Tutor profile: Daniel S.
Subject: Political Science
What are the defining features of classical Marxism as a political ideology?
Marxism is a complex ideology, which cover philosophy, economics and politics. The philosophy of Marxism is essentially a theory of history called "dialectical materialism". This sees history as being driven by the conflict between two opposing groups of classes, generally on the basis of material interest. The clash between these opposing forces creates a new and more advanced order or system. This is also known as historical materialism. The economics of Marxism is extremely complex, but is based around the Labor Theory of Value, Surplus Values and Exploitation. The LTV states that labor (people working) creates economic value. Surplus value emphasizes that capitalists make their money from the difference between the value which labor creates and the value which labor is paid. Because labor is also paid less than the value it creates, this surplus is profit which the capitalist now controls. To give an example: a worker spends a day making a chair, which can be sold for $50. However, the worker is only paid $20 a day. So now the factory owner has a $30 profit. The fact that the factory owner makes money from the unpaid value created by the worker is exploitation. The politics of Marxism is related to these ideas. It sees class conflict between workers and capitalists as inevitable, which the eventual triumph of the workers leading to a reformed economic system. In classical Marxism the victory of the workers is both desirable and inevitable.
Subject: International Relations
What theory of international relations best explains the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001?
There are a number of theoretical approaches which could explain this actions: - Realism would account for this case by emphasizing that with no overarching international authority able to regulate the dispute between the two countries, the more powerful US-led alliance was able to take whatever action it deemed fit against Afghanistan. The US was motivated by self-interest, both defensively (in response to the threat from Al-Qaeda) and offensively (geopolitical interests and access to resources). - Liberalism could be used to argue that this war was launched to defend the international order. The Taliban had been repeatedly sanctioned over their human rights abuses and support for terrorism. The war was an act of collective self-defense against a country which had become a rouge actor. While the legal basis of the war is controversial, an argument can be made that it was in line with international institutional practice. - Constructivism would focus on how the threat from the Taliban was constructed in the aftermath of 9/11, and how the internal politics of the US mandated an armed response. 9/11 was viewed in the government and media as a full-scale attack on America, requiring a full-scale military response. The Taliban, as state allies of Al-Qaeda, were the best target for this. Other theories could also be used to explain this, including Marxist theories such as World Systems Analysis. Any theory could provide an acceptable answer is argued clearly enough. Indeed, the best answer may involve a combination of two or more theories.
Subject: English as a Second Language
To test picking up meaning from context and introduce colloquial English: Please put the following sentence into your own words. "I fancy going to the football this weekend."
I would like to go to see the football game this weekend.
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