Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cycles of Morals

One of the major themes that we have discussed in One Hundred Years of Solitude is the cyclical nature of history. When talking about the linear progression of Macondo versus the cyclical nature of the Buendia family, I thought about the progression of technology all over the world versus the cycle of values that many cultures are experiencing. While many societies are becoming more progressive, some are trying to revert back to their non-secular and moralistic roots. For example, when Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey, he envisioned a secular and modern nation. Soon it was named the 17th largest economy and was one of the most diverse places in the world. Recently, however, the Turkish government have begun to implement more conservative policies, causing many to fear that the country is moving away from its secular, modern roots and toward an Islamic state. Bizarrely, one sign of this movement that angered many was the announcement of Turkish Airline's decision to implement a more modest uniform for its workers. Many see this shift toward modesty and Islamic values is regression, not progression.

Russia has also experienced a change in its values that can seen as a regression toward more conservative values on the issue of gay rights. In June, Vladimir Putin put into effect a law that would ban any "gay propaganda," which effectively puts talking of homosexuality on a similar level to that of pedophilia. In Russia, instead of surveys showing increasing gay acceptance such as in most of the world, gay acceptance has decreased since even 10 years ago. Many fear this movement toward more conservative values will hurt its standings with the rest of the modern, progressing world, even going as far as to protest the 2014 Olympics being held there.

Here's an article with the pictures of the Turkish Airlines uniforms if you'd like to see:

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