The current times are continuously facing numerous challenges and tough hurdles that are becoming a serious threat to the face of humanity. These threats include; the modern classes of rich and the poor, its effects and technology concerns in relation to modernism. The summary below mainly comes from a number of collections and is aimed at highlighting the escalating threats and thereafter suggesting the way forward for the human race which are supreme to all other inhabitants of the earth today specifically because of their high rational and mental power and capacity.
Manet's painting "The rag picker" was created to bring a more visual picture of the modern man as a result of modernity and technological developments. The confusion and chaos of the current 21st century have forced an ordinary man to be desperate and hopeless that he has even become despondent of a better tomorrow. Owing to these pain man has thus taken desperate measures in order to help bring relieve to his daily problems. Picking leftovers from the composite pits is common today in most world cities and major towns.
According to Baudelaire, the comparison of a poor man and his children who are all dressed in rags, there exist notable classes of rich and the poor who cannot meet their daily needs not because they want but because the rich regularly exploits them. The man remains permanently glued at the caf‚ which he directly says that all the gold was used to paint it. This is a direct indication do the ever present exploitation that is prevalent in our present era.
Since time immemorial, most rich deposits of valuable minerals have been found in third world countries that lack power to control them, and as such the well developed nations have taken advantage of them by purchasing these minerals at lower prices and selling them at good prices to make exorbitant profits. The extreme poverty today has been caused by existence of social classes where the rich control the resources and power and if a poor man wants anything like money then he has to work mostly by providing cheap labor.
According to Flaubert (1919), the rich in the society have made the poor to remain slaves of poverty no matter how hard they may work; they can't raise their living standards as compared to Charles who has lost hope and has no ambition. This is why there continues to be an ever increasing number slum in major cities of developed nations. Modernity has directly created castes where classes exist. Based on Baudelaire's writings, the poor man's older son admiringly wishes to have some of the pleasures found at the caf‚ but cant access because his family cannot afford the standards. The posh gold painted caf‚ is modernly made to suit only people who have money but not the categories of the church mouse.
The painting has created a sharp contrast between the poor and the rich in this era of modernity. The modernity can be compared to the life the rag picker as painted by Manet. This is because of the lack of respect for humanity in particular. The poor always continues to wallow in poverty as the rich remains in the bright face of life and all the related good styles. But based on these humiliations, there should be common base for all human races where all of them can thrive without forming discriminative classes as they are today, because if they do continue to exist, then we are heading towards point of extinction likely to be caused by these greediness and divisions. It is common today that a wealth neighbor cannot help a poor neighbor even if the latter is going hungry without food and former has. This should at least to change for a better tomorrow where there is equality and good cooperation among neighbors, be it in terms of families or nationhood.
The current rush by major nations towards creating a technological modern society has severe consequences which have to be taken with a lot of emphasis and concern. Berman emphatically points out that in order for us to have a better tomorrow then we need to refer back on the 19th century, for us to have a better 21st century. "It may turn out then, that going back can be away forward: remembering the modernisms of Nineteenth century can give us visions and courage to create the modernisms of twenty-first century", (Berman).It is true that in this era, machines have greater uses as they make work easier and efficient.
Computers have fastened numerous operations in different companies but they too have resulted into challenges that have limited the scope and application of human craftsmanship. For us to have a successful modern society that is technically developed, then there is need for us to integrate the practices of man in line with the created machines. If machines are contributing towards the faster realization of firm's goals, then they should be used for a common goal but not a discriminative goal like using machines to replace human labor. This will create unemployment which will result in extreme poverty.
The contents of Manet's painting and the other writings all are talking about humanity, modernity, technology and their effects. The larger part of human population is living below the poverty line and hence not happy about life. There is modern form of slavery where a man of low class has to serve the rich for few dollars and sometimes without food. This is directly compared to Emma who employs an orphan from the convent with the aim of improving her life but then turns out to be inhuman such that the orphan is forced to go without food that she has to hide some sugar which she eats when going to sleep. (Flaubert, 1919).This is what modern society is made of and hence we ought to rise to our feet in order to change the above rotten behavior.
Every human ought to live a life that is fulfilling and enriching but because of current civilization that has been created by modernisms, life is hard to most of them. The summaries of all the readings all coil on one subject of modernity and class systems. No man is an island hence based on the above summaries we all ought to work together to uplift the standards of the less fortunate not by providing them with handouts and donations (Courbet & Mary). If we should give help to the less fortunate, then it should be teaching them how to fish and not giving them fish directly.
Most third world countries have relied on donations and international help so much while within them, there exist full endowments of unexploited resources which can change their lives to be better and even best. Worse still is that those nations which extend their aid tend to0 become unscrupulous on these less developed nations, and even the rich in the society behave in similar way. Therefore as the above writers have related their stories, then there should be a new phase of civilization in the earthly human race where there equality, caring for one another and respect for humanity.
Developed nations need to cooperate with the less developed nations so they can too reach a standard of being independent on their own resources and not relying on donations and handouts because this is what escalates the prevalence of extreme poverty resulting into discriminative classes of the rich and the poor. This is a dream attainable not in the distant millennium but in our own present times, and if we work together, cooperate with each other and ensure the security of one another, then the earth will be a better home for man and his inhabitants.