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The Human Condition: Message Lost in the Capitalist Machine

The Human Condition: Message Lost in the Capitalist Machine

In The Human Condition, by Hannah Arendt, the fundamental qualities of human behavior are described and analyzed. These qualities are first described by discussing the different entities present in the lives of Athenian Greeks. This partition of human life into separate units is supposed to be applied to modern American society as well, however, the structure of today’s social order differs from that of ancient Greek. These disparities cause the analysis and ideas projected on the human condition to be contrasting as well.

Arendt refers to the three elements of the human condition as vita activa: labor, work, and action, which correspond to the reason which humans have been granted life. According to Arendt, labor is the biological functions which define life itself, work is the artificial function of human existence and so defined as “worldliness,” and action is activity that goes on between man and matter and leads to the permanence of a particular human’s existence. These divisions are important in viewing the human life as a whole, seeing how Arendt divides it into two realms: the private and public. The private realm is where work is executed and labor is present, and a hierarchical family is the basis of activity with the male at the top. Since work and labor are when humans are at their most natural state and in touch with their biological functions, this is the simplest sphere of life. The public realm, which only exists for the dominant figure in the family, is most closely related with action and is where man gains a sense of freedom. This freedom comes from the fact that when humans meet in public, they discuss ideas and exchange views. Through this exchange, thoughts are developed free from the constraints of private life and primordial necessities. In this respect, freedom in the ancient Greek world was defined as the ability to contemplate thoughts and discuss socially. This is where the morals and ideals of society are formed and a common good is derived which creates a social standard.

These social standards and their methods of development were valid during the days of ancient Greece, but are not contemporaneous with modern American society. The society of modern America, which coincides closely with the society of the rest of Western Civilization, cannot be analyzed on the same levels that Arendt evaluates ancient Greek culture in respect to her proposed human conditions.

High School Football in Texas is Out of Control

Abstract: High school football in the state of Texas has become out of control. The sport is no longer played for the sake of the school but rather has become a Friday night ritual to these small towns in Texas. The players are no longer just high school kids inter acting in school sports but have now become heroes to these small town communities. Communities simply no longer support their local high school team but rally in pride of their hometown rivalry against another team. School administrators and coaches no longer are teachers and mentors for the kids but are the equivalent to what in professional football are team owners and “real coaches”. Parents have become agents and sacrifice their jobs and homes so that their child may play for the right team. Finally the fans, the fans have lost the sense that it is just a high school sport and changed the game to a level of professional sports. I plan to prove and show that for all these reasons Texas high school football has become out of control. It is no longer the game that it was originally meant to be.

High school football. Is it still just a relatively harmless school activity played amongst students in high school or has the tide turned and the game become out of control? In the state of Texas the game has taken a turn for the worse. Coaches threaten to kill players and use physical force in punishing them. The game is no longer what was simply a sport to entertain the students when pursuing academics. Chartered 727’s for away games. Homes repainted in team colors. Parents relocating so their child can have the best “football” school. The game is not what is use to be and in small towns across the state of Texas a Friday night ritual has chang…

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…e reasons are evidence enough to say safely “High school football in Texas is out of control.”

Works Cited

1. Bissinger, H.G. Friday night lights: A town, a team, and a dream. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1990.

2. Eitzen, Stanley D. Sport in contemporary society. New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2001.

3. Maccormack, John. “Without Permian, playoffs have eerie feeling.” TAAS (1997): C10.

4. Stoeltje, Melissa Fletcher. “Football players are high school celebrities; Pursuing Photo.” AP (2000): Sports News.

5. Layden, Tim. “Friday night fever.” Newsday (1993): 20.

6. Buchanan, Olin. “The sign says it all, y’al l At almost any Texas high school, football game.” AAS (1999):C1.

7. Kurland, Bob. “Fiendish football coaches give new meaning to evil.” TR (1990): D09.

8. Pennington, Bill. “Making sport of education.” TR (1990): D01

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