Advanced Essay #4 (Saamir Baker)

I decided to talk about the things we do as American citizens that we don't think impact the world around us in a negative way but do. But we never care to actually see how and why because we are commonly stuck in our own bubble away from the world.

When you’re asked what is violence and how it is categorized nine times out of ten the first thing that would come to mind is someone punching another person in the face, a kid bullying another kid, or even in extreme cases war. Commonly after having these initial thoughts, once you have the chance to think more about it you develop stronger thought.  But have you ever thought of the violence of economic imperialism with big business? How we as Americans unknowingly inflict a violence economically on a daily basis?

Imperialism is the act of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or force. According to its official definition. But economic imperialism is when a country extends its power to another in ways that affect it economically. As with recent rhetoric from our POTUS, we’ve have heard how jobs have been outsourced by American companies to be made cheaper. But we never think about what happens with these outsourced jobs or how the cheap labor affects the employees. There are lower quality workspaces for these employees to the point where suicide and death is common among these work forces, pay is abysmal and employees cannot be able to afford the products they are making. Big business colonize these third-world and low-income areas with factories with poor conditions and low income because they can get away with it.

We invest in many industries that profit off of sweatshops and one of the biggest ones is iPhone sweatshops where employees are paid as little as £1.12 per hour for things that cost over 600 dollars sometimes even as high as 1000 dollars. Employees on these wages could barely afford the cheapest iPad after two months of work. Not only is this unfair pay for how much products are sold for, but the real violence is what goes on within those sweatshops. Where underage people are employed are on a regular day, and more than 18 people are killed themselves specifically in a factory in Shenzhen. Where new “safety” precautions are nets put up all around the factory to prevent more people from killing themselves.  

Spotted in pop culture and in traditions that people from all over the world have is diamonds. A reoccurring theme with Americans is that we never seem to look deeply into how we obtain these things to buy but just that they are brought to us and the way diamonds are brought to us is horrifying. The practices of mining diamonds is commonly called blood diamonds because of the amount of death and malpractices that happen while mining for these. Child labor is also another common practice within this industry. Many times boys as young as nine work with older siblings, fathers, or both to mine the diamonds that we wear on our fingers, around our necks, and on our ears. While miners obtain minimal wages for their described as back breaking work. Businesses that refine diamonds are the ones making big money by profiting off of these rare and widely demanded gems.

A movement that has gained a strong pushed but slowly has died down is the child labor movement in the Middle East. For decades children are sold by their parents to carpet makers primarily to make the highly coveted and expensive hand made carpets. These children are typically starved, mistreated, and abused while making these carpets for consumers. How does American big businesses affect this? These handmade rugs are imported and sold for hudreds sometimes thousands of dollars while these children receive none of the profits and are forced to keep creating them in a broken system.

It takes a more creative approach to think about things that are truly acts of violence or things that could cause violence that we do that impacts the world. We usually only think of war as the biggest cause for how we as American citizens create violence but the small things like what type of phone we buy, the jewelry we wear, and the things we buy to furnish our home violently affect others around the world in many different ways.


Mailonline, Imogen Calderwood For. "'Blood diamonds' dug from African mines by children as young as 11, gold taken from 25m underwater by kids aged 9: The slave labour scandal behind the jewellery hanging around your neck." Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017. <>.

Cooper, Rob. "Inside Apple's Chinese 'sweatshop' factory where workers are paid just £1.12 per hour to produce iPhones and iPads for the West." Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.