Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

A Pluridisciplinary Analysis of the Fractal Complexity in Mwalimu Harold Isaacs' Magnum Opus, United States-Mexican Relations during the Gonzalez Administration, 1880-1884

Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

A Pluridisciplinary Analysis of the Fractal Complexity in Mwalimu Harold Isaacs' Magnum Opus, United States-Mexican Relations during the Gonzalez Administration, 1880-1884

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

A review of Mwalimu/Honorable Teacher Harold Isaacs' curriculum vita (1) reveals that he received his Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA) and Philosophy Doctorate (PhD) degrees from the University of Alabama in 1958, 1960, and 1968, respectively. His MA thesis is titled Cocaine in the Relations between the United States and Peru, 1888-1958 and his PhD dissertation is titled United States-Mexican Relations during the Gonza1ez Administration, 1880-1884, (2) which is the focus of this essay.

In addition to Mwalimu Isaacs being the founder of the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS), Inc. and Editor-in-Chief of the organization's Journal of Third World Studies (JTWS), he has served as a graduate teaching fellow and assistant, associate, and full professor, and is now professor emeritus of History. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on World Civilization, Historiography, American, Latin American, Black American, African and Third World History. He is a member of three national honor societies; has won 27 major fellowships, grants and honors; has developed 21 individual seminars and 128 seminar series dealing with Third World issues, including revolutions, nationalism, superpower relations, cultural influences, the United States, the post-Cold War world, democracy, economic development, human rights, and Western influences; has organized eight annual Third World Studies conferences, four Black History Month programs, and eight annual ATWS meetings; has engaged in 51 scholarly activities since 1981; has written eight effulgent essays that appear in top-notch scholarly journals and edited 56 issues of the JTWS, and counting; is a member of only one scholarly organization--the ATWS; and has participated in 73 other professional activities. But what struck me about Mwalimu Isaacs' curriculum vita is his extraordinary commitment toward Blacks and other peoples of the Third World, having developed a Black Studies minor in 1974, a Third World Studies minor in 1980 and a Black Leaders Seminar Series in 1981, all at Georgia Southwestern State University. This propelled me to search for the reason of this commitment--one that will be embedded in a deep structure and, thus, his magnum opus: United States-Mexican Relations during the Gonzalez Administration, 1880-1884.

Divided into eight chapters, five appendices, and a bibliography, the 247-page text, United States-Mexican Relations, is about the significant events that took place between the two countries from 1880 to 1884 and the impact on their relations. But before discussing the relations during the Gonzalez Administration, Mwalimu Isaacs began with a survey of the relations between the two countries during the first Porfirio Diaz Administration, covering from 1876 to 1880. (3)

In analyzing United States-Mexican Relations, I employ the mathematical concept of Fractal Dimension and Complexity Theory to explore the idea of spectrum progressing from more orderly to less orderly or to pure disorder in the text, since other works on the topic had characterized Mexico as having been extremely chaotic and backward (more on this later). This called for the utilization of the Pluridisciplinary approach that helped me to mix linguistics and mathematical approaches--more precisely, Linguistic Presupposition and Fractal Methodology. The results generated after the MATLAB computer runs suggest that the combination of negative and positive feedback loops, which form the basis of several African knowledge systems, also form a key mechanism of general self-organizing systems discussed in United States-Mexican Relations. Before discussing the results generated from the MATLAB computer runs, it makes sense to begin with an expose of the research methodology employed in this essay.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The major challenge for me was how to transform the linguistic pragmatic or deep-level meanings in Mwalimu Isaacs's literary text for mathematical modeling. …

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