Emotions And Their Influence On Political Violence Writing Sample

Introduction

Political violence entails a broad range of violent acts aiming at attaining political goals. Political violence is a complex phenomenon, and multiple underlying factors and motives account for its occurrence. The utilitarian point of view which reasons that people use protests as a means to an end can be easily undermined by the impracticality of some politically violent actions. A more plausible hypothesis is that perpetrators are governed by emotions. This essay will discuss the association between emotions and political violence and examine the case of Bouazizi’s self-immolation and its impact on the Arab world.

Political Violence

Emotions are subjective personal experiences that are triggered by both internal and external events. Emotions have the potential of affecting the human mind and body, resulting in physiological changes and encouraging people to take action or behave in a certain way respectively (Pearlman 388). Cosmides and Tooby describe emotions as superordinate adaptive mechanisms, for instance, a stressful situation would make a person fight, flight, or freeze (2).

This mechanism applies to people’s reactions to the political situation in their country – they take action, escape, or stay passive. Pearlman argues that the likelihood of a protest can be predicted based on the prevailing mood in society (388). The author singles out dispiriting emotions such as shame and sadness and emboldening emotions such as pride and anger, with the latter increasing the probability of political violence.

Political violence can be instrumental and expressive: in the first case, a violent act is committed to benefiting the perpetrator financially or socially whereas in the second case, an act serves as an outlet for rage and anger. One of the most resonant acts of expressive violence is the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi. Living in an impoverished rural area, Bouazizi struggled with running a small business because of the constant mistreatment from the police (Abouzeid). After his wares were confiscated and his complaint to the governor’s office was declined, he set himself on fire in the middle of a street.

His death became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring since it was the first open act of protest against the autocratic regimes. Following his suicide, several other men emulated his act – a phenomenon explained by individual-level exposure to political violence and emotional distress (Canetti 940). Protests broke out in Bouazizi’s hometown and spread across his region and the entire country. The same year, Tunisian President Ben Ali stepped down and fled to Saudi Arabia.

Since the association between emotions and political violence is well-known, some political leaders use emotional manipulation strategically. The opponents of Ben Ali portrayed Bouazizi as a heroic martyr who changed the course of political history. They interpreted his actions as purely political, and the broad coverage of the incident on social media added many non-existent details to the story to trigger an emotional reaction.

Another example of emotional manipulation through social media use is the political platform of President Donald Trump. On many occasions, Trump misinterpreted facts such as the state of international relations or crime statistics. In his Twitter, he provokes hostility and uses fear-mongering tactics. For instance, he is famous for saying that Mexicans are “bringing crime, bringing drugs; they are rapists” (Jacobs). Both the exploitation of personal tragedies and the distortion of facts are elements of social engineering.

Conclusion

One of the greatest challenges of political science is finding a feasible explanation for the escalation of violence. So far, some theories have been seeking to describe the “Domino effect” of political conflicts, and namely, why people join violent movements en masse. A prime example of emotional reaction as a catalyst for political violence is the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi and the uprising in the Arab World that followed soon after. The media coverage of a young man’s death was controversial: his image was exploited to criticize Ben Ali’s government. The case of Bouazizi is not the only instance of emotional manipulation in politics; another illustrative example is the tactics used by Donald Trump.

Works Cited

Abouzeid, Rania. “Bouazizi: The Man Who Set Himself and Tunisia on Fire.Time. 2011. 

Canetti, Daphna. “Emotional Distress, Conflict Ideology, and Radicalization.” PS: Political Science & Politics, vol. 50, no. 4, 2017, pp. 940-943.

Cosmides, Leda, and John Tooby. “Evolutionary Psychology and the Emotions.” Handbook of Emotions, edited by Michael Lewis and Jeanette M. Haviland-Jones, 2nd ed., Guilford, 2000, pp. 1-23.

Jacobs, Ben. “Trump Defends Mexican Rapists Claim During Conspiracy-Laden Speech.The Guardian. 2018. 

Pearlman, Wendy. “Emotions and the Microfoundations of the Arab Uprisings.” American Political Science Association, vol. 11, no. 2, 2013, pp. 387-409.

Energy Management: Key Components

Introduction

Data centers consume a significant share of energy produced globally. With the growing demand for services, the number and scale of data centers are expected to rise further over the next few years. Given that the vast majority of data centers use non-renewable energy, this adds to the global burden of electricity consumption, which has become a major issue for governments, businesses, and policymakers. In his article for Global Newswire, Munjack (2019) argues for the use of solar power in data centers and explains whether or not this goal is achievable. The present paper will analyze the news in terms of the key components of energy management.

Internal Focus

The internal focus of energy management is concerned with efficiency, scope, and redundancy of energy use. Several techniques help to decrease the amount of energy used for activities in data centers, thus optimizing operations. Based on the information contained in the article, solar energy can be a powerful solution for many data centers. First of all, Munjack (2019) explains that solar energy is efficient and does not cause disruptions in regular operations.

It is also not susceptible to power outages, which can impact operations, limit business activity, and cause damage to equipment. Solar energy is also flexible in its scope: Munjack (2019) notes that solar panels can be used to power an entire data center or some of its components. Lastly, since solar energy is renewable, it would also help to eliminate redundancy and fulfill internal energy management goals.

External Focus

Among external factors affecting data center operations, energy management is mostly focused on costs, losses, and green initiatives. In the article, Munjack (2019) addresses the external focus of energy management in data centers by comparing the cost of solar energy with that of regular power sources. The author shows that, as renewable energy costs do not increase over time, it can save companies thousands or even millions of dollars, therefore improving the efficiency of energy use.

This is particularly important since data centers demand more and more energy each year, which leads to steep increases in energy costs (Hintemann, 2017). Another source of expenses to consider, however, is the installation of solar panels and the implementation of a new energy source. Munjack (2019) mentions that this would be a costly initiative for any organization, although it should provide a return on investment within three to five years. The article does not address the possible losses that can result from implementing solar energy initiatives in data centers.

Green initiatives and sustainability are critical topics of interest in energy management, and the article addresses these elements in full. First of all, Munjack (2019) mentions the global ecological crisis, stating that “a recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees above preindustrial levels by 2040” (para. 1). The author also explained the role of data centers in addressing these issues, as they are among the companies generating and using high amounts of electricity.

Indeed, according to a report by Sverdlik (2016), U.S. data centers consume as much electricity as 6.4 million American households combined, and these figures are likely to increase as more data centers are established each year. Due to the share of data centers in global energy consumption, they contribute to climate change by increasing CO2 emissions. According to a study by Bilgen (2014), energy derived from fossil fuel contributes to climate change and the global ecological crisis. Thus, the issue of green energy use in data centers is an important topic among external factors in energy management.

Based on the information above, the author provides a strong argument for using solar power as part of green initiatives. Munjack (2019) notes that renewable energy sources, including solar power, are an environmentally-friendly alternative to electricity derived from coal, oil, or natural gas. The author also contends that switching to solar power would enable data centers to remain on track with global trends since renewable energy is becoming more and more popular around the world.

For instance, the concept of smart cities involves data centers running on solar or wind power (Klingert et al., 2015). The popularization of renewable energy also means that customers who use data centers’ services are becoming more environmentally conscious, and refusing to switch to green energy might harm data centers’ relationships with clients (Munjack, 2019). The news thus relates to all of the aspects that influence the green element of energy management.

Force Field Analysis

A force field analysis is a useful business tool that provides an overview of supporting and opposing forces in the context of a particular change. In the present case, the article considers both positive and negative aspects of using solar power for data centers. On the one hand, the supporting forces for solar power are its future costs, competition, customer satisfaction, and compliance with the requirements of global sustainability efforts.

While the price of regular electricity is expected to rise continuously due to the deterioration of oil and gas resources, the prices for renewable energy and related equipment are stable and much cheaper than the first option (Munjack, 2019). In terms of competition and customer satisfaction, solar energy also provides an advantage to data centers due to the clients’ increasing environmental consciousness. It is possible that shortly, large corporations will prefer working with service providers using renewable energy (Munjack, 2019).

Lastly, global sustainability efforts also involve various rules and regulations for energy consumption. For example, the European Code of Conduct for Data Centers requires organizations to have a power usage efficiency (PUE) below 1.80 (European Commission, n.d.). While solar power enables data centers to reduce PUE to this value, it will also ensure their compliance with any future regulations targeting energy consumption and renewable energy use.

On the other hand, there are some opposing forces associated with the proposed change. The most significant opposing force is the cost of investment, as Munjack (2019) acknowledges that large data centers will face substantial expenses related to the installation of solar powers and shifting to a new energy source. Given the continuously growing demand for data center services, organizations already invest high amounts of funds into opening new facilities and thus might be critical to the idea of such an expensive project.

The second opposing force that is important in the case is that data centers might not be able to install as many panels as needed to power the entire facility and will need to supply energy from the grid. This could be problematic because high-volume renewable energy resources are usually located in remote areas, whereas data centers need to remain close to their clients, who are typically based in cities (U.S. Department of Energy, n.d.).

As a result, there are significant concerns related to the accessibility of solar power. The final opposing force is that data centers will need to establish new service supply channels or recruit new staff to monitor the panels and maintain them in a working condition. This would result in additional expenses and will take time, thus increasing the complexity of the process of shifting to a new energy source.

Power Usage Efficiency and the Evaluation of Data Centers

As other organizations consuming high amounts of electricity, data centers are the focus of continuous evaluation, both internal and internal. Internal assessment enables energy managers to ensure that the power is used effectively, whereas external assessments performed by researchers and organizations determine data centers’ compliance with regulations and their role in global sustainability.

Power usage efficiency is a significant component in the evaluation of data centers, as it shows to what extent the energy consumed by the facility is used directly for business activity (Avgerinou, Bertoldi, & Castellazzi, 2017). A high PUE means that an organization uses more energy than needed and should seek ways to improve internal energy management. A low PUE value, on the other hand, means that the vast part of the organization’s energy consumption is related to its business activity, and thus the facility is more sustainable.

Solar energy provides a way for data centers to improve their compliance with regulations regarding PUE, as it is linked with increased reported efficiency. Avgerinou et al. (2017) state that, in the Nordic countries, where renewable energy sources are widely used, the PUE values are the lowest. This is mainly because solar energy is not considered in the total energy consumption in PUE calculations (Avgerinou et al., 2017). Therefore, switching to solar energy provides facilities with an opportunity to ensure compliance with regulations and reduce their energy consumption.

Energy Consumption by Data Centers

Energy consumption by data centers is the primary topic of concern about solar power. The complexity of operations in this type of facility means that there is a variety of elements that require substantial energy to operate, including the IT equipment, facility equipment, power elements, and cooling. Based on the analysis produced by Makris (2017), half of the energy consumed by data centers is used for cooling parts, and over one-third is required for various IT equipment.

As data centers use a noticeable share of global energy, this means that energy management is tasked with reducing energy consumption without decreasing the functionality of data centers or affecting their operations. Switching to cleaner, renewable energy can assist in achieving this goal and result in the increased effectiveness of energy management in data centers.

Conclusion

All in all, as shown in the paper, the news about data centers’ possible switching to solar power relates to all the major components of energy management. The analysis also provides evidence that a shift to solar power would benefit data centers around the globe, despite the opposing forces involved in this change. As organizations using significant amounts of energy, data centers can assist in global environmental efforts by increasing their reliance on renewable energy. Moreover, by changing to solar power and thus improving efficiency, data centers would contribute to energy management.

References

Avgerinou, M., Bertoldi, P., & Castellazzi, L. (2017). Trends in data centre energy consumption under the European code of conduct for data centre energy efficiency. Energies, 10(10), 1470-1487.

Bilgen, S. (2014). Structure and environmental impact of global energy consumption. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 38(1), 890-902.

European Commission. (n.d.). The European code of conduct for data centres. 

Hintemann, R. (2017). Why and how the energy requirements of data centers are growing. Dot Magazine

Klingert, S., Niedermeier, F., Dupont, C., Giuliani, G., Schulze, T., & de Meer, H. (2015). Renewable energy-aware data centre operations for smart cities the DC4Cities approach. In Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems (SMARTGREENS) 2015 International Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-9). Lisbon, Portugal: IEEE.

Makris, T. (2017). Measuring and analyzing energy consumption of the data center. 

Munjack, L. (2019). Data centers energy consumption make a strong case for solar. Global Newswire

Sverdlik, Y. (2016). Here’s how much energy all US data centers consume. Data Center Knowledge. 

U.S. Department of Energy. (n.d.). Renewable energy

The Moral Structure Of Humanitarian Intervention

The chapter The Moral Structure of Humanitarian Intervention by Fernando Teson is a good example of how the representatives of the Neoliberal lobby in this country (such as the author himself) go about trying to convince readers that there is nothing wrong about America’s agenda to continue violating international law in the most blatant manner. The reason for this is that, according to the author, the very political realities in today’s world call for the legitimization of the practice of ‘humanitarian intervention’, which is, in fact, nothing but a euphemistically sounding synonym that denotes the notion of ‘military invasion’.

In other words, it will be thoroughly appropriate to refer to the concerned chapter as the pseudo-philosophical justification of aggressive war – even despite the well-meaning sounding of many of the author’s arguments. When subjected to the analytical inquiry, however, these arguments will be revealed as such that they do not hold any water whatsoever.

The validity of this suggestion can be illustrated, concerning just about every argumentative claim, contained in the chapter. The author’s the most notable logical fallacy is concerned with the epistemic nature of his assumption that: “Just as national self-defense is justified as a defense of persons (me and my compatriots) against an aggressor, so humanitarian intervention is justified as a defense of persons (foreigners) against their own government” (Teson 392).

After all, this assumption does appear strongly axiomatic, in the sense that the author refuses to recognize that there may be any alternative points of view on the subject matter in question. Apparently, Teson expects people to recognize the soundness of his suggestion, in this respect, just because he said so. This simply could not be otherwise, because the author’s attempts to convince readers that it is Ok invading a foreign country under the pretext of ‘defending democracy’ are best described as rather feeble.

For example, according to Teson, there are situations when the governments of foreign countries can no longer be considered the legitimate agents of national sovereignty – usually because of the affiliated governmental officials’ willingness to indulge in the acts of genocide against their own citizens. It is understood, of course, that just about any governmentally endorsed atrocity represents a morally objectionable act – something that should come to the attention of the UN Security Council.

The author, however, suggests that the UN Security Council can no longer be deemed a legitimate arbiter in the arena of international politics – all due to the presumed ‘ineffectiveness’ of this organization: “Before the UN Security Council authorizes the use of force against a criminal regime… many improbable things have to happen” (Teson, 402). Apparently, it never occurred to the author that the UN Security Council is not there to help the US toppling ‘criminal regimes’ in the resource-rich countries – the organization’s mission is to enable the world’s most powerful countries to mediate their differences peacefully, so that no major war may break out again on this planet.

Given the fact that each of the Council members has its own geopolitical agenda, there can be no universal definition as to what the notion of ‘criminal regime’ stands for. The Moral Structure of Humanitarian Intervention does not even slightly contribute to constructing such a universally accepted definition because the author’s view on what is moral/immoral in the domain of IR is highly subjective.

For example, while elaborating on what should be deemed the indications of a particular government being illegitimate, Teson evokes the notion of “standard of substantive justice” (393). He, however, does not bother to explain what this ‘standard’ stands for, or where it came from, in the first place. In all probability, the author had in mind the American standard of ‘substantive justice’.

And we all know how this ‘standard’ is being used by the US in practice – if a particular resource-rich country refuses to act as America’s lowly puppet, the US Department of State accuses it of having violated ‘human rights’, with the controlled media beginning to raise hysteria about this government’s sheer ‘evilness’. In its turn, this prepares ground for the US-led military invasion of this country. On the other hand, the governments of those countries that are considered America’s allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, enjoy full freedom doing the most despicable things to their civilian populations, with the US preferring to turn a blind eye on it.

Today’s Ukraine is particularly notorious, in this respect – ever since the US-endorsed ‘democratic revolution’ of 2014, this country has been ruled by the fascist junta, which flies swastika flags and pursues the policy of genocide against its own Russian-speaking citizens in the country’s East (Mearsheimer 85). The US Department of State, however, could not care less about it – it is specifically the ‘violation of gay-rights’ in the ‘Russian occupied’ Crimea, over which the Department’s representatives prefer to cry crocodile tears in public.

As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear to more and more people in the world that America uses ‘humanitarian intervention’ to advance its own geopolitical interests – even if it comes at the expense of destroying other countries and plunging them into the chaos of a civil war (as it was done to Yugoslavia, Lybia, Irag, and now Syria). This, of course, cannot result in anything else but in undermining America’s reputation, as a geopolitically responsible country.

Hence, Teson’s another ‘brilliant’ suggestion – when it comes to invading a foreign country, America should use mercenaries: “Hiring mercenaries solves the problem” (or breaking international law and getting away with it). Moreover, mercenaries are professional soldiers who will presumably increase the chances of victory, so they are preferable for efficiency reasons as well” (404). This particular claim appears especially ridiculous – being greed-driven professional killers, mercenaries are the least fitted for the role of ‘humanitarian relief workers’.

What it means is that America’s intention to form ‘private armies’ for the purpose of using them abroad will be automatically looked upon in terms of casus belli by most countries in the world. In its turn, this will contribute to the escalation of geopolitical tensions on this planet –something that should naturally cause the number of the intentionally organized ‘humanitarian catastrophes’ in the world to continue increasing exponentially.

There can be only two explanations for Teson’s persistence with advocating the idea that ‘humanitarian intervention’ is permissible. One of them has to do with the possibility that the author is arrogant enough not to understand that, given the new political and economic realities in the world (brought about by the rise of Russia and China), yet another US-led ‘humanitarian intervention’ may result in triggering the outbreak of the WW3.

However, it is most likely that Teson merely acts on behalf of the earlier mentioned Neoliberal lobby in America, which now supports Hillary Clinton in her Presidential campaign. Those representatives of America’s financial elite, who belong to it, believe that the US must continue imposing the essentially unipolar (with America in the center) ‘new world order’ upon every other country on this planet while using military force to deal with the locally bounded instances of resistance. This is the actual reason why the notion of ‘humanitarian intervention’ is now being popularized by such authors as Teson.

The author is smart enough not to make any explicit references to America, as the would-be perpetrator of ‘humanitarian intervention’. However, one does not have to be a genius to realize that Teson’s chapter is written for the specific purpose of providing a philosophically sound justification for the US to continue violating international law, as something that is meant to delay the collapse of America’s economy due to the enormous budget deficit. After all, as it appears out of the chapter’s context, it matters very little whether the ‘humanitarianly intervening’ country is genuinely concerned about trying to help the ‘oppressed’ or not.

The only thing of importance, in this respect, is to repeat the mantra ‘criminal regime must be deposed’ often enough: “Even if right intent should be a requirement for the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention, the presence of non-altruistic motives does not invalidate the goodness of the act” (Teson 398). Thus, it is indeed quite impossible to refer to the reviewed chapter as anything but a pretentiously sophisticate but morally repugnant glorification of aggressive war. Apparently, the author does not quite understand that those who provide a philosophical justification for this type of war are just as liable to face criminal charges, as such war’s actual perpetrators themselves – something that was shown to the whole world in 1945, during the Nuremberg Trial.

Bibliography

Mearsheimer, John. “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions that Provoked Putin.” Foreign Affairs 93.5 (2014): 77-89. Print.

Teson, Fernando. “The Moral Structure of Humanitarian Intervention.” Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics. Eds. Andrew Cohen and Christopher Wellman. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2014. 389-404. Print.

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