May 26, 2021
Prompt 7: ‘What are the implications of having, or not having knowledge?’
Object 1: Feminist Instagram account (2021 Instagram)
This object provides a feminist outlook on a spectrum of material including LGBTQ+, religion, race, and climate change. It presents followers with a lens into the modern world and its implications. It has a large number of followers ( 6.4 million) suggesting that the knowledge resonates with a wide range of people. It must be taken into account that it is highly subjective and unapologetically political.
The implications of possessing knowledge from this singular account raises awareness in terms of inequalities between men and women. This account contextualizes these inequalities and provides a variety of concrete everyday examples such as the “Not all men” movement, addressing the statistics of rape in the United States. When one is faced with this information, it might lead to an evolving desire for political activism counting forms like protests or within the governmental system. Although this knowledge is valuable for individuals to secure political decisions, many disregard this information due to their established beliefs or ideologies which may be driven by religion or shared knowledge. Therefore, creating someone further absolutist, and making one conform to societal norms in their surroundings. Another factor that one must be aware of is that some are not equipped with this knowledge. This may be due to personal or environmental circumstances which result in a lack of awareness about the rights and freedom that one deserves and hence will not request.
This object was particularly valuable for my personal political knowledge as this Instagram account is one of the sole educational accounts which I follow, hence it has shaped and augmented my political beliefs. Additionally, this object is modern as it illustrates the impact of social media platforms on political knowledge and opinion. It provides knowledge that is not necessarily taught in a school environment. The implications of this object explore the discrepancies between knowledge and opinion which is motivated by ideology.
Object 2: The George Floyd ‘I can’t breathe’ video (2021 Ichef)
This video displays George Floyd- an African American man who died after being detained in police custody as officers state that he was suspected of handling fake money on 25 May. Subsequently, they proceeded to stop him and hold him down by kneeling on his neck. Despite saying he couldn’t breathe; he wasn’t released and soon afterward died. This video was exclusively revolutionary as police violence had never been displayed on such an accessible platform. This video was followed by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement which further highlighted the discrimination and police injustice that black people face.
The implications of viewing this video are that one is now faced with factual knowledge of racial police brutality that cannot be denied. Although many believe that racial injustice is not prominent in our generation, this video proves that it is still occurring to this day and that change is necessary. When one is faced with this knowledge, it makes it difficult to deny the reality of this issue. Consequently, if one is not provided with this knowledge it makes it easier to ignore racial equality and racism within the police institution. As a result, actions would not be taken to better the lives of black people in the USA.
This object exhibits factual evidence that was widely displayed and led to a major movement that resulted in evolution across the globe. Furthermore, it constructs consciousness about the treatment of black people currently which is unjust as our society still has a lot to achieve. It proposes the question; does a lack of knowledge make an individual ignorant.
Object 3: The Rise of Hitler in my IB history textbook
This object is a chapter in my IB history textbook entitled “Hitler’s rise to power”. According to this chapter, Hitler’s rise to power contributes to a few factors including propaganda, a time of crisis due to the Great Depression, and an already complicated government system. These factors considerably impacted his facility to rise to power as the German society was desperate for any sort of aid.
By being knowledgeable about how past leaders have applied these factors to rise to power can influence our understanding of how powerful authoritarian leaders are and how persuasive they can be. Authoritarian states arise during a state of crisis, this contextual knowledge can provide a base for individuals to not be entirely oblivious by only taking into account the outer layer of a ruler’s ideals but to look more profoundly. However, it is naïve to think that history will not repeat itself and that an Authoritarian state might not arise in the future or even now with Putin’s regime in Russia. The impact of having knowledge is that one might recognize authoritarian tendencies and hence be attentive in their political decisions.
This object focuses on politics through the lens of history and how knowing about the past can influence our current and future political views. The implication of knowing about the past can affect people’s attitudes over time. For instance, according to Harvard (Sen), a state that once made slavery legal is more likely to be politically conservative. History and politics are both human sciences that emphasize the importance of one’s historical knowledge in order to make political decisions.
Sen, Maya. 2021. “How History Shapes Our Political Beliefs”. Hks.Harvard.Edu.
https://www.hks.harvard.edu/more/policycast/how-history-shapes-our-political-beliefs. 2021. https://www.instagram.com/feminist/.