another, best described as a dual-dependency system. As to whether or not the Clientelistic approach to politics in Jamaica has been successful or not, a select group of scholars have voiced their input regarding this policy. On the parallel regarding American political machines, the general consensus was the machines would have caused the downfall of the country, as seen with the Tammany Hall machine almost directly causing total bankruptcy of New York City. The situation in Jamaica is slightly more complicated, mostly because it is still actively practiced. As this approach is picked apart, many advantages as well as drawbacks will surface.
    “Essentially, machine politics is seen as thriving in the Third World where class and nationalist sentiments have dissipated, symbolic and charismatic loyalty ties are weak, class politics is underdeveloped, and ethnic communal ties have fragmented,” (Stone 92). In current times, the political arena in Jamaica has much stabilized, (relative to the previous series of past political unrest of course), and clientelism has been the dominant approach in order to reach this level. Even though it has much improved Jamaican government, it is still far from a flawless system, but does contain some apparant advantages as well as respective weaknesses. “The dominant basis of political and party allegiance in a clientelistic party system is personal loyalty to individual political actors who have or are perceived to have a high capability to allocate and distribute divisible material and social benefits, as well as indivisible sectoral class or communal benefits,” (Stone 95). In other words, individuals who receive direct benefits from this system largely include the lower class, who are attracted to the politicians who can offer than the most incentives. This brings up the common cliché of “buying votes.” The purpose of a parliamentary democracy is to cast a vote for the strongest candidate, not to vote for whoever offers the most social and material incentives. This is one major disadvantage of clientelism, as most of the voters from the lower class are not issue or ideological based voters, but simply voting based primarily on whichever party gave them the largest amount of incentives first. The Jamaican social welfare system is indeed lacking in structure and resources, so the lower class must go to the political parties in order to be granted these social and monetary benefits in which they need for basic survival.
    The manipulation of democracy at this large of a scale is an inherit drawback of the clientelism system, as votes will be heavily skewed for the wrong reasons. Many Jamaican voters are indeed issue related voters, and vote based on their political views, but the majority are lower class voters who will heavily lean towards a candidate not because of ideology or views, but simply because of the incentives provided forth.
    “Clientelism emerged under conditions of scarcity and impoverishment and becamse one of the means of providing resources to party supporters at critical junctures of their lives,” (Edie 9). To reiterate, one of the reasons clientelism was manifested was to combat the problem of lack of state resources. It is important to understand that the only groups who had access to state resources were politicians, so in order to receive these resources, the lower class was forced to enter the system of clientelism, and was rewarded by the direct allocation of state resources towards their favor. In this particular situation, it seems this is indeed an advantage of the clientelistic approach, as the lower class was given the social resources needed for survival and fulfillment. Without being a part of this system, the lower class would be without these resources. “The political leaders needed votes in order to guarantee control of the state, and access to state resources. A reciprocal relationship has been established where the vote is exchanged for strategic resources such as food, furniture, clothing a job, or a home,” (Edie 9). The clientelistic system present in Jamaica is in no way a one way flow, it is indeed a dual dependency relationship, one in which politicians need lower class individuals in order to ensure their dominancy of the political office. On the opposite end, the lower class is just as dependant on the politicians for incentive based resources such as work and a residence. On the surface it would certainly appear that this system seems to be fairly well balanced on this level, and the observation that both sides of the relationship are better off than when they started makes it hard to believe that there are any problems at all associated with this system. However, in theory and on paper this seems like a fairly stable approach, but in actuality it is far from it as judging by the expert opinions in this field.
    “Clientelism has been sustained and complemented by the structure of international disparities of power and wealth,” (Edie 9). It is a system survived by inequalities, and as long as these inequalities are present, clientelism will be somewhat stable as a political system. “Thus clientelism tends to divide the working classes as part of the process of favoring the interests of the middle class,” (Edie 17). Class division is not a positive outcome, especially for the lower class whom needs social support. By allowing their class to be divided up, it is much harder to locate a uniform interest, and the appropriate allocation of resources becomes a more challenging feat. “A major weakness of the clientelism concept in its application to Jamaica is that it focuses only on the internal relations of groups within society and does not pay attention to the international capitalist structure of which Jamaica is an integral part, nor to the ramifications of this relationship,” (Edie 20). According to this excerpt, clientelism deals with explaining the internal relationships between classes in Jamaica, but does not focus nor go into detail on the external economy or even the majority of the economy at all, most of which is foreign owned and based.
    While Stone’s examination of the obscure political relationship deemed as “clientelism,” is essentially vital and valuble, some experts believe he has left out information regarding this concept in regards to the external economy. His evaluation dealt mainly with internal factors and scenarios,however according to other experts, failed to mention the impact this system has on non-internal situations. Carlene C. Edie, whom expanded on Stone’s report by adding input of her own, coined the term “Dual Clientelism” (Edie 25). This attempts to combine internal and international relationships and explain them using a client-patron based approach, mostly regarding foreign activity present in the economical sector in Jamaica. “Without access to international resources, a broad-based patronage system could not have been maintained,” (Edie 26). State and local resources are the building blocks of patronage and thus must come from a source; Edie explains that patronage is fueled from international factors, and Stone’s explanation seems to leave out where the source pool that runs the patronage system is located. Dual Clientelism is not just based on state-wide actors, it contains three different levels as well where various political behavior takes place in different forms. Level 1 includes the interaction between the political elite and the poor class. A basic understanding of Clientelism and political machines would be sufficient in understanding the relationship between these two groups; the lower class political support is rewarded by the political elite in the form of jobs, social resources and in some cases money handouts. Level 2 includes interaction between the political elite and the economic elite (aka the “21 families”). Monetary support for political campaigns comes directly from the economic elitists, and once the supported politicians are elected into office it is understood that legislation in the favor of the capital elites will be brought forth. Level 3 involves the political elite and external agencies, for example the IMF, with similar dual dependency relationships as seen in the previous two levels. The key to understanding Edie’s contribution to the Clientelistic model is to realize the trickle down effect present in Dual Clientelism; external dependency determines internal dependency.
    “The scarcity of resources for patronage may inevitably lead to the collapse of the clientelist system,” (Edie 150). Clientelism is a system based on resources and incentives, so what happens once these resources are no longer available? With no patronage or incentives to give the lower class, parties will take a large hit and will lose an enormous percentage of support, which would cause the lower class to no longer be rewarded with state resources. It may lead to a chain reaction, hurting the middle class who are one of the largest beneficiaries of the clientelistic system, all the way into the upperclass. If this hypothetical situation were to occur, the entire democratic institution could disassemble. (Edie 150). Clientelism shows us that politics are on a patronage-based system, and although some scenarios are strictly patron-client based, many involve dual dependency, meaning both parties are dependant on one another, such as the lower class being rewarded with jobs which they need, while the political parties are rewarded with votes which they also need. Politics in Jamaica work on an exchange basis involving incentives, which means once these incentives become harder to allocate or to even maintain, the “fuel” for which run these political machines will be tapped dry.

    6.
    As the 1950’s neared, it was brought into public attention that the agricultural based economy was acting as a giant barrier in the Caribbean with regards to modernization and increasing national capital. In order to overcome the strong economical dependency on agriculture, an economy based on foreign investment and industry expansion into non-agriculture based fields was recommended. The proposed solution was the model put together by Aurthur Lewis, which aimed to slowly phase out the agricultural sector as a main source of capital, and replace it with numerous industry-based sectors. “Lewis’s own observations of the region had led him to recognize that primary agriculture was incapable of providing enough jobs, let alone the sustained development of the area,” (Thomas 76). It was stressed that exports needed to be exponentially increased (although this proposition was essentially ignored despite efforts), as well as allow foreign investors to enter the economic sector of the Caribbean. Although Lewis’s developmental model did indeed offer a boost to the Caribbean economy in general and allow countries like Puerto Rico to modernize rather rapidly, the weaknesses and problems that aroused as a direct result were far from few.
    Import substitution aims to reduce the amount of imports with domestically produced alternatives, therefore leading to an increase in exports. In actuality this concept did not perform as flawlessly as expected to in theory. “However, important substitution proved to be very import intensive (often more so than the product it sought to replace), thus making the availability of foreign exchange a critical factor in the sector’s survival,” (Thomas 90). Ironically import substitution was still very dependant on importing, and because of strict export regulations, exports did not increase, but were said to be “discouraged” which certainly undermines the entire principle of import substitution.
    One of the biggest driving forces that led the developmental model was the goal to increase the number of jobs available in the Caribbean territories. “After the policy had been in effect in Jamaica for 14 years and over 150 new industries had been established, only 9,000 jobs had been created,” (Thomas 90). When one of the main goals of a fully restructured economic model fails to meet one of its main goals there is a crippling problem at hand. Industrialization in this aspect succeeded in making the richer wealthier, as well as the middle class, but failed in attempting to create more jobs for the working class. “In fact, it has not even been able to absorb the labour displaced from other sectors by mechanization or by the ruinous effect of these new industries on traditional craftsmen such as shoemakers, carpenter, seamstresses and cooks,” (Thomas 91). Similar to the import substitution failure, the lower class was actually worse off after industrialization than before, meaning workers were displaced because of technological advancement in their field causing them to be replaced by machinery. The economy could not reabsorb them back, which led to mass unemployment, one of the factors that the Lewis model was actually trying to solve, but in reality made worse. Another main weakness that Thomas points out regarding the Lewis model is inefficiency in the industrial sector. “Survey’s have shown that many of the industries established under these programmes operated with significant excess capacity,” (Thomas 91). An inefficient industry is an unsuccessful one, as well as being the mortal enemy to capitalism. Flaws within the model brought about the effect which Thomas identifies as a crippling weakness for the Lewis model. One of the main purposes of the newly implemented economic model scripted by Arthur Lewis was to expand not only the external economy dealing with foreign investors, but to also strengthen the internal economy as well. “The result was that the value created locally by these products remained very low, thus reinforcing this sector’s critical dependence on foreign exchange,” (Thomas 92). Foreign economical expansion can be viewed as a success in monetary terms, but as a result the internal economy failed to expand to the level needed. As a result, the Caribbean was very dependant on foreign exchange, and could not rely on their internal and local economies for a stable and solid source of capital. The external economy grew and expanded, while the domestic economy could not keep up, causing a chain reaction of events diving deep into the local sector, including lowered wages for Caribbean workers.
    A monopoly arose from the industrial expansion, which lead to many problems spawning directly from the lack of competing firms in various fields. “Because domestic value added is so low, the effective protection conferred by tariffs is much higher than the nominal rate of the tariff,” (Thomas 92). This gave companies much lenience on quality control since they were essentially protected by tariffs from the rigors of capitalistic competition, allowing them to skimp on costs and release lower quality products if that is their choice. A lack of functional regulatory agencies for quality control certainly does not help the situation out either, and from these results products that are incomparable in quality with other industrially established countries.
    In order to counteract the dependencies of import versus the inadequate amount of exports, export processing zones were established with the goals of investing through TNC subsidiaries. (Thomas 93). “The net foreign-exchange contributions to the local economy out of current operations is negative; increased exports earnings, significant increases in employment and development of skills among the population have failed to materialize,” (Thomas 95). Most goals of the export processing zones failed to meet expectations; result exports were not increased to a level deemed acceptable. “The second strategy to circumvent the limitations of small, uneconomic, import-substituting activities was to promote industries at the regional level,” (Thomas 96). Thomas explained that this was unsuccessful and results have been little to none in terms of industry expansion on the regional level. “Another weakness of the industrialization process has been its negative effect on technology,” (Thomas 97). The technology that was being used for production and manufacturing was not being locally produced, and therefore another unnecessary expenditure of importing. Urbanization due to industrialization led to a concentration of unskilled workers migrating to the city, who were not able to get employment. Higher crime rates and reduced standards of living were also viewable effects of the urbanization movement. “Electricity breakdowns, improperly functioning telephone and postal systems and public transport incapable of moving the labour force to and form its places of work, became the rule rather than the exception,” (Thomas 98). Thomas claims that the Caribbean infrastructure could not withstand the fast pace of industrialization which is what caused failure in many of these areas. “While the process of industrialization in the region has created many new industries and a certain degree of differentiation in the region’s productive structure, it has fallen far short of structurally transforming Caribbean economy and society,” (Thomas 100). Uneven development and social crisis were the last of Thomas’s explanations regarding the failure of Lewis’s model, which led to an dependancy on the newly developed manufacturing and industrial fields. Nothing was solved here; a dependency on agriculture was simply traded off for a dependency on manufacturing.
    The consequences of industrialization can be physically seen in the Caribbean in the present day. Simply by driving through a city and taking observation of the decrepit buildings and structures, one has just witnessed the effects of mass urban migration, and lack of upkeep. This was not only a major weakness of the Lewis model, but empirical evidence even to this day supports it. The rising unemployment statistics seen in present day prove that modernization did not create more jobs as it suggested; in fact many lost their jobs and became unemployed as a result of modernization. One can even go as far as to say the lower class was better off before modernization had occurred, it was indeed their poison.



    Please be as harsh as possible, I need all the criticism i get.
     
  15. The Internet

    The Internet New Member

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    You have written a good, factual essay... but since you've asked us to be harsh, this is what I'm going to tell you:

    I would suggest NOT beginning each paragraph with those quotes. You can integrate them into the paragraph later on, but as an opener... they just sound sterile and merely descriptive. There's nothing really compelling about them. Negative style points there.

    Make your OWN introduction. Pose a question or introduce a problem. In essence, you want to convince your professor that you have thought critically about the subject... and you want to establish that fact EARLY. As it stands, your essay reads like a "this happened, then this happened, and this is what he/she had to say about it" book report.

    Your first paragraph should include your thesis - that is what your professor will expect. As it is, your "thesis" is telling me early on that your essay will mostly consist of regurgitating what you know or what others have said. Only your last sentence hints at something more... but it's in a passive voice and in a future tense ("As this approach is picked apart, many advantages as well as drawbacks will surface."). I would suggest making that sentence more active. It could be as simple as, "However, a careful analysis of X reveals that while X offers many advantages to Y, it also presents many disadvantages as well."

    Example: Was Jamaica always a Clientele-based system? If not, was their move towards a Clientele-based system part of a regional or socio-economic trend? Blah blah blah.

    You can ask and/or address such points briefly in an introduction. THEN go on to explain them in greater detail in subsequent paragraphs.




    CLIFFS: You need to do two things better, both of which will boost your style:
    1) Prove that you've not only read the material, but that you have also thought about it critically. Do this by adding more analysis inbetween your facts - but make sure that more of it is YOUR analysis. If your essay reads like everyone else was doing the thinking, and you're just reporting on it... then that's how your professor will evaulate it.
    2) Organize your essay better. Begin with a clear thesis which in effect gives the reader a preview of everything that you will lay out in your essay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  16. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    What about this?

    New Thesis - Clientelism acts as a proper and balanced political model if stable, but when the source of patronage is taken away it is nothing more than a conquered political machine.

    New First Intro sentance - Third World Politics have been a global enigma for ages, yet no region is as unique in its political activity as Jamaica.

    I appreciate your help. :bigthumb:
     
  17. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    Again, i encourage all of you to be as harsh as possible, the actual professor ( a noted expert in her field w/ a nationally published and distributed book) will be doing the grading.
     
  18. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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  19. legal eagle

    legal eagle OT Supporter

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    Paper is due tommorow, any people wanna help last minute?
     
  20. Tom Ford

    Tom Ford OT Supporter

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    you've come such a long way
     
  21. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

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    Lukkie OT Supporter

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  23. herpes

    herpes OT Supporter

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    :rofl: out of nowhere
     
  24. dmac411

    dmac411 OT Supporter

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    Faggot ass nigger.
     
  25. guerojo

    guerojo The Crusher-Thats right. OT Supporter

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    Lol. Freaking Rob.
     
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