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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 email@example.com 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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............. 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ............ 120 THEDA SKOCPOL .......................................................... 130 bell hooks... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ....................................................................... JR....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ............................ 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ................................ 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................................................... 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE ............. 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS .....West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook............................................................................................... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ............................ 110 LANI GUINIER .............. 100 RALPH NADER ................................................................................................ 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY .... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN......... 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ........................................................... 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD .... 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY .... 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY.......................................................................................................... 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY... 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ................................... 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE . 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ........................................ 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED .........................................................................com ........................................................................................ 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD .........wcdebate................................................................................................................. 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST ........................................................................................................................................................... 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED ................................................................................................. 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..... 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................ 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN ......... 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE ....................... 91 JOSEPH NYE........................... 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ............................................................................................................... 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ... 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE ................................................................................ ............................................................................................................................................................................ 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www....... 139 PETER SINGER ..................................................................................................................................................................... 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG .................................... 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED ................................... 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY .........................................................................................................
Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. the avoidance of oppression. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. James Madison. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. Interestingly enough. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. including George Clinton. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. As a result. Indeed.S. Not easily categorizable. James Madison. even if just temporarily. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all.com . The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. in fact. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. anti-Federalist. is often placed into one or another ideological box. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. one of the youngest. like the other leading figures of his generation. No. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. showing his freedom from dogmatism. As a result. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels." The example to follow. he suggests in Federalist 38. His idea on the separation of church and state.wcdebate. and the structure of representative government remain influential. is often placed into one or another ideological box. Seriously. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. like the other leading figures of his generation.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780. president. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. who died in office in 1812. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. though. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. both of his vice presidents passed on in office.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Most importantly. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. though: Madison was the smallest U. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities.
Thus.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. the majority will look to the long-term. Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound.) 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. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. As a philosophically inclined individual. In organizing a republican democracy. 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. republican Constitution only by means of an aristocratic coup of sorts´ writes Rosen ± a charge that Madison¶s critics then and now would jump all over. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. (Sorry. People will vote to actualize their own wants.wcdebate." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. This does happen in politics all the time. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. What might that mean? Well. Hence. like John Ashcroft. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. Let¶s not belabor the point. the majority is inherently self-interested. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. As a skillful politician. but they aren¶t blind. ³Tyranny of the Majority. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. needs and desires.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority.com . after all. 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. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. and hence have the power to govern. especially if that mass had coincident interests. Either they will become the next majority. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group.
this is part of the logic of the federal system." The debate raged on." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. If power is temporary and fluid. published November 22. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton." Even Jefferson. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered.com . he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way." Madison wrote. In fact.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. written in June 1785. The struggle continues to this day. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. The document. 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. Madison reasoned. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. The church. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse.wcdebate. Speaking of potential for abuse. Again. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. Indeed. While his father was an Episcopalian. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Their charges have serious merit. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85. 1787. 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. 1787. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. 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. then the potential for abuse is minimized. Number 10. organic food labeling laws.
Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. in proportion to the number with which it is associated.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. . Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan.wcdebate. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. which fortify opinion. The reason of man. this consideration ought to be disregarded. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. And in every other nation. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. . and that bypassing that consent was unjust. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. which should be declared "void and of no force. in Madison¶s view. when left alone. 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. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. and acquires firmness and confidence. they are known to have a double effect. and its practical influence on his conduct. like man himself is timid and cautious. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. are antient as well as numerous. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. In a nation of philosophers. A reverence for the laws.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. . and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. which time bestows on everything. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. Madison reasoned. His final shot at Jefferson. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. the mass of American people. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. the powerful. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. and the summation of his argument. When the examples. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government.com . it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it.
and acquires firmness and confidence. and its practical influence on his conduct. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. A reverence for the laws. which fortify opinion. And in every other nation. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. . this consideration ought to be disregarded. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. . Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. they¶re worth checking out. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. they are known to have a double effect. the most based in a sense of ethics. like man himself is timid and cautious. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. when left alone.wcdebate. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. In a nation of philosophers. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. are antient as well as numerous. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. which time bestows on everything. and the most passionately argued.com . whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. The reason of man. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. .´ The youngest of the founding fathers.We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. When the examples.
org/dailys/11-15-00. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. March 16. N.. 10. Chomsky.html and http://www. Madison. Library of Congress.com/federalist10. Richard K. Meyers. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON. Beard. James Morton. November 15. 1981.wcdebate.html.html and http://www.html and http://www. November 22. 1780-l792: Ithaca. http://www..html. N. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Brant. 1995. 2000. 1787. http://www. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning.. June 1997.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. FEDERALIST PAPER No.loc. Kans. accessed April 22.loc. Va. Smith.html and http://www.Y. ed. Banning. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. 1995.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper.loc.html. University of Kentucky. ³James Madison: Federalist.. 2001. 1941-61.com. Rewards. http://www. 1997). 2001. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://federalistpapers. Lancej. Rosen. March 16.loc. ed.loc.cato. Samples. David. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. Mattern.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE.com . Irving.html. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. Noam. Gary. 1776-1826: New York. Z MAGAZINE. Hanover." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. 1912.loc.loc. John.. Hutson. under the name Publius. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. James..gov/loc/madison/symposium. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers.html. 2001. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON. http://www. Matthews. March 16. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Lance. Marvin.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Charles historian. James. 2002.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. 1995.H.
this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. accessed April 22.com/federalist10. November 22. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. cannot certainly be too much admired.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. As Madison knew. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. 1787. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. particularly. Clinton more credit than that. 10. accessed April 22. I give Ms. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. p. on a candid review of our situation. np.cato. and. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. and alarm for private rights. By a faction. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. therefore. np. However the election turns out. The instability. at the same time. provides a proper cure for it. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. but it will be found. 2000. 2000. http://www. indeed. http://www. 3. He will not fail. and confusion introduced into the public councils. James Madison. equally the friends of public and private faith. These must be chiefly. that our governments are too unstable. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. or of interest. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. injustice. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. to set a due value on any plan which. Washington's newest celebrity. the evidence. 2002. 2002. Some will say Ms. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. and of public and personal liberty. is the latest convert to this cause. Hillary Rodham Clinton. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison.html. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion.cato. p. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. adversed to the rights of other citizens. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. 2002. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. Sen. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. as was wished and expected. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. http://federalistpapers. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. both ancient and modern.wcdebate. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. without violating the principles to which he is attached. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. if not wholly. It will be found. accessed April 22. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. November 15. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. I understand a number of citizens. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality.org/dailys/11-15-00. 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). November 15.html. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. in truth. have.org/dailys/11-15-00.html. and that measures are too often decided. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. 2. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. FEDERALIST PAPER No.
director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. http://www. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. accessed April 22. November 22. 10. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. accessed April 22. http://federalistpapers.com .org/dailys/11-15-00. FEDERALIST PAPER No. FEDERALIST PAPER No. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. November 15. p. in almost every case. it clearly appears. accessed April 22. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. at the same time. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. http://federalistpapers. 2002.com/federalist10. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. http://federalistpapers. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1787. 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. Does it. A common passion or interest will. who assemble and administer the government in person. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. FEDERALIST PAPER No. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. -. who have patronized this species of government. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. 10. Theoretic politicians. Hence. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. in controlling the effects of faction. in fine. and render them all subservient to the public good. p. p. np. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. and their passions. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. 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. 2002. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power. accessed April 22. The inference to which we are brought is.html. therefore. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. Nor. their opinions.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it.html. again. 2002. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed.html. November 22. 1787. 1787. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. 2002. increase this security.com/federalist10. 3. np.cato. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property." 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. 2000. November 22. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. 10. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. in many cases.com/federalist10. np. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. p. 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. be felt by a majority of the whole. they would. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. 4.wcdebate. np.html. If we abolish the Electoral College. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison.
. but without any other sort of property. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. According to the equal laws of suffrage. under the influence of their common situation. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country.If property. p. he added.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. having such coexistent passion or interest. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. but second. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government. 1912. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. and in his opinion. Wilson. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression".in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. -. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. changeableness. hence. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. 2. p. 1912... not only first. In the tenth number of The Federalist. "the majority. 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. nevertheless. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." and Mr.aristocracy." 3. These will either combine. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. 31. 31. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. what is more probable. An accurate view of the matter." 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.. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses.com . in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a great majority of the people will not only be without land. then was the main object of government. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. who urged that "the government ought to possess." Mr. historian. from which the rights of property originated. to give notice of the future danger. historian. the power will slide into the hands of the former. historian. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property. Governor Morris. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard.or. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. 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. p.wcdebate. in which case there will be equal danger on another side. the mind or sense of the people at large. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." And again. 31. it was the great merit of the newly framed Constitution that it secured the rights of the minority against "the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. 1912. -. 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. in a certain quarter. he contended. Mr. the force. would prove that property was the main object of society. 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." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. Madison urged: "In future times.
and the constitutional system generally. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. whose views largely prevailed. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. In the debates on the Constitution.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. June 1997. the native population driven out or exterminated.'' To achieve this goal. 3.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. typically material property. Z MAGAZINE. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. Among Madisonian scholars. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State).'' giving land to the landless. When the facts are stated clearly.com . 8. It is the responsibility of government. 8. One may argue. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. estate. and anti-capitalist in spirit. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. as some historians do.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. association. well born. June 1997. partnership. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice.wcdebate. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. In a current official document. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. he urged.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. But the growth of the industrial economy. Whatever one's assessment of those years. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker.pre-capitalist. Madison pointed out that in England. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. his biographer observes.'' he meant humans. branch. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise.'' which are property rights. June 1997. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. Furthermore. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. led to a completely new meaning of the term. Madison declared. or any government entity. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. p. Z MAGAZINE. 8. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. In both principle and practice. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. James Madison.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented. trust. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. But the formulation is misleading. or prominent from exercising political power. Property has no rights. 2. p. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. An agrarian law would soon take place. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Z MAGAZINE. associated group.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky.
an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. Either way.an aristocratic. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. making it available to the general public. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public.wcdebate. centralized union that would be a representative republic. he also offered a life of tragedy. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. was vocally against states¶ rights. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. After Adams was elected President. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. rebuke and scandal. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War.com . an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. as an aristocrat. In those papers. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Either that. then his ideas. coercive. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. Much of this is forgotten today. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. After Washington died. 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. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. and generally made himself a pain.
"implied powers. In fact. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. it could be interpreted under on of the more broad clauses of the constitution ± such as the clause that says it¶s the job of the national government to ³promote the general welfare. Hamilton 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." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. shortened to Republican. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. As early as 1776. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. every particular power necessary for doing it is included. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. 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.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do. wherever a general power to do a thing is given." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. 44) that "wherever the end is required. the means are authorized. Even then-President George Washington. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. the legacy of Britain. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. he claims. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite." and the "general welfare. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank." Ironically. impressive or important. Jefferson. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society. or not immoral. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced.´ as is often claimed. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. Today. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution.com . Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. (no. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind.
which the urban elite would benefit)." This shows his opinion of the average American. I know he was smart." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. without any counterbalancing good. administering no relief to our real disease. the poison of which. he pardoned all of those convicted. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. by a subdivision. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. and as novel as it is extraordinary. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. will only be more concentrated in each part.well. as should be clear. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics." Again. and everyone else knew it too. here¶s a translation: yeah. then his closest aide. Allegedly." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. scandalous and malicious writing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. and many other things. His morals -. More on that in our final section. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora. my friends and I are rich. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. his customary colleague." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. which is democracy." he said. more centralized government. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. Benjamin Franklin Bache. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton.wcdebate. (When Jefferson was elected. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. so get over it. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. punishable by fine and imprisonment. "Men. 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. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times.com . Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. and consequently the more virulent.
al. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming.James Monroe. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. the public could be kept in the dark no longer. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. ³Mr. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. . A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail . As I hope this essay makes clear. Three congressmen -. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations. until July 1797. Abraham Venable. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. It wasn¶t even the juiciest.. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . James Reynolds.. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. a shady character currently in jail. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. 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).money. it was on.but he said it was his own money. too. but a BRIBE. ." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. natural politicians. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. written directly before the duel with Burr. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. Monroe et. he did not intend to fire at Burr. went to Hamilton's office to confront him. and by the press). both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. . Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. not the government's. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Reynolds had evidence. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. greedy. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. And. That money had changed hands. It gets better. That¶s when it got weird. At that point. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. Hamilton¶s note to his wife.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and agreed to keep it quiet. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in.´ Amazingly.com . Some Hamilton apologists insist that. in Sports Center parlance. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview.wcdebate. motivated. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. That happened in 1792. They apparently did. But it was not possible. Maria.
Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. Noam. New York and London: Columbia University Press. Brookhiser. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. accessed May 1. ed.. Loyola University. Jacob E. senior editor. accessed April 29. ed. AMERICAN. January 1995. 1970. New York: Harper & Brothers. 2002. 1994 http://www.htm. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. Gerald. Chicago. Noam. 1999. Stanford: Stanford University Press. historian. 1982. 1985. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1964.2002. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. http://odur. 1959. Miller. Mellon Lecture. Jacob E. Chomsky. 1991.wcdebate. Harold C. Lisa Marie. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. New York: The Free Press. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. Charles Scribner's Sons. 13. New York.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. p. Morton J.com ..rug. ed. 1961--79. University of Groningen. Cooke. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Frisch. de Carolis.zmag. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Cooke. Z MAGAZINE. Stourzh.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. 1997. 1912. 1993. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. Frisch.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. Elkins.html. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. John C. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. Syrett. Chomsky. Richard. Department of Alfa-informatica.let. October 19. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Morton J. Charles. New York: Harper & Row. NATIONAL REVIEW.
extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton.com/federalist6. For the Independent Journal. This.html. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. 2002.html. November 14.com/federalist6. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. 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. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property. November 14. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. November 15. in the event of disunion. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1.wcdebate. would revive this dispute. that vicinity or nearness of situation. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. 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. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute.com/federalist7. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. 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. accessed May 2. np. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages.html. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. accessed May 2. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. or only united in partial confederacies. This has been so far accomplished as. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. np. http://federalistpapers. 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. 1787. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. accessed May 2. np. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. 2. 2002. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. p. if these States should either be wholly disunited. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. constitutes nations natural enemies. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. 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. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html. either by actual possession. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole." 4. would be to forget that men are ambitious. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. under a continuation of the Union. p. it has been said. p. November 14. and rapacious. For the Independent Journal. accessed May 2. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. http://federalistpapers. 2002. and would create others on the same subject. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence.com/federalist6. This cause would exist among us in full force. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. http://federalistpapers. http://federalistpapers. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. 1787. 2002. For the Independent Journal. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. For the Independent Journal. however. 1787. 1787. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. vindictive.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3.
2002.. accessed May 1. The "authors of that notable instrument.2002. University of Groningen. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. moral developments. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run.. as usual. in the Directors of a Bank. as it were." 2. abilities which were by nature unequal. steady." Independent Institute Website. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and the pursuit of happiness. in their understanding. magnetic sense. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. accessed May 1. 1997.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. regulate banking practices around the country. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises.. Hamilton was. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. Department of Politics.. opposed to the principle of equality. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. 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). provide capital for investments and industry.htm. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. Private ownership. the prosperity of the institution .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. http://odur.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. 1997.¶ This they said and this meant.wcdebate. was limiting and limited. np. provide a uniform currency. 3. pointing invariably to its true pole.rug." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. Department of Alfa-informatica. whereas paper wealth was fluid. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture.rug. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan.intellect. liberty. http://odur. . and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. represented by the Virginia opposition.com . and loan the government money in times of emergency. p. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. among which are life. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. . Hamilton reasoned. as proprietors. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition.did not mean to say all were equal in. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. and. or social capacity. although not necessarily equitable. University of Groningen.let. Industry would diversify labor. simply drawing on realities that he felt. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. of their own interest. 1997. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential.let. http://www. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. University of Dallas. Department of Alfa-informatica. He explained: "The keen. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal." Moreover. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors.independent.html. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. accessed May 1. Landed wealth.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham.htm. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis.2002. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank.
The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. Indeed." and he confessed that while he was still republican. historian. being independence. in passing. perhaps rightly. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. Randolph. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Gerry." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. p. of course.the main concern. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. in which privilege is enhanced by state power and the general population lack rights apart from what they can salvage on a (highly flexible) labor market.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. sometimes quite literally. We may recall. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. as it was called. in tracing these evils to their origin. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.com . but it is being caged. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. They feel. p. Robert Lansing. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. Hamilton. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. Z MAGAZINE.html." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. Chicago. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. October 19. In the mind of Mr. 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. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 13. 13. p.zmag. 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. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. That's Hamilton. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard. np. Loyola University. 1912. Madison. in advocating a life term for Senators. 1994. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky.wcdebate. http://www. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. an important victory. Z MAGAZINE. p. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. speaking for a host of others). accessed April 29. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." or even influential. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. but now perceive that they can do better. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. 2. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. January 1995. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. 2002. 3." Mr." Mr. January 1995. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. preserved to posterity by Mr. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. whatever cast it takes. that. Mellon Lecture. The beast may not yet be tamed. 31. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened." 4.
Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. historian. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. http://odur. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. he added. In the tenth number of The Federalist. Hamilton pointed out.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure.. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. and in his opinion. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. 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. Securities. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". having such coexistent passion or interest." Landed wealth. Hume contended. hence. However. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest.wcdebate. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. In order to stimulate the economy. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. and a more diverse economy. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. Hume observed. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. np. 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. University of Groningen. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. p. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. Department of Alfa-informatica. p. Mr.rug. Department of Alfa-informatica.." 3. "the majority. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. from which the rights of property originated. np. The House of Representatives. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. 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. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. 2002." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.rug. 1997. accessed May 1. 31. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government.com . with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. 1997.htm.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1912.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.let. Mr. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. Hamilton needed big investors. Nevertheless. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. he contended. indebts the nation to foreign powers. . University of Groningen. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.let. 2. 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.htm. http://odur. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. p. accessed May 1. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. 2002. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government.
Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. supported a more direct democracy. However. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take. James Madison. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. 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. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. therefore. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. These papers. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. who did which paper (Hamilton. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. written by Alexander Hamilton. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. Jay. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. or Madison) is well documented. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. many called for some kind of reform. 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. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. 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. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). 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.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. Secondly.wcdebate. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. regulate commerce. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. First. some of the major figures behind the movement. Moreover. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. Anti-federalists. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. support for it was by no means unanimous.com . 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. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale.
Today what we have is a republic. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. Richard Henry Lee. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. Direct democracy of that sort is appealing to Anti-Federalists because it makes up for the myriad of shortcomings in the current system of ³representation´. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. While of course they all had minor differences. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. cultures. that the government has. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. 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. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. the problem of majority tyranny arises. Samuel Bryan. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. and so on. while they share some of the same beliefs.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. 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. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. One such person is Patrick Henry. while he never supported the Constitution. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. 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. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. Clinton despised Madison. and only samples a small part of the population. For one. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. Clinton acquiesced.´ ³Old Whig. or amount of control. 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. Even were polling perfectly accurate. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. There would be no way for common individuals to stroll onto the floor of Capitol Hill any time they wished and have a real voice in crafting national legislation. ideas. No.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. and others. Robert Yates. This is democracy at its most tenuous. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible.com . making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop.
wcdebate. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. say. which encompasses crafts. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. 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. the arts. be achieved. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. But even if all of the things above were not true. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. and without a strong federal ability to tax. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. Indeed. The ancient Greeks despised labor. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. 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. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. 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. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. 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. this is often not the case. The next highest is work. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. find that situation lacking. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. The reason for this is because. 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. such as food and shelter. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). 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.com . some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. Therefore. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. The lowest is that of labor. Once all private demands are met. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. Arendt. an important political theorist from this century. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. on the other hand. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. In other words. Even if every state kept standing militias.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. and therefore be happy and free. 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. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. 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. Finally. AntiFederalists. interestingly enough. How can a rich white Senator born into privilege know how difficult it is to be poor? It becomes difficult for any interest aside from the elite¶s to be advanced in government. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. and similar pursuits. In fact. but it is often still private in nature. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. 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. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to.
wcdebate. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. 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. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. 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. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. and the government. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. In addition to security. hope is not lost yet. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. rights. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. One of the revolutions in the past hundred years has been the increasing role of the federal government as the protector of individual rights from state discrimination. Environmental 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. Given how complex the economic system is today.com . This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. such as funding of the sciences and arts. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. 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. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. issuing bonds. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. 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. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. As for internal problems. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. Having a national bank system. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. With regard to the security issue. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. internal commerce. but it is a huge issue now. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. and so forth. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. 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. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South.
Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. Moreover. 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. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. such as greater states rights in a particular area. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. local. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. as Hannah Arendt suspects.com . The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. 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. Money alone cannot produce happiness. as a political theory taken in general. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. Participation in a public democracy. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. has many potential benefits and downfalls. federal governments. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. 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. 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. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. and therefore in direct democracy. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature.wcdebate. Instead.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. 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.
AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. Bruce. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. ARTICLES. 1993. Herbert. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. 1995.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . Richard. University of Chicago Press. Penguin. 1958. Storing. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 1997. and Storing. Herbert. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. Dolbeare. Walter. FROM MANY. University of Chicago Press. Murray. inc. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Wood. 1992.wcdebate. Ralph. Alfred Knopf. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. John Wiley & Sons. Bernard. Ketcham. Bailyn. Harvard University Press. Northern Illinois University Press. Kenneth. Robert. Library of America. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. Sinopoli. Simon & Schuster. Dry. 1987. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. 1969. Berns. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. University of Chicago Press. 1981. Duncan. Hannah. THE HUMAN CONDITION. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Hoffer. 1992. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. University of Colorado Press. Arendt. Georgetown Press. Christopher. Gordon. 1986. 1981. 1992.
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 the consequence was. ultimately disempowering. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. 37. a legislature. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. of consequence. This will retard the operations of government. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. 170-171. 1997. Anti-Federalist Writer. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. in many respects. it is true. abuses are of less extent. 2. it is subordinate to exceptions. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. diverse.´ 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. p. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. turbulent. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. better understood. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 1995. of consequence. any thing like the extent of the United States. the manners. extended their conquests over large territories of country. and their interests. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. he has interest of his own. and in some opposite. formed of representatives from the respective parts. In a small one. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. and. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. that it will ultimately. 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. 3. great and glorious. and interests of the people should be similar. 38. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. in process of time. cowardly. very diverse. and of course are less protected. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views. and without virtue there can be no happiness. The United States includes a variety of climates.com . THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT.wcdebate. FROM MANY. by oppressing his fellow citizens. Anti-Federalist Writer. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. and more within the reach of every citizen. The laws and customs of the several states are.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. and consequently of less moderation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. p. The Grecian republics were of small extent. in the words of Hannah Arendt. the interest of the public is easier perceived. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. FROM MANY. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. p. as would constantly be contending with each other. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. are in general lazy. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 1997. sentiments. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. Professor of Political Science. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. In a large republic. the people. be the climate what it may be. so also was that of the Romans. there can be no virtue. Both of these. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. If this be not the case. In a republic. and depends on accidents.
THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. the great Montesquieu again observes. consists in security. and to work together. p. Professor of Political Science. which produces this security. This moderation in governments. 1997. p. and the complication of interests. 2. Locke remarks. FROM MANY. Anti-Federalist Writer. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. Mr. whose ambition for power. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. or the opinion. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. Spring. 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. useful or not. or at least in the opinion we have of security. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). and observe.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. into the hands of individuals. and aggrandizement. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. 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 -. 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. Furthermore. rather. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. 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. will oppress and grind you²where. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. depends in a great measure on their limits. is a government derived from neither nature. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. p. where the mildness of the laws. In other words. Political liberty. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. other than those basic natural laws (but these. 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. what can you promise yourselves. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. 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. too. connected with their political distribution. Associate Professor of Law. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. and too mysterious for you to understand. beget a confidence in the people. on the score of consolidation of the United States. 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. nor compact. If that latter clause is read correctly. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 2000. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters.wcdebate. the latter. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. either limited or despotic. from the vast extent of your territory. is best obtained in moderate governments. 37-8. 42. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. 1995. and the equality of the manners. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. 78. and this security therefore. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations." Thus. From this picture.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. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. or the opinion.com . ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato.
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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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and perfection was unattainable. 1882. But he remained. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. people and history existed. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. Today. To understand transcendentalism." Things changed. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding." where matter. in doing so. values. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. must be a nonconformist. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. But humans could never really reach such a world. And his marriage of philosophy. 2000. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY.wcdebate.. and have great potential for debates over morality. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. removed from day-to-day history. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. at least in principle. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. immaterial. However. he was even more a mystic than Plato. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. p. living entities died. in contrast.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. certain major themes stand out in his writings. Plato. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. and incorruptible.To be great is to be misunderstood. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy)." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency.. This mystical trust in human transcendence led many of Emerson¶s contemporaries to view him less as a philosopher than a divine seer of sorts. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being.. however. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. unchanging." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. academic science of modernist philosophy. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. 669). Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. Brown. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. while the realm of "becoming. In this sense. he had his house burn down.. they could only contemplate it. a child. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. Emerson. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine.com . 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. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. optimistic about humanity. and politics. he lost a spouse. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. two brothers. and lived through the Civil War. Spring.
After all. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. comprehensive understanding. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. in this respect. unlike Plato. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you.´ 2. In other words. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. "Intellect"). Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. history. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. whilst you rise from your bed.edu/entries/emerson/). I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more. Emerson really means to "accept. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. Transcendentalism." as he puts it. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. politics and the like. the past is always swallowed and forgotten. as the basis of genuine knowledge.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. 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. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. Like Hegel. to being a pantheist. at the end of "Circles. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. 3. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought.com .stanford. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. on the other hand. based more on feeling than analysis.´ Like the German and British Romantics. viewpoints. That is why. which he saw as our connection to the divine." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). or doctrines. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. He was very close. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western." But the idea that we are all joined by one common soul has immediate and important political implications that give a strong metaphysical basis to the American political ideal of equality. with your best deliberation and heed.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding. You cannot. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. being and becoming. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. because. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. as we shall see. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good.wcdebate. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. As mentioned. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false." including emotions such as love. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. as its name implies. Although. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. Plato rejected human matters. Emerson. higher understanding. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher.
This. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. Because of this.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). 2000.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. democracy. p. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. of course. he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. and the power of individual action. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. Those arguing against Emerson can gain a great deal of ground by citing the numerous instances where his thoughts lead to mystical pronouncements instead of solid and warranted conclusions. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. George Santayana among them. the necessity of self-reliance. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson.wcdebate. First. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. 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." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. Spring. Implications for Debate First." Like friendship and reading. through Nature. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. Some critics. they will perform virtuously. morality is more important than obeying the law. or other distinct groups. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. In ³The American Scholar´ he argues that institutions and books do not reveal truth as well as can be revealed through our personal relationships with the divine² mediated. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. In this way. 669). This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. Second. Brown.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. however imperfect. presumably. This is true of every human being. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. and for thoughts. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. 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).' ´ (Thomas J. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. "the otherest.com . In his essay ³Self-Reliance. 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. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human.
In this way.W.F.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Transcendentalist ethics. his optimism about humanity and democracy. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. As noted above. Third. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness.wcdebate. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. However. For example. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. Emerson¶s eloquence. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. on the other hand. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism).com .
EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. Sealts Jr. Stephen E. 1982). Mead. WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. 1947) Emerson. 1968). Ralph Waldo. and Whicher. Len and Myerson. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. Milton R. ADDRESSES (New York: W. Smith.. Ralph Waldo. Ralph Waldo. Alfred R. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1969). AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. eds. eds. 1941). Huggard. Konvitz. Emerson. ed. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. 1954). Gordon Sherman. 1900).Y. 1878).: Kennikat Press. Ralph Waldo. 1966). THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. ed. 1978). THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. David. NAPOLEAN. Emerson. Joel. POEMS. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. J. Emerson. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. and Ferguson. 1866). Merton M. Joel. Haight. Ralph Waldo. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen.. eds.wcdebate. Ticknor and Fields. 1978). Emerson. Gougeon. Ralph Waldo. Gay Wilson. Arthur Cushman Jr.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Emerson. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT.. 1995). INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover.H. ed. William Allen.com . OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. N. Susan Sutton. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. GROWTH. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. Mifflin. Black. POWER. MEANING (New York: Dodd. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press..: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. Robinson. N. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1981). Ralph Waldo. A YANKEE IN CANADA. McGiffert. Osgood and Company. 1903). 1938). FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Porte. 1959). Emerson. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN.
is that which is found in combination with the human will. The presence of a higher. and the frame will suit the picture. p. In private places. 2000. 1986. 1986. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. he may creep into a corner. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and the day. God is the all-fair.--the persons. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. Phocion. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. Every heroic act is also decent. p. 12.com . VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. 15. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. and goodness. Truth. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. 2. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1986. 13. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. American transcendentalist philosopher. p. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness.wcdebate. as most men do. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. 15. the sun as its candle. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. if he will. the opinions. and nature became ancillary to a man. 2. among sordid objects. Pindar. Homer. American transcendentalist philosopher. every departure from his own convictions. and abdicate his kingdom. p. is one expression for the universe. namely. American transcendentalist philosopher. that every false word he has uttered. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. 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. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. He may divest himself of it. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. Every natural action is graceful. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is his. that it to say. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. American transcendentalist philosopher. are but different faces of the same All. in its largest and profoundest sense. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. Beauty. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. and beauty. This element I call an ultimate end. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. Socrates.
interact. covers. and that an immoral statute is void. 2000. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. and in the game of human life. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. American transcendentalist philosopher. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. They will not be written out on paper. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. It is therefore a principle of law. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. that an immoral contract is void. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. principles that astonish. for. p. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. fear. man.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. They elude our persevering thought. if judges only quote authorities. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. 362. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. and God. in each other¶s actions. motion. as laws do not make right. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. American transcendentalist philosopher. 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. I question the value of our civilization. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. 73. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. under what seem foolish details. 2. For virtue is the very self of every man. or spoken by the tongue. and not subject to circumstance. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. American transcendentalist philosopher. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. muscular force. 1986.com . I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. 361. in our own remorse. p. 72-73. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. 2000. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. justice. love. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. They are out of time. at every hazard. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. The sense of injustice is blunted. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms.wcdebate. p. out of space. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. appetite. pp. 1986. American transcendentalist philosopher. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. gravity. These laws execute themselves.
he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. In these essays and elsewhere. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. pp. not to block improvement. 68. 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. in its room. 68-69.wcdebate. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. ³marry Right to Might. p.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. in doing so. combination. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. p. 3. 1999. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. and to conspire with the new works of new days.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. 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. information (and) science.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. and sit till we are stone.´ he announces. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron.´ 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. 1999. philosopher. ³Life is a search after power.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy.´ 2. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. 90. ³Power´ and ³Wealth. 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´.com . EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis.´ 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. 1962.
its rewards and consolations. for God. however. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. 32-33.´ he recalled. p. as Matthiessen notes. the base. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. or Beauty? He could not. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. Benefit.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. Empty. an island above the extremes of common human experience. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. as he thinks. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. must share this reproach.´ He continued. the imagination and all its works²art. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. 2. ³Emerson¶s personal history. so constantly on his lips. 35. For James. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. p. Far from it. 1962. philosopher. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. almost exclusively in the moral world. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich.´ 3.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him.com . the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. in his 1888 essay. 1962. as we have said. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. panting for sensations. 32. EMERSON AND POWER. the whole ³Concord school´ had. Professor of English at Michigan State University. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. Boston existed serenely. philosopher. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil.´ ³We get the impression. 31.´ It was no surprise. and as the absolute. Nature. 1996. the foul. As far as James was concerned. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience.´ James concludes.wcdebate. is not representable by any specific faculty.´ 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. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. ³like a ministry without an opposition. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. 4. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. dogma. 1996. Mysticism. EMERSON AND POWER. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). As every new category. then. Law. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez.´ sealed off. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. p. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. Professor of English at Michigan State University. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge. God. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. by its very definition. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing.
If. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. 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.wcdebate. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. and grow accordingly. Two years later. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. For Dewey. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. politics and education. 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. and taught high school for three years. Vermont. From a very early age. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. he received his PhD. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. 1859. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. Maryland. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. the son of a grocer. at the age of twenty. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. Not surprisingly. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available.com . and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. By now. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. Dewey would come to reject the small town provincialism of Burlington in favor of the changing and growing national community that characterized the second half of the 19th century. as some critics have charged. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. In the fall of 1882. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. He graduated in 1879. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. At the same time. In 1894. on October 20. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. in philosophy. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing.
wcdebate. ethics. politics." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. but rather in reference to what "works. as part of nature. Like existentialists. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty. John Dewey died on June 1. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. Humans may. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child.augie.fred. and despite this impact. In 1904. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. Humans.html). and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience).shtml). He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines. Similarly.com . Dewey sees humans as part of nature. This explains why. or appeals to the truth of scripture. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. impartial. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws." in theory or practice. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. and sees nature as constantly changing.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. removed from everyday experience. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. 1952. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. (http://inst. and these experiments. I might be a socialist. 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). both as a race and as individuals. This will become important later. I might be a liberal.net/tzaka/deweynew. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. few philosophers are more misunderstood. and education. also have a history of change. through experience and reflection (in fact. However. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. Ziniewicz." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. and concerned with social justice. www. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. But unlike existentialists. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. To them. concerning the philosophy of religion.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. although Dewey was no socialist. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. genuine experience. 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. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. and least known. he was viewed by leftists as fair. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects.
´ In sum. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. propose and oppose. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. which we'll examine in the next section.com/entry/551811) Finally. It includes long-term. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. Dewey insisted. test. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. When my experience no longer verifies it. (http://www. I could never consider it "true.com . At least. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. and includes reflection as well as interaction. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). Finally. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. Second. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. where we learn from and with other people. Thus. In summary. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. emotional. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. to the maximum benefit of all participants. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. I fail. as already stated. They experiment.but in all cases there is a social context. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. My assignment is poorly written. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things.xrefer. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. At that point. I am part of the world).wcdebate. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. Moreover. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. or religious experience. the example shows that theories and ideas change. (Ziniewicz. pragmatically speaking. For Dewey. and so on. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. because my teachers warn me about it. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . First. experience can be active or passive. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action." In fact. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. It may even include mystical. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. however. as a result of collective experience. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. I reconsider the original idea. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. Rather. Dewey supports community ideals because.
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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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´ are not a hindrance to freedom. 3. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action.com . just as the art of painting requires paint. the possible self does not represent a remote. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. 1991.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. In its reality. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. and resolute. p. political and moral matters is a gift of God. For these take effect in making preference. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. Thinking. 2. 1968. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. 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. between the natural self and the ideal self. however. 298. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. 296. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. 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. brushes. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. p. It requires favorable objective conditions. the explicit thing. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. That is the basis of responsibility. 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. LECTURES ON ETHICS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. because open and moving toward a new future. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. American pragmatist philosopher. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. American pragmatist philosopher. 1968. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. It is complete only in its possibilities. No more than any other art is it developed internally. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. desire and purpose more flexible. alert. Carry that identity farther. 89. and canvas. and you have freedom. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. p. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. but power of vision and reflection. In obligation. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. In other words. like mathematics.wcdebate. American pragmatist philosopher. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given.
com . the true kind. that is. emerged. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. 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. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. p. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. For ordinary purposes. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. rights and demands are products of interactions. like all others. 2. But like all other possibilities. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. 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. 1968. whether moral or psychological. pp. is not good reality. American pragmatist philosopher. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. 139. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. It lacks the hallmark of value. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. Since actual.wcdebate. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. Pragmatically. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. 1968. 1968. in command of capital. 281. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. p. American pragmatist philosopher. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. while it is. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. that is for practical purposes. morally they alone are ³real. one absolute and static because exhausted. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. and freedom of contract. use of coal and steam. existentially speaking. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. effective. as facts have demonstrated. much less a deviation or excrescence. this possibility has to be actualized. American pragmatist philosopher. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey.´ 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. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. it is this kind. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. American pragmatist philosopher. and. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. which we want or are after. 48-49. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. It is one with our individuality. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought.´ 2. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. pp. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. perfectly real. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. 297-98. 1968. teleologically. in the problem of personal freedom.
p. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. should have done no less. as it usually does. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. 1975. an authority on some aspect of the culture. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to have interpreted their meaning. If ³democracy´ is to include. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. Instead of playing a directing role. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. 115.S. 2.wcdebate. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. 114. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. 2. 1975. Dewey was impressed. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. 1977. 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. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. p. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. as I have reiterated. and he or she is meant to be. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. Peters.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. 1977.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. at least in broad outline. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events.S. 256. for it combined a conception of the child.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. 251. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R. Marxist philosopher and activist. to some extent. 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. In a game most of the participants know how to play. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. p. However. which claims to be so realistic and practical. as by Dewey. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. Marxist philosopher and activist.com . to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. p. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. is also unsatisfactory. Peters. like a football captain. Dewey¶s view of the teacher. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication.
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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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skeptical of the League of Nations. 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. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. There. therefore. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. What we demand in this war. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. wishes to live its own life. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. Still. In fact. A free. Open covenants of peace.´ That doesn¶t mean. V. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. alike in peace and in war. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. determine its own institutions. ³I. outside territorial waters.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. however. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. III. openly arrived at. II. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. 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. open-minded. an international regime managing trade. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in.wcdebate. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. IV. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.´ Wilson said.com . after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. However. like our own.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. 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. The removal. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. so far as possible. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. 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.
Overseas. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. etc. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. then. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy.com . It is better. and established the progressive income tax. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. and work together toward common goals. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. they would argue. in my estimation.´ which mean different things to different people. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. 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.´ As we¶ve talked about. including evacuation of conquered lands. -.N. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. the establishment of an independent Polish state. both in domestic and foreign policy. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. One scholar on inter-American affairs. for example). this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. 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. Abraham F. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. Take the example of Latin America. is Wilson¶s legacy. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. It is possible. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. they argue. But that¶s another story.wcdebate. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. The right has a somewhat different slant. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis.) From another right-wing perspective. A more concrete term we can grab onto might be ³liberalism´: the belief that government economic or social interventions are necessary to build a just world. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. solve disputes. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. and even if we can. Lowenthal.
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. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics. where he died in 1924. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq.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. Wilson retired to Washington. Harding in 1920. Foreign policy: Wilson. either). For these reasons. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. After this effort. was interventionist by nature. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. James M..com . He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency.000 miles by rail around the country.C. Overseas. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. he fell ill and never fully recovered. D. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as Wilsonian in nature -. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad. for example.
AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION. Ambrosius. 2002. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. Vol.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. accessed April 22. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1995 Kuehl. No. accessed May 1. Arthur.com .wcdebate. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. 1920-1939. Arthur. Princeton University Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Warren and Lynne Dunn.html. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. Z MAGAZINE. Rhodes University. 1965 Link. Norman Gordon. p. Daniels. Greenwood Publishing Group. November 1994. Korwa G. 2002. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Kent State University Press. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. 2. 2000. 1998 Chomsky. Thomas. Viking Press. Oxford University Press. 2001. 1971.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2002. Herbert. Josephus. Princeton University Press. John Morton. University of California Press.africa. May 7. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. 1991 Zinn.htm. 1998. 1986 Knock. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University.zmag.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 1913-1921. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. Blum. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. 10. Political Studies Department. South Africa. 1997 Levin. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER.htm.pbs. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Lloyd. Howard. Princeton University Press. 2000.ufl. Louis. available online at http://www. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. University of Arizona Press. http://web. Auchincloss. 1980 Link. Noam. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. 2. PBS documentary. THE NEW FREEDOM. accessed April 22. Cambridge University Press. Mark. Gilderhus. 1956 Rowen. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. http://www. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY.
Indeed. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. available online at http://www.html. South Africa. Adar. Wilson matters as the first modern president. Historian.html. 3. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. available online at http://www.htm. as well as presidential ambition. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s.. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. PBS documentary. 2001.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2002. After his visit to Africa. 2001. accessed May 1. Political Studies Department. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. http://web. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. Vol.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2001. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. PBS documentary. Historian. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development. accessed April 22.pbs. 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. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. PBS documentary. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. available online at http://www. p. 2. Historian.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.pbs. 2002. 4. No. The direct election of United States senators. np..wcdebate. p. BUT THE COLD WAR. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. np. p.com .africa.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. 2002. 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. accessed May 1. 2. 1998. Rhodes University. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.html. However. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes. prohibition. 2002. Mulder. and women¶s suffrage. accessed May 1.pbs. np. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. np. p.ufl.
WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. 1998. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general.html. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Wilsonianism had a global impact. he argued. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson.htm. 2. 2001. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. Social and Cultural Rights. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. accessed April 22. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. Thus. 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.africa. Rhodes University.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Historian. PBS documentary. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. 3. Adar. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 2002. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. In this respect. PBS documentary.ufl. accessed April 22. available online at http://www. 2001. p. Historian.ufl.htm. np.africa. No. p. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. available online at http://www. http://web. 4. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. This. 2002. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. 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. 2. would promote America's long term interests.html. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. Moreover. 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. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. 2. 2. Vol.pbs. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. np. 2. No. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.pbs. limited government. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. South Africa. 2002. Vol. 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. 2002.com .edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. In his view. http://web. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. 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. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. 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. p. np. South Africa. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. np.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice. accessed May 1. he was never evasive in that way. Rhodes University. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. p. Adar. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. the realization of individual freedom. Political Studies Department. accessed May 1. For Wilson. For the colonized peoples of Africa. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. Political Studies Department.wcdebate. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. 1998.N.
The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. Z MAGAZINE. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. "in most Latin American countries. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. 2002. and to accept the rule of private power. The Haitian military. Hakim observes. As the matter is now rephrased. p. France. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. PBS documentary.N. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation.S. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti.com . It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. Consider Peter Hakim. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. Ian Martin. np. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces.wcdebate.html. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. unlike the U. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. They were proven right. 2. witness the case of Guatemala. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. That is to continue. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. and Canada. open trade. domestic and foreign. Historian. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. p." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. As discussed here in July.. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. accessed May 1. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. It hasn't been easy. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. trusting that "the United States. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. and the world did not want the American principles. "At first. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. recognized that the U. To evaluate what lies ahead.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. If he is. 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. 2001.S. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. November 1994. aid and training for that purpose since. was its friend and protector.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. Martin observed.pbs. 10. available online at http://www. and have been kept in power by U. or by its traditional master. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. 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. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. despite its rhetoric of democracy. The Europeans knew this.
conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights.ufl. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. available online at http://www. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. one of those Wilson sent to prison. p.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.africa. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. As for Woodrow Wilson. In the current era. if at times secondary. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. 2002. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. who reviewed the lessons of history. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. November 1994. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent. No. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. 2. Apple.zmag. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. but his behavior was often very paternalistic." 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. accessed April 22. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa." he wrote.htm. Vol. 2001. 2002. "Like the French in the 19th century. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. accessed May 1. civilized mediation. http://www. brought our country into the hell of World War I. "For two centuries. 2. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other. 10.html. or Helen Keller.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. p. Z MAGAZINE. 2. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. portrayed in the same light.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2000. May 7. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G. Adar. np. Political Studies Department. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. 2002. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. 3. South Africa. p.htm. p. has been an altogether different story.com . He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. http://web. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. W. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion.pbs. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. np. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. however. np. very controlling. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. Backers of President Aristide. Rhodes University. accessed April 22. 1998. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. PBS documentary.wcdebate. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. to say nothing about their weapons" -. and put anti-war protesters in prison. the noise of democracy. 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.
He passed important legislation. Historians. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). Even today. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. anti-Semitism. William E. and was generally beloved by the public.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. except Werner von Braun. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. He wasn¶t -.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. It wasn¶t. but we¶ll get to that below. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. one has doubtless done something right. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. anyway. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. of course -. I say with a smirk. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. Another element is that most American of traits. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. from right to left to centrist. Leuchtenburg. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles.com . 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. The architect of the New Deal. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about. though. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." according to Communist leader Earl Browder. In fact. agree on this. and it happened 70 years ago. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. popularly known as FDR.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs.according to Gentile standards. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
com . it is important to understand the ideology behind them. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. Security for those who need it. If you¶re starving.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -.and perhaps they are right. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. The ending of special privilege for the few. FDR recognized this.wcdebate. These are the simple. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office. he included economic rights in that list. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself. 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. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. too.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. Before." But believe it or not. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. This is not quite true. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. and perhaps they are right. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. as failing to meet the needs of the public. Leuchtenberg continued. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. Jobs for those who can work. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. In order to understand these. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. ECONOMIC POLICY: THE DEFENDERS The left saw FDR as a sellout who saved capitalism as we know it when it was on the brink of collapse. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. The preservation of civil liberties for all. as we will see later. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. say. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. Unlike most every other president. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. 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. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact.
wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. and the blind. the physically handicapped. the aged poor.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. Higgs writes. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. One of them is Robert Higgs." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government. no one looms larger than FDR. Cradle to the grave .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. finance. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go.´ He does not say this as a compliment. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. the physically handicapped. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. industry. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. industry. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. 2). the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government.but.com . finance. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. from the day he is born. As evidence. unemployment insurance. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -.wcdebate. ³with few exceptions.instead. the Federal Housing Administration. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. Sure. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. the National Labor Relations Board. and labor relations. 3). Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. Social Security. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. the Farm Credit Administration. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. He had his own ideas -. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Nope. the Social Security Administration. the conservative economic theorist. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. Specifically. the aged poor. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. the Securities and Exchange Commission. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. The FDR years. to him. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. but no one heard it from the President before then. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. pensions for the elderly. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR.
³Each in its own fashion. financing. told by William E. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century. The vast majority of it was never returned. Sadly. by the way. By subsidizing. 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. but that¶s the way it is. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. this was not the case. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. was at war with them. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business.S. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. vanden Heuvel argues. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. To his credit. insuring.´ he writes. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. vanden Heuvel has noted. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. only sometimes. (Which he was there. 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. Charming. 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. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. Korematsu v. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. the Export-Import Bank.)´ Sometimes. United States. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. though the U. that students have their college loans federally provided. including Henry Ford. too. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). Even if you¶ve got a problem with. One would think. FDR was the first (and. Their property was seized.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. William J. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. regulating. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. being a victim of race-baiting himself. Famously. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. and didn¶t think Roosevelt should be sticking his nose in Hitler¶s business as the German leader committed the most horrific act of the 20th century. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. say.com . this much is undeniable. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another.wcdebate.
1935. Schlesinger. Mead and Company Publishers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. accessed May 02. THE FREEMAN.html..org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Jr. William E.html. 2002. Davis. Franklin Delano.feri. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns. 1970. Franklin Delano. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. EH. Boston: South End Press.eh. 1979. James MacGregor. accessed May 5. July 24. http://newdeal. http://www.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech. http://www. 2002.NET BOOK REVIEW . http://www. 1992. July 1997. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security.´ Jan. Kenneth S. Robert. New York: Dodd. 2002. Roosevelt. Hugh Gregory. 1932-1945. 1991.ECONOMIC HISTORY.independent. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. Roosevelt. 17. Chomsky. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. Leuchtenburg. Higgs. 2002.washingtonpost.org/chat/chat03. University of Mississippi . DETERRING DEMOCRACY.shtml.wcdebate.htm. Namorato. Michael V. September 1998.htm. Arthur M.pbs. FRANKLIN D. 1959.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. 1985.com . accessed May 10. accessed May 1. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. http://www. 1933. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2002.1987. 1986. THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. accessed May 9. Robert. Department of History. Dallek. New York: Random House Publishing.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Oxford University Press. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Warren F.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Noam.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Kimball. Gallagher.
Patterson. 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.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Leuchtenburg. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America.just where they are going. 3).shtml. everyone was joyous. Leuchtenburg..htm. 2). and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy.htm." noted one business journal. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. July 1997. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. 1). It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.." 3.1987. Similar to his earlier study. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience.. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. too. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. In the homes on the streets. np. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. one eyewitness later remembered.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Again and again. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. The historian James T. in Barber's opinion. Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans. accessed May 5. np. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. Department of History. .NET BOOK REVIEW . p. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p. crowds moved excitedly. Namorato. the political paralysis. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. not least those who are disadvantaged.com .washingtonpost. http://www. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. how Franklin D.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. 2. np.ECONOMIC HISTORY. 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. gone..washingtonpost. http://www. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display. p. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious. There was something in the air that had not been there before. p. After much experimentation. 2002. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. Roosevelt himself. 2002. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days. Overnight.1987.Happy days are here again. "The people aren't sure. Although not a great economic thinker. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed.net/bookreviews/library/0024. where trading resumed on March 15. accessed May 5. 2002. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E.wcdebate. accessed May 1. in short. University of Mississippi . http://www. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. In this sense.eh. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn." On the New York Curb Exchange. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. Roosevelt's Washington. EH. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR.
³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. South Africa. Vol. a position he was said to prefer to all others. 2002. 2002. Wilson's intellectual heir. No private program and no public policy. np. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. given the nature of nuclear weapons." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.ufl.1987. http://www. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. and. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy. 2002. accessed May 5.htm. 2.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. np. 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. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. Rhodes University. No. p. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. late in his second term. accessed April 22.africa.htm. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions. Roosevelt. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy." 3. accessed May 5. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. 2." Robert Divine has concluded.washingtonpost. Leuchtenburg. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR. Leuchtenburg.com .com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. in any sector of our national life.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Political Studies Department. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. http://www.wcdebate. p. http://web. As commander-in-chief. np. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E. 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. As a wartime president. although promulgated by Franklin D. it is framed with perfect futility. p. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history.washingtonpost. and it seems improbable.1987. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. "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. When he took office. 2. Adar. 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. 1998. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II.htm.
http://www. Roosevelt deserves no reverence.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. subsidies.html. THE FREEMAN. high unemployment. maintain a sound currency. 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. by taxing and spending. the New Deal did prolong the depression. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. p. September 1998. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. September 1998.1 billion. accessed May 02.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. THE FREEMAN.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.com . 2002. 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. accessed May 02. p. he got himself elected time after time. 3.wcdebate. 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. and business failures. and direct government participation in productive activities. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. But instead. Rather. uncertainty.html. http://www. np. the American economy between 1930 and 1940 failed to add anything to its capital stock: net private investment for that eleven-year period totaled minus $3. September 1998. np.html. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. 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. 2002. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. the New Deal created so much confusion. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. September 1998.2 Without capital accumulation. In this madness. balance the budget. But for all his undeniable political prowess. FDR and Congress. fear. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. http://www. 2002. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. and hence overall private economic activity. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment.independent. np. accessed May 02. With its bewildering. 2. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. 2002. In fact. After all. incoherent mass of new expenditures. He was no hero. But however significant his legacies.html. p. the New Dealers had a method. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution. Flynn said of FDR. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. http://www. accessed May 02. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. THE FREEMAN.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY.independent. THE FREEMAN. As John T. no economy can grow. as many observers claimed at the time. np.independent. By wheeling and dealing.independent. regulations. taxes.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. p.´ 4.
. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. who placed their trust in him.com .. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors..ECONOMIC HISTORY. http://www.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal.zmag. 2002.. accessed May 1. http://www. NOT FDR Michael V. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. 171). DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. 2002." etc.. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS.shtml. through Roosevelt and Truman.shtml. etc. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. a secret love affair. July 1997.endearingly exalted. University of Mississippi . Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach.. and how people like John K... [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty. 1992. and the immediate post-war era. 2002. In fact.a wasteland. including many of the poor and working class. Chapter 2. by Noel Annan." 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. July 1997. "in the grandest style.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Department of History." But that is only the carping of trivial minds.. Somehow. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort..org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03.NET BOOK REVIEW . In the end." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. accessed May 1. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. DETERRING DEMOCRACY.. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. Still. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of. EH. World War II. Department of History. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. 3.splendidly eternal for romance. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population. Finally.wcdebate. University of Mississippi . 2. this demeanor as the aristocratic style.NET BOOK REVIEW . FDR.. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p.ECONOMIC HISTORY. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Try as they might." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. in his last chapters.eh. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. Namorato. Finally.. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. accessed May 1. indeed revere.net/bookreviews/library/0024... Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism. There was one published reaction. Namorato. http://www. EH. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT.." and met the great crisis in their lives.eh.net/bookreviews/library/0024. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. however..html.
Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. Circuit Court of Appeals.Jerry Rubin. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. And unlike me. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. 1939. Basically.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. the 7th U. Hayden continued with his activism. He later served as a ³freedom rider. In 1968. Undaunted by his legal trouble. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades.com . 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. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court. District Judge Julius Hoffman."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. "Tom Hayden changed America". While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. though. In 1969 and 1970. As some former radicals did. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. Abbie Hoffman.and those who consider them to be troublemaking.´ 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. Hayden decided to run for elected office. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. All the defendants. his ideas. As his own website (www. with that said. Along with four other defendants -.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Born December 11. Students for a Democratic Society. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. Nicholas Lemann. So. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. his life. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. including Froines and Weiner.wcdebate. the Los Angeles Times reported. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. The other defendants.com) admits. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. Who is right? Well. One of those movements. in order to answer that question.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. Together. Hayden -. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971.S. who were not convicted. Later.S.tomhayden. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War.
and other activists of various stripes. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. of course. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. He has an infant son with Williams.remember. author. and on and on. 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. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. again husband of different actress. too. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. Until he was forced out by term limits. including legislation on behalf of women. At least one prominent political figure. the SDS had socialist leanings -. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. convict.com . He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams. activist. 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. What kind of action? Well. Even in his youth. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. lots of different kinds. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. workers. former husband of actress. But mainstream groups honored him. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. (Look it up. husband of actress. 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. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and more. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. convict with his sentence overturned. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. politician. Activist. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical.wcdebate. kids). he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate".´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He backed pro-labor. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. to take action.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. While a state legislator. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. That includes student groups. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden.he sponsored numerous bills. In fact. Indeed.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups.
It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society.wcdebate. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. Especially because of the nuclear age. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. the SDS. As a result. Just because it isn¶t your morality. depending on how we view it American society. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended. Like many of his vintage. Let us turn to the latter group now. 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. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. Thus. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril.´ It seems. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. Hayden might say. of course. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it.. and our friends.com . might die at any time. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. for example. It is not Plato's cave.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. then. at least in the United States. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. Higher education is fully integrated into . improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. 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 -. And. if one is not progressive at all.or contaminated by. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. brought awareness that we ourselves.. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. Naturally. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. higher education is not separate from democracy. Rather than moral relativism.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. 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. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. Quite the opposite is true. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. insists Hayden to this day. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. or Soviet) communism -.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends.
this is far from undisputed. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics.not unlike many members of the debate community. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.wcdebate. Nevertheless. CONCLUSION -. According to observers. Because of the overturned conviction. However. they might be criticized for methods -.certainly.and the vexing corollarly question. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering.com . Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. philosophies and ideas -. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention.is not something we will concern ourselves with here.
Hayden. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Hayden. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. Port Huron Statement.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://www. Hayden. former radical. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. accessed May 2. p. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. Tom. REUNION: A MEMOIR.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. New York: New American Library. Radosh. B1. #4. p. 2002. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. activist and former California state legislator. 2001.msu.html. Tom.org/taemj97s. 2002.matrix. http://coursesa. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker. Chicago: Holt.com . November 27. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. 1967). Lynd. accessed May 1.theamericanenterprise.htm. The Other Side. May/June 1997. 20. http://www. Volume 4. 1988. New York: Random House. New York: International Publishers. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. activist. Rinehart and Winston. Tom Hayden. David. activist and former California state legislator. Horowitz.frontpagemag. 1962. the New Left and the Leftover Left. WASHINGTON POST. 1999. Tom. Ronald. 1972. Fall 1987.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Tom. accessed May 2. MISSION TO HANOI. Hayden. Staughton & Thomas Hayden. 1966. December 5.htm.
calling on us not to be "good Germans. activist. p.html. not that of their opponents. 20. One reporter even asked me. 4. 5.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. 1962. WASHINGTON POST. being gassed myself. Volume 4. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction.matrix. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . 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. My serious take on the question might surprise you. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. Based on five days of joining in protests. on the contrary. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency. accessed May 2. we hope. activist. 3. B1. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. p. the government? It is to this latter yearning.matrix. activist. December 5.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the workplaces.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. the bureaucracies. http://coursesa. B1.. others today. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. np. 2002. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. 1999. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. np. 2.msu.. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. 2002. and a commitment to social experimentation with them.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s.com . p. activist." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. 1999. December 5. Port Huron Statement. 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. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. 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.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. that we direct our present appeal. only one was about Viet Nam. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags.. accessed May 2.html. p. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. It was honorable to protest that situation.msu. 1962. For the first time in memory. Port Huron Statement. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s. 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. marching. On the contrary. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. #4. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. But we are a minority . at once the spark and engine of change. paralyzing policy discussion. They were. Fall 1987. WASHINGTON POST. one which moves us and.wcdebate. activist and former California state legislator. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. p. http://coursesa. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY.
Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. Volume 4. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. #4. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. activist and former California state legislator. and Bloom knows that. Fall 1987. Fall 1987. Volume 4. I'll give another example. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively.com . To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. Volume 4. p. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. activist and former California state legislator. #4. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. Fall 1987. let's also not forget the 60s are over. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. If there has been an erosion of general education. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. And it did. p. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. Speaking of mindlessness. p. Kingman Brewster.wcdebate. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong.the legitimacy of questioning everything . NPQ: Bloom argues that. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. 20. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. 20.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 20. 20. One week after the Kent State shootings. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. At my university. 4. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. activist and former California state legislator. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. Fall 1987. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . in the 60s. 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. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. activist and former California state legislator. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. Furthermore. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. #4. the president of Yale. 3. or Morningside Heights. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. #4. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. 2. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. 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. Volume 4. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent.
org/taemj97s. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1.com . May/June 1997. 3. Because of such considerations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.theamericanenterprise. it "radicalizes them. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. 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. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962.org/taemj97s. http://www." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot.htm. May/June 1997. 2. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. http://www. Four years later. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper.theamericanenterprise. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park.wcdebate. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Hayden and seven other radicals.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. During the trial. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. When the dust cleared in Chicago. Jerry Rubin. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. 2002. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. accessed May 1. 2002.theamericanenterprise.htm. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. http://www. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. and the chaos on the convention floor. accessed May 1. 2002.org/taemj97s. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. One of the conspirators.htm. he said more than once. former radical. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. May/June 1997. accessed May 1.
HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. Thursday. 3. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. May/June 1997.htm. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. former radical. Rennie Davis. http://www. Wednesday. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. 2002. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. that he expected 25 people to die. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. and Saturday.htm. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. At the event.theamericanenterprise. 2002. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. http://www. 5. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. 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. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. 2002. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent. http://www. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://www.org/taemj97s.theamericanenterprise.htm.org/taemj97s. it will flow all over the city. May/June 1997. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds.wcdebate. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz." 4.frontpagemag. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. 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. and you check around and you got your piece. the New Left and the Leftover Left. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. PREACHING PACIFISM. former radical.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Sid Peck. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. accessed May 1. accessed May 2. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. one of SDS¶s first leaders. and on Tuesday. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. 2001. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. Todd Gitlin. Having secured pacifist cover. 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.com . May/June 1997. He recruited the Yippies. accessed May 1. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. November 27. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz.htm.theamericanenterprise.org/taemj97s. 2002. a member of mobe." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. accessed May 1. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism." and he told his co-organizer.
p.96/books9616. either nationally or in terms of his own life. he actively engages it. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. April 18-24 1996. [and] popular leaders. 506 4 Zinn. I will address each of these in turn. These are that writing should be disinterested. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers.com/papers/sonoma/04. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. accessed May 12. such as history textbooks used in schools. p.´4 for example. ³Zinn and the Art of History.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he has authored several plays. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. http://howardzinn.000 copies. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. objective. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. 507 5 Zack Stenz. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. but almost universally accepted. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. rules for ³good´ scholarship. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.18. His progressive history text.wcdebate. THE ZINN READER.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. in part. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center.e. 2002. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. accessed May 11. the character flaws of our leaders. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. 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. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. no date.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.com . because. http://www. that is. p. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. THE ZINN READER. 2002.´5 This is due.htm 2 Howard Zinn. 1997. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. from the author¶s perspective. has sold more than 800. the church.1 In addition to his historical writing. 503-506 3 Zinn. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive. In contrast. 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. The author of more than 15 books. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. np. within the context of history.metroactive. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. p. spoken word CDs. the mass media. neutral). and rational (unemotional). revolutionized the way history is told. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text.org/index23. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. scientific (i. rather than shying away from controversy.
http://howardzinn. he participated in extensive protest with his students. which favors the rich. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. in nearly all of his books. but extends to all of his writing. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. NONVIOLENCE. At age eighteen. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. and various communist. Stenz. and anti-fascist writers. np. p. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. 1998. Georgia.´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. lived in tenements.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester.wcdebate. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. One of his lesser known books." Zinn says. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. accessed May 12. Upton Sinclair. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. and others. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. particularly the United States. then the punishment itself is unjust. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. p. Zinn came from a working class background. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. However. Third. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. physically demanding.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. This stems. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. MOTHER JONES. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence.com . John Stienbeck. Inspired by his students. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. The book is organized into nine sections. 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. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. during the depression. 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. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. Despite the benefits of that job. Z MAG. 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. anarchist. and closely related to the last point. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. however. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. np. from his role as a professor. Marx. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. and prohibited union membership. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. is focused specifically on this topic. ³[D]espite his popularity. 2002. to a great degree. December 3. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. Finally. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. Instead. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. 8 Howard Zinn. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. which was painful.org/index23.
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.´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. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. Self-defense is by its nature focused. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. or a local tyrannical elite. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e.wcdebate. Revolutionary warfare. 1968. in the course of a protest. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws. 1968. 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. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´9 In fact. Martin Luther King Jr. Generally. may be morally defensible. Zinn argues that all things being equal. as being a nonviolent world. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail.com . 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. 45 11 Howard Zinn.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Zinn points out. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. On the one hand.11 9 Howard Zinn. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. This argument. 29 Howard Zinn. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. etc. 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. p. and progress generally. desegregation). the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. In any humanist philosophy. On the other hand. by Zinn. Furthermore. p.´ which Zinn argues are taken out of context when they are characterized as arguing that protesters must accept the punishment for their acts of civil disobedience. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated.g. nonviolence is better than violence. 1968. In a theoretical sense. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. p. Zinn writes. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. Moreover. for example.. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable. This would include violating curfews. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. blocking streets. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«.. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. 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.
and will therefore be just. THE ZINN READER. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. and order are desirable. There is also justice«. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust.¶ what was considered Zinn. This is certainly true at times.18. as we have seen throughout history.com/papers/sonoma/04. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. Many conservative historians. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value.wcdebate. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. but it may not bring justice. Thus. 371 14 Zinn. stability. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. peace. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. 2002. and she sees no other effective method. and must therefore be followed. THE ZINN READER. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just.¶ Zinn says. be it material. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. accessed May 11. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. 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. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. is that law is created by the people. p. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. in various terms. p. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily.metroactive. they maintain peace and stability. http://www. There are two primary differences First. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. then law and justice are opposed to one another. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. But when it sends young men to war. Often. April 18-24 1996. Nevertheless. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. therefore. social.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. THE ZINN READER. In these situations. 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. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. particularly for a United States historian. 370-371 Zinn.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. or anything else. Chaos and violence are not.com . Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. p.96/books9616. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. thus making civil disobedience unjustified.
They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government. July 2001. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy. 2002.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thus.progressive. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. 2002. July 2001.wcdebate. in contrast to the perception of his critics. http://www. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«. And that's a critical thing to do. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted.org/zinn0701. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy.org/zinn0701. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT.html 17 Howard Zinn. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot.96/books9616.com .´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. by Mark Twain: Similarly. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. often successfully. 2002.html 18 Zack Stenz.metroactive.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. http://www. Zinn feels that the real. ³Artists of Resistency. accessed May 11. Instead. April 18-24 1996.18. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people. accessed May 11. accessed May 11. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders.com/papers/sonoma/04. far from being unpatriotic. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience. Howard Zinn.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. ³Artists of Resistency.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.progressive. http://www. However.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://free. 2002. http://www.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Howard. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.ORG. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. SALESGIRLS. New York: Seven Stories Press. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. 1991 Zinn. New York: Harper Perennial. New York: Seven Stories Press. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. Howard. 2002. Ward. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. Howard. Howard. New York: Vintage Books. Accessed May 17. Accessed May 17. Howard. Boston: Beacon Press.freespeech.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. New York: Harper Perennial. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. MUSICIANS. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER.com . 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1994 Zinn. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR. 2000 Zinn. 2002 Zinn. 1999 Fortas. Abe. 1968 Zinn. 2000 Zinn. http://www. Howard. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES. 2001 Zinn.howardzinn. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). 2001 Zinn.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. 1964 FREESPEECH.org/bios/homepage. 2002.zmag. Boston: Beacon Press. Howard. Accessed May 17. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. New York: Signet Books.org/evolution/articles. et al.wcdebate.
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. may move from mild actions. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. And in the 1850s. December 3. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. There are two reasons for such criteria. accessed May 12. 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. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn.org/index23. 2. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. December 3. limited. 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. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. http://howardzinn.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. to the 1850s. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. 1998. free black people. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. black people. http://howardzinn. 1968. to disorder. white people. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. Well people in the North. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed.org/index23.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). 48-49.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves.wcdebate.com . 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. juries acquitted them. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 3. and other means have been exhausted.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances. 2002. and preferably directed against property rather than people. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. they gathered together in committees. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. 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. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. 2002. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. 1998. And in a number of cases. accessed May 12. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. escaped slaves. injustices of all sorts. or in) self-defense. p. to overt violence: it would have to guarded.
http://howardzinn.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. for the most part nonviolent. that the moment we have cast our ballots.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. 1998. 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. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. Historically. December 3. 1968. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. 1997.org/index23. p.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. The feeling is justified. or finally. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. p.com . 400-401. in their appeals to patriotism. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. accessed May 12. she responded quietly. 65-66. and justice. 2002. thinking about nuclear war. their calls for war. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Surely. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. the principles of peace. a devastating war waged. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. Kennedy Campaigning). and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 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. and before him. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. 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. The psychologist Erich Fromm. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. it is obedience to governments. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). when Dan went underground. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. 2. ³It¶s not God¶s law. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. ironically. we have freedom to speak. freedom. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history.´) 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. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn.. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice. 3. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. how she felt about her son defying the law. 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. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. 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. 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.wcdebate.
Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. If he is properly arrested. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. However careful both sides may be. and convicted. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. It is not merely government that must live under law. For example. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. The city must perform this duty. Both of these are essential. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. 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. 1968. and controlled. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. teach us that city officials. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. It was true in the case of Mrs. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. there is always danger that individual. 3. These are not controlling. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. He cannot pick and choose. But despite this. 62-63. for the rules of law. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. however noble. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. We are a government and a people under law. Demonstrators must be organized. free of punishment or penalty.com . so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. Each of us must live under law. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. in accordance with the provisions of law. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. persuasion. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. must be identified. does not confer immunity for law violation. our Constitution and our traditions. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. The motive of civil disobedience. 1968. p. charged. indeed. 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. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. 1968. it is the city¶s duty under law. Frequently. and as a matter of good sense. 70-71. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Agitators and provocateurs. however peacefully intended by their organizers. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. whatever its type. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. ordered. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. p. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. These mass demonstrations.wcdebate. whatever their object. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. 64-65. 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. and restrained law enforcement. 2. p. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. He may be passionately inspired. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. But at the same time. however large and inconvenient. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. as well as practical wisdom. He may. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. of course.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Vivian Kellems. or both.
p. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence. 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. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). or even a substantial social reorganization. Pacifist praxis (or. Associate Professor in Science. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.e.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. http://www. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. 2001. 2001. In El Salvador in 1944.edu. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. There was a military coup later in 1944. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries.wcdebate. 2002. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China.edu. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1.´ 2. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. Australia. and continued repression in following decades. In every instance.. Accessed May 17. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. in practical terms. 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. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. p. 2001. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. 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. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential.com . The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. worthwhile change. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. pseudo-praxis). p. As these conditions typically include war. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. np. more appropriately. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. 2002. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. it is inadequate on its own. 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. http://www. or.uow. Accessed May 17. if followed to its logical conclusions. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. 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 aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. Australia. after a short flowering. np.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. 3. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. Associate Professor in Science.uow. 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. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism.
The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. and Nye¶s likely got it. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. Jr. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. He is a Rhodes Scholar. bald white establishment guy. you¶d sort of be right. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Joseph Nye. those are some big outstretched wings. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. JR. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. Jr. was born in 1937. JR. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. well. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture.wcdebate. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. Well versed in foreign policy. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today.D program in government at Harvard. 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. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. And.com . It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. and a graduate of the Ph. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. All the while. However. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. Joseph Nye. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. You might think that Nye is merely another old. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. But the guy is a pretty sharp old. Longtime professor? Check. 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. 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.
for example. engagement.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. If that is true. then. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. we aren¶t going to invade them.. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. An attempt to treat China as a threat. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. Take. 2002. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. that's hard power.wcdebate. for example. But if I get you to want what I want. How. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. a hawk per se. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. Containment is a more hawkish strategy." Nye has said. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. as should be clear.. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. He meditates on the differences between soft and hard power in his book THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE.com . Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. does one secure American interests. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. "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." This has not changed since September 11. Nye reasons. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power. economic. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. the case of China. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. etc. China will be a force in the new century. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan.cultural. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. such an evolution may continue. That said. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. in fact. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy . While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. particularly in the post Cold War world. Nye is not. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. then the United States must not isolate china. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade.
an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens.´ he wrote.wcdebate. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. such as China. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. especially the radical left. NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. Rather than isolating other nations. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). in his view. the International Monetary Fund.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. we should be using our influence in a positive manner. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open.com . It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history. 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 wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and the World Trade Organization.
on too many fronts. according to Johnson. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it. 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.S. His most recent book was just published this year. 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. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. This type of self-justifying behavior. critics say. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. and in Japan particularly. if you go looking for enemies. 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. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve.-Japan relationship. As the old Chinese proverb goes. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals.wcdebate.S.´ No matter how you slice it. for example. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas. Similarly. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. the distinction between soft power and hard power. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists. is engendering a ³blowback´ -.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. There is no better example of this blowback.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. Critics of this policy. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line. It is more likely. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. American credibility is diminished.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. For example. not enhanced. than the U. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. Even open-minded. 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. Just look at Okinawa. you will probably find them. Instead. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. 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. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. However.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. Johnson argues. Take.S. critics say. Nye¶s defense of the U. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. Further left. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. 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.com . No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
2000).. Joseph S.observer.: Brookings Institution Press. Nye.C. Nye. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR. JPRI CRITIQUE. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. 1985). ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. Nye.. Jr.. 1986). Zelikow and Davic C. Nye.3858. accessed May 1.. Joseph S. Jr..-Feb. Jr. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Joseph S. Joseph S. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O.´ CURRENT (September 1999).. 1997). Jr. Jr.org/jpri/public/crit5. http://www. Nye. Jr. http://www. accessed May 5.. co-edited with Philip D.jpri. Joseph S. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. Jr. Donahue (Washington. Joseph S. Jr. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute. Joseph S.wcdebate. Jr. Jr. co-edited with John D. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press.. January 1998. Joseph S. Nye. Number 1. Keohane]. D. NUCLEAR ETHICS. Nye.. Nye. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. Nye. Jr. Joseph S. Volume V. HAWKS. (New York: Basic Books.. Jr. 2002.1.. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. Jr.html. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. January 2002) Nye. March 31. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press.4384507.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2000.. THE OBSERVER.com .com? Governance in A Networked World. 2001). UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. Joseph S. Joseph S. Jr. Joseph S. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000).00. 1999) Nye. 1990). August 2001) Nye.uk/Print/0. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values. Joseph S. (New York: Longman. (New York: The Free Press.co. 3d ed.. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government..html. 2002. democracy. 2002. Joseph S. Nye. Nye.
4. Nye. 2. D. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. 2002. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. FOREIGN AFFAIRS.html. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S. These protesters are a diverse lot.00. In such a variegated world. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century. Seattle.html. Nye. http://www.observer. http://www.co.uk/Print/0. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication.. Jr. India. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. pluralism.C.4384507. accessed May 1. Nye. Prague. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. http://www. THE OBSERVER. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Some reject corporate capitalism.html. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.00. Jr. Of all their complaints. accessed May 1. 2002. LIBERALISM. all three sources of power . Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix.org/articles/Nye0701. and soft . whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy. Other countries. THE OBSERVER.wcdebate. Nye.uk/Print/0. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government..." For globalization's supporters. accessed May 1. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. Conversely. Jr. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries.uk/Print/0.. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. 2002. July/August 2001. accessed May 2. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism.4384507. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. And countries like the Canada. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S. economic. this last concern is key. 2002. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority. and Brazil. accordingly. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S. Washington.3858.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE OBSERVER.military. March 31.3858. 2002. However.co. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S.observer.co. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. 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.html.observer. if current economic and social trends continue. 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. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent. coming mainly from rich countries.foreignaffairs.4384507. March 31.3858. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe.remain relevant.com . such as China.00. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. 2002.. Jr. and autonomy. Quebec City. March 31. the Netherlands. 3. 2002. http://www. and that limits the transformation of power.
´ June 22. 2002. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. Nye. 2002.nyu.html. For one thing. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. p.html. accessed May 3. p. accessed May 3. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. In an election year. Moreover. Nye. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. np. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. 2002. http://www. 1998. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse.. Isolating other countries is bad policy. http://www. Jr. I agree. 4. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. 1998. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed. Jr. np.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.´ June 22.nyu. http://www. np. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be.´ June 22. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. a crude policy of containment would not work. Unlike the Soviet Union. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. Jr. Containment has three fatal flaws. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues.. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. 1998.html. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. only China can produce an effective containment policy. Nye. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. http://www. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Containment is likely to be irreversible.. Third. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.html.nyu. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. Three times in two weeks. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. 3.com . np. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. In that sense. 1998. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ June 22. First. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. America's edge will continue to persist. p. Jr.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. accessed May 3. 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.wcdebate. Nye. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks. 2002. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S..edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. But it is not true in every case. 2. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. accessed May 3. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. Second. If we treat China as an enemy now.nyu.
2. 2. Mount Allison University. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors.cfm. More ancient still. as. unquantifiable and indirect.com . Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. In this context.. np. as did advances in communications technology. p. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. No. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. According to Nye. 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. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms.wcdebate. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. 1999. http://www. In short. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. 2002. or to be more precise. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention. JANUS HEAD Vol. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. accessed May 1. 2002." Space-based surveillance.org/2-2/whunt. 1999. 2.. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. No.cfm. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. to the test. Jr. 2. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. real-time.janushead. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. 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. Entrepreneurial dynamism. and at a greater philosophic remove. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. was tied to the ability to innovate. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective.janushead. np. accessed May 1. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. µHard¶ power was objective. JANUS HEAD Vol. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. by contrast. No. 4. The terms originate with Joseph S. Mount Allison University.. http://www.¶ he argued. (Operation Allied Force. Fall 1999. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. was the contrast between authority and liberty. it was further assumed. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension. µSoft¶ power. 2. 2002. accessed May 1. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community.cfm. 2. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. Fall. In the study of transnational relations. http://www. Mount Allison University.org/2-2/whunt. The comparative dimension was critically important. 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. Fall. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. p. p. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category. JANUS HEAD Vol.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated.org/2-2/whunt. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power.janushead. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. in his phrase. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. by contrast. Nye. np. 2. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake.
While approximately half of both Japanese and U. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision. to put the matter bluntly.S.S.org/jpri/public/crit5. 2002." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U. http://www.S. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. Volume V.S.S.S. so they say. for failing to make up our mind. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. Volume V. Moreover. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. perhaps even a superduper power. JPRI CRITIQUE." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. investment adviser. of course. Security relationship"-40. The chief difference.4% of the Americans want the U. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. 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. 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. 2. accessed May 5. January 1998. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation.org/jpri/public/crit5. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. Security Treaty. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). 27. JPRI CRITIQUE. respondents gave the Middle East top billing. Feb. Number 1. In an accompanying article. is in itself a choice. Most likely.html. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. Yet we must choose. ST. http://www. In some respects. But in working out our strategy. Number 1. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers.html. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. Last November 30. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements.S.9% of the Japanese and 20.jpri. These are sizeable percentages. Today.S. p. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results. In Japan.com . Thus. B1.. 982 responded. matters are much harder to figure out. planes. January 1998.1.' the Japanese.S.1. but despite the immense might that that implies.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. increased Chinese potency. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. accessed May 5.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. in the U. 1. these books are similar. whereas 58% of U. 2002. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. So much for some of those shared common interests. Only 26% of the U. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos.S. and a rather bad one. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. 2002. respondents think that the U. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror.jpri. military presence reduced. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. these books definitely differ.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute. 3. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Joseph Nye.952 people were interviewed. and the fact that the 'hosts. our freedom to do just what we want is limited.
Ralph Nader is one of a kind.000 automobile deaths every year in America. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. and so on. ²Ralph Nader. which. Guided by such values. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. oppression. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. After exploring his life. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. finding these endeavors unsuccessful.com . from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. in a larger sense. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. illiteracy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I will try to explain his philosophy. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. he entered Princeton University. The book contained a theme that. and. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. of course. Connecticut. He had to do most of this on his own. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. but wishes he were not. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. there were nearly 50. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. Nathra. 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. Ralph Nader recalls. 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. At the time. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. assets and conditions are never for sale. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. He researched automobile safety anyway. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. An excellent student. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. took issue with the assumption. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. By age 14. in fact. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. Applied beyond our borders. and in 1959 published his first article. By 1965. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. At age 17. and then his political project. environmental perils. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead.wcdebate. Nader. but wishes there were others like him." in THE NATION. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty.
the highest office is the office of citizen." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket.. (http://bostonreview. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. simply a distrust).nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. Since the 2000 campaign. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good. Education and Welfare. First. Nader's "Raiders. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. workers. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary."the public interest" -was a bold. then. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. 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..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. of course.´ and as such. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. who had written. some decades later. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W. Nor could James Madison. Throughout the next thirty years. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. as the quotation below explains. and shareholders. and a plethora of other causes. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. consumers. innovative development in American politics at the time. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically.wcdebate. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters." John Gardner. albeit reluctantly. Of course. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility.nader. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. taxpayers. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. when he founded Common Cause. Why. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. official secrecy.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. would have a similar idea in 1970. In fact. contrary to his predictions. fought for increased water quality. First and most importantly. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore. Bush in 2000. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this.com . in mandatory seat belts and air bags). Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. in a democracy. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. author of the famous Federalist No. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement.2/nader. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. but. 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. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics. 10 essay." as they came to be called. the people are the ultimate authorities. (http://www. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. it is argued.edu/BR18.mit." But Jefferson. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves.
not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. torts and contracts. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. And. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. rather. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. a communist.com . most recently. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. and increasing public financing of elections. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. sellers need consumers. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. Nader is none of these. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. literally. many on the anti-capitalist left see Nader as wanting to "save" corporations and capitalism by forcing reforms that smart corporate executives would favor as a way to make themselves look better. literally. over the past few decades. In fact.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. "above" the laws of most nations. even a Stalinist. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. sometimes stretching centuries into the future.´ ±Nader. to institutionalized. Finally. Second. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. 2. 56 Over the past two presidential races. which should belong to everyone. giant corporations. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. are available to the highest bidder. 4. 3. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. 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. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. p. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. and frequently more power than. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. 1999. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. any elected or appointed political leader.wcdebate. a socialist.
but if they are threatened with punishment. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable." In Wisconsin. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. libertarians claim. Of course. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. Regulations fail. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. higher taxes for corporations. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. if successful. at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 5. At present. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. The problem here is not merely one election. but the Green Party's current plans. if we hold out for ³everything. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives.wcdebate. 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.'' (VILLAGE VOICE. May 21. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER.´ we end up with nothing (or. This is because those people believe that. Democrats respond that.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but also that elitism is desirable. including candidate Jim Young for governor. To begin with. worse than nothing!). to accept some of what we want. 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. as some would say in reference to Bush. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. Bush. May 7. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. He would like to see much more of this. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. Democrats. especially liberal Democrats. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. This is an ongoing argument. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. Along the same lines. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies.com . and often makes things considerably worse. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. Steverman) reports. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid.
wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. Unlike so many of our sources. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state. Nader is no fan of capitalism. After all. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. Were it up to him. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. However. He might also open the door to more radical alternatives to the kind of politics and economics we seem destined to accept in the status quo. in the strongest democratic traditions. Nader eschews elitism. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. but he argues that. since it¶s what we have. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. we should keep it in check. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. government is the people. 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. 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. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. not merely philosophically. At the same time. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. read commentary about him. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. either-or. and not just theoretically attractive. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist.com . exploitation and imperialism.
Nader. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. Charles. NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. Ralph. Franklin D. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. Martin's Press. Ralph. 1974). Hays. 1972). Katherine. 1976). 1982). Chu. Nader. N. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader. Nader. Ralph. Ralph.: Prentice-Hall 1972). Nader. CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. 2002). 2000). Ralph. McCarry. RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. 1975). Dan M.wcdebate.com . Nader. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. 1973). 1997). NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Burt. Ralph. 1972). Nader. Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. 1977). Isaac. Robert F. Martin's Press.] (New York: Grossman. THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. Ralph. Nader. Gorey. Nader. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. 1986). 1996).J. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Ralph Nader Congress Project. Ralph. 1973). THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton. Ralph. 1975).
limiting their ability to deal with reality. political activist. 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. tax loopholes. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. and marketing technologies. p. 1986. 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. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE.´ the ³invisible gene. If people think more about how major business executives work. mass famines. production. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. political activist. inflation is down. 56.´ the ³invisible currency. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. 2000. and unemployment is down. p. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. p.com . CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. the stock market is up. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. political activists.wcdebate. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader.having accepted their condition and resigned. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. p. 2.´ the ³invisible pollutant. injure our national security. Yet.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. debt revocations. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. This is very far from the way modern corporations plan to reduce risks through market power and to get the public to help pay their costs through tax breaks and other subsidies. giveaways. political activist. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. artificial intelligence. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1. THE BIG BOYS. bailouts. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom.profits are up. 56. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs. loan guarantees. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. clinics. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. 1999. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. 521. 1999. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. schools. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. and weaken our democracy. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader.
safety. STATE. for example. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. state offices.S. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. we won¶t be able to compete. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. p. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. called the Uruguay Round. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE.com . It would cost jobs. the U. 1993. and make workplaces less safe. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. If you do.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. 3. p. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). political activist.wcdebate. 6. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. 1993. THE ENVIRONMENT.S. ³You can¶t burden us like that. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. water. 3. p. state. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. depress wage levels.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. 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. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. By contrast. Every element of the negotiation. adoption. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. will be met with the refrain. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. the U. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. Narrow. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.S. 1993. 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. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. Secrecy. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. or even at the United Nations. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. in the halls of the U. 2. or limit their pollution of the air. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. and land. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. Capitol. political activist. provide a decent standard of living to their employees.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. political activist. 1 Citizens beware. Congress. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. abstruseness.
1982. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. 1982. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. In this regard. Burt. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. p. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and consumers. In other words. a new elite of un-elected. or in the investment markets. 1982.S. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK.com . and local governments. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. President of Capital Legal Foundation. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. on our daily lives. 2. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. and seek to change it. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. political tradition of the last 200 years. 20 Instead. p. de-centralized political. In sum. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. SEC. 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. p. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK.wcdebate. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. economic. President of Capital Legal Foundation. President of Capital Legal Foundation. President of Capital Legal Foundation. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. state.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. Burt. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America.´ 2. 1982. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. 20 What is clear is that Mr. p. at the bank. individualistic nation. Burt. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. Mr. in turn. And it has been and would be a government they run. But it is a radical departure from U. In some cases. Burt. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. 8. This is a distinct political ideology. employers. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. and social system. Our diverse. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK.
he said. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. 2000. A-19.000 votes and finished in fourth place. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. THE MILITANT. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. 2000." At the same time. 2000. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. He isn't like you and me. July 25. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth.wcdebate. A-19.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. columnist.000" to Mexico. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. Michael Kinsley. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. markets." reads the statement. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. or Pfizer. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. columnist. healthiest. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. October 22. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. p. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. 2000. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5. because -. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars. Professor of Economics at MIT. THE HARTFORD COURANT.com . because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. or any corporation. p. Professor of Economics at MIT. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. 2. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. March 6. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. most prosperous nation in the world.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. But several days before Gingrich spoke." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. the one that ended apartheid. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. 2. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party." (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." 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. In 2000. C3. 3.corporate influence. July 25. editor of Slate.000. p. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. 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.000 to 400.S. Cohen. we are the happiest. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350.like the laws of every market economy -. must be bad for the world.I'm serious -. That's the problem with Ralph. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. p.
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. In fact. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. In the South (and. For understandable political reasons.´ 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.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. 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. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. That¶s not just me being partisan. they claimed. if you can¶t vote. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. but it was a very useful. 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. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. and publish books. to be fair. Now. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. It had nothing to do with what I had written. two: Quota Queen. 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. the right wing said.wcdebate. Attorney General for Civil Rights because. As for the second proposition -. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. right? During and prior to the Civil War. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it isn¶t a true democracy to you. though. you didn¶t get to vote. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country.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.com . such a right was not truly meaningful. a ³quota queen. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black. After all. For them. Period. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case.S. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. She was. many places in the North). As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. And even then and immediately thereafter.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. including slavery.
Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote.wcdebate. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election.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. and they are regularly outvoted. and Jeb Bush¶s thuggish state troopers told you to turn around and drive home ± do you really have the right to vote? As you can see. we ought to defend it for minorities. and you headed to the polls in Florida. Again. For example. As Tushnet notes. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. and stacking. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. And depending on how old there are. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice.´ The other problem. So.´ After all. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . if the right to vote represents full citizenship. it has another value: an instrumental value. and created a right to select representatives of choice. Plus. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. Hence.mostly Republicans -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster. it takes all kinds). 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 thing is. though. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. Harvey Gantt. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. The result is that you get one minority representative. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. alternatively. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. of course. 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. people -. indeed. cracking. if you go to vote. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. 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.
what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. 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. And nice as that sounds. There are a couple of reasons why. Since every vote counts. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. People are self-interested. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier.´) After all. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. When you¶re in power. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. For example. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. Hence. That includes people living in a democracy. and you¶ll be in big trouble. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. 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. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority.wcdebate. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. every vote counts. economic. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. They will vote to advance their own interests. for one thing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. stupid things.com . you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. There would be problems with identifying these policies. it doesn¶t work that way. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. there needs to be some check on that abuse. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. for example. So. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. but there¶s another reason. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. legislators can get concessions on another. Total majority rule. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. Similarly. and that includes affirmative action. but let¶s review some of the high points here.
rather than just in name. usually.wcdebate. 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. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. Guinier recognizes this. programmatic change) thinker. The best strategy lies in other means. try to actively undermine their interests. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. give feedback on. with its specific mission in mind. health care projects. 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. though. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. More often. after all.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. Hence. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. each institution would. There is a reason. that Indian tribes hate him so much. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. etc. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. You might be surprised. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. seeing what is working and what is not. their interests will be better served by legislators. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a left-wing critic of Guinier. This doesn¶t always happen that way. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. However. college administrators. Guinier asks.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. Stephen Steinberg. 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. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. presumably. crush their economic infrastructure. 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. and is relatively easy to understand. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. for example. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions.
com .and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. economically viable future should check out her work. People that are interested in building a more racially just.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.
html. Guinier." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. January 8. Vol. 1995.edu/BR19.com . Lani. BOSTON REVIEW. Lani. "President Clinton's Doubt. Ward.3/tushnet. 1077-1154. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994..wcdebate.edu/BR25. http://bostonreview. 89. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. December 200/January 2001.html.mit. Lani. Lani. Lani. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.html. http://bostonreview. C. 1998. December 200/January 2001. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.edu/BR25. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. New York: Free Press. 2002. Guinier. Guinier. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. Guinier. Guinier. March 1991. 2002. Stephen. Steinberg. Smith. 36-37. accessed May 1.mit. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. Guinier. edited by J. accessed May 1. accessed May 1.6/steinberg. 5.mit. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. 1998. Mark. Boston: Beacon.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1998." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. Lani Guinier's Certainty. Lani. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. p. New York: Simon & Schuster. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen. No." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. p. Jr. Guinier. 1994. 2002. Lani.6/connerly. 1999. 1-16. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. Guinier. 1998. Tushnet. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE. p. 505525. p. http://bostonreview. Lani.
EXTRA!. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. Professor of Law at Harvard University." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. Nor did I write. her views were not only distorted.on June 4. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. county and municipal governing bodies in America. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record." Indeed. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.com . about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. injecting further distortions into the process." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. 4. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89).Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. the white minority in South Africa. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas ." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . 3. Apparently. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . as it was for Lally Weymouth. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. electoral quotas or 'one black. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. George Will and Lally Weymouth. as George Will did. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably." In reality. p. two conservative columnists.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents. after the nomination had already been killed -. p. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. two votes' remedies. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. EXTRA!. July/August 1993. July/August 1993. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. 3. July/August 1993.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans. EXTRA!. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. color-coded ballots.wcdebate. p." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. 3." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. 3. EXTRA!. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. he admitted in an interview with Extra!. p.a process known as "race-conscious districting. 3. July/August 1993. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities." 2. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93).
p. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. and what constitutes fairness for all. Professor. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. July/August 1993. http://www. Merit. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. 2. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91).org/mainart/confirmative_action. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. In other words. p. like one¶s family tree or family assets. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. in other words. Professor.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority.minerscanary.org/mainart/confirmative_action. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. 3. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. That focus. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas .minerscanary.shtml. but to ³lift as we climb." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. In doing so. 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. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. in turn. 2002. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. 2000. np. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women. 2002. Harvard Law School." as George Will put it (Newsweek. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions. June 14. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit.shtml. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. accessed May 1. np. 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. 6/14/93). EXTRA!. can be chronicled with the proper instruments. June 14. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1." But more important. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. legitimacy and power base is the black community. Harvard Law School. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. http://www. 2000.com . she was critiquing it. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives. 3. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. in a multiracial democracy. accessed May 1.wcdebate. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE.
6/connerly.html. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. accessed May 1. BOSTON REVIEW.edu/BR25. 2002.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -. 2. free black. accessed May 1.html. It is a long and sordid history. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. Unfortunately. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. http://bostonreview. we ought to believe -. December 200/January 2001. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave.mit.mit. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that. 2002. Unfortunately. people -. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. What is most striking about Guinier's work.wcdebate. All we need to do. she proposes. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet.3/tushnet. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. December 200/January 2001. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country.edu/BR19. December 200/January 2001.mit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work.6/connerly. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 4. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. given these tensions. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. http://bostonreview. and refreshing. public policy could generate gains for everyone. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools.perhaps most particularly whites -. their argument is not at all new. Caucasian.html. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. accessed May 1. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions.edu/BR25.that society is not so racially polarized. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. attracting topflight students from around the world. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. In 1970. Thus.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. BOSTON REVIEW. 2002. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.com . City College¶s experiment has failed." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. 3. For her. accessed May 1. octoroon. 2002.html. 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. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. EMPIRICALLY. BOSTON REVIEW. etc. http://bostonreview.6/connerly. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. Hispanic. one for which we should all be ashamed. Thus. For its entire history.mit. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1.edu/BR25. it was surprising. Instead. http://bostonreview. Indian.
here the syllogism runs into trouble. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. 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. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling." 2.mit. http://bostonreview. The problem is that "for more than two decades. Therefore±alas.mit. http://bostonreview. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld." 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. though. 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.edu/BR25. accessed May 1.6/steinberg.wcdebate.6/steinberg. two troubling questions arise. Though they do not say so explicitly." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik. http://bostonreview. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. December 200/January 2001.mit.html. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. December 200/January 2001. 3. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg.edu/BR25. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. What evidence is there that overhauling the selection criteria would open up avenues for women and minorities? In most large-scale organizations±corporations and universities alike±employees are routinely evaluated by superiors on an array of performance criteria. However.6/steinberg. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. First. 2002. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. accessed May 1. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups.html. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. December 200/January 2001.html. Indeed. affirmative action has been under sustained assault. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate. 2002. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1." 2. As the saying goes. To be sure. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. Against this background. 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. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for.edu/BR25. don¶t fix it. On closer examination. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. 2002. 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. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. even if enacted. At first blush. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. The problem. accessed May 1. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. 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. "if it ain¶t broke.com . 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. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy.
In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. Skocpol a researcher. 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. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. by nature. ³class-based revolts from below. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. 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.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). First. Skocpol argues. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. especially in analyzing revolutions.´ (4). She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. 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.wcdebate. Next. professor and well-known author. in fact. She is a native of the state of Michigan. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E.E. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. but she is a wife and mother. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.C. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. ³rapid. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. than other types of societal change. an active citizen. Not only is Dr.com . 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.O. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. 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. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. The examples she points to are rebellions that.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. Dr. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. However. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. shows Skocpol. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place.
those individuals capable of creating change.wcdebate. 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.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). Then there develops a purposive. for better or worse.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. 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. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. During wartime nations like Britain became successful in maintaining and increasing such policies by juxtaposing their model of the ³welfare state´ against the Nazi model. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. Hopefully. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. Finally. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization.S. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. Her claim is that: First. not all social revolution is a positive thing. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. Thus. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program.S. social disorientation. their social position. 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.com . changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. which they labeled ³the warfare state. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. and insurance for workers. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. if affirmed. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. the conditions that cause change. if it wins. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. 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.´ that view is inaccurate. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. and the resources available to the group. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. the United States¶ model. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order.
Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. 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 MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ 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. unemployment was down. This has a number of implications for debate. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. a widely accepted understanding in the U. 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. 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. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. 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 develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. ³U.S. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. politics and business. However. Most importantly however.wcdebate. 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.people who are not children and are not yet retirees. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. First. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. 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. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. Her book. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. The work done by Skocpol in her book.com .S. 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. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. The framework she sets up in this work provides yet another useful mechanisim for analyzing problems with the social and political structure in the United States while finding workable solutions to those issues. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. 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. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. THE MISSING MIDDLE. However. in this case the media was absolutely right.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. 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. which included the charities and the home. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children.
because the theory of the missing middle addresses. The group Skocpol seeks to address are generally working Americans who spend long hours at a job because they need to feed families and want to create a decent life either as a single parent or in a dual income home. 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. First. 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. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The reason many Americans found themselves feeling overworked at the end of the 1990s while the media reported on the positive status of America was because they were. Often working parents make up a large portion of the audience at tournaments and Skocpol¶s theory of the missing middle may be the perfect perspective with which to approach a resolution and make arguments that your audience can relate to. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Additionally. 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. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children.S. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. This may leave some debaters thinking. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. are generally ignored in political debates. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. 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. 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. many of them parents.com . 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. and still are. 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. mainly. this theory differs from most current social and political theories in that it stand right in the middle of the dominant perspectives and still provides tons of clash with all of the things around it. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U.wcdebate. 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. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). the working population. who Skocpol argues. Skocpol argues. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Instead. 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. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. 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. Additionally. which LD tends to draw upon.com . her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. 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. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. 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. 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. 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. 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. to explain events. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. 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.
Kristin Kay. July 31.. THE MISSING MIDDLE. THE NEW MAJORITY.com . Felicia A.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Skocpol. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Theda and Stanley B. Greenberg. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. Wineman. Ritter. Skocpol. 1999. 1996. September 2000. Theda. 1984. New York: W. Boston: South End Press. Gretchen. 1992. Norton & Company. Theda. p. New Haven: Yale University Press. April 30. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers.171. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. Fall. 1979. New York: Cambridge University Press.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Gail Lee. Case.wcdebate.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Theda.W. Skocpol.´ OFF OUR BACKS. 1982. Dubrow. 28. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. Kornbluth.183. 2000. and Nicole Mellow.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. RUSSIA & CHINA. p. 1997. Steven. Skocpol. p. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. Halliday.S. May 31. Terrance C. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1997. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track.
´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. 3.. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. Kornbluth. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). April 30. 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. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). 14 In Skocpol's vision. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model). the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. Professor of Sociology. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). Given the enormity of her undertaking. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. a graduate student in the same department. Although not always explicitly. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study.. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. Together. bureaucrats. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. resulting in over 500 pages of text. However. and policy feedback loom large. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. governmental institutions. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. political parties and officials.a polity-centered perspective -. In her newest work. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. electoral rules. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader.wcdebate. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -. July 31." she argued in 1980. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A. the United States possesses a decentralized. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. Rather. bureaucrats. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. 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. 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. However.S. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments.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." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. 2..´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Simply stated. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. p. September 2000. 1996. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. I will necessarily condense her account.171. 1997.183. 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. Case. In other words. that is. p. 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. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions.
which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. April 30." she writes. 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. Readers may also hear in maternalism. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. Professor of Sociology." However. p. bureaucrats and national political leaders. exhausted. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. who know them as "social feminists. 1996. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested.. Case.com . SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. Case. 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.S. Felicia A.S.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Felicia A. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. post suffrage women's movement. which treated men as fathers and heads of families. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. 3. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. potential mothers. p. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. 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. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY.171. (P. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. July 31. 1996. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS. in their processes of creation. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. More important. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers.171. were doubly paternalist: Elite males." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. 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. federal social programs for mothers. republican motherhood.S. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. time-bound contribution to political thought. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." or as the fractious. 1997. April 30. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. Kornbluth. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. In content.183. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. 2. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. and in their processes of creation. Many women reformers in U.
teaches American women's gender. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1.36. np. Northwestern University. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. Sonya. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. the predominance of giant corporations. Ironically. Author. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change.in the interests of the corporate order. Koven & Michel). Adjunct Professor of Sociology. Halliday. 1999. severe stratification of power. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Within political sociology. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. Fall. New York: Routledge. Instead. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. after the turn of the century maternalist ideology began to weaken as parent education and other fields challenged the notion of maternal instinct and called for training and professionalization for those who dealt with children. Point for point. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers.com . she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. 1984. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. p. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions.wcdebate. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. 1993. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. in both class and state. The case of child care and mothers' pensions reveals both the strengths and the limitations of an ideology rooted in arguments about women's natural capacity as mothers.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment. Similarly. Michel. American Bar Foundation. 2. 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. Senior Research Fellow. not the idea of child care as public service to all. "The Limits of Maternalism. to "do good. Terrance C. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. 307. Theory of the State.centered approaches. p. 165).
to be sure. 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". a result of gender values shared by both men and women. Gender means "female" for Skocpol. Spring. Clearly. says Gordon. researcher at European University Institute. was. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. not merely a neutral or benign difference." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. 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". determined by class as much as by gender. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. Spring. 1996. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. To Gordon. in order to maintain the family wage system. She has no critique of maternalism". p. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. PhD. Gender is. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition.PHILOL. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. NORWAY.PHILOL. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences.com . this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. 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. in a context of male domination. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. Women's activism was as much as men's.. .. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. it is a difference. p. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. often called the two-track welfare system. "Specifically. However. says Gordon. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. to put it inversely. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. np. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. Eirinn Larsen. 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. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. after all. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. NORWAY. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. 1996. in the way Gordon sees it. In other words. np. PhD. researcher at European University Institute. 2.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system.
that too much reading would change her life. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. For her. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar.D. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. politics. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. 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. This interest in books was not. as it might be today. She knew there was something else out there for her. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature. generally taught by white males. She earned her bachelor¶s degree from Stanford University where she expected to find a more enlightened view on the role of reading and education in a woman¶s life. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. and the destructive effects of sexism. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. Her father feared. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville.com . Kentucky. 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.wcdebate. racism and classism. She points out that. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In her classes.´ Determined to overcome these notions. it was simply recreated in new ways. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). Paulo Friere. sexism and classism. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. correctly it turned out. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. 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 age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. Like everything hooks does. especially Friere. including hooks.
capitalist culture that uses racist. 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. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. 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. 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. and classist educational policies. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. Let's reclaim them. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. 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. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. This process. not very different from anything the students could relate to. hooks has written so much and had such an effect on so many lives that her name is highly noted but she hope that the lower case letters at least cause people to consider what it is they have attached themselves to. Let's share them. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. sex or class. social movements and educational biases. racism within feminism. 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). Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. We have those definitions. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. 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. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. 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. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. no bussing. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people.wcdebate. Let's start over. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. 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.com . (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. sexist. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. white supremacist. they just got up in the morning and went. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. Classism creates an elite group. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. legitimating standard English. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. she argues. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values.
RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. like hooks. and oppression. is the heart of the matter. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. 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. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. television and radio commercials. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. ads everywhere and billboards. 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."(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. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. and always.wcdebate. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. 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.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. In her book. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). Let the movement begin again. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. She argues that feminists are made. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. or their critics. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. Let's start there. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). 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. Sexism. 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.com . Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. she argues. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. bell hooks sees feminism as. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping. not division in the movement. have often felt marginalized. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. However. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. not born. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. Occasionally an author.´ 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. "a movement to end sexism. sexist exploitation.
com . 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. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. Finally. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. 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. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. 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. 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. media and the academy. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. Whatever the flaw. Let¶s face it though. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. even worse. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues.wcdebate. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. 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. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her.
´ LIFE NOTES (ed. New York: Doubleday. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. New York: Henry Holt. 1995. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Golden. bell.wcdebate. New York: Henry Holt. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS.W. 1995 hooks. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. New York: W. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. hooks. 1994. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. 1996. bell. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. Olsen. 1990. hooks. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1995. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Norton & Company.com . hooks. and Elizabeth Hirsh. 1998. bell. 2000. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Boston: South End Press. Gary A. Cambridge: South End Press. hooks. 1999. Patricia Bell-Scott). Namulundah. bell. Albany: State University of New York Press. bell. hooks. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. bell.
since we who are black can never be white. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. 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. In a white supremacist society. White people¶s values. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. 1989. currently policy makers(Banks. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. p. THINKING BLACK. 1988. in this case. feeling and knowing as the norm. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. but threaten their very existence. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. 2. Namulundah Florence. (1981.122) 3. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. gender.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. traditions. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . 14. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. Of course. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. p.com . Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. 1996). Historically. Boston: South End Press. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. educational. p. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. 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. In the United States. Once slavery ended. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. 1988. Critical. hooks. 1994. and class specific. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. at its very core it is dehumanizing. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. in America. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. 67. 1998. these values and traditions are racial. Westport: Bergin & Garvey.109). Essentially. 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.wcdebate. Westport: Bergin & Garvey.58). and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. 1992. a ³white´ self. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness.. can come into being. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. groups such as African Americans. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. Chinese Americans. p. 11. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. McNaught. However. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. 1995. Nelson et al. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. 1996). p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. p.
75. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. particularly sexist black men. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. social critic. New York: Henry Holt. 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. 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. New York: Routledge. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. and all our efforts at self-determination. 69. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. to be capable of being both strong and weak. New York: Henry Holt. And I would say vice versa as well. p. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. 1990. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. 2. Certainly. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. 1995. etc.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. 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. and Mary Childers. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. girls women. Feminist theory needs to study historically. 1995. 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. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. 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. for boys to be active and girls to be passive.wcdebate. professor. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. 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. social critic. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. professor. 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). 3. p. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM.. author. active and passive. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. particularly sexist black men. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. p. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. suspicious ways that we often view white women. author. that they receive in the existing social structure. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. in response to specific contexts. however relative. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. np. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic.com . sociologically. to assume that black folks.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
³For bell.a potentially informing. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. However. staff writer. B1. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. Healthier. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. Yes. television and radio commercials. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. 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. 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. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. love goes the way of BMW's. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. Like Jada. ads everywhere and billboards. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. like the older civil rights generation. Buppiedom and Big Houses. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college.her passion lost. p.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. yet at one point. I was surprised by what I read. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed.wcdebate." 2. 1/22/2001. empowering article for Black women. she has gone mainstream .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression.com . 53." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. 50. Kelly. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. 3/14/98. p. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. and Better Off Financially. Maybe. I was initially excited by the cover story . Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. An unreconstructed black radical feminist. "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." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism.
OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics...´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. critical race theory. Yale Law School. B..com . MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. class domination. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional. These scholars. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. and. In particular. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms.D." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . Lesbian feminists. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated.D. Multidimensionality. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. 288-290." 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. race-sexuality critics.. Southern Methodist University School of Law. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. gays and lesbians of color. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions.A. 2. patriarchy. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. for example. Spring 2001. 309-310. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. respectively. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. In a series of articles. rather than conflicting. law and sexuality. University of Pennsylvania.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and heterosexism.. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader. therefore. Lesbian-feminist theorists.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. phenomena. whose work examines the relationships among racism. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. B. Spring 2001. University of Pennsylvania. J. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1.´ ³Multidimensionality. 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. I have examined the relationships among racism.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. and poverty studies. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. patriarchy. Assistant Professor. heterosexism. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. p.. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. Southern Methodist University School of Law. like the intersectionality theorists. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism.A. p. J. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. Assistant Professor. recently.´ ³Multidimensionality. Yale Law School.
3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. 1946. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. As the President of the University noted. Now. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. MARX in 1980. La Trobe University. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor).wcdebate. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. Monash University. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. it was widely criticized as absurd. New York University. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. 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 -. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. He has lectured at Radcliff.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. we classify members of other species as undeserving.about them. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995.´ and democracy. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. they merely need different considerations. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. but that society has since realized its mistake. Instead. For example.or ways of avoiding thinking -. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. He believes that society has become far too complacent. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. Australia on July 6. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. sometimes quite vehemently. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. While at Monash University. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. At age 30. INDIVIDUALS. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. In 1998. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. HEGEL in 1982. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched.com . instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched.
´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. is not descriptive of they way beings are. In his All Animals are Equal. however. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. 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. a new criteria becomes necessary. and use them to do our labor. 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. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. 6 This consideration is based on two things. differing intellectual abilities. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. wear them. Dogs. and the second is if they have interests.wcdebate. Singer notes that. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. like intelligence. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. rather. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals. we will never give equal consideration. is sentience. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. and not merely an assertion of fact. That is. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote.com . is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. then it is simple discrimination. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. His critics often ask. 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. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. Fundamentally. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. Equality. according to Singer. I shall argue. as noted above. We eat them. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. then they cannot have interests. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. Singer. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. moral capacity. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. however. or other matters. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If a creature cannot suffer. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. Furthermore. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. and a decision can cause that suffering. Thus. But if a creature can suffer. differing abilities to communicate effectively. strength. creates divisions between humanity. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. they come with differing moral capacities.
He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. 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. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. those with significant mental retardation.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. Again. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. those with some forms of psychosis. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. This would include brain-damaged people. Singer writes. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial. to plants. However. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. . and fish. Since those persons depend on the environment. 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. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. human embryos. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. too focused on people. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. many animals. 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. would be considered persons. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. human fetuses. and more specifically. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. therefore. Therefore. however. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. and that even plants are pursuing their own good. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. However. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. After all. . that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. Those who advocate this position. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons.com ." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. chickens. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. like dogs and bears.wcdebate. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. who details that every living organism has a will to live. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . He also explains. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. be right to kill him.
the absence of a benefit is not harm. facts matter. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. engaging the argument still yields some debate. but to change it. He says. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life.com . Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. Hare takes the position that it is not. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. etc. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. the painful ways in which they are killed.wcdebate. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. an understanding of a position.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. First. From a utilitarian perspective. whether is causes more benefit than harm. humanity. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died. Singer claims that proximity. The second is that in Singer¶s work. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. 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. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. is no justification for a lack of action. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. However. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. growth.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. even if it is a short one. or the distance between an individual and a famine. 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 first is that it is revisionary. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. In Democracy and Disobedience. Here. however. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. the way we should strive to make things. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. Second. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. The question then becomes. that is. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. than no life at all. 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. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. especially citizens of a democracy. Most importantly. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. the disease and filthy living conditions. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial.M. that is. it must cause suffering. The confinement that these animals endure. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. 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. Any advocacy of valuing progress.
4 Peter Singer. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 17 Peter Singer. Essays on Bioethics. 1999. 16 Dale Jamieson. 13 Holmes Rolston. All Animals are Equal.com/ 11 Smith. All Animals are Equal.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. 1998 3 Peter Singer. ³It is the significant problem of equality. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways.wcdebate.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. 6 Peter Singer. 15 Peter Singer. medicine.edu/~uchv/index. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. 10 Smith. Hare.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or student. Wesley J. Democracy and Disobedience. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 1993. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. http://www. in moral and political philosophy.frontpagemag. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity.frontpagemag. http://www. 1999. and use animals to further human aims. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement. All Animals are Equal. 1973. and academics. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. 9 Peter Singer.com . as an issue itself. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. 7 Peter Singer. 1993. December 7.M. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. Wesley J. 5 Peter Singer. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science.princeton. 8 Peter Singer. All Animals are Equal. 14 R.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1997). ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Peter. IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES.. (Belmont. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. (Malden. (Lanham.wcdebate. 1993). 1994). CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. 1998). Singer. 1993). 2002). Peter. (Oxford: Claredon Press. R. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. Jamieson. Terrence and Richard Dagger. Pojman. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975).com . MD: Rowman and Littlefield. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Singer. Louis J. Peter. PRACTICAL ETHICS. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. 1999). (New York: Longman. Hare. Peter.M. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. 1973). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Dale. Peter. Singer. ETHICS. Singer. (New York: Review/Random House. 2nd ed. Singer.
) So. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but.69. 3. they necessarily have selves. ch. The danger is that reason. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. since animals have experiences. In other words.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.by Frege¶s point. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. old. or worse. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. then we will not see why it is morally significant. the villosity of the skin. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. however noble their object or intent. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience.. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. or the termination of the os sacrum. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless.com . which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. in other words. 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. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. as well a more conversable animal. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . what would it avail? The question is not. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. p. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love.. 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. 1999. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. rather. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.wcdebate. Philosopher and Jurist. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. Austin. or even a month. XVII.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. But suppose they were otherwise.An experience always comes with an owner built into it.subjects of experience. or a week. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. 1789. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. Can they suffer? 2. there is the very real danger that. 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. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. 152153. 1999. the social sense as such. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1. p. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C.. McGinn. instead of building on our natural impulses. The basic biological sense we seek. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. This may seem like a major provision. called agape. Solomon. than an infant of a day. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. may instead undermine them.
it would. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. and Singer knows that. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. weeping.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Austin. Of course. 1989. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. The New Yorker. np. Solomon. but the criminal case was over by May. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. 10 March 2000. 3. Then Linares puts down the gun and. Critics often accuse Mr. Singer of being cold-hearted. Cook County charged Mr. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. 2. In such cases.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. writer. 1999. Linares cradles him in his arms until. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. 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. They ³just know´ what to do. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. The Chronicle of Higher Education. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. p.wcdebate. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. September 6. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. Therefore. p. 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. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. she doesn¶t calculate it. 1999. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. according to the total view. So.com .73. half an hour later. Linares with first-degree murder. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER.must not be so engineered. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. be right to kill him. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C." That was April 26. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. gives himself up. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. the child dies. standing in a hospital ward. too.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet.
we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. therefore. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. that is. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims.if. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. we can understand that. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. involves a certain distance. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. above the food chain. If we do not think in this way about dogs. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. too. one could argue. The characteristics. with its own standards of normality. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. and not just ordinarily dishonest. 1999. It too. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. p. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. We. just as it would be unfair.. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. in an important sense. 62ff. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities.com . NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. for instance. p. p.wcdebate. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia.. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. but because rationality is the human norm. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. but as normal for the species. But compassion. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. We are. 1967. and therefore claims. are rational. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. Solomon. part of culture rather than nature. We are not merely at the top of the food chain. 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. and yet not accept it at all. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. 69. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. our breeding patterns. 2. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. Austin. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. 3. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm.. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. We have what is uncritically called ³free will.. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. to steal from a blind man. too. 1967. 62ff. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. our habits.
according to Singer.com . as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. 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. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. Austin. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.. in a sentence. Solomon. however. 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. As Singer discusses the principle. Reason. p. p. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. are from a different country. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. Nonetheless.. is that Singer.wcdebate. If we have a hard time grasping his view. Professor at Webster University. 1999. In most cases. For example. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. 1999.. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain.. p. that some people have a different skin color. on the other hand. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. 1999. 2.. a pet owner and so on. simply because they are humans.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. are of a different gender. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. 3. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. However. They may not be dominant. 75. np. 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. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. According to this principle.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. my number three. 134-135. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. The danger.´ Thus. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. 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. simply because they are men. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. My argument. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. seemingly hungry and crying. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS.According to Singer. Let me begin with the easiest one. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. and most people seem to. 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. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. At the same time. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. and they might not be sentiments of equality. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. and it requires care and concern. 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. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. are not 100% novel. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind.
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