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Reema Sharma
Expository Writing 101
Dr. Vogel
Rough Draft (Essay #2)

Battle for Power

When people think of America, the first thing that comes to their heads is

freedom. Being Americans, we are proud of our system of government, which is

democracy – the freedom to choose. We have a say in what goes on in our lives and in

our future. We feel lucky that we have equal rights, fair votes, and free will. Living in a

democratic nation, it may appear that democracy is successful and that it benefits

everyone. However, after reading the essays written by Amy Chua, “A World on the

Edge” and William Greider, “Work Rules,” one gains an insight that democracy is really

not what it seems to be. Instead of living freely in a democratic nation, we are actually

being controlled by a capitalist society.

Amy Chua describes how democracy really is not present in the world. She

explains that democracy causes chaos, trouble, and disputes, contending that, “The global

spread of democracy is the principal aggravating cause of group hatred and ethnic

violence throughout the non-Western world” (Chua 108). In other words, the democracy

that we Americans are so proud of is actually part of the foundation of ethnic tensions.

These ethnic tensions occur because of the uneven power distributions present in

societies. The example of “market-dominant minorities” is used to demonstrate this.

William Greider supports Chua in her stance; however, he has a fitting reply to her

doubts. Greider clarifies that the reason democracy is not triumphant amid the nations is

because capitalism is a standing obstacle to its path.


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Capitalism appears to be an employment system that takes into perspective the

individuals and their rights. Ironically, it is the exact opposite. This system provides

inequality, unemployment, social tension, and uneven distribution of wealth. This just

goes back to Chua’s point; the division of power is the cause of complexities that are

being faced all over the world. Capitalism puts a restraint on the people – it is like a

leash holding onto them by the neck. Greider describes that we still have a form of

feudalism in America. We, the people, are ignorant to it because now it is sugarcoated by

the word “employment.” In this employment system there is a ‘master-servant

relationship’ between the employee and the employer. This term is used to describe the

relationship because, if you think about it, once an employee enters work, he strips

himself of his identity as a person and puts on the costume of a working machine. That

machine is programmed and controlled into doing what the company wants “it” to do;

after all it is only a “thing” and things could not possibly have a voice. Americans and

people from all over the world are just so used to this injustice, that it is invisible to the

naked eye.

This degrading treatment of employees and the vast division of power in

whole, produces such severe feelings amongst the people that could even result in

trouble. To expose this, a reference could be made from Chua’s essay on market-

dominant minorities. Think about this example – a person comes to your house and the

very next day he/she is in control of it. This obviously crushes one’s ego. Your home is

supposed to be your identity and having someone be in command of it is a big slap in the

face – it is just degrading. Metaphorically, lat us say that the house represents a country
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and the invader represents the market–dominant minorities present in that country.

Subsequently the ‘natives’ surrender to violence with the hope to “cure” the unfortunate

reality of it all. Greider uses the domestic example of the work force to represent this

assessment. “A lack of voice and influence injures people and…spreads general damage-

beyond the money-for many others who experience the deteriorating content of their own

work” (Greider 214). In other words, having such a low position damages a person

internally as well as externally in society. Feelings, such as hatred, envy, inferiority, and

competitive behavior are developed and cause the democratic efforts to go astray.

Democracy- freedom - is manipulated, deformed, and held captive by

capitalism. Capitalism takes away our basic civil rights; yet, little is done to fight for it. A

solution that could help diminish these undeserved problems is “labor unions.” Labor

union workers would dedicate themselves to protecting their interest and make sure that

they were getting all of their basic entitled rights. They could help make sure everyone

has an almost equal status and that could eliminate some of the social and ethnic tensions

faced in society. There is a need for labor unions in order for democracy to succeed.

There would be resulting benefits for the reason that labor unions would help create an

“ethos of tolerance,” as described in Thomas Freidman’s article, “What’s Missing In

Baghdad.” This ‘atmosphere’ of acceptance, commitment, and peace will push a society

to come together. When the society, instead of combating, will be able to act as one, they

will have the freedom to progress in society. There will be a power of one from many and

that is the strongest upheld fight.

In their essays, Amy Chua, “A World on the Edge” and William Greider,
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“Work Rules,” we are presented with the fact that we are actually living in a capitalist

society. We are still under rule despite the title that “America is free.” The injustice of

social division based on power is result of this reign and the only thing we common

people can do about it is to work together. To the ears, it sounds like a simple plan,

however, the feelings of envy and competitiveness that are actually lurking within each

other halts us from doing so. Labor unions could help diminish these problems and create

a system that would actually make “our freedom” free.