Justice and power

Amanda Ung | In this exhibit, the theme of power play a very big role in different societies. From the early B.C. eras to present day, the idea "power" have not changed drastically, but they have been dealt with differently. In each picture of art presented, I will talk about how power in different societies are portrayed in different art pieces.

In this picture by David Alfaro Siqueiros, you can see what they call the "Proletarian Mother," meaning a mother who works by manual labor. And in the picture, she has children, who are weighing her down because she doesn't have the money to support them. In The Republic, the topic of justice comes up. Socrates, Polemarchus and Caphalus argue about what the actual meaning of justice is. It can be viewed in different aspects. Such as someone who isn't financially stable, will steal of kill to provide. Socrates says that speaking the truth and paying debt isn't a correct definition of justice because what happens if the person can't pay the debt? Such as the Proletarian Mother, because she is working to provide and probably doesn't have enough money to provide. It ties in with the theme of power because those who are in higher in power are not facing these types of situations. In The Republic, there was an example that was brought up about a man with a weapon. The man with the weapon probably was not high in power and had to use the weapon in order to obtain something that he needed because he could not provide or afford it. Just as the Proletarian Mother, she is poor and needs to provide for her children. So, I would not be surprised if she were to act unjustly in order to compensate for her low wages.
With this wall art, I picture a man who is craving power. His face expression shows what a mad man's face would look like. In The Republic, the panel before this shows a proletarian mother, who looks like she would do anything to provide for her children. In this wall art by Cleon Peterson, it shows the exact opposite. It shows a man wilding. It shows a man who would do anything that would be considered unjust, only to get a satisfaction out of it. This would be going against everything Cephalus stood for. He stood for justice being honest and standing up to legal obligations, not defying them and wilding for a satisfaction.
In this picture by Frida Kahlo, it depicts a woman who is giving birth. I personally take this as woman being strong and powerful because they are able to care for themselves and their child. In Rousseau, Discourse of Inequality, Rousseau talks about how ..."The mother being able to carry her child about with her wherever she goes, can perform the duty of a nurse with a great deal less trouble, than the females of many other animals, who are obligated to be constantly going and coming with no small labor and fatigue..." This is basically saying that human beings are very powerful and capable of nursing another being in them, and are capable of having the power over animals to carry their child with them, fending for them and taking care of them. I connect this with power because woman are very powerful in the sense that they are capable, and their child is exposed to danger, they fend for their child before themselves. Even in the picture, it shows the things that are involved with pregnancy, there is a baby, there is even a picture of the pelvis, implying that the woman's pelvis goes through a lot and that their pelvis is very powerful, powerful enough to carry a child. Woman are powerful.
Rousseau talks about man in its simplest form. In this art piece by Benvenuto Cellini, it shows a man in no riches or no luxuries. Rousseau says, "He cringes to men in power whom he hates, and to rich men whom he despises; he sticks at nothing to have the honour of serving them; he is not ashamed to value himself on his own weakness..." This basically means that man cringes to other men who are in power and who have riches and luxuries to protect themselves. Rousseau says that man is not ashamed to value himself. He says if he strips man from their supernatural powers and artificial facilities, we are no different than animal. We are powerful without all the technology and facilities and supernatural gifts we are given at birth. Rousseau says that we are powerful, we are strong, and we cringe to those who are taking advantage of what our body and nature provides us.
In this picture, Guards of the Great Wall of China by Gan Rak-yeon, I picture something more than just a wall. I sat here and thought to myself, what's the point of the Great Wall of China? I think there's more to it than just protecting their people from Mongolian invaders. I thought of the wall more as a way to shut people out. I feel like China thinks that they are so powerful that they are able to shut out any outside influences with the wall. Mongolia is a Parliamentary type of government, and China wants to stay communist. I feel as if the wall is another way of blocking off to other parts of the world what's actually going on. There are still poor people in China, defeating the purpose of Communism. Marx says, "Capital is, therefore, not a personal, it is a social power" but Communism is basically a form of social power. The people of China cannot go against what China claims to want, the power of the wall is literally blocking off everyone's freedom.
I choose this particular art piece by Jacques-Fabien Gautier-Dagoty, because it says a lot about the human body. The human body is made up of bones, muscles, organs, etc. Almost every body is the same. Just different masses and bone lengths. This picture shows the muscles of the back. In this picture, it is a woman that is shown. Woman are just as strong as men. We all have muscles in our body, it just may not be as strong as men. But that doesn't make us any different. Mary Wollstonecraft says, "Indeed the word masculine is only a bugbear: there is little reason to fear that women will acquire too much courage or fortitude; for their apparent inferiority with respect to bodily strength, must render them, in some degree, dependent on men in the various relations of life; but why should it be increased by prejudices that give a sex to virtue, and confound simple truths with sensual reveries?" This is basically questioning why we are also judged on our physical strengths, but when it comes down to it...the female human structure is that of the male human structure. Woman are stripped from power because we are supposed to be considered the housewife, etc. When in fact, we are just as strong. Hilary Clinton, for example, is running for president. She is powerful, but never will be as powerful as a man. Society has deemed woman to be less powerful, no matter how strong the woman is physically or mentally, there is no change as to how society will view woman.
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