Synthesis, Essay Example

Please read the selections by: Marx, Douglas, Churchill, Kennedy, Guevara and Gandhi. Once you have read these selections please briefly summarize the following themes: justice, equality, power or civic engagement. Once you have selected your theme, please reflect on related key ideas and demonstrate your critical thinking skills through the formulation of a thesis. This thesis should be your own ideas about how to deal with your theme: justice, equality, power or civic engagement.

Audience: an academic audience and all others interested

Purpose: to summarize and formulate thesis

these are the readings:

The Communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. What to the slave is the fourth of July? Frederick Douglas. The Few by Winston Churchill (speech at the house of commons the 20th of August 1940).Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy. Cuba: Historical Exception or Vanguard for the anti-colonial struggle? by Ernesto Che Guevara. from Satyagraha in South Africa by Mahatma K. Gandhi.


According to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Independence Day for the slave is more than simply autonomy alone. Moreover, this is more than peace of mind and homeownership alone. The 4th of July, or the holiday celebrating the independence of the United States, is represented through the autonomy achieved through the aristocracy acquired by freeing him or herself of the need of owning private property.

Through this, and only by this means, can a former slave (or and human in general); this is really an existentialist outlook as developed by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (Dennett, 1995); similarly, the development of this definition was also built out of slavery and the eventual freedom of slaves, the right-wing authoritarian nationalist government established by Nazis and the master-servant relationships during World War II.  (Marx & Engels, 1848).

The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general.

— Engels, Principles of Communism (1847).

Onto the next: Gandhi’s symbolic mass mobilization protests in India were his extension of the power of civic engagement. Regarding justice, equality, power and civic engagement with Mohondas K. Gandhi, his quotes are complex and loaded with expressions of all three of these qualities. For one,

All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.

This, like the rest of Gandhi’s quotes, has substance. Articulate and then confabulate objectively and honestly: From a societal standpoint, humans need to demonstrate as much respect toward others (outsiders) as we do ourselves and our inner-circle of friends and family.  From an individualistic outlook, all we will have will be an isolated take within ourselves and this inner-circle unless we demonstrate as much respect toward all others, regardless of caste or religious faith. For another, all religions and creeds need to maintain focus on empirical honesty before spiritual reaction.  For yet another, initial objectivity is more important than any emotional reaction.

Communal Development: this broad term applied to the practices and academic disciplines of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens and professionals to improve various aspects of local communities.

Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people by providing them with the skills they need to affect change in their own communities. These skills are often created through the formation of large social groups working for a common agenda. Community developers must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities’ positions within the context of larger social institutions.

During his speech at the house of commons, 20 August 1940, Winston Churchill clearly expressed justice, equality, and the power of civic engagement within these words. The humane efforts of these words are expressed through the immediate urge for the survival of fellow beings:

If the Germans use these commodities to help them to bomb our women and children, rather than to feed the populations who produce them, we may be sure that imported foods would go the same way, directly or indirectly, or be employed to relieve the enemy of the responsibilities he has so wantonly assumed. Let Hitler bear his responsibilities to the full, and let the peoples of Europe who groan beneath his yoke aid in every way the coming of the day when that yoke will be broken. Meanwhile, we can and we will arrange in advance for the speedy entry of food into any part of the enslaved area, when this part has been wholly cleared of German forces, and has genuinely regained its freedom. We shall do our best to encourage the building up of reserves of food all over the world, so that there will always be held up before the eyes of the peoples of Europe, including-I say deliberately-the German and Austrian peoples, the certainty that the shattering of the Nazi power will bring to them all immediate food, freedom and peace.

Moving on, during his Inaugural Address on 20 January 1961, J.F. Kennedy touches on the adage without war, peace cannot be achieved. However, his main point here regards respect for the fellow man, that we need to remember to listen as well as speak:

…neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war. So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy

Moving on, Frederick Douglass had his share of philanthropic words right alongside his remarks of angst, prolific though they are. Of course he was on the defense; after all, he and his entire ethnicity were oppressed.  Regardless, evidently his focus, his continual mindset, had been toward paving the way for the future of humanity:

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Frederick Douglass

Though this next quote mainly casts a future prediction to the right the wrong that Douglass’ had been facing, this also objectively and humanely forewarns of the trouble to come of the oppression occurring:

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

Frederick Douglass

This next quote shows basis for that last quote:

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass

These words of Douglass exemplify the current state of political engagement, and at several levels, and hint on suggestions in consideration of the roles of civil society and responsibilities. Currently, it seems homosexuals have been going through an eerily similar evolution. Thus, U.S. democracy has an ever-growing definition. Nonetheless, these words of Douglass exemplify the current state of political engagement, at several levels, and hint on suggestions in consideration of the roles of civil society and responsibilities. In this essay, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and J.F.K. have also shown variations of the same qualities.


Sources Cited:

Beetham, David. Weir, Stuart. Bracking, Sarah. Kearton, Iain. International IDEA Handbook on Democracy Assessment. Kluwer Law International. (2002)

Engels, Friedrich. Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto, German Manifest Der Kommunistischen Partei (1848; “Manifesto of the Communist Party”), pamphlet written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to serve as the platform of the Communist League. It became one of the principal programmatic statements of the European socialist and communist parties in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dennett, D. C. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. Simon & Schuster. (1995)

Bataille, Georges. Nietzsche and Fascists. (1937) Acéphale: [ HYPERLINK “”] Web: 1 February 2012.

Mazzino Montinari, Friedrich Nietzsche (1974; translated, 1991). Friedrich Nietzsche. Eine Einführung., Berlin-New York, De Gruyter; and in French, Friedrich Nietzsche, Chapter title: “Nietzsche and the consequences”. PUF, 2001, p.121

March, Aleida. The Che Reader. Che Guevara Studies Center and Ocean Press. Ocean Press. (2005).