My favorite guest lecturer would have to be Soren Larsen. I appreciated the insights on the complexities of a global market. I drew a lot of similarities to the End of Poverty, when Jeffery Sachs made similar points about appreciating the rungs of the economic ladder that each nation progresses on rather than trying to boycott those production types. I especially enjoyed that he gave importance to self-sustainability rather than western governance when it came to production and efficiency within developing nations. Although, his lecture raised many questions in my mind about the sustainability of capitalism in a global environment, such as figuring out how possible it is to continue major trade agreements that promote tax evasion for transnational corporations and a cycle of (effectively) slave labor in developing nations. The current global economy will ultimately increase inequality so should current market techniques truly stay in place? If this were to happen however, I would argue that there is a need to make stricter laws about fair working conditions. It would have been very interesting to hear his insights on how to go about doing that since America’s consumer market relies so heavily on slavery. One final question I would have asked is what he thought would replace the capitalist global economy.
While researching Syria, I gained a respectable amount of knowledge on the history of the nation and its civil war. More importantly I was able to have a more informed opinion on a refugee crisis that is the worst it has been since World War II. Researching Syria made me more aware of the global power play that is going on and how that may affect the nations involved. It also brought to light the amount of hatred and fear that is in the air, particularly toward Muslim Syrian refugees, and how similar this is to the rejection of Jewish refugees in WWII. Moreover, research in the war has emphasized the horrors of a well-organized and powerful ISIS, which is now effectively a nation that runs on crime and terror. In this complex turmoil of events, I learned that nearly all research is biased; the best approach was to keep a nuanced, open look at the causes and effects. For example, all 1.6 billion people of the Islamic population cannot be held accountable for the tiny percentage of extremist Muslims. Furthermore, there needs to be an understanding that the war in Syria is not based on religion (although religion has been used as a political tool), so targeting the Islamic population is an ineffective and detrimental move.