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Length: 6-8 pages/1500-2000 words (double spaced, 12 point font, 2.5 cm margins)

You are writing a ‘persuasive essay’ which involves some research. In addition to the relevant course readings, you will need to find and use two secondary ACADEMIC sources for this essay (not Wikipedia, etc.). You MUST use proper referencing techniques and engage in textual analysis of these sources. Failure to properly document and acknowledge your sources constitutes PLAGARISM and makes you subject to academic sanction.

Instructions Pick one of the essay topics below. DO NOT simply answer the questions in the order that they appear in the topic. The order of presentation is something you need to think deeply about: you need to plan out what you want to say and the order that it would be best to say it. You will be assessed based on how well you understand the concepts, issues and arguments raised in the course material. Return to your introduction after you have completed your draft to ensure that the order of presentation you outline here corresponds to the structure of your essay.

Formal Requirement:

Your title page must include your name, student number, TAs name, and submission date. You will need to find and use two secondary ACADEMIC sources for this essay (no Wikipedia,, etc.). Include a properly formatted bibliography at the end of your essay. Your essay must start with a comprehensive introduction which includes: i. The position the author takes on the key question; ii. Your thesis; and iii. An explanation of how your essay will be organized. Your essay must have a clear paragraph structure, each starting with a clear topic sentence.

Essay Topics:

1. Critically examine three of the progress traps discussed by Wright (hunting, farming and ‘civilization’). Drawing from at least two examples of civilizations that have collapsed, what are the lessons Wright seeks to draw for us? Using examples from the film, Surviving Progress, explain how the ideology of progress can obscure the fact that our civilization is in the middle of ‘the biggest progress trap in human history’?

2. Is capitalism distinct from slavery, or dependent on it? Why does Williams think Smith’s argument is irrelevant to the New World context? How does this challenge dominant ideas with respect to progress? Compare and contrast Williams’ analysis of the economic realities of staple crop production in the New World with the colonial moral ideal of ‘bringing light (civilization) into darkness (savagery)’ in Conrad’s work.

3. What is the difference between the ‘social division of labour’ and the ‘detail division of labour’, according to Braverman? How does the capitalist management of work (Babbage Principle, Taylorism) differ from pre-capitalist forms? What are the social consequences of the capitalist organization of production (consider Federici here, too)? How can we use Rice’s play to illustrate the effects Braverman describes?

4. What definitions of the corporation are offered in the film The Corporation and which best captures what it is? What are some of its ‘personality traits’, according to the film? How did the corporation get so much power, according to Nace? What are the key differences between the classical and the modern corporation? Using examples from the film, explain how its legal form give it greater powers than human subjects.

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