This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
American Political Philosophy
Edited by Matt Taylor, Jim Hanson, and Brian Simmonds Written and Researched by Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, Sarah Stone
PHILOSOPHERS JAMES MADISON ALEXANDER HAMILTON RALPH WALDO EMERSON JOHN DEWEY WOODROW WILSON FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT TOM HAYDEN HOWARD ZINN JOSEPH NYE, JR. RALPH NADER LANI GUINIER THEDA SKOCPOL bell hooks PETER SINGER
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 2
WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
Edited by Brian Simmonds, Matt Taylor, and Jim Hanson Written and Researched by
Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, and Sarah Stone
About this Handbook The Philosopher and Value Handbook introduces you to arguments, values and philosophers. This volume focuses on American thinkers in philosophy and political theory who will be useful in Lincoln-Douglas value debates. Each chapter begins with an essay explaining the life, work, and ideas of each thinker. It concludes with evidence quotations that attack and defend the philosopher's ideas. Using the arguments in this Handbook We encourage you to read the briefs you will use. Highlight (underline) the key lines you will use in the evidence. Cut out our evidence, incorporate your and others¶ research and analysis and make new arguments. File the materials so that you can easily retrieve them for debate rounds. Practice reading the evidence outloud. Practice applying the arguments to your opponents¶ positions. Practice defending your arguments in rebuttal speeches. Use West Coast Handbooks as a Beginning We hope you enjoy our handbook and find it useful. In saying this, we want to make a strong statement that we make when we coach and that we believe is vitally important to your success: DO NOT USE THIS HANDBOOK AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Instead, let it serve as a beginning. Let it inform you of important arguments, of how to tag and organize your arguments, and to offer citations for further research. Don¶t stagnate in briefs--build upon them by doing your own research. Use the essays to brainstorm research areas and use the evidence and bibliographies as a starting point for your exploration. In doing so, you¶ll use our handbook to become a better debater. Photocopying West Coast Handbooks Our policy gives you the freedom to use the handbook for educational purposes without violating the hard work that we put into the handbook. You can photocopy this handbook under the following circumstances: 1. You can make multiple copies of up to five pages of each West Coast handbook for a class handout. 2. You can make multiple copies of briefs that include evidence from this handbook as long as these photocopied briefs are significantly different from the ones in this handbook and include a significant number of pieces of evidence from sources other than a West Coast handbook. You may not electronically share or distribute this handbook with anyone other than those on your team. For other situations, you can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek our consent.
ORDER WEST COAST HANDBOOKS 1. E-mail us at email@example.com 2. Visit the West Coast Web Page at www.wcdebate.com
You can also use the Order Form on the last page of this handbook; call us at 888-255-9133; fax us at 877781-5058; or write to West Coast Publishing; PO Box 8066; Fountain Valley CA 92728-8066 Copyright 2002 (minor update, 2003). West Coast Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
Visit our web page!
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
JAMES MADISON ................................................................................................................................. 5 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 10 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE ..................... 11 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT ........................................ 12 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY ...................... 13 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS .......... 14 ALEXANDER HAMILTON................................................................................................................. 15 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 19 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED ................ 20 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD................................................................................ 21 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY.................................................................................. 22 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST ........................................................................................ 23 THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS ................................................................................................................. 24 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 29 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR.............................. 30 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION...................................... 31 AN ANTI-FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT WOULD BE UNSAFE AND INEFFECTIVE....................... 32 FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS .................................. 33 RALPH WALDO EMERSON .............................................................................................................. 34 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 39 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE ..................................................................................................... 40 POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR......................................................................... 40 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT................................................................................. 41 CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE, TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ............................. 41 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION.................... 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE ................... 43 JOHN DEWEY ..................................................................................................................................... 44 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 49 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING ....................................................................................... 50 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS ........................................................................ 51 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY .......................................... 52 DEWEY¶S JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ARE FLAWED ...................................................... 53 DEWEY¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IGNORES HUMAN NATURE AND HISTORY ....................... 53 WOODROW WILSON......................................................................................................................... 54 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 59 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS................................................................ 60 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE............................................ 61 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM ........................................ 62 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE, BUT REPRESSIVE ............................. 63 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT .................................................................................................................. 64 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 68 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT .............................................................. 69 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT .................................................................................. 70 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION .................. 71 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE ........................................................ 72 TOM HAYDEN..................................................................................................................................... 73 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 77 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE......................................................... 78 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM .............. 79 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE ................. 80 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE, BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE ............................. 81
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
................................................ 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ......................................................................... 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................ 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................. 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ..................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 130 bell hooks..................................................................................................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ............................................................................................................................... 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ...................................................................... 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE ............ 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ....... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ... 110 LANI GUINIER ....................................................................................................... JR....................................... 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE ...................................................................................................... 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ................................................................. 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www............................................................................................................................ 139 PETER SINGER .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ............................................... 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ....... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 100 RALPH NADER .......wcdebate...................................................................................................................................... 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................... 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY . 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST ........................................... 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD ......................................................................................... 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ........................................................................................................ 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ............ 120 THEDA SKOCPOL .............................................................................. 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ..................................... 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED ...................................... 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED .................com ................. 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ............................. 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................. 91 JOSEPH NYE..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ......................................................................... 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................ 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE ................................. 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY............................................................... 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY...................................................... 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ...... 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ............................................................. 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE .........................................................
Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. like the other leading figures of his generation. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. including George Clinton.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. His idea on the separation of church and state. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780." The example to follow. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. president. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all.wcdebate. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. one of the youngest. anti-Federalist. Madison eventually concluded that constitutional conventions were a necessary device for allowing those like himself--those whom he called 'the most enlightened and influential patriots'--to escape from the hold of democratic institutions. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. even if just temporarily. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. like the other leading figures of his generation. As a result. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. Interestingly enough. and the structure of representative government remain influential. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. Indeed. is often placed into one or another ideological box. showing his freedom from dogmatism. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. though: Madison was the smallest U. though. is often placed into one or another ideological box. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers.com . As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. No. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. he suggests in Federalist 38. James Madison. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. who died in office in 1812. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. As a result. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Most importantly. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. James Madison. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. the avoidance of oppression. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. Seriously. Not easily categorizable.S. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. in fact.
´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. the majority will look to the long-term.wcdebate. Let¶s not belabor the point. and hence have the power to govern. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. Either they will become the next majority. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. What might that mean? Well. Madison's theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity´ as a means of dealing with the unwashed heathen masses pillaging the rich. republican Constitution only by means of an aristocratic coup of sorts´ writes Rosen ± a charge that Madison¶s critics then and now would jump all over. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. ³Tyranny of the Majority. (Sorry. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. especially if that mass had coincident interests. the majority is inherently self-interested. Hence. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. needs and desires. Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound.com . getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. Thus. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. As a philosophically inclined individual." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups.) What does the principle of reciprocity say? Let¶s get into that when we discuss the notion of majority tyranny itself before getting into what Madison thought that this condition might cause. People will vote to actualize their own wants. after all. While he was hardly alone in this viewpoint ± Hamilton was another who worried about the majority of people rallying against the few who were elected to govern them ± Madison put the most effort into thinking about the philosophical implications. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. This does happen in politics all the time. As a skillful politician. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. but they aren¶t blind. like John Ashcroft. In organizing a republican democracy.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested.
They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. Number 10." The debate raged on. Their charges have serious merit. The church. Speaking of potential for abuse.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. 1787. If power is temporary and fluid. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. CRITICS OF MADISON People who criticize Madison (and generally Hamilton) do so on one basis: that he was an elitist who was interested in preserving the rights of wealthy white landowners and not much of anybody else. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. 1787. The struggle continues to this day. In fact. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85. Again. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse.wcdebate. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America.com . he kept his religious beliefs largely private. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. then the potential for abuse is minimized.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. organic food labeling laws. Madison reasoned. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions." Madison wrote. Was the church a positive or a pernicious influence? How best to adapt to its power? The answers to these questions led to the modern notion of two separate spheres for church and state. this is part of the logic of the federal system. While his father was an Episcopalian." Even Jefferson. published November 22. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. The document. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals and lose their efficiency in proportion to the number combined together. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. written in June 1785. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. Indeed. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life.
is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. are antient as well as numerous. His final shot at Jefferson. the mass of American people. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. which time bestows on everything. The reason of man. and its practical influence on his conduct. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. in Madison¶s view.wcdebate. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. this consideration ought to be disregarded. Madison reasoned. In a nation of philosophers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. A reverence for the laws. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. When the examples. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. like man himself is timid and cautious. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. in proportion to the number with which it is associated.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. which fortify opinion." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. . to have the prejudices of the community on its side. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. and acquires firmness and confidence. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. the powerful. Jefferson wrote a letter to Madison in 1789 as Jefferson was preparing to return to the United States after four years as ambassador to France. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. they are known to have a double effect. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. And in every other nation. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it.com . including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. .´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. and that bypassing that consent was unjust. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. which should be declared "void and of no force. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. . and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. when left alone. and the summation of his argument.
wcdebate. the most based in a sense of ethics. The reason of man. A reverence for the laws. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. And in every other nation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. like man himself is timid and cautious. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. they are known to have a double effect. when left alone. . this consideration ought to be disregarded. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. are antient as well as numerous. which fortify opinion. When the examples. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. . he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. and acquires firmness and confidence. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. In a nation of philosophers. and its practical influence on his conduct.com .We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. they¶re worth checking out. . it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. which time bestows on everything. and the most passionately argued. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government.
1981.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. N..gov/loc/madison/symposium.. Mattern.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1776-1826: New York. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. June 1997. Lancej. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence. Noam. accessed April 22. Kans. March 16. 1995. University of Kentucky.loc.html.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. John.loc. James. 1912. November 22.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper.html. 2000. N. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. James. ed. Z MAGAZINE.html and http://www. Hanover.html.html. Rewards.cato.wcdebate. http://www.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper. Lance. under the name Publius.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Library of Congress. 1997). FEDERALIST PAPER No.loc. Rosen. Beard. ³James Madison: Federalist. Brant. http://federalistpapers. 2001. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. http://www.com/federalist10." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. 2001. James Morton. 1995.. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. Samples. Matthews. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC.loc. March 16.com . THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON.loc.. Chomsky. http://www.. ed. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2002. http://www. Gary. 1780-l792: Ithaca.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. Meyers.html. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. 1787.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.com. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON.H. Richard K. 10. Marvin. Banning. March 16. Irving.html and http://www. 1995. Hutson. Va. November 15. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. David.html and http://www.html and http://www. 1941-61. Charles historian. Madison. Smith.loc. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers.Y.. 2001.org/dailys/11-15-00.loc.
Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. np. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side.html. np. Clinton more credit than that. p. It will be found. Washington's newest celebrity.cato. cannot certainly be too much admired.html. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. Hillary Rodham Clinton. 2000. and that measures are too often decided. the evidence. http://www. as was wished and expected. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. particularly. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. By that he meant that the Electoral College included both the will of the nation as expressed in the popular vote and the will of the states in a federal system (every state large or small gets two electors). As Madison knew. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality.com . provides a proper cure for it. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. have. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. 2002. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. 10. These must be chiefly. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. equally the friends of public and private faith. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. injustice.org/dailys/11-15-00.cato. He will not fail. I understand a number of citizens. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. 2002. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. However the election turns out. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. therefore. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.html. if not wholly. I give Ms. or of interest. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. to set a due value on any plan which. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. 1787. http://www. November 15. The instability. By a faction. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. November 22. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.com/federalist10. indeed. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. that our governments are too unstable. 2000. Sen. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. without violating the principles to which he is attached. is the latest convert to this cause. and confusion introduced into the public councils.org/dailys/11-15-00. adversed to the rights of other citizens. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. accessed April 22. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. accessed April 22. and of public and personal liberty. and alarm for private rights. 3. 2002. 2. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. accessed April 22.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. on a candid review of our situation. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. at the same time. James Madison. both ancient and modern. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://federalistpapers. Some will say Ms. but it will be found. and. November 15. in truth.
-. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. be felt by a majority of the whole. http://federalistpapers. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. in almost every case. November 22.html. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. who assemble and administer the government in person.com/federalist10. FEDERALIST PAPER No. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty.com/federalist10. they would. accessed April 22. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. http://federalistpapers. A common passion or interest will. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. Does it.wcdebate. 2002. p. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. at the same time. it clearly appears.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. 3. Nor. 2000.html. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. http://federalistpapers. 2002. p. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. and their passions. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. in controlling the effects of faction. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. who have patronized this species of government. November 15. November 22.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. np. 1787. 10. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. If we abolish the Electoral College. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. therefore. again. in many cases. Hence. p.org/dailys/11-15-00. which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. np. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. 4. accessed April 22. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. The inference to which we are brought is. p. November 22. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. 10.html. increase this security. 2002. np." 2. np. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy.com/federalist10. accessed April 22. Theoretic politicians. 1787. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. and render them all subservient to the public good. their opinions. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. 10. 2002.com . 1787. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions.html. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. FEDERALIST PAPER No. in fine. http://www. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. accessed April 22. In the extent and proper structure of the Union.cato.
he contended.com . Mr. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed.. he added. p." Mr. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. but second. An accurate view of the matter. in which case there will be equal danger on another side. then was the main object of government. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. These will either combine. 1912.. from which the rights of property originated. the power will slide into the hands of the former. Wilson. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country. not only first. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. Madison urged: "In future times. In the tenth number of The Federalist. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government.aristocracy. -. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority. the force. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. nevertheless. in a certain quarter. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. changeableness.If property.. "the majority. 31. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. p. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. 31. under the influence of their common situation. hence. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. According to the equal laws of suffrage. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY.or. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression"." And again. a great majority of the people will not only be without land." and Mr. having such coexistent passion or interest. 2. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. 31. historian. it was the great merit of the newly framed Constitution that it secured the rights of the minority against "the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. historian. p. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands." 3. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. Madison argued in a philosophic vein in support of the proposition that it was necessary to base the political system on the actual conditions of "natural inequality. to give notice of the future danger. he described these impending changes: "An increase in the population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life and secretly sigh for a more equitable distribution of its blessings. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. and in his opinion. 1912. Governor Morris. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property. Madison warned the convention that in framing a system which they wished to last for ages they must not lose sight of the changes which the ages would produce in the forms and distribution of property. what is more probable. -. historian. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. the mind or sense of the people at large.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. would prove that property was the main object of society." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. but without any other sort of property.wcdebate. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. 1912.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. who urged that "the government ought to possess." Madison doubtless summed up in a brief sentence the general opinion of the convention when he said that to secure private rights against minority factions..
the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. Z MAGAZINE. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. Madison pointed out that in England. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. An agrarian law would soon take place.'' To achieve this goal. trust. branch. typically material property. Z MAGAZINE. But the growth of the industrial economy. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky. In a current official document.'' which are property rights. p. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented. and the constitutional system generally. Furthermore.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). When the facts are stated clearly. 8. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. p. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. partnership. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. p. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. In the debates on the Constitution. associated group. and anti-capitalist in spirit. as some historians do. But the formulation is misleading. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. One may argue. Madison declared. estate. he urged. his biographer observes. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. or any government entity.pre-capitalist. association. 8.'' he meant humans.'' giving land to the landless. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. Among Madisonian scholars. 2.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison.com . June 1997. James Madison.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. It is the responsibility of government. the native population driven out or exterminated.wcdebate. led to a completely new meaning of the term. whose views largely prevailed. In both principle and practice. Property has no rights. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. well born. Whatever one's assessment of those years.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. 8. or prominent from exercising political power. June 1997. Z MAGAZINE. 3. June 1997. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams.com .an aristocratic. After Washington died. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. Either that. Either way. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. was vocally against states¶ rights. he also offered a life of tragedy. Hamilton first began to press the ideas that became extremely important in the formulation of the union ± he believed in a strong central government and a strong national bank.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. centralized union that would be a representative republic. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. In those papers. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. rebuke and scandal. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. then his ideas. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. After Adams was elected President. Much of this is forgotten today. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. making it available to the general public. he did argue that the American government was being divided into a struggle between the ³aristocrats´ who fear and mistrust the people and the ³democrats´ who trust the people and consider them the most trustworthy repository of the national interest. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. as an aristocrat. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. coercive. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. and generally made himself a pain. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power.
Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. Jefferson. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. the legacy of Britain.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist." and the "general welfare." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791. we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. 44) that "wherever the end is required.com . Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. the means are authorized. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. Today. Even then-President George Washington.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society. or not immoral.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do. impressive or important. it could be interpreted under on of the more broad clauses of the constitution ± such as the clause that says it¶s the job of the national government to ³promote the general welfare. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. "implied powers. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. As early as 1776. Hamilton had to work magic ± in the form of his now famous Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank ± in order to convince his longtime friend. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). (no. In fact. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. he claims.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. The Swiss economic historian Paul Bairoch (in his book ECONOMICS AND WORLD HISTORY) has argued that this shows America does not have its roots in so-called ³free trade.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential." Ironically. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed. shortened to Republican. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States.´ as is often claimed. every particular power necessary for doing it is included.
"are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. (When Jefferson was elected. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. his customary colleague. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. More on that in our final section.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. which the urban elite would benefit). If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. administering no relief to our real disease. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order.wcdebate. the poison of which. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. here¶s a translation: yeah. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. as should be clear. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798.well. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker. and consequently the more virulent. my friends and I are rich. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public." Again. he pardoned all of those convicted. will only be more concentrated in each part. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora. without any counterbalancing good." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. scandalous and malicious writing. Jefferson considered rich men who used their capital to invest in enterprises not their own (who we might today call venture capitalists) to be the lowest forms of life on earth. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics." he said. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. Benjamin Franklin Bache. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. more centralized government. His morals -. and many other things. and as novel as it is extraordinary. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . "Men. Allegedly. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. then his closest aide. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. and everyone else knew it too. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. so get over it. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. which is democracy. by a subdivision. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country. punishable by fine and imprisonment." This shows his opinion of the average American. I know he was smart.
Three congressmen -. It gets better. Hamilton¶s note to his wife.. ³Mr.wcdebate. Some Hamilton apologists insist that. motivated. greedy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the public could be kept in the dark no longer. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. And. That¶s when it got weird. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. That money had changed hands. . when a pamphlet was published with the allegations.James Monroe. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. until July 1797. a shady character currently in jail. Monroe et. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. They apparently did. and by the press). not the government's. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. he did not intend to fire at Burr. Maria. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Reynolds had evidence. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. and agreed to keep it quiet. It wasn¶t even the juiciest. And the money wasn¶t for speculation (though that is apparently how Reynolds used it ± proving Jefferson¶s maxim about the moral character of speculators). too. That happened in 1792. A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail .´ Amazingly. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. natural politicians. it was on. .but he said it was his own money. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. James Reynolds.com . But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. written directly before the duel with Burr.. in Sports Center parlance. but a BRIBE. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. But it was not possible. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. went to Hamilton's office to confront him.money." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. Abraham Venable. . al. As I hope this essay makes clear. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. At that point.
THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. p.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. Stourzh.htm. Morton J. Morton J. Noam. University of Groningen. Jacob E. Mellon Lecture. New York: Harper & Row. 1912. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. New York. Syrett. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. Charles. historian. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1994 http://www. Noam. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ed. ed. 1985. Gerald. Department of Alfa-informatica. Chomsky. 1970. 1993. 1959.html. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Stanford: Stanford University Press. senior editor.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. New York and London: Columbia University Press. Frisch. Cooke. Jacob E. Cooke. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1991. 1982. Loyola University. Frisch. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. AMERICAN. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. 1999. October 19.rug.com . Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Chomsky. 1997. Chicago. Z MAGAZINE. Elkins. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.2002. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. 13. 2002. Miller. Harold C. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ed. accessed April 29. New York: Harper & Brothers. January 1995. accessed May 1. de Carolis.zmag. NATIONAL REVIEW. 1964..let. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. http://odur.. Lisa Marie. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Brookhiser. 1961--79. Richard. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. New York: The Free Press. John C.
Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. and would create others on the same subject. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. 1787. p. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6.wcdebate. 2002.com . November 14. under a continuation of the Union. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. This. For the Independent Journal. accessed May 2. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. November 14. np. For the Independent Journal. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT." 4. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. p. It is well known that they have heretofore had serious and animated discussion concerning the rights to the lands which were ungranted at the time of the Revolution. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton.com/federalist6. This cause would exist among us in full force. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. constitutes nations natural enemies. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. This has been so far accomplished as. if these States should either be wholly disunited.html. either by actual possession. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole.html. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence.com/federalist7. November 15. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. it has been said. 1787.com/federalist6. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. For the Independent Journal. and which usually went under the name of crown lands.com/federalist6. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property.html. p. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. 2. np. http://federalistpapers. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. would be to forget that men are ambitious. http://federalistpapers. would revive this dispute. accessed May 2. in the event of disunion. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. November 14. http://federalistpapers.html. 1787. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. np. So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States. 1787. or only united in partial confederacies. in a state of separation? Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections. 2002. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. what reason can we have to confide in those reveries which would seduce us into an expectation of peace and cordiality between the members of the present confederacy. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. that vicinity or nearness of situation. 2002. and rapacious. accessed May 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. http://federalistpapers. For the Independent Journal. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC. however.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. accessed May 2. 2002. vindictive.
.2002.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. As Alexander Hamilton stated in the constitutional convention: "It is certainly true that nothing like an equality of property existed: that an inequality would exist as long as liberty existed. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. Department of Alfa-informatica. http://www.html.com . was limiting and limited. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. accessed May 1. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. among which are life. regulate banking practices around the country. University of Dallas. .rug. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. p. University of Groningen. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.wcdebate. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. simply drawing on realities that he felt.htm. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Department of Alfa-informatica.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. University of Groningen. Hamilton reasoned. as usual. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. provide a uniform currency.independent. pointing invariably to its true pole. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy.. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. and. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. np.¶ This they said and this meant. opposed to the principle of equality. provide capital for investments and industry. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. although not necessarily equitable. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. accessed May 1. 2002. as proprietors. 1997. magnetic sense. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. or social capacity. not only did the Founders¶ understanding of equality not include all kinds of equality (such as the equality of economic condition championed by the Progressives). in the Directors of a Bank. abilities which were by nature unequal. 3.let. as it were. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. represented by the Virginia opposition. and loan the government money in times of emergency. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan. Private ownership.intellect. the prosperity of the institution ." Moreover. Hamilton was.2002. accessed May 1.. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. liberty. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture." Independent Institute Website. and the pursuit of happiness." 2.htm. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. The "authors of that notable instrument. in their understanding. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. 1997. Industry would diversify labor. http://odur. http://odur. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. of their own interest.. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Department of Politics.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.rug. moral developments. whereas paper wealth was fluid. Landed wealth. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness.did not mean to say all were equal in. steady. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. He explained: "The keen.let. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. 1997.
the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. 31. p. of course. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy. That's Hamilton. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. Loyola University. 2002. sometimes quite literally." or even influential. Gerry. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. 1912.org/chomsky/talks/9410education.html." Mr. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. Z MAGAZINE. Mellon Lecture. p. preserved to posterity by Mr. Indeed. that. being independence.com . The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. January 1995. We may recall." 4. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. in which privilege is enhanced by state power and the general population lack rights apart from what they can salvage on a (highly flexible) labor market. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power.the main concern. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many.zmag. 13." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. p. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. In the mind of Mr. Randolph. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. Z MAGAZINE. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. Hamilton. http://www. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. an important victory. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. October 19. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. perhaps rightly. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. They feel. 13. in tracing these evils to their origin. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. but were striving with all the resources of political wisdom at their command to set up a system of government that would be stable and efficient. in advocating a life term for Senators. but now perceive that they can do better. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard.wcdebate. 3. speaking for a host of others)." Mr. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Chicago. but it is being caged. in passing. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. historian. p. 2. Madison. accessed April 29. Robert Lansing. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. The beast may not yet be tamed. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. np. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. whatever cast it takes. January 1995. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. 1994." and he confessed that while he was still republican. that fear of democracy and freedom has always been one of the factors motivating the terror and sometimes outright aggression undertaken to eliminate "rotten apples" that might "spoil the barrel" and "viruses" that might "infect others. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. as it was called.
the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. Mr. hence. "the majority. In order to stimulate the economy. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. Department of Alfa-informatica. it was the great merit of the newly framed Constitution that it secured the rights of the minority against "the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. http://odur. Hamilton pointed out. Madison argued in a philosophic vein in support of the proposition that it was necessary to base the political system on the actual conditions of "natural inequality.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. historian." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. In the tenth number of The Federalist. accessed May 1. indebts the nation to foreign powers. University of Groningen. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority.htm. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens.rug. Hamilton needed big investors. p. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages.let.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. having such coexistent passion or interest. from which the rights of property originated. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society.let. Nevertheless. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. np. The House of Representatives. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. he added. p. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. he contended. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. 1912. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. 2002. Hume observed.. Mr. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". 2002." Landed wealth. and a more diverse economy. 1997. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities. and in his opinion." 3. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. Hume contended. . A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. accessed May 1. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. 2. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. University of Groningen. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Department of Alfa-informatica. p. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted.htm.. 31. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Securities. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .rug. However. http://odur. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. He wrote in 1780: "The only plan that can preserve the currency is one that will make it to the immediate interest of the monied men to cooperate with the government in its support. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market.wcdebate. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. 1997. np.
First. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. Jay. Moreover. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take. However. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. and back at the time of the signing of the Constitution the Anti-Federalists were those opposed to it on the grounds that it gave too much power to the federal government. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. therefore.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. Volume 9 Page 24 THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS Perhaps the greatest question that American political theory has struggled with is to what extent the power of the federal government should be limited. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. who did which paper (Hamilton. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. James Madison. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. or Madison) is well documented. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. The Confederation could not collect taxes. Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. Secondly. support for it was by no means unanimous.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. written by Alexander Hamilton. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. Anti-federalists. supported a more direct democracy. given that in today¶s lexicon ³federalism´ refers to the doctrine that the federal government should not encroach upon the proper powers of the states. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius.wcdebate. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics.com . regulate commerce. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. some of the major figures behind the movement. Although far from universally read at the time ± the pamphlets were mostly published in New York ± a group of 85 documents which came to be known as the Federalist Papers came to be the most famous articulation of Federalist views. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). These papers. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. many called for some kind of reform.
Samuel Bryan. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. and others. Clinton acquiesced. ideas. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. One such person is Patrick Henry. Direct democracy of that sort is appealing to Anti-Federalists because it makes up for the myriad of shortcomings in the current system of ³representation´.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. This is democracy at its most tenuous. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. But what liberties are being shoved aside in the current system? The premise behind AntiFederalism goes deeper than knee-jerk mistrust of the federal government. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for.com . direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. Even were polling perfectly accurate. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution.wcdebate. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. There would be no way for common individuals to stroll onto the floor of Capitol Hill any time they wished and have a real voice in crafting national legislation. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. No. while they share some of the same beliefs. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. that the government has. and so on. While of course they all had minor differences. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. Robert Yates. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the problem of majority tyranny arises. while he never supported the Constitution. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. Clinton despised Madison. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. Today what we have is a republic. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. THE CASE FOR THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS So what is it that is positive about the theory of Anti-Federalism? The primary emphasis is upon promoting liberty and freedom. For one. cultures. Richard Henry Lee. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace.´ ³Old Whig. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. or amount of control. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. and only samples a small part of the population.
but instead that understanding the rationale behind the Greek priority of action in the public realm sheds light on why AntiFederalists find value in pure democracy. In fact. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. many of the Anti-Federalists papers make explicit reference to Greek and Roman societies ± before they developed strong tyrannical central governments ± as being ideals insofar as democracy is concerned. But even if all of the things above were not true. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. Arendt. The same problems that were apparent at the time of the Articles of the Confederation are still present in a system that devolves a great deal of authority. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. interestingly enough. such as food and shelter. Anti-Federalists desired the smaller town-hall type governments were individual could have a say and come to some consensus about issues that affected them and their town.com . Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. AntiFederalists. find that situation lacking. which encompasses crafts. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. and therefore be happy and free. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. on the other hand. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. and without a strong federal ability to tax. but it is often still private in nature. Finally. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. Therefore. this is often not the case. be achieved.wcdebate. Indeed. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. Once all private demands are met. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. In other words. Volume 9 Page 26 Part of the problem stems from the type of people that are going to be the Representatives in a large republic. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the type of person who is elected into office will never be the same type of person that she or he is supposed to represent. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. The lowest is that of labor. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. and similar pursuits. the arts. Even if every state kept standing militias.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. The next highest is work. The incapability of internal uprisings and the like to be dealt with a weak central government was arguably shown back as early as Shay¶s Rebellion. there would still be cultural and economic barriers that would make it extremely difficult for anyone but the elite class to realize the goal of playing a role in the public sector. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists argued that a result of that type of government would be that only the elite would have the capability to run for office. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. The ancient Greeks despised labor. How can a rich white Senator born into privilege know how difficult it is to be poor? It becomes difficult for any interest aside from the elite¶s to be advanced in government. The reason for this is because. say. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. an important political theorist from this century. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks.
By passing amendments that protect rights not merely through limiting the power of the federal government but instead positively restricting certain behavior of the states and local governments. internal commerce. and the government. rights. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. This case was but the most visible of a massive effort by the federal government to outlaw a host of racist policies held by many States. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. hope is not lost yet.wcdebate. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. Many authors claim that the federal government has proven to be selflimiting in such a fashion so as to avoid the pitfalls the Anti-Federalists predicted. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. such as funding of the sciences and arts. is it not obvious that life and peace are more important? Being free from one¶s own government is hardly a concern when another country is invading. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. As for internal problems. Having a national bank system. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. With regard to the security issue. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. Given how complex the economic system is today. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. but it is a huge issue now. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. issuing bonds. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. Environmental disputes were not much of a problem back in colonial times when the majority of the United States had yet to even be charted by European settlers. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. and so forth. One of the revolutions in the past hundred years has been the increasing role of the federal government as the protector of individual rights from state discrimination. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. Would the technological and cultural progress that has been made in the past two hundred years be possible in a country with decentralized governments? Yet another goal that has become of more importance in recent years that seems impractical without a strong central government is the protection of the environment.com . In addition to security. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive.
Both theories have strong advantages and disadvantages that can be used to shed light on a variety of political issues in our own day and age. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. it is logical that even without things like strong Supreme Court decisions it is still plausible that those problems would be voluntary dealt with by the states. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. Money alone cannot produce happiness. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. Truly understanding the various twists and turns of American politics requires a grasp upon its roots in both the Federalist as well as Anti-Federalist traditions. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered.com . Participation in a public democracy. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. has many potential benefits and downfalls. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. as a political theory taken in general. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. Moreover. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. Just because power would be devolved to a large degree does not mean that national laws would not work pending the acceptance of the majority of states. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. local. One thing that is important to keep in mind for the purpose of utilizing this theory in a debate round is that one does not necessarily have to advocate every thing that the Anti-Federalists would. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. as Hannah Arendt suspects. such as greater states rights in a particular area. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. Instead. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. federal governments. and therefore in direct democracy. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say.
Bruce. FROM MANY. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. Library of America. Northern Illinois University Press. and Storing. Wood. Ralph. Bernard. inc. University of Chicago Press. Herbert. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. Storing. 1992. Bailyn. 1981. Harvard University Press. Georgetown Press. Gordon. Penguin. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Herbert. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 1987.com . WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. 1969. Alfred Knopf. Berns.wcdebate. Arendt. Hoffer. Duncan. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Murray. University of Colorado Press. 1995. ARTICLES. University of Chicago Press. University of Chicago Press. Hannah. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1997. Walter. 1981. 1986. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Sinopoli. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR. Robert. Ketcham. 1992. Kenneth. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. Simon & Schuster. John Wiley & Sons. Richard.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Dry. THE HUMAN CONDITION. 1992. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Christopher. 1958. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. Dolbeare. 1993.
In a large republic. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. abuses are of less extent. 37. extended their conquests over large territories of country. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. 3. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. diverse. and in some opposite. If this be not the case. 1997. and the consequence was. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. and without virtue there can be no happiness. the people. it is subordinate to exceptions. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. a legislature. p. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. and of course are less protected. In a small one. 1997. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. that it will ultimately. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. The Grecian republics were of small extent. The question the Anti-Federalists worried about was not how we organize our polity for order and greatness but how we organize our polity for public happiness and political salvation. it is true. are in general lazy. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. as would constantly be contending with each other. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. by oppressing his fellow citizens. Both of these. there can be no virtue. of consequence. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. any thing like the extent of the United States. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States.wcdebate. and demand of them that they mind their own private business.´ This would certainly be a torturous existence for a people who believed their individual chance for redemption was tied intimately to their shared public life. and consequently of less moderation. ultimately disempowering. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. Anti-Federalist Writer. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. FROM MANY. p. FROM MANY. The United States includes a variety of climates. in the words of Hannah Arendt. Anti-Federalist Writer. the manners. he has interest of his own. 170-171. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. great and glorious. 2. In a republic. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. formed of representatives from the respective parts. The laws and customs of the several states are. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. very diverse. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 1995. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. and. and depends on accidents. in process of time. and interests of the people should be similar.com . turbulent. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. Professor of Political Science. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. better understood. 38. sentiments. This will retard the operations of government. the interest of the public is easier perceived. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. cowardly. of consequence. be the climate what it may be. in many respects. and their interests. so also was that of the Romans. and more within the reach of every citizen.
In other words. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial.wcdebate. Spring. beget a confidence in the people. too. consists in security. rather. other than those basic natural laws (but these. which produces this security. or the opinion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Thus. nor compact. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. is best obtained in moderate governments. what can you promise yourselves. p. or the opinion. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. is a government derived from neither nature. the latter. or at least in the opinion we have of security. 2000. Mr. and the equality of the manners. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 2. and observe. This moderation in governments. and this racially biased voting excludes blacks from the fair and equal representation recommended both by the Anti-Federalists and Section 2 of the VRA.com . the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. into one government²impracticability in the just exercise of it²your freedom insecure²even this form of government limited in its continuance²the employments of your country disposed of to the opulent. Political liberty. and the complication of interests. Furthermore. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. 1995. will oppress and grind you²where. Associate Professor of Law. the phenomenon of white bloc voting makes race-conscious districting a properly narrow means to further the "compelling interest" in full freedom for black Americans -. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. whose ambition for power. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). From this picture. shared racial experience and the legacy of white hostility and bigotry constitute the compelling reason for majority-black districts as a necessary means to effectuate the Anti-Federalist insight that in order to guarantee liberty "like best represents like. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. FROM MANY. 37-8. and to work together. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters. 42. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. there was a series of particular ³welfares´ that could only be considered general when in fact the question at issue was one of mutual concern as determined by the state itself. Anti-Federalist Writer. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. where the mildness of the laws. from the vast extent of your territory. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. and this security therefore. on the score of consolidation of the United States. p. either limited or despotic. Professor of Political Science. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. If that latter clause is read correctly. useful or not. 78. connected with their political distribution. into the hands of individuals. depends in a great measure on their limits. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. and aggrandizement. the great Montesquieu again observes. p. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato.the compelling interest of solving racial problems through representation in Congress by those who share a commitment to this unique interest in political liberty on account of their membership in the historically "raced" community." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. 1997. and any attempt to conflate the judgments of those independent entities had to be agreed to by them and the like associations involved in order to be legitimate. It is this stubborn persistence of racially polarized voting that confirms the enduring wisdom of and necessity for the Anti-Federalist view that representatives should be "made of the same stuff collectively as their constituents. Locke remarks. and too mysterious for you to understand. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 32
AN ANTI-FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT WOULD BE UNSAFE AND INEFFECTIVE 1. AN ANTI-FEDERALIST SYSTEM WOULD BE VULNERABLE TO FOREIGN ATTACK Robert Webking, Assistant Professor of Political Science, ³The Federalist: Government Power and Individual Rights,´ THE CONSTITUTIONAL POLITY, 1983, p. 9. The first of the advantages is the increased safety from foreign attack that comes with Union. ³Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention that of providing for their safety seems to be the first.´ Other nations must be prevented from having just causes for warring with the Americans and they must also be discouraged from attacking injustly on the pretext of trumped up charges. With the Union the Americans will be less likely to present just causes for war to foreign nations because there will be a single interpretation of the law of nations and of treaties. That single interpretation will not be dominated by the unjust desires of any part of the Union. Moreover, should the national government provide a just cause for war to a foreign nation it is far more likely that the dispute will be settled without recourse to war with one large nation than it would be with several smaller confederacies. Publius notes the reality that ³acknowledgements, explanations, and compensations are often accepted as satisfactory from a strong united nation´ when they would not be accepted from a weaker power. 2. THE ORDER THAT COMES FROM A FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT OUTWEIGHS LIBERTY Thomas E. Baker, Director of the Constitutional Resource Center, BYU JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW, 1999, p. 76. In any civilized society the most important task is achieving a proper balance between freedom and order. In wartime, reason and history both suggest that this balance shifts to some degree in favor of order - in favor of the government's ability to deal with conditions that threaten the national well-being. It simply cannot be said, therefore, that in every conflict between individual liberty and governmental authority the former should prevail. And if we feel free to criticize court decisions that curtail civil liberty, we must also feel free to look critically at decisions favorable to civil liberty. To conclude his historical exegesis, the Chief Justice brings us back one last time to Lincoln's dilemma to ask and answer rhetorically, "Should he, to paraphrase his own words, have risked losing the Union that gave life to the Constitution because that charter denied him the necessary authority to preserve the Union? Cast in these terms, it is difficult to quarrel with his decision." 3. ADVANCES IN CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY MAKE ANTI-FEDERALISM IMPRACTICAL Larry D. Kramer , Professor of Law, New York University Law School, COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, January, 2000, p. 291-292. The specific limits of federal power envisaged by the Founders in 1789 are gone, and any effort to roll back federal power to what it meant at the Founding would be foolish as well as utterly impractical. Even the harshest critics of New Deal jurisprudence acknowledge that changes in society, culture, and the economy require a different kind of national authority today, both practically and as an interpretive matter. Hence, notwithstanding any purported claims of fidelity to original intent, the limits on Congress proposed by today's advocates of judicially-enforced federalism in fact look nothing like any limits that existed when the Constitution was adopted. The question thus becomes, which process should determine the appropriate revised allocation of authority between the federal government and the states: constitutional politics or judicial edict? Mesmerized by the mantra "our Federal government is one of limited powers," the Justices assume that it necessarily falls on them to define new limits - some limits, any limits, even if those limits bear no resemblance to anything imagined by the Founders or observed in the past. But imposing novel judiciallydefined limits just for the sake of having judicially-defined limits is an ill-conceived formalism. In a world of global markets and cultural, economic, and political interdependency, the proper reach of federal power is necessarily fluid, and it may well be that it is best defined through politics. Certainly, as we have seen, this is more consistent with the original design than the Court's new made-up limits-for-the-sake-of-limits. Embracing the hurly-burly of politics while paying attention to how states protect themselves in that domain is a much "truer" interpretation of our Constitution.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 33
FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS 1. STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS SELF-RESTRAINING Larry D. Kramer , Professor of Law, New York University Law School, COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, January, 2000, p. 252-3. North Carolina lawyer-planter Archibald Maclaine, writing as Publicola, made the charge of Anti-Federalist duplicity even more explicitly: I find some people are so strangely infatuated, as to think that Congress can, and therefore will, usurp powers not given them by the states, and do any thing, however oppressive and tyrannical. I know no good grounds for such a supposition, but this, that the legislative and judicial powers of the state have too often stepped over the bounds prescribed for them by the constitution; and yet, strange to tell, few of those, whose arguments I am now considering, think such measures censurable - The conclusion to be drawn here is obvious - The objectors hope to enjoy the same latitude of doing evil with impunity, and they are fearful of being restricted, if an efficient government takes place. 2. A FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT ENSURES PROSPERITY AND INCLUSION OF MINORITIES Robert Webking, Assistant Professor of Political Science, ³The Federalist: Government Power and Individual Rights,´ THE CONSTITUTIONAL POLITY, 1983, p. 7-8. Publius¶ original argument about how a people can secure the advantage and avoid the disadvantage of majority rule rests upon a distinction between species of popular government. In a pure democracy, where people gather to rule themselves directly, he writes, the danger of majority faction is unavoidable. Such a form of government can exist with only a small territory, and in a small community it is virtually certain that there will be a majority with the same partial interest. In a republic, however, the problem can be avoided. The difference between a pure democracy and a republic is that in the latter the people do not rule directly, but through representatives. Representation yields a number of happy advantages for Publius, but the decisive one is size. A republic can be very much larger than a pure democracy, and because it is larger it can include a great variety of people with many different kinds of economic activities and, hence, a multiplicity of interests. The existence of many distinct interests means the existence of many interest groups or factions. The existence of many factions rather than merely two makes it likely that there will be no majority faction. All factions will be minority factions and each faction will be prevented from using the government unjustly by the fact of majority rule. ³Extend the sphere,´ Publius writes, ³and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens.´ 3. A FEDERALIST THEORY OF LEGAL RIGHTS STOPS DISCRIMINATION Daan Braveman, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, February, 2002, p. 619. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the transformation process occurred in Brown v. Board of Education. In striking down state segregation, the Supreme Court dramatically altered the relations between the states and the national government, and made the federal courts the primary guardians of federal rights. In the years following Brown, the lower federal courts became the litigation forum for state school segregation cases, as well as actions challenging a wide range of other state activities, including zoning, reapportionment, police misconduct, and prison conditions. Notably, Brown was not decided in isolation but rather at a time when the world outside the courtroom was changing dramatically. The other branches of the federal government had a national and international agenda, which included the expansion of federal rights and a federal interest in protecting those rights from state deprivation. "A new spirit of nationalism" replaced the isolationism of the turn of the century and, as Judge Gibbons stated: "In the global village, deference to local solutions for problems that transcend local interests is a quaint anachronism." By the 1960s, the structure envisioned during Reconstruction was firmly established. Individuals had federal rights, federal remedies, and a federal forum to challenge state conduct that violated federal law.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 34
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
"It is one soul that animates all men." -Ralph Waldo Emerson INTRODUCTION Ralph Waldo Emerson surely epitomizes the uniqueness of 19th century American philosophy. Emerging at a time when American thought was struggling to forge its own identity, reflective of both the optimism and the cynicism of the American political experience, Emerson¶s transcendentalism is a spiritual and philosophical reflection of his time. But it is also an inspiring statement of the universality of human experience. By painting humans with broad brushstrokes as half-animal and half-divine, and by attempting to chronicle humanity¶s relation to the ³absolute,´ Emerson is the American Hegel. Emerson¶s work included poetry and personal essays as well as philosophy, and there is a heavy religious element in all of his writing. Nevertheless, his work contains important implications for political philosophy. In this essay I will attempt to explain his philosophy as a whole, but I will also pay special attention to the political implications of Emerson¶s work, along with the way in which these political elements can be used in value debate. EMERSON¶S LIFE AND TIMES Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803, into a family whose male members were typically clergymen. He studied divinity at Harvard. Well-educated and taught to embrace open-mindedness as well as religion, Emerson was ordained a Unitarian minister in 1929. He was a good speaker, delivered a good sermon or two, but something was missing. ³He would begin his sermons with words from the Bible, but would gradually find himself discussing the unfathomable ideals found in nature,´ or abstract philosophy. He had problems trying to find ³his way back into the Bible to close the speeches.´ Although some of his parishioners liked his style, others did not. ³Stumbling for appropriate words at the bedside of a dying veteran of the American Revolution,´ the dying man reportedly told Emerson: ³Young man, if you don¶t know your business, you had better go home´ (www.litkicks.com). Although he had entered into the ministry with high hopes (and Unitarianism has always been a liberal and progressive religion, even back then), Emerson resigned from ministry and journeyed to England in 1832 following the death of his first wife, Ellen Tucker. She had died of tuberculosis after they had been married only eighteen months. This broke Emerson¶s heart and caused a deep spiritual crisis. His time in England was spent cultivating friendships and intellectual associations with people like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas Carlyle. Needless to say, by the time he returned to America, Emerson had a newfound optimism, as well as a greater understanding of philosophy. He returned to America in 1834, but tragedy would strike at his optimism once again. That same year, Ralph Waldo¶s brother Edward died. To make matters worse, his brother Charles died in 1836. Emerson would be a haunted man the rest of his days. His writings and lectures contained dark clouds even in his most arduous attempts to celebrate the glory of humanity. By the time Charles had died, Emerson had remarried (his second wife was named Lydia Jackson), settled in Concord, and begun to publish essays about the human spirit, freedom and independence, and the undesirability of following tradition. Among these early essays was one of his greatest, ³Self-Reliance,´ a polemic about the necessity of complete individual freedom (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/poet/emerson.html, www.litkicks.com). Emerson co-founded a journal, and collected a group of fellow writers (both male and female; like his friend John Stuart Mill, Emerson believed in women¶s emancipation), and started a tradition known as the New England Transcendentalists. Expanding outside that small circle of colleagues, Emerson discovered one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century, when he met and wrote a letter of recommendation for Henry David Thoreau. Two decades later, Emerson would again contribute to the intellectual history of America by promoting the work of poet Walt Whitman. Along the way, he promoted Buddhism and other eastern religions, opposed slavery, fought for women¶s equality, and remained a dedicated, if cynical, proponent of democracy.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. removed from day-to-day history. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. people and history existed. optimistic about humanity. This mystical trust in human transcendence led many of Emerson¶s contemporaries to view him less as a philosopher than a divine seer of sorts.. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. And his marriage of philosophy. unchanging. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. in contrast. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. 2000. In this sense. a child. and incorruptible. in doing so. and have great potential for debates over morality. Today. To understand transcendentalism. He held Daniel Webster in such high esteem for Webster¶s opposition to slavery that he identified Webster as ³representative of the American continent´ (Thomas J. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding.. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. immaterial. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. he lost a spouse. Plato. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. he was even more a mystic than Plato. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. must be a nonconformist. But humans could never really reach such a world. two brothers. and perfection was unattainable. at least in principle. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. while the realm of "becoming.wcdebate. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. However.com . p. however. Spring. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. he had his house burn down. living entities died. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. 669). 1882. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. values. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency. certain major themes stand out in his writings. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. Emerson.. academic science of modernist philosophy. But he remained. Brown.To be great is to be misunderstood. they could only contemplate it. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been." where matter." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings." Things changed. and lived through the Civil War. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals.. and politics.
This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods.stanford. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. After all." as he puts it. Although. In other words. unlike Plato. at the end of "Circles.´ 2. to being a pantheist. holds that all living creatures and things of the earth are united as something mystically higher and more whole than the sum of their parts. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery.´ Like the German and British Romantics. "Intellect"). history. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. comprehensive understanding. in this respect. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant.edu/entries/emerson/). Plato rejected human matters. Emerson. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. as we shall see. That is why. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. with your best deliberation and heed. viewpoints. based more on feeling than analysis. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming. Transcendentalism. He was very close.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding. You cannot." But the idea that we are all joined by one common soul has immediate and important political implications that give a strong metaphysical basis to the American political ideal of equality. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. as the basis of genuine knowledge. higher understanding.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Like Hegel. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more. because. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. 3." including emotions such as love. As mentioned.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). the past is always swallowed and forgotten. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. politics and the like. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. on the other hand. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. whilst you rise from your bed.com . Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. or doctrines. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. as its name implies. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. being and becoming. which he saw as our connection to the divine. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. Emerson really means to "accept.
" As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. and for thoughts. Implications for Debate First. Those arguing against Emerson can gain a great deal of ground by citing the numerous instances where his thoughts lead to mystical pronouncements instead of solid and warranted conclusions. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. critics fault Emerson on two levels: Inconsistency and lack of coherent foundation: Emerson was as much a mystic and poet as he was a philosopher. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human.wcdebate. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. This is true of every human being. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. This.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. however imperfect. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. Second. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. In his essay ³Self-Reliance. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. Some critics. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. and the power of individual action. Because of this. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. democracy.com . Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. Brown. morality is more important than obeying the law. or other distinct groups. "the otherest. Spring. 669). Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. the necessity of self-reliance. First." Like friendship and reading. In ³The American Scholar´ he argues that institutions and books do not reveal truth as well as can be revealed through our personal relationships with the divine² mediated. Emerson refused to see distinctions based on skin color or national origin as being more important than the common humanity that unites Black and white. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. 2000. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Emerson is part Plato (humans must understand the transcendent world in order to be good) and part Aristotle (humans must actually practice virtuous behavior to be in tune with the divine). he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. of course. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. George Santayana among them. In this way.' ´ (Thomas J.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent. p. through Nature. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. presumably. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. they will perform virtuously." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´).
F.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. In this way. Third. his optimism about humanity and democracy. on the other hand. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands.W. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. Emerson¶s eloquence. For example. However. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. Transcendentalist ethics. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. As noted above. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence.com .
Len and Myerson. Mifflin. Ralph Waldo. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ralph Waldo.. Haight.Y. 1978). Stephen E. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Ralph Waldo. Ralph Waldo. ADDRESSES (New York: W. Smith. POWER. 1978). NAPOLEAN. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Susan Sutton. William Allen. McGiffert. Gordon Sherman.wcdebate. GROWTH. Emerson. Ticknor and Fields.. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1981). Robinson. Alfred R. 1938). THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. Sealts Jr. Emerson. eds. 1947) Emerson. N.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library.. Konvitz. MEANING (New York: Dodd.: Kennikat Press. Merton M.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. N. Emerson. Milton R. 1968). and Ferguson. 1941). 1969). Ralph Waldo. Emerson. 1966). Gougeon. and Whicher. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Ralph Waldo. David. Gay Wilson. 1982). Emerson. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. 1959). eds. ed.com . A YANKEE IN CANADA. 1903). AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton.H. Black. eds. 1900).. ed. ed. Huggard. Emerson. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. Joel. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. J. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT. Mead. POEMS. Porte. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. Joel. OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Ralph Waldo. 1995). REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. 1878). 1866). 1954). Osgood and Company. Arthur Cushman Jr.
EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. every departure from his own convictions. 13. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. American transcendentalist philosopher. Every natural action is graceful. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. is that which is found in combination with the human will. 15. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. are but different faces of the same All. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. Pindar. 15. in its largest and profoundest sense. 12. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. the sun as its candle. It is his. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. American transcendentalist philosopher. and goodness. In private places. p. American transcendentalist philosopher. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. as most men do. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. among sordid objects. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. American transcendentalist philosopher. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. the opinions. namely.--the persons. and the day. Truth. that it to say. 1986.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. is one expression for the universe. he may creep into a corner. The presence of a higher. He may divest himself of it. Homer. p. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. 2. 1986. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. and beauty. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. Phocion. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. and abdicate his kingdom. And in common life whosoever has seen a person of powerful character and happy genius will have remarked how easily he took all things along with him. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. if he will. Every heroic act is also decent. Socrates. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. 1986. p. and nature became ancillary to a man. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. p. and the frame will suit the picture. God is the all-fair. This element I call an ultimate end. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. that every false word he has uttered.wcdebate. 2.com . Beauty. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. 2000.
that an immoral contract is void. For virtue is the very self of every man. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect.wcdebate. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. 2000. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. appetite. The sense of injustice is blunted. 2000. and God. It perceives that this homely game of life we play.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. American transcendentalist philosopher. It is therefore a principle of law. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. and not subject to circumstance. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1986. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. p. 72-73. as laws do not make right. 361. 362. if judges only quote authorities. and in the game of human life. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. gravity. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. American transcendentalist philosopher. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. 2. out of space. covers. American transcendentalist philosopher. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. for. I question the value of our civilization. They elude our persevering thought. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. muscular force. justice. 73. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. at every hazard. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. These laws execute themselves. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. interact. love. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. in each other¶s actions. motion. in our own remorse. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. principles that astonish. American transcendentalist philosopher. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. fear. pp.com . and that an immoral statute is void. They are out of time. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. p. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. under what seem foolish details. They will not be written out on paper. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. man. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. or spoken by the tongue. p. 1986.
The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. p.´ as his editors call it²is therefore less an apology for Laissez-faire capitalism than an attempt like Henry Adams¶s sixty years later to plot the lines of force that were remaking contemporary society. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny.´ Implicit in his words are the notion that the civic world is part of nature and subject to its processes and that advancement occurs by cooperating with these processes rather than directing them toward immediate human ends. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. Emerson was not only synchronizing the predatory practices of the entrepreneur with the harmony of the universe and permitting merchants (as Bronson Alcott shrewdly said) to ³find a refuge from their own duplicity under his broad shield´.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³marry Right to Might. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. 68. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. 1999. 3.´ 2.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. and to conspire with the new works of new days. 68-69. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. not to block improvement. The political corollary to this belief is an almost unmitigated laissez-faire: ³Trade is an instrument of that friendly Power which works for us in our own despite«Our part is plainly not to throw ourselves across the track. Emerson the seeker of unity is at pains to assimilate the new forces to a cosmic and social teleology²to survey history for the perspective of the ³over-god´ of the Channing ode and. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. combination. p. in doing so. 1999. In these essays and elsewhere. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. philosopher. information (and) science. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. and sit till we are stone. ³Life is a search after power. in its room. pp.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON.com . which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation.wcdebate. ³Power´ and ³Wealth.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. 1962.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. 90.´ he announces.
com . Mysticism. 31. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. panting for sensations. ³like a ministry without an opposition. as Matthiessen notes. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. As every new category. Benefit. in his 1888 essay. p. 32.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana. the imagination and all its works²art. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. Nature. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. EMERSON AND POWER. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago. p. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. Professor of English at Michigan State University. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. 1996. p. Empty. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. Boston existed serenely. as he thinks. for God. as we have said. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room.´ 3. 1962. or Beauty? He could not. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative.´ ³We get the impression. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. then. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS.´ He continued.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. EMERSON AND POWER. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor.´ It was no surprise. As far as James was concerned. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing.´ he recalled. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. however. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. almost exclusively in the moral world. Professor of English at Michigan State University. Law. 4. 35. an island above the extremes of common human experience. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. ³Emerson¶s personal history. 32-33.´ James concludes. 1962. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. the base. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. God. 2. At bottom he had no doctrine at all.´ his inability ³to look at anything but the soul´²was the result of his coming to maturity in a community that ³had to seek its entertainment.wcdebate. philosopher. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. Far from it. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. by its very definition. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. the whole ³Concord school´ had. its rewards and consolations. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). so constantly on his lips. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. philosopher. dogma. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical.´ sealed off. 1996. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. and as the absolute. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. p. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. the foul. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. For James.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. must share this reproach. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. is not representable by any specific faculty. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness.
com . It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. At the same time. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. In 1894. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. Dewey would come to reject the small town provincialism of Burlington in favor of the changing and growing national community that characterized the second half of the 19th century. 1859. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning.wcdebate. as some critics have charged. Not surprisingly. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. Vermont. Two years later. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. If. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. From a very early age. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. Maryland. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. at the age of twenty. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. and taught high school for three years. and grow accordingly. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. he received his PhD. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. For Dewey. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. He was beginning to realize that what separated these extremes was not so much the "natural talent" of students as the philosophical commitments of the instructors and administrators. By now. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. He graduated in 1879. in philosophy. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. on October 20. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. the son of a grocer. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. In the fall of 1882. politics and education.
However. as part of nature. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. also have a history of change. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. (http://inst. but rather in reference to what "works. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. and despite this impact. although Dewey was no socialist. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles. removed from everyday experience.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines.net/tzaka/deweynew. In 1904. he was viewed by leftists as fair. few philosophers are more misunderstood. Similarly. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. The fact that he could share such honest and sincere humor with one of the most dogmatic ideologues of the 20th century underscores Dewey's commitment to pluralism. ethics. or appeals to the truth of scripture. www. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. concerning the philosophy of religion. This explains why. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. and education. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur.shtml). which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. 1952. politics. both as a race and as individuals. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). Like existentialists. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. and least known. and sees nature as constantly changing. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. Humans. John Dewey died on June 1.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. and these experiments. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. and concerned with social justice. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. This will become important later. I might be a liberal. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. Humans may. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. I might be a socialist.html). This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF PRAGMATISM Dewey's metaphysical assumptions naturally lead to an embrace of the kind of pragmatism advocated in the 19th century by William James (1842-1910) and Charles Saunders Peirce (1839-1914).fred.augie.com . But unlike existentialists. Dewey sees humans as part of nature. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. To them." in theory or practice. impartial. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. genuine experience." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy.wcdebate. Ziniewicz. through experience and reflection (in fact. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. First. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. It may even include mystical. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. and so on. Moreover. Rather. It includes long-term. Thus. At least. where we learn from and with other people. (http://www. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry.wcdebate. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. the example shows that theories and ideas change. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. propose and oppose. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. test. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Finally. I fail. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. in legislation that changes some functions of a government .com/entry/551811) Finally. My assignment is poorly written. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry.but in all cases there is a social context. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is.com . emotional. because my teachers warn me about it. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. I am part of the world)." In fact. to the maximum benefit of all participants. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. I could never consider it "true. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. and includes reflection as well as interaction. or religious experience. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. Dewey insisted. which we'll examine in the next section. however. When my experience no longer verifies it. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. (Ziniewicz. I reconsider the original idea.´ In sum. Second. experience can be active or passive. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. For Dewey. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. rigorous meditation on ideas and things.xrefer. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). as already stated. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. Dewey supports community ideals because. as a result of collective experience. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. At that point. They experiment.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. pragmatically speaking. In summary.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 47
DEWEY¶S VIEWS ON EDUCATION ³Education is not a preparation for life; Education is life itself.´ ²John Dewey As might be suggested by his pragmatism, John Dewey believed education must be informed by genuine experience, constant interaction, and community values. Although he did not reject the notion that some individuals may be more motivated than others to learn, he nevertheless believed that one's environment was a huge determining factor in one's educational development. In many ways, then, Dewey's theory of education was a direct result of his pragmatist philosophical perspective. (www.infed.org/thinkers/et-dewey.htm) One of the most significant differences between traditional educational approaches and Dewey's "progressive" views of education was his perspective on the role of teachers. Dewey did not view instructors as absolute authorities imposing ideas and practices on students. Rather, he saw teachers as facilitators, guiding students through the learning process, and he believed this ought to be done as democratically as possible. Contrary to the picture some critics have painted of Dewey, he did not believe in some kind of simplistic (and utopian) democracy where students have as much authority as teachers. He simply believed that much more democracy was possible in the classroom; that students could be taught the virtues of democracy by learning to participate, in feasible ways, in their own educational experiences. Dewey rejected the "checklist" rigor of individual assignments and isolated studies in favor of group learning, discussion, and genuine experiences. If students are learning about agriculture, Dewey would rather students visit a farm and share in some of the farm work than just read about farms in a book. If the subject was politics and government, Dewey would prefer that students form their own governments and raise issues and solicit votes than merely listen to a lecture on how governments function in a democracy. OBJECTIONS TO DEWEY Critics of John Dewey¶s philosophy include both philosophers opposed to pragmatism, and political activists opposed to the soft, utopian ³liberalism´ of Dewey¶s political positions. Objections to pragmatism usually come in the form of metaphysical assertions that the truth of a claim is not dependent upon the experiential validation of that claim. To cite the example I used in the section on pragmatism, those opposed to Dewey would argue that the statement ³You should not procrastinate´ has a truth-value independent of my verification of that statement with my own experience. However, more strongly worded objections come from the political side. Primarily, Dewey is charged with having utopian aspirations regarding cooperation and progressivism, but at the same time ignoring real-world barriers to his utopia. Conservatives, for example, charge that Dewey believes all citizens (and particularly students, in regards to his educational philosophy) have the same basic abilities, or the same potential for genius; that Dewey seems to believe that all differences come from the environment. Conservatives believe that people have different abilities, and that perceived ³inequalities´ in society are really just the result of the cold, hard fact that some people are more talented and industrious than others. More criticism comes from those to the political left of Dewey, such as Marxists. For them, Dewey is a ³liberal´ in the negative sense of the term. He believes everyone can ³get along,´ even though Marxists believe that there can be no reconciliation between the ruling class and the working class. Thus, Dewey offers a vision of universal enlightenment and progressive, community virtues, but offers no material means of getting to such a world. The desire that we all get along and progress together is not enough.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 48
IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE Dewey¶s educational philosophy is in a class by itself, and any value debate topic dealing with education should inspire a great deal of research on Dewey¶s ideas. But in this section I will concern myself only with his general philosophy. The following main points suggest ways in which debaters can incorporate the ideas of John Dewey: Democracy: Obviously, Dewey is a strong proponent of democracy, for unique reasons. Dewey believes that we learn, both individually and collectively, through experimentation and the consideration of all ideas and possibilities. For Dewey, the clash of ideas and approaches found in a healthy democracy is the paradigm example of a progressive society. Necessity of Experience rather than Idealism: Dewey provides a solid answer to philosophers such as Plato, Hegel, Ayn Rand, Leo Strauss, and other thinkers who believe that the ³Truth´ is a transcendent set of principles simply waiting to be discovered. Rather, Dewey believes, we ³make the truth,´ not in some relativistic sense, but through genuine human experience. Moreover, Dewey would accuse these idealist and objectivist philosophers of being foundationally anti-democratic. A natural conclusion to Dewey¶s philosophy is that our collective notions of truth ought to be decided democratically. The idea that ³Truth´ emanates from on high is contrary to the notions of progressive, participatory democracy. Cooperation versus Conflict: Obviously, Dewey believes that we learn more together than we do apart, and that we achieve more when we unite around common goals than when we compete with one another. He rejected the notion of competition in academics and embraced the idea that we can learn cooperatively, helping each other out, learning from common struggles. CONCLUSION John Dewey represents something very important about American philosophy. Instead of being concerned about what is ideally true, metaphysically true, logically true or mathematically true, Dewey was concerned about the truth of what works for people in their everyday lives. This is radically democratizing, and wholly appropriate to a people who, at least in principle, rejected the divine right of kings and the assumptions of aristocracy. It is appropriate to an experiment in democracy amidst pluralism and uncertainty. Debaters wishing to incorporate Dewey's ideas ought to research both the foundations of his pragmatism, and the implications of his pragmatism on his educational theories. Although these two aspects of his philosophy are intimately related, the literature is divided rather distinctively. Debaters might also contemplate the fact that, as they search the library for Dewey's works, they might well be using the Dewey Decimal System, devised by John Dewey to catalogue books in libraries. In many ways, Dewey would be a strong advocate of academic debate. Like the participatory models of education he advocated, debate is an exercise in empowering, involved activity. It is student-centered and relies on the students experimenting, succeeding and failing, and learning from each exchange. In fact, understanding why debate is educational for you can help you understand exactly the kind of education that Dewey wanted for students. At the same time, debaters should be aware that objections to pragmatism are important. Dewey and his followers talk about the importance of democracy and participation, but they seem unable to suggest ways to dismantle the very real power structures that block these possibilities. Perhaps creative debaters can synthesize Deweyan pragmatism with effective political strategies for actually opening up the real, material possibility of change in a world where, despite Dewey's efforts, elitism still remains.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 49
BIBLIOGRAPHY Baker, Melvin C. FOUNDATIONS OF JOHN DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORY (New York: Atherton Press, 1966). Campbell, James. UNDERSTANDING JOHN DEWEY: NATURE AND COOPERATIVE INTELLIGENCE (Chicago: Open Court, 1995). Dewey, John and James Hayden Tufts. ETHICS (New York: H. Holt, 1936). Dewey, John. A COMMON FAITH (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). Dewey, John. ART AS EXPERIENCE (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1934). Dewey, John. ESSAYS IN EXPERIMENTAL LOGIC (New York: Dover Publications, 1953) Dewey, John. EXPERIENCE AND NATURE (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company, 1958). Dewey, John. FREEDOM AND CULTURE (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1939). Dewey, John. HOW WE THINK (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1910). Dewey, John. INDIVIDUALISM OLD AND NEW (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1930). Dewey, John. LECTURES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1899). Dewey, John. LECTURES ON ETHICS, 1900-1901 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991). Dewey, John. LIBERALISM AND SOCIAL ACTION (New York: Capricorn Books, 1963). Dewey, John. THE CHILD AND THE CURRICULUM, AND SCHOOL AND SOCIETY (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956). Dewey, John. THEORY OF THE MORAL LIFE (New York: Irvington Publishers, 1980). Dewey, John. DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (New York: The Macmillan company, 1916). Gavin, W. J. CONTEXT OVER FOUNDATION: DEWEY AND MARX (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988). Haskins, Casey, and Seiple, David I.. DEWEY RECONFIGURED: ESSAYS ON DEWEYAN PRAGMATISM (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999). Nissen, Lowell. JOHN DEWEY¶S THEORY OF INQUIRY AND TRUTH (The Hague: Mouton, 1966). Popp, Jerome A. NATURALIZING PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: JOHN DEWEY IN THE POSTANALYTIC PERIOD (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998). Schilpp, Paul Arthur. THE PHILOSOPHY OF JOHN DEWEY (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1951). Soneson, Jerome Paul. PRAGMATISM AND PLURALISM: JOHN DEWEY¶S SIGNIFICANCE FOR THEOLOGY (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993).
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
because open and moving toward a new future. It is complete only in its possibilities. just as the art of painting requires paint. American pragmatist philosopher. It requires favorable objective conditions. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. In the idea of responsibility that unity of the natural and the ideal self (that it is the business of the natural self to become the ideal self and of the ideal self to be realized in the natural self) is the prominent thing. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. No more than any other art is it developed internally. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. That is the basis of responsibility. Carry that identity farther. 89. and canvas. p. In obligation. 1968. p. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. alert. p. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. however. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. American pragmatist philosopher. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. the explicit thing. and you have freedom. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. 2. and resolute. 3. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. In other words. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. 298. 1968. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. but power of vision and reflection. 1991. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. brushes. Thinking. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. political and moral matters is a gift of God. American pragmatist philosopher. Social conditions interact with the preferences of an individual (that are his individuality) in a way favorable to actualizing freedom only when they develop intelligence. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. between the natural self and the ideal self. desire and purpose more flexible.wcdebate. For these take effect in making preference. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. LECTURES ON ETHICS. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. like mathematics. 296. the possible self does not represent a remote. In its reality.com .
explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. and.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. use of coal and steam. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. 139. morally they alone are ³real. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1.´ 2. American pragmatist philosopher. perfectly real.wcdebate. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. American pragmatist philosopher. There was a time in the eighteenth century when the great social need was emancipation of industry and trade from a multitude of restrictions which held over from the feudal estate of Europe. For the conditions that form political and economic liberty are required in order to realize the potentiality of freedom each of us carries with him in his very structure. teleologically. in the problem of personal freedom. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. is not good reality. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. But like all other possibilities. Since actual. like all others. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. p. pp. Pragmatically. emerged. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . this possibility has to be actualized. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. 1968. much less a deviation or excrescence. in command of capital. while it is. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. existentially speaking. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. For ordinary purposes. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. and freedom of contract. rights and demands are products of interactions. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. the true kind. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. one absolute and static because exhausted. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. American pragmatist philosopher. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. which we want or are after. American pragmatist philosopher. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. 1968. 48-49. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. 1968. 1968. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. pp. It is one with our individuality.´ A reality which is taken in organic response so as to lead to subsequent reactions that are off the track and aside from the mark. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. that is. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. 297-98. 281. whether moral or psychological. that is for practical purposes. as facts have demonstrated. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. It lacks the hallmark of value. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. p. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. effective. it is this kind. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. 2.
to some extent. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. 1977. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. p. Marxist philosopher and activist. 251. 114. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. is also unsatisfactory. Peters. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. However. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. If ³democracy´ is to include. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. and he or she is meant to be. Dewey¶s view of the teacher.S. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. 1975. 1975. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge.S. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. 1977. which claims to be so realistic and practical. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R. an authority on some aspect of the culture. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. p. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. at least in broad outline. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. Instead of playing a directing role. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. like a football captain. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. as I have reiterated. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM.com . In a game most of the participants know how to play. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. to have interpreted their meaning. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century.wcdebate. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. 115. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. Marxist philosopher and activist. by the informal learning that went on in the home and in the local community and wanted to forge a link between this sort of learning and learning at school.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. p. 2. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. Instrumentalist morality goes from case to case and from one step to the next without reaching any general standards of right or wrong and what makes them so. p. Dewey was impressed. 2. should have done no less. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. for it combined a conception of the child. as by Dewey. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. as it usually does. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. Peters. 256.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 53
DEWEY¶S JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ARE FLAWED 1. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF DEMOCRACY IS MYSTICAL AND IMPRACTICAL R.S. Peters, professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London, JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED, 1977, pp. 114-115. Dewey himself never paid much attention to institutional issues. This was not just because he lived before the days when ³participation´ became an issue. It was also because his attitude towards the democratic way of life was semi-mystical. ³When the emotional force, the mystical force, one might say, of the miracles of the shared life and shared experience is spontaneously felt, the hardness and concreteness of contemporary life will be bathed in a light that never was on land or sea.´ I wonder if he always felt like this about sitting on committees! 2. DEWEY¶S BELIEF IN DEMOCRACY IS BASED ON MYSTICAL, RELIGIOUS NOTIONS George Novack, Marxist philosopher and activist, PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM, 1975, p. 291. Dewey derived his basic stance toward democracy not, as he contended, from a scientific investigation of the history of society and a realistic analysis of American conditions, but rather from a tradition that was rooted in the mystical equality promised by the Christians. He accused the dualistic idealist philosophers of Greek and modern times of ³operating with ideal fancies´ instead of dealing with the given facts. Yet he committed the same error of metaphysical abstraction in the pivotal question of his whole philosophy: the origin, meaning, and application of democracy. He approached democracy not in its concrete manifestations throughout class society, but as an abstraction to be stuffed with the content he preferred to give it. Democracy to him was less a historical phenomenon than a secular religion. DEWEY¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IGNORES HUMAN NATURE AND HISTORY 1. DEWEY IGNORES NATURAL DIFFERENCES AND INEQUALITIES Anthony Flew, professor of philosophy at the University of Reading, JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED, 1977, p. 87. But even if we do concede that this opposite tendency really is implicit in the original insistence upon maximum ³interplay with other forms of association,´ there is no getting away from the truth of Bantock¶s contention that ³there are strong pressures of equality of outcome in the work of John Dewey;´ for if associations are good and democratic in so far as their members share numerous and varied interests, and if education for democracy is to be a matter of concentrating on the development of various but always shared interests, then the variety of those shared interests, and the scope for independent individual development, necessarily must be limited correspondingly. It must, that is to say, be limited by and to whatever happens to be the maximum attainable either by the least richly talented or by the modal majority. Maybe Dewey himself would have been unhappy about the full force of these implications. But he never comes to terms in this context with the truth that people vary enormously in all natural endowments. 2. DEWEY IGNORES CLASS CONFLICT George Novack, Marxist philosopher and activist, PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM, 1975, pp. 250-51. Dewey refused to believe that class conflict arises from deep-seated, compelling, and ineradicable causes in the capitalist system. It was an occasional and subordinate phenomenon that could be overcome by joint effort, good will, mutual give and take. He therefore looked to different agencies and means than the Marxists for achieving the desirable ends of a better life. He wrote: ³That work can be done only by the resolute, patient, cooperative activities of men and women of good will, drawn from every useful calling, over an indefinitely long period.´ In other words, class collaboration is the preferable means of social reformation, political action, and moral improvement. Class struggle goes in the wrong direction and gives disastrous results.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 54
When most of us think of Woodrow Wilson, we don¶t necessarily think ³philosopher´ -- but that¶s what this visionary president of the United States was. Best remembered as the progenitor of the League of Nations (the precursor to today¶s United Nations) and of the fourteen point program for peace, Wilson¶s name is also invoked by students of international relations theory today in the context of so-called ³Wilsonian idealism´ -- the notion that an interventionist American foreign policy can spawn positive changes in other countries and cultures. This, for better or for worse, is the former president¶s predominant legacy: the liberal internationalism that continues to inform American foreign policy under most Democratic presidents (and some Republicans, such as the first George Bush). Like most historic ³truths´, these simple summations contain quite a bit of accuracy and a little sleight-ofhand. The veracity of these statements depend on one¶s political perspective, on one¶s position in the world, and various other factors. I will try to present diverse perspectives on the life, work and thoughts of this embattled and interesting president. Though perspectives differ on his ideas -- and the efficacy of those views in a swift and fierce world -- it cannot be denied that those views have had a major impact on American and global visions of justice. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia, and grew up during and immediately following the Civil War. His father was a Presbyterian minister, and at times taught college courses. He was inspired by his father¶s religion and love of education. Young Woodrow Wilson first went to Davidson College in North Carolina, but was forced to withdraw due to illness. He graduated what was then the College of New Jersey (and what later became Princeton University) and went on to get his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1879-80 and passed the Georgia bar in 1882. His law practice floundered, though, prompting a career change into government and politics. He returned to school in 1883, studying government and history at Johns Hopkins University. His book Congressional Government was accepted as his dissertation in 1885, and led to his receipt of the Ph.D. degree in political science from Johns Hopkins. To this day, Wilson is the only U.S. president to hold a Ph.D. proving that most presidents just aren¶t too smart. But Wilson was, teaching at Bryn Mawr College, Wesleyan University and Princeton University. After an accomplished career as an author and essayist, he was named president of Princeton University in 1902. From there, politics was a natural step. In 1910, Wilson won the Democratic nomination for governor of New Jersey, subsequently winning the election by a wide margin. His agenda was a progressive one: he focused on preventing the public¶s exploitation by monopolies and trusts. This earned him serious popularity with the masses, and just two years later he accepted the Democratic nomination for president. Wilson called his platform the "New Freedom" platform, and gave keen attention to stimulating the American economy. Again, he earned a landslide victory, winning the presidency with 435 electoral votes out of a possible 531. His brother wasn¶t a governor, and he did not have to cheat to win. True to his word, Wilson followed through on a domestic agenda based on busting corrupt trusts. To this end, he created a dramatic array of economic reforms. He pushed through the Underwood Act (which reformed tariffs and instituted a progressive income tax) and the Federal Reserve Bill (which established our modern banking system, creating new currency and establishing the twelve Federal Reserve banks and their board of governors) in 1913. Yes, we can partially blame Alan Greenspan on Wilson. He also established the Federal Trade Commission in 1914 to restrict "unfair" trade practices.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 55
These economic reforms show Wilson¶s brand of liberalism: create reforms that stabilize a functioning market economy and offer marginal protections for the poor, while promoting international trade to enrich the wealthy. You can see the economic legacy of Wilson in today¶s New Democrats. THE WAR YEARS Some of the controversy surrounding Wilson¶s ³idealism´ involves the way he handled American involvement in World War I, which began in 1914. Wilson, despite growing pressure from allies like Britain (who were losing an entire generation of young men), resisted American involvement in Europe¶s war. In fact, he ran for reelection in 1916 with the slogans "he kept us out of war" and ³peace without victory.´ Conventional wisdom holds that escalation of submarine warfare by Germany forced Wilson¶s hand in declaring war -- the sinking of the passenger liner Lusitania is often cited. It may be, however, that these events came at the same time a revolution in Wilson¶s thinking was brewing --a revolution that would inspire his ideas on how to make peace. Some critics believe that Wilson, despite his public pronouncements, had already decided to enter the fray. They point to that fact that he created the U.S. government¶s first major state propaganda agency (the Committee on Public Information, also called the Creel Commission). The population of the U.S. didn¶t favor war at the time, and the theory goes that Wilson intended to change their minds. At any rate, he asked Congress for a declaration of war in April 1917. This turn of events led the United States into the fight, and led to Wilson¶s famous efforts at peace -- culminating in the Fourteen Points Address of 1918, which we¶ll discuss below. The critics on the right accused Wilson of thinking wrongly that the United States owes an obligation to the rest of the world -- that instead of intervening to help other nations, we should tend to our own business. The critics on the left had then and have now a radically different take: that not only are their few if any places where American intervention can help the rest of the world, the impulse to intervene is itself a pernicious manifestation of liberal internationalism that desires to control the rest of the human community. This type of thinking reveals itself at home, too, when people opposing governmental policies must also be controlled through imprisonment. Historians such as Howard Zinn point to the Sedition Acts that were used to jail opponents of the war. He criticizes the administration for passing such legislation and the Supreme Court for failing to challenge it on a constitutional basis: This shows the irony of liberalism: Wilson supported many progressive social agendas (women received the right to vote when he was in office, for example), but when one¶s own power and decision-making are challenged, that commitment to social progress sometimes flies out the nearest window. Domestic policy aside -- and it was not an insignificant part of Wilson¶s presidency -- most people remember Wilson for his foreign policy, specifically the role he played in the ending of World War I. Let¶s turn to his ideas on that front now.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton.´ That doesn¶t mean.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. Still. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. Open covenants of peace. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. However. of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance. an international regime managing trade. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. open-minded. The removal. therefore. openly arrived at. alike in peace and in war.wcdebate. so far as possible. and a colonial system that would provide raw materials and labor for the trading system) and an international market that today we might call globalized. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. There. skeptical of the League of Nations. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. II. V. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. In fact. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. ³I. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. III. Wilson had this to say about the end of the ³war to end all wars´: ³We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression.com . What we demand in this war. however. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. determine its own institutions. A free. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined. wishes to live its own life. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. outside territorial waters. like our own. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims.´ Wilson said. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. IV.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States.
then. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. and established the progressive income tax. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. the establishment of an independent Polish state. is Wilson¶s legacy. Overseas. It is better. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. One scholar on inter-American affairs. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course.N. both in domestic and foreign policy. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. they would argue. Abraham F.´ As we¶ve talked about. and work together toward common goals. etc.) From another right-wing perspective.com . to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism. in my estimation. Take the example of Latin America. they argue. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and even if we can. A more concrete term we can grab onto might be ³liberalism´: the belief that government economic or social interventions are necessary to build a just world.´ which mean different things to different people. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. for example). We¶ve talked a bit about the left¶s criticism of Wilson as a Machiavellian liberal who wanted to build a world he and his country could control. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. It is possible. solve disputes. But that¶s another story. -. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism.wcdebate. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. Lowenthal. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. including evacuation of conquered lands. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. The right has a somewhat different slant. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs.
This can be explained by the American public¶s marked opposition to the war: he knew from polls what a winning election issue would be. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. he fell ill and never fully recovered. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency.com . After this effort. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president.the defense of a nation from an attack by an autocratic and oppressive neighbor (though Wilson wouldn¶t have been a fan of Kuwait¶s oppressive monarchy. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. Overseas. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. For these reasons.C. James M. Wilson retired to Washington. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. D. Foreign policy: Wilson. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. as Wilsonian in nature -. where he died in 1924.000 miles by rail around the country. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency. Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics. for example. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. either). He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home.. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world.wcdebate. was interventionist by nature. Harding in 1920.
ufl. Louis. http://www. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Herbert.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Z MAGAZINE. p. Gilderhus. 2. Political Studies Department. 2002. Arthur.zmag. Vol. Auchincloss. 1913-1921. accessed May 1. Princeton University Press.html. University of California Press. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. Ambrosius. 1971. Howard. 1920-1939. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION.africa.wcdebate. 2001. Mark. THE NEW FREEDOM. Daniels. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Josephus. Kent State University Press. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. 10. 2000. Oxford University Press. Greenwood Publishing Group. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1997 Levin. 2000. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. Norman Gordon. accessed April 22.pbs.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. South Africa. 2002. 1998.htm. No. 1965 Link. available online at http://www. University of Arizona Press. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. John Morton. 2. November 1994. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. http://web. 1991 Zinn. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. 2002. accessed April 22. May 7. 1986 Knock. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. Warren and Lynne Dunn. PBS documentary. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. 1998 Chomsky. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. 1956 Rowen. Noam.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. Thomas. 1980 Link. Rhodes University. Lloyd. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.htm. Princeton University Press. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Arthur. 1995 Kuehl. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Korwa G. Cambridge University Press. Viking Press.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.com . Princeton University Press. Blum. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. accessed May 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence.com .ufl.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M. Vol. and women¶s suffrage.pbs. 2002. np. p. South Africa. 2. np.pbs.html. 2002.. 2001. PBS documentary. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. The direct election of United States senators. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. PBS documentary.html. PBS documentary.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. accessed May 1. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. p. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. prohibition. available online at http://www. 2.. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development. Wilson matters as the first modern president. np. 2001. p. Indeed.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. 2001. After his visit to Africa. Historian. Rhodes University. 3. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. 2002. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. Adar. accessed April 22. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. np. 1998. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. BUT THE COLD WAR. available online at http://www. available online at http://www. 4. 2.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Political Studies Department.pbs. http://web. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s.htm. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as well as presidential ambition. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes. He's not tragic however in the larger scope of American history because what he did was to help us understand the complexity of power both domestically and internationally in ways that we are still working with. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G.html. The Wilsonian concepts of how political power should be used on behalf of social justice are still defining assumptions for twentieth century American political life. accessed May 1.wcdebate.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.africa. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Historian. Historian. p. Mulder. However. No.
the momentum on the issues of democracy and human rights was evidenced with the appointment of Eleanor Roosevelt to Chair a Commission on Human Rights. np. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism. He left his stamp upon the way in which American foreign policy has been formulated throughout the 20th Century and the paradox is that a man whose vision was repudiated by the political leadership of his time managed to achieve a way of framing the language of American foreign policy throughout the 80 years since his death. 1998. accessed May 1. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. accessed April 22. 2002. In his view. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. np. Moreover. he was never evasive in that way. 2. PBS documentary.pbs.ufl. available online at http://www. Adar.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. No. 2. 4.africa. PBS documentary. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice.pbs. 2. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. 3. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. p. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. Historian. http://web. It isn¶t the League of Nations but the importance of thinking through a way to the control the potential anarchy and the relations of states. 2001. Vol. Vol.html. the crucial priority was the need to establish people-oriented internal and international democratic institutions that would act as the custodians of democracy and human rights as conceptualised within the general rubric of self-determination. available online at http://www. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. 2. p. No. 2002. Adar. Thus.ufl. 1998. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. 2001. accessed May 1. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. np. the realization of individual freedom. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. Rhodes University. np. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. In his foreign policy pronouncements vis-a-vis the European colonial powers President Woodrow Wilson advocated for the pursuit of democracy and human rights conceptualized within the context of selfdetermination for the colonized peoples.htm. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Wilsonianism had a global impact. For Wilson. For the colonized peoples of Africa. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. The results of Roosevelt's Commission were the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its corollaries the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic. Political Studies Department. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum.N. Historian.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. he argued.wcdebate. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. p. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. p. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. South Africa.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. South Africa. In this respect. limited government.htm.africa. Social and Cultural Rights.html. Political Studies Department. http://web. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. Rhodes University.com . This.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2. would promote America's long term interests. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. accessed April 22. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. 2002.
It is intriguing to watch the process at work. was its friend and protector. "in most Latin American countries.pbs. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. and Canada. or by its traditional master. p.. Consider Peter Hakim.com . reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. 2. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. 2002. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. and have been kept in power by U. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. recognized that the U. The Haitian military. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue. and the world did not want the American principles. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. It hasn't been easy. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. They were proven right. unlike the U.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. "At first. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. accessed May 1. aid and training for that purpose since." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. np. The Europeans knew this. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education. witness the case of Guatemala. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. To evaluate what lies ahead. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. If he is.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region. domestic and foreign. November 1994. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. As discussed here in July." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. France.html. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide.S. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. And he knows full well what efforts are made to broaden government to include authentic representatives of the overwhelming majority of the population in Latin America. p. open trade.N. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. PBS documentary."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra.wcdebate. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber.S. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. 10. Hakim observes. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Historian. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. trusting that "the United States. and to accept the rule of private power. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. Z MAGAZINE. 2001. Ian Martin. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. available online at http://www. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. despite its rhetoric of democracy. As the matter is now rephrased. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. That is to continue. Martin observed. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. the things that Americans had evolved over threehundred years and incidentally in the process of which we had killed six hundred thousand of each other in the Civil War because it hadn¶t worked too well. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism.
2000." One takes for granted that the vicious terror and racism of the Wilson administration and its successors will be transmuted to sweet charity as it reaches the educated classes. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. one of those Wilson sent to prison.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. Vol. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. W. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Adar. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights.pbs. accessed May 1. "Like the French in the 19th century. portrayed in the same light. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion. if at times secondary. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE.htm.ufl. Z MAGAZINE.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. accessed April 22. np. or Helen Keller. np. 2002. 2002. and put anti-war protesters in prison. the noise of democracy. No. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. Backers of President Aristide. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Political Studies Department.html. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. however. As for Woodrow Wilson. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. who reviewed the lessons of history. http://web. http://www. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. p. p. to say nothing about their weapons" -. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings.com . BUT REPRESSIVE 1." he wrote.africa. Apple. In the current era. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. 1998. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. very controlling. 2002. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G.wcdebate.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. South Africa. has been an altogether different story. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. 2. "For two centuries. available online at http://www. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony. np. 10. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. p. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent. 2001. Rhodes University. November 1994.htm. We might understand this as another small contribution to the broader project of revising the history of Western colonialism so as to justify the next phase. 2. brought our country into the hell of World War I. 3. civilized mediation.zmag. PBS documentary. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. accessed April 22. but his behavior was often very paternalistic. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. p. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. May 7.
There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation.according to Gentile standards. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say.wcdebate. neither the left nor the right felt they had to restrain themselves when criticizing FDR: FDR was "carrying out more thoroughly and brutally than even Hoover the capitalist attack against the masses. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. He wasn¶t -.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. It wasn¶t. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. from right to left to centrist. though. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. agree on this.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I say with a smirk. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. The architect of the New Deal. He passed important legislation. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. Even today. Another element is that most American of traits. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. and it happened 70 years ago. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. Leuchtenburg. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). of course -. and was generally beloved by the public. William E. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. but we¶ll get to that below. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR." according to Communist leader Earl Browder.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.com . which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. anyway. except Werner von Braun. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. In fact.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above. popularly known as FDR.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. anti-Semitism. one has doubtless done something right. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. Historians. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people.
This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. it is important to understand the ideology behind them. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. say. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. If you¶re starving.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities." But believe it or not. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. The preservation of civil liberties for all. Leuchtenberg continued. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. as failing to meet the needs of the public. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable.wcdebate. Jobs for those who can work. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order.and perhaps they are right.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -. FDR laid out exactly to what he thought humans ought to be entitled: Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. FDR recognized this. and perhaps they are right. too. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. he included economic rights in that list. He noted ³so powerful an impression did FDR leave on the office that in the most recent survey of historians he was ranked as the second greatest president in our history. ECONOMIC POLICY: THE DEFENDERS The left saw FDR as a sellout who saved capitalism as we know it when it was on the brink of collapse. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.com . some of that sentiment stems from the same root. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. These are the simple. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -. as we will see later.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself. Unlike most every other president. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. Before. This is not quite true. In order to understand these. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). The ending of special privilege for the few. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. Security for those who need it.
Cradle to the grave . the Farm Credit Administration. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. the Social Security Administration. Social Security. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). 2). and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. unemployment insurance. the aged poor. and the blind. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. the physically handicapped. ³with few exceptions. Higgs writes. to him. Specifically. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. the physically handicapped. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the aged poor.wcdebate. Sure." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go.´ He does not say this as a compliment. 3). pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. the National Labor Relations Board. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. finance. One of them is Robert Higgs. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government. finance. pensions for the elderly. the conservative economic theorist.com . unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. industry. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. and labor relations. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. from the day he is born.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p.but. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. Nope. no one looms larger than FDR. but no one heard it from the President before then. the Securities and Exchange Commission. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. The FDR years. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. the Federal Housing Administration. As evidence. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.instead. industry.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. He had his own ideas -.
his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. say.S. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. and didn¶t think Roosevelt should be sticking his nose in Hitler¶s business as the German leader committed the most horrific act of the 20th century. the Export-Import Bank.wcdebate. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. William J. Volume 9 Page 67 and the Tennessee Valley Authority as ³the offspring of the New Deal´ and argues that they are pernicious in their effects. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. though the U. To his credit.)´ Sometimes.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies.´ he writes. this much is undeniable. too. that students have their college loans federally provided. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. One would think. told by William E. vanden Heuvel argues.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. ³Each in its own fashion. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century. by the way. By subsidizing. FDR was the first (and. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. financing. Even if you¶ve got a problem with. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. it seems the argument here is that NO federal agency is EVER justified in helping to stimulate the economy or to ameliorate the effects on a market collapse on average people. regulating.com . FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. which consigned over 100. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. Their property was seized. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. Charming. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). vanden Heuvel has noted. being a victim of race-baiting himself. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right. (Which he was there. The vast majority of it was never returned. only sometimes. Famously. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. that old people with no family can rely on Social Security checks rather than cat food in order to eat? WAR POLICY It¶s unfortunate that we have to sum up FDR¶s World War II actions in so short a space. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. Sadly. United States. Korematsu v.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. this was not the case. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. but that¶s the way it is. insuring. was at war with them. including Henry Ford.
accessed May 5.1987. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.NET BOOK REVIEW . ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security. Department of History. Davis. accessed May 1. 1979. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. July 1997. Oxford University Press.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.html. http://www. EH.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. Franklin Delano. Robert. http://www. Dallek. accessed May 10. http://www.ECONOMIC HISTORY.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech..htm. 1933. Schlesinger. Namorato. Princeton: Princeton University Press.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. accessed May 02. Robert. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Boston: South End Press. 1985. Kenneth S. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. accessed May 9. Higgs.org/chat/chat03.shtml. September 1998. 2002.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Leuchtenburg.washingtonpost. William E. Jr. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. Noam. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. 1959. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. 1991. Kimball. James MacGregor.independent. 2002. Arthur M. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Michael V. 2002.htm. Roosevelt.´ Jan.pbs.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Franklin Delano. 1970. Gallagher.eh. 1986. Mead and Company Publishers.html.wcdebate. University of Mississippi . FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. Warren F. 2002. http://newdeal. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns. 1932-1945. New York: Dodd. http://www. 1935. New York: Random House Publishing. 1992. Hugh Gregory. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM.feri. FRANKLIN D. Roosevelt. 2002. 17. July 24. Chomsky. THE FREEMAN. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY.
http://www. too. Similar to his earlier study. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. p. 3). in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn. Although not a great economic thinker. 2." 3. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. how Franklin D. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. In this sense. Barber believes that professional economists had a president who was willing to listen to them and who was a "consumer" of what they had to offer. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V.com .´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. July 1997. accessed May 5..htm. p. the political paralysis. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. Patterson. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy. accessed May 1. 2002.. EH. gone." noted one business journal. np. http://www. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser.NET BOOK REVIEW . crowds moved excitedly. Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. in short. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p. The historian James T. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. Leuchtenburg. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E.wcdebate. Leuchtenburg. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. 1). p. There was something in the air that had not been there before. 2002. np. Roosevelt's Washington.Happy days are here again.htm.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. in Barber's opinion.1987. not least those who are disadvantaged. everyone was joyous.washingtonpost. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Department of History.ECONOMIC HISTORY. http://www. Overnight. one eyewitness later remembered. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS..com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.1987. Namorato. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades.just where they are going. 2)." Again and again. In the homes on the streets.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience. observers resorted to the imagery of darkness and light to characterize the transformation from the Stygian gloom of Hoover's final winter to the bright springtime of the First Hundred Days. University of Mississippi . np. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas.eh. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. accessed May 5. 2002.washingtonpost. After much experimentation.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge. . Roosevelt himself. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America.shtml.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. where trading resumed on March 15. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. "The people aren't sure." On the New York Curb Exchange..
´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. http://www. Adar.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.washingtonpost. 2002. South Africa. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E. 2002. 2. accessed May 5. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR.ufl. p. Roosevelt not only supervised the mobilization of men and resources against the Axis but also made a significant contribution to fashioning a postwar settlement and creating the structure of the United Nations. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Leuchtenburg. Leuchtenburg.htm. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. and it seems improbable.1987. 2. No private program and no public policy.washingtonpost. 2." 3. and. Vol. late in his second term.htm. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy.africa. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. As a wartime president. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. although promulgated by Franklin D. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. President Wilson's global campaign as the champion for the silent majority also set the stage for a United States democracy and human rights foreign policy in the twentieth century. As commander-in-chief. given the nature of nuclear weapons. accessed May 5.htm. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II. So far had America come by the end of the Roosevelt era that Henry Stimson was to say that the United States could never again "be an island to herself. accessed April 22. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. Rhodes University.1987. a position he was said to prefer to all others." Robert Divine has concluded. No." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history.wcdebate. http://web. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. http://www. np. Political Studies Department. np. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Roosevelt. np.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. 2002. "He overcame both his own and the nation's isolationist inclination to bring a united America into the coalition that saved the world from the danger of totalitarian conquest.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. it is framed with perfect futility. Wilson's intellectual heir. 1998. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.com . p. When he took office. in any sector of our national life. p.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. With its bewildering. But however significant his legacies. As John T. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. regulations. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. 2. no economy can grow. Roosevelt deserves no reverence. high unemployment. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. and business failures. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution.wcdebate. np. fear. By wheeling and dealing. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. and direct government participation in productive activities. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. subsidies.2 Without capital accumulation. he got himself elected time after time.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs.independent. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. p.html. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. Rather. In this madness. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. FDR and Congress. He was no hero. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. http://www. http://www. p. 2002. 2002. incoherent mass of new expenditures. p.html. as many observers claimed at the time. np. the American economy between 1930 and 1940 failed to add anything to its capital stock: net private investment for that eleven-year period totaled minus $3. September 1998. by taxing and spending. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. In fact. But instead. the New Dealers had a method. September 1998.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. balance the budget. THE FREEMAN. accessed May 02. The irony is that even if Roosevelt did help to lift the spirits of the American people in the depths of the depression-an uplift for which no compelling documentation exists-this achievement only led the public to labor under an illusion.com . Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. accessed May 02.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. and hence overall private economic activity. accessed May 02. np. http://www. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. uncertainty. After all. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. 2002. the Roosevelt administration recognized that the president and his Democratic allies in Congress could appropriate unprecedented sums of money and channel them into the hands of recipients who would respond by giving political support to their benefactors. the New Deal created so much confusion. ³it was always easy to interest him in a plan which would confer some special benefit upon some special class in the population in exchange for their votes. 2002. http://www. accessed May 02. np. Flynn said of FDR.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. he was an exceptionally resourceful political opportunist who harnessed the extraordinary potential for personal and party aggrandizement inherent in a uniquely troubled and turbulent period of American history. THE FREEMAN. taxes. THE FREEMAN. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. p. September 1998. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment. 3. the New Deal did prolong the depression. THE FREEMAN. But for all his undeniable political prowess.html. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs.´ 4. maintain a sound currency.independent.independent.html. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s.1 billion. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated.independent. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. September 1998.
NET BOOK REVIEW . The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort.NET BOOK REVIEW . who placed their trust in him. In the end. Finally. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. this demeanor as the aristocratic style. There was one published reaction. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. "in the grandest style. 2002. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach. University of Mississippi . FDR. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1. Department of History. Namorato.zmag.. July 1997..net/bookreviews/library/0024. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine.html.eh. accessed May 1. Chapter 2.. 2002." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history. and the immediate post-war era.. EH. accessed May 1.shtml.shtml. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT.. 3. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty." so much so that "ten years went by before a Commerce Department economist grew curious about the distribution of income and was surprised to discover that its inequality had persisted almost unchanged from Hoover.. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies.." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. Finally." Try as they might. NOT FDR Michael V." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. however.ECONOMIC HISTORY.. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal. Still.. July 1997." But that is only the carping of trivial minds. 2002. accessed May 1. University of Mississippi . Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. including many of the poor and working class. indeed revere. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. Somehow. Namorato. http://www.endearingly exalted. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of.... individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal.splendidly eternal for romance. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. http://www. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. etc. through Roosevelt and Truman..eh.." etc. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. 171). World War II.. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. EH. and how people like John K. a secret love affair.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Department of History. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. 2." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one. http://www. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors. by Noel Annan.wcdebate. in his last chapters. 1992.." and met the great crisis in their lives.ECONOMIC HISTORY.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. left-liberal social critic Murray Kempton describes the "majesty" of Roosevelt's smile as "he beamed from those great heights that lie beyond the taking of offense. In fact.a wasteland. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population.
Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. 1939. the Los Angeles Times reported. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. In 1969 and 1970. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s. Later.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. The other defendants.S. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. District Judge Julius Hoffman. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. including Froines and Weiner. He later served as a ³freedom rider. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. Together. So. Abbie Hoffman. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. Students for a Democratic Society. the 7th U.tomhayden.´ The freedom riders were a group of mostly white students from the north who traveled to the American south in efforts to assist racial desegregation the South. Nicholas Lemann. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. Undaunted by his legal trouble.S. One of those movements. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history.Jerry Rubin.com) admits. Born December 11."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in order to answer that question. his ideas. who were not convicted. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. As his own website (www.and those who consider them to be troublemaking.com . Hayden continued with his activism.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. Basically. All the defendants. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. had a charismatic and thoughtful leader named Tom Hayden who has continued (as an activist and as a California state legislator) to work for change in the American political arena. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. Hayden -. with that said. Who is right? Well. his life.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court. As some former radicals did. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Along with four other defendants -. And unlike me.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. though. In 1968. Hayden decided to run for elected office. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. "Tom Hayden changed America".wcdebate.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades.
convict with his sentence overturned.he sponsored numerous bills. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. politician. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. to take action.wcdebate. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. including legislation on behalf of women. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". he credits that issue as one of the factors inspiring the SDS movement: SDS moved from a mere problem identification mode to a serious institutional analysis of American politics. While a state legislator. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. kids). but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. lots of different kinds. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics. In fact.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. But mainstream groups honored him. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. What kind of action? Well. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical.com . as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. author. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. He has an infant son with Williams. (Look it up. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. workers. Even in his youth. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. former husband of actress. Until he was forced out by term limits. the SDS had socialist leanings -. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and other activists of various stripes. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. That includes student groups. and on and on. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. of course.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and more. He backed pro-labor. convict. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. At least one prominent political figure.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. IDEAS OF TOM HAYDEN Perhaps the most important item to read in studying the ideology of this and other radical organizations is the Port Huron Statement. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin.remember. too. Indeed. husband of actress. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. again husband of different actress. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. activist. has said that Hayden ³created the blueprint for the Great Society programs´ of Lyndon Baines Johnson during his tenure as an advocate for the working poor. Activist. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. Especially because of the nuclear age. Just because it isn¶t your morality. It is not Plato's cave. Let us turn to the latter group now. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. Hayden might say.com . there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. might die at any time. higher education is not separate from democracy. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses.wcdebate. This man who makes so much of being able to distinguish between shadow and substance in Plato's cave becomes blind to the fact that the anguished cry of the students in the 60s was not so very different from Bloom's own lament. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. the SDS. The editorials I wrote from 1957 to 1961 in the Michigan Daily were based on Cardinal Newman's concept of the university as a community of scholars. if one is not progressive at all. of course. then.´ It seems. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. And. As a result. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that.. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. THE CHARGE OF MORAL AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM Conservative academics interesting in revising history have tried to give a black eye to the 1960s student movements by accusing them of moral and cultural relativism -. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. and our friends. Thus. insists Hayden to this day.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. Higher education is fully integrated into . The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. brought awareness that we ourselves. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. Naturally. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. Like many of his vintage. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university.. or Soviet) communism -. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended.or contaminated by. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. at least in the United States. Rather than moral relativism. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. Quite the opposite is true. depending on how we view it American society. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. for example.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. According to observers.not unlike many members of the debate community. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. CONCLUSION -. Because of the overturned conviction. philosophies and ideas -. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven.and the vexing corollarly question. even if they weren¶t violent themselves. Volume 9 Page 76 other disruptive activity any time the component members of an institution are treated like numbers or feel their point of view is not represented. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now.certainly. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics.com . at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden. Nevertheless. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. However. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic.is not something we will concern ourselves with here. this is far from undisputed. they might be criticized for methods -.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention.
Staughton & Thomas Hayden. accessed May 1. Tom. Hayden. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Hayden. Radosh. Horowitz.frontpagemag. Fall 1987. 2002. Rinehart and Winston. 1966.matrix. New York: International Publishers. B1. November 27. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker. Lynd.htm. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Hayden.theamericanenterprise. accessed May 2. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. New York: New American Library. activist and former California state legislator.org/taemj97s.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. David. 1967). http://coursesa. REUNION: A MEMOIR. http://www. http://www. 2002. 1972.html. Tom Hayden. Port Huron Statement. activist and former California state legislator. Ronald.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. 1962. Tom. activist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hayden. 1999. Chicago: Holt.htm. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. WASHINGTON POST. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. accessed May 2. 1988. MISSION TO HANOI. Volume 4. former radical. #4. p. Tom. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. 20. the New Left and the Leftover Left.com . New York: Random House. p. December 5. The Other Side. Tom.wcdebate. 2002. May/June 1997. 2001.
the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. at once the spark and engine of change. Port Huron Statement.msu. activist.msu. Fall 1987. the bureaucracies.html. one which moves us and. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency.matrix. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. I have to say I am glad to have lived long enough to see a new generation of rebels accomplish something bigger here in 1999 than we accomplished in Chicago in 1968 with our disruptive protests at the Democratic National Convention. p. Port Huron Statement.html. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. np. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs.matrix. and to this day I am astounded by the fact that of nearly 1000 academic articles written for leading political science journals during the 60s.com . p. http://coursesa. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. B1. activist.. calling on us not to be "good Germans. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. environmental protection and human rights? Are American democratic values and middle-class interests secondary to those of transnational corporations? As a grass-roots movement seeking the overthrow of what it sees as an oppressive system. B1. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. np. December 5.wcdebate. activist and former California state legislator. 3. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. 2. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. They were. paralyzing policy discussion. not that of their opponents. 1999. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. 1962. others today. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. accessed May 2. 2002. activist. we hope. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. accessed May 2. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. 20. 2002. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra.but might it not better be called a glaze above deeply-felt anxieties about their role in the new world? And if these anxieties produce a developed influence to human affairs. Volume 4. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. 4. 1962." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. It was honorable to protest that situation. 5. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. being gassed myself. marching. on the contrary. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction.. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. the workplaces. http://coursesa. the government? It is to this latter yearning. WASHINGTON POST. p. But we are a minority . My serious take on the question might surprise you. On the contrary. and a commitment to social experimentation with them. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. only one was about Viet Nam.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. WASHINGTON POST. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. #4. Based on five days of joining in protests. activist. that we direct our present appeal. 1999. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s. p. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. p. one can argue that the finest moment of the university was when students and faculty stopped the university's business-as-usual during a time of national crisis. For the first time in memory. One reporter even asked me. December 5. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1..
the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. 2. #4. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . She was deploying a network of informants who notified parents of the white girls who were seen socializing with black men in the student union. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. Volume 4. 20. #4. That was the University of Michigan in 1960.wcdebate. I'll give another example. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. and Bloom knows that. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. Fall 1987. 20. the president of Yale. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. 20. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. let's also not forget the 60s are over. Fall 1987. #4.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. activist and former California state legislator. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. 3. Volume 4. Fall 1987. One week after the Kent State shootings. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. in the 60s. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. Speaking of mindlessness. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. activist and former California state legislator. #4. Fall 1987. How was that caused by the 60s? Those attitudes obviously result from the drive of the marketplace and the tendency of the university to provide for the immediate professional needs of society. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.the legitimacy of questioning everything . 4. or Morningside Heights. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. how are we to interpret Edward Teller's views on limited nuclear war? If academic leaders proclaim that the university is doing the best it can. If there has been an erosion of general education. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 4. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. NPQ: Bloom argues that. p. 20. Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. Volume 4. p. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. Kingman Brewster. activist and former California state legislator. At my university. Furthermore. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. p. And it did. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war.
Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged.org/taemj97s. During the trial. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park.com . accessed May 1. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk.htm. 3. May/June 1997. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. May/June 1997. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. 2002.theamericanenterprise. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself.theamericanenterprise. One of the conspirators. 2002. When the dust cleared in Chicago. May/June 1997. Jerry Rubin. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. http://www.org/taemj97s. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. 2. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. Hayden and the protesters provided the push and the party rule changes that pushed the antiwar candidacy of George McGovern and propelled the party¶s left wing into power. Because of such considerations. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. Four years later. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left.htm. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. and the chaos on the convention floor.htm. 2002. it "radicalizes them. former radical. http://www. accessed May 1. When people¶s heads are cracked by police." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. he said more than once. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. http://www.wcdebate. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. accessed May 1. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. former radical.org/taemj97s. Hayden and seven other radicals. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left.theamericanenterprise." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1.htm. Todd Gitlin. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. one of SDS¶s first leaders. 2002. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. former radical. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. Hayden then went to the most radical elements in the Left²those who actively advocated violence as a political tactic²and proposed that they provoke a conflict with the police who would be at the demonstration. it will flow all over the city. May/June 1997.theamericanenterprise. 2002. and Saturday. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. May/June 1997. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. accessed May 1. former radical. 5." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. http://www. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. 2001. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds." and he told his co-organizer. former radical. 3. and on Tuesday. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. http://www. and you check around and you got your piece. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.com .org/taemj97s.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. a member of mobe." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir.theamericanenterprise.frontpagemag. Hayden gave the New Left the alternative of entering into the nation¶s democratic political structure and waging a serious political fight for left-wing social policies within the two-party system." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. May/June 1997.htm. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. Sid Peck. that he expected 25 people to die.org/taemj97s. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. http://www. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. At the event. Thursday. accessed May 2. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. He recruited the Yippies. Having secured pacifist cover. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. 2002.theamericanenterprise.org/taemj97s. Wednesday.wcdebate.htm. November 27. the New Left and the Leftover Left. accessed May 1. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. 2002. but it gives the lie to those who argue that there is simply no connection between the early humanist New Left and the later Weathermen. PREACHING PACIFISM." 4. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. http://www. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist.htm. accessed May 1. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Rennie Davis.
such as history textbooks used in schools. but almost universally accepted. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. rather than shying away from controversy.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://howardzinn. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 506 4 Zinn. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. These are that writing should be disinterested. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism.2 One of Zinn¶s primary arguments against this approach is that the disinterested and ³rational´ approach to history facilitates a distance between the historian and the subject matter that leads to complicity with evils in history: It is precisely by describing the brutality of war. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. he has authored several plays. within the context of history. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. I will address each of these in turn. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. either nationally or in terms of his own life. the character flaws of our leaders. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors.com/papers/sonoma/04. 2002.wcdebate.org/index23. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. accessed May 11. The author of more than 15 books.. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship.96/books9616. p. THE ZINN READER. accessed May 12. that is.000 copies. 507 5 Zack Stenz. p.metroactive. he actively engages it. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. 2002. spoken word CDs. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. April 18-24 1996. because. and rational (unemotional). The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. p. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive.com . that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. His progressive history text. has sold more than 800.htm 2 Howard Zinn. neutral). History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. objective. np. [and] popular leaders. the church.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.e. revolutionized the way history is told. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. 503-506 3 Zinn.1 In addition to his historical writing. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. rules for ³good´ scholarship. http://www. in part. 1997.´4 for example. ³Zinn is a champion of the notion that historical change occurs more through mass movements of ordinary people than through the wisdom and insight of so-called Great Men. THE ZINN READER. from the author¶s perspective. p.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. the mass media.18. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides. no date. ³Zinn and the Art of History.´5 This is due. scientific (i. There are four ways in particular that Zinn¶s historical methodology radically different from the norm: he recognizes (and even embraces) the bias in perspective that is a natural part of historiography. In contrast.
³[D]espite his popularity. to a great degree. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. and prohibited union membership."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. This is the perspective of much of his historical writing (A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES includes lots of infrequently taught labor union history) as well as the chapter of his memoir called ³Growing Up Class Conscious´ from YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Despite the benefits of that job.wcdebate. lived in tenements.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. Finally. and his next job as an Air Force bomber.com . but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. however. Marx. 8 Howard Zinn. then the punishment itself is unjust. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. in nearly all of his books. which favors the rich." Zinn says. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. and closely related to the last point. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. Upton Sinclair. Zinn does not shy away from controversy in either his historical writing or his commentary on modern political events in magazines such as THE PROGRESSIVE. The book is organized into nine sections. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. accessed May 12. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. and others. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. MOTHER JONES. Instead. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. and various communist. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. Inspired by his students. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. and anti-fascist writers. NONVIOLENCE. Stenz. which was painful. np. 1998. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. his youth heavily influenced his perspective on class in the United States: ³If you look at the laws passed in the United States from the very beginning of the [A]merican republic down to the present day.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. p. Third. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. However. is focused specifically on this topic. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. At age eighteen. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. from his role as a professor. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. he participated in extensive protest with his students. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. during the depression. Z MAG. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman.´8 Despite being someone who might be described as having ³pulled himself up by his bootstraps´ to raise from a working class background to a famous intellectual. Georgia. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. John Stienbeck. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. particularly the United States. December 3. p. but extends to all of his writing. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. One of his lesser known books.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Zinn came from a working class background. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law.org/index23. This stems. 2002. np. physically demanding. http://howardzinn. anarchist.
Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 1968. by Zinn.com . for example. Unfortunately. On the one hand. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. p.´ which Zinn argues are taken out of context when they are characterized as arguing that protesters must accept the punishment for their acts of civil disobedience.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. nonviolence is better than violence. p. may be morally defensible. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property.´10 The litmus test for determining the legitimacy of violence in civil disobedience has to do with the degree to which it is discriminating: Violence might be justifiable as it approaches the focusing and control of surgery. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. Zinn points out. most of the people who respond to this argument are people²such as Malcom X and Ward Churchill²who explicitly espouse levels of violence that may be difficult to defend. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. etc. This would include violating curfews. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence. In any humanist philosophy. Generally. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´9 In fact. 45 11 Howard Zinn..g. Zinn argues that all things being equal. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE LIMITED TO LAWS WHICH ARE THEMSELVES WRONG Statists argue that violating laws other than those which are directly unfair is unjustified. Moreover. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. 1968. Furthermore. a massive amount of violence for a small or dubious reason would be harder to justify than a small amount of violence for an important and a clear reason.wcdebate. In a theoretical sense. as being a nonviolent world. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. Zinn writes.. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 29 Howard Zinn.11 9 Howard Zinn. This argument. desegregation). 1968. Revolutionary warfare. Martin Luther King Jr. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. in the course of a protest.. and progress generally. or a local tyrannical elite. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. Self-defense is by its nature focused. On the other hand. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. he points out that the severity of the protest must be weighed against the severity of the injustice: ³Would not any reasonable code have to weigh the degree of violence used in any case against the importance of the issue at stake? Thus. p. blocking streets. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr.
THE ZINN READER. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just. particularly for a United States historian. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. and must therefore be followed.18.96/books9616. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. Often. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book.¶ what was considered Zinn. Nevertheless. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. April 18-24 1996. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. or anything else. p. In these situations. 2002. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it.metroactive. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. This is certainly true at times. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. 371 14 Zinn. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. stability. There is also justice«.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. then law and justice are opposed to one another. social. and order are desirable. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life. in various terms. p. is that law is created by the people. and she sees no other effective method. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. It is hard to imagine how anyone could read Zinn¶s articles or book chapters about the civil rights or labor movements without sensing the strong sense of pride he feels in American people. peace. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. accessed May 11.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. RULE OF LAW HAS INTRINSIC VALUE / DEMOCRACY MAKES PROTEST UNNECESSARY There are two primary justifications for the argument that the law has intrinsic value and that. therefore. they maintain peace and stability. p. but it may not bring justice. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. 370-371 Zinn. Many conservative historians.com . Thus. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. THE ZINN READER. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed.¶ Zinn says. be it material.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. as we have seen throughout history. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. But when it sends young men to war. http://www. THE ZINN READER.wcdebate. There are two primary differences First. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit.com/papers/sonoma/04. Chaos and violence are not. and will therefore be just. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely.
However.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. far from being unpatriotic.18. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction.metroactive.com .com/papers/sonoma/04.org/zinn0701. ³Artists of Resistency.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. April 18-24 1996. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. Howard Zinn. ³Artists of Resistency.progressive. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people. accessed May 11. http://www.96/books9616.wcdebate. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies. 2002. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«. 2002.org/zinn0701. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy. http://www. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. often successfully.progressive. accessed May 11. And that's a critical thing to do.html 17 Howard Zinn. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot. in contrast to the perception of his critics. by Mark Twain: Similarly. Zinn feels that the real. accessed May 11.´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government. July 2001. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders. July 2001.html 18 Zack Stenz. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility. Thus. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted. Instead. http://www. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win. 2002.
Boston: Beacon Press.howardzinn. 2001 Zinn. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. http://free. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES).htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 1999 Fortas. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES. 1964 FREESPEECH.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. MUSICIANS. New York: Harper Perennial. New York: Seven Stories Press. Boston: Beacon Press.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. Howard. New York: Vintage Books. Accessed May 17.wcdebate. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002 Zinn.ORG.org/bios/homepage. 2002. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. Howard. 1994 Zinn. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. 1968 Zinn. 2002.org/evolution/articles. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. SALESGIRLS. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR. Howard. 1991 Zinn. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. http://www. Abe. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. New York: Harper Perennial. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Howard. 2000 Zinn. Accessed May 17. 2001 Zinn. et al. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Accessed May 17.com . Howard. 2000 Zinn. Howard.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. Howard. New York: Signet Books.freespeech. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press.zmag. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. New York: Seven Stories Press. http://www. Ward.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. It's always taken the actions of citizens and actions of civil disobedience to bring these issues to national attention and finally force the President and Congress and the Supreme Court to begin to move. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://howardzinn. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. to disorder. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. December 3. accessed May 12. free black people. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. injustices of all sorts. 2002. And what it does is declare a willingness to decide when laws are consonant with morality and when laws are immoral and support terrible things like war or racism or sexism. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. December 3. 1998. 3. 2002. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. to the 1850s.com .htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. that has not been done by the three branches of government that are always paraded before junior high school students and high school students as the essence of democracy.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. p. and preferably directed against property rather than people. And in a number of cases. juries acquitted them. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 1968. or in) self-defense. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. 1998. they gathered together in committees. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. sometimes the law that is disobeyed is a law against trespassing or a law against picketing and people will commit civil disobedience and trespass as the sitdown strikers did in the United States in the 1930s when they took over factories or as the black protesters did in the civil rights movement in the United States when they sat down in lunch counters and refused to move. limited. There are two reasons for such criteria. accessed May 12. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. 48-49. And in the 1850s. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. http://howardzinn. Well people in the North. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 2.org/index23. white people. may move from mild actions. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. black people. It hasn't been Congress or the President or the Supreme Court who have initiated acts to remedy racial inequality or tho do something about the government going to war or about economic injustice. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. and other means have been exhausted. escaped slaves.org/index23. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South.
65-66. 1968. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. the law of the politicians´ to obey the higher law²what Reverend Coffin and Father Berrigan would call ³the law of God´ and what others might call the law of human rights. and justice. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). and before him. ³It¶s not God¶s law. p. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. their calls for war. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. the principles of peace. The psychologist Erich Fromm. 2. she responded quietly. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. or finally. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. The feeling is justified. a devastating war waged. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. The result of all this is that most of us²when we are honest with ourselves²feel utterly helpless to affect public policy by the orthodox channels. thinking about nuclear war. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. we have freedom to speak. once referred to the biblical Genesis of the human race and the bite into the forbidden apple: ³Human history began with an act of disobedience and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. the representative takes over (as Rousseau.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. 400-401. 2002. http://howardzinn. 1998. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. when Dan went underground. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law. Undemocratic because it divests you as an individual and the right to make a decision yourself about what is right or wrong and it gives all of that power to that small band of legislators who have decided for themselves what is right and what is wrong.wcdebate. it is obedience to governments. 3. Surely. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. Kennedy Campaigning). accessed May 12.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.htm So the Law should not be given the holy deference which we are all taught to give it when we grow up and go to school. freedom.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. We forget that the information on which the public depends for judging public issues is in the hands of the wealthiest sections of the (true. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. for the most part nonviolent. p. ironically. Historically.org/index23. December 3. 1997. And the rights of even a portion of the laboring population were secured only by extra-legal uprisings in a wave of violent labor struggles from 1877 to 1914. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century.´) The truth is so often the total reverse of what has been told us by our culture that we cannot turn our heads far enough around to see it. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. how she felt about her son defying the law. We forget what the history of American politics has shown repeatedly: that there is only the vaguest connection between the issues debated in an election campaign and those ultimately decided by the government. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice.com . Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. that the moment we have cast our ballots. in their appeals to patriotism. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot..
however peacefully intended by their organizers. But at the same time. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. If he is properly arrested. The motive of civil disobedience. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. He may. 64-65. and controlled. and as a matter of good sense. However careful both sides may be. our Constitution and our traditions. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. Both of these are essential. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion.wcdebate. 1968. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. But despite this. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. p. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. who refused to pay withholding taxes because she thought they were unlawful and she wanted to protest the invasion of her freedom as a capitalist and citizen. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. 1968. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. or both. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. however large and inconvenient. does not confer immunity for law violation. must be identified. there is always danger that individual. free of punishment or penalty. He cannot pick and choose. p. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. as well as practical wisdom. p. whatever their object. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. 2. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution.com . Agitators and provocateurs. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. These mass demonstrations. and restrained law enforcement. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. it is the city¶s duty under law. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. It was true in the case of Mrs. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. 70-71. We are a government and a people under law. teach us that city officials. a young man may be advised by counsel that he must refuse to report for induction in order to challenge the constitutionality of the Selective Service Act. Each of us must live under law.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ordered. Frequently. charged. The city must perform this duty. This is very different from the kind of civil disobedience which is not engaged in for the purpose of testing the legality of an order within our system of government and laws. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. indeed. It is not merely government that must live under law. persuasion. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. These are not controlling. Demonstrators must be organized. in accordance with the provisions of law. Vivian Kellems. For example. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. 3. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. and convicted. however noble. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. whatever its type. 62-63. of course. for the rules of law. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. He may be passionately inspired. 1968.
in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. As these conditions typically include war. Accessed May 17. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. In El Salvador in 1944. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www..html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action.uow. Australia. if followed to its logical conclusions. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. np. leaves its adherents with but two possible outcomes to their line of action: To render themselves perpetually ineffectual (and consequently unthreatening) in the face of state power. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. 3. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. Australia. 2001. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. In either event ² mere ineffectuality or suicide ² the objective conditions leading to the necessity for social revolution remain unlikely to be altered by purely pacifist strategies. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. 2001. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. or even a substantial social reorganization. p.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. http://www. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. p. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. ³ Violent intervention by others divides itself naturally into the two parts represented by Gandhi¶s unsolicited ³windfall´ of massive violence directed against his opponents and King¶s rather more conscious and deliberate utilization of incipient antistate violence as a means of advancing his own pacifist agenda. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters.edu. p. 2002. Pacifist praxis (or. http://www. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. and continued repression in following decades.wcdebate. pseudo-praxis).uow. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. Nonviolent tacticians imply (perhaps unwittingly) that the ³immoral state´ which they seek to transform will somehow exhibit exactly the same sort of superior morality they claim for themselves (i. after a short flowering.´ 2. Accessed May 17. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. There was a military coup later in 1944. in practical terms. it is inadequate on its own. more appropriately. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. Associate Professor in Science. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. or.e. 2002. worthwhile change. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. In every instance. Associate Professor in Science. 44 Absurdity clearly abounds when suggesting that the state will refrain from using all necessary physical force to protect against undesired forms of change and threats to its safety.com . np. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). 2001. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential.
Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. But the guy is a pretty sharp old. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. And. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. and Nye¶s likely got it. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. JR. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. Longtime professor? Check. He is a Rhodes Scholar.D program in government at Harvard. Jr.wcdebate. JR. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. Jr. those are some big outstretched wings. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. well. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. you¶d sort of be right. Just look at the wide variety of sources that have praised his work: from Machiavellian realists like Henry Kissinger to loose cannons like George Soros. He seems decidedly less dogmatic than a great deal of his contemporaries who have spent their entire careers in the Beltway or the Ivory Tower. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. and received his bachelor¶s degree in an interdisciplinary major from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1958.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Joseph Nye. was born in 1937.com . When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. bald white establishment guy. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. You might think that Nye is merely another old. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. However. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. Joseph Nye. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. Well versed in foreign policy. All the while. and a graduate of the Ph. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. economic.com . It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. that's hard power. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. then. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.cultural. "Hard power is when I coerce you--if I the use a carrot or a stick to get you to do something you otherwise wouldn't do. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. 2002. engagement." This has not changed since September 11.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. particularly in the post Cold War world. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -. a hawk per se. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. then the United States must not isolate china. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. as should be clear. for example." Nye has said. etc. Nye is not. How. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response..always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. we aren¶t going to invade them. Containment is a more hawkish strategy. such an evolution may continue. That said. does one secure American interests. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. China will be a force in the new century. the case of China. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. An attempt to treat China as a threat. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade. in fact. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. Nye reasons. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy .wcdebate. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W. Take. He meditates on the differences between soft and hard power in his book THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE. for example. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power. But if I get you to want what I want. If that is true.
It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. Volume 9 Page 94 history's tragic ironies if domestic politics leads to an unnecessary Cold War in Asia that will be costly for this and future generations of Americans.com . even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history. we should be using our influence in a positive manner. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. the International Monetary Fund.wcdebate.´ he wrote. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. especially the radical left. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. such as China. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. and the World Trade Organization. in his view. Rather than isolating other nations. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable.
and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. and in Japan particularly. Perhaps there is a reason that Henry Kissinger has praised Nye despite their differences? IN CONCLUSION It¶s always difficult to analyze a scholar¶s impact while that scholar is still producing materials ± especially when that scholar is as prolific as Nye continues to be.wcdebate. This entails both the United States maintaining a military presence in Asia (predominantly on the island of Okinawa) and the United States continuing to exert influence over Japan in international relations. the distinction between soft power and hard power. many take issue with Nye¶s notion of the American national interest -and his assumption that advancing the American national interest is in the interest of the world at large. critics say. Critics of this policy. you will probably find them.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. than the U. His most recent book was just published this year.-Japan relationship. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals.S. critics say. for example. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. It is more likely. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it. according to Johnson.´ No matter how you slice it. American credibility is diminished. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Just look at Okinawa. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. not enhanced. The mainstream left criticizes Nye¶s optimism about the positive influence of American soft power and the stabilizing character of the American military presence overseas. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. There is no better example of this blowback. This type of self-justifying behavior. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. Johnson argues. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. For example. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. if you go looking for enemies.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas.S. Similarly. Further left. on too many fronts. Instead.S. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. security relationship. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. However.com . As the old Chinese proverb goes. While Nye might say that the United States should continue to maintain a forward presence in Asia in order to prevent a power vacuum in the region. including the Japan Policy Research Institute (headed by the noted Asian scholar Chalmers Johnson) argue that the American military presence is more destabilizing than anything. Nye¶s defense of the U. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. Even open-minded. Take. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true.
.co. Joseph S.4384507. 2000). Jr. Jr. Nye. (New York: The Free Press. Nye.. D. August 2001) Nye. HAWKS. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. 1986). Jr. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.. Jr. Jr. Joseph S. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000).: Brookings Institution Press. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. Nye.. Joseph S. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1990). Joseph S. Joseph S. Nye.org/jpri/public/crit5.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nye. JPRI CRITIQUE. Jr.3858. Nye. http://www. Jr.. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press. Zelikow and Davic C. January 1998. co-edited with Philip D. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. Donahue (Washington. Joseph S. 1997)..-Feb. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR.´ CURRENT (September 1999). 2000. Nye. THE OBSERVER. 1999) Nye. Jr.. democracy. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY.jpri.C..com . Number 1. http://www. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values. Joseph S..html. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O. 2002. Jr. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000).. co-edited with John D. NUCLEAR ETHICS. Jr. Jr. Joseph S. accessed May 1. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT.. March 31. (New York: Basic Books.wcdebate. Joseph S. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Joseph S. Joseph S. 2002. Jr.. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. Volume V. Jr.. Joseph S. Keohane]. 1985). Joseph S. Jr. Joseph S..1.com? Governance in A Networked World. 2002. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. Nye. (New York: Longman. accessed May 5. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. January 2002) Nye. Nye. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. 3d ed.observer. Nye.uk/Print/0. Nye.html.00. 2001).
co. and Brazil.observer.co. 2002. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. However. Washington. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe. March 31. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.3858. D.00. Nye. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1.observer.uk/Print/0." For globalization's supporters. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent. 2002. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S.uk/Print/0. 2. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S. economic. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.C. coming mainly from rich countries.com . The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. if current economic and social trends continue. March 31. Nye.remain relevant. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. such as China. http://www. THE OBSERVER. Quebec City. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. Nye.00.. In such a variegated world. pluralism. and that limits the transformation of power. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.html. Jr. Some reject corporate capitalism. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.co. THE OBSERVER. 3. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia.observer. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S.. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. 2002. Nye.4384507. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy.00. 2002. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. the Netherlands.org/articles/Nye0701. THE OBSERVER. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. LIBERALISM. India. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. Other countries. Jr. accessed May 1.. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers.html. http://www. Jr. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power.4384507. accessed May 1. accordingly. accessed May 1. this last concern is key. and soft .3858. http://www. Jr.foreignaffairs. Conversely.html. March 31. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow.uk/Print/0. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. 2002. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority. 4.military.3858. and the Scandinavian states have political clout that is greater than their military and economic weight because of their support for international aid and peace-keeping. Protest organizers such as Lori Wallach attributed half the success of the Seattle coalition to "the notion that the democracy deficit in the global economy is neither necessary nor acceptable.4384507. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. all three sources of power . Seattle.html.wcdebate. July/August 2001. Of all their complaints.. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. And countries like the Canada. Prague. http://www. and autonomy. These protesters are a diverse lot. 2002. accessed May 2. 2002.
split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. accessed May 3. In that sense. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1.html.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals.´ June 22.nyu.. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.´ June 22.html. Second.html. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders.. np. 2002. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways. Moreover. http://www. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. 2. http://www. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. 4. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Jr. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. Jr.nyu. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. But it is not true in every case. Jr. 3. America's edge will continue to persist. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. a crude policy of containment would not work. Jr. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China.html. Unlike the Soviet Union. 2002. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous.com .wcdebate. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point.´ June 22. p. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. For one thing. only China can produce an effective containment policy. accessed May 3. np.nyu. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. Nye. Pessimists about China's future and about America's continuing strength argue for a policy of containment analogous to our response to the Soviet Union after World War II. 1998. First. If we treat China as an enemy now.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. http://www. accessed May 3. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues.´ June 22. accessed May 3. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. I agree. 1998. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. 1998. Third. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. Nye. Containment is likely to be irreversible. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. Three times in two weeks. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. np. http://www. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S.nyu. np. 2002. 2002. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.. p. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. p. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. Containment has three fatal flaws. Isolating other countries is bad policy.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. Nye. In an election year.. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. Nye. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998.
As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. p. accessed May 1. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. 2. Mount Allison University. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. No. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. µhard¶ power was about ends and the bottom-line criteria necessary to achieve those ends while µsoft¶ power was about process and the means to an end. unquantifiable and indirect. (Operation Allied Force. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. 2. µHard¶ power was objective. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. The comparative dimension was critically important. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt. 1999.. as. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined.wcdebate. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. 2. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. In the study of transnational relations. 2. Fall 1999.¶ he argued. p. np.janushead. real-time. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. 2002. np. accessed May 1." Space-based surveillance. Fall. 4. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. JANUS HEAD Vol. 2002. was the contrast between authority and liberty. by contrast. The terms originate with Joseph S. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. it was further assumed.cfm.org/2-2/whunt. Jr. JANUS HEAD Vol. http://www. 2. µSoft¶ power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. by contrast.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention.org/2-2/whunt.janushead. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. or to be more precise. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt.com . Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective.janushead. More ancient still. In his view of the world there is a subtle but implicit business orientation in which the notion of µsoft¶ power takes on entrepreneurial boldness. and at a greater philosophic remove. No. Fall. in his phrase. Entrepreneurial dynamism.cfm. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world.. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category. was tied to the ability to innovate. 2002. http://www. as did advances in communications technology. Mount Allison University. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. to the test.cfm. In this context. http://www. accessed May 1. 1999. Mount Allison University. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. In short. No. np. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors. 2. According to Nye. Nye. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension.. JANUS HEAD Vol. 2. The first was readily understandable because it spoke to the traditional role of the state which was to provide for security of the person as well as the security of property.org/2-2/whunt. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1.
January 1998. accessed May 5.1. 982 responded.S.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. for failing to make up our mind.4% of the Americans want the U. In Japan. http://www. Last November 30. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. So much for some of those shared common interests. military presence in Asia should be maintained-which Joseph Nye cites as evidence of "the broad public support in both countries for the reaffirmation of the Japan-U.S. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U.. but despite the immense might that that implies. Security Treaty.1. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. perhaps even a superduper power. 2002.9% of the Japanese and 20. of course. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. Only 26% of the U.S. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos.org/jpri/public/crit5. 3. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. In an accompanying article.S. 2002. respondents gave the Middle East top billing.html. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. is in itself a choice. increased Chinese potency. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers. these books definitely differ.S.952 people were interviewed. Volume V. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). Security relationship"-40. Volume V. Joseph Nye. whereas 58% of U. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. these books are similar. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results.S. But in working out our strategy.S. 1. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. January 1998.jpri. matters are much harder to figure out. 2002. and a rather bad one. Today. accessed May 5.S. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. Moreover. and the fact that the 'hosts. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy.S. in the U. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. 2.html. B1. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine.jpri. Number 1. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. JPRI CRITIQUE. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. The chief difference. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. to put the matter bluntly.wcdebate. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects.S. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. Thus. Most likely. military presence reduced. Feb. In some respects. http://www. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. Number 1. Yet we must choose.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute.' the Japanese. While approximately half of both Japanese and U. the Yomiuri published the results of an opinion poll it had commissioned from the Gallup organization concerning Japanese and American attitudes toward the Japan-U. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility. That may not have been how it seemed at the time.org/jpri/public/crit5. p. These are sizeable percentages. ST. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. planes. so they say. investment adviser. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. JPRI CRITIQUE. 27. respondents think that the U.com . uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -.
would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. and then his political project. in a larger sense. Ralph Nader is one of a kind. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. After exploring his life. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. of course. Ralph Nader recalls. At age 17. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. there were nearly 50. oppression. but wishes he were not. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. He had to do most of this on his own. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. which. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. and. assets and conditions are never for sale. he entered Princeton University. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. Applied beyond our borders. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. By 1965. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. and in 1959 published his first article. environmental perils. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. At the time. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. Nathra. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs." in THE NATION. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. took issue with the assumption. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. in fact. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. I will try to explain his philosophy. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. The book contained a theme that. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. ²Ralph Nader. By age 14. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies.wcdebate. He researched automobile safety anyway. illiteracy. and like most immigrants they experienced some dissonance upon coming into the country and witnessing both great acts of public good and objectionable acts of elitist exploitation. Guided by such values. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost.com . just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. Nader. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. and so on. An excellent student. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. Connecticut.000 automobile deaths every year in America. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but wishes there were others like him.
nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W.´ and as such. Bush in 2000. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. (http://www.wcdebate. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. Throughout the next thirty years. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore." But Jefferson. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. in mandatory seat belts and air bags). consumers.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves. In fact. the highest office is the office of citizen.mit. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable. official secrecy. and a plethora of other causes." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. Education and Welfare. First and most importantly. workers. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. in a democracy. albeit reluctantly. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. it is argued. Nader spent the rest of the 1960s expanding his project to include the creation of various task forces and groups of young advocates dedicated to consumer safety and rights. then. who had written. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. Nader's "Raiders." as they came to be called. would have a similar idea in 1970."the public interest" -was a bold.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility.. First. of course. Why.nader. Nor could James Madison. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.. Since the 2000 campaign. and shareholders. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement. it is also a contemporary application of Jeffersonian democracy to conditions he and the other founders could not necessarily have foreseen: The inspiration came directly from Thomas Jefferson.com . as the quotation below explains. contrary to his predictions. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. (http://bostonreview. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. 10 essay. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. when he founded Common Cause. innovative development in American politics at the time. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED." John Gardner. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law.2/nader. taxpayers. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame.edu/BR18. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility. some decades later. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. the people are the ultimate authorities. but.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. author of the famous Federalist No. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. simply a distrust).html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. Of course. fought for increased water quality. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability.
Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. p. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. sellers need consumers. "above" the laws of most nations. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. And. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. over the past few decades. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. rather. 4. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring.wcdebate. Nader is none of these. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. Second. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. 3. even a Stalinist. literally. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. Finally. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. torts and contracts. giant corporations. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. most recently. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. a socialist. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. to institutionalized.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and frequently more power than. a communist. which should belong to everyone. In fact. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. and increasing public financing of elections.com . and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. are available to the highest bidder." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. any elected or appointed political leader. 1999. 56 Over the past two presidential races. many on the anti-capitalist left see Nader as wanting to "save" corporations and capitalism by forcing reforms that smart corporate executives would favor as a way to make themselves look better. literally. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. Such an argument assumes what many capitalist apologists assume without proof: that citizens possess near-perfect information about public and private transactions and the effects of corporate decisions. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts.´ ±Nader. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. 2. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars.
Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. He would like to see much more of this. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. including candidate Jim Young for governor. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. and often makes things considerably worse. Along the same lines. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. libertarians claim.com . if we hold out for ³everything. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. This is an ongoing argument. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). Democrats." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. higher taxes for corporations. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. Regulations fail. but the Green Party's current plans. if successful. especially liberal Democrats. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. The problem here is not merely one election. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. as some would say in reference to Bush. May 7.'' (VILLAGE VOICE. but also that elitism is desirable. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. to accept some of what we want. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. At present. To begin with. May 21. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. Steverman) reports. 5. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. but if they are threatened with punishment. or voting for Nader: Sam Smith is right when he points out that the liberal establishment in the Democratic Party--which includes the current congressional leaders of the party--''yawned as the Clintons disassembled their own cause and became incensed when Ralph Nader dared to defend it. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. Bush. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss. Democrats respond that. Of course. It is much more fruitful to concentrate on the pragmatic implications of Nader¶s beliefs than to question whether democracy and citizen empowerment are good things. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. This is because those people believe that. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use." In Wisconsin. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. worse than nothing!).´ we end up with nothing (or.wcdebate.
since it¶s what we have. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. government is the people. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. After all.com . Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. Were it up to him. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. read commentary about him. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher.wcdebate. Nader eschews elitism. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. Nader is no fan of capitalism. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. He might also open the door to more radical alternatives to the kind of politics and economics we seem destined to accept in the status quo. in the strongest democratic traditions. but he argues that. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. At the same time. it remains to be seen whether advocates of Nader¶s ideas can articulate the sense in which citizen empowerment differs from traditional advocacy of government intervention. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. Ralph Nader inspires three main ideas with immediate and far-reaching implications on value debate: Capitalism can exist with checks and balances: Traditional value debates about capitalism and its alternatives tend to be very black-and-white. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. exploitation and imperialism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. either-or. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. However. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. not merely philosophically. we should keep it in check. Unlike so many of our sources. and not just theoretically attractive. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state.
Ralph.J. Ralph. N. Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. Ralph. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. 1997). Nader. Nader. McCarry. NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. Nader. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. Isaac.com . 1975). UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. Dan M. Martin's Press. Katherine.] (New York: Grossman. Charles. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. Ralph. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. 1972). CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. Ralph. Nader. Nader. Robert F. 1975).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1977).wcdebate. Ralph. Nader. Ralph. 1976). NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. 1973). 1982). Chu. Nader. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1972). Ralph. 1973). TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Nader.: Prentice-Hall 1972). Franklin D. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. Gorey. Martin's Press. 2002). Burt. Nader. RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. 1974). 1986). Ralph. 2000). Hays. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton. Ralph Nader Congress Project. 1996).
Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. 56. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader. Eighty percent of the workers in the bottom eighty percent of the job force have seen their wages decrease since 1973 when adjusted for inflation. schools. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. If people think more about how major business executives work. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. limiting their ability to deal with reality. mass famines. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. 56. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. 1999. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE. 2. p. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. we would begin to see that twenty-five percent of children grow up in poverty and that this is the highest in the western world. artificial intelligence. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. production. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets.profits are up. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. political activist. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. inflation is down. political activist.´ the ³invisible pollutant. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. and unemployment is down. loan guarantees. the stock market is up. p. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. Yet. debt revocations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2000. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. 1986. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. political activists. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . p. and marketing technologies. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before. 2. tax loopholes. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1. 521. giveaways. THE BIG BOYS. and weaken our democracy.com . injure our national security. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. This is very far from the way modern corporations plan to reduce risks through market power and to get the public to help pay their costs through tax breaks and other subsidies.´ the ³invisible gene. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist.having accepted their condition and resigned.´ the ³invisible currency. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. clinics. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. p. 1999. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. political activist. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs. bailouts. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat.wcdebate. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption.
water. It would cost jobs. will be met with the refrain. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. depress wage levels. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. 2. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements.S. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. 1 Citizens beware. 1993. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. state offices. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. By contrast. political activist. called the Uruguay Round. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. for example. Congress. Narrow. Capitol. 3. adoption. 6. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. p. the U. p.S. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. we won¶t be able to compete. and land.wcdebate. state. 1993. THE ENVIRONMENT. Every element of the negotiation. the U. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). or limit their pollution of the air. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. and make workplaces less safe.com . 1993. ³You can¶t burden us like that. hoping to insert a special tax exemption or subsidy in the dark of night and have it voted on before the public (or even most Congressional representatives) know it exists. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. safety.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. If you do. in the halls of the U. abstruseness. political activist. It would destroy family farms and undermine consumer protections such as those ensuring that the food you eat is not compromised by unsanitary conditions or higher levels of pesticides and preservatives. Secrecy. p. political activist. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. STATE. or even at the United Nations. 3. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
´ 2. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. But it is a radical departure from U. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. 1982. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. and seek to change it. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and social system. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. employers. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register.com . NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. at the bank. 20 Instead. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. p. and consumers. and local governments. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. state. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In this regard. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. And it has been and would be a government they run. America would become a more centrally governed and less free.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. President of Capital Legal Foundation. or in the investment markets. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. a new elite of un-elected. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. Burt. Mr. on our daily lives. In sum. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. President of Capital Legal Foundation.wcdebate. individualistic nation.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. p. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels.S. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. political tradition of the last 200 years. Burt. p. 20 What is clear is that Mr. Burt. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. Our diverse. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. economic. This is a distinct political ideology. In other words. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. In some cases. in turn. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. President of Capital Legal Foundation. p. President of Capital Legal Foundation. 8. SEC. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. 1982. de-centralized political. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. Burt. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. 1982. 1982. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. It embodies an inherent distrust of traditional political and social organizations to represent the public adequately and to wage the fight for the ³common good. 2.
because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. 2000. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. he said. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5. most prosperous nation in the world. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. 2. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.000 to 400.000" to Mexico. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. October 22.S. 2. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350. 2000. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. or Pfizer. 2000. p.000. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. But several days before Gingrich spoke. THE HARTFORD COURANT. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations.com . July 25. A-19. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. July 25.000 votes and finished in fourth place. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. healthiest.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution.corporate influence. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. Professor of Economics at MIT. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. 3. columnist. Cohen. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. editor of Slate. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. In 2000." The Green Party's press release states that "Nader's advisors claim that his campaign will help turn out the vote and could assist the Democrats in taking back Congress." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. THE MILITANT. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. markets.wcdebate.I'm serious -. A-19. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. He isn't like you and me. we are the happiest." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. Professor of Economics at MIT." reads the statement. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. columnist. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. Michael Kinsley." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. That's the problem with Ralph.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. p." At the same time. because -. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars. p. must be bad for the world. March 6. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. the one that ended apartheid. 2000.like the laws of every market economy -. or any corporation. C3.
write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. In the South (and. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps.´ What do we learn from reading the work of Lani Guinier? What do we learn from the fact that her nomination was torpedoed? To answer the first question. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. she believed in quotas for minority hiring in order to make up for the problems caused by systematic racism for the past 200 years in this country.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. if you can¶t vote. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . right? During and prior to the Civil War. In fact. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black.What do we learn from the fact that her nomination was torpedoed? ± we learn that being an insightful critical thinker instead of a partisan demagogue is a sure way to avoid public service at a high level. to be fair. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. which also had elections? Any democratic theory worth its salt has to acknowledge that an inability to vote equals an inability to call one¶s government a legitimate and functioning democracy. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. Attorney General for Civil Rights because. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture. a ³quota queen. it isn¶t a true democracy to you. And even then and immediately thereafter. Period. As for the second proposition -. As Mark Tushnet has written: ³Guinier's nomination to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division foundered because she understood those tensions and her work makes them apparent.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. We get to watch as one of the best legal minds in America grapples with issues to which there are no easy solution: to what extent does the pact inform today? What kind of remedies are effective for centurieslong discrimination? How can we ensure those remedies don¶t inflame the problem. For them. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. For understandable political reasons. you didn¶t get to vote. It had nothing to do with what I had written. She was. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. they claimed.wcdebate. the right wing said. After all. though.S. That¶s not just me being partisan. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. Now. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. and publish books. but it was a very useful. including slavery. can it be said (really) that slaves were living in a functional democracy? How about a non-member of the communist party under the Soviet Union. such a right was not truly meaningful. two: Quota Queen. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. many places in the North). we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country.
com . alternatively. The problem is that in other districts.´ The other problem. and some guy has a pit bull that snarls at you every time you approach the polls ± do you REALLY have the right to vote? Or. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. indeed. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. Harvey Gantt. cracking. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. we ought to defend it for minorities. it takes all kinds). and Jeb Bush¶s thuggish state troopers told you to turn around and drive home ± do you really have the right to vote? As you can see. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. imagine you are a member of a minority group (and maybe you are): are your interests being taken into account? Since white folks are the majority in many places. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice.mostly Republicans -. As Tushnet notes. people -.wcdebate. The thing is. The result is that you get one minority representative. Again. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. it has another value: an instrumental value. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem.discovered techniques that would guarantee the election of some members of racial minorities while actually reducing the chances that the views of those representatives would prevail in the legislature. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. though. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote.´ After all. And depending on how old there are. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. if the right to vote represents full citizenship. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster. of course. and created a right to select representatives of choice. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. if you go to vote. Plus. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. So. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. and stacking. and they are regularly outvoted. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. Hence.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. and you headed to the polls in Florida. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. For example.
Similarly. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. but there¶s another reason. every vote counts. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. economic.com . Hence. for example. And nice as that sounds. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now.´) After all. SOME OF GUINIER¶S SOLUTIONS We started out discussing voting rights law not just because it¶s an important subject that often gets short shrift. legislators can get concessions on another. They will vote to advance their own interests. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. but let¶s review some of the high points here. and you¶ll be in big trouble. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. For example. People are self-interested. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. That includes people living in a democracy. there needs to be some check on that abuse.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. and that includes affirmative action. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. When you¶re in power. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. stupid things. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be.wcdebate. for one thing. the first of which is just logical: if the majority votes to legalize cannibalism ± or to legalize discrimination against homosexuals (as my hometown of Canby. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. it doesn¶t work that way. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. a structural reform might be adopted where passing some policies might require a greater margin than a simple majority ± it might take a two-thirds majority to pass policies that could systematically have a negative effect on minorities. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. There are a couple of reasons why. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. Since every vote counts. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. Total majority rule. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. There would be problems with identifying these policies. So. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well.
and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. a left-wing critic of Guinier. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. seeing what is working and what is not. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. college administrators. and carry out the criteria that are adopted? Do their decisions support the institution as a public place? Are graduates contributing back to the institution and the society it serves? This continual review process would involve. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. The best strategy lies in other means. usually. programmatic change) thinker. However. Hence." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. and is relatively easy to understand. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. after all. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. etc. You might be surprised. And it would ask several important questions to guide such efforts: Are admissions processes consistent with the institution's purposes? Do they award opportunity broadly? Do they admit people who demonstrate competence and potential under a range of relevant measures? Are the relevant stakeholders involved in helping formulate. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. Guinier recognizes this. This doesn¶t always happen that way. and would include an assessment of what contributions society as a whole can expect from the student or worker after the preference policy assists them.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. for example. presumably. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. give feedback on.wcdebate. with its specific mission in mind. health care projects. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. their interests will be better served by legislators. crush their economic infrastructure.com . More often. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. though. rather than just in name. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. try to actively undermine their interests. Stephen Steinberg. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. that Indian tribes hate him so much. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. Guinier asks. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. each institution would.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. There is a reason.
wcdebate. economically viable future should check out her work. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . People that are interested in building a more racially just.
author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. Lani. Smith. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://bostonreview. 1-16. December 200/January 2001.edu/BR19. Vol. Lani. Guinier. p. Guinier. Guinier. 1998. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. 36-37.3/tushnet. 505525. 2002.com .6/connerly. Lani Guinier's Certainty. BOSTON REVIEW. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.mit. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. p. Tushnet. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill. p. Lani." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. 2002. New York: Simon & Schuster.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Guinier. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1994.6/steinberg. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. 1998. Boston: Beacon. 1995. Mark. 2002.wcdebate. Steinberg. Lani. Guinier. No. Jr." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. http://bostonreview. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.mit.edu/BR25. 5. p. accessed May 1. edited by J. Stephen. Guinier. accessed May 1. accessed May 1. Lani. New York: Free Press.mit. December 200/January 2001. http://bostonreview. Lani. C.edu/BR25. 1998. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. 1077-1154. January 8. Lani. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Guinier.html. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. 89.html. March 1991. Lani.html. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. 1998. Ward." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. Guinier. 1999. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly.." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. "President Clinton's Doubt.
Apparently." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89). GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. he admitted in an interview with Extra!.wcdebate. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans. Professor of Law at Harvard University." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. two conservative columnists. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. injecting further distortions into the process. 3. 4. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views.a process known as "race-conscious districting. her views were not only distorted. George Will and Lally Weymouth. the white minority in South Africa. county and municipal governing bodies in America. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). a Reagan-era Justice Department official. EXTRA!. electoral quotas or 'one black. July/August 1993. July/August 1993. after the nomination had already been killed -.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . as it was for Lally Weymouth. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. two votes' remedies." Indeed. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents. as George Will did. p. color-coded ballots." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. Nor did I write. July/August 1993." 2. 3. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. 3. EXTRA!. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93). One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -.com . Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine." In reality. p. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. July/August 1993. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. EXTRA!. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. p. 3. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review.on June 4. 3. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. EXTRA!.
3. 2. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. June 14. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women.wcdebate. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives.org/mainart/confirmative_action. like one¶s family tree or family assets. 6/14/93).minerscanary. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals.minerscanary. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. EXTRA!. July/August 1993. because it takes lessons from both the testocracy as well as affirmative action to confirm a set of experimental and pragmatic actions that begin to link (ad)mission practices for all students to the broad mission and public character of higher education in a multiracial democracy. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept." But more important.org/mainart/confirmative_action. but to ³lift as we climb. Merit." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. accessed May 1. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. in turn. That focus. we should seek to reconfirm the democratic role of higher education in a multiracial society by re-connecting admissions processes to the public mission of both public and private schools. and what constitutes fairness for all. In doing so. p. np. p. legitimacy and power base is the black community. 2000. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. June 14. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. p.shtml. can be chronicled with the proper instruments.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. accessed May 1. Harvard Law School. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. 2000. 2002. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. Professor. http://www. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. she was critiquing it. we confirm the benefits of affirmative action² but not simply to people of color²by re-casting merit as a practical term that is intimately connected with each institution¶s specific mission. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority." as George Will put it (Newsweek. http://www. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. np. In other words. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91). 3.com . It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. Professor. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. 2002. Harvard Law School. in other words. in a multiracial democracy.shtml.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. 2. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. octoroon.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -. http://bostonreview. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. one for which we should all be ashamed. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. Indian. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. All we need to do. accessed May 1. In 1970. 3.mit. Which invites the pessimist to reply that the failures of policy show that the principle of reciprocity really doesn't work on matters of importance to African Americans.edu/BR25. BOSTON REVIEW. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. Unfortunately.com . 2002. etc. people -. 2002. 2002. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race.6/connerly. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. For her. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave. their argument is not at all new. December 200/January 2001. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.html. she proposes. accessed May 1. For its entire history. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. EMPIRICALLY. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. and refreshing. accessed May 1. BOSTON REVIEW. Caucasian.that society is not so racially polarized. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group.3/tushnet. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. http://bostonreview. accessed May 1. http://bostonreview. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that. 2002. free black.6/connerly. 4. What is most striking about Guinier's work. Unfortunately. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. attracting topflight students from around the world.edu/BR19. http://bostonreview. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work.wcdebate.html. Instead. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center.edu/BR25. public policy could generate gains for everyone.mit.edu/BR25.html. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. December 200/January 2001. It is a long and sordid history." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. Hispanic. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly.mit. given these tensions.6/connerly. December 200/January 2001.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. Thus. it was surprising. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions.perhaps most particularly whites -. we ought to believe -.html. BOSTON REVIEW. City College¶s experiment has failed. Thus.mit.
don¶t fix it. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. "if it ain¶t broke. December 200/January 2001. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions.mit. Sturm and Guinier also make a compelling case that it would be fairer and more productive to judge applicants on the basis of performance criteria. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. The problem." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. December 200/January 2001. affirmative action has been under sustained assault. However. accessed May 1. As the saying goes.edu/BR25. At first blush. To be sure. but they end up acquiescing to the reversal of hard-won gains and falling back on reforms that are unlikely to be enacted in the foreseeable future. 3.6/steinberg. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate.com .6/steinberg. even if enacted. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. First. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who.edu/BR25. Against this background. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. though." 2. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1. http://bostonreview. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit.6/steinberg." The entire thrust of their argument is to explore alternatives to affirmative action that will broaden access of minorities and women to jobs and universities.html. The problem is that "for more than two decades. 2002. Therefore±alas.wcdebate.mit. What evidence is there that overhauling the selection criteria would open up avenues for women and minorities? In most large-scale organizations±corporations and universities alike±employees are routinely evaluated by superiors on an array of performance criteria.edu/BR25. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. Is so-and-so a "team player"? Does she do her job well? Does he have good communication skills? Does she make the tough decisions? Does he demonstrate leadership? Such judgments are easily tainted by personal prejudices. Indeed. Though they do not say so explicitly. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. Their ideological enemies will revel in this retreat to a second line of defense by two law professors who are identified with the cause of affirmative action.html.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 1. 2002. here the syllogism runs into trouble. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik." 2. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy. http://bostonreview. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg. two troubling questions arise.mit. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality.html. http://bostonreview. 2002. are Sturm and Guinier capitulating to the anti-affirmative action backlash and prematurely throwing in the towel for the sake of an illusory consensus? Second. provide the access to jobs and opportunities that are today secured by affirmative action? The logic of Sturm and Guinier¶s brief can be stated as follows: 1. On closer examination. December 200/January 2001. accessed May 1.
especially in analyzing revolutions. Dr.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). in fact. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. ³rapid. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. professor and well-known author. She is a native of the state of Michigan. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). Skocpol¶s way of tying social and political forces together and analyzing those issue which effect both provides debaters with a model for effective argumentation through a discussion of past events. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. It also allow debaters to utilize historical examples without making it sound simply like a list that can be easily countered by a list on the other side. an active citizen. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them.com . In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. First. Skocpol argues. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The examples she points to are rebellions that. Through comparative historical analysis she helps to create an understanding of international contexts and changes in domestic policies that spawn revolutionary change in a particular society. Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. by nature. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS.O. shows Skocpol. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods. that this particular form of change deserves special attention because they are a distinctive pattern of sociopolitical change that has a large and lasting effect on both the country where the revolution occurs as well as other nations around the world. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. However.´ (4).wcdebate. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. This perspective is useful for Lincoln Douglas debaters because it allows for method of examining values within a particular social and political climate and the effect they will have on particular resolutions. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department.E. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. full scale social revolution has been quite rare.C. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. ³class-based revolts from below. Not only is Dr. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. but she is a wife and mother. than other types of societal change. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. Skocpol a researcher. Next.
³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. Her claim is that: First.com . political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare.´ that view is inaccurate. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. if it wins. not all social revolution is a positive thing. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. Finally. Thus. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. social disorientation. After understanding that a particular class may come to a place where they realize the can struggle for change it is also important to understand how such groups may carry out their objectives. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. and the resources available to the group. which they labeled ³the warfare state.wcdebate. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. the United States¶ model.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. During wartime nations like Britain became successful in maintaining and increasing such policies by juxtaposing their model of the ³welfare state´ against the Nazi model. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. Hopefully.S. those individuals capable of creating change. A debater can use this strategy to make the argument that the status quo is good or at least that the case brought about by their opponent. their social position.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. and insurance for workers.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. the conditions that cause change. if affirmed. for better or worse. Then there develops a purposive. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance.S. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. The federal government has never created a national health insurance policy and though it offers some subsides for public assistance programs it is left up to the states to administer such policies.
Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States.com . Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. which included the charities and the home. However. unemployment was down. However. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Most importantly however. a widely accepted understanding in the U. moves away from an understanding of United States history as one where powerful men made all the decisions and women could only make marginal gains under a patriarchal framework. First. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low.S. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. having trouble obtaining health care and proper treatment at their jobs and not seeing the great wealth they heard about every night from the news media. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). Her book.´ When talking about the middle she refers both to those individuals who fall into the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum as well as the middle of the generations. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. politics and business. Skocpol takes on the challenge of creating a straightforward treatment of gender and social policies while learning from the more tentative arguments that have previously been made on the subject. Most nights the average American could turn on the news and see President Bill Clinton or Vice President Al Gore promoting their latest policy to put health care in the hands of the people and provide opportunities to the working class. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. ³U.S. the subject is not presented as one sided but rather analyzed through an understanding of the interplay between a variety of forces which she claims include women¶s organizations as well as. The work done by Skocpol in her book. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. this different perspective is one that allows debaters to emphasize the role of women in the history and development of United Stats social policy without painting the male population in a negative light.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. in this case the media was absolutely right. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. The framework she sets up in this work provides yet another useful mechanisim for analyzing problems with the social and political structure in the United States while finding workable solutions to those issues. this perspective allows debaters to move beyond shallow criticisms of a patriarchal structure to a full understanding of what that term truly means and how it may be an inaccurate criticism of United States policies. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. In such a political climate it struck many people as strange that Theda Skocpol would choose that time to speak out about inequality in America. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics.people who are not children and are not yet retirees. This has a number of implications for debate. She argues that up until this point the role of literature on women and welfare has been to sensitize readers to the subject and it therefore treats the subject through the use of narrative and interpretive essay.
Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). While college student and professors who judge Lincoln Douglas debate may be more amenable to radical discussions on either the right or the left of the resolution these individuals are not always the largest portion of a high school debater¶s judging pool. are generally ignored in political debates. Volume 9 Page 124 The people she is referring to are the one who fall somewhere in between the ³poor´ that are often the focus of welfare debates and the wealthy professionals who are usually defended in political debates by the conservative politicians. mainly. who Skocpol argues. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. Skocpol argues that because politicians continue to ignore the middle section of people in America¶s diverse spectrum of individuals they continuously miss the needs of this population. this theory differs from most current social and political theories in that it stand right in the middle of the dominant perspectives and still provides tons of clash with all of the things around it. The low unemployment rate sounds good but ignores the fact that more Americans are working harder for less money than they have before and a majority of those same people could care less about a rising stack market because they don¶t own stock or have the time to learn how to invest their money because they are too busy getting out there and trying to earn it. She points out that political debates devolve into conflicts between what are seen as the ³rich´ and ³poor´ in American society on issues such as welfare. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. Skocpol argues. This may leave some debaters thinking.com . Often working parents make up a large portion of the audience at tournaments and Skocpol¶s theory of the missing middle may be the perfect perspective with which to approach a resolution and make arguments that your audience can relate to. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. many of them parents. This work is especially important for Lincoln-Douglas debaters to have as a tool when determining a perspective with which to shape the debate for a couple of reasons. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. the working population. why would I want to take a middle of the road stance if there will still be a lot of literature that clashes with it? The answer to this is simple. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. and still are.wcdebate. First. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The reason many Americans found themselves feeling overworked at the end of the 1990s while the media reported on the positive status of America was because they were.S. Additionally. because Skocpol¶s theory tends to address the unspoken majority in American society she may provide a safer perspective when you are having trouble with audience analysis. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. The group Skocpol seeks to address are generally working Americans who spend long hours at a job because they need to feed families and want to create a decent life either as a single parent or in a dual income home. By examining a resolution through the missing middle perspective you seem to be avoiding the extreme positions and providing a discussion that is more palatable yet it will always clash with the dominant positions in these debates. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum.
tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class. The final reason that debaters may find Skocpol¶s work accessible is that she does not merely offer an explanation of why things are the way that they are nor does she stop after a thorough criticism of a particular structure. Additionally. No matter what subject a debater may access this author¶s work to find she will end her discussion with a workable solution to the problems laid out in the discussion. This particular theorist¶s work is a great tool for debaters because she takes the time to analyze situations from a viewpoint that allows the reader to examine historical examples. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. Volume 9 Page 125 LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE APPLICATIONS Some of the implications of this author¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debates have already been outlined in previous sections. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change.com . Following her structure will allow debaters not only to have a political theory on which to base their arguments but it will provide a logical structure that culminates in a workable mechanism for change that should make sense to the critic.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. to explain events.wcdebate. Instead. reading Skocpol¶s work will assist debaters in understanding perspectives that may be used to answer their case and providing them the tools necessary for refuting such arguments. which LD tends to draw upon. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. Her work provides a mechanism for examining proposals made in the form of policy action as well as those that are created more as social changes. She takes great care in pointing out the roots of social policy as well as explaining work done in a variety of fields and showing what other scholars have contributed to the research.
Skocpol. Theda and Stanley B.´ OFF OUR BACKS. New Haven: Yale University Press. Theda. Fall. 1997. July 31. Ritter.183. p.wcdebate. RUSSIA & CHINA. Dubrow. Gail Lee. Theda. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Steven. 1996. Norton & Company. Terrance C.com . and Nicole Mellow. Theda.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. THE NEW MAJORITY.171. Kristin Kay. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. 28. September 2000. 1992. 1984.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. p. Greenberg. 2000. 1999. April 30.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Case. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Boston: South End Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Skocpol. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Kornbluth. Skocpol. Skocpol. New York: W. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. Halliday.S. May 31. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers.. Felicia A.W. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. 1982. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. 1997. Gretchen. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. 1979. Wineman. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. p.
a graduate student in the same department. Rather. Professor of Sociology. Together. This type of policy and law research offers one of the most promising venues for integrating gender in such a way as to both critique and reformulate standard theories and interpretations of AP. 2." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. July 31. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. 1997. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526).183.S. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time.. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. September 2000..´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. Although not always explicitly. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. However. 14 In Skocpol's vision.a polity-centered perspective -. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.com .wcdebate. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. p." she argued in 1980. and policy feedback loom large. 3. Given the enormity of her undertaking. However. that is. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. In other words. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments. There is a tradition of research in the area of social welfare exemplified by scholars such as Theda Skocpol and Gwendolyn Mink that has influenced not only scholarship on American political development but interdisciplinary feminist scholarship as well. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. electoral rules. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. Mink follows the development of this welfare state through the New Deal and argues that it was not only gendered but also racialized in ways that lowered the civic status of poor women and nonwhites. the United States possesses a decentralized. April 30. In her newest work. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. just as the neo-Marxists admitted the "relative autonomy" of politics while loading the dice in favor of "determination in the last instance" by economic power. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. resulting in over 500 pages of text. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers.171. political parties and officials. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). bureaucrats. Case. governmental institutions. I will necessarily condense her account. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. Kornbluth. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. 1996. bureaucrats. Simply stated. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model).. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. Skocpol asserts that the early development of American social policy was shaped by a social feminist movement that advocated for the establishment of a maternalist welfare state. Research on policy in a historical context tends to be preoccupied with broad theoretical questions that are of concern to feminist and other political theorists. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy.
programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. and in their processes of creation.S.S. bureaucrats and national political leaders. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. 3.com . "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.S. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. April 30. Kornbluth.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. April 30. Professor of Sociology. exhausted. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. In content.171. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. July 31. Historical accounts of the emergence of maternal policies are significant not only because they make for a richer representation of the crucial years of welfare-state development in Western capitalist democracies between 1880 and 1940." However. Case. p. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states. history may have believed (in Ladd-Taylor's phrase) "that there is a uniquely feminine value system based on care and nurturance" or (in Gordon's) have "imagined themselves in a motherly role toward the poor. More important. 2. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. p. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby.171. which treated men as fathers and heads of families. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS.wcdebate.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. who know them as "social feminists. Many women reformers in U. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. republican motherhood. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Maternalists were those reformers at the turn of the twentieth century who believed that motherhood or potential motherhood was a legitimate basis for women's citizenship. were doubly paternalist: Elite males. Felicia A. 1996. Readers may also hear in maternalism. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women." she writes. 1996. Felicia A. For over 20 years feminist scholars have outlined the ways in which maternalist rhetoric and strategies were employed in the formation of social policy campaigns and crusades. (P." or as the fractious. Case. post suffrage women's movement. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in their processes of creation. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. time-bound contribution to political thought. 1997. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. potential mothers. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.183. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. federal social programs for mothers. p.
to "do good. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. New York: Routledge. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities.in the interests of the corporate order.com . ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. American Bar Foundation. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. not the idea of child care as public service to all. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Northwestern University. 1984. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. p. Koven & Michel). The case of child care and mothers' pensions reveals both the strengths and the limitations of an ideology rooted in arguments about women's natural capacity as mothers. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. Theory of the State. after the turn of the century maternalist ideology began to weaken as parent education and other fields challenged the notion of maternal instinct and called for training and professionalization for those who dealt with children. Sonya. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. the predominance of giant corporations. Author. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. p. Fall. 307." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. Michel. Ironically. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions.36. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. Senior Research Fellow. Instead. 1999. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. Within political sociology. severe stratification of power. 1993. teaches American women's gender. np. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. 165). liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment. Halliday.wcdebate.centered approaches. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. a substantial literature has arisen that critiques the failure of pluralist theories to recognize the centrality of the state as an institutional actor with interests of its own with some measure of autonomy from the economic and political interests that emerge from the market and civil society. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. Similarly.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Point for point." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. p. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. "The Limits of Maternalism. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. Terrance C. in both class and state. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law.
Spring. 2. in a context of male domination. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. in order to maintain the family wage system. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. In other words. determined by class as much as by gender.. p. 1996. was. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. in the way Gordon sees it. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender. "Specifically. the problems in Skocpol's interpretations are already present in the outset of the book: she fails to produce any adequate definitions of what she means by "paternalist" and "maternalist". while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. PhD. Women's activism was as much as men's. a result of gender values shared by both men and women.wcdebate. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. researcher at European University Institute. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. np. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Spring. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. She has no critique of maternalism". says Gordon.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. researcher at European University Institute. Gender is.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. NORWAY. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. p. However. NORWAY. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. 1996. Gender means "female" for Skocpol. to put it inversely. Eirinn Larsen. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. not merely a neutral or benign difference. after all. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program. np. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. . often called the two-track welfare system. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. PhD. it is a difference. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power.PHILOL. To Gordon.PHILOL. The absence of such a specification and definition is a result of her failure to ground her concept of gender in questions of male and female power. says Gordon. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above.com .. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". to be sure. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. Gordon is able to underscore that men and women were holding similar visions of the economic structure of the proper family in which the welfare state took its form. Gordon continues: "This failure exemplifies ways in which Skocpol's approach to the influence of gender is undeveloped in relation to the theoretical level of much scholarly gender analysis today". Clearly.
generally taught by white males.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone.´ Determined to overcome these notions. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. For her. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. Kentucky.com .D. including hooks. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). Despite this realization hooks continues her practice because she feels the accessibility of her work to those outside of the scholarly community is more important. politics. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. hooks argues that her choice to avoid particular citation formatting of her work is not careless writing but rather a conscious choice to make her writing more accessible. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. as it might be today. Paulo Friere. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. Her father feared. it was simply recreated in new ways. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. She points out that. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and the destructive effects of sexism. that too much reading would change her life. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. She knew there was something else out there for her. sexism and classism. Like everything hooks does. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. racism and classism. She earned her bachelor¶s degree from Stanford University where she expected to find a more enlightened view on the role of reading and education in a woman¶s life. In her classes. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. This interest in books was not. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. especially Friere. race and gender studies but she more often chooses to write from her experiences and to adopt a more narrative style regardless of the type of work she is composing. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting.wcdebate. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. correctly it turned out. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer.
sexist. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful.wcdebate. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. white supremacist. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions. capitalist culture that uses racist. they just got up in the morning and went. she argues. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. and classist educational policies. The letters at the beginning of her first and last name are lower case to how that the person is not as important as the message and in hopes that people would become more connected to her words than simply attaching themselves to a name. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. Let's start over. also occurs in the classroom where students are presented with white heritage and values but not called upon to consider the history of any other cultures and when those cultures are presented they are generally shown as they are perceived by the white historians. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. legitimating standard English. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. Classism creates an elite group. not very different from anything the students could relate to. Let's share them. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. hooks has written so much and had such an effect on so many lives that her name is highly noted but she hope that the lower case letters at least cause people to consider what it is they have attached themselves to. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. It is experiences like these that cause her to point out that the ³world is more a home for white folks than it is for anyone else«´ (BONE BLACK 31). Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. racism within feminism. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. sex or class. The bus riding process seems minor but it was one major example of the racist dehumanization young black children like bell hooks were forced to endure. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. She remembers getting up in the earliest hours of the morning so that she could make the long bus ride she always noticed as they passed the white school those student appeared well rested because they lived in the area where their school was located. We have those definitions. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. in a white supremacist society white individuals have the highest concentration of power thus white people are seen as superior to any other racial group. Mass media is generally seen as a mechanism for entertainment but with the frequency that it is viewed in American society there is a tendency for individuals to accept those things consistently seen on television as normal. This process. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. Let's reclaim them. no bussing. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. social movements and educational biases. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind.com . (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. after gaining a better understanding of bell hooks¶ thoughts on society it would be beneficial for debaters to examine the literature in her books or online dealing with any variety of issues in society from education to politics and medicine. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects.
hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). like hooks. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. Sexism. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 6) Often people will refer to the feminist movement as a collective whole and while they do tend to come together on many issues each major feminist thinker in American society has their own take on the definition and qualities of feminism. hooks¶ version of feminism is one that goes beyond traditional notions of a feminist movement that only deals with women¶s issues to include race. She argues that feminists are made. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. sexist exploitation. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. television and radio commercials. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. She points out that when feminist politics can be divided and connected only to equality with elite white males it prevents society from recognizing the need for revolutionary change and allows small gestures toward equality to pacify people. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only.wcdebate. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. Occasionally an author.com . In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. In her book. is the heart of the matter. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. As women identified structures that were hindering their self-actualization they looked to their own lives and realized that nearly all structures in American society were part of hooks¶ ³white supremacist patriarchal system. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. and oppression. However. and always. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. not division in the movement. Let the movement begin again. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. "a movement to end sexism. not born. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. Let's start there. ads everywhere and billboards. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. While it is important that feminism address all of the structures that support oppression they have decreased some of their power by dividing on particular issues. bell hooks sees feminism as. she argues. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping.´ She argues that most women became involved in women¶s rights movements as a result of their efforts to create change in a cultural setting. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. or their critics. have often felt marginalized. When talking about a particular feminist position it is important to clarify what the author's point of view is on the subject so that everyone is functioning in the same conceptual framework.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. She may criticize the educational process in America but her books also discuss what can be done to alleviate detrimental effects of a problematic educational system. Let¶s face it though. hooks will generally have something to criticize because even when someone is conscious to avoid racism and sexism they often don¶t recognize the critical role class plays in the assumptions we make about the way society functions. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. Volume 9 Page 134 White women often speak for black women without fully understanding their experience and thus complicating the problem with increased racist assumptions under the guise of positive social change. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. one of the most important parts of winning a debate is the ability to persuade your audience that the stance you have taken is correct. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. media and the academy. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. Finally. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . While white supremacist sexist society guarantees a devaluing of women¶s experiences and their bodies white women will always be better off on this structure than black women because of their race. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. in this area she not only has a vast array of works dealing with expression but also mass media and she attempts to come to grips with what society can do to move away from destructive expression without censoring out groups who are already marginalized by the dominant culture. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. even worse. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Whatever the flaw. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well.
YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. 1994. bell. hooks. bell. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE.´ LIFE NOTES (ed.com . Norton & Company. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. New York: Henry Holt and Company. bell. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. hooks. Cambridge: South End Press. 1998. 1999. Gary A. Namulundah.wcdebate. New York: W. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. bell. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. New York: Henry Holt. bell. 1995. and Elizabeth Hirsh. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. New York: Doubleday. 2000.W. 1990. New York: Henry Holt. 1996.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. hooks. 1995 hooks. Patricia Bell-Scott). hooks. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. hooks. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. Olsen. Boston: South End Press. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 1995. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. Golden. Albany: State University of New York Press. bell.
just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. 2. Westport: Bergin & Garvey.. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. (1981.122) 3. p. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. THINKING BLACK. p. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. these values and traditions are racial. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices.109). In the United States. White people¶s values. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and class specific. 1988. a ³white´ self. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. 1995. feeling and knowing as the norm. traditions. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness. groups such as African Americans. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. 1988. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. 14. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. in America. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. can come into being. p. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. McNaught.com . Of course.wcdebate. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. 1998. currently policy makers(Banks.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. The subordination of one group¶s cultural traits and characteristics has significant impact in marginalized students¶ experiences of schools and/or incorporation of official curricula. Once slavery ended. 1992. 1994. Critical. Namulundah Florence. but threaten their very existence. In a white supremacist society. at its very core it is dehumanizing. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. 11. 1998. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. 67. Essentially. Chinese Americans. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . 1996). Historically. p. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. hooks. Nelson et al. in this case. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. 1996). since we who are black can never be white.58). white supremacy could be effectively maintained by the institutionalization of social apartheid and by creating a philosophy of racial inferiority that would be taught for everyone. Boston: South End Press. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. educational. 1989. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. p. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. However. gender.
and all our efforts at self-determination. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. the labeling of black women who engage in feminist thinking as race traitors is meant to prevent us From embracing feminist politics as surely as white power feminism acts to exclude our voices and silence our critiques. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. New York: Henry Holt. 2. 1995. New York: Routledge. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. particularly sexist black men. and Mary Childers. Certainly. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. I don¶t think we really understand either historically or in terms of contemporary circumstances why we view each other in such incredibly negative terms. social critic. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. 1995. despite the continued overt racism and racist agendas of those groups of white women who can most easily lay claim to the term ³feminism´ and project their conservative and reactionary agendas. 3. for boys to be active and girls to be passive. 69. What do you do when you are not privileged and have contact with a privileged woman of any race? Or when there is race and class difference? What gives us a space to bond? These are questions we have had trouble answering. And I would say vice versa as well. to assume that black folks. active and passive.75. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. that they receive in the existing social structure. author. it is clear that we cannot create a cultural climate where these conditions exist without first committing ourselves to a feminist agenda that is specific to black life. New York: Henry Holt. 1990. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. however relative. p. ³A Conversation About Race and Class.wcdebate. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. to be capable of being both strong and weak. social critic. etc. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. np. suspicious ways that we often view white women. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. particularly sexist black men. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. sociologically. p. thinking we are trying to take something from each other (whether it is the privileged white woman who thinking that a black woman is trying to take some of her power from her or to make herself more powerful or it is black women feeling like thee are these white women who have everything and want more). Feminist theory needs to study historically. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. I want to privilege political commitment because in this culture we do not emphasize enough that you can choose to be politically committed in ways that change your behavior and action. girls women. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .. professor. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. author. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in response to specific contexts. professor. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. p.
An unreconstructed black radical feminist." 2. "While it was in the interest of mainstream white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to suppress visionary feminist thinking reformist feminists were also eager to silence these forces. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. Buppiedom and Big Houses.a potentially informing.wcdebate. 50. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. B1. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means.com . television and radio commercials. Posing as a "feminist author" Bell Hooks' interview with Jada Pinkett in the March issue of Essence magazine falls short of her used-to-be scathing critiques of dominant culture. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. However. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. like the older civil rights generation. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. p. Healthier. Yes. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. staff writer. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. and Better Off Financially. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. I was initially excited by the cover story ." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. empowering article for Black women. she has gone mainstream .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. p. 3/14/98. 53.her passion lost. love goes the way of BMW's. yet at one point. Like Jada. I was surprised by what I read. hooks (who insists on the lowercase letters) has nothing but disdain for "reformists" like Estrich who sought only to claim the "class privilege" their brothers enjoyed. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Maybe. Kelly. ads everywhere and billboards. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. 1/22/2001. ³For bell.
Southern Methodist University School of Law. University of Pennsylvania. Assistant Professor. Multidimensionality. gays and lesbians of color. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. Lesbian-feminist theorists. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis." Multidimensionality posits that the various forms of identity and oppression are "inextricably and forever intertwined" and that essentialist equality theories "invariably reflect the experiences of class-and race-privileged" individuals...A. patriarchy. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. phenomena. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. critical race theory. race-sexuality critics.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. recently. whose work examines the relationships among racism. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. have also examined the experiences of persons who suffer from intersecting forms of marginalization and have proposed policies to address the reality of complex subordination. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. University of Pennsylvania. and heterosexism. 288-290. rather than conflicting. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader.. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ ³Multidimensionality. B.. In particular.´ ³Multidimensionality. I have examined the relationships among racism. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. therefore. heterosexism.. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional.D. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. 309-310. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. These scholars. Yale Law School. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. Yale Law School.. B. and poverty studies. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms. p. law and sexuality. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics.A.D. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. p. Spring 2001. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. class domination. Assistant Professor. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. and. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. In a series of articles.com . Southern Methodist University School of Law.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. J. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. Spring 2001. like the intersectionality theorists. J. for example.wcdebate." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . respectively. Lesbian feminists. patriarchy. 2.
He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. Monash University. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor). HEGEL in 1982.com . but that society has since realized its mistake. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. 1946. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. He has lectured at Radcliff. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. He believes that society has become far too complacent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. we classify members of other species as undeserving. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. New York University.about them. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. For example. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. sometimes quite vehemently. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. it was widely criticized as absurd. In 1998. Instead. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. As the President of the University noted. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. Now.wcdebate. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. INDIVIDUALS. La Trobe University. While at Monash University. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³But some of the controversy arises from the fact that he works on difficult and provocative topics and in many cases challenges long-established ways of thinking -. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. At age 30. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990.or ways of avoiding thinking -. Australia on July 6. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. MARX in 1980. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. they merely need different considerations. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination.´ and democracy. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne.
In his All Animals are Equal. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. I shall argue. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. differing intellectual abilities. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. a new criteria becomes necessary. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thus. The first idea that Singer deconstructs is the notion that equal consideration should hold until there is a clash between the interests of humans and nonhuman animals. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. His critics often ask. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. however. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. But if a creature can suffer. 6 This consideration is based on two things. Singer notes that.com . That is. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. rather. then it is simple discrimination. strength. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. wear them. creates divisions between humanity. and the second is if they have interests. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. differing abilities to communicate effectively. however. Singer. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. Equality. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. and a decision can cause that suffering. is sentience. like intelligence. as noted above. His critics claim that the reason why infants should be included in the criteria of intelligence and reasoning is because they have the potential to develop those things. Fundamentally. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers.wcdebate. is not descriptive of they way beings are. moral capacity. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. and use them to do our labor. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. Dogs. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. and not merely an assertion of fact. according to Singer. We eat them. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. they come with differing moral capacities. we will never give equal consideration. If a creature cannot suffer. would that be ok? Singer responds with another hypothetical situation: would the experimenter be prepared to conduct the study using a human infant? If he is not. or other matters. Furthermore. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. then they cannot have interests. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals.
´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. to plants.wcdebate. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. however. too focused on people. and more specifically. Therefore. human fetuses. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. an environmental ethic that is based on human needs does not often differ in policy recommendations from an environmental ethic based on the biosphere as its center. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. and that even plants are pursuing their own good. . policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. Those who advocate this position. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. He also explains. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. However. who details that every living organism has a will to live. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. Again. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality. However. be right to kill him. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. This would include brain-damaged people. Singer writes. Since those persons depend on the environment. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order.com . therefore. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. like dogs and bears. human embryos. After all. would be considered persons. .´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. INTERPRETATIONS OF SINGER¶S CRITERIA While Singer does frequently make reference to the fact that most proposed criterion would include some animals but exclude infants and those with mental defects. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. Singer dismantles this position by noting that a plant doesn¶t have a choice as to whether or not it grows toward the light for its own interest. those with significant mental retardation. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. those with some forms of psychosis. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. many animals. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. chickens. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. and fish.
Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. Hare takes the position that it is not. is no justification for a lack of action. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. even if it is a short one. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. In Democracy and Disobedience. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. However. however.M. The confinement that these animals endure. whether is causes more benefit than harm. Singer claims that proximity.wcdebate. The implications of the distinction between causing a death and allowing a death carry over from the realm of non-human animals into the world of humanity as well. First. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. it must cause suffering. the painful ways in which they are killed. etc. Most importantly. or the distance between an individual and a famine. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The first is that it is revisionary. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. but to change it. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. He says. the way we should strive to make things. engaging the argument still yields some debate. Second. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. The question then becomes. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. facts matter. The second is that in Singer¶s work. Any advocacy of valuing progress. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. that is. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. humanity. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. the absence of a benefit is not harm. the disease and filthy living conditions. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. From a utilitarian perspective. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. growth. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. that is. Volume 9 Page 143 ³THE GOOD OF THE ANIMAL´ Some have argued (and attempted to use Singer¶s utilitarian framework to do so) that raising animals to eat is not causing them to suffer. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. This perception that philosophy is not just for the academically inclined and is not to be merely kept in books and the classroom helps to distinguish Singer from not only his contemporaries but philosophers throughout history. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. especially citizens of a democracy. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose.com . is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. Here. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. an understanding of a position. than no life at all. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. He first alludes to the notion that philosophy and ethics should entail action in the introduction to a book that developed from his thesis project at Oxford.
Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 15 Peter Singer. medicine. Wesley J. All Animals are Equal. as an issue itself. 1999. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. Wesley J. Essays on Bioethics. All Animals are Equal. 17 Peter Singer. 1999.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 8 Peter Singer. and academics. 4 Peter Singer. 13 Holmes Rolston. in moral and political philosophy. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science. ³It is the significant problem of equality.M.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as.com/ 11 Smith. 1998 3 Peter Singer.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t.princeton.frontpagemag.com . All Animals are Equal. 16 Dale Jamieson. All Animals are Equal. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. 10 Smith. Hare. All Animals are Equal. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. 6 Peter Singer. http://www. and use animals to further human aims. Democracy and Disobedience.edu/~uchv/index. 1973. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. 7 Peter Singer. 14 R.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. All Animals are Equal. 1993.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. http://www. 5 Peter Singer. 1993. Peter Singer Gets a Chair.frontpagemag. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. or student. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. December 7. All Animals are Equal.wcdebate. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 9 Peter Singer.
ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Dale. Jamieson. (Belmont. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. Peter. Pojman.wcdebate. 1993). (Lanham. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Terrence and Richard Dagger. 1973). IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. Peter. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1998). ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. 1975). (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1993). Peter.com . CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. 1997). Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. 2nd ed. Hare. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Singer. Louis J. Peter. 2002). Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Peter. (Oxford: Claredon Press. Singer.M. (Malden.. Singer. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. 1999). PRACTICAL ETHICS. Singer. R. ETHICS. (New York: Review/Random House. Singer. 1994). (New York: Longman.
the social sense as such.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. Solomon. than an infant of a day. however noble their object or intent. may instead undermine them. McGinn.69.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. or a week. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. there is the very real danger that. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. p. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. called agape. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. the villosity of the skin. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling.. since animals have experiences. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. 1789. instead of building on our natural impulses.subjects of experience. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. The danger is that reason. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. 1999. Philosopher and Jurist. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS.) So. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. as well a more conversable animal. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self. In other words. Can they suffer? 2.com .wcdebate. The basic biological sense we seek. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . ch. rather.. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C. old. or the termination of the os sacrum. or even a month. This may seem like a major provision. then we will not see why it is morally significant. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. p. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. XVII. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. 1999. But suppose they were otherwise. in other words. or worse.. 152153. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. 3. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational.by Frege¶s point. Austin. they necessarily have selves. that form of hypocrisy that 9as has often been said of such ³lovers of humanity´ as Rousseau and Marx) adores the species but deplores almost every individual of it. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. what would it avail? The question is not. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without a redress to the caprice of a tormentor.
Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. weeping. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. September 6.wcdebate. Solomon. 1999. They ³just know´ what to do. one must (to some extent) acquire such skills but it doesn¶t follow that such skills are not also (or may not alternatively be) genetically engineered or that the general capacity for strategic behavior. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. 1989. but the criminal case was over by May. 2. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. and Singer knows that. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. The Chronicle of Higher Education. The New Yorker. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. when a grand jury refused to indict him. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. too. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. according to the total view.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. gives himself up. 3. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. Of course. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. half an hour later. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. p. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed.must not be so engineered. Critics often accuse Mr. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. standing in a hospital ward. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. In such cases. Austin. it would. Therefore.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 10 March 2000. Linares with first-degree murder. Cook County charged Mr.com . keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. the child dies. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. Singer of being cold-hearted. be right to kill him. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. A good poker player doesn¶t sit skimming a mathematical odds book on the one hand and a psychology of facial expressions text on the other. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. Linares cradles him in his arms until. writer. Then Linares puts down the gun and. So. np.73. 1999. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. p. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery." That was April 26. she doesn¶t calculate it.
However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe.wcdebate. and not just ordinarily dishonest. but because rationality is the human norm.com . just as it would be unfair. one could argue. that is. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm. but as normal for the species. with its own standards of normality. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn.. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. our breeding patterns. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. We are not merely at the top of the food chain. We are. Austin. p. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. The characteristics.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and yet not accept it at all.. p. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. It too.. 62ff. If we do not think in this way about dogs. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. 1999. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. 69. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. part of culture rather than nature. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. too.. We. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. p. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. Solomon.if. 3. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. too. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. are rational. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. in an important sense.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. above the food chain. 1967. 62ff. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. for instance. therefore. and therefore claims. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. that we should give to the interests of each the same serious consideration as claims to considerations necessary for some standard of well-being that we can recognize and endorse. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. we can understand that. 1967. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. involves a certain distance. But compassion.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. our habits. to steal from a blind man. 2.
that some people have a different skin color. Singer rightly points out that most of us are living examples of speciesism in the same sense that radical Ku Klux Klan's people are racist. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. np. p. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort.According to Singer. Solomon. 134-135.. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. Nonetheless. My argument. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. simply because they are humans. The danger. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. however. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game.´ Thus. 1999. are of a different gender.com . a pet owner and so on. Austin. in a sentence. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. seemingly hungry and crying. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. are from a different country.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. In most cases. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. Professor at Webster University. I want to argue that what allows the circle to expand is not reason (in the technical sense of calculation on the basis of abstract principles) but rather knowledge and understanding in the sense of coming to appreciate the situations and the circumstances in which other people and creatures find themselves. all that is considered in deciding the morally correct course of action is the strength of the interests or preferences and the degree to which the interests and preferences of those affected will be thwarted or advanced. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett.. They may not be dominant.. As Singer discusses the principle. Reason. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. is that Singer. 1999. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. Many people would be enough moved by the "interests" of the kitten to look for some container to pour the remaining milk into so the kitten might drink it. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. are not 100% novel. a theory which justifies the distribution of goods under which men receive greater benefits and thus have more of their preferences satisfied than women do. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1999. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. This requires what many theorists now call ³empathy´ or ³feeling with´ (which Hume and Adam Smith call ³sympathy´ and which might more accurately be called ³fellow-feeling´). so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C.. 75. Let me begin with the easiest one. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. For example.wcdebate. simply because they are men. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. and it requires care and concern. At the same time. However. 3. a zoo goer. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. according to Singer.. p. my number three. on the other hand. and most people seem to. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. 2. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. and they might not be sentiments of equality. According to this principle. p. If we have a hard time grasping his view. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?