Political Science Paper

The “gangs of New York” is a term originating from a fictional historical movie based on a non fictional book done by Herbert Asbury in the year 1928.  It is set in the 19th century in Five points District, lower Manhattan New York.

The drama begins in the year mid 19th century with the immigration of the Irish Catholics into the city of New York. What follows is competition for job opportunities between the natives and the immigrant with some degree of racism. There results into bloody battles, which coincide with the New York, draft riots that were there in 1863. The native’s mob is led by Cutting (also known as the Butcher) who works closely with Boss (tweed).  The Irish gang (the dead rabbits) on the other hand is led by Priest Vallon. They battle at the paradise square in the lower Manhattan’s five point district where Vallon is killed. Although the dead rabbits are declared outlaws by Cuttings, he orders Vallon to be buried with honor.

The son of Vallon, Amsterdam escapes the battle scene. He is later captured and taken to an orphanage. He however, reappears and finds members of his father’s gangs being close allies of Cuttings gang. He manages to infiltrate this gang and into the closer circles of cuttings gang. He has a motive to kill Cuttings publicly in one of the events of the anniversary of the Five Points battle which occurred in February 16th. He meets jenny who still enjoyed Cuttings affections before becoming allied to Boss (tweed).

Amsterdam attempts to assassinate cuttings but only leaves him wounded. Later that night, cuttings describe Amsterdam’s late father Vallon as an honorable man who had once beaten him but left him to leave with the shame of having suffered such humiliation. He narrates that later he went to fight him to get back his honor and authority. It is only later that his late father’s former ally (Jonny) who was now allied to Cuttings, exposes the true identity of Amsterdam. He not only exposes his identity but the plot to assassinate Cuttings as well.

The aftermath of that is a knife fight which results into Amsterdam receiving a thorough beating from cuttings amidst the cheers of his gang. Cutting however, lets Amsterdam live. In hiding, Amsterdam is nursed by jenny who too had nursed Cuttings after the attempted assassination. MacGin, Amsterdam’s late father’s former mercenary meets Amsterdam and gives him his late father’s weapon. Thereafter, Amsterdam hangs a dead rabbit at the square. Cuttings get the message and orders happy jack to find out the origins of the message. Amsterdam kills happy jack and hangs him in the square. To get back at him, Cuttings thoroughly beats Jonny.

Macgloin goes to pray in the Catholic Church where he objects Amsterdam’s African-American from praying in the church. In return, Amsterdam beats Macgloin. Cuttings and his gang match to the church only to discover they were out matched in numbers. He swears to return when his gang is ready. It is at this point that Tweed approaches Amsterdam with a plan to defeat Cuttings and back MacGin for sheriff. MacGin is however approached by Cuttings who stabs him as MacGin could not heed to cuttings proposal.

The New York City drafts riot start, and the African Americans as well as the upper class citizens are attacked, as the two gangs meet in battle once more. The Union soldiers come between them killing many of the gang members. Here, Amsterdam kills Cuttings. Afterwards, the New York City is rebuilt.

Types of elitism

Elitism describes the situation where a certain group of a given class feels they are more valuable than the rest. This could be attributed to their wealth, social class, their training, ancestry, intellect among other things which makes them think that their say in certain matters hold more weight than that of others or that they are best suited to partake in activities such as governing.

There are various types of elitism which include; the power elitism, ideological elitism, resource elitism, and literacy elitism. Power elitism is seen for instance during the feudalism era. There were feudal lord to whom the peasantry owed loyalty to. The lord owned the land and controlled the politics and the economy of the society where there existed a social hierarchy. Those at the bottom of this hierarchy were generally oppressed. They produced free labor for the power elite. During this age, there were the monarchies where there existed the noble class of people. The noble acquired their status as a birth right.

In later years the rise of states which was brought about by various revolutions brought about the end of feudalism. Here, the literacy elite blossomed. Individuals who were able to develop various technologies were more valued. For instance, the discovery of the gun powder saw the armies of that time revolutionalise their combat system. Through the use of its army, France brought about the sense of statism.

The resource elite referred to those who possessed resources and had tremendous achievements that the ordinary had no access. These resources include and are not limited to land and technology. This refers to those who in the early days had resources to sail the seas to distant lands and conquer other nations through the use of advanced technologies. They included King Louis XIV who saw France single handed saw France start the first global war which lasted seven years.

The social elite are those in society who are wealthy than others, and generally enjoy a more quality life than others. There are those in the middle class and the destitute too. There is a general tendency of most American to allude that they belong to the middle class while their incomes indicates they are way above the middle class. Some presidents such as George bush have taken to posing for photos in cow boy outfits in a bid to allude to this. President Obama has also been a victim of the same appearing in casual pictures and activities.

Ideological elitism is seen where those who hold certain ideas such as those of governance, think they are best suited to take over the running of societies and governments. Presently there exist the liberals and the conservatives who hold contrasting views on how governments should be run. Each of these ideological elites holds the view that they are the best suited to run their governments and societies. There also existed   capitalists and communists who held such ideas that contrasted fundamentally, and were convinced they were best suited to run the economies of their societies/states.

War-time Statism

Statism is viewed as the belief that a state or a tribe or a gang posses the power to violate the personal freedom of its citizens/members. This allows such a state/tribe/gang to exercise brutal force to make use of its members/ citizens however it wishes for reasons it deems are for the “good “of the tribe/gang/tribe. The gang/state/ tribe go to the extent of robbing from its citizen/members and once they exhaust the members/citizens they turn to the neighbors. This can be simply being explained that if there is no respect for a gang’s own members there cannot exist respect for the neighbors either. It is for this reason that statism results into a mindset that neighbors exist to be mere prey of the others. Therefore, a gang/state/ tribe have to rob or conquer the neighbor or fall victim of the same. What results is an endless situation of civil war. Statism thrives on exploitation of its members and such states are never free while a free nation thrives on production. It is for this reason that most if not all wars have been started by statist states including the 1st and the 2nd world wars.

War-time statism therefore describes such acts of statism that occur in a state during war times. During war times, the state uses brute force to loot the state to facilitate the war. It also uses its power to make innocent citizens go to war to fight for the state. Personal liberty is violated in that sense. During the civil war of the mid 19th century, Abraham Lincoln the then president of the United States America indulged in actions such as the introduction of income taxes and tariffs on its citizens. For the first time, borrowed loans, legal tenders, establishment of new banking and confiscation acts, mobilization of militia, spending of money without the congress approval, jailing of   18000 alleged confederate sympathizers without a chance for trial among other things all for the civil war were introduced. The personal freedom of the citizens is curtailed to a great extent, and public funds looted to finance a civil war that is not beneficial to the public. The citizens are not free in their own country which is purported to be free. Lincoln goes to the extent of directing his treasury to control the cotton trade in the south. In 1865, Lincoln was assassinated.

During the World War I and II the reigning presidents on both occasions direct large portions of the US economy to the wars. Both the infrastructure and labor are dedicated to the wars not to mention that millions of Americans are deployed to fight in these two wars. In the World War II, 12 million Americans participated in the war and yet more were involved in producing war goods. Priority was given to the war, and citizen’s consumer goods were severely controlled during the war. These two wars saw the income tax rise from about 7% on income over 0.5millin dollars to about 77% on income over a million dollars. This saw the federal expenditure rising with a tune of about 400% during this period of war. The government plunged deeper into debts too during this period.

The US government has not declared way from the year 1941 but has found the state perpetually at war from then.

Liberalism and American Conservatism

Ever since the enlightenment age many ideas have come about which include liberalism and conservatism which have been in contrast with each other. Both the supporters of liberalism and conservatism want the same things; quality lives for the American citizens and less people suffering among other diversified positive things. The debate however lies in how to realize these goals. The liberalist is for massive government machinery that allows the government to intervene in areas such as saving the destitute from their misery. They also   generally balance and put checks into diversified areas of the economy such as the sectors of security education, health and security. The conservatives on the other hand support the idea of a small government that does not intervene for its citizens’ welfare or in the sectors of the economy unnecessarily.

The conservatives say that the each citizen is responsible for his/her failure in life and the rest of the citizens are not responsible for it. Therefore, the government should not invest in intervention schemes for the destitute. The conservatives moreover advocates for the privatization of most of the economic and social sectors such as health and education and limited government involvement in the control of trade. They say that competition generally produces more products and opportunities as compared to a controlled economy.

Abraham Lincoln was of the view that the government existed to do those things that the citizens would not individually or collectively accomplish. Therefore, they should not be involved in activities that otherwise the citizens could accomplish individually or collectively. To some extent this is a conservative view.

The liberalists are referred to as the left side and the later as the right side. The left side holds a view of collective responsibility, while the right side upholds individuality. On top of that, there exist many different views between the two parties. The left side gives a green light to gay marriages and abortion as well as the removal of religion from governance. The right side is strongly opposed to this stating that life starts at conception and therefore, abortion too constituted murder. Also, marriage to the right side is instituted only between one male and one female. The right side is also against the withdrawal of religion from governance particularly stating that the Ten Commandments should remain attached on government buildings.

The left side does not approve of the execution of murders stating that the sentence is inhumane. The right side approves of it stating that the sentence is just putting in mind the murderer too took innocent human life. The left side does not support the owning of arms by the citizens arguing that more guns in the state warranted more gun related crimes. They say that the government is responsible for securing the citizens, and they were otherwise not deemed to own guns. The right side however, state that there are already enough laws against illegal ownership of guns, but the arms still find their way into the arms of the wrong people. They therefore, say that the citizens have a right to protect themselves. That is more guns handed to law abiding people mean less crime.

There also exist contrasts on the issue of illegal immigrants with the right side stating that these were not entitled to the rights of legal immigrants or those of the natives. The left side on the other hand, opposes this. The left side holds the view that measures should be put in place to ensure that the minority reached the same standards as the whites. The right side argues that reverse injustice was not the way to go .Thus every one deserved equal opportunity to get what the y deserve according to their ability whether previously marginalized or otherwise.

Over and above all the above there exist more areas of contrast between the left side and the right side in America however their goal remain the same; a better America. The only area they do not agree on is how to reach it.

Jaws growth machine

These terms come from a thriller based on a story at amity an island which is controlled by the authority from the mainland. The island benefits from tourism as has a spectacular beach that attracts a substantial number of tourists. However, there is a dire problem that needs to be addressed. The waters surrounding the island are invested by sharks that kill the tourists and the local swimmers. However, there is a coalition between the local authorities, the security officers, the media and local business owners that down plays this issue. The reason is that if this is brought into the light, the beach might be closed and the locals business would inevitably face losses as tourists would no longer tour the island.

This is a clear indication that the local authority and the local business owners do not care about the general insecurity of the locals and the ultimate loss of lives. This is so long as they continued reaping their profits and personal benefits. It is for this reason that they downplay the security threat. For instance, a girl is killed by the sharks and the media is coerced successfully by the authorities to give this information a blackout.

The mother of a young boy is killed and she offers 3000 dollars to whoever can kill the shark. A local fisherman says he can but not for a mere 3000 dollars. He instead asks for 10000 dollars. This indicates that there is a general sense of exploitation and negligence. So long as some people get what they want they leave others to suffer. They do this by making a coalition with other involved parties and make it easy to oppress the rest.

The lady whose son was killed by the sharks at some point blames a local policeman for not reporting the incident. When a girl was killed by the same sharks she follows up to see that the measures that were taken to see it did not happen again. The truth of the matter is that the policeman had tried to do so but was stopped by the local authorities for their selfish sakes.

It is through the works of socialists such as Harvey Molotch that such vices are depicted. In his book Urban Fortunes, he shows how some people keep land to themselves, and stood to gain a lot of wealth when the value of such lands goes exorbitantly high. These he refers to us the “local growth machine” in his other work works he shows how the media is controlled by political forces to come up with news that do not reflect the situations on the real ground. In other occasions, politicians are ensued in the battle to control the media.

Molotch advocates for the study of cities and their comparisons to see to it that order is achieved. It is seen that authorities are vested with a power to control the people they govern. At the same time they control themselves and many activities as seen above would take place right under the noses of the authorities.

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