- “I think if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to Western music, and have free elections,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Watch the three-minute interview here, the quote is about 25 seconds in.) Do you agree with him? Are those good indicators of a free society? Why or why not? What are some other indicators of a free society?
- Free elections are probably an excellent indicator of a free society! (How different societies define a “free election” is a more problematic question.)
- The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which influenced national constitutions all over the world, is probably another good indicator of a free society. It guarantees freedom of religion, freedom of speech (this is where jeans and music fit in), freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble, and freedom to petition the government. In fact, the whole Constitution and Bill of Rights is a good outline for a free society.
- In 1941, preceding U.S. entry into WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt outlined a universal “Four Freedoms:” freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu was mistaken about at least two aspects of the human geography of Iran. Were you? Did you realize that young Iranians wear jeans and listen to Western music? If you had misconceptions, why do you think you held them?
- Choose a continent, and read about its human geography in one of our encyclopedic entries. Find the short section “Contemporary Cultures,” usually near the top of page 2 of the entry. Is there an aspect of human geography you didn’t expect?
- the Bambuti (so-called “pygmies,” although many consider the term offensive) are spearheading human rights campaigns throughout Central Africa?
- Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood?
- rugby (not soccer/football) is the leading sport in Australia and Oceania?
- more than half of Europeans are fluent in a second language?
- Little Havana, Little Mogadishu, Koreatown, Little Maghreb, and Barrio Chino are all places in the U.S. or Canada?
- a “samba school” in Rio’s Carnival can have more than a thousand members?