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Humanities/History Essay

The instructions for this assignment are to
For each of the following five (5) quotations provide:
(a) an accurate identification. Include the full name of the author and the title of
the reading in which the quotation appears.
(b) a precise and concise summary of the reading with an emphasis on its main
ideas. Explain why the quotation is important.
(c) an identification and definition of the time period during which the reading was
written. Explain how the specific ideas, theories, concepts or critical paradigms
contained in the reading shape and define this time period.
(d) a detailed explanation of how the author of the quotation and his or her ideas shape
and define modernity, the Modern Age, and/or the modern mind. This explanation
should include at least three (3) quotations from other course readings and address
multiple course themes/theories, i.e. human rights, liberal democracy, science and
reason, free-market capitalism, progress, industrialization, coherences, Eurocentrism,
the imagined community, the city, invention, evolution, etc. Please note: the majority
of your grades will come from the course-based critical analyses you showcase.

The quotations are:
1. The instinctual state of the ants corresponds to the leadership state among mankind;
however, the principles of a perfect insect state give people cause to think. They have
preserved bees and ants in the struggle for survival and thereby proved their validity.
We earlier noted the following truths about ants:
1. The work of the individual has only one purpose: to serve the whole group.
2. Major accomplishments are possible only by the division of labor.
3. Each bee risks its life without hesitation for the whole.
4. Individuals who are not useful or are harmful to the whole are eliminated.
5. The species is maintained by producing a large number of offspring.
It is not difficult for us to see the application of these principles to mankind: We also
can accomplish great things only by a division of labor. Our whole economy
demonstrates this principle. The ethnic state must demand of each individual citizen
that he does everything for the good of the whole, each in his place and with his
abilities (Principle 1).

2. The bourgeoisie, whenever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal,
patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that
bound man to his natural superiors, and has remaining no other nexus between man
and man than naked self-interest, than callous cash payment. It has drowned the
most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine
sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal
worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered
freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedomFree Trade. In one word,
for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked,
shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and
looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest,
the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourersand has reduced the family
relation to a mere money relationAll that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is
profaned, and man is last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of
life, and his relations with his kind.

3. For this exclusion [of women from the rights of citizenship] not to be an act of tyranny
one would have to prove that the natural rights of women are not absolutely the same
as those of men or show that they are not capable of exercising them. Now the rights
of men follow only from the fact that they are feeling beings, capable of acquiring moral
ideas and reasoning about these ideas. Since women have the same qualities, they
necessarily have equal rights. Either no individual in mankind has true rights, or all
have the same ones; and whoever votes against the rights of another, whatever be
his religion, his color, of his sex, has from that moment abjured his own rights.
It would be difficult to prove that women are incapable of exercising the rights of
citizenship. Why should beings exposed to pregnancies and to passing indispositions
not be able to exercise rights that no one ever imagined taking away from people who
have gout every winter or who easily catch colds? Even granting a superiority of mind
in men that is not the necessary consequence of the difference in education (which is
far from being proved and which ought to be if women are to be deprived of a natural
right without injustice), this superiority can consist in only two points. It is said that no
woman has made an important discovery in the sciences or given proof of genius in
the arts, letters, etc. But certainly no one would presume to limit the rights of
citizenship exclusively to men of genius. Some add that no woman has the same
extent of knowledge or the same power of reasoning as certain men do; but what does
this prove except that the class of very enlightened men is small? There is complete
equality between women and the rest f men; if this little class of men were set aside,
inferiority and superiority would be equally shared between the two sexes. Now since
it would be completely absurd to limit the rights of citizenship and the eligibility fort
public office to this superior class, who should women be excluded rather than those
men whoa re inferior to a great number of women?

4. A real subjection is born mechanically from a fictitious relation. So, it is not necessary
to use force to constrain the convict to good behavior, the madman to calm, the worker
to work, the schoolboy to application, the patient to the observation of the regulations.
Bentham was surprised that panoptic institutions could be so light: there were no more
bars, no more chains, no more heavy locks; all that was needed was that the
separations should be clear and the openings well arranged. The heaviness of the old
‘houses of security’, with their fortress-like architecture, could be replaced by the
simple, economic geometry of a ‘house of certainty’. The efficiency of power, its
constraining force have, in a sense, passed over to the other side – to the side of its
surface of application. He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it,
assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play
spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he
simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection. By
this very fact, the external power may throw off its physical weight; it tends to the noncorporal; and, the more it approaches this limit, the more constant, profound and
permanent are its effects: it is a perpetual victory that avoids any physical
confrontation and which is always decided in advance.

5. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today,
signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great
beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames
of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the
life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains
of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty
in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro
is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his
own land.
And, so, we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve
come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote
the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they
were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note
was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed
the unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is obvious
today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of
color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the
Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.