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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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.................. 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ............. 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY............. 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ........................................... 139 PETER SINGER ................................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ............................ 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE ....................................... 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ........................................ 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY.................................................................................................... 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD ............................................................................................................................................................ 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ....... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN ...............West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook..................................................................................................... 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED ...................................................................................................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED .......................................................................................... 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ......................................................................wcdebate..................................................... 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................................................................... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN............ 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ............................................................................................................................. 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE ...........................................................com ..................................................... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ............... ............................................................... 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 120 THEDA SKOCPOL .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE .................................................. 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST .......................................................................................... 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ......................... 100 RALPH NADER .......... 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www........................................................................................................................................................... 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD .......................................................................................................................................... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 110 LANI GUINIER ..................... 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ............................................................................................................................................................................... 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE ......................................................................... 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ...... 130 bell hooks............................... 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ............................................... 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............... 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ....................... JR..................... 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ................................................................................ 91 JOSEPH NYE.............................. 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................. 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...........................................................
men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. like the other leading figures of his generation. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions.S. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. anti-Federalist. showing his freedom from dogmatism. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. he suggests in Federalist 38. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. the avoidance of oppression. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. Not easily categorizable. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. one of the youngest. and the structure of representative government remain influential.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. is often placed into one or another ideological box. in fact. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. Seriously. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. Most importantly. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. As a result. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. including George Clinton. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. Indeed. 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. James Madison.wcdebate. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780. like the other leading figures of his generation. though. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. who died in office in 1812. though: Madison was the smallest U. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican.com .´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." The example to follow. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. His idea on the separation of church and state. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. As a result. Interestingly enough. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. is often placed into one or another ideological box. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. James Madison. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. No.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. even if just temporarily. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. president. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions.
´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested. This does happen in politics all the time.) 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. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. 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. Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. he was able to get what he wanted for that state.wcdebate. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. 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. Thus. Hence. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. In organizing a republican democracy. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. Let¶s not belabor the point. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. As a philosophically inclined individual. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. the majority is inherently self-interested." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. and hence have the power to govern. after all. but they aren¶t blind.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. the majority will look to the long-term. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. (Sorry. People will vote to actualize their own wants. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. ³Tyranny of the Majority. needs and desires. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. As a skillful politician. Either they will become the next majority. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. What might that mean? Well. like John Ashcroft. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below.com . especially if that mass had coincident interests. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job.
He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. organic food labeling laws. Their charges have serious merit." Madison wrote. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. While his father was an Episcopalian. Madison reasoned. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. 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. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. 1787." Even Jefferson. In fact. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. written in June 1785. The struggle continues to this day. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. The church.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. Indeed. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials.wcdebate. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election." The debate raged on. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse. Number 10. 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. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. this is part of the logic of the federal system. The document. If power is temporary and fluid.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church.com . 1787. then the potential for abuse is minimized. Speaking of potential for abuse. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. published November 22. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. 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. Again. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85.
in proportion to the number with which it is associated. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. and that bypassing that consent was unjust.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. in Madison¶s view. which time bestows on everything. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. and acquires firmness and confidence. . having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. are antient as well as numerous. In a nation of philosophers. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. when left alone. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: 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. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. Madison reasoned. When the examples. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. . A reverence for the laws. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. . But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. which should be declared "void and of no force. they are known to have a double effect. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. The reason of man. 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. and the summation of his argument. and its practical influence on his conduct. And in every other nation. like man himself is timid and cautious. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. this consideration ought to be disregarded. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. the mass of American people. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. His final shot at Jefferson. which fortify opinion. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. the powerful. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.wcdebate.com . the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage.
The reason of man. When the examples. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. and its practical influence on his conduct. In a nation of philosophers. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. . depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. they¶re worth checking out. are antient as well as numerous. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. they are known to have a double effect.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. . Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley.We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. and the most passionately argued. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. like man himself is timid and cautious. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. and acquires firmness and confidence. when left alone. which time bestows on everything. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself.wcdebate. And in every other nation. this consideration ought to be disregarded. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. which fortify opinion. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. A reverence for the laws.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. .com . the most based in a sense of ethics.
http://www.html. http://federalistpapers. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. Lancej. James. Lance. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. 1912. N. Charles historian.html and http://www. 1995. http://www. Kans..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook..loc. Va. November 22. November 15. March 16. under the name Publius.gov/loc/madison/symposium.loc.com . ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.loc.loc.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. June 1997.html and http://www. ed.wcdebate. Mattern. Smith.cato. Meyers. ³James Madison: Federalist. N. Library of Congress. Hutson.html and http://www. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper.gov/loc/madison/symposium. 2001. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON. 1787. 1981.. March 16.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. 1995. Banning. Chomsky..com/federalist10. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.H. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2001. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers. James Morton. Richard K. Brant. 1995.com.html and http://www.Y. Samples.html. 1780-l792: Ithaca. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. 10. Z MAGAZINE. 1776-1826: New York.gov/loc/madison/symposium.loc. Madison. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs.loc. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.html.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. James.loc. Noam.. http://www. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. 2001. accessed April 22.org/dailys/11-15-00. 1997).html. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON. John. Matthews. Marvin. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. Irving. March 16. University of Kentucky.html. Rewards. Beard." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. ed.. Rosen. David. http://www. Hanover. 2000. Gary. 2002. 1941-61. FEDERALIST PAPER No.
A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. 2002. The instability. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. Sen. or of interest. in truth.html. 3. Clinton more credit than that. I give Ms. have. and that measures are too often decided. therefore. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. injustice. By a faction. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. provides a proper cure for it. Washington's newest celebrity. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. at the same time. accessed April 22. p. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. 10. and. without violating the principles to which he is attached. These must be chiefly. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. November 15. that our governments are too unstable. Hillary Rodham Clinton. November 15. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. November 22. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. FEDERALIST PAPER No. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. He will not fail. However the election turns out. and of public and personal liberty. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements.org/dailys/11-15-00. 2002. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. 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).com . and alarm for private rights. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. As Madison knew. the evidence. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. adversed to the rights of other citizens. equally the friends of public and private faith. 2000. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. to set a due value on any plan which. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. 2002. p. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. both ancient and modern. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. on a candid review of our situation. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples.cato. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. indeed. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side.html. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate.cato. cannot certainly be too much admired.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. and confusion introduced into the public councils. James Madison. 2000. http://federalistpapers. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. 2. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. np. but it will be found. as was wished and expected. http://www. I understand a number of citizens. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. if not wholly. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. np. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. is the latest convert to this cause. accessed April 22. 1787.com/federalist10. Some will say Ms. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. http://www.html. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. It will be found. particularly. accessed April 22. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.org/dailys/11-15-00. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party.
1787. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. 2000. 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. 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. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. 10. 2002. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. November 15. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. and their passions. Nor. they would. The inference to which we are brought is. np. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. 10. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. their opinions. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. p. p. 10." 2. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. November 22. A common passion or interest will. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. 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. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. and render them all subservient to the public good. 2002. 2002. accessed April 22. np. Does it.com/federalist10. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. in almost every case.wcdebate. it clearly appears. in controlling the effects of faction. np. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://federalistpapers. increase this security. FEDERALIST PAPER No. FEDERALIST PAPER No. p. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. 4. http://www. again. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. np. 1787. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE.html. 1787. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. who have patronized this species of government. therefore.com/federalist10. If we abolish the Electoral College. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. November 22. November 22. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. -. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.cato.html.com/federalist10.html. accessed April 22. 2002. in many cases. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. accessed April 22. Theoretic politicians. accessed April 22.org/dailys/11-15-00. at the same time. be felt by a majority of the whole. who assemble and administer the government in person. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. http://federalistpapers. 3. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power.html. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Hence. in fine. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. FEDERALIST PAPER No.com . http://federalistpapers. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens.
These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.. 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. 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. he added. These will either combine. p. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. 1912. historian. a great majority of the people will not only be without land. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. An accurate view of the matter. he contended. 1912. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. p. -. nevertheless.or. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. in which case there will be equal danger on another side.wcdebate. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression"." Mr. the power will slide into the hands of the former. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY. 31. would prove that property was the main object of society. Governor Morris. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. but second. In the tenth number of The Federalist.. under the influence of their common situation. 1912. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. having such coexistent passion or interest. but without any other sort of property. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. 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. from which the rights of property originated. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property." 3. 2. to give notice of the future danger. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. who urged that "the government ought to possess.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. changeableness." and Mr. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard.If property." Uniformity of interests throughout the state." And again. Madison urged: "In future times. historian.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. p. in a certain quarter. -. historian. the mind or sense of the people at large.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. hence. what is more probable. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. 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. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency.. "the majority. then was the main object of government.com . Mr. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. and in his opinion." 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. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. 31. the force.." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Wilson. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. not only first. According to the equal laws of suffrage. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country. 31. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -.
associated group. well born. When the facts are stated clearly. led to a completely new meaning of the term.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. Whatever one's assessment of those years. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. or prominent from exercising political power. In the debates on the Constitution.'' he meant humans. Among Madisonian scholars. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. 8. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. Madison pointed out that in England. as some historians do.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. Madison declared. and anti-capitalist in spirit. typically material property. June 1997. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. branch. In both principle and practice. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. whose views largely prevailed. 8. trust. Z MAGAZINE. p.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. Furthermore. Z MAGAZINE. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. James Madison.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented. p.'' To achieve this goal. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). But the formulation is misleading. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. association.wcdebate. June 1997.'' giving land to the landless. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. he urged. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. p.com .'' which are property rights.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. partnership. 3. June 1997. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. Z MAGAZINE. 8. In a current official document. or any government entity. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. Property has no rights. It is the responsibility of government. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. and the constitutional system generally. An agrarian law would soon take place. his biographer observes. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. estate. But the growth of the industrial economy. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. the native population driven out or exterminated.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. One may argue.pre-capitalist.
making it available to the general public. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius.com . his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. Either that. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. centralized union that would be a representative republic. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. 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. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. After Adams was elected President. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. When the Constitutional Convention was convened.wcdebate. HIS IDEAS Hamilton.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. After Washington died. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. 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.an aristocratic. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. as an aristocrat. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. 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 FEDERALIST PAPERS. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. coercive. Either way. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. he also offered a life of tragedy. and generally made himself a pain. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. In those papers. then his ideas. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. was vocally against states¶ rights. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. rebuke and scandal. Much of this is forgotten today. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information.
or not contrary to the essential ends of political society. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. 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.wcdebate. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. Even then-President George Washington. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. shortened to Republican.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. the means are authorized. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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." Ironically. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. Today. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. he claims. Jefferson. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. In fact. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy.com ." and the "general welfare. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. every particular power necessary for doing it is included. As early as 1776. 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. the legacy of Britain. impressive or important. (no." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791. or not immoral.´ as is often claimed. 44) that "wherever the end is required. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). "implied powers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do.
Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. will only be more concentrated in each part. he pardoned all of those convicted. which is democracy. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him." he said. without any counterbalancing good. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. here¶s a translation: yeah. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. More on that in our final section. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. "Men. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. punishable by fine and imprisonment. the poison of which.wcdebate." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker." This shows his opinion of the average American. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. which the urban elite would benefit).) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. then his closest aide. I know he was smart. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order." Again. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. Benjamin Franklin Bache. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas.well. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. scandalous and malicious writing. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. (When Jefferson was elected. 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. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. and many other things. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. and as novel as it is extraordinary. and consequently the more virulent.com . accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. so get over it. His morals -. his customary colleague.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. more centralized government. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics. my friends and I are rich. as should be clear." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. Allegedly. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. administering no relief to our real disease. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. by a subdivision. and everyone else knew it too.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora.
" No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. That money had changed hands.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. motivated. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. greedy. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. Reynolds had evidence. . A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail . my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. That happened in 1792. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr.money. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. . al. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. James Reynolds. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. . he did not intend to fire at Burr. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview.but he said it was his own money. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol.. the public could be kept in the dark no longer.wcdebate. They apparently did. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. And. Hamilton¶s note to his wife. in Sports Center parlance. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. It wasn¶t even the juiciest.. it was on. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations. It gets better. written directly before the duel with Burr. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. Maria. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. but a BRIBE. and agreed to keep it quiet.James Monroe. And the money wasn¶t for speculation (though that is apparently how Reynolds used it ± proving Jefferson¶s maxim about the moral character of speculators). too. ³Mr. a shady character currently in jail. went to Hamilton's office to confront him. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. Some Hamilton apologists insist that.com . At that point. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. Abraham Venable. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. Three congressmen -. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. natural politicians. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. until July 1797. and by the press). Monroe et. But it was not possible. That¶s when it got weird.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. not the government's.´ Amazingly. As I hope this essay makes clear. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs.
Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. 1994 http://www. Chicago. Morton J. New York. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.com . Richard. Noam. accessed April 29. Morton J. 1991. Jacob E. accessed May 1. Chomsky.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. New York: Harper & Row. 1959. ed. 2002. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Frisch.rug. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1912. Elkins. New York: The Free Press. senior editor. John C. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Z MAGAZINE..org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. Loyola University. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America.wcdebate. Cooke. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. October 19. http://odur.. 1997. 13. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ed. Cooke. Charles Scribner's Sons. January 1995. Harold C. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. AMERICAN. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.html.htm. p. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Charles. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Mellon Lecture. Noam. 1993. Brookhiser. New York and London: Columbia University Press. historian. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. NATIONAL REVIEW. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. University of Groningen. Stourzh. Frisch.2002. Chomsky. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ed. Jacob E. 1985. Gerald.zmag. Lisa Marie. Miller. New York: Harper & Brothers. Department of Alfa-informatica. 1964. 1970. Syrett. de Carolis. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1999.let. 1961--79. 1982.
FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. or only united in partial confederacies. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence.wcdebate. 2002. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. http://federalistpapers. http://federalistpapers. in the event of disunion. it has been said. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. 2002. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. 1787. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. 1787. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. November 14. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. 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. This. This cause would exist among us in full force.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. vindictive.com/federalist6. would revive this dispute. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. 1787. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. 2002. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. 1787. 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. November 14. and rapacious. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. http://federalistpapers." 4. under a continuation of the Union.html. np. For the Independent Journal. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions.com .com/federalist6. constitutes nations natural enemies. accessed May 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property. November 14. 2002. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. This has been so far accomplished as. np. either by actual possession. accessed May 2.html. accessed May 2.html. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. np. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. For the Independent Journal. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. 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. would be to forget that men are ambitious. p. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. p. 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. p. and would create others on the same subject. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. For the Independent Journal. 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. if these States should either be wholly disunited. that vicinity or nearness of situation. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. For the Independent Journal. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. however.html.com/federalist7. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. 2. accessed May 2.com/federalist6. November 15. http://federalistpapers.
Landed wealth. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. simply drawing on realities that he felt. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. Hamilton reasoned. pointing invariably to its true pole.let.. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Independent Institute Website." 2. p. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan. . Private ownership.2002. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. represented by the Virginia opposition. Hamilton was. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. provide capital for investments and industry. of their own interest. He explained: "The keen. and. opposed to the principle of equality. 3." Moreover.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. University of Groningen. University of Dallas.htm. provide a uniform currency. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. Department of Politics..html. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. was limiting and limited. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. The "authors of that notable instrument. and the pursuit of happiness.independent. abilities which were by nature unequal. liberty.rug. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds.. accessed May 1. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. regulate banking practices around the country. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. 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. 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).intellect. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham.did not mean to say all were equal in. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. as proprietors. the prosperity of the institution . HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. np.com . Department of Alfa-informatica. . magnetic sense. 1997. http://odur. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as it were. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential. moral developments. http://odur. Department of Alfa-informatica. as usual. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. whereas paper wealth was fluid. http://www. among which are life. 1997. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. and loan the government money in times of emergency.let. Industry would diversify labor. 2002.2002. University of Groningen. 1997..nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. or social capacity. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition.htm. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture. accessed May 1. in their understanding. in the Directors of a Bank.rug. accessed May 1. although not necessarily equitable. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. steady.¶ This they said and this meant.wcdebate.
p. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy." 4." or even influential. Gerry. as it was called. Hamilton. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. Loyola University. perhaps rightly.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. accessed April 29. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard. p. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. 1994. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power.zmag. sometimes quite literally. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. The beast may not yet be tamed. 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. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 1912. In the mind of Mr." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. 13. http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. of course. in passing. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. whatever cast it takes. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. in advocating a life term for Senators. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. 2002. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. but now perceive that they can do better. Robert Lansing. Madison. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy." and he confessed that while he was still republican. October 19.wcdebate. January 1995. The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. p. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. being independence.the main concern." Mr. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State.html. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended." Mr. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. 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. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. p. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. Mellon Lecture. in tracing these evils to their origin. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. that. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. 2. 13.com . the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. 3. but it is being caged. Randolph. January 1995. Indeed. 31. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. Z MAGAZINE. We may recall. np. Chicago. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. an important victory. preserved to posterity by Mr. Z MAGAZINE. That's Hamilton. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. historian. speaking for a host of others). as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. They feel.
Department of Alfa-informatica. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. In the tenth number of The Federalist. 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.." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. he contended.. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. Securities. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. Hume observed.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie." Landed wealth. University of Groningen. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. 2002. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. 31. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government.let. In order to stimulate the economy. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government." 3. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. University of Groningen. "the majority. Hume contended.rug.htm. However.com . makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. 2002. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". 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. 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." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.let.htm. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. Mr. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities. from which the rights of property originated.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. hence. Department of Alfa-informatica.wcdebate. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. Hamilton needed big investors. http://odur. http://odur. and in his opinion. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. accessed May 1. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. Mr. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. 1997. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. 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.rug. Nevertheless. p. 1997. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1912. np. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. Hamilton pointed out. np. . and a more diverse economy. indebts the nation to foreign powers. historian. having such coexistent passion or interest. p." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. accessed May 1. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. 2. he added. The House of Representatives.
The Confederation could not collect taxes. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. therefore. James Madison. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. written by Alexander Hamilton. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. These papers. Jay. regulate commerce. 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. Moreover. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. many called for some kind of reform. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. some of the major figures behind the movement. Although far from universally read at the time ± the pamphlets were mostly published in New York ± a group of 85 documents which came to be known as the Federalist Papers came to be the most famous articulation of Federalist views. Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. First. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. Anti-federalists. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. However. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take. who did which paper (Hamilton. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution.wcdebate. or Madison) is well documented. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. Secondly. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. 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. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. support for it was by no means unanimous. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. 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. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. supported a more direct democracy.com . as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale.
There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop.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. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. 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´. 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. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. Robert Yates.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. Richard Henry Lee. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. For one. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Clinton acquiesced. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. and so on. that the government has. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is.´ ³Old Whig. and others.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. ideas. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. Clinton despised Madison. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. 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. While of course they all had minor differences. or amount of control. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. 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. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. and only samples a small part of the population. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. cultures. while he never supported the Constitution. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. while they share some of the same beliefs. This is democracy at its most tenuous. No. Samuel Bryan. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. Even were polling perfectly accurate. One such person is Patrick Henry. the problem of majority tyranny arises. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for.wcdebate. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. Today what we have is a republic.
Finally. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. AntiFederalists. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. The Anti-Federalists argued that a result of that type of government would be that only the elite would have the capability to run for office. The next highest is work. say. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. Once all private demands are met.com . and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. In fact. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. and similar pursuits. which encompasses crafts. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. such as food and shelter. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. this is often not the case. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. 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. 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. be achieved. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. The lowest is that of labor. and without a strong federal ability to tax. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. But even if all of the things above were not true. and therefore be happy and free. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. 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. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. Arendt. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. 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. The ancient Greeks despised labor.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. but it is often still private in nature. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. 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. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. 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. interestingly enough. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. The reason for this is because.wcdebate. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. an important political theorist from this century. on the other hand. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. the arts. 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. Therefore. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. 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. find that situation lacking. In other words. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. Even if every state kept standing militias. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Indeed.
but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. Having a national bank system. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. 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. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. By passing amendments that protect rights not merely through limiting the power of the federal government but instead positively restricting certain behavior of the states and local governments. internal commerce. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. As for internal problems. such as funding of the sciences and arts. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. and so forth. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. Given how complex the economic system is today. and the government. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. 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. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease.wcdebate. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. 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. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. 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. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. 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. 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. issuing bonds.com . but it is a huge issue now. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. With regard to the security issue. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. In addition to security. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. rights. hope is not lost yet. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements.
Participation in a public democracy. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. Instead. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as Hannah Arendt suspects. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. such as greater states rights in a particular area. has many potential benefits and downfalls. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. federal governments. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. 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. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. 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. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. 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. Money alone cannot produce happiness. Moreover. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another.wcdebate. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. 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. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. as a political theory taken in general. local. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. and therefore in direct democracy. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny.com . 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. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically.
A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Gordon. Walter. ARTICLES. Herbert. 1969. University of Chicago Press. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR. Georgetown Press. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. Penguin. University of Chicago Press. Dolbeare. 1987. Alfred Knopf. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Simon & Schuster. University of Chicago Press. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Kenneth. University of Colorado Press. THE HUMAN CONDITION.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. Hannah. 1992. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. Wood.com . 1997. 1995.wcdebate. Berns. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. Sinopoli. Ketcham. 1992. Northern Illinois University Press. Dry. Bernard. 1993. 1981. inc. FROM MANY. Richard. Arendt. 1992. Herbert. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Bailyn. and Storing. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 1958. Robert. Storing. Christopher. Library of America. John Wiley & Sons. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. Hoffer. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. Murray. Harvard University Press. Bruce. Duncan. 1981. 1986. Ralph.
SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. in process of time. 1997. and of course are less protected. 37. 1995. the manners. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. abuses are of less extent. and without virtue there can be no happiness. of consequence. the interest of the public is easier perceived. In a republic. p. In a large republic. 170-171. The Grecian republics were of small extent. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. Anti-Federalist Writer. cowardly. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. and more within the reach of every citizen. the people. If this be not the case. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. Anti-Federalist Writer. and the consequence was. a legislature. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. better understood. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. In a small one. FROM MANY. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing.wcdebate. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it is subordinate to exceptions. FROM MANY. This will retard the operations of government. very diverse.com . diverse. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. and demand of them that they mind their own private business.´ This would certainly be a torturous existence for a people who believed their individual chance for redemption was tied intimately to their shared public life. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. p. and their interests. and in some opposite. sentiments. in the words of Hannah Arendt. ultimately disempowering. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. p. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. extended their conquests over large territories of country. Both of these. The laws and customs of the several states are. 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. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. great and glorious. and. be the climate what it may be. any thing like the extent of the United States. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views. and consequently of less moderation. as would constantly be contending with each other. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. there can be no virtue. so also was that of the Romans. he has interest of his own. 1997. in many respects. 3. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. are in general lazy. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. Professor of Political Science. formed of representatives from the respective parts.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. 2. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. and depends on accidents. and interests of the people should be similar. by oppressing his fellow citizens. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. it is true. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. of consequence. The United States includes a variety of climates. 38. turbulent. that it will ultimately.
which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Political liberty. and the complication of interests. 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.wcdebate. 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. consists in security. 2000. or at least in the opinion we have of security. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. too. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). or the opinion. and too mysterious for you to understand. is a government derived from neither nature. nor compact. 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. 1997. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. Anti-Federalist Writer. the latter. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. connected with their political distribution. 1995." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Mr. 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 -. which produces this security." Thus. from the vast extent of your territory. 42. and observe. or the opinion.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. rather. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. and aggrandizement. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters. In other words. Associate Professor of Law. Locke remarks. This moderation in governments. either limited or despotic. beget a confidence in the people. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. on the score of consolidation of the United States. where the mildness of the laws.com . ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. Professor of Political Science. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. From this picture. 2. 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. p. useful or not. p. Spring. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. whose ambition for power. and this security therefore. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. 37-8. and to work together. into the hands of individuals. 78. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. what can you promise yourselves. 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. 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. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. the great Montesquieu again observes. If that latter clause is read correctly. is best obtained in moderate governments. Furthermore. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. will oppress and grind you²where. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. depends in a great measure on their limits. FROM MANY. p. and the equality of the manners. other than those basic natural laws (but these. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country.
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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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To be great is to be misunderstood. and incorruptible. academic science of modernist philosophy. To understand transcendentalism. 2000. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. 1882. in doing so. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy)." where matter. he lost a spouse. and have great potential for debates over morality. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. a child. Emerson. 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. Today. immaterial.. two brothers. unchanging. he had his house burn down. values. But humans could never really reach such a world. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. and lived through the Civil War. 669).. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. must be a nonconformist. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. And his marriage of philosophy. and perfection was unattainable. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. in contrast. Plato. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. people and history existed." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency. they could only contemplate it. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. certain major themes stand out in his writings. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. he was even more a mystic than Plato. while the realm of "becoming. at least in principle. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time." Things changed. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. however. p. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. However. removed from day-to-day history. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. living entities died. But he remained. In this sense. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. and politics.com . seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. optimistic about humanity. 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. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization.wcdebate. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. Spring.. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. Brown.
Emerson. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). As mentioned. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy.´ Like the German and British Romantics. with your best deliberation and heed. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. as we shall see." 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. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. You cannot. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. at the end of "Circles. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. Like Hegel. as its name implies.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. on the other hand." including emotions such as love.edu/entries/emerson/).stanford. In other words. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. which he saw as our connection to the divine. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. He was very close. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. because. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. politics and the like. That is why. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. being and becoming. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more. whilst you rise from your bed. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. in this respect. as the basis of genuine knowledge. based more on feeling than analysis. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. history. the past is always swallowed and forgotten. unlike Plato. Emerson really means to "accept. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding.com . It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. After all. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking.wcdebate. viewpoints. "Intellect"). This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. 3. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. 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. to being a pantheist. higher understanding. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought." as he puts it. Although. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. Transcendentalism. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false.´ 2. or doctrines. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. Plato rejected human matters. comprehensive understanding. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods.
however imperfect. This is true of every human being. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. 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)." Like friendship and reading. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. This. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. Because of this.' ´ (Thomas J. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. First. 2000. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson.wcdebate. 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. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. Spring. presumably. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. Second. democracy. Brown. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. Implications for Debate First. George Santayana among them. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. the necessity of self-reliance. of course.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. or other distinct groups. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. 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 his essay ³Self-Reliance. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. morality is more important than obeying the law. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. "the otherest. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. 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. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. Some critics. and the power of individual action. 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." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. they will perform virtuously. 669). through Nature. In this way. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power.com . and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. and for thoughts. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature.
However. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). on the other hand. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence.F. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. Emerson¶s eloquence. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). his optimism about humanity and democracy. For example. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. Transcendentalist ethics. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. As noted above. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. Third. In this way.W.com .
N. Ralph Waldo.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Robinson. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. Haight. Osgood and Company. Ralph Waldo. Mifflin. 1954). MEANING (New York: Dodd. Smith. Ralph Waldo. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT.. Stephen E. POEMS.wcdebate. GROWTH. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw.Y. 1966). Ralph Waldo. 1947) Emerson. A YANKEE IN CANADA. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. Joel. Susan Sutton. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. Emerson. AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. 1981).. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Emerson. eds.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. and Whicher. Ralph Waldo. 1941). N. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. 1969). Alfred R. Mead. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. eds. 1995). David. Milton R.: Kennikat Press. 1959). EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. ed. Gougeon. Arthur Cushman Jr. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. Porte. 1900). Emerson. and Ferguson. Ralph Waldo. Huggard. ed. 1878). OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Sealts Jr. POWER. Joel. Gordon Sherman. Black. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. 1978). THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Len and Myerson. 1978). FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Gay Wilson. Emerson. J. 1866).. William Allen. McGiffert. 1903). NAPOLEAN. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.H. Emerson. Ralph Waldo.com .. 1968). Konvitz. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. ADDRESSES (New York: W. Merton M. 1982). eds. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. 1938). Emerson. ed. Ticknor and Fields. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
In private places. He may divest himself of it. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. Socrates. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. the sun as its candle. 2. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. if he will. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1.wcdebate. p. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. Phocion. Every natural action is graceful.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. American transcendentalist philosopher. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 12. Every heroic act is also decent. Truth. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. and nature became ancillary to a man. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. the opinions. in its largest and profoundest sense. and the day. and abdicate his kingdom. p. he may creep into a corner. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. are but different faces of the same All. American transcendentalist philosopher. Homer. and goodness. The presence of a higher. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. is that which is found in combination with the human will. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. every departure from his own convictions. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. Pindar. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. It is his. 1986. and the frame will suit the picture. 2000. and beauty. 15. namely. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. American transcendentalist philosopher. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. is one expression for the universe. among sordid objects. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. This element I call an ultimate end. A virtuous man is in unison with her works.com . VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. p. 1986. that it to say. that every false word he has uttered. American transcendentalist philosopher. God is the all-fair. 15. Beauty. 2. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. 1986. as most men do.--the persons. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. 13. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. 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. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. p. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine.
that an immoral contract is void. muscular force. The sense of injustice is blunted. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. and not subject to circumstance. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson.com . It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. 2000. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. They elude our persevering thought. These laws execute themselves. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. in our own remorse. They are out of time. and that an immoral statute is void. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. appetite. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. For virtue is the very self of every man. under what seem foolish details. if judges only quote authorities. 361. and in the game of human life. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. principles that astonish. American transcendentalist philosopher. at every hazard. 1986. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. pp. out of space. justice. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. love. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. and God. American transcendentalist philosopher. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. for. fear. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. 362. man. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. as laws do not make right. or spoken by the tongue. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. American transcendentalist philosopher. gravity. They will not be written out on paper. I question the value of our civilization. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. It is therefore a principle of law. in each other¶s actions. interact. American transcendentalist philosopher. 2000. covers. 73. p. motion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. p. 1986. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. 2. 72-73.
EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. 3. and to conspire with the new works of new days. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. pp.com .´ 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. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. 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´. 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. 68. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents.´ 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. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. not to block improvement. 1999. he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. p. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. ³Power´ and ³Wealth. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. 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.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. in doing so. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and sit till we are stone.wcdebate. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. in its room. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. information (and) science. 90.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. ³marry Right to Might. 1962. p. In these essays and elsewhere. ³Life is a search after power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 68-69. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end.´ he announces. 1999. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy.´ 2.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. philosopher. combination. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind.´ 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.
or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth.´ It was no surprise. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. as he thinks. as we have said. p. philosopher. philosopher. 2. Boston existed serenely. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. Far from it. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. its rewards and consolations. Benefit. 32-33. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. and as the absolute. however. p. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. 4. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. ³like a ministry without an opposition. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. Professor of English at Michigan State University. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. 1996. 1996. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. p. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing. Emerson¶s limited moral world was.´ He continued. or Beauty? He could not. 32.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. an island above the extremes of common human experience. is not representable by any specific faculty. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. EMERSON AND POWER. must share this reproach. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. Nature.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. Mysticism. almost exclusively in the moral world. then. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana. For James. by its very definition. the whole ³Concord school´ had. 1962.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. God. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish.´ sealed off. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. as Matthiessen notes. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago. the foul. Professor of English at Michigan State University.´ he recalled. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. 31. 1962. so constantly on his lips. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. EMERSON AND POWER. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. As every new category. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. the imagination and all its works²art. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. As far as James was concerned. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ 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.´ ³We get the impression. ³Emerson¶s personal history.´ 3. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. panting for sensations. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge. for God. Law.com . p. the base.´ James concludes. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. in his 1888 essay. dogma. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. Empty. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board.wcdebate. 35.
because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. as some critics have charged. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. At the same time. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. He graduated in 1879. he received his PhD. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. in philosophy. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. politics and education. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. Vermont.wcdebate. 1859. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. Not surprisingly. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. 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. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. and grow accordingly. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. If. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. on October 20. the son of a grocer. In 1894. and taught high school for three years. saw students as valuable in and of themselves.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . From a very early age. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. By now. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. at the age of twenty. For Dewey. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. Two years later. 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." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. 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. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. In the fall of 1882. Maryland.
" This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because. But unlike existentialists. also have a history of change. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child.augie. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years.edu/~mafjerke/dewey.net/tzaka/deweynew. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy. and concerned with social justice.com . "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles.wcdebate. as part of nature. ethics. I might be a socialist. he was viewed by leftists as fair. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. and least known. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. I might be a liberal. and despite this impact. (http://inst. This will become important later.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. both as a race and as individuals. Ziniewicz. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. This explains why. To them. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. Dewey sees humans as part of nature.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. but rather in reference to what "works. although Dewey was no socialist. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic. 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). Humans may. through experience and reflection (in fact. 1952." in theory or practice. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists.html). Like existentialists. impartial.shtml). or appeals to the truth of scripture. However. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. John Dewey died on June 1. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. removed from everyday experience. and sees nature as constantly changing. politics. He wrote essays and books about epistemology." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. concerning the philosophy of religion. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. and these experiments. genuine experience. and education. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. www." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. 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. Similarly.fred. few philosophers are more misunderstood. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. Humans. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence. In 1904.
however.com/entry/551811) Finally. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . My assignment is poorly written. and so on. the example shows that theories and ideas change. First. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. Moreover. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is.wcdebate. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. (http://www. where we learn from and with other people. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. as already stated. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. because my teachers warn me about it. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. It may even include mystical. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. Second. or religious experience." In fact. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. For Dewey. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. It includes long-term. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. to the maximum benefit of all participants. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. At that point. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. When my experience no longer verifies it.com . I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. I reconsider the original idea. as a result of collective experience. I fail. Thus. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. Rather. emotional. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. Dewey insisted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. pragmatically speaking. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. and includes reflection as well as interaction. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. I am part of the world). I could never consider it "true. Finally. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. At least. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. test. (Ziniewicz.xrefer. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. Dewey supports community ideals because. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). They experiment.but in all cases there is a social context. In summary.´ In sum. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. which we'll examine in the next section. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. experience can be active or passive. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. propose and oppose.
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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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FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. That is the basis of responsibility. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. however. brushes. No more than any other art is it developed internally. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. For these take effect in making preference. and canvas. p. 3. 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. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. In its reality. 89. American pragmatist philosopher. 2. because open and moving toward a new future. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Thinking. Carry that identity farther. and you have freedom. 298. American pragmatist philosopher.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. In other words. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. the explicit thing. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling.com . Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. 1968. p. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. political and moral matters is a gift of God. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. p. desire and purpose more flexible. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws.wcdebate. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. 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. between the natural self and the ideal self. 1991. 296. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. and resolute. just as the art of painting requires paint. It requires favorable objective conditions. It is complete only in its possibilities. In obligation. alert. like mathematics. the possible self does not represent a remote. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. LECTURES ON ETHICS. but power of vision and reflection. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. 1968. American pragmatist philosopher. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1.
1968. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. rights and demands are products of interactions. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. pp. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. teleologically. 297-98. use of coal and steam. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. one absolute and static because exhausted. It is one with our individuality.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1.´ 2. pp. which we want or are after. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. and freedom of contract. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. 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. it is this kind. like all others.´ 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. in command of capital. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. as facts have demonstrated. 281. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. American pragmatist philosopher. that is for practical purposes. 1968. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. emerged. American pragmatist philosopher. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. perfectly real. in the problem of personal freedom. and. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation.wcdebate. 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. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. p. p. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. But like all other possibilities. 1968. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. 139. For ordinary purposes.com . FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. 2. existentially speaking. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. whether moral or psychological. effective. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. while it is. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. American pragmatist philosopher. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. American pragmatist philosopher. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Pragmatically. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. 48-49. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. morally they alone are ³real. that is. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. much less a deviation or excrescence. is not good reality. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. the true kind. It lacks the hallmark of value. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. 1968. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. this possibility has to be actualized. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. Since actual.
p. 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. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. as it usually does. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events.com . Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. p. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. 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. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. 1977. 1977.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. is also unsatisfactory. to have interpreted their meaning. to some extent. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. Marxist philosopher and activist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. 256. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century.wcdebate. 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. In a game most of the participants know how to play. 1975. 114. and he or she is meant to be. like a football captain. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. 1975. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. Dewey was impressed. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. for it combined a conception of the child. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. If ³democracy´ is to include. p. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. Dewey¶s view of the teacher.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. Peters. 251. 2. Marxist philosopher and activist. an authority on some aspect of the culture. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. as by Dewey.S. Instead of playing a directing role. 2. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance.S. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. Peters. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. should have done no less. 115. p. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. as I have reiterated. at least in broad outline. However. which claims to be so realistic and practical. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R.
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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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Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. determine its own institutions.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. wishes to live its own life. The removal. openly arrived at. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. therefore.com . we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. Open covenants of peace. There. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. 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. However. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims.´ That doesn¶t mean. alike in peace and in war. so far as possible. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. ³I. open-minded. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. 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. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. A free. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. skeptical of the League of Nations. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. In fact. V.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. an international regime managing trade. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. 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. like our own. IV. Still. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany.wcdebate. however. outside territorial waters. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -. What we demand in this war.´ Wilson said. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. III. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. 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. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. II. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in.
The right has a somewhat different slant. is Wilson¶s legacy. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. the establishment of an independent Polish state. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. both in domestic and foreign policy. But that¶s another story.com . and established the progressive income tax. It is possible. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. 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. for example). they would argue. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments.´ As we¶ve talked about. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. solve disputes. Take the example of Latin America. and work together toward common goals. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. they argue.´ which mean different things to different people. -. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. and even if we can. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. etc. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. One scholar on inter-American affairs.wcdebate. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. 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. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. It is better. 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. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism. including evacuation of conquered lands.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. in my estimation. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. Abraham F. then. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U.N. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. Overseas.) From another right-wing perspective. Lowenthal.
C. he fell ill and never fully recovered.com . D. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency.000 miles by rail around the country. for example. James M. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. Overseas. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. Foreign policy: Wilson. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G.wcdebate. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. After this effort. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad. where he died in 1924.the defense of a nation from an attack by an autocratic and oppressive neighbor (though Wilson wouldn¶t have been a fan of Kuwait¶s oppressive monarchy. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. Wilson retired to Washington. 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. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. as Wilsonian in nature -. either).. was interventionist by nature. For these reasons. Harding in 1920.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics.
2002.ufl. Ambrosius.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2001. available online at http://www.htm. 2002. 1913-1921. 1998 Chomsky. 1995 Kuehl. accessed April 22. 1980 Link. Arthur. p. Norman Gordon. Howard. November 1994. THE NEW FREEDOM.htm. 2002. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. Oxford University Press. Blum. Princeton University Press. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Noam. Mark. 2. 2000. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. accessed April 22. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. Lloyd. Viking Press. Princeton University Press. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION.com . TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. http://web.wcdebate. Josephus. University of California Press.zmag. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar.africa. accessed May 1. Z MAGAZINE. Arthur. 1991 Zinn. Princeton University Press. Gilderhus. 2. Cambridge University Press. University of Arizona Press. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. Greenwood Publishing Group. PBS documentary. 1971. Auchincloss.pbs. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 1965 Link. Political Studies Department. Daniels. Rhodes University. John Morton. 1956 Rowen. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Vol. http://www. Herbert. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE.html. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. 1997 Levin. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. 1986 Knock. Thomas. 2000. Kent State University Press. 1998.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. No. 10. Louis. May 7. South Africa.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Warren and Lynne Dunn. 1920-1939. Korwa G.
Wilson matters as the first modern president. PBS documentary. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M.html. accessed May 1.ufl. 2. 2001. accessed May 1. np. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. as well as presidential ambition. PBS documentary. 2001. Political Studies Department. available online at http://www. 4. BUT THE COLD WAR. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.com .org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. available online at http://www. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. Indeed. Rhodes University. np. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. 2002.. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. No. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. p. Historian. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.pbs.htm. 2. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. 2002. np. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. http://web. Historian. 1998. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s. 2002. Adar. Historian.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. available online at http://www. 3.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". and women¶s suffrage. The direct election of United States senators. South Africa. accessed April 22. p. p. After his visit to Africa. 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.html. p. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM.wcdebate.. 2. Vol. accessed May 1. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities.pbs.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. np. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development.pbs. 2001. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. PBS documentary. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. prohibition. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes.html. However.africa.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Mulder. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. 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. 2002.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.
Historian. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. 4. accessed April 22.africa. 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. 2. 2001. 3. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.africa. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. Thus. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. In his view.pbs. http://web. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919.pbs. 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. PBS documentary. accessed April 22. np.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.htm. 2. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. 1998.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. accessed May 1. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. 2. 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. he was never evasive in that way. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. This. Adar. limited government.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. South Africa. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. No. available online at http://www. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. http://web. 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. 2001. p. np. For the colonized peoples of Africa. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice.htm. available online at http://www. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism.com . 2002. accessed May 1. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1.N. 2002.ufl. p. Historian. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. No. would promote America's long term interests. np. South Africa. the realization of individual freedom. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. 2. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 2. np.ufl. Vol. p. PBS documentary. 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. p. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. 2002. Adar. Political Studies Department. 1998. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. Political Studies Department. Wilsonianism had a global impact. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Vol. Rhodes University. Rhodes University. Social and Cultural Rights. In this respect.wcdebate. For Wilson.html. he argued. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. Moreover.html. 2002. 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.
He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. The Haitian military. PBS documentary. Z MAGAZINE. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. and the world did not want the American principles. and to accept the rule of private power. open trade. available online at http://www. trusting that "the United States.html. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. p. was its friend and protector. unlike the U. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. 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."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. As discussed here in July. It hasn't been easy." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. Hakim observes. The Europeans knew this. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. and have been kept in power by U.. If he is. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue.S. November 1994. Ian Martin. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.com . the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. 10. 2001. "in most Latin American countries. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. np.N. "At first. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously. accessed May 1.S. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. aid and training for that purpose since. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. 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." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them.pbs. despite its rhetoric of democracy.wcdebate. 2002. Consider Peter Hakim." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. That is to continue. or by its traditional master. France. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. They were proven right. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. domestic and foreign. p. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. Historian. witness the case of Guatemala. Martin observed. recognized that the U. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world. To evaluate what lies ahead. As the matter is now rephrased. and Canada. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica.
2002. available online at http://www.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. np. civilized mediation. 2002. 2001. 2000. one of those Wilson sent to prison. http://web." 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. np. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. however.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Political Studies Department. "For two centuries. November 1994. 2. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.html." he wrote. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent.ufl. accessed May 1. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. np. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II.htm. Z MAGAZINE. brought our country into the hell of World War I. and put anti-war protesters in prison. but his behavior was often very paternalistic.htm. http://www. Apple. 2. 2002. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings. if at times secondary. 2. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion.zmag. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. the noise of democracy. South Africa. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE. p. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. accessed April 22. Vol. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony. accessed April 22. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.pbs. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. p. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. No.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. to say nothing about their weapons" -. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. 10. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. As for Woodrow Wilson. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. has been an altogether different story. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic.com . In the current era. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. who reviewed the lessons of history. Rhodes University. very controlling. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. Adar. "Like the French in the 19th century. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. Backers of President Aristide. PBS documentary. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G. May 7.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. W. 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. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. or Helen Keller. portrayed in the same light. 1998.africa. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside. p. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. p.
anyway.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. agree on this. 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. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The architect of the New Deal. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR.according to Gentile standards.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. Leuchtenburg." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). Another element is that most American of traits. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Historians. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. and was generally beloved by the public. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on." according to Communist leader Earl Browder. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman.com .wcdebate. He passed important legislation. and it happened 70 years ago. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. from right to left to centrist. one has doubtless done something right. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. anti-Semitism. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . popularly known as FDR. William E. except Werner von Braun. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. but we¶ll get to that below. Even today. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. though.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. In fact. It wasn¶t. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. I say with a smirk. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. of course -. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. He wasn¶t -.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum.
Leuchtenberg continued. 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. Security for those who need it.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself. In order to understand these. If you¶re starving. These are the simple. FDR recognized this. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. 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. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. as we will see later. Jobs for those who can work. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. Unlike most every other president. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. it is important to understand the ideology behind them. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. say. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is not quite true. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform. Before. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. The preservation of civil liberties for all. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. and perhaps they are right. too.com . 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." But believe it or not. The ending of special privilege for the few.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. he included economic rights in that list.wcdebate.and perhaps they are right. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. as failing to meet the needs of the public. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage).where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -.
historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. 2). As evidence. finance.wcdebate. to him. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. no one looms larger than FDR.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). Social Security. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy.but. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. Nope. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. the Securities and Exchange Commission. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government. the Social Security Administration. pensions for the elderly. One of them is Robert Higgs. and the blind. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. industry. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. Specifically.instead. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. the physically handicapped. the National Labor Relations Board. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). the aged poor. The FDR years. and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. from the day he is born. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. He had his own ideas -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. the physically handicapped. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. finance. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. ³with few exceptions. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state.com . he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. industry. but no one heard it from the President before then. the aged poor. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. the Federal Housing Administration. unemployment insurance.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. 3). there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go.´ He does not say this as a compliment. Higgs writes. and labor relations. the conservative economic theorist. Cradle to the grave . and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. the Farm Credit Administration.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. Sure. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
that students have their college loans federally provided.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. Their property was seized. (Which he was there. Sadly.wcdebate. Even if you¶ve got a problem with. insuring.)´ Sometimes. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. One would think. was at war with them. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. vanden Heuvel has noted. United States. The vast majority of it was never returned. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. told by William E. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. Famously. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market.´ he writes. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. regulating. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. 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. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. this much is undeniable. though the U. but that¶s the way it is. say. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. 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. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). By subsidizing. William J. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. vanden Heuvel argues. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. FDR was the first (and. too. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. which consigned over 100. 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. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another.S. ³Each in its own fashion. only sometimes. To his credit. Charming. Korematsu v. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century. by the way. financing. being a victim of race-baiting himself. this was not the case. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him.com .´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the Export-Import Bank. including Henry Ford. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. 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. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years.
September 1998. accessed May 5. 2002. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. Roosevelt. http://www. Dallek. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. James MacGregor. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.htm. 2002. July 1997.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. Boston: South End Press.shtml. Robert. Kenneth S.html. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns. Franklin Delano.washingtonpost. 2002. Department of History.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. FRANKLIN D. accessed May 10. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.pbs. 1933. New York: Random House Publishing. 1979. Robert. Leuchtenburg.´ Jan.com .independent.feri. University of Mississippi . http://newdeal. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security. Hugh Gregory. Michael V.wcdebate. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. Gallagher. accessed May 1. 1935.1987. 1959. Namorato. Noam. 17.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. 1986. Arthur M. Warren F.html.net/bookreviews/library/0024. http://www. Davis. Oxford University Press. accessed May 9..org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. 1985. THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. 2002.ECONOMIC HISTORY. New York: Dodd. William E.org/chat/chat03. Franklin Delano. July 24. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Kimball. 1970. Chomsky.eh. Schlesinger. 1991. http://www. EH. accessed May 02. Higgs. Princeton: Princeton University Press. http://www. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. Roosevelt.NET BOOK REVIEW . Jr. 1992. Mead and Company Publishers. THE FREEMAN. 1932-1945. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION.htm. 2002.
´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Namorato. In the homes on the streets. accessed May 5. accessed May 5. . everyone was joyous. p. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. np..shtml. the political paralysis. 2002. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience.Happy days are here again. how Franklin D." noted one business journal. The historian James T. 2. in short. 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. not least those who are disadvantaged. p. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed.eh..ECONOMIC HISTORY. Although not a great economic thinker. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. years after it had become a fixture in other lands..com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. http://www. July 1997. 3). in Barber's opinion.washingtonpost. Overnight. Similar to his earlier study. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. http://www.NET BOOK REVIEW . where trading resumed on March 15." Again and again. 2002. After much experimentation. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades." On the New York Curb Exchange. np. Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. University of Mississippi . without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious.. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America. Department of History. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans.htm. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. np. 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.just where they are going. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E.1987. accessed May 1. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn.wcdebate. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. There was something in the air that had not been there before. 2002. one eyewitness later remembered. Leuchtenburg. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. Roosevelt himself. EH. In this sense. http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. "The people aren't sure. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. too.com ." 3. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. p. crowds moved excitedly. 1). Roosevelt's Washington. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been.washingtonpost.htm.1987.net/bookreviews/library/0024. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Leuchtenburg. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. gone. Patterson. 2). ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.
http://www. it is framed with perfect futility. p. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. 2002. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. 2. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism.wcdebate. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. No private program and no public policy. 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. p. 2. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought. 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. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E. Adar. 2002. accessed April 22.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR.washingtonpost." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. given the nature of nuclear weapons. 2002.1987. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.1987. although promulgated by Franklin D. and it seems improbable. No.africa." Robert Divine has concluded.com . Political Studies Department. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. and. late in his second term. When he took office.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Roosevelt.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. http://www. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples.htm.ufl. accessed May 5. Wilson's intellectual heir." 3.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Leuchtenburg. 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. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. np. 1998.htm. p. accessed May 5. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history. np. Leuchtenburg. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy. in any sector of our national life.htm. 2. As commander-in-chief. As a wartime president.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. a position he was said to prefer to all others. South Africa. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power.washingtonpost. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. http://web. Vol. Rhodes University. np. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. "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.
balance the budget. 3. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. In this madness. 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. the New Deal did prolong the depression.html. fear. September 1998. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. np. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. uncertainty. no economy can grow. 2002. p. As John T. 2002. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. Roosevelt deserves no reverence. He was no hero. subsidies. incoherent mass of new expenditures. accessed May 02. as many observers claimed at the time. the New Dealers had a method. But instead. http://www. http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. 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. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated. and business failures. THE FREEMAN. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent.independent. he got himself elected time after time. http://www. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs. p. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. regulations. np.com . 2002. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. September 1998. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935.html. and hence overall private economic activity. September 1998. Flynn said of FDR. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. THE FREEMAN. FDR and Congress. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution.independent. In fact.2 Without capital accumulation. and direct government participation in productive activities. THE FREEMAN. the New Deal created so much confusion.independent. by taxing and spending. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. September 1998. But however significant his legacies. 2. By wheeling and dealing. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. But for all his undeniable political prowess. accessed May 02. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment. p. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. After all.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. taxes. maintain a sound currency. 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. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. accessed May 02.html.html. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. http://www. THE FREEMAN. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. np.1 billion. accessed May 02. np.wcdebate. 2002.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Rather. 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. 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.´ 4.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. high unemployment. With its bewildering. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. In the face of the interventionist onslaught.independent.
net/bookreviews/library/0024. University of Mississippi ..owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. accessed May 1.." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching.splendidly eternal for romance.. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. In fact.. 2002. 2.. in his last chapters. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era.. and the immediate post-war era." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. who placed their trust in him.net/bookreviews/library/0024. however. Finally. NOT FDR Michael V. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors..org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected.com . The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. etc. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history.NET BOOK REVIEW .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT. and how people like John K. 1992. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach." But that is only the carping of trivial minds.. Finally. accessed May 1. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. Department of History.zmag. a secret love affair.eh.endearingly exalted. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. including many of the poor and working class. 171). Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. 2002. indeed revere. There was one published reaction. 3." etc.. EH.NET BOOK REVIEW . Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. World War II." and met the great crisis in their lives. this demeanor as the aristocratic style. July 1997. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1. http://www. 2002. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. Chapter 2. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. Namorato. http://www.. Somehow. University of Mississippi .ECONOMIC HISTORY. EH. http://www. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty. Still. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. July 1997." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one." 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. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. Department of History. FDR.shtml.." Try as they might. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s.html. accessed May 1. through Roosevelt and Truman..... by Noel Annan. "in the grandest style.wcdebate.a wasteland. Namorato. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy. 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. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. In the end.eh..shtml.ECONOMIC HISTORY.
wcdebate. including Froines and Weiner. The other defendants. All the defendants.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. As his own website (www."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the 7th U.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. Students for a Democratic Society. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. Later. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.Jerry Rubin. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. As some former radicals did. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. He later served as a ³freedom rider. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. So.S. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. his ideas.and those who consider them to be troublemaking. in order to answer that question. Undaunted by his legal trouble. District Judge Julius Hoffman. Who is right? Well. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. Nicholas Lemann. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. In 1969 and 1970. Hayden continued with his activism. 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. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. with that said.tomhayden.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. Along with four other defendants -. 1939. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. his life. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. Hayden -. Basically. And unlike me. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. 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. One of those movements. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far.com) admits.´ 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. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1968.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. the Los Angeles Times reported.S. Together. "Tom Hayden changed America".com . let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. Hayden decided to run for elected office. Abbie Hoffman. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. who were not convicted. though. Born December 11. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers.
the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. and other activists of various stripes. kids). former husband of actress.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. author.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. Activist. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. including legislation on behalf of women.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. In fact. What kind of action? Well. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. 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. and on and on. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. 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. again husband of different actress. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. Indeed. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams. lots of different kinds. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. husband of actress.com . convict.wcdebate. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. He backed pro-labor. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. workers. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". Until he was forced out by term limits. the SDS had socialist leanings -. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. politician. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. of course. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. to take action.remember.he sponsored numerous bills.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. He has an infant son with Williams. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. At least one prominent political figure. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. But mainstream groups honored him. activist. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. While a state legislator. and more. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. convict with his sentence overturned. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. (Look it up. 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. That includes student groups. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. too. Even in his youth. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time.
Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. Thus. It is not Plato's cave. brought awareness that we ourselves. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. insists Hayden to this day. and our friends. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. Rather than moral relativism. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. Higher education is fully integrated into . 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 -. Like many of his vintage. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization.wcdebate. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. Naturally. for example. higher education is not separate from democracy. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. And. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would.. or Soviet) communism -. then. Especially because of the nuclear age. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. might die at any time. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. Quite the opposite is true.´ It seems. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. 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. of course. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. Hayden might say.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. 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. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. at least in the United States. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Just because it isn¶t your morality. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him.com .or contaminated by. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. if one is not progressive at all. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university..they were defending their own brand of moral claims. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. depending on how we view it American society. As a result. Let us turn to the latter group now. the SDS. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards.
they might be criticized for methods -. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. According to observers.and the vexing corollarly question.not unlike many members of the debate community. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. However. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. Volume 9 Page 76 other disruptive activity any time the component members of an institution are treated like numbers or feel their point of view is not represented. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering. this is far from undisputed. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. CONCLUSION -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention.certainly. Because of the overturned conviction. Nevertheless. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.wcdebate." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics.is not something we will concern ourselves with here. philosophies and ideas -.
matrix. Tom. WASHINGTON POST. accessed May 2. MISSION TO HANOI. New York: New American Library. accessed May 1. Ronald. Staughton & Thomas Hayden. 2002. December 5. 1966. Tom Hayden. 1988. http://coursesa. 1967).htm. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.msu. Port Huron Statement. Lynd. activist. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. New York: International Publishers. New York: Random House. Hayden. p. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 4. November 27. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. 2002.com . Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. David. 1962. 1972. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 20. Hayden. Chicago: Holt. Tom.html. Tom. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker.org/taemj97s. Radosh.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. http://www. the New Left and the Leftover Left. May/June 1997. 2002. accessed May 2. activist and former California state legislator.frontpagemag. Hayden. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. Tom. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Fall 1987.wcdebate. Rinehart and Winston. 1999. Hayden. #4. Horowitz.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. REUNION: A MEMOIR. http://www. B1. 2001.theamericanenterprise. former radical. The Other Side.htm.
the workplaces. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. It was honorable to protest that situation.msu. http://coursesa. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. p. accessed May 2. activist and former California state legislator. 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. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. Based on five days of joining in protests. 1962. on the contrary. 1999. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. and a commitment to social experimentation with them. Port Huron Statement. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. at once the spark and engine of change.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . 5.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. marching. 2002. Volume 4. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests.matrix.. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. WASHINGTON POST. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. December 5. Fall 1987. activist. we hope. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. 20. only one was about Viet Nam. 3. 2. activist. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present.. 4. 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. that we direct our present appeal. 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. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. not that of their opponents. np. They were. p. B1. Port Huron Statement. being gassed myself. http://coursesa. activist.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. B1. paralyzing policy discussion. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. December 5. But we are a minority . NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. #4.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak.matrix. activist. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. For the first time in memory. WASHINGTON POST.msu. the government? It is to this latter yearning. calling on us not to be "good Germans. accessed May 2. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. My serious take on the question might surprise you. one which moves us and. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. the bureaucracies. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency.html.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts.. p. 2002. np. p." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. On the contrary. others today. 1962.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. p. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. One reporter even asked me. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. 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. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. 1999.html. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living.
let's also not forget the 60s are over. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. Volume 4. If there has been an erosion of general education. Volume 4. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. Fall 1987. #4. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . in the 60s. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 20. At my university. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. I'll give another example. Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. 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.wcdebate. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. Fall 1987.com . the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. activist and former California state legislator. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. 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 it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. activist and former California state legislator. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. p. the president of Yale. and Bloom knows that. 20. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. Speaking of mindlessness. 4. NPQ: Bloom argues that. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. Furthermore. p. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. or Morningside Heights. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. Kingman Brewster. Fall 1987. 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. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. #4. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. #4. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. 20. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. activist and former California state legislator. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. And it did. p. #4. 3. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. 2. Fall 1987. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. One week after the Kent State shootings.the legitimacy of questioning everything . That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. Volume 4. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. Volume 4. activist and former California state legislator. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. 20.
theamericanenterprise. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.org/taemj97s. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. accessed May 1. 3. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. former radical.org/taemj97s. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left.htm.theamericanenterprise.wcdebate. Hayden and seven other radicals. and the chaos on the convention floor. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962.org/taemj97s. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. 2002. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. http://www. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park. accessed May 1. May/June 1997. accessed May 1. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Because of such considerations. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police.htm. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. 2002.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. former radical.com . During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. http://www. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. http://www. 2002. 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.htm. One of the conspirators. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. it "radicalizes them. former radical. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. May/June 1997. he said more than once. 2. May/June 1997. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. During the trial. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. Four years later. Jerry Rubin. When the dust cleared in Chicago. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters.theamericanenterprise.
Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. 2002. and on Tuesday. http://www. May/June 1997. Having secured pacifist cover.org/taemj97s. Thursday. and Saturday. Rennie Davis. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days." and he told his co-organizer.org/taemj97s.htm. 2002. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. the New Left and the Leftover Left. Todd Gitlin. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist. 2002. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. former radical. November 27. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. former radical. 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. 5. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. former radical. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. http://www. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.htm. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. 2002. At the event. it will flow all over the city.org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. He recruited the Yippies. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. and you check around and you got your piece. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism.com . when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden.theamericanenterprise. http://www.theamericanenterprise. accessed May 2. PREACHING PACIFISM. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club.frontpagemag. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.htm." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left.theamericanenterprise. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. http://www. accessed May 1. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Wednesday. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. 3. 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. 2001.wcdebate." 4. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. 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.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent.htm. one of SDS¶s first leaders. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. a member of mobe. Sid Peck. that he expected 25 people to die. accessed May 1. accessed May 1. May/June 1997.
These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. His progressive history text.18. revolutionized the way history is told. the church. the mass media. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. in part. 503-506 3 Zinn. accessed May 11. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. THE ZINN READER. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive.96/books9616. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. 507 5 Zack Stenz. scientific (i. I will address each of these in turn. either nationally or in terms of his own life. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. from the author¶s perspective. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors. 1997. p. ³Zinn and the Art of History. These are that writing should be disinterested. such as history textbooks used in schools. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. rather than shying away from controversy. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. 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. 2002. the character flaws of our leaders. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. he has authored several plays. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. http://howardzinn.htm 2 Howard Zinn.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center.´4 for example.wcdebate. spoken word CDs.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. but almost universally accepted.com . He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. because.org/index23. THE ZINN READER. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides. The author of more than 15 books. np. has sold more than 800. 2002. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. objective. that is. 506 4 Zinn.1 In addition to his historical writing. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. within the context of history. April 18-24 1996.000 copies.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. no date. p. and rational (unemotional). to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written.e. p. http://www. p. rules for ³good´ scholarship. neutral).. accessed May 12.´5 This is due. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about.metroactive. 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. [and] popular leaders. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.com/papers/sonoma/04. he actively engages it. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. In contrast.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. ³[D]espite his popularity. 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. 2002. 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. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. p. The book is organized into nine sections. However. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. This stems. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. np. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). from his role as a professor. 8 Howard Zinn. during the depression. Despite the benefits of that job. Instead. John Stienbeck. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. NONVIOLENCE. and anti-fascist writers.com . and various communist. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. 1998. Third. Upton Sinclair. At age eighteen. and others. MOTHER JONES. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. http://howardzinn. and prohibited union membership. physically demanding. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. is focused specifically on this topic. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.´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. Finally. December 3. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. but extends to all of his writing. p. lived in tenements. to a great degree. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Zinn came from a working class background. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. np. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. accessed May 12. Stenz. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. anarchist.org/index23. in nearly all of his books. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. then the punishment itself is unjust. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. which favors the rich. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. Inspired by his students. and closely related to the last point. Georgia. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. 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. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn." Zinn says. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. he participated in extensive protest with his students. however.wcdebate. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. One of his lesser known books. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. Marx. Z MAG. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. which was painful. particularly the United States.
´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. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. or a local tyrannical elite. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. On the other hand. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 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.g. in the course of a protest.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1968. 1968. 45 11 Howard 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.´9 In fact.´ 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. p. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. Moreover. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws.. nonviolence is better than violence. 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. Martin Luther King Jr. This would include violating curfews. Generally. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. Zinn points out. for example. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. desegregation). and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. blocking streets. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated.11 9 Howard Zinn. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence. 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. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. p.. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . and progress generally. Zinn writes. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. This argument. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.wcdebate. Unfortunately. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. In a theoretical sense. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. Self-defense is by its nature focused. by Zinn. In any humanist philosophy. etc. Zinn argues that all things being equal. On the one hand. Furthermore. as being a nonviolent world. Revolutionary warfare. p. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable.. 29 Howard Zinn. may be morally defensible. 1968.
social. be it material.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE ZINN READER. p. Thus. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. This is certainly true at times. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice.metroactive. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life.¶ Zinn says. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. Often.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. is that law is created by the people. but it may not bring justice. 2002. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. and order are desirable. p. or anything else. 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. In these situations. http://www.¶ what was considered Zinn. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States.com . April 18-24 1996. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. There are two primary differences First. and must therefore be followed. they maintain peace and stability. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. 371 14 Zinn. therefore. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. 370-371 Zinn. and will therefore be just. accessed May 11.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and she sees no other effective method. p. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. Many conservative historians.com/papers/sonoma/04. then law and justice are opposed to one another. 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. in various terms. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. peace. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit.18. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. There is also justice«. THE ZINN READER. THE ZINN READER. stability. But when it sends young men to war. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily.wcdebate. particularly for a United States historian. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. Nevertheless. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus.96/books9616. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just. as we have seen throughout history. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. Chaos and violence are not.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it.
His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«. July 2001. often successfully. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people.96/books9616.org/zinn0701. Thus. Zinn feels that the real. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot. April 18-24 1996. accessed May 11. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. 2002. http://www. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent.progressive. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win.org/zinn0701. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established.progressive. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government.html 18 Zack Stenz. ³Artists of Resistency. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³Artists of Resistency.18. However. And that's a critical thing to do. far from being unpatriotic.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. accessed May 11. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies. 2002. Instead. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. http://www.com/papers/sonoma/04. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy.html 17 Howard Zinn.com .´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. 2002. Howard Zinn. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.metroactive. accessed May 11.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. July 2001. by Mark Twain: Similarly. in contrast to the perception of his critics.wcdebate. http://www. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience.
ORG. 2002. Ward. 2000 Zinn.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 1991 Zinn. Howard. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. New York: Seven Stories Press. Boston: Beacon Press. MUSICIANS.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. et al. Howard. 1964 FREESPEECH.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. New York: Harper Perennial.howardzinn. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2001 Zinn. 1999 Fortas. Howard. 2001 Zinn. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. http://www. http://free. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 2000 Zinn. 2002. 2002. http://www. New York: Vintage Books. Accessed May 17.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. 1994 Zinn. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. Accessed May 17. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. Accessed May 17. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR. New York: Seven Stories Press.org/bios/homepage.wcdebate.zmag. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. New York: Signet Books. Howard. Boston: Beacon Press. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA.freespeech. New York: Harper Perennial. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. 1968 Zinn. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. Howard. 2002 Zinn. Howard. Abe. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. SALESGIRLS.com .org/evolution/articles. Howard.
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law.org/index23. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. 2. and other means have been exhausted. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. limited. http://howardzinn. There are two reasons for such criteria. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct.wcdebate. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. 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. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century. and preferably directed against property rather than people. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. 48-49. 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. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn.com . escaped slaves. 1998.org/index23. white people. And in a number of cases. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. Well people in the North. juries acquitted them. p. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). 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 in the 1850s. to disorder. injustices of all sorts. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. December 3. December 3. 1998. or in) self-defense. 3. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. 2002. And what it does is declare a willingness to decide when laws are consonant with morality and when laws are immoral and support terrible things like war or racism or sexism. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. accessed May 12. they gathered together in committees. to the 1850s. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. http://howardzinn. 2002. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. may move from mild actions. 1968. free black people.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. accessed May 12. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. black people.
´) 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.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom.com . Kennedy Campaigning). Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. how she felt about her son defying the law. p. ironically. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. when Dan went underground. December 3. 1997. 1998. 1968. 65-66.org/index23. p. 400-401.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. it is obedience to governments. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice.wcdebate. or finally. in their appeals to patriotism. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. Historically. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. The psychologist Erich Fromm. 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. ³It¶s not God¶s law. 2. that the moment we have cast our ballots. for the most part nonviolent. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 3. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. 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. we have freedom to speak. thinking about nuclear war. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. she responded quietly.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. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. their calls for war.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the principles of peace. 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. Surely. accessed May 12. and justice. 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. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. 2002. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. and before him. freedom.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. The feeling is justified. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 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. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. http://howardzinn. a devastating war waged. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. 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 have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter.
and civil disobedience may turn into riot. does not confer immunity for law violation. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. however peacefully intended by their organizers. These mass demonstrations. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. 1968. it is the city¶s duty under law. however large and inconvenient. 70-71. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. 62-63.com . Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The city must perform this duty. Demonstrators must be organized. 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. ordered. We are a government and a people under law. 1968. whatever their object. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. for the rules of law. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. however noble. Vivian Kellems. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. But at the same time. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. of course. in accordance with the provisions of law. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. These are not controlling. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction.wcdebate. as well as practical wisdom. indeed. 64-65. or both. our Constitution and our traditions. whatever its type. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. Frequently. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. He cannot pick and choose. there is always danger that individual. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. 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. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. charged. 2. must be identified. He may. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. For example. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Each of us must live under law. But despite this. and controlled. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. The motive of civil disobedience. Both of these are essential.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. free of punishment or penalty. 1968. p. Agitators and provocateurs. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. and as a matter of good sense. and convicted. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. teach us that city officials. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. It was true in the case of Mrs. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. He may be passionately inspired. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. 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. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. It is not merely government that must live under law. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. p. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. persuasion. However careful both sides may be. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. and restrained law enforcement. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. If he is properly arrested. p. 3.
au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. it is inadequate on its own. Australia. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. 2002. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. Accessed May 17. 2001.edu. As these conditions typically include war. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. p. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. np. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. or. and continued repression in following decades. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. if followed to its logical conclusions. 2001. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. 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. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. 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.edu. 2001. There was a military coup later in 1944. Associate Professor in Science. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. or even a substantial social reorganization. p. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism.´ 2. http://www.uow. Accessed May 17. after a short flowering. In every instance. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. Australia. more appropriately. Associate Professor in Science. np. In El Salvador in 1944. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong..com . 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. in practical terms. 2002. p. Pacifist praxis (or. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. pseudo-praxis).uow. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below.e. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. 3. http://www.wcdebate. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. 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. 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. worthwhile change.
Joseph Nye. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. Joseph Nye. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. JR. And. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. bald white establishment guy. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. well. JR. 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. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. and Nye¶s likely got it. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. All the while. Longtime professor? Check. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. However. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. 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. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE.wcdebate. was born in 1937. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. those are some big outstretched wings. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing.D program in government at Harvard. 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.com . You might think that Nye is merely another old. you¶d sort of be right. But the guy is a pretty sharp old. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. He is a Rhodes Scholar. Jr. 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. and a graduate of the Ph. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. Jr. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. Well versed in foreign policy. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking.
Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power." Nye has said. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. we aren¶t going to invade them. Nye is not. the case of China. does one secure American interests. If that is true. that's hard power.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -. 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. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. That said.. in fact. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. 2002. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy . We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W.com . for example. But if I get you to want what I want.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. particularly in the post Cold War world. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year.wcdebate. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. for example. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade.cultural. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Containment is a more hawkish strategy. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11." This has not changed since September 11.. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. then the United States must not isolate china. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. China will be a force in the new century. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. as should be clear. How. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. such an evolution may continue. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. engagement. then. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. a hawk per se. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. "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. etc. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. Nye reasons. An attempt to treat China as a threat. Take. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want.
the International Monetary Fund. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet. in his view. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. Rather than isolating other nations. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history.com . an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world. and the World Trade Organization. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. especially the radical left. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. we should be using our influence in a positive manner.´ he wrote. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. such as China. 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. NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist.
Take. for example. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. Instead. Critics of this policy.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. As the old Chinese proverb goes. than the U. His most recent book was just published this year.-Japan relationship. 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. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. according to Johnson.S. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it.S. For example. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals. Even open-minded. security relationship. While Nye might say that the United States should continue to maintain a forward presence in Asia in order to prevent a power vacuum in the region. including the Japan Policy Research Institute (headed by the noted Asian scholar Chalmers Johnson) argue that the American military presence is more destabilizing than anything. 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.´ No matter how you slice it. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. critics say. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line. There is no better example of this blowback. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. It is more likely. if you go looking for enemies. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists. 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. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. the distinction between soft power and hard power.com . critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics. However. you will probably find them.S. This type of self-justifying behavior.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch.wcdebate.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. 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. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. on too many fronts. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas. Just look at Okinawa. Further left. Johnson argues. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. critics say. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. not enhanced. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. Nye¶s defense of the U.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. Similarly. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. American credibility is diminished. and in Japan particularly.
2000. March 31.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Jr... Jr. 2002. Joseph S. Zelikow and Davic C..1. Joseph S. democracy. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. Donahue (Washington. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). Jr. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR.. Jr. Joseph S. accessed May 5. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000). http://www.. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Nye. Jr.observer. Nye. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. co-edited with John D. NUCLEAR ETHICS.-Feb. Jr. Keohane]. Joseph S.co. 2002. Jr.: Brookings Institution Press. 1985). UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. Jr. 3d ed.. Nye. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. Joseph S.. Joseph S. Number 1.. 2002. D..´ CURRENT (September 1999).com . Jr.C..html. Nye. Joseph S. Jr. Volume V. August 2001) Nye. Jr. Jr. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O. Joseph S.com? Governance in A Networked World. Joseph S. (New York: Basic Books. Joseph S. Jr. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. (New York: The Free Press. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values.. Nye. HAWKS. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. Nye. Nye. Nye.. January 1998. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute.html.00. Joseph S.. Jr. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. 1990). Joseph S. 2000). accessed May 1. co-edited with Philip D. 1986).4384507..org/jpri/public/crit5. JPRI CRITIQUE. http://www. Nye. January 2002) Nye.wcdebate. Nye. THE OBSERVER. Nye.uk/Print/0. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. 1997). 2001).3858.jpri. Joseph S. 1999) Nye. Joseph S. (New York: Longman. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.uk/Print/0..observer. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S. Jr. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. http://www. LIBERALISM. These protesters are a diverse lot. D. economic. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. and autonomy. Quebec City. http://www. and Brazil. 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. THE OBSERVER.wcdebate. 4.. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. 2002. Washington.4384507. Nye. Jr. if current economic and social trends continue. 2.3858.html. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.. accessed May 1.3858. THE OBSERVER.co. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. 2002. accessed May 1. and soft . Jr.uk/Print/0. July/August 2001." For globalization's supporters. the Netherlands. Seattle. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority.4384507. March 31. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. Nye. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. pluralism.co.military. India. Nye. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia.html. 2002. Other countries. And countries like the Canada. and that limits the transformation of power. http://www. Conversely. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.html. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance.4384507.observer. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. March 31. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent. accessed May 2. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation.foreignaffairs. such as China.. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S.. Some reject corporate capitalism.html. March 31. 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. all three sources of power .observer.org/articles/Nye0701. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. coming mainly from rich countries. 2002. accessed May 1. Jr. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. Of all their complaints. However.00. 3. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy.remain relevant. THE OBSERVER. 2002.3858. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Nye. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries.com . this last concern is key.00.00.co. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century. In such a variegated world. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century.uk/Print/0. http://www. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. 2002. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S.C. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Prague. 2002. accordingly.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. http://www. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. 2002. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe.com . np. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed.html. 2.html. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. Jr.nyu. http://www.. p. But it is not true in every case. a crude policy of containment would not work. America's edge will continue to persist. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. Jr. accessed May 3. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. 2002. 1998. 3. np. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength.nyu. Nye. accessed May 3. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. np. only China can produce an effective containment policy. I agree.nyu.. 4. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. accessed May 3. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. In that sense. 1998. http://www. 1998. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. p. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. In an election year.html. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be.. For one thing. Three times in two weeks.nyu. 2002. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. If we treat China as an enemy now. Second. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Nye. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. Jr. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. p. First. Unlike the Soviet Union. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. 2002. Nye.´ June 22. Containment has three fatal flaws. Jr. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. 1998. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways. p.. 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. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. Containment is likely to be irreversible.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.wcdebate. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Isolating other countries is bad policy. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.html.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Third. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.´ June 22. http://www. Nye. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. Moreover. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China.´ June 22. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. accessed May 3. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. np.´ June 22. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals.
2.org/2-2/whunt. by contrast. 4. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. was tied to the ability to innovate. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. No. it was further assumed. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension.wcdebate. 1999. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. According to Nye. More ancient still.. Mount Allison University. p.cfm. unquantifiable and indirect. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt. np. Entrepreneurial dynamism. Fall. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. in his phrase. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. http://www. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. µHard¶ power was objective. p. 1999. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. 2. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. accessed May 1. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. np. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. 2. µSoft¶ power. In short. No. http://www. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. accessed May 1." Space-based surveillance.janushead.org/2-2/whunt. 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. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated..¶ he argued. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. 2. The terms originate with Joseph S. as did advances in communications technology. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake.org/2-2/whunt. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. to the test. as. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. 2. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. 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. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective.. Mount Allison University. 2002. 2. Fall 1999. 2002. JANUS HEAD Vol. np. by contrast. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. Mount Allison University. p. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. Nye. or to be more precise. 2. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers.cfm. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors. Fall. 2002. and at a greater philosophic remove. In this context. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. JANUS HEAD Vol. JANUS HEAD Vol. In the study of transnational relations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.janushead. The comparative dimension was critically important. (Operation Allied Force. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. No. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category. 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. accessed May 1.cfm. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. http://www. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power. Jr. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. real-time. was the contrast between authority and liberty. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective.com .janushead.
he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. http://www. p. 27.S. B1. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. January 1998. and a rather bad one. ST. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. 2002. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy).' the Japanese.html. but despite the immense might that that implies. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos. 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. 3.S.jpri. military presence reduced. Volume V. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. Security Treaty. Yet we must choose. January 1998. is in itself a choice.S. whereas 58% of U. of course. Thus. to put the matter bluntly. So much for some of those shared common interests. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision. accessed May 5. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. 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. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U. so they say. 2002. Volume V. respondents think that the U.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. these books are similar.S. increased Chinese potency. While approximately half of both Japanese and U. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. 1. respondents gave the Middle East top billing.4% of the Americans want the U. The chief difference. http://www. But in working out our strategy. Today. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. JPRI CRITIQUE. Last November 30.9% of the Japanese and 20.org/jpri/public/crit5. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines.com . perhaps even a superduper power. investment adviser. for failing to make up our mind. planes. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects.wcdebate. Most likely.1. JPRI CRITIQUE. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility.1.jpri. 982 responded. In some respects. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Number 1.S. These are sizeable percentages.952 people were interviewed. in the U. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. 2002. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. Joseph Nye. Only 26% of the U. Number 1." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. matters are much harder to figure out..S. accessed May 5.S. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute. In an accompanying article. Feb.html.org/jpri/public/crit5. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. Security relationship"-40. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country.S. 2. and the fact that the 'hosts. In Japan.S. Moreover. these books definitely differ. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation.S. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next.
oppression. assets and conditions are never for sale. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. in fact. Guided by such values. ²Ralph Nader. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. By age 14. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. By 1965. Nathra. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. The book contained a theme that. of course. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. Connecticut. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. environmental perils.000 automobile deaths every year in America. 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.com . NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. Ralph Nader is one of a kind.wcdebate. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. and then his political project. After exploring his life. took issue with the assumption. illiteracy. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. He researched automobile safety anyway. He had to do most of this on his own. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which. Ralph Nader recalls. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. and in 1959 published his first article. I will try to explain his philosophy. At age 17. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. Applied beyond our borders. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty." in THE NATION. At the time. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in a larger sense. there were nearly 50. he entered Princeton University. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. but wishes there were others like him. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. An excellent student. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. but wishes he were not. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. Nader. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. and. and so on.
Education and Welfare. the highest office is the office of citizen.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. First and most importantly. official secrecy. First. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves." as they came to be called. albeit reluctantly.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good." But Jefferson.´ and as such. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. as the quotation below explains. workers.mit."the public interest" -was a bold. innovative development in American politics at the time. Nader's "Raiders. Nor could James Madison. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. Since the 2000 campaign. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary. who had written. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and a plethora of other causes. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics.com . In fact. simply a distrust). Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable.. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. when he founded Common Cause. some decades later. of course. author of the famous Federalist No. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. Of course. 10 essay.nader. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. Why. in a democracy. and shareholders. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement.2/nader.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. it is also a contemporary application of Jeffersonian democracy to conditions he and the other founders could not necessarily have foreseen: The inspiration came directly from Thomas Jefferson. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. contrary to his predictions.. it is argued. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme." John Gardner.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. but. taxpayers. (http://bostonreview. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. then. in mandatory seat belts and air bags). Throughout the next thirty years. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore.edu/BR18. would have a similar idea in 1970. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket. consumers. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. the people are the ultimate authorities. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. fought for increased water quality. (http://www. Bush in 2000. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. 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.
Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. Second. any elected or appointed political leader. a communist. which should belong to everyone. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. literally. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. And. 4. 3. giant corporations. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. 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. 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. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. and increasing public financing of elections.wcdebate. Nader is none of these. rather. 56 Over the past two presidential races. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. to institutionalized. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform.´ ±Nader. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. 2. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts. literally. In fact. sellers need consumers. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. a socialist.com . WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. torts and contracts. p. even a Stalinist. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. Finally. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. most recently. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. are available to the highest bidder. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. and frequently more power than. over the past few decades. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. "above" the laws of most nations. 1999.
and often makes things considerably worse. At present. Democrats.´ we end up with nothing (or. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. if we hold out for ³everything. especially liberal Democrats. to accept some of what we want. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. Bush. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. To begin with. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. This is an ongoing argument. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. but if they are threatened with punishment. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. worse than nothing!). as some would say in reference to Bush. Of course.wcdebate. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. May 7. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. higher taxes for corporations. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. May 21. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. Steverman) reports. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. only four of which existed before the 2000 election." In Wisconsin. Democrats respond that. This is because those people believe that.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. if successful. Along the same lines. 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. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. 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. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. He would like to see much more of this. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. but the Green Party's current plans. 5. Regulations fail. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. including candidate Jim Young for governor.'' (VILLAGE VOICE. but also that elitism is desirable. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. libertarians claim. The problem here is not merely one election.com .
it remains to be seen whether advocates of Nader¶s ideas can articulate the sense in which citizen empowerment differs from traditional advocacy of government intervention. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000.wcdebate. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. but he argues that. Were it up to him. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. exploitation and imperialism. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. Unlike so many of our sources. and not just theoretically attractive. Nader eschews elitism. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. in the strongest democratic traditions. 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. since it¶s what we have. either-or. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. read commentary about him. After all. not merely philosophically. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. government is the people. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. we should keep it in check. 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. Nader is no fan of capitalism. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. However. At the same time. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .
NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. 2000). Katherine. Isaac. Martin's Press. Franklin D. Dan M. Charles. 1976). Nader. Nader. RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. Ralph. Martin's Press. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. Ralph. Nader. 1975). Ralph. Nader. Nader. Hays. Gorey. Chu. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St.J. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ralph. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. 1996). THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton.] (New York: Grossman. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. 1975). 1973). 1977).wcdebate. Burt. 1974). 2002).: Prentice-Hall 1972). ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. N. Nader. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. McCarry. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. 1973). Nader. Ralph. Ralph Nader Congress Project. 1997). Ralph. TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Robert F. Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Ralph. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. Ralph. Nader. Nader. Ralph.com . 1986). 1972). 1972). 1982).
p. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . loan guarantees. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. political activist. injure our national security. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1. schools. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. p. If people think more about how major business executives work. mass famines. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. bailouts.having accepted their condition and resigned. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. Eighty percent of the workers in the bottom eighty percent of the job force have seen their wages decrease since 1973 when adjusted for inflation. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1.wcdebate. 1986. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. p. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. 521. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent.com . political activist.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. 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. political activist. limiting their ability to deal with reality. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 56. artificial intelligence. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. giveaways. 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. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. political activists. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets.´ the ³invisible gene. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. 2.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. debt revocations. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden .´ the ³invisible currency. 2. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. tax loopholes. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. and unemployment is down. and marketing technologies. 56. clinics. inflation is down. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. the stock market is up. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. THE BIG BOYS. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. and weaken our democracy. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. 1999. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY.profits are up. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. Yet. 1999. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. 2000. p. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs.´ the ³invisible pollutant. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. production. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader.
p. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. p. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. political activist. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. and make workplaces less safe. Narrow. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). 1 Citizens beware. THE ENVIRONMENT. will be met with the refrain. 2. state offices. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. STATE. safety. abstruseness. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. By contrast. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out.S. Secrecy. ³You can¶t burden us like that. 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. 6. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. adoption.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. If you do. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs. in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. called the Uruguay Round. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. 3. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. the U. and land. political activist. water. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. political activist. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. Congress. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. 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. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. state. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. 1993. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. we won¶t be able to compete. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. for example. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. 3.S. or even at the United Nations. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. or limit their pollution of the air. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE.wcdebate. depress wage levels. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. 1993. It would cost jobs. the U. Every element of the negotiation.com . p. 1993.
Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. 8.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. Burt. And it has been and would be a government they run. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. employers. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. individualistic nation. political tradition of the last 200 years. 1982. p. 1982.com . ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. state. President of Capital Legal Foundation. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and local governments.´ 2. In sum. 20 Instead. p. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Burt. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. and seek to change it. or in the investment markets. 2. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. 20 What is clear is that Mr. 1982. President of Capital Legal Foundation. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. on our daily lives.S. and social system. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. p. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. SEC.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. In some cases. President of Capital Legal Foundation. at the bank. In other words. 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. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. de-centralized political. p. But it is a radical departure from U.wcdebate. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. a new elite of un-elected. and consumers. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. Burt. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. 1982. Mr. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is a distinct political ideology. Burt. in turn. In this regard. economic. President of Capital Legal Foundation. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. Our diverse. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry.
the one that ended apartheid. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. July 25. 2000. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. he said. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.a move that Africans themselves welcomed.000 to 400. p. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. columnist. Professor of Economics at MIT. A-19. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. THE MILITANT. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party.wcdebate. or any corporation. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. Cohen. March 6. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350.I'm serious -. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. p. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. because -." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. p. p. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5. must be bad for the world. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. Michael Kinsley. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill." At the same time.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. columnist. 2." reads the statement. That's the problem with Ralph. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. C3. October 22." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain.S. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. 2000. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. 2. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. most prosperous nation in the world. 3. markets.000 votes and finished in fourth place.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. He isn't like you and me." 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. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman. Professor of Economics at MIT.000. July 25. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. editor of Slate. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. 2000.000" to Mexico. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. A-19. THE HARTFORD COURANT. In 2000. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. But several days before Gingrich spoke.com ." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. 2000. we are the happiest. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. or Pfizer.corporate influence. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. healthiest. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan.like the laws of every market economy -.
wcdebate. After all. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. right? During and prior to the Civil War. 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. She was. Period. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. 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.´ 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. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. 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. Now. For understandable political reasons. it isn¶t a true democracy to you. and publish books.com .S. such a right was not truly meaningful. In the South (and. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps. they claimed. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black.What do we learn from the fact that her nomination was torpedoed? ± we learn that being an insightful critical thinker instead of a partisan demagogue is a sure way to avoid public service at a high level. the right wing said. 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. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Attorney General for Civil Rights because. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. many places in the North). And even then and immediately thereafter. though. a ³quota queen. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. but it was a very useful. to be fair. For them. In fact. if you can¶t vote. It had nothing to do with what I had written. 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. two: Quota Queen. you didn¶t get to vote. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. including slavery. As for the second proposition -. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. That¶s not just me being partisan.
wcdebate. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. Plus. Again.mostly Republicans -. And depending on how old there are.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. it takes all kinds). The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. we ought to defend it for minorities. it has another value: an instrumental value. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents.´ The other problem. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. So. cracking. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. Harvey Gantt. if the right to vote represents full citizenship. 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 they are regularly outvoted. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. if you go to vote. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him.´ After all. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. people -. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. of course. alternatively. 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. though. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. The thing is. Hence. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines.com . indeed. The problem is that in other districts. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district. The result is that you get one minority representative. As Tushnet notes. For example. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and you headed to the polls in Florida. 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. and stacking. and created a right to select representatives of choice.
usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election.com . People are self-interested. So. legislators can get concessions on another. but let¶s review some of the high points here. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. stupid things. for one thing. Since every vote counts. Hence. economic. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. When you¶re in power. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. it doesn¶t work that way. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. That includes people living in a democracy. There would be problems with identifying these policies. For example.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. 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. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. there needs to be some check on that abuse. There are a couple of reasons why. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. but there¶s another reason. They will vote to advance their own interests. 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. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. and that includes affirmative action. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. Similarly. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional.´) After all. SOME OF GUINIER¶S SOLUTIONS We started out discussing voting rights law not just because it¶s an important subject that often gets short shrift. Total majority rule.wcdebate. And nice as that sounds. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. every vote counts. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. and you¶ll be in big trouble. 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. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be. for example.
seeing what is working and what is not. However. Guinier asks. There is a reason. with its specific mission in mind.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This doesn¶t always happen that way. Guinier recognizes this. each institution would. Hence. 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. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). crush their economic infrastructure. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. college administrators. You might be surprised. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. usually. health care projects. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. programmatic change) thinker. after all.com . 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. try to actively undermine their interests. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. and is relatively easy to understand. that Indian tribes hate him so much.wcdebate. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. though. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. The best strategy lies in other means. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. their interests will be better served by legislators. a left-wing critic of Guinier. rather than just in name. 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. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. presumably. Stephen Steinberg. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. give feedback on. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. for example." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. etc. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. More often. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action.
wcdebate.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. People that are interested in building a more racially just. economically viable future should check out her work. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. 2002.html. Lani. Lani. http://bostonreview. Guinier. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.3/tushnet. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen. December 200/January 2001.. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 36-37. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. p. Tushnet." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE. accessed May 1. 505525. 1998. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Steinberg. 1-16. January 8. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill.com . Guinier. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. No. Smith. Lani. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. "President Clinton's Doubt. Lani. 2002. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. Guinier. New York: Free Press. http://bostonreview." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE.mit. Ward. 1999." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. p. Stephen. C. Lani.6/steinberg." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. March 1991. New York: Simon & Schuster. Guinier.6/connerly. 5. 1998. 1995.mit. Guinier. Lani. BOSTON REVIEW. Boston: Beacon. Guinier. 1077-1154.html.edu/BR25. edited by J. Lani Guinier's Certainty. Guinier.html. 89. accessed May 1. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. Jr. Vol. 1998. Lani. p. 2002. Mark. Lani.mit. accessed May 1. p.edu/BR19.edu/BR25. 1998. December 200/January 2001. Guinier. 1994. http://bostonreview.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. two conservative columnists." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. as George Will did. July/August 1993." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. George Will and Lally Weymouth. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89).a process known as "race-conscious districting. 3. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. county and municipal governing bodies in America. July/August 1993. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. 3. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans. 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 3. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. EXTRA!. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. he admitted in an interview with Extra!.on June 4. as it was for Lally Weymouth. injecting further distortions into the process." Indeed." 2. p. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. the white minority in South Africa. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. p. EXTRA!. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist.wcdebate. p. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record. 4. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas ." In reality. Apparently. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions. EXTRA!. July/August 1993. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. EXTRA!. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. her views were not only distorted. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . after the nomination had already been killed -. a Reagan-era Justice Department official.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings.com . The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. Nor did I write. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans. electoral quotas or 'one black.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93). July/August 1993. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 3. two votes' remedies. Professor of Law at Harvard University. p. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. color-coded ballots.
June 14. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. like one¶s family tree or family assets. Professor. Harvard Law School. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. in turn. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. Harvard Law School. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. 6/14/93). 3. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. That focus. accessed May 1.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. p.com . http://www. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions. 2002. but to ³lift as we climb. http://www. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. Professor. she was critiquing it. 2000.shtml. p. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. Merit. In other words.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals.wcdebate. 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. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . can be chronicled with the proper instruments. p. 3. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. 2000. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education.org/mainart/confirmative_action.minerscanary. 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. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. EXTRA!. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91). Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. accessed May 1. In doing so. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier." as George Will put it (Newsweek. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. in a multiracial democracy. np. June 14." But more important. 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. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. legitimacy and power base is the black community.org/mainart/confirmative_action. 2002. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in other words. July/August 1993.shtml. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement.minerscanary. 2. np. and what constitutes fairness for all. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that.
apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -.mit. one for which we should all be ashamed. 3. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. EMPIRICALLY.html. their argument is not at all new.that society is not so racially polarized.edu/BR25. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. http://bostonreview.mit.6/connerly. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center.6/connerly. 2002. All we need to do. December 200/January 2001.html. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. http://bostonreview.6/connerly. http://bostonreview. December 200/January 2001. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 1. Unfortunately. For its entire history.3/tushnet. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.edu/BR25. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. In 1970. and refreshing. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. What is most striking about Guinier's work. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. we ought to believe -. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. 2.com . public policy could generate gains for everyone. attracting topflight students from around the world. octoroon.mit.mit. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave. http://bostonreview. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. it was surprising. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. Caucasian. 2002.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. Unfortunately. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. free black. For her. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. 2002. accessed May 1. BOSTON REVIEW. It is a long and sordid history. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. 2002. 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. Hispanic. Indian. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. BOSTON REVIEW.html. December 200/January 2001.perhaps most particularly whites -." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. BOSTON REVIEW. 4. people -. etc.html. Thus. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. she proposes. accessed May 1. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions.wcdebate. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. accessed May 1. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. given these tensions. Instead.edu/BR19. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. Thus. City College¶s experiment has failed.edu/BR25. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. according to Guinier's optimistic vision.
As the saying goes. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. December 200/January 2001. The problem.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg. 2002. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW.com . 3. don¶t fix it. "if it ain¶t broke. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. 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." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court.edu/BR25. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. Indeed. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses.html. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. even if enacted. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. 2002. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.6/steinberg. 2002. December 200/January 2001. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace." 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. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy. Against this background. two troubling questions arise. On closer examination.mit. affirmative action has been under sustained assault. here the syllogism runs into trouble.edu/BR25. 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. At first blush. 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. 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. accessed May 1. However.html. http://bostonreview. Therefore±alas.edu/BR25. accessed May 1. Though they do not say so explicitly. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality.mit. http://bostonreview. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld." 2. 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. 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. http://bostonreview.wcdebate.mit. To be sure. The problem is that "for more than two decades." 2.6/steinberg. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. 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.6/steinberg. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. December 200/January 2001. though. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1.html. accessed May 1. First.
a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. Dr. Next. an active citizen. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. 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. 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. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E. especially in analyzing revolutions. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. 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. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. She is a native of the state of Michigan. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. professor and well-known author. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. but she is a wife and mother. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. Skocpol argues. ³class-based revolts from below. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. 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. However.´ (4). Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods. involve class-based revolt but not structural change.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination.C. shows Skocpol. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. First. Not only is Dr. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr.com . She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. 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.E. Social revolutions are fundamentally different.O. The examples she points to are rebellions that. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S.wcdebate. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. in fact. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. by nature. than other types of societal change. ³rapid. Skocpol a researcher.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world.
MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. which started long after these other nations¶ programs.´ that view is inaccurate. 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. 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. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. and the resources available to the group. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. Hopefully. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them.S. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. for better or worse. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. Then there develops a purposive. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. social disorientation. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. 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. those individuals capable of creating change. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. if affirmed. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. and insurance for workers. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. their social position.wcdebate. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. Her claim is that: First. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that.com . Thus. Finally. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. During wartime nations like Britain became successful in maintaining and increasing such policies by juxtaposing their model of the ³welfare state´ against the Nazi model. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which they labeled ³the warfare state. not all social revolution is a positive thing. the conditions that cause change. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation.S. if it wins. the United States¶ model.
while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. Her book. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which included the charities and the home. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. Most importantly 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. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. 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. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. THE MISSING MIDDLE. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America.people who are not children and are not yet retirees. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. in this case the media was absolutely right. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. ³U. First. 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. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. The work done by Skocpol in her book.S. 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. 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.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 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. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children.´ 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. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm.S. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies.com . However. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. 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. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. However. This has a number of implications for debate. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). 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.wcdebate. a widely accepted understanding in the U. unemployment was down. 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. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. 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. politics and business.
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. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. 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. the working population. mainly.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. who Skocpol argues. 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. 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. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. 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. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. Additionally. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). many of them parents.S. 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. 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. This may leave some debaters thinking. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. are generally ignored in political debates.com . Often working parents make up a large portion of the audience at tournaments and Skocpol¶s theory of the missing middle may be the perfect perspective with which to approach a resolution and make arguments that your audience can relate to.wcdebate. and still are. 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. 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. First. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. Skocpol argues. The group Skocpol seeks to address are generally working Americans who spend long hours at a job because they need to feed families and want to create a decent life either as a single parent or in a dual income home. By examining a resolution through the missing middle perspective you seem to be avoiding the extreme positions and providing a discussion that is more palatable yet it will always clash with the dominant positions in these debates. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum.
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. Additionally.com . to explain events. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. which LD tends to draw upon.wcdebate. 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. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. 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. 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. Instead. 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. 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. Volume 9 Page 125 LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE APPLICATIONS Some of the implications of this author¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debates have already been outlined in previous sections. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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.
Halliday.W.com . New York: Cambridge University Press. 1999. Fall. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. Kristin Kay.wcdebate.S. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Felicia A.´ OFF OUR BACKS.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES.183. and Nicole Mellow. Theda. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. p. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. Skocpol. Theda. 2000. Case. RUSSIA & CHINA. Gail Lee.. Skocpol. 1979. Norton & Company.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. 1982.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Skocpol. New York: W. Theda and Stanley B. 1984. 1997. July 31. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. September 2000. 1997. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. Wineman. Steven. Dubrow. p. 28. Kornbluth. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Skocpol. 1992. Terrance C. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. THE NEW MAJORITY. Gretchen. Boston: South End Press. p.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.171. April 30. Greenberg. New Haven: Yale University Press. Ritter. 1996. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. May 31. Theda.
wcdebate.. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. 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. Rather. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. Professor of Sociology. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). 1997.com . 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that is. and policy feedback loom large. 14 In Skocpol's vision. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. resulting in over 500 pages of text. However. 2." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study.. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model). these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories.a polity-centered perspective -. 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. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. governmental institutions.183. 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. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -. In her newest work. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. p. Case. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. April 30. 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. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. Given the enormity of her undertaking. a graduate student in the same department. the United States possesses a decentralized.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. Kornbluth." she argued in 1980.. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. I will necessarily condense her account. Together.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. September 2000. July 31. electoral rules. bureaucrats. Simply stated. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. 1996. 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. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow.171. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. Although not always explicitly. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. 3. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. bureaucrats. However. In other words. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. p.S. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A. political parties and officials. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down.
Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers." or as the fractious. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities.183. and in their processes of creation. Felicia A. p. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. 3. republican motherhood. 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. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker. (P. Felicia A.171. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. 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. April 30. which treated men as fathers and heads of families. 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. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states. potential mothers. Professor of Sociology. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. who know them as "social feminists. 1996. Case. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. In content. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby.S. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. July 31." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. More important. 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. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.S. Kornbluth. time-bound contribution to political thought. p. April 30. Readers may also hear in maternalism.com . were doubly paternalist: Elite males. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. exhausted. 2. bureaucrats and national political leaders.. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children.S. federal social programs for mothers. 1996.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged.171. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested." she writes." However. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS. post suffrage women's movement. in their processes of creation. Case. 1997. Many women reformers in U. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. p.
Point for point. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. Similarly. Instead. severe stratification of power. "The Limits of Maternalism. np. Sonya. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment.centered approaches. 1984. 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. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. the predominance of giant corporations. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. 165). Koven & Michel). SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. Michel. Within political sociology.com . p. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1.wcdebate. New York: Routledge. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. Author. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. Northwestern University. 1993. Halliday. 1999. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. 307. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. teaches American women's gender. p. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. American Bar Foundation. Ironically. in both class and state. after the turn of the century maternalist ideology began to weaken as parent education and other fields challenged the notion of maternal instinct and called for training and professionalization for those who dealt with children.36. 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.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Fall." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. 2. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. to "do good. not the idea of child care as public service to all. Senior Research Fellow. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. Terrance C. Theory of the State. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state.in the interests of the corporate order. p.
.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. in order to maintain the family wage system. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. says Gordon. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program. Clearly. np. NORWAY. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. 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. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. In other words. researcher at European University Institute. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. to be sure. was. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. PhD. 1996. NORWAY.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. researcher at European University Institute.PHILOL. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. She has no critique of maternalism". Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time.PHILOL. p. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. it is a difference. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. 1996. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. "Specifically. 2. p.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. in a context of male domination.. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. 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". By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. Gender means "female" for Skocpol. Women's activism was as much as men's. . They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families.wcdebate. Eirinn Larsen. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. 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. not merely a neutral or benign difference. Spring. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. after all. often called the two-track welfare system. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. 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". Gender is. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. to put it inversely. says Gordon. However. np.com . determined by class as much as by gender. in the way Gordon sees it. To Gordon. PhD. Spring.
wcdebate. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . Like everything hooks does. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating.D. She knew there was something else out there for her. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. Paulo Friere. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. it was simply recreated in new ways. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books.´ Determined to overcome these notions. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. that too much reading would change her life. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature. Her father feared. politics. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. as it might be today. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). 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. 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. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. correctly it turned out. 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. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. including hooks. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. She points out that. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. generally taught by white males. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. racism and classism. This interest in books was not. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. Kentucky. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. For her. sexism and classism. especially Friere. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. and the destructive effects of sexism. In her classes. 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. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. 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. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. and classist educational policies. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. 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. sex or class. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. no bussing. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. Classism creates an elite group.wcdebate. they just got up in the morning and went. legitimating standard English. (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism.com . She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. This process. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. 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. 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. 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. 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. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. capitalist culture that uses racist. sexist. social movements and educational biases. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. 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). Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. white supremacist. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. We have those definitions. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. not very different from anything the students could relate to. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. she argues. 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. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. Let's share them. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. Let's start over. 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. Let's reclaim them. racism within feminism.
television and radio commercials. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion.´ 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. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. 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. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. not division in the movement. Sexism. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. like hooks. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. bell hooks sees feminism as. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. not born. and always. However. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. 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. sexist exploitation. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. Let's start there. 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. 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. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). or their critics. She argues that feminists are made. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). Occasionally an author.wcdebate. is the heart of the matter. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ 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. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www."(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. 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. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. have often felt marginalized. Let the movement begin again. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. In her book. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. and oppression. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. she argues. ads everywhere and billboards. "a movement to end sexism.
Whatever the flaw. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. 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. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique.wcdebate. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. 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. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. 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. 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. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. 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. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. even worse. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. media and the academy. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. 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. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Finally.com . That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. Let¶s face it though. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce.
New York: Henry Holt. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and Elizabeth Hirsh. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. hooks. 1995. Olsen. 1995. Albany: State University of New York Press.com . Boston: South End Press. New York: Doubleday. hooks. 2000. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. hooks.W. Patricia Bell-Scott). New York: Henry Holt. Golden. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. 1999. New York: W. hooks. Namulundah. 1996. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. bell. bell. 1990. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. 1994. Cambridge: South End Press.wcdebate. bell. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. Gary A. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. bell. 1995 hooks. bell. hooks. New York: Henry Holt and Company. Norton & Company.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. bell. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. 1998. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming.
Essentially. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. Namulundah Florence. 67. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. Nelson et al. currently policy makers(Banks. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. p. 1998. at its very core it is dehumanizing. Historically. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. but threaten their very existence. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. and class specific. since we who are black can never be white. THINKING BLACK. 1992. 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. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. In the United States. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. (1981.109). 1998. 1996). While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. 1996). just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. 14.com . Boston: South End Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in America. can come into being. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. feeling and knowing as the norm. educational. 2. p. gender. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. McNaught. p. 1988. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. in this case. 1989. groups such as African Americans. Chinese Americans. 1988. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.58). hooks. p. White people¶s values. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers .wcdebate. these values and traditions are racial. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. p. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. 1995. 1994. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. traditions. In a white supremacist society. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. However. Of course. 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.. 11. Once slavery ended. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. a ³white´ self. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices.122) 3. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. p. Critical.
. etc. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. to assume that black folks. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. 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. New York: Henry Holt. New York: Henry Holt. particularly sexist black men. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. author. and Mary Childers. 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. active and passive. to be capable of being both strong and weak. for boys to be active and girls to be passive. New York: Routledge. professor.wcdebate. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. 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). p. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. social critic. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. particularly sexist black men. p. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. professor. and all our efforts at self-determination. girls women. 1995.com . KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. however relative. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. author. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. 2. 1990. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. that they receive in the existing social structure. Feminist theory needs to study historically. social critic. 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. suspicious ways that we often view white women. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. And I would say vice versa as well. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. 3. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. I want to privilege political commitment because in this culture we do not emphasize enough that you can choose to be politically committed in ways that change your behavior and action. sociologically. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. Certainly.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. 69. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. p. 1995. 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. in response to specific contexts.75.
a potentially informing. Healthier. television and radio commercials. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. Buppiedom and Big Houses." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like." 2. Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting.wcdebate. 3/14/98. Yes. she has gone mainstream .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and Better Off Financially. I was surprised by what I read. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. p. "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. p. staff writer. like the older civil rights generation. 1/22/2001. 50. ads everywhere and billboards. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. I was initially excited by the cover story . Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. However. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. B1. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. ³For bell. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility.her passion lost. Posing as a "feminist author" Bell Hooks' interview with Jada Pinkett in the March issue of Essence magazine falls short of her used-to-be scathing critiques of dominant culture." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism.com .´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. Kelly. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. Maybe. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. love goes the way of BMW's. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. An unreconstructed black radical feminist.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. 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. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. empowering article for Black women. yet at one point." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. Like Jada. 53.
309-310. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. recently. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis. respectively. Spring 2001. 288-290. University of Pennsylvania.com . The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. patriarchy. heterosexism. like the intersectionality theorists.D. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. B. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. therefore. whose work examines the relationships among racism. B. class domination. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. for example. University of Pennsylvania.D. critical race theory. 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. Southern Methodist University School of Law. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Yale Law School. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. phenomena. Lesbian-feminist theorists. In particular. Multidimensionality. J.." 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. Spring 2001. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader. rather than conflicting.´ ³Multidimensionality. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. p. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. and heterosexism. patriarchy. and. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and poverty studies. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model.wcdebate. I have examined the relationships among racism. Lesbian feminists. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. Yale Law School. Assistant Professor. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. Assistant Professor.. J.A..´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. These scholars. In a series of articles.. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional. law and sexuality. Southern Methodist University School of Law. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. race-sexuality critics. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson..´ ³Multidimensionality.. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. p. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination.A. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. gays and lesbians of color.
an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. He believes that society has become far too complacent. INDIVIDUALS. For example. La Trobe University. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. Now.´ and democracy. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. As the President of the University noted. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. At age 30.wcdebate. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. they merely need different considerations. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. Even careful readers of his works will disagree.or ways of avoiding thinking -. New York University. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. 1946.about them. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. Instead. He has lectured at Radcliff. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. HEGEL in 1982. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. In 1998. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. sometimes quite vehemently. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor). and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. but that society has since realized its mistake. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. it was widely criticized as absurd. Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy.com . Monash University. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. 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 -. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. we classify members of other species as undeserving. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. Australia on July 6. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. MARX in 1980. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. While at Monash University.
differing intellectual abilities. Thus.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. moral capacity. a new criteria becomes necessary. then they cannot have interests. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. we will never give equal consideration. Furthermore.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. and a decision can cause that suffering. however. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. according to Singer. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. or other matters. Singer. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. Singer notes that. 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. We eat them. and the second is if they have interests. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food.com . do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. is sentience. That is. as noted above. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. then it is simple discrimination. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. If a creature cannot suffer. I shall argue. 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. 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. In his All Animals are Equal. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. His critics often ask.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. Fundamentally. however. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. 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. 6 This consideration is based on two things. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. creates divisions between humanity. wear them. rather. differing abilities to communicate effectively. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. like intelligence. Dogs. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. But if a creature can suffer. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. strength. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. Equality. and not merely an assertion of fact. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. is not descriptive of they way beings are. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects.wcdebate. and use them to do our labor. they come with differing moral capacities. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population.
too focused on people. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial.wcdebate. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. . He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. After all. who details that every living organism has a will to live. those with some forms of psychosis. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. those with significant mental retardation. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality. would be considered persons.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and fish. to plants. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity. 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. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons.com . many animals. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea. be right to kill him. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. an environmental ethic that is based on human needs does not often differ in policy recommendations from an environmental ethic based on the biosphere as its center. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. Since those persons depend on the environment. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. however. human embryos. like dogs and bears. However. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. 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.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. In PRACTICAL ETHICS." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. chickens. and more specifically. Again. Those who advocate this position. and that even plants are pursuing their own good.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. human fetuses. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. Singer writes. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. This would include brain-damaged people. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. Therefore. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. He also explains. . therefore. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. However.
´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. Any advocacy of valuing progress. or the distance between an individual and a famine. From a utilitarian perspective. This perception that philosophy is not just for the academically inclined and is not to be merely kept in books and the classroom helps to distinguish Singer from not only his contemporaries but philosophers throughout history. This 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. Singer claims that proximity. In Democracy and Disobedience. First. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. the painful ways in which they are killed. the absence of a benefit is not harm. etc. whether is causes more benefit than harm. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. engaging the argument still yields some debate. 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.wcdebate. Second. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. He says. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. even if it is a short one. an understanding of a position. 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. The question then becomes. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. it must cause suffering. The first is that it is revisionary. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy.M. especially citizens of a democracy. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. that is. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. Most importantly. growth. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. that is. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. The confinement that these animals endure. Here. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. However. facts matter. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals.com . the way we should strive to make things. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. The second is that in Singer¶s work. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. humanity. but to change it. is no justification for a lack of action. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. the disease and filthy living conditions. than no life at all. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. Hare takes the position that it is not. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. however. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference.
frontpagemag.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston.M. 1973. 7 Peter Singer. 9 Peter Singer. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. Peter Singer Gets a Chair.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. 1999. All Animals are Equal. 14 R. 8 Peter Singer. 1998 3 Peter Singer. Essays on Bioethics.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. Wesley J. or student. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. Wesley J. 10 Smith. 1993. ³It is the significant problem of equality. December 7. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement. 6 Peter Singer.princeton. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways.frontpagemag. Democracy and Disobedience. Hare. 4 Peter Singer. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. as an issue itself.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. 1993. medicine. 17 Peter Singer.wcdebate. 13 Holmes Rolston. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable.com/ 11 Smith. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. http://www. 15 Peter Singer.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. 1999. 5 Peter Singer. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. and academics. All Animals are Equal. 16 Dale Jamieson. http://www. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. in moral and political philosophy. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and use animals to further human aims. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science.edu/~uchv/index.com .
1993).. Peter. (Malden. (Oxford: Claredon Press. (New York: Review/Random House. 1975). IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. Singer. Jamieson. Dale. Peter. Singer. (Lanham. 1998). 1973). Peter. (New York: Longman.M. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002). Singer. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. (Belmont. (Oxford: Oxford University Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1994).com . Peter. R. Singer. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. ETHICS.wcdebate. Louis J. Singer. Hare. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Terrence and Richard Dagger. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. 1997). DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. Pojman. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1999). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1993). 2nd ed. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. PRACTICAL ETHICS. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. Peter.
p. or even a month.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. they necessarily have selves. The danger is that reason. This may seem like a major provision. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care.. or a week. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. or worse. however noble their object or intent. But suppose they were otherwise. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. may instead undermine them. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. In other words. 1999. Philosopher and Jurist. ch. than an infant of a day. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness.wcdebate. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place.. old. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way.by Frege¶s point. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.subjects of experience. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. Solomon. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. in other words. p. since animals have experiences. the villosity of the skin. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. XVII. 1999. rather. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. The basic biological sense we seek. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. Austin. Can they suffer? 2. McGinn.) So. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. instead of building on our natural impulses. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. or the termination of the os sacrum.69. as well a more conversable animal. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. 1789. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. there is the very real danger that. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. 152153.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. then we will not see why it is morally significant. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational.. called agape. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C. 3. the social sense as such. 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. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. 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.com . what would it avail? The question is not.
even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. 3. weeping. 1989. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last.73. Austin. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. p. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. 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. half an hour later. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. Cook County charged Mr.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. 1999. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. Linares with first-degree murder. it would. but the criminal case was over by May. Then Linares puts down the gun and. standing in a hospital ward. according to the total view. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The Chronicle of Higher Education. So. p. she doesn¶t calculate it. Solomon. They ³just know´ what to do. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here.com . September 6.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. Of course. 2. when a grand jury refused to indict him. 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. 1999. gives himself up. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. Critics often accuse Mr. too. be right to kill him. The New Yorker. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Linares cradles him in his arms until. 10 March 2000. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. In such cases. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others.wcdebate. Singer of being cold-hearted. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. writer.must not be so engineered. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. np. and Singer knows that. the child dies. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive." That was April 26. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. Therefore. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing.
However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. and not just ordinarily dishonest. too.if. 3. p.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. our breeding patterns. with its own standards of normality. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. 62ff. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. and yet not accept it at all.. 1999. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. therefore. 2. for instance. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. in an important sense. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. If we do not think in this way about dogs. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. just as it would be unfair. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. Solomon. one could argue. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. As intelligent and sensitive human beings.. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. our habits. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. are rational. 62ff. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. but as normal for the species. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. 69. above the food chain. part of culture rather than nature.. we can understand that. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. It too. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. to steal from a blind man. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. We. p. But compassion.com . and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog..wcdebate. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. too. involves a certain distance. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. and therefore claims. Austin. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. The characteristics. 1967. 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. p. that is. 1967. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. but because rationality is the human norm. We are. We are not merely at the top of the food chain.
1999. According to this principle. however. 75. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. seemingly hungry and crying. 1999. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation.´ Thus. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. However. that some people have a different skin color. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. are not 100% novel. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. is that Singer. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. Reason. a pet owner and so on.. 2. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. simply because they are men. p. Professor at Webster University. 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.. For example. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. In most cases. p. and it requires care and concern. p. np. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment.. and most people seem to. simply because they are humans. on the other hand. My argument.. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.com . is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. 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´). a zoo goer. are from a different country. Austin. They may not be dominant. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans.. The danger. Solomon. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. 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. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. 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. If we have a hard time grasping his view. in a sentence. As Singer discusses the principle. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. Let me begin with the easiest one. 3. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. my number three.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. Nonetheless. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. are of a different gender. 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. 134-135. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. At the same time. 1999.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. according to Singer. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion.According to Singer. and they might not be sentiments of equality.wcdebate. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS.
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