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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
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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.
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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
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............................... 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ................................................. 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................ 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE ................................................................ 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ............................................................................................wcdebate................................. 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM . 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD ........ 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE .......... 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ..................................................................................... 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST .................... 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ............................................................................................................. 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ........................................................................................................................................ 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ............................................................................................................................ 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE ................ 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ................................................................................................................ 100 RALPH NADER ......................................................................... 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE .................................................................................................................. 130 bell hooks....................................................................................................................................................... 110 LANI GUINIER ....................... 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY............................................................... 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 91 JOSEPH NYE....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ..................................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ............................................................................................ 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.............................................................................................................................................................. ......................................................... 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY...................................................................................com ........................................................................................................ Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN............................................................ 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ................................................ 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN ... 139 PETER SINGER ...................................................................................................................... 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................. JR...................................................... 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST .................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ............................................... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ........................................................................................... 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED ............. 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED .............. 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY .......................................................................................................... 120 THEDA SKOCPOL ..............................
one of the youngest. who died in office in 1812. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. Not easily categorizable. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. His idea on the separation of church and state. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. is often placed into one or another ideological box. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780.com . a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. Indeed. though. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. though: Madison was the smallest U. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. As a result. president. including George Clinton. the avoidance of oppression. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. Interestingly enough. James Madison. Most importantly." The example to follow.S. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. James Madison. No. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. in fact. even if just temporarily. 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. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. like the other leading figures of his generation. like the other leading figures of his generation.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. Seriously. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. anti-Federalist.wcdebate.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and the structure of representative government remain influential. is often placed into one or another ideological box. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. As a result. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. showing his freedom from dogmatism. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. he suggests in Federalist 38. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780.
wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. like John Ashcroft. but they aren¶t blind. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. What might that mean? Well. Thus. 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. Let¶s not belabor the point. the majority is inherently self-interested. and hence have the power to govern. Hence. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system.) 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. (Sorry. Either they will become the next majority. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job. People will vote to actualize their own wants. needs and desires. ³Tyranny of the Majority. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. 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.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. In organizing a republican democracy. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. the majority will look to the long-term. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. As a philosophically inclined individual. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. especially if that mass had coincident interests.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. after all. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. This does happen in politics all the time. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself.com . This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. As a skillful politician. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups. 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. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
Indeed. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. 1787. 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.com . organic food labeling laws. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. If power is temporary and fluid. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. 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.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. written in June 1785." Madison wrote. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus.wcdebate. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. Madison reasoned. Number 10. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. 1787. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. this is part of the logic of the federal system. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. While his father was an Episcopalian. Their charges have serious merit. The struggle continues to this day. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. then the potential for abuse is minimized. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials." Even Jefferson. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. In fact. The church. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. Again. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. 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. published November 22. Speaking of potential for abuse.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. The document." The debate raged on. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6.
Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. are antient as well as numerous. And in every other nation. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. like man himself is timid and cautious. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. which fortify opinion. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. which time bestows on everything. Madison reasoned. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. and acquires firmness and confidence.wcdebate. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. in Madison¶s view. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. . not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. the powerful. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. and its practical influence on his conduct. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. and that bypassing that consent was unjust. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. they are known to have a double effect.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. . The reason of man. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. 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. this consideration ought to be disregarded. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. when left alone. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. In a nation of philosophers. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. When the examples. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. . the mass of American people.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers.com . IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. His final shot at Jefferson. and the summation of his argument. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. A reverence for the laws. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. which should be declared "void and of no force. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay.
would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point.We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. they¶re worth checking out. When the examples. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. . which time bestows on everything. And in every other nation. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. they are known to have a double effect. like man himself is timid and cautious. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the most based in a sense of ethics. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. A reverence for the laws.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In a nation of philosophers. . the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. . it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. this consideration ought to be disregarded. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. and its practical influence on his conduct. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. which fortify opinion.wcdebate. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. The reason of man. and acquires firmness and confidence. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. when left alone. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. and the most passionately argued.com . are antient as well as numerous.
Matthews. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2001.wcdebate. Banning. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON. Rewards..org/dailys/11-15-00.html and http://www. June 1997.. http://www.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper.html. 1995.com. 10.Y.loc. 1995. University of Kentucky. Chomsky.loc.html and http://www. Hanover. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Samples.gov/loc/madison/symposium. 1981. James Morton. Brant. Lancej. Library of Congress. 1776-1826: New York. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville.. November 22. Kans. 1780-l792: Ithaca.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hutson. Meyers. James. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. James.loc. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Noam. Charles historian.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. Irving. N. March 16. Smith.loc. John. 1995. ed. 1787.H. Lance. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence. Marvin. 2000.html.html. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE. under the name Publius. Richard K. Gary.html.loc. 1941-61.gov/loc/madison/symposium.. http://www. 1997).com/federalist10. 2001. http://federalistpapers. 2002.gov/loc/madison/symposium. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Rosen.html and http://www.. Madison. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON. N.com . Mattern.html.html and http://www.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. March 16.loc. http://www. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. 1912. ³James Madison: Federalist. David. Va. Z MAGAZINE.loc. March 16. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. 2001. ed. November 15.. Beard. http://www. accessed April 22. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs.cato.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper.
com . 2000. http://www. is the latest convert to this cause. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. as was wished and expected. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College.cato. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. It will be found. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. provides a proper cure for it.com/federalist10. 10. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. FEDERALIST PAPER No. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. November 15. injustice. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. The instability. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. and. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. p. 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). therefore. Sen. indeed. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. http://www. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. on a candid review of our situation. and that measures are too often decided. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. np.org/dailys/11-15-00. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.cato. equally the friends of public and private faith. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. and of public and personal liberty. np. have. if not wholly. November 15. He will not fail. 2000.org/dailys/11-15-00. Some will say Ms. without violating the principles to which he is attached. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.wcdebate. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. and confusion introduced into the public councils. accessed April 22. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. accessed April 22. adversed to the rights of other citizens. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I give Ms. in truth. November 22. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. http://federalistpapers. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. the evidence. at the same time. Washington's newest celebrity. Clinton more credit than that. both ancient and modern. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. or of interest. 2002. 3. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements.html. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. and alarm for private rights. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas.html. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. As Madison knew. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. particularly. that our governments are too unstable. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. James Madison. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. accessed April 22. cannot certainly be too much admired. However the election turns out. Hillary Rodham Clinton. By a faction. These must be chiefly. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. to set a due value on any plan which. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party.html. 2002. 2. I understand a number of citizens. p. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. 2002. 1787. but it will be found.
by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. it clearly appears. 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. 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. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty.html. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. 10. and render them all subservient to the public good. The inference to which we are brought is. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. in controlling the effects of faction.html. November 15.html. p. Hence. 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. again.com/federalist10. 2002. np. p. Nor. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. FEDERALIST PAPER No. in many cases. therefore.cato.org/dailys/11-15-00. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. A common passion or interest will. 2000. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. FEDERALIST PAPER No. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. -.com/federalist10.wcdebate. 2002. and their passions. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. Theoretic politicians. If we abolish the Electoral College. November 22.com/federalist10. np. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power." 2. 3. http://federalistpapers. 10. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. p. p. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. np. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. FEDERALIST PAPER No. 1787. accessed April 22. 2002. 2002. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. 10. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. accessed April 22. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://federalistpapers. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. in almost every case. Does it. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken.html. http://www. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. be felt by a majority of the whole. who assemble and administer the government in person. 4. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. increase this security. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. November 22. in fine. at the same time.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed April 22. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. who have patronized this species of government. November 22. 1787. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. np. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. http://federalistpapers. they would. their opinions. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. 1787. accessed April 22.
the power will slide into the hands of the former. in which case there will be equal danger on another side. Madison urged: "In future times. -. to give notice of the future danger. what is more probable. Governor Morris. An accurate view of the matter. under the influence of their common situation. the force.aristocracy. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. p.. In the tenth number of The Federalist.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.. "the majority.com . he contended. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. and in his opinion." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency.wcdebate. 1912. but without any other sort of property. not only first. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. 2. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. he added. 31.." And again. a great majority of the people will not only be without land. historian. 31. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. These will either combine. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. hence. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses." 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. Wilson. historian. in a certain quarter.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. having such coexistent passion or interest. 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.If property. 1912. then was the main object of government. changeableness. would prove that property was the main object of society. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. -. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. historian. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Mr. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government.. p. 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. nevertheless." 3. 31. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. According to the equal laws of suffrage. 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. 1912.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr." Mr. but second. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. 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. the mind or sense of the people at large. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." and Mr. 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. who urged that "the government ought to possess. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. p. from which the rights of property originated.or. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.
2. But the growth of the industrial economy. Z MAGAZINE. June 1997. association. Z MAGAZINE.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. estate. typically material property. It is the responsibility of government. When the facts are stated clearly. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. In the debates on the Constitution. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. 8.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. the native population driven out or exterminated.wcdebate. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.'' which are property rights. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.'' he meant humans. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). Whatever one's assessment of those years. trust.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. In both principle and practice. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. and anti-capitalist in spirit. or prominent from exercising political power. Furthermore. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. 8. whose views largely prevailed. An agrarian law would soon take place. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. Among Madisonian scholars. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. One may argue.pre-capitalist. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. as some historians do. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. 3. well born. Madison pointed out that in England. his biographer observes. he urged. June 1997.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. In a current official document. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. June 1997. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. Madison declared. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. led to a completely new meaning of the term. James Madison.com . Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. branch. p. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. p. partnership. associated group.'' giving land to the landless. or any government entity. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. and the constitutional system generally.'' To achieve this goal. 8. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. Z MAGAZINE. p. Property has no rights. But the formulation is misleading.
In those papers.com . He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. then his ideas. Either that. 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 letter contained some confidential cabinet information. centralized union that would be a representative republic. and generally made himself a pain. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson.an aristocratic. was vocally against states¶ rights. he also offered a life of tragedy. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. After Adams was elected President. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. making it available to the general public. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. After Washington died. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. 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. Either way. rebuke and scandal. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. Much of this is forgotten today. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. coercive. as an aristocrat. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr.
" and the "general welfare.com . Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. 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. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. Today. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society. he claims. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. As early as 1776.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. Jefferson. "implied powers. the legacy of Britain. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. impressive or important. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. 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. shortened to Republican.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). Even then-President George Washington. or not immoral. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. the means are authorized. 44) that "wherever the end is required. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution. every particular power necessary for doing it is included. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced." Ironically. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. In fact. (no. 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. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government).´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall.´ as is often claimed. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed.
" This shows his opinion of the average American." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American.wcdebate. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. 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. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. then his closest aide. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. here¶s a translation: yeah. he pardoned all of those convicted.well. and as novel as it is extraordinary. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease. More on that in our final section. punishable by fine and imprisonment." he said. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. without any counterbalancing good.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. and consequently the more virulent. His morals -. (When Jefferson was elected. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. and many other things. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. Benjamin Franklin Bache. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. my friends and I are rich. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. scandalous and malicious writing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. the poison of which. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker.com . And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. administering no relief to our real disease. by a subdivision. "Men. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. as should be clear. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. and everyone else knew it too. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Again. his customary colleague. which the urban elite would benefit). has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. which is democracy. so get over it. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. more centralized government. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. Allegedly. I know he was smart. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics. will only be more concentrated in each part.
It wasn¶t even the juiciest.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hamilton¶s note to his wife. But it was not possible. That¶s when it got weird. It gets better. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation.James Monroe. Abraham Venable. James Reynolds. a shady character currently in jail.. too.money. written directly before the duel with Burr. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. At that point. the public could be kept in the dark no longer. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. . it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. . greedy. Maria. it was on. Some Hamilton apologists insist that.com . both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. And. not the government's. al. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. and by the press).but he said it was his own money. natural politicians. They apparently did. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife.. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. Reynolds had evidence. in Sports Center parlance. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. . and agreed to keep it quiet. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations.wcdebate. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. Three congressmen -. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. ³Mr. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. 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). That money had changed hands. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. he did not intend to fire at Burr.´ Amazingly. Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail . went to Hamilton's office to confront him. until July 1797. motivated. Monroe et. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. That happened in 1792. but a BRIBE. As I hope this essay makes clear. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. John C. accessed April 29. NATIONAL REVIEW. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Stourzh. New York and London: Columbia University Press. Lisa Marie. accessed May 1. Brookhiser. 1964. ed. New York: The Free Press. 1994 http://www. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Harold C. de Carolis.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1982. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. senior editor.let. 1959. Chomsky. New York: Harper & Row. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Chomsky. New York. 13. Loyola University. Cooke.com . p. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Morton J.. Jacob E. Z MAGAZINE.zmag. historian. Department of Alfa-informatica. AMERICAN. New York: Harper & Brothers.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. 1985. Noam. Syrett. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. Miller. Mellon Lecture.wcdebate. 1991. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1912. ed. http://odur. 1961--79. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. January 1995. Chicago. Noam. Stanford: Stanford University Press. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Richard. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1970.2002. Charles. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. 2002. 1997.htm. October 19. Charles Scribner's Sons. Gerald. ed. University of Groningen.rug. Frisch. Elkins.. Jacob E. Frisch. Cooke. 1999. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Morton J. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. 1993.
unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. np. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. np. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. 1787. and would create others on the same subject. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. np. 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. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. if these States should either be wholly disunited. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. November 15.html. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain.html.html. under a continuation of the Union. accessed May 2.com/federalist7. either by actual possession. For the Independent Journal. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. p. http://federalistpapers. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. it has been said. http://federalistpapers. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. November 14.com/federalist6. http://federalistpapers. and rapacious. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. 2002. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. 2002. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. This has been so far accomplished as. would be to forget that men are ambitious. p. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which.com/federalist6. accessed May 2. constitutes nations natural enemies. 2. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. 1787. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. however.wcdebate.com . vindictive. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. or only united in partial confederacies. p. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. This cause would exist among us in full force. 2002. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. 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. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States.html. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6." 4. 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. that vicinity or nearness of situation. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. November 14. 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. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. accessed May 2. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property. would revive this dispute. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence. 1787. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. November 14. 1787.com/federalist6. For the Independent Journal. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. For the Independent Journal. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. This. accessed May 2. 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. For the Independent Journal. http://federalistpapers. in the event of disunion. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. 2002.
..rug. 1997. He explained: "The keen. the prosperity of the institution ." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. pointing invariably to its true pole. in their understanding.did not mean to say all were equal in. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1.let. ." 2. http://odur. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential.htm. accessed May 1. 1997.2002. as usual. of their own interest. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. and loan the government money in times of emergency.¶ This they said and this meant.htm. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. magnetic sense. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. among which are life. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality.let.html. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. in the Directors of a Bank. provide a uniform currency. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. accessed May 1. as it were. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. although not necessarily equitable.2002. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. np. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. 1997. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. and. The "authors of that notable instrument." Independent Institute Website. University of Groningen. simply drawing on realities that he felt. University of Dallas.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham. 2002. http://www. Private ownership. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. whereas paper wealth was fluid. p. 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). Landed wealth. Department of Politics. moral developments. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. University of Groningen. was limiting and limited. and the pursuit of happiness..wcdebate.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. Hamilton was. opposed to the principle of equality.com . liberty. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization.rug.intellect. Department of Alfa-informatica. steady. accessed May 1. http://odur. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. or social capacity. abilities which were by nature unequal. Department of Alfa-informatica. Hamilton reasoned." Moreover. represented by the Virginia opposition. Industry would diversify labor. as proprietors. 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. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. regulate banking practices around the country.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. 3. .independent. provide capital for investments and industry. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture..
" Mr." or even influential. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. Madison. They feel. 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. Randolph. Z MAGAZINE.html. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. January 1995. sometimes quite literally. 31.wcdebate. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. Gerry. speaking for a host of others). 1994. whatever cast it takes. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. p. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. That's Hamilton. in passing. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy.com . shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. January 1995." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. 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. p. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. but now perceive that they can do better. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. 13. 13. accessed April 29." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. Mellon Lecture. p. 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." and he confessed that while he was still republican.zmag. Chicago. Z MAGAZINE." Mr. an important victory. 2002. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. being independence. Loyola University. Hamilton. Indeed. http://www. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. of course. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. 1912. in advocating a life term for Senators. We may recall. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. as it was called. preserved to posterity by Mr. in tracing these evils to their origin. In the mind of Mr. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. Robert Lansing. 2. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. 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.the main concern. October 19. but it is being caged. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. np. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. perhaps rightly. The beast may not yet be tamed. 3. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. that. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. historian." 4.
nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. University of Groningen. 31. and a more diverse economy. Nevertheless. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. p. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. http://odur. University of Groningen. accessed May 1.htm. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. Hamilton needed big investors. However. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system.let.htm. 2. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. 1997.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1.let. Mr. In the tenth number of The Federalist. "the majority.com . and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. 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.rug. The House of Representatives. 2002. p.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. from which the rights of property originated. indebts the nation to foreign powers. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. 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. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. p. Department of Alfa-informatica." 3. 1997.. Department of Alfa-informatica. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. accessed May 1." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. . HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. having such coexistent passion or interest. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. he added. 1912. np. Mr. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. http://odur. hence. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government.. Securities.rug. In order to stimulate the economy.wcdebate. np. he contended. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. 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. 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. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Hume contended." Landed wealth. historian. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. and in his opinion. 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." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hume observed.
the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. Moreover. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. written by Alexander Hamilton. some of the major figures behind the movement. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. 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. Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. James Madison. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. many called for some kind of reform.wcdebate. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. regulate commerce. 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. supported a more direct democracy. who did which paper (Hamilton. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. therefore. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. Anti-federalists. or Madison) is well documented. However. First. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. Secondly. support for it was by no means unanimous. These papers. The Confederation could not collect taxes. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. 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. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. 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. Jay. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution.
while he never supported the Constitution. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. One such person is Patrick Henry. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. 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´.com . 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. the problem of majority tyranny arises. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. No. Clinton acquiesced.wcdebate. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. 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. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. Samuel Bryan. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. or amount of control. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. Richard Henry Lee. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. ideas. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. that the government has. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. Robert Yates. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ ³Old Whig.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. For one. Today what we have is a republic.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. cultures. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. While of course they all had minor differences. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. and only samples a small part of the population.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. This is democracy at its most tenuous. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. and others. 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. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. while they share some of the same beliefs. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. and so on. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. Even were polling perfectly accurate. Clinton despised Madison. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races.
on the other hand. Finally. such as food and shelter. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. an important political theorist from this century. AntiFederalists. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. 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. In other words. 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. and similar pursuits. this is often not the case. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. But even if all of the things above were not true. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. Once all private demands are met. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). The reason for this is because. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. Even if every state kept standing militias. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. 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. The ancient Greeks despised labor.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. say. 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.com . No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. 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. which encompasses crafts. In fact. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. 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. Indeed. be achieved. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. and therefore be happy and free. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. find that situation lacking. but it is often still private in nature. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. 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. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. interestingly enough.wcdebate. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. Arendt. 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. 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. and without a strong federal ability to tax. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. Therefore. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. 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. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. The next highest is work. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. The lowest is that of labor. the arts. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college.
Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. 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. In addition to security. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. As for internal problems. Given how complex the economic system is today. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. 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. 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. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse.com . it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. and the government. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. 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. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. 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. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. 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. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. internal commerce. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. hope is not lost yet. but it is a huge issue now. and so forth. issuing bonds. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. rights. With regard to the security issue. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. Having a national bank system. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. 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. such as funding of the sciences and arts. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government.wcdebate. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment.
excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. Participation in a public democracy. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. and therefore in direct democracy. Instead. 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. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically. has many potential benefits and downfalls. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. 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. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. 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. local. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. 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. federal governments. 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. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. Moreover. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. as Hannah Arendt suspects. as a political theory taken in general. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. such as greater states rights in a particular area. Money alone cannot produce happiness. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state.wcdebate. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country.
Dry. Berns. and Storing. Richard. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. Ralph. 1981. Murray. Northern Illinois University Press. University of Chicago Press. 1997. Herbert. Penguin. Harvard University Press. 1995. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 1993. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. John Wiley & Sons. Storing. Robert. FROM MANY. Library of America. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ketcham. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Walter. 1981. Bruce. 1992. Bernard. Hannah. Herbert. University of Chicago Press. Georgetown Press. Kenneth. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. 1987. 1992. inc. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Wood. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR.com . Christopher. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Sinopoli. Simon & Schuster. Gordon. THE HUMAN CONDITION. Hoffer. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Duncan. University of Colorado Press.wcdebate. 1986. ARTICLES. Arendt. 1958. Alfred Knopf. 1969. 1992. Bailyn. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. University of Chicago Press. Dolbeare.
The laws and customs of the several states are. 3. formed of representatives from the respective parts. If this be not the case. Professor of Political Science. p. Anti-Federalist Writer. be the climate what it may be. and in some opposite. the interest of the public is easier perceived. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. 170-171. very diverse. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles.wcdebate. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. and more within the reach of every citizen. The Grecian republics were of small extent. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. and without virtue there can be no happiness. of consequence. 2. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. of consequence. 37. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. turbulent. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. ultimately disempowering. as would constantly be contending with each other. Anti-Federalist Writer. the manners.´ 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. In a small one. 1995. abuses are of less extent. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. FROM MANY. and of course are less protected. any thing like the extent of the United States. he has interest of his own. p. in process of time. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. This will retard the operations of government. it is true. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. better understood. and depends on accidents. sentiments. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. by oppressing his fellow citizens. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. it is subordinate to exceptions. that it will ultimately. and their interests. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. and consequently of less moderation. cowardly. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. diverse. 38. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. The United States includes a variety of climates. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. p. so also was that of the Romans. and the consequence was. and interests of the people should be similar. in the words of Hannah Arendt. extended their conquests over large territories of country. 1997. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. are in general lazy. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. great and glorious. there can be no virtue. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. 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. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. in many respects. a legislature. 1997. In a republic.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. FROM MANY. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. the people. Both of these.com . In a large republic. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views.
nor compact. 37-8. either limited or despotic.wcdebate. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. is best obtained in moderate governments. Locke remarks. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. This moderation in governments. Spring. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. 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. the latter. In other words. too. If that latter clause is read correctly. 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 -. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. other than those basic natural laws (but these. useful or not. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. or the opinion. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. 78. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. from the vast extent of your territory. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. From this picture. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. 1997. 1995. p. depends in a great measure on their limits. Furthermore. rather. beget a confidence in the people. and too mysterious for you to understand. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. FROM MANY. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). consists in security. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. 2000. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy.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. connected with their political distribution. will oppress and grind you²where.com . Political liberty. 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. Associate Professor of Law. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. Professor of Political Science. is a government derived from neither nature. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. 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. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters. or the opinion. Anti-Federalist Writer. and this security therefore. the great Montesquieu again observes. whose ambition for power. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. which produces this security.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. and the equality of the manners." Thus. and observe. 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. where the mildness of the laws. and to work together. on the score of consolidation of the United States. what can you promise yourselves. and the complication of interests. Mr. p. 42. p. 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. into the hands of individuals. and aggrandizement. 2. or at least in the opinion we have of security.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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while the realm of "becoming. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. Spring. and lived through the Civil War. Emerson. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. But he remained. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. a child. 2000. removed from day-to-day history. certain major themes stand out in his writings. Plato. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. However. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. he was even more a mystic than Plato. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. 669). 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. in doing so." where matter. unchanging. p..com .To be great is to be misunderstood. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. immaterial.wcdebate. people and history existed. To understand transcendentalism. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been.. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. and politics.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Brown.. he lost a spouse.. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. however. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. in contrast. and incorruptible. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. academic science of modernist philosophy. at least in principle. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. optimistic about humanity. and have great potential for debates over morality. he had his house burn down. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. two brothers." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. 1882. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. must be a nonconformist. But humans could never really reach such a world. values. And his marriage of philosophy. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). living entities died. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. they could only contemplate it. In this sense. and perfection was unattainable. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America." Things changed. Today.
stanford." as he puts it. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western." 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. That is why. Transcendentalism. After all.´ Like the German and British Romantics. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. As mentioned. with your best deliberation and heed. unlike Plato. to being a pantheist. at the end of "Circles. which he saw as our connection to the divine. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. or doctrines. Although. on the other hand. because. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. being and becoming. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. He was very close. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. Plato rejected human matters. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. as its name implies. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. whilst you rise from your bed. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. "Intellect"). Like Hegel. as we shall see.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1. 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. Emerson. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. Emerson really means to "accept. You cannot. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36).com .´ 2. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. comprehensive understanding. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. politics and the like. as the basis of genuine knowledge. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. based more on feeling than analysis.wcdebate." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). the past is always swallowed and forgotten." including emotions such as love. 3. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. in this respect. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming.edu/entries/emerson/). history. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. higher understanding. In other words. viewpoints. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development.
and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. "the otherest. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. 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. morality is more important than obeying the law.com ." Like friendship and reading.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Brown. In his essay ³Self-Reliance. they will perform virtuously. Some critics." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. 669).´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. George Santayana among them. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. Second. through Nature. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson.' ´ (Thomas J. 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). democracy. presumably. This. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent.wcdebate. In this way. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. and for thoughts. Because of this. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. First. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. Spring." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the necessity of self-reliance. of course. 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.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. This is true of every human being. 2000. p. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Implications for Debate First. and the power of individual action. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. 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. 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. however imperfect. or other distinct groups.
This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics.wcdebate. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. his optimism about humanity and democracy. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. For example. Third. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. Emerson¶s eloquence. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. However. In this way. on the other hand. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands.F. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil.com . meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. As noted above. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism).W. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Transcendentalist ethics.
NAPOLEAN. POEMS. ed. Ralph Waldo.. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. Ralph Waldo. ed. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. Ralph Waldo. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press.wcdebate. Emerson. 1968). Osgood and Company. MEANING (New York: Dodd. 1981). Alfred R. Emerson. Emerson. Susan Sutton. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton.. 1978). 1903). Gay Wilson. 1947) Emerson. William Allen. A YANKEE IN CANADA. N. Emerson. Ticknor and Fields. eds. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. Ralph Waldo. Smith. POWER.: Kennikat Press. N. Milton R. GROWTH. 1938). and Ferguson. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. and Whicher. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. Joel. Emerson. 1941).. Len and Myerson.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. 1954). 1900). 1966). Gougeon. Porte. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. 1982). eds.Y.com . FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Haight. Mifflin. Sealts Jr. eds. 1866). WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. 1969). Huggard. Mead. Ralph Waldo. Black. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. 1959). Arthur Cushman Jr. Emerson. Ralph Waldo. OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Stephen E. 1878). ed. Ralph Waldo. David. Konvitz. Merton M. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT. Robinson. Joel. McGiffert. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press.H. Gordon Sherman.. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. 1995). 1978). J. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. ADDRESSES (New York: W.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. he may creep into a corner. p. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. 2. as most men do. are but different faces of the same All. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. Phocion. in its largest and profoundest sense. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. and nature became ancillary to a man. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. 1986. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. every departure from his own convictions. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. In private places. American transcendentalist philosopher. Pindar. if he will. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Beauty. the sun as its candle. Every natural action is graceful. p. is that which is found in combination with the human will. It is his. 2. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. 15. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. 15. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. American transcendentalist philosopher.--the persons. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. and the day. namely. American transcendentalist philosopher. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. This element I call an ultimate end. the opinions. and the frame will suit the picture. God is the all-fair. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. and abdicate his kingdom. 1986. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Every heroic act is also decent. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that it to say. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. American transcendentalist philosopher. He may divest himself of it. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. Homer. 2000. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. is one expression for the universe. and goodness. 1986. Socrates. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. The presence of a higher. that every false word he has uttered. Truth. p. among sordid objects. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty.wcdebate.com . 13. 12. and beauty.
It is therefore a principle of law. if judges only quote authorities. pp. covers. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. motion. American transcendentalist philosopher. for. fear. American transcendentalist philosopher. 1986. They are out of time. They elude our persevering thought. or spoken by the tongue. as laws do not make right.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in our own remorse. The sense of injustice is blunted.com . if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. muscular force. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. love. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1986. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. 2. in each other¶s actions. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. 2000. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. and God. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. gravity. and not subject to circumstance.wcdebate. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. out of space. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. 362. interact. justice. They will not be written out on paper. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. These laws execute themselves. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. For virtue is the very self of every man. principles that astonish. American transcendentalist philosopher. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. under what seem foolish details. man. appetite. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. that an immoral contract is void. 72-73. and in the game of human life. at every hazard. p. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. I question the value of our civilization. 361. and that an immoral statute is void. p. p. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. 2000. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. 73. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. American transcendentalist philosopher.
he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. information (and) science. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. 90. 3. 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´. philosopher. 1962.´ he announces.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³Power´ and ³Wealth. 68. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. and sit till we are stone. In these essays and elsewhere.´ 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. 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. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation. p.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character.´ 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. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. combination.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. 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. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. in doing so. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy. ³marry Right to Might. and to conspire with the new works of new days. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. p.wcdebate.´ 2. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. 1999. 1999.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. 68-69. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. in its room. ³Life is a search after power. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. not to block improvement. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. pp.com .
philosopher. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. p.´ It was no surprise. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. Law. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. almost exclusively in the moral world. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago.com .´ James concludes. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. in his 1888 essay.´ 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. then. as we have said. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. EMERSON AND POWER. as Matthiessen notes. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. philosopher.´ ³We get the impression. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. however. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. the whole ³Concord school´ had. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). 1962. 32-33.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge. Professor of English at Michigan State University. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. 1962. Nature. Boston existed serenely. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana.´ he recalled. ³like a ministry without an opposition. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. for God. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. For James. as he thinks. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. As every new category. the base. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. must share this reproach. 32. 2. 31. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. 1996. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. 1996. and as the absolute. its rewards and consolations. or Beauty? He could not. p. Mysticism. the foul.´ sealed off. panting for sensations. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. dogma. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. As far as James was concerned. Professor of English at Michigan State University. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. Far from it. an island above the extremes of common human experience. by its very definition. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth.´ He continued. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. p. the imagination and all its works²art. EMERSON AND POWER. God. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. p.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. ³Emerson¶s personal history. is not representable by any specific faculty. 4. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. 35.wcdebate. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. Benefit.´ 3. so constantly on his lips. Empty. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void.
Two years later. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students.wcdebate. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. saw students as valuable in and of themselves." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. From a very early age. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. 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. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. on October 20. Vermont. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. Not surprisingly. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. At the same time. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. at the age of twenty.com . Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. and grow accordingly. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. as some critics have charged. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. politics and education. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. In 1894. If. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. He graduated in 1879. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea. 1859. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. he received his PhD. in philosophy. the son of a grocer. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. and taught high school for three years. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. Maryland. 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. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. For Dewey. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. In the fall of 1882. By now. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained.
politics. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea. impartial. although Dewey was no socialist. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. 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. and sees nature as constantly changing.wcdebate. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. as part of nature.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. Ziniewicz. through experience and reflection (in fact. In 1904. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles. Dewey sees humans as part of nature. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. (http://inst. John Dewey died on June 1. removed from everyday experience.shtml). he was viewed by leftists as fair. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because. However. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines. and concerned with social justice. and despite this impact.com .augie. I might be a liberal. This will become important later. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws." in theory or practice. Like existentialists. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This explains why. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists. but rather in reference to what "works." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. or appeals to the truth of scripture.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic.net/tzaka/deweynew. few philosophers are more misunderstood. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. and least known. Humans may. Similarly. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. But unlike existentialists. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. both as a race and as individuals. "A thing is its history" for Dewey." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. 1952. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. www. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. I might be a socialist. genuine experience. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. and these experiments. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. Humans.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. ethics. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. To them. also have a history of change. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. concerning the philosophy of religion. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). and education. 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). William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence.html). He wrote essays and books about epistemology." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects.fred. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education.
The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. It includes long-term. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. My assignment is poorly written. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. At that point. Dewey supports community ideals because." In fact. Second. For Dewey. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. as already stated. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. which we'll examine in the next section. where we learn from and with other people. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. pragmatically speaking. however. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. as a result of collective experience. and includes reflection as well as interaction. test. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). At least. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. experience can be active or passive. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. First. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is.com . we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling.but in all cases there is a social context.com/entry/551811) Finally. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . and so on. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In summary. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. I could never consider it "true. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. the example shows that theories and ideas change. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before.wcdebate. It may even include mystical. They experiment. emotional. Finally. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. Part of this experience is our membership in a community.xrefer. because my teachers warn me about it. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. When my experience no longer verifies it. or religious experience. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. propose and oppose. Dewey insisted. I reconsider the original idea. (Ziniewicz. Rather. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. I fail. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. Moreover. (http://www. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. to the maximum benefit of all participants. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. Thus. I am part of the world). the simple reception and contemplation of external data. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all.´ In sum.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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the explicit thing. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. LECTURES ON ETHICS. 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. 1991. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It requires favorable objective conditions. 1968. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. 298. American pragmatist philosopher. It is complete only in its possibilities. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. and canvas. That is the basis of responsibility. In its reality. 89. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. p. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. 296. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. p. between the natural self and the ideal self. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. political and moral matters is a gift of God. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. however. American pragmatist philosopher. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. American pragmatist philosopher. like mathematics. In other words. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. but power of vision and reflection. and you have freedom. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. and resolute.com . FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. alert. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. the possible self does not represent a remote. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. 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. Carry that identity farther. desire and purpose more flexible. just as the art of painting requires paint. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. For these take effect in making preference. No more than any other art is it developed internally. In obligation. Thinking. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. 1968. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. 3. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. 2. p. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. because open and moving toward a new future. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. brushes. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate.
existentially speaking. p. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. p. while it is. 297-98. teleologically. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. is not good reality. the true kind. that is for practical purposes. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. use of coal and steam. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. pp. and. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. It is one with our individuality. which we want or are after. For ordinary purposes. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. emerged. American pragmatist philosopher.´ 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. and freedom of contract. one absolute and static because exhausted. It lacks the hallmark of value. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. But like all other possibilities. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey.´ 2. 281. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. 1968. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. 1968. perfectly real. 1968. whether moral or psychological. Pragmatically. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. 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.wcdebate. 2. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. 48-49.com . as facts have demonstrated. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. American pragmatist philosopher. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. rights and demands are products of interactions. 139. morally they alone are ³real. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. 1968. American pragmatist philosopher. in command of capital. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. pp. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. effective. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. that is. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. like all others. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is this kind. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. 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. Since actual. much less a deviation or excrescence. in the problem of personal freedom. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. American pragmatist philosopher. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. this possibility has to be actualized.
some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. Marxist philosopher and activist.S. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. Peters. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. is also unsatisfactory. and he or she is meant to be. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. 2. to have interpreted their meaning. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. 1977. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. Marxist philosopher and activist. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events.com . for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. 114. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. an authority on some aspect of the culture. as I have reiterated. In a game most of the participants know how to play. p. Peters. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. 1975. for it combined a conception of the child. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. like a football captain.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. p. which claims to be so realistic and practical. as it usually does. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. 2. at least in broad outline. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. should have done no less. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that.S.wcdebate. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. Dewey was impressed. p. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. 256. 1977. 251. Instead of playing a directing role. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. However. as by Dewey. to some extent. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. 115. p.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. 1975. 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. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. If ³democracy´ is to include. Dewey¶s view of the teacher.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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wcdebate. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. skeptical of the League of Nations. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate.com . however. Open covenants of peace. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. 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. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. V. openly arrived at. wishes to live its own life.´ That doesn¶t mean. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. In fact. 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. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³I. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. A free. However.´ Wilson said.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. an international regime managing trade. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. What we demand in this war. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. so far as possible. The removal. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. 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. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. therefore. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. outside territorial waters. alike in peace and in war. IV. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. Still. determine its own institutions. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. III. There. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. open-minded. II. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. like our own. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. 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. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. 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. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. 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. -. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. they argue. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. and even if we can. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments.wcdebate. Lowenthal. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. then. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home.com . preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. Abraham F.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. Take the example of Latin America. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. for example). As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. is Wilson¶s legacy. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. It is better.N. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. and work together toward common goals. solve disputes. both in domestic and foreign policy. they would argue. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. It is possible.´ which mean different things to different people. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. etc. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. But that¶s another story. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the establishment of an independent Polish state.´ As we¶ve talked about. and established the progressive income tax. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. The right has a somewhat different slant. Overseas. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. One scholar on inter-American affairs. including evacuation of conquered lands. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. in my estimation. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being.) From another right-wing perspective. 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.
James M. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. D. Overseas.C. For these reasons. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency. Harding in 1920. either). Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G. was interventionist by nature. Foreign policy: Wilson.. as Wilsonian in nature -.wcdebate. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad. Wilson retired to Washington. After this effort. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. for example. where he died in 1924. he fell ill and never fully recovered. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8.com .000 miles by rail around the country. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency.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. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. University of Arizona Press. 2.pbs. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.htm.com . 2001. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. Noam. PBS documentary. John Morton. 2002. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. November 1994. Arthur. http://www. 1971. Princeton University Press. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. 2000. accessed May 1.africa. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. 1995 Kuehl. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. 2. Rhodes University. Viking Press. Warren and Lynne Dunn. 1920-1939. 1980 Link.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. 1956 Rowen. Political Studies Department. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. THE NEW FREEDOM. May 7. Korwa G. accessed April 22. accessed April 22. Lloyd. University of California Press. http://web. 2000. Z MAGAZINE.wcdebate. Arthur. 1998 Chomsky. 1997 Levin. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. p. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. available online at http://www. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. Thomas. Greenwood Publishing Group. Princeton University Press. No. Louis. Vol. Ambrosius. Norman Gordon.zmag. 1913-1921.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Auchincloss. 1986 Knock. Mark. South Africa. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998. Herbert. Blum. 1991 Zinn. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION.html.ufl. Gilderhus. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. Howard. Josephus. Daniels. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. 2002. Oxford University Press. Kent State University Press. Cambridge University Press. Princeton University Press. 1965 Link.htm. 10. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. accessed May 1. some of which had to wait a long time to come back..org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.ufl. 2001.html. prohibition. 1998. 2002. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. p.html. np. 4. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.html. PBS documentary. No.com . WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. Vol. http://web. Mulder. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Historian. accessed April 22. Political Studies Department. Historian. The direct election of United States senators. 2001. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League.africa. accessed May 1. 2001. Historian. 2002. p. PBS documentary. 2. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". 3. 2. However.pbs. available online at http://www. Adar. PBS documentary.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 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.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development.pbs. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes. 2002. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. South Africa.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. accessed May 1. BUT THE COLD WAR. Wilson matters as the first modern president. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world.pbs. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics.. 2. np. as well as presidential ambition. 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. Rhodes University. After his visit to Africa. np. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.htm. and women¶s suffrage. p. available online at http://www. Indeed. np. available online at http://www. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1.wcdebate. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. p. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. 2002. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.
available online at http://www. Social and Cultural Rights. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. In his view. np. 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. p. limited government.ufl. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. 2002. 2. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism. PBS documentary. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. 4. np.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2. Adar.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2001. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.html. accessed April 22.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 1998. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. 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.wcdebate. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. he argued. PBS documentary. he was never evasive in that way.pbs. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. Adar. 2. 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.htm. 3.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2001. Historian. This.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. Political Studies Department. Vol. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. No. accessed April 22.N.html. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. p. np. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. accessed May 1. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. np. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. 2. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. http://web. South Africa. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. Moreover. In this respect. Rhodes University. For Wilson. http://web. p.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. 2002. Political Studies Department. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. 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. 1998. 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.africa. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. p. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised.ufl. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights.htm. For the colonized peoples of Africa. No. the realization of individual freedom.africa. Vol. Wilsonianism had a global impact. Historian. South Africa. accessed May 1. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. would promote America's long term interests. 2002. Thus. Rhodes University. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice.pbs. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 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. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. 2.
Consider Peter Hakim.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 head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. Hakim observes. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. and to accept the rule of private power. was its friend and protector. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. 2002." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education. p.." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. p. That is to continue. trusting that "the United States. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.S. To evaluate what lies ahead. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. and have been kept in power by U. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. 2001. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. unlike the U. France. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. The Europeans knew this. As discussed here in July. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. accessed May 1. "At first. and Canada. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. Z MAGAZINE. If he is. or by its traditional master. 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.pbs. As the matter is now rephrased.S. aid and training for that purpose since. despite its rhetoric of democracy. open trade. domestic and foreign. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. 2."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. witness the case of Guatemala.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. np. November 1994.wcdebate.html. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber.com . was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue. "in most Latin American countries. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. Ian Martin. Historian. The Haitian military.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It hasn't been easy. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world. recognized that the U. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. Martin observed. available online at http://www. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. PBS documentary. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region. and the world did not want the American principles.N. 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. They were proven right. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. 10. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti.
brought our country into the hell of World War I. 2002. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside. however. 2. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 2002. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other." 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. to say nothing about their weapons" -. p. http://web. 3. PBS documentary. but his behavior was often very paternalistic. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. No. and put anti-war protesters in prison. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. 2001. 2002. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. one of those Wilson sent to prison. South Africa. accessed April 22. Apple. 2000. http://www. accessed April 22. As for Woodrow Wilson. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. np. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Z MAGAZINE. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business.zmag. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. p.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. p. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. Adar. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE.html. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. portrayed in the same light. or Helen Keller. "For two centuries.wcdebate. the noise of democracy. very controlling. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. who reviewed the lessons of history. BUT REPRESSIVE 1.htm. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . if at times secondary. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. civilized mediation. 10.africa. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion. p. Rhodes University. November 1994.ufl. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights. 2. In the current era. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice." he wrote.htm. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy.pbs. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. np. 2. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. W. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. "Like the French in the 19th century. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. Political Studies Department. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent. available online at http://www. May 7. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. has been an altogether different story. Backers of President Aristide. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. accessed May 1. Vol. 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. 1998. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn.
and was generally beloved by the public.according to Gentile standards. anyway. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. Historians. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism).and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. and it happened 70 years ago. of course -. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. Leuchtenburg.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. popularly known as FDR. I say with a smirk. agree on this. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. It wasn¶t. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. In fact.com . So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . though. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. from right to left to centrist. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs. Even today. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. William E. 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. anti-Semitism. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. except Werner von Braun. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. one has doubtless done something right. He passed important legislation. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above. The architect of the New Deal. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about.wcdebate. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. Another element is that most American of traits. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance." according to Communist leader Earl Browder. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. but we¶ll get to that below. He wasn¶t -. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years.
and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. too. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. FDR recognized this. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. This is not quite true.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. 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. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. Jobs for those who can work.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. Leuchtenberg continued. he included economic rights in that list. as failing to meet the needs of the public. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. If you¶re starving. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. In order to understand these. 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. 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. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. The ending of special privilege for the few. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. Before.and perhaps they are right. as we will see later. Unlike most every other president. The preservation of civil liberties for all. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. These are the simple. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. and perhaps they are right. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself.com . it is important to understand the ideology behind them. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. say.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -." But believe it or not. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. Security for those who need it. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office.
and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane.´ He does not say this as a compliment. industry. the aged poor. and the blind. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR. Higgs writes. Sure. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. 3). wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. the physically handicapped. the physically handicapped.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. 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. to him. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. unemployment insurance. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He had his own ideas -. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. but no one heard it from the President before then. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929.instead. As evidence. 2). and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. Specifically. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. no one looms larger than FDR. and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. the National Labor Relations Board. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. finance. ³with few exceptions. and labor relations. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. industry.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. One of them is Robert Higgs. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -.but. the Farm Credit Administration. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. the Federal Housing Administration.wcdebate. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. finance. Nope. the Social Security Administration. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. Cradle to the grave . and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. The FDR years. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. Social Security. the Securities and Exchange Commission. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. the establishment of a legal minimum wage.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. the conservative economic theorist. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government.com . the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. from the day he is born. pensions for the elderly. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. the aged poor.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities.´ he writes. United States. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. which consigned over 100. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. Sadly. Even if you¶ve got a problem with.)´ Sometimes. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. By subsidizing. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. Famously. ³Each in its own fashion. say. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. William J. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. though the U. regulating.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. but that¶s the way it is. Korematsu v. that students have their college loans federally provided. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. To his credit.com . including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. this much is undeniable. the Export-Import Bank. including Henry Ford. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. 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. too. (Which he was there. financing. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. only sometimes. Their property was seized. vanden Heuvel argues. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. 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.wcdebate. 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. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. was at war with them. vanden Heuvel has noted. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. told by William E. by the way. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. this was not the case.S. narratives end with perfect poetic justice.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. insuring. One would think. Charming. FDR was the first (and. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. being a victim of race-baiting himself. The vast majority of it was never returned. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one.
pbs.html.feri. 1992. September 1998. Arthur M. July 1997.html. 1979. http://www.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Franklin Delano. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Gallagher. 1986. 1932-1945. New York: Random House Publishing. FRANKLIN D. http://www. Dallek. Franklin Delano. 1933. THE FREEMAN. Kimball. http://newdeal.htm. 2002. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns.. Michael V.independent. 2002. Mead and Company Publishers. accessed May 5. Schlesinger.washingtonpost.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech. 17. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.org/chat/chat03. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.wcdebate. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. http://www. accessed May 1. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. 1985. Namorato. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security. Kenneth S. Robert. Hugh Gregory. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. Department of History. Jr. University of Mississippi . 2002. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Roosevelt. Chomsky. Princeton: Princeton University Press.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.eh.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 10. 1959. July 24. New York: Dodd. accessed May 9. 2002. 1935.shtml. Noam.ECONOMIC HISTORY. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Davis. Robert.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs.´ Jan.com . EH. William E. THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN.1987. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. accessed May 02. 1991. Boston: South End Press.NET BOOK REVIEW . http://www. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Higgs. Warren F. Oxford University Press. Leuchtenburg. James MacGregor. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. 1970. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. 2002. Roosevelt.htm.
was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans. one eyewitness later remembered. . Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions.Happy days are here again. The historian James T. Overnight. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. University of Mississippi . the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. the political paralysis.shtml.htm. There was something in the air that had not been there before. accessed May 5. In this sense. accessed May 5. Department of History. Leuchtenburg. In the homes on the streets. accessed May 1. 2002.1987.washingtonpost. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge. EH.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy. Patterson." 3. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. p. 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. too. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. where trading resumed on March 15.NET BOOK REVIEW .washingtonpost. np. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. in short. p. np. http://www. 2). After much experimentation. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days. 2002. not least those who are disadvantaged. 2002.wcdebate. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. np. Roosevelt himself. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.eh. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite.just where they are going. "The people aren't sure." Again and again. http://www. in Barber's opinion. how Franklin D. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p.1987. 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. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. gone. Similar to his earlier study.net/bookreviews/library/0024. 2. crowds moved excitedly. Leuchtenburg. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed." noted one business journal. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America.. everyone was joyous.com .´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 3)." On the New York Curb Exchange.. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn.ECONOMIC HISTORY. http://www. p. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. 1). July 1997. Roosevelt's Washington.. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. Namorato..com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.htm. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. Although not a great economic thinker. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1.
ufl. 2002. and." 3. Wilson's intellectual heir. 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.africa. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. 2. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. http://web. No private program and no public policy. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2002. np. accessed April 22. p. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy. p. late in his second term. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E.htm.htm. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history.1987. 1998. http://www. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.wcdebate.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.1987. As commander-in-chief. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. 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." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and it seems improbable. Roosevelt. 2. np. although promulgated by Franklin D. np. given the nature of nuclear weapons. South Africa. As a wartime president. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. Vol.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.washingtonpost. Adar. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E.com . accessed May 5. Leuchtenburg.washingtonpost. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II. a position he was said to prefer to all others.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. 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. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. p. "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." Robert Divine has concluded. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. http://www. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. 2002. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. Rhodes University. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. When he took office. Leuchtenburg. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought. No.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1.htm.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. it is framed with perfect futility. Political Studies Department. accessed May 5. in any sector of our national life.
Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. accessed May 02. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. By wheeling and dealing. With its bewildering. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. FDR and Congress. p. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. 2. September 1998. As John T. 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. accessed May 02. np. In the face of the interventionist onslaught.independent. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. high unemployment. Rather. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. 2002. np. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.2 Without capital accumulation. regulations. p.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. THE FREEMAN.independent. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. 2002. But instead. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution.independent.html. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. September 1998. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. In this madness.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. http://www. p. But however significant his legacies.com . He was no hero.independent. 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. 3. 2002. and hence overall private economic activity. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs. as many observers claimed at the time. maintain a sound currency. 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. and business failures. fear. September 1998. THE FREEMAN. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. the New Deal did prolong the depression.1 billion. But for all his undeniable political prowess. he got himself elected time after time. http://www. THE FREEMAN. 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. 2002.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs.wcdebate.html. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.´ 4. np. Flynn said of FDR. np. 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. http://www. uncertainty. p. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE FREEMAN.html. In fact. taxes. subsidies. and direct government participation in productive activities. balance the budget. the New Dealers had a method. September 1998.html. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. After all. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. the New Deal created so much confusion.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. http://www. accessed May 02. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. by taxing and spending. no economy can grow. incoherent mass of new expenditures. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. accessed May 02. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since. Roosevelt deserves no reverence.
. through Roosevelt and Truman." But that is only the carping of trivial minds... DETERRING DEMOCRACY.. July 1997. 2. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. World War II. 2002. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. University of Mississippi ." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty.shtml. and how people like John K.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. indeed revere.NET BOOK REVIEW . accessed May 1... 171).." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned.. Department of History. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. 2002. EH.endearingly exalted.wcdebate. "in the grandest style. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. Chapter 2.NET BOOK REVIEW . DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS.shtml. including many of the poor and working class.. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal." Try as they might. this demeanor as the aristocratic style." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching.splendidly eternal for romance.eh.. University of Mississippi . how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. 1992. Department of History.eh." and met the great crisis in their lives." 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.. accessed May 1. EH. etc. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy.." etc. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors. by Noel Annan. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. http://www.zmag. Somehow.html. There was one published reaction. July 1997." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism..ECONOMIC HISTORY.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. who placed their trust in him.a wasteland. 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.net/bookreviews/library/0024. http://www. In the end. In fact. Still. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. 3. a secret love affair. accessed May 1. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of. NOT FDR Michael V." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. Finally. and the immediate post-war era.. http://www. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies. FDR.ECONOMIC HISTORY. Finally. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort..net/bookreviews/library/0024. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach.. however. Namorato. in his last chapters.com . Namorato. 2002.
He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. The other defendants. Abbie Hoffman. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. his ideas. So.Jerry Rubin. Circuit Court of Appeals. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental. As some former radicals did. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic.com) admits. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture.´ 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.and those who consider them to be troublemaking. with that said. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. In 1969 and 1970. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. "Tom Hayden changed America". It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades.S.wcdebate. Undaunted by his legal trouble. Born December 11. including Froines and Weiner."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. his life.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 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. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. Hayden decided to run for elected office. Hayden continued with his activism. One of those movements.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Later. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s. Along with four other defendants -.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971.S. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. As his own website (www. in order to answer that question. the Los Angeles Times reported. All the defendants. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. 1939. Students for a Democratic Society. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. Who is right? Well. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. He later served as a ³freedom rider. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. the 7th U. though. District Judge Julius Hoffman. Nicholas Lemann. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. In 1968. who were not convicted. Hayden -. And unlike me. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history.tomhayden. Together. Basically. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -.
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. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. What kind of action? Well. convict with his sentence overturned. lots of different kinds. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. He has an infant son with Williams. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. of course. politician.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. the SDS had socialist leanings -. kids). and other activists of various stripes. Indeed. (Look it up. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record.he sponsored numerous bills. 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. Even in his youth. 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. But mainstream groups honored him. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. 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. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. Activist.remember. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. Until he was forced out by term limits. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. and more.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate".com . to take action. convict. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society.wcdebate. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. and on and on. At least one prominent political figure. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. workers. That includes student groups. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. While a state legislator. former husband of actress. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. too. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. husband of actress. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. He backed pro-labor. again husband of different actress. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. author. In fact. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. including legislation on behalf of women.
even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. Especially because of the nuclear age. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. As a result. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden.com . if one is not progressive at all. Thus. 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. Like many of his vintage. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. of course. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. insists Hayden to this day.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. Naturally. And. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. Just because it isn¶t your morality.. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. 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. Hayden might say. then. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. 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 -. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. depending on how we view it American society. Let us turn to the latter group now. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. for example. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities..´ It seems. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. Rather than moral relativism. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind.wcdebate. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. or Soviet) communism -. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended. Quite the opposite is true.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. higher education is not separate from democracy.or contaminated by. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. It is not Plato's cave. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. at least in the United States. Higher education is fully integrated into . one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. 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. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. the SDS. brought awareness that we ourselves. and our friends. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. might die at any time. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril.
However. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. According to observers. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. CONCLUSION -. Because of the overturned conviction.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden.is not something we will concern ourselves with here. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. Nevertheless. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. they might be criticized for methods -." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -.and the vexing corollarly question. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.certainly. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. philosophies and ideas -.com .wcdebate. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times.not unlike many members of the debate community. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. this is far from undisputed. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now.
NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. http://coursesa. Hayden. New York: New American Library. Rinehart and Winston. Tom. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM.wcdebate.frontpagemag. David. Tom. Chicago: Holt.htm. 1988. Hayden.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. Ronald. 2001. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Tom. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. B1. 2002. 1967). Tom Hayden. New York: Random House. the New Left and the Leftover Left. Hayden. #4. http://www. Hayden.matrix. activist and former California state legislator. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. MISSION TO HANOI. Volume 4.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. December 5. November 27. p. Lynd.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left.com . 1966. 2002. New York: International Publishers. activist.theamericanenterprise. May/June 1997. WASHINGTON POST. accessed May 2. REUNION: A MEMOIR. 1999. 1962. accessed May 1. p. Staughton & Thomas Hayden.msu. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. The Other Side. http://www. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker.html. accessed May 2. Radosh. activist and former California state legislator. Tom. Fall 1987. Horowitz. 1972. 20. 2002. Port Huron Statement.org/taemj97s. former radical.htm.
B1.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. 2002. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. calling on us not to be "good Germans. np. 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.matrix. 20. at once the spark and engine of change. Volume 4. For the first time in memory. marching. B1. On the contrary. Based on five days of joining in protests.html. p. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. np. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. activist. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. http://coursesa. WASHINGTON POST. Port Huron Statement. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. accessed May 2. 1999. 2002. and a commitment to social experimentation with them.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts.msu. WASHINGTON POST.matrix. They were. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. December 5. p. the government? It is to this latter yearning.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. p. accessed May 2. only one was about Viet Nam. 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. activist and former California state legislator. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. 1962. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. p. others today. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. 1962.. One reporter even asked me. 4. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. 3.. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. not that of their opponents. p. the workplaces. 2. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden.msu. the bureaucracies. #4.. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. December 5. we hope. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. activist. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Port Huron Statement. one which moves us and. http://coursesa. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. that we direct our present appeal. Fall 1987.html. 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. 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. being gassed myself. It was honorable to protest that situation. 5. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. My serious take on the question might surprise you. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. activist. But we are a minority . paralyzing policy discussion. on the contrary. activist. 1999.com . In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s.
Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. One week after the Kent State shootings. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. Fall 1987. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 4. 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. I'll give another example. p. 4. At my university. Fall 1987. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden.wcdebate. And it did. Kingman Brewster. in the 60s. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. Furthermore. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. Volume 4. 20. #4. #4. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. the president of Yale. 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. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. 20. Fall 1987. and Bloom knows that. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. NPQ: Bloom argues that.com . the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university.the legitimacy of questioning everything . led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. Speaking of mindlessness. 3. #4. #4. let's also not forget the 60s are over. or Morningside Heights. p. 20. activist and former California state legislator. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. Volume 4. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. Volume 4. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. 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. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . activist and former California state legislator. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. activist and former California state legislator. 20. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. activist and former California state legislator. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. p. If there has been an erosion of general education. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Fall 1987. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY.
During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. May/June 1997. Because of such considerations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. May/June 1997.org/taemj97s. accessed May 1.com .wcdebate. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. 3.theamericanenterprise. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. accessed May 1.htm. former radical. accessed May 1. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. former radical. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.htm. Hayden and seven other radicals. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. 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. 2002. Jerry Rubin.org/taemj97s. One of the conspirators. 2002.htm. http://www. Four years later. http://www. and the chaos on the convention floor. it "radicalizes them. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. he said more than once. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. When the dust cleared in Chicago. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park.org/taemj97s. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. May/June 1997. 2. 2002. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. During the trial. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz.theamericanenterprise. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. http://www.theamericanenterprise." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.
and on Tuesday. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. a member of mobe. 2002. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. 3.theamericanenterprise. 2002. 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. PREACHING PACIFISM.htm. and Saturday. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. former radical. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent.htm. November 27. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist. http://www.frontpagemag. 2001. accessed May 1." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. Rennie Davis. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. Having secured pacifist cover. May/June 1997. http://www. accessed May 2.org/taemj97s.theamericanenterprise. accessed May 1. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account.wcdebate. accessed May 1." 4. Todd Gitlin. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. the New Left and the Leftover Left. 5. 2002." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden. He recruited the Yippies. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. it will flow all over the city. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. one of SDS¶s first leaders." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. Wednesday. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. http://www. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club.theamericanenterprise. that he expected 25 people to die. May/June 1997.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Sid Peck. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. former radical. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage.com . Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz.htm. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. former radical. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz. http://www. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds." and he told his co-organizer. At the event. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. and you check around and you got your piece. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. 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. 2002.htm. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply.org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.org/taemj97s. Thursday.
it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors.000 copies. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum.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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the mass media. accessed May 12. ³Zinn and the Art of History. 503-506 3 Zinn. either nationally or in terms of his own life. 2002. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. p.. 1997. April 18-24 1996. and rational (unemotional). p. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers.96/books9616. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides.metroactive.htm 2 Howard Zinn. in part. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. rather than shying away from controversy.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. revolutionized the way history is told. no date. 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. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that is. 507 5 Zack Stenz. [and] popular leaders. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.com/papers/sonoma/04. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. http://howardzinn. objective. These are that writing should be disinterested. the character flaws of our leaders. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. His progressive history text. rules for ³good´ scholarship. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. In contrast.´5 This is due. 2002. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. because.com . There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. has sold more than 800. p. THE ZINN READER.18. I will address each of these in turn. he actively engages it. from the author¶s perspective. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. accessed May 11. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. he has authored several plays. neutral). the church. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. scientific (i. THE ZINN READER.e. spoken word CDs. http://www. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. p. such as history textbooks used in schools.wcdebate.´4 for example. The author of more than 15 books.1 In addition to his historical writing. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. within the context of history.org/index23. but almost universally accepted. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. 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. np. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. 506 4 Zinn.
in nearly all of his books.´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. 2002. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. and closely related to the last point. lived in tenements. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Zinn says. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. then the punishment itself is unjust. NONVIOLENCE. 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. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. Instead. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. 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. anarchist. MOTHER JONES. p. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. particularly the United States. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. he participated in extensive protest with his students. to a great degree. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.wcdebate. Despite the benefits of that job. and various communist. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. Zinn came from a working class background. but extends to all of his writing. The book is organized into nine sections. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. Third. np. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. At age eighteen. Marx. however. during the depression. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. p. Finally. John Stienbeck. and others. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. Georgia. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. and anti-fascist writers. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). December 3. Z MAG. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. is focused specifically on this topic. which was painful. One of his lesser known books. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. np. physically demanding. Inspired by his students.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. which favors the rich. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. ³[D]espite his popularity.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com .org/index23. http://howardzinn. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. This stems. 8 Howard Zinn. However. from his role as a professor.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Upton Sinclair. accessed May 12. and prohibited union membership. 1998. 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. Stenz.
it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. 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. On the other hand. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. and progress generally. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience.. 29 Howard Zinn. Zinn argues that all things being equal. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. 45 11 Howard Zinn. blocking streets. may be morally defensible. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. p. Martin Luther King Jr. This would include violating curfews. 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.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 1968.com . 1968. Generally. p. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property.11 9 Howard Zinn. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available.. Zinn points out. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. 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. Moreover. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. This argument.´ 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. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws. On the one hand. nonviolence is better than violence. desegregation). Zinn writes. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. etc. as being a nonviolent world. for example. in the course of a protest. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. by Zinn. 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. 1968. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. In any humanist philosophy. Furthermore. Revolutionary warfare. p. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated. In a theoretical sense..´9 In fact.´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. Unfortunately. 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.g. or a local tyrannical elite. Self-defense is by its nature focused. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle.
The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit. social. 370-371 Zinn. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic.96/books9616. Nevertheless.¶ Zinn says. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. This is certainly true at times. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. in various terms. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. Often. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. particularly for a United States historian.¶ what was considered Zinn. peace. 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. is that law is created by the people.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it. THE ZINN READER. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. and must therefore be followed. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. April 18-24 1996. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. There is also justice«.wcdebate. 2002. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. as we have seen throughout history. Thus. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life.com/papers/sonoma/04. but it may not bring justice. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history.com . accessed May 11. they maintain peace and stability. be it material. therefore. and order are desirable. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. and will therefore be just. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. or anything else. THE ZINN READER. 371 14 Zinn. then law and justice are opposed to one another. p.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. Many conservative historians. and she sees no other effective method. There are two primary differences First. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. In these situations. http://www. p. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. 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. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE ZINN READER. But when it sends young men to war.18. Chaos and violence are not. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed.metroactive. stability. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice.
April 18-24 1996.org/zinn0701.progressive. Howard Zinn. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. by Mark Twain: Similarly. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy. Zinn feels that the real.metroactive. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. accessed May 11.´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win. July 2001. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. http://www.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. 2002.progressive. often successfully. However.org/zinn0701.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government. 2002. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. accessed May 11.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility.´ THE PROGRESSIVE.96/books9616.html 17 Howard Zinn. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders.18. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«.html 18 Zack Stenz. accessed May 11. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. in contrast to the perception of his critics. And that's a critical thing to do.wcdebate. http://www. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience. http://www.com . ³Artists of Resistency. ³Artists of Resistency. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies.com/papers/sonoma/04. Instead. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted. far from being unpatriotic. July 2001. Thus.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
Howard.org/evolution/articles.howardzinn. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. et al. Howard.freespeech. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. 1994 Zinn. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. Accessed May 17. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES).com . New York: Seven Stories Press.wcdebate. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. MUSICIANS. 1999 Fortas. Howard. 1964 FREESPEECH. Accessed May 17. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES. 2002. 2001 Zinn.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. Boston: Beacon Press.ORG. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.zmag. New York: Seven Stories Press.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. http://www. New York: Vintage Books. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. 2002. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. Howard. http://free. 2002 Zinn. SALESGIRLS. 2002. 2000 Zinn. Howard. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1968 Zinn. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. http://www. Howard. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 1991 Zinn. New York: Signet Books. Abe.org/bios/homepage. 2000 Zinn. 2001 Zinn. Howard. New York: Harper Perennial. Ward. Boston: Beacon Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. New York: Harper Perennial. Accessed May 17.
and preferably directed against property rather than people. accessed May 12. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. 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. aimed carefully at the source of injustice.org/index23. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. 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. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. juries acquitted them. free black people. 48-49. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. http://howardzinn.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances. And in the 1850s. white people. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law.org/index23. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. injustices of all sorts. 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. 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. 3. accessed May 12. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 2002. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. 1998. December 3. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. black people. There are two reasons for such criteria. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. 2002. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. 1998. http://howardzinn. to the 1850s. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. 1968. December 3. or in) self-defense. 2.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.wcdebate. 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. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. And in a number of cases. p. and other means have been exhausted. they gathered together in committees. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. escaped slaves. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. limited. to disorder. Well people in the North. may move from mild actions. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience.
So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. http://howardzinn. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. it is obedience to governments. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. their calls for war. we have freedom to speak. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. or finally. the principles of peace. in their appeals to patriotism. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. 2002. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. freedom. 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.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.´) 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 forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). 65-66. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law.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.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³It¶s not God¶s law.wcdebate.. Historically. 400-401. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. she responded quietly. 2. The psychologist Erich Fromm.com . Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. ironically. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. 3. thinking about nuclear war. how she felt about her son defying the law. 1997.org/index23. December 3. 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. 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. 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. 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. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. 1998. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. 1968. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. and before him. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. for the most part nonviolent. when Dan went underground.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Kennedy Campaigning). that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. p. 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. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. that the moment we have cast our ballots. p. 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. a devastating war waged. The feeling is justified. Surely. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. and justice. accessed May 12. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.
Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. 62-63. We are a government and a people under law. Vivian Kellems. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. Frequently. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. however peacefully intended by their organizers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. He may. For example. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. These mass demonstrations. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. 64-65. Both of these are essential. 1968. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. 2. If he is properly arrested. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. indeed. 1968. He may be passionately inspired. however noble. or both. there is always danger that individual. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. 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. 3. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. it is the city¶s duty under law. 1968. and convicted. persuasion. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. p. and controlled. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. Each of us must live under law. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . must be identified. p. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. 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. for the rules of law. of course. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. whatever its type. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. whatever their object. teach us that city officials. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. It was true in the case of Mrs. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. These are not controlling. however large and inconvenient. Agitators and provocateurs. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. It is not merely government that must live under law. 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. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. does not confer immunity for law violation. p. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Demonstrators must be organized. ordered. in accordance with the provisions of law. 70-71. our Constitution and our traditions. But despite this. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. free of punishment or penalty. The city must perform this duty. However careful both sides may be. and as a matter of good sense. and civil disobedience may turn into riot.wcdebate. He cannot pick and choose. The motive of civil disobedience. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. as well as practical wisdom. and restrained law enforcement. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. charged. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. But at the same time.
or. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. and continued repression in following decades. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. 3. Australia. In every instance.edu. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. Accessed May 17. pseudo-praxis). 2001. or even a substantial social reorganization. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists.uow. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. Associate Professor in Science. p. There was a military coup later in 1944. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. 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. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. p.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. Accessed May 17. after a short flowering.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. if followed to its logical conclusions. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes.com . brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism.wcdebate. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. it is inadequate on its own. Pacifist praxis (or. 2001.. p. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1.´ 2. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. 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. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. 2002. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence.uow. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. in practical terms. As these conditions typically include war. http://www. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. np. worthwhile change. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin.e. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. more appropriately. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. Associate Professor in Science. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. In El Salvador in 1944. Australia.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. 2001. 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. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. 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. 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. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. http://www.edu. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). np. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. 2002.
Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. Jr. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. and Nye¶s likely got it. Well versed in foreign policy. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. those are some big outstretched wings. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. 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. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. JR. However. You might think that Nye is merely another old. All the while. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. 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. But the guy is a pretty sharp old.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. Longtime professor? Check. and a graduate of the Ph. Joseph Nye. JR. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. And.D program in government at Harvard. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene.com .wcdebate. well. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. He is a Rhodes Scholar. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. was born in 1937. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. 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. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. bald white establishment guy. Jr. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. Joseph Nye. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. you¶d sort of be right. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives.
If that is true. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy .especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. the case of China. China will be a force in the new century. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. How.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31.. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. Nye reasons. as should be clear. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. for example." Nye has said. etc. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response." This has not changed since September 11. 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.com . Containment is a more hawkish strategy. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires.. we aren¶t going to invade them. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. engagement. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. then. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. Nye is not. does one secure American interests. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. Take. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. then the United States must not isolate china. 2002. that's hard power. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. for example. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -.wcdebate. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. particularly in the post Cold War world. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. in fact. That said. such an evolution may continue. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. "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. economic.cultural. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. a hawk per se. An attempt to treat China as a threat. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. But if I get you to want what I want.
Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. we should be using our influence in a positive manner.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history.com . in his view. and the World Trade Organization. especially the radical left. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats.´ he wrote. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers.wcdebate. such as China. Rather than isolating other nations. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. the International Monetary Fund. 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. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable. an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world.
thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. For example.´ No matter how you slice it. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it. Just look at Okinawa. This type of self-justifying behavior. Critics of this policy. There is no better example of this blowback.S. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive.S. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas. 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. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. on too many fronts. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. not enhanced. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. security relationship. Similarly. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch. Instead. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. Even open-minded. It is more likely. the distinction between soft power and hard power. Take.wcdebate. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve. Further left. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. However. critics say. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists. if you go looking for enemies. His most recent book was just published this year. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. 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. 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.-Japan relationship. American credibility is diminished. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. than the U. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. 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. 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. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. for example. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. you will probably find them.S.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. Johnson argues. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. They have a common denominator -the term ³power.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics. 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.com . America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. critics say. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. Nye¶s defense of the U. according to Johnson. and in Japan particularly. As the old Chinese proverb goes.
: Brookings Institution Press. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. Joseph S.C. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000). Jr.4384507. Zelikow and Davic C.wcdebate.. Donahue (Washington. (New York: Longman. D. Jr. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press.uk/Print/0. co-edited with Philip D. Jr. 2002. Nye. democracy. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. Nye. Jr. August 2001) Nye.com . Joseph S. January 2002) Nye. Jr. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). 1985). HAWKS. NUCLEAR ETHICS. Volume V. accessed May 5. http://www. Nye. Number 1. Jr. Nye. Nye.org/jpri/public/crit5. 1986). Keohane]. Joseph S. 2002. March 31. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Jr. Joseph S.jpri. Joseph S. Joseph S.. 2001). Nye. co-edited with John D. 1999) Nye. THE OBSERVER. Jr.-Feb. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. JPRI CRITIQUE. http://www. Nye.. Jr. Nye. 2002. (New York: Basic Books. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press.. January 1998. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. 2000).. Jr. Jr. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values.. 3d ed. Nye.´ CURRENT (September 1999).. Nye. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR..co..observer. 1990).. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute. Joseph S. Joseph S.. accessed May 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.1. Jr. Joseph S. Joseph S.3858. Joseph S. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. Jr.00.. Nye.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. (New York: The Free Press.html. Jr. Joseph S. 1997). Joseph S.com? Governance in A Networked World. Joseph S.html. 2000.
It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. and Brazil. 2002. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. THE OBSERVER.co. 2002. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. this last concern is key. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries.foreignaffairs. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. FOREIGN AFFAIRS.observer.00. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com .co.uk/Print/0. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy.3858. LIBERALISM. However. 2002." For globalization's supporters. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. Other countries. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. 4. http://www.C. accessed May 2. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.4384507. 2. http://www.html. Nye. Nye. Jr. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. 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. the Netherlands.org/articles/Nye0701. all three sources of power .military. http://www. accessed May 1. Prague. 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. Of all their complaints. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S. 2002.html. accessed May 1. coming mainly from rich countries. pluralism. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. if current economic and social trends continue. accordingly. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies.. And countries like the Canada.00.uk/Print/0. Quebec City. These protesters are a diverse lot. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. and soft .observer. Jr.00.. Washington. Nye.html. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. In such a variegated world. Conversely.4384507. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE OBSERVER. Jr.. and that limits the transformation of power. 2002. March 31.4384507. Jr. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S.3858.wcdebate.co.uk/Print/0. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. accessed May 1. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent.3858. such as China. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S..html.remain relevant. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. Some reject corporate capitalism. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.observer. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century. Seattle. and autonomy.. March 31. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. D. 2002. India. July/August 2001. 2002. THE OBSERVER. 3. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority. economic. Nye. March 31. http://www. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe.
Isolating other countries is bad policy. Second. Jr. Nye.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. Nye.wcdebate.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.´ June 22. I agree. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. only China can produce an effective containment policy.. http://www. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. accessed May 3. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals. accessed May 3. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. 2. p. http://www. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. 4. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age.´ June 22. p. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse.html. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.nyu. accessed May 3. 1998. Jr. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.nyu. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks.´ June 22. Jr. p. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Moreover.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.. http://www. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. np. Jr. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. Third. accessed May 3. For one thing. Containment has three fatal flaws. 3. America's edge will continue to persist. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S. http://www. 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. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government..nyu.html. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed.com . p. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. In that sense. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. If we treat China as an enemy now. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be.html. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. np. First. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. np. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.´ June 22. In an election year.html. Nye. But it is not true in every case. Containment is likely to be irreversible. 2002. 2002. 1998. 1998. Nye. 2002. a crude policy of containment would not work. Three times in two weeks. 2002. np. 1998.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways.. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Unlike the Soviet Union.nyu. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S.
(Operation Allied Force. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. No.com .janushead. 1999. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. µHard¶ power was objective. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt. accessed May 1. 2002. JANUS HEAD Vol. to the test. According to Nye.org/2-2/whunt. unquantifiable and indirect.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention. accessed May 1. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. as. was the contrast between authority and liberty. 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. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective." Space-based surveillance. Fall. Entrepreneurial dynamism. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. np.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. p. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. In the study of transnational relations. real-time. p. No. http://www. 2.janushead. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1999..cfm. More ancient still. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. 2. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. JANUS HEAD Vol. np. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. http://www.wcdebate. 2002.. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined.org/2-2/whunt. p. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. 2. JANUS HEAD Vol. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. 2. was tied to the ability to innovate. Nye. by contrast. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. 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. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. Fall. and at a greater philosophic remove. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. by contrast. In short.. The terms originate with Joseph S. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt.cfm. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. No. http://www. In this context. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it.org/2-2/whunt.cfm. 2. 2. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors. 2. Fall 1999. accessed May 1. Mount Allison University. or to be more precise. Jr. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. 4. np. The comparative dimension was critically important. it was further assumed. µSoft¶ power. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension.janushead. Mount Allison University. 2002. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category. 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. Mount Allison University. as did advances in communications technology. in his phrase.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.¶ he argued. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems.
respondents think that the U. in the U. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation..S." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. January 1998. In Japan.1. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. Feb.S. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. perhaps even a superduper power. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. JPRI CRITIQUE. JPRI CRITIQUE. for failing to make up our mind. 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. these books are similar.com . outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. 2.jpri. respondents gave the Middle East top billing.S. Moreover. but despite the immense might that that implies. Thus. matters are much harder to figure out. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy).S.html.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.952 people were interviewed. Volume V. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. Only 26% of the U.S. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility.org/jpri/public/crit5. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. Most likely. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. accessed May 5. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U. Joseph Nye. and a rather bad one. these books definitely differ. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. In some respects. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. http://www. so they say. The chief difference.html. military presence reduced.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute. Volume V. 1. So much for some of those shared common interests. planes. accessed May 5. ST. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Security Treaty. Number 1. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. p. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. 3. increased Chinese potency.1.jpri.4% of the Americans want the U. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. Yet we must choose. In an accompanying article. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers. whereas 58% of U. Security relationship"-40.S.wcdebate. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results.S. 2002. 2002. 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. Today.S. These are sizeable percentages. is in itself a choice.9% of the Japanese and 20. and the fact that the 'hosts. 2002. January 1998. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. 27. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old.org/jpri/public/crit5. of course. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy.' the Japanese.S. Last November 30. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. While approximately half of both Japanese and U.S. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. But in working out our strategy. Number 1. B1. investment adviser." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. to put the matter bluntly. http://www. 982 responded. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat.
Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. in a larger sense. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. I will try to explain his philosophy. illiteracy. Nader. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. but wishes he were not. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. By age 14. Nathra. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest.000 automobile deaths every year in America. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. in fact. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. He had to do most of this on his own. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. An excellent student." in THE NATION. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. After exploring his life. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. and so on. of course. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. Guided by such values. Ralph Nader is one of a kind. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. Ralph Nader recalls. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. At the time. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. 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. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. assets and conditions are never for sale. The book contained a theme that. At age 17. and then his political project. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. and in 1959 published his first article. He researched automobile safety anyway. there were nearly 50. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. took issue with the assumption. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers.wcdebate. oppression. environmental perils.com . Connecticut. and. Applied beyond our borders. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. but wishes there were others like him. he entered Princeton University. he had expanded the article into a devastating book.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. By 1965. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. ²Ralph Nader. which.
"I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. contrary to his predictions.edu/BR18.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. workers. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. In fact.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket. some decades later.wcdebate. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. Throughout the next thirty years.. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. First.mit. simply a distrust). official secrecy." But Jefferson. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. author of the famous Federalist No." John Gardner.2/nader. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. and shareholders. in mandatory seat belts and air bags).nader. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." as they came to be called. Since the 2000 campaign. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary.´ and as such.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this.. Of course. innovative development in American politics at the time. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable. Education and Welfare.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power.com . a former Secretary of the Department of Health. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. then. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W. as the quotation below explains. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. Why." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. who had written. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. consumers. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves. (http://bostonreview. Nader's "Raiders. fought for increased water quality. Bush in 2000. when he founded Common Cause. taxpayers. First and most importantly. the people are the ultimate authorities."the public interest" -was a bold. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. Nor could James Madison. (http://www. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. in a democracy. 10 essay. 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. 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. it is argued. the highest office is the office of citizen. would have a similar idea in 1970. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. of course. albeit reluctantly. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. 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. and a plethora of other causes. but.
They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. a socialist. Finally. p. to institutionalized. 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.com . referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. 56 Over the past two presidential races. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. "above" the laws of most nations. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. And. and frequently more power than. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. Nader is none of these. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. which should belong to everyone. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. a communist. 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. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. rather. torts and contracts. most recently. Second.wcdebate." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. any elected or appointed political leader. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. 3. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts.´ ±Nader. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. sellers need consumers. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. 4. 2. literally. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. literally. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. giant corporations. even a Stalinist. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. In fact. are available to the highest bidder. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. over the past few decades. 1999. and increasing public financing of elections. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money.
'' (VILLAGE VOICE. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. 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. 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. At present. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. worse than nothing!). and often makes things considerably worse. as some would say in reference to Bush. but also that elitism is desirable.com . as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. Democrats. but if they are threatened with punishment. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state." In Wisconsin. including candidate Jim Young for governor. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. to accept some of what we want. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. Along the same lines. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. if successful. 5. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. This is an ongoing argument.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. Democrats respond that. This is because those people believe that. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. To begin with. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. higher taxes for corporations. May 21. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ we end up with nothing (or. Of course. Steverman) reports. Regulations fail. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. Bush. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. but the Green Party's current plans. May 7. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss. if we hold out for ³everything. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. libertarians claim. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. He would like to see much more of this. The problem here is not merely one election. especially liberal Democrats. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise.
Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. However. After all. not merely philosophically. in the strongest democratic traditions. 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. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist. Nader is no fan of capitalism.wcdebate. Were it up to him. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. 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. read commentary about him. since it¶s what we have. At the same time. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. Nader eschews elitism. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. but he argues that. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. and not just theoretically attractive. 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. exploitation and imperialism. Unlike so many of our sources. either-or. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state.com . we should keep it in check. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. government is the people. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. 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. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. 1972). N. 1975). THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. Gorey. 1982). 1973). Katherine. Nader. Nader. 1997). 1972). 1974). 1996). McCarry. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Nader. 2000). Hays. Martin's Press. Nader. Ralph. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed.wcdebate. 1973). RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. Nader. RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. 1977). Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. Ralph. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1975). NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap.: Prentice-Hall 1972). Nader. Ralph. Ralph. Ralph Nader Congress Project. Franklin D. Dan M. Charles. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ralph. 1976). 2002). TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Ralph.] (New York: Grossman. Ralph. Robert F. Nader. Nader. Burt. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. Nader.J. 1986). Ralph.com . Isaac. Chu. Ralph. Martin's Press. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. production. If people think more about how major business executives work. p. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands.wcdebate.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. Yet. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. debt revocations. political activist. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. bailouts. and weaken our democracy. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. p. clinics. 1999. 2. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. 1986. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. 521. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. artificial intelligence. and unemployment is down. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. mass famines. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets. limiting their ability to deal with reality. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1. THE BIG BOYS. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. 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. 1999. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. political activist.profits are up. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden .com . Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. political activist.´ the ³invisible gene.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. tax loopholes. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. political activists. the stock market is up. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. loan guarantees. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. inflation is down. p. 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. schools. and marketing technologies. 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. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader.having accepted their condition and resigned. 56. 56. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE. injure our national security.´ the ³invisible currency.´ the ³invisible pollutant. 2000. giveaways. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. 2.
the U. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. Secrecy.com . safety. It would cost jobs. 1 Citizens beware. If you do. 1993. for example. By contrast. abstruseness. p. Every element of the negotiation. adoption. political activist. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy.S. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Congress.S. state. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade.wcdebate.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. and land. political activist. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. Capitol. will be met with the refrain. Narrow. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. 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. called the Uruguay Round. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. p. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. STATE. and make workplaces less safe. or even at the United Nations. 1993. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. or limit their pollution of the air. 3. 3. the U. state offices. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. 1993. p. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. 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.S. ³You can¶t burden us like that. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. 6. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. we won¶t be able to compete. THE ENVIRONMENT. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. political activist. depress wage levels. water. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. in the halls of the U. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on.
ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups.wcdebate. on our daily lives. a new elite of un-elected. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. in turn. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. p. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. p. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. 2. 1982. and consumers. 1982. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. 20 Instead. and local governments. p. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. Burt.com .S. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and social system. and seek to change it. 1982. individualistic nation. But it is a radical departure from U. Burt. Mr. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. This is a distinct political ideology. In sum. political tradition of the last 200 years. at the bank. employers. President of Capital Legal Foundation. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. 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. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. SEC. In other words. President of Capital Legal Foundation. In this regard.´ 2.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. de-centralized political. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. 20 What is clear is that Mr. state. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. p. Burt. economic. And it has been and would be a government they run. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Our diverse. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. 8. or in the investment markets.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. Burt. 1982. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. In some cases. President of Capital Legal Foundation. President of Capital Legal Foundation.
in 1996 he "received nearly 700. July 25.corporate influence. p. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. July 25. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or Pfizer. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. the one that ended apartheid. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. markets. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1.wcdebate. Michael Kinsley. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. 2000. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350. That's the problem with Ralph. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes.com ." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman. THE MILITANT.S. THE HARTFORD COURANT. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. 2000.000" to Mexico. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. 3. editor of Slate. C3. we are the happiest. 2000. 2000. columnist.000 to 400.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. Professor of Economics at MIT. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. October 22.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. A-19. 2.000.000 votes and finished in fourth place. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. But several days before Gingrich spoke. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. p." reads the statement. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U. columnist.like the laws of every market economy -. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. p. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. healthiest. A-19. Professor of Economics at MIT. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. 2. because -." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid." At the same time. In 2000. He isn't like you and me. most prosperous nation in the world. Cohen. or any corporation. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. he said. p.I'm serious -." 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. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. March 6. must be bad for the world.
write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. and publish books. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps. As for the second proposition -. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. It had nothing to do with what I had written. In fact. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. After all. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it.S. it isn¶t a true democracy to you.´ 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. including slavery. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. right? During and prior to the Civil War. That¶s not just me being partisan. 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. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. such a right was not truly meaningful. Attorney General for Civil Rights because.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. if you can¶t vote. to be fair. In the South (and. For understandable political reasons. they claimed. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. you didn¶t get to vote. 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.com . alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time.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. For them. 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. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. 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. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. though. Period. a ³quota queen. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. She was. 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. Now. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. many places in the North). As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture. And even then and immediately thereafter. but it was a very useful. the right wing said.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. two: Quota Queen.
Something between a very bad thing and a disaster. and they are regularly outvoted. 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. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. cracking. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. alternatively. Again.wcdebate. The result is that you get one minority representative. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote. we ought to defend it for minorities. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. The problem is that in other districts. And depending on how old there are. and created a right to select representatives of choice. 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. As Tushnet notes. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. Plus. of course. indeed. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. Harvey Gantt. So. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. if the right to vote represents full citizenship.´ The other problem. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore.com . it has another value: an instrumental value. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. For example. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. though. people -. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. it takes all kinds).´ After all. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. if you go to vote. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district.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. The thing is. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done.mostly Republicans -. and you headed to the polls in Florida. 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. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. and stacking. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hence. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that.
They will vote to advance their own interests. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. 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. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. but there¶s another reason. but let¶s review some of the high points here. and you¶ll be in big trouble. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. there needs to be some check on that abuse. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. Total majority rule. When you¶re in power. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. every vote counts. Hence. Since every vote counts. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. That includes people living in a democracy. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. and that includes affirmative action. for one thing. legislators can get concessions on another. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. For example. stupid things. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be. 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. And nice as that sounds.wcdebate. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. People are self-interested. There would be problems with identifying these policies. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. There are a couple of reasons why.´) After all. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. for example. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. economic. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. Similarly.com . too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. 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. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. it doesn¶t work that way. 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. So. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now.
However. that Indian tribes hate him so much. 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. presumably. The best strategy lies in other means.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. though. with its specific mission in mind.com . seeing what is working and what is not. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis. give feedback on. 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. their interests will be better served by legislators. after all. try to actively undermine their interests. a left-wing critic of Guinier. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. for example. each institution would. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Stephen Steinberg. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. Hence. rather than just in name. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights).wcdebate. This doesn¶t always happen that way. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. etc. More often. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. Guinier recognizes this. You might be surprised. health care projects. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. crush their economic infrastructure. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. and is relatively easy to understand. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. college administrators. programmatic change) thinker. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. usually. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. There is a reason.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. Guinier asks.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. economically viable future should check out her work.wcdebate. People that are interested in building a more racially just. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.
1077-1154. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen.3/tushnet. Tushnet. Guinier. Mark. 1995. 2002. http://bostonreview. Guinier. New York: Simon & Schuster. Steinberg. 36-37. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center.html. 1998. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander.6/steinberg. p.html." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. 1998. Vol.edu/BR25. Guinier. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. 5.edu/BR19. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. Boston: Beacon. Lani. Jr. Lani. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.mit. 89. Lani. New York: Free Press.html. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. December 200/January 2001. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.6/connerly. Guinier. Lani. March 1991.mit. http://bostonreview. BOSTON REVIEW. 505525." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. December 200/January 2001. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill. edited by J. Guinier. accessed May 1. p. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ward." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. 2002. 1-16. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. Stephen. Guinier.wcdebate. "President Clinton's Doubt. 1998. p. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. p. Lani. Guinier. 1998. Lani. 1999. accessed May 1." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. No.mit. C. Smith.. 1994. Lani. January 8." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW.com .edu/BR25. Lani Guinier's Certainty. Lani. http://bostonreview. 2002. accessed May 1. Guinier.
The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. p.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. p." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. two conservative columnists. color-coded ballots. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . county and municipal governing bodies in America. George Will and Lally Weymouth." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93). he admitted in an interview with Extra!." Indeed. the white minority in South Africa. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans. p. injecting further distortions into the process. 3.com . Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. 3. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. 3. as George Will did.wcdebate. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. EXTRA!. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. as it was for Lally Weymouth." 2.a process known as "race-conscious districting. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist. 3. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. July/August 1993. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. her views were not only distorted." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. electoral quotas or 'one black.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. July/August 1993. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. Apparently. July/August 1993. Professor of Law at Harvard University. EXTRA!. after the nomination had already been killed -. EXTRA!.on June 4. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. p. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Nor did I write. two votes' remedies. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. EXTRA!." But once the stereotype was affixed to her." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. 4. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. 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 . July/August 1993. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. 3." In reality." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act.
Harvard Law School. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives.org/mainart/confirmative_action. http://www.shtml. June 14. 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. np. 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. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. can be chronicled with the proper instruments. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91).minerscanary. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. legitimacy and power base is the black community. but to ³lift as we climb. EXTRA!.com . 2002. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. accessed May 1. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions.minerscanary. and what constitutes fairness for all. np." as George Will put it (Newsweek. accessed May 1.wcdebate. p. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. Merit. p. In other words.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. she was critiquing it. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women.shtml. http://www. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. 2002. in a multiracial democracy. in turn. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. 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.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. Professor. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. 6/14/93). who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . June 14. 2." But more important. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. That focus." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 3. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. like one¶s family tree or family assets. July/August 1993. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. 2000. in other words. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. 3. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. Professor.org/mainart/confirmative_action. In doing so. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. 2000. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. Harvard Law School. p.
public policy could generate gains for everyone.6/connerly. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. For its entire history.6/connerly.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. http://bostonreview. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994.3/tushnet. What is most striking about Guinier's work. Unfortunately. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1.com . December 200/January 2001. Indian. one for which we should all be ashamed. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. EMPIRICALLY.mit. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state.html. http://bostonreview. 2002. December 200/January 2001. Instead. 2002." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. we ought to believe -.mit. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. All we need to do. Thus. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. accessed May 1.mit. accessed May 1.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. given these tensions. people -. Unfortunately. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. 3. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. BOSTON REVIEW.edu/BR19. http://bostonreview. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave.6/connerly. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. 4. 2002.wcdebate. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. and refreshing.html.perhaps most particularly whites -. attracting topflight students from around the world. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly.html. Hispanic. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet.mit. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. City College¶s experiment has failed. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. Caucasian.edu/BR25. http://bostonreview. 2. December 200/January 2001.edu/BR25. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. it was surprising. It is a long and sordid history.that society is not so racially polarized. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. free black. 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. accessed May 1. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. etc. she proposes. BOSTON REVIEW. For her. octoroon. their argument is not at all new.html. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. Thus. 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. BOSTON REVIEW. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. accessed May 1.edu/BR25. In 1970.
Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. First. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1." 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. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. Against this background. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. However. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. accessed May 1. even if enacted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. 3. December 200/January 2001. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION." 2.html. 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. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. Though they do not say so explicitly. here the syllogism runs into trouble. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. 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. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. though. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. accessed May 1. http://bostonreview. http://bostonreview. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. The problem. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. On closer examination. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg.edu/BR25. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. December 200/January 2001. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for.html. 2002. 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. 2002.edu/BR25. 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. don¶t fix it." 2. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. 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. At first blush.mit. "if it ain¶t broke. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who.6/steinberg. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. 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. As the saying goes. The problem is that "for more than two decades. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg.html. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. December 200/January 2001. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy.6/steinberg. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. Therefore±alas.com . 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. accessed May 1.wcdebate. http://bostonreview. To be sure.edu/BR25.6/steinberg. affirmative action has been under sustained assault.mit.mit. two troubling questions arise. Indeed.
they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). However. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. 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. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. She is a native of the state of Michigan. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods. but she is a wife and mother. Social revolutions are fundamentally different.com . Next. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. Skocpol argues. in fact. 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. ³rapid. Skocpol a researcher. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. professor and well-known author. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. 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. shows Skocpol. especially in analyzing revolutions.C. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures.wcdebate. than other types of societal change.´ (4). Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. 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.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. The examples she points to are rebellions that. by nature. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination.O. Dr. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). ³class-based revolts from below. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. Not only is Dr.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. an active citizen.E. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. First. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
Then there develops a purposive. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. Her claim is that: First. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. and insurance for workers.S. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. if it wins. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. if affirmed. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. and the resources available to the group.wcdebate. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. 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.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. 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. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. their social position. 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. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. those individuals capable of creating change. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. Thus. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .´ that view is inaccurate. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia.S. Finally. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. for better or worse. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. the conditions that cause change. Hopefully. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. which they labeled ³the warfare state. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). 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. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. the United States¶ model. not all social revolution is a positive thing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
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. 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. 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. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. 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. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. 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. ³U. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. unemployment was down. politics and business. This has a number of implications for debate. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. Her book. Most importantly however. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere.wcdebate. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. 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. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. However. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle.people who are not children and are not yet retirees.S.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. 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. in this case the media was absolutely right. 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. 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. The work done by Skocpol in her book. However. 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. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. which included the charities and the home. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. First.´ 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.com . THE MISSING MIDDLE.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Skocpol argues. mainly. 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. Additionally. 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. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). 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. 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. who Skocpol argues. 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. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. First.com . 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. 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. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children.wcdebate. the working population. are generally ignored in political debates. This may leave some debaters thinking. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. 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. and still are. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. 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. many of them parents.S. 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. 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. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. 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.
Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. 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. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class.com . Instead. 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. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. to explain events. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. 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. 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. 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. Additionally.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. which LD tends to draw upon.wcdebate.
. 1984. July 31. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1999. April 30. Greenberg. Boston: South End Press. Kornbluth. p. 1992. 28. 2000.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Theda. Skocpol. Theda. 1996.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. 1979. Terrance C. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. THE MISSING MIDDLE. p. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. 1997.´ OFF OUR BACKS. Kristin Kay. Steven. New York: W. Halliday. Norton & Company. Dubrow. Gail Lee.S. Wineman. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. May 31. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1997. RUSSIA & CHINA. p.W. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Case.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Skocpol. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. 1982. Skocpol. Theda. September 2000.com . Felicia A. Skocpol. Ritter. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. and Nicole Mellow. Gretchen. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. Fall. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. Theda and Stanley B.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE.183. New Haven: Yale University Press. THE NEW MAJORITY. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.171.
Professor of Sociology. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model). and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. In her newest work. September 2000. and policy feedback loom large. I will necessarily condense her account.171.com . organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. 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.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. bureaucrats. 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. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995).´ FEMINIST STUDIES. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. governmental institutions. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1.. Together. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. Rather. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths." she argued in 1980. 1996. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments. electoral rules. a graduate student in the same department. July 31. resulting in over 500 pages of text. However. 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.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A. 14 In Skocpol's vision. the United States possesses a decentralized. 1997.wcdebate. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. Although not always explicitly. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. However.a polity-centered perspective -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. political parties and officials. Given the enormity of her undertaking. that is. Simply stated.S. bureaucrats. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors.183. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. 3. 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.. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science.. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. 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. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. p." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. p. 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. April 30. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. In other words. Kornbluth.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. 2. Case. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
Case.171.171. 2. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states. 1996.com . which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. 3. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. 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. who know them as "social feminists. in their processes of creation. Professor of Sociology. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. federal social programs for mothers. April 30. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. p. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. potential mothers. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. and in their processes of creation. were doubly paternalist: Elite males.S. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states." she writes. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation.S. In content.. exhausted.S. Felicia A. April 30. 1997.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Case. Kornbluth. More important. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. 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. p." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. which treated men as fathers and heads of families. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. July 31. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. time-bound contribution to political thought.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. 1996. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS. bureaucrats and national political leaders. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." or as the fractious. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special.183." However. p. (P. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. post suffrage women's movement. republican motherhood. Many women reformers in U. 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. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. Readers may also hear in maternalism. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities. Felicia A. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker. 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.
" MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. 307. Instead. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. p. Halliday. 1984. to "do good. severe stratification of power. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. p. 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. Point for point. Terrance C. Sonya. p. 2. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions. not the idea of child care as public service to all. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. Northwestern University. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. Within political sociology. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment.36. "The Limits of Maternalism. 1993. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. Theory of the State. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Michel. 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. New York: Routledge. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. Koven & Michel). 1999. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Author. Similarly. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure.wcdebate. American Bar Foundation. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. Senior Research Fellow. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. the predominance of giant corporations. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. 165). If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. Ironically. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. teaches American women's gender. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients.in the interests of the corporate order." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed.centered approaches. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. Fall. np. in both class and state.
. "Specifically. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. Spring. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. often called the two-track welfare system. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. Clearly. says Gordon. Spring. researcher at European University Institute. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. In other words. 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". However. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. 1996. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. in the way Gordon sees it. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens".. Women's activism was as much as men's.PHILOL. to put it inversely. np. np. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. NORWAY. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY.com . determined by class as much as by gender. 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".West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.PHILOL. after all. p. says Gordon. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to be sure. 1996. was. not merely a neutral or benign difference. in order to maintain the family wage system. NORWAY. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. researcher at European University Institute. 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. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. it is a difference. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender.wcdebate. . In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. in a context of male domination. Eirinn Larsen. Gender is. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. PhD. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. 2. PhD. Gender means "female" for Skocpol.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. p. She has no critique of maternalism". 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. To Gordon. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY.
She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. generally taught by white males. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. In her classes. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. She knew there was something else out there for her.D. racism and classism. especially Friere. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. This interest in books was not. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). Paulo Friere. and the destructive effects of sexism. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. including hooks. sexism and classism. as it might be today. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. it was simply recreated in new ways. that too much reading would change her life. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. She points out that. politics. 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. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville.´ Determined to overcome these notions. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. correctly it turned out. Her father feared. Kentucky.wcdebate. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism.com . This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature. Like everything hooks does. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. 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. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. For her. 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. 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 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. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions. they just got up in the morning and went. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. no bussing. sex or class. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. social movements and educational biases. 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. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school.com . 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. (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. and classist educational policies. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. Let's reclaim them. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. Let's share them. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. legitimating standard English. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. white supremacist.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. 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. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. 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. she argues. 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. Classism creates an elite group. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. capitalist culture that uses racist. 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). This process. Let's start over. We have those definitions. racism within feminism. not very different from anything the students could relate to. 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. 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.wcdebate. sexist.
Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. In her book. not born. is the heart of the matter. sexist exploitation.com .wcdebate. 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). and always. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. Occasionally an author. have often felt marginalized. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. "a movement to end sexism. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. like hooks. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. television and radio commercials.´ 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. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. ads everywhere and billboards. Let's start there. 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 feminists are made. or their critics. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. 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.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. Sexism. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. However. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. bell hooks sees feminism as. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. she argues. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. and oppression. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. 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. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work."(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. Let the movement begin again. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. not division in the movement. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change.
it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology.wcdebate. Let¶s face it though. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. Whatever the flaw. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. 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. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well. 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. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. media and the academy. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case.com . debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. 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. 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. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Finally. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. 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. 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. even worse. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. 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.
bell. 2000. 1996. bell. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. Cambridge: South End Press. hooks. New York: Henry Holt. Patricia Bell-Scott). 1995. Norton & Company. New York: Doubleday. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve.W. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE.com . 1998. hooks. New York: Henry Holt and Company. hooks. bell. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. bell. and Elizabeth Hirsh. bell. Albany: State University of New York Press. New York: W. 1999. bell.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. 1995 hooks. New York: Henry Holt. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. Gary A. Boston: South End Press. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. Olsen. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. Namulundah. 1990. Golden.wcdebate. hooks. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. hooks. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 1995. 1994.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. in America. McNaught. p. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. In a white supremacist society. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. 1998. 1995.. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. a ³white´ self. 1992. Critical. 1988. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. White people¶s values. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. However. THINKING BLACK. educational. 1996). Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. at its very core it is dehumanizing. 1988. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. currently policy makers(Banks. 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. 11. hooks. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. Essentially. in this case.122) 3. Namulundah Florence. 1994. 1996). p. (1981. p. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. gender. 1998. Of course.58). this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. p. groups such as African Americans. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. In the United States. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. but threaten their very existence. Nelson et al. and class specific. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. 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. feeling and knowing as the norm. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. Chinese Americans.com . traditions. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. these values and traditions are racial. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS.109). p. 2. Boston: South End Press. since we who are black can never be white. 1989. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. Historically. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. 14. 67. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. can come into being. Once slavery ended.
KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. 2. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. 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. social critic. suspicious ways that we often view white women. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. p. 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. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. 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. for boys to be active and girls to be passive. professor. particularly sexist black men. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. in response to specific contexts. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. 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. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. social critic.75. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. sociologically. to be capable of being both strong and weak. And I would say vice versa as well. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. 3. and all our efforts at self-determination. to assume that black folks. Certainly. active and passive. professor. etc. 1990. 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. 1995. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. that they receive in the existing social structure. and Mary Childers. 69. New York: Routledge.com . This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. particularly sexist black men. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. Feminist theory needs to study historically. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. New York: Henry Holt. New York: Henry Holt.. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. girls women. 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. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. 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. 1995. p. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. however relative. np. author. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile.wcdebate. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. 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).
Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. Buppiedom and Big Houses. and Better Off Financially. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all. An unreconstructed black radical feminist. television and radio commercials.wcdebate. love goes the way of BMW's. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. p. 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. yet at one point. Yes. 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. However.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³For bell. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed.her passion lost. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. I was surprised by what I read. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility. p. Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. Like Jada. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. Her follow-up works equally impressed me.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . 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." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism." 2.com ." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. 3/14/98. I was initially excited by the cover story . "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. 50. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. she has gone mainstream . 53.a potentially informing. B1. Maybe. 1/22/2001. ads everywhere and billboards. like the older civil rights generation. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Healthier. staff writer. empowering article for Black women. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. Kelly. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1.
the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model.A.wcdebate. University of Pennsylvania.. critical race theory. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. Assistant Professor. law and sexuality. and. B. Assistant Professor.. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement.." 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. patriarchy. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics.. and heterosexism. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. and poverty studies. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. In particular. 309-310. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. 2.D. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis.´ ³Multidimensionality. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www..D. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena.A. rather than conflicting.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. B. patriarchy. Spring 2001. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. Lesbian-feminist theorists.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. therefore." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . for example. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. phenomena. Southern Methodist University School of Law. whose work examines the relationships among racism. I have examined the relationships among racism. Lesbian feminists. Multidimensionality. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. Yale Law School. These scholars. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. In a series of articles. 288-290. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. Yale Law School. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions. gays and lesbians of color.´ ³Multidimensionality. class domination. University of Pennsylvania.com . rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. Spring 2001. J. J. 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. respectively. heterosexism. p. race-sexuality critics.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1.. recently. like the intersectionality theorists. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. Southern Methodist University School of Law.
Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. 1946. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. sometimes quite vehemently. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. 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 -. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. it was widely criticized as absurd. but that society has since realized its mistake. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. MARX in 1980. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. they merely need different considerations. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. He has lectured at Radcliff. Now. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. HEGEL in 1982. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.´ and democracy. In 1998. we classify members of other species as undeserving. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor).or ways of avoiding thinking -.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. For example. As the President of the University noted. 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. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. New York University. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. Monash University.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. While at Monash University. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. Instead. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. La Trobe University. INDIVIDUALS. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. Australia on July 6. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne.wcdebate. At age 30. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. He believes that society has become far too complacent. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985.about them. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994.
their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. a new criteria becomes necessary.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. strength. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. Furthermore. creates divisions between humanity. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. they come with differing moral capacities. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. Equality. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. I shall argue. 6 This consideration is based on two things. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. Singer notes that. Singer. His critics often ask. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact.wcdebate. 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. however. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals. and a decision can cause that suffering. however. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. If a creature cannot suffer. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included.com . like intelligence. We eat them. as noted above. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. differing intellectual abilities. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. Dogs. That is. In his All Animals are Equal. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. and not merely an assertion of fact. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. Fundamentally. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. rather. then they cannot have interests. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. is sentience. is not descriptive of they way beings are. 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. and the second is if they have interests. and use them to do our labor. wear them. then it is simple discrimination. moral capacity. we will never give equal consideration. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. Thus. But if a creature can suffer. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. 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. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. according to Singer. differing abilities to communicate effectively.
. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. 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. would be considered persons. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. therefore. chickens. However. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. to plants. and more specifically. and fish. like dogs and bears. human fetuses. be right to kill him. Those who advocate this position. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals.com . that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. Singer writes. too focused on people.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. those with significant mental retardation. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . 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. However. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. those with some forms of psychosis. This would include brain-damaged people. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. 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. . but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. and that even plants are pursuing their own good.wcdebate. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. Therefore. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. After all. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. who details that every living organism has a will to live. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. Since those persons depend on the environment.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. however. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. human embryos. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. He also explains. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. many animals. Again. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea.
that is. it must cause suffering. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. The first is that it is revisionary. Here. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. 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. than no life at all. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. First. From a utilitarian perspective. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. whether is causes more benefit than harm. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. Most importantly. is no justification for a lack of action. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. but to change it. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life.com . Practical ethics have three primary characteristics.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. He says. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. the disease and filthy living conditions. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. The confinement that these animals endure. that is. Any advocacy of valuing progress. etc. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. 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. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. In Democracy and Disobedience. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. the absence of a benefit is not harm. even if it is a short one. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. 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 creature would be allowed to live without human interference.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the way we should strive to make things. engaging the argument still yields some debate. However. or the distance between an individual and a famine.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. humanity. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. The second is that in Singer¶s work. especially citizens of a democracy. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. growth. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. facts matter. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. Hare takes the position that it is not. 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. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. an understanding of a position. Singer claims that proximity. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. The question then becomes. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. the painful ways in which they are killed. however.wcdebate. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself.M. Second.
All Animals are Equal.frontpagemag.frontpagemag. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. Hare. 1973.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. 15 Peter Singer. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. as an issue itself.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. 1999. Wesley J. December 7.wcdebate. 10 Smith. All Animals are Equal.princeton.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. and academics.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. 5 Peter Singer.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. All Animals are Equal. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as. in moral and political philosophy. All Animals are Equal.edu/~uchv/index. ³intrinsic worth of humanity.M. 4 Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. 13 Holmes Rolston. All Animals are Equal. 7 Peter Singer. or student. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science.com . All Animals are Equal. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. 1993. All Animals are Equal. 1993. 8 Peter Singer. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. Essays on Bioethics. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. Wesley J. http://www. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. 16 Dale Jamieson. http://www. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. 1998 3 Peter Singer. 17 Peter Singer. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. ³It is the significant problem of equality. 6 Peter Singer. medicine. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. and use animals to further human aims. 9 Peter Singer. 1999. 14 R. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account.com/ 11 Smith.
IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1973). 1975). (Lanham. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. Singer. Singer. 1998). Singer. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. ETHICS. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS.wcdebate. Peter. Pojman. Jamieson. 1997). 1993). 1994). (Oxford: Claredon Press. 2002). Peter. 1993). Singer. Singer. Peter. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Belmont. Peter. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. (New York: Longman. R.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Dale. (Malden. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Hare. Louis J.M.com .. PRACTICAL ETHICS. Peter. Terrence and Richard Dagger. 1999). ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. (New York: Review/Random House. 2nd ed.
com . It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. in other words.. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. then we will not see why it is morally significant. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self. This may seem like a major provision. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . there is the very real danger that. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. what would it avail? The question is not. Solomon. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. old. called agape. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. or worse. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about.by Frege¶s point. they necessarily have selves. however noble their object or intent. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. the villosity of the skin.subjects of experience. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings.wcdebate.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. the social sense as such. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. 1999. since animals have experiences. 1999.. In other words.) So. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C.69. instead of building on our natural impulses. 1789. or a week. rather. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. than an infant of a day. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. or the termination of the os sacrum. p. 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. p. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. Can they suffer? 2. ch. Philosopher and Jurist. 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. may instead undermine them. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. McGinn. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1. The danger is that reason. as well a more conversable animal. The basic biological sense we seek. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. But suppose they were otherwise. or even a month. 152153. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness.. XVII. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. Austin. 3. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. 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.
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. In such cases.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. according to the total view. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior.73.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. but the criminal case was over by May. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. The New Yorker. p." That was April 26. 2. be right to kill him. np. Cook County charged Mr. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. 1999. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. 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. Solomon. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. Then Linares puts down the gun and. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. when a grand jury refused to indict him. it would. Linares cradles him in his arms until. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. too. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. 3. writer. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. 1999. weeping. Austin. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Linares with first-degree murder.com . Therefore. and Singer knows that. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. September 6.must not be so engineered. half an hour later. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. she doesn¶t calculate it. 10 March 2000. the child dies. gives himself up.wcdebate. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Of course. 1989. So. Critics often accuse Mr. Singer of being cold-hearted. standing in a hospital ward. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. They ³just know´ what to do. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. p.
´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. we can understand that. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. therefore. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. our habits. 2. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. that is. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. too. p. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. but as normal for the species. 1967. But compassion. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. and yet not accept it at all. 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. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. and not just ordinarily dishonest. involves a certain distance. just as it would be unfair. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. 3. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. with its own standards of normality.com .if. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated.. too.wcdebate. We. 1999.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. one could argue. Austin.. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. part of culture rather than nature. 1967. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. our breeding patterns. above the food chain. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. We are not merely at the top of the food chain. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. but because rationality is the human norm. It too. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. are rational. We are. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. The characteristics. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. to steal from a blind man. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 62ff. in an important sense.. 69. p. Solomon. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. If we do not think in this way about dogs. and therefore claims. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. for instance. 62ff. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm.. p.
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. my number three. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. Reason..´ Thus. according to Singer. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. simply because they are humans. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. p.. and they might not be sentiments of equality. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. is that Singer. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. seemingly hungry and crying. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. simply because they are men. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. At the same time.wcdebate. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. They may not be dominant. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. For example.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. 1999. in a sentence. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. However. 134-135. are from a different country.. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. In most cases. 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. that some people have a different skin color. np. 1999. 1999. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. and most people seem to. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity.According to Singer. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER.. 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. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. 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. As Singer discusses the principle. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. p. 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. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. a pet owner and so on.com . Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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´). If we have a hard time grasping his view. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. According to this principle. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. Solomon. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. 3. Nonetheless. p. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. 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. 75. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. and it requires care and concern. My argument. on the other hand. Let me begin with the easiest one. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. Professor at Webster University. are not 100% novel. a zoo goer. Austin.. however. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. The danger. are of a different gender. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
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