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International Relations College - Essay Example

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It is undeniable that many people in the world today are unable to obtain even the most basic of education due to poverty. This social phenomenon leads to a variety of complications such as being unable to obtain education, medicine and shelter. Many people in the world today suffer from malnutrition and even some die of hunger…
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International Relations College Essay
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International Relations College

Two such people are economist Amatya Sen and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer. Their experiences and observations regarding the state of the poor and deprived people today inspired the two authors to write and publish their works that they hope will enlighten the people of the world. Amatya Sen's composition is entitled 'Development as Freedom' while Farmer had 'Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor'. Both works reveal how deep the deterioration of society has reached.
In the two compositions, we hear of true life stories that detail how many of our kind are suffering and how some had their life cut short unnecessarily. Sen calls for social development as a way to give the people the freedom to develop their selves and contribute to the development of society in general. He emphasizes the need to pursue enhanced literacy, accessible and affordable health care, the empowerment of women, and the free flow of information because these are the ingredients which will ultimately deliver us the kind of development we envision.
In the course of his medical practice, Farmer came to know of the many tragedies afflicting other people. In his book, we come to know of the Haitian girl who gave herself to the whims of a soldier who she hoped would rescue her and her family from poverty. In the end, however, she only acquired AIDS from the soldier. Farmer relates how petty criminals die in Russian prison, how many people die of tuberculosis and how many people could have been saved if only social institutions were willing to give a little more.
The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the two works. I will be determining the similarities and differences in their ideas and their treatments of the subject.

2.0 Similarities

The most striking similarity between Sen and Farmer is their exposition of the ills of society particularly that of the deprivation of basic necessities. So many people in the world today suffer from ignorance, disease and death because they were not afforded the opportunity to develop themselves. Some of them were even intentionally left in that state due to certain beliefs that actually contain hidden motives. Both authors wanted people to know the affliction that is surreptitiously killing many of our kind.
Both authors criticize the existing system of society today due to its complacency towards addressing the plight of millions of people of the world. Sen, for example, attacks the belief system that human rights violation is inherent in Asian culture. According to him, such a system was fabricated to justify authoritarians and totalitarian regimes that hide under the guise of leaders and reformers. In any case, this should not serve as an excuse to deprive the people of the freedom to live their life to the fullest. The main problem in the system that characterize the government and other sectors of society today is that they have become engrossed with "identifying development with the growth of gross national product, or with the rise in personal incomes, or with industrialization, or with technological advance, or with social modernization" when they should have given more importance to "social and economic arrangements (for example, facilities for education and health ... Read More
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