Gamut of Subjects Related Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1338 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
While the film addresses race, the filmmakers also touch upon class and gender issues as well. In Chapter 11 of A People's History, Zinn discusses the robber baron phenomenon and the beginnings of what would become an essentially corrupt system of capitalism in the United States. Workers' unions and labor movements impacted ideologically by the writings of Karl Marx helped to raise awareness of worker exploitation and the need for organization as self-empowerment (Zinn). One of the reasons Americans continue to fear words like socialism is because the corporate oligarchy that began with the robber barons has systematically controlled the media, thus casting a negative shadow on labor rights movements. Magazines like Mother Jones overtly embrace a socialist ideology that provides intelligent counterpoint to unbridled capitalism, but such periodicals are deemed fringe in spite of their astute attention to detail and scholarship.

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For example, Gilson charts exactly who in America earns income in the top one percent bracket. According to Gilson, "most Americans have flatlined," whereas the superrich grow exponentially richer due to their crafty use of market economics (1). In a different chart for Mother Jones, Drum and Gilson debunk myths that are perpetuated by the mainstream media. Because the mainstream media are owned by corporate conglomerates, it is in the best interest of the editorial staff to promote ideologies that support the success of its senior management team. As with the corporate control of textbooks, the control of the media restricts Americans' access to real information. The Internet contains too many sources, including too many unreliable sources, for the average person to sort through. Relying on what textbooks and the media provide means continuing to be brainwashed.

Term Paper on Gamut of Subjects Related to Assignment

Chapter 7 in Lies My Teacher Told Me is about the myth of the "Land of Opportunity." Sure, there are still immigrant success stories even today. The vast majority of Americans, no matter where they were born, remain stuck at a certain tier of society. Getting ahead is not about hard work. There is a myth of meritocracy, which is promulgated by American textbooks (Loewen). This myth is particularly damaging, in that it sends the message that anyone who is not rich is somehow not worthy of consideration. Indeed, the "little people," as Leona Helmsley calls them, are the ones footing the American tax bill and are still reminded that their efforts working two jobs for minimum wage was not good enough (Gilson "Only Little People").

This course basically teaches that American history is equal parts myth, propaganda, and fact. While some of what is taught is actually verifiable, it is not the names, dates and places that matter. It is the overarching themes, and the ways topics like race, class, and gender are discussed. Power is the key to understanding American history. Europeans who possessed greater military power than Native Americans were able to steal land from the indigenous; an ideology of racial supremacy allowed the subjugation of Native Americans, blacks, and all other non-European minorities. The rich go rich by whatever means possible, and use the fear of socialism to ensure that the "little people" continue to slave away at minimum wage while the senior executives earn billions.

Works Cited

Allen, James and Littlefield, Allen. Without Sanctuary. Film retrieved: http://withoutsanctuary.org/main.html

Drum, Kevin and Gilson, Dave. "Charts: 6 Big Economic Myths, Debunked." Mother Jones. December 2011. Retrieved online: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/charts-economic-myths-jobs-deficit-taxes

Gilson, Dave. "Charts: Who are the 1%?" Mother Jones. Retrieved online: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/one-percent-income-inequality-OWS

Gilson, Dave. "Only Little People Pay Taxes." Retrieved online: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/taxes-richest-americans-charts-graph

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me. Simon & Schuster, 2007.

Chapter 2: http://teachersites.schoolworld.com/webpages/EGlankler/files/'the%20true%20importance%20of%20christopher%20columbus'%20-%20lies%20my%20teacher%20told%20me1.pdf

Zinn, Howard. "Drawing the Color Line." Chapter 2 in A People's History of the United States. Retrieved online: http://www.edci.purdue.edu/honduras/docs/Zinn%20-%20Chapter%202%20-%20Drawing%20the%20Color%20Line.pdf

"Robber Barons and Rebels" Chapter 11: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnbaron11.html [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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