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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 Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 2
WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
Edited by Brian Simmonds, Matt Taylor, and Jim Hanson Written and Researched by
Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, and Sarah Stone
About this Handbook The Philosopher and Value Handbook introduces you to arguments, values and philosophers. This volume focuses on American thinkers in philosophy and political theory who will be useful in Lincoln-Douglas value debates. Each chapter begins with an essay explaining the life, work, and ideas of each thinker. It concludes with evidence quotations that attack and defend the philosopher's ideas. Using the arguments in this Handbook We encourage you to read the briefs you will use. Highlight (underline) the key lines you will use in the evidence. Cut out our evidence, incorporate your and others¶ research and analysis and make new arguments. File the materials so that you can easily retrieve them for debate rounds. Practice reading the evidence outloud. Practice applying the arguments to your opponents¶ positions. Practice defending your arguments in rebuttal speeches. Use West Coast Handbooks as a Beginning We hope you enjoy our handbook and find it useful. In saying this, we want to make a strong statement that we make when we coach and that we believe is vitally important to your success: DO NOT USE THIS HANDBOOK AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Instead, let it serve as a beginning. Let it inform you of important arguments, of how to tag and organize your arguments, and to offer citations for further research. Don¶t stagnate in briefs--build upon them by doing your own research. Use the essays to brainstorm research areas and use the evidence and bibliographies as a starting point for your exploration. In doing so, you¶ll use our handbook to become a better debater. Photocopying West Coast Handbooks Our policy gives you the freedom to use the handbook for educational purposes without violating the hard work that we put into the handbook. You can photocopy this handbook under the following circumstances: 1. You can make multiple copies of up to five pages of each West Coast handbook for a class handout. 2. You can make multiple copies of briefs that include evidence from this handbook as long as these photocopied briefs are significantly different from the ones in this handbook and include a significant number of pieces of evidence from sources other than a West Coast handbook. You may not electronically share or distribute this handbook with anyone other than those on your team. For other situations, you can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek our consent.
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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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.......................... 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED .................................... 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ........................................................................................................................ 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ......... 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ............................. 91 JOSEPH NYE..................................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED ..............................................................................................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook................................................................................................................................. 100 RALPH NADER .............................. 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ............. ..................... 130 bell hooks............................................................................. 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD .............. 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www............................................................................................................com ...................... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN.............. 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................................................ 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ........ 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST .................. 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE .................................................................................. 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ............................... JR......................................... 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE ............................................................................ 120 THEDA SKOCPOL ................................wcdebate............................ 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE ............................ 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY......................................................................................................................................... 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ............................................................................................................................................................................. 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ...................................................................................................................................... 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY.................................................................................................. 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................... 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................... 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................... 139 PETER SINGER ............................................................................................................ 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS .................................. 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ....... 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ..... 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ......................................................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN .. 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ....................................................................................................................................................... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ....................................................................................................................... 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST .. 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG .................. 110 LANI GUINIER ......... 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................................................................
When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people.S. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day." The example to follow. Most importantly. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. one of the youngest. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. like the other leading figures of his generation. like the other leading figures of his generation. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. even if just temporarily. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. is often placed into one or another ideological box. though: Madison was the smallest U. No. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. he suggests in Federalist 38. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. including George Clinton. As a result. As a result.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. and the structure of representative government remain influential. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. James Madison. Not easily categorizable. His idea on the separation of church and state. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. 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. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. who died in office in 1812. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. or Democratic-Republican) of the time.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. anti-Federalist. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. Seriously. showing his freedom from dogmatism. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. is often placed into one or another ideological box. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. though. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. James Madison.wcdebate. president. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. Indeed.com . which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. Interestingly enough. in fact. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. the avoidance of oppression.
like John Ashcroft. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups. Either they will become the next majority. Thus. As a philosophically inclined individual. What might that mean? Well.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. 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. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.) What does the principle of reciprocity say? Let¶s get into that when we discuss the notion of majority tyranny itself before getting into what Madison thought that this condition might cause. the majority will look to the long-term.com . Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. In organizing a republican democracy.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested.wcdebate. one must take care to build in safeguards against this.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. needs and desires. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. ³Tyranny of the Majority. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. This does happen in politics all the time. 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. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. (Sorry. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. People will vote to actualize their own wants. Let¶s not belabor the point. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. Hence. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. after all. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. especially if that mass had coincident interests. but they aren¶t blind. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. 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. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. the majority is inherently self-interested. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. As a skillful politician. 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.
In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills." The debate raged on. Their charges have serious merit. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. The struggle continues to this day. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. Indeed. Speaking of potential for abuse. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. written in June 1785.´ 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. In fact. While his father was an Episcopalian. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well." Madison wrote. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority." Even Jefferson.wcdebate. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. Madison reasoned. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America.com . with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. 1787. organic food labeling laws." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. this is part of the logic of the federal system. published November 22. The document. If power is temporary and fluid. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. Again. Number 10. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. 1787. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials. then the potential for abuse is minimized. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. The church. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. 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. 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. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. 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.
and the summation of his argument. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. and its practical influence on his conduct. The reason of man. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. the government must continue to go about its business as usual.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which should be declared "void and of no force. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. In a nation of philosophers. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.com . is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. are antient as well as numerous. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. they are known to have a double effect. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. 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. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. A reverence for the laws. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. the powerful. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. . and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. And in every other nation. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. .´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine.wcdebate. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. When the examples. when left alone. which fortify opinion. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. which time bestows on everything. and that bypassing that consent was unjust. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. this consideration ought to be disregarded. and acquires firmness and confidence. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. like man himself is timid and cautious. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. Madison reasoned. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. in Madison¶s view. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. . His final shot at Jefferson. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. the mass of American people.
and its practical influence on his conduct. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. and acquires firmness and confidence. the most based in a sense of ethics. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself.We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. . When the examples. The reason of man. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage.com . when left alone. like man himself is timid and cautious. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. . and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. are antient as well as numerous.wcdebate. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. And in every other nation. which time bestows on everything. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. they¶re worth checking out. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. . this consideration ought to be disregarded. and the most passionately argued. In a nation of philosophers. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. A reverence for the laws. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which fortify opinion. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. they are known to have a double effect.
Matthews. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. Mattern. Samples. Brant. 1941-61. 1981. Library of Congress.. 1995.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hutson.html. 1787.com/federalist10. Chomsky. ³James Madison: Federalist. Meyers. Kans.. 10.gov/loc/madison/symposium. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. http://www. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE.gov/loc/madison/symposium.org/dailys/11-15-00.html. Rosen." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. Lancej.loc.com . Rewards. Smith.wcdebate. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. James. Lance.com. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html and http://www. http://federalistpapers. November 15. http://www. 1997).html and http://www.gov/loc/madison/symposium.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper. 2001.loc. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers. 2001. 1912. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON. Banning. Irving.html and http://www. http://www.html.loc. Richard K. University of Kentucky. Va..Y. Beard.loc. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. James Morton. November 22. http://www. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. 2000.html and http://www. FEDERALIST PAPER No.html. 1780-l792: Ithaca. March 16.loc. June 1997. Charles historian.cato. Gary.. Marvin. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. under the name Publius.H. accessed April 22. ed. 2001.html. Hanover. David. N. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. John.loc.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. James.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. Z MAGAZINE. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence. ed. 2002. 1995. March 16. 1776-1826: New York. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.. Noam. Madison. March 16.loc. N.. 1995.
The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models.cato. accessed April 22. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. provides a proper cure for it. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. both ancient and modern. Some will say Ms. 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). James Madison. on a candid review of our situation. in truth. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements.wcdebate. However the election turns out. p. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas.com/federalist10. the evidence. indeed. at the same time. 2000. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. np. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.html. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. I understand a number of citizens. have. Clinton more credit than that. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. and that measures are too often decided. These must be chiefly. The instability. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. I give Ms. cannot certainly be too much admired.html. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. November 15. without violating the principles to which he is attached. http://federalistpapers. Washington's newest celebrity. As Madison knew. 2. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. p. injustice. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. http://www. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. if not wholly. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. November 15. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. By a faction. or of interest.cato. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. and alarm for private rights. and confusion introduced into the public councils. np. It will be found.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2000. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. FEDERALIST PAPER No. 1787. Hillary Rodham Clinton.org/dailys/11-15-00. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. that our governments are too unstable. and. http://www. adversed to the rights of other citizens. to set a due value on any plan which. and of public and personal liberty. November 22. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples.html. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. therefore. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. but it will be found. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. accessed April 22. 3. 2002. particularly. accessed April 22. Sen. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole.com . He will not fail. equally the friends of public and private faith.org/dailys/11-15-00. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. is the latest convert to this cause. 2002. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. 10. as was wished and expected.
Hence. 2000. which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole. it clearly appears. 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. p. 10. 1787. np. in fine. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. 10. in many cases. accessed April 22. and render them all subservient to the public good. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power. FEDERALIST PAPER No. 1787. np. 2002. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. p. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. If we abolish the Electoral College. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.org/dailys/11-15-00. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. http://federalistpapers. November 22. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. in almost every case. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison.com/federalist10. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. np. November 15. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government.com . -. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. and their passions. 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. accessed April 22. FEDERALIST PAPER No. therefore. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. increase this security. Does it. FEDERALIST PAPER No. p. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. 1787. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. again. http://federalistpapers. 2002. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. who assemble and administer the government in person. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. be felt by a majority of the whole. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. 2002. accessed April 22. 10. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.html.wcdebate. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. their opinions. November 22.cato. 4. at the same time.com/federalist10. http://federalistpapers. accessed April 22. The inference to which we are brought is. who have patronized this species of government. 2002. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. in controlling the effects of faction. Nor. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. p. A common passion or interest will. Theoretic politicians.html.html.html. 3.com/federalist10. they would. http://www.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it." 2. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. np. November 22.
com . Madison urged: "In future times.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." and Mr. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. not only first. what is more probable. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. he contended. the mind or sense of the people at large. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed.. nevertheless. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men.or. p. a great majority of the people will not only be without land. "the majority. hence. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. but second. historian. These will either combine. who urged that "the government ought to possess. historian. An accurate view of the matter. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. Governor Morris.. under the influence of their common situation.aristocracy. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government." Uniformity of interests throughout the state.. the power will slide into the hands of the former. the force. 2. in which case there will be equal danger on another side." 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. then was the main object of government. historian. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. -. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. Wilson. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. 1912. p. 31. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters." And again. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression".. 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. 1912. changeableness. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. 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. and in his opinion. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Mr. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. According to the equal laws of suffrage. in a certain quarter. but without any other sort of property. p. to give notice of the future danger. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. 31. -. 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." 3. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. 1912." Mr. having such coexistent passion or interest.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. 31." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he added. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. from which the rights of property originated. 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. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. In the tenth number of The Federalist. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.wcdebate.If property. Madison warned the convention that in framing a system which they wished to last for ages they must not lose sight of the changes which the ages would produce in the forms and distribution of property. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. would prove that property was the main object of society.
offered only limited public participation in the political arena. Among Madisonian scholars. or prominent from exercising political power. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. June 1997. a personal right which must be privileged above all others.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. June 1997. Property has no rights. But the formulation is misleading. Madison declared. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. the native population driven out or exterminated. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. James Madison.'' he meant humans. he urged. led to a completely new meaning of the term.pre-capitalist. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. 8. Z MAGAZINE. whose views largely prevailed. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.'' which are property rights. In both principle and practice. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. typically material property. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky. But the growth of the industrial economy. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. It is the responsibility of government. p. branch. trust.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. Z MAGAZINE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. partnership. his biographer observes. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky.com . ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. 8.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented.wcdebate. or any government entity. estate. When the facts are stated clearly. In the debates on the Constitution. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 8. association. p. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. Furthermore. June 1997. An agrarian law would soon take place. as some historians do. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. Z MAGAZINE. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. In a current official document. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. One may argue.'' giving land to the landless. 3. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. well born.'' To achieve this goal. associated group. 2. Whatever one's assessment of those years. and the constitutional system generally. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. Madison pointed out that in England. and anti-capitalist in spirit. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker.
Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. centralized union that would be a representative republic. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. coercive. 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.an aristocratic. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. Either that. making it available to the general public. Much of this is forgotten today. After Adams was elected President. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. then his ideas. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. In those papers. he also offered a life of tragedy. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. was vocally against states¶ rights. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. rebuke and scandal. 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. After Washington died. Either way. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. as an aristocrat. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. and generally made himself a pain.wcdebate. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams.
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. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. or not immoral. he claims. As early as 1776. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. impressive or important. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. the legacy of Britain. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. Hamilton¶s staunch ally." and the "general welfare. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. 44) that "wherever the end is required. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. 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. every particular power necessary for doing it is included.´ as is often claimed. (no. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. shortened to Republican. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy." Ironically.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. Even then-President George Washington. "implied powers. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. the means are authorized. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society.com . Today. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. Jefferson. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed. In fact. 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. and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do.
without any counterbalancing good. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. More on that in our final section. his customary colleague. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas." Again." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. administering no relief to our real disease.com . when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton." he said. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas. Benjamin Franklin Bache." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. His morals -. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. 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. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. and many other things. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. here¶s a translation: yeah. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. so get over it. as should be clear. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. then his closest aide.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay.well. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it.wcdebate. punishable by fine and imprisonment. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he pardoned all of those convicted. which is democracy. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. will only be more concentrated in each part. I know he was smart. my friends and I are rich. and consequently the more virulent. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. "Men. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. (When Jefferson was elected. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. the poison of which." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. scandalous and malicious writing." This shows his opinion of the average American. which the urban elite would benefit). editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. more centralized government. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. and everyone else knew it too. by a subdivision. Allegedly. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. and as novel as it is extraordinary.
Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. not the government's. the public could be kept in the dark no longer. went to Hamilton's office to confront him. until July 1797. At that point." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. . But it was not possible.but he said it was his own money.´ Amazingly. and agreed to keep it quiet.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. ³Mr. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Abraham Venable. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. too.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. and by the press). natural politicians.James Monroe.com . when a pamphlet was published with the allegations. in Sports Center parlance. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . written directly before the duel with Burr. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. greedy. Some Hamilton apologists insist that. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in.. And. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. Hamilton¶s note to his wife. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. That happened in 1792. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. but a BRIBE. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. Monroe et. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. he did not intend to fire at Burr. . when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. They apparently did. it was on. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. That¶s when it got weird. It gets better. As I hope this essay makes clear. al. It wasn¶t even the juiciest. That money had changed hands.wcdebate. Three congressmen -. James Reynolds. 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). Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. motivated. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. . though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. Reynolds had evidence. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. Maria. A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail .money. a shady character currently in jail..
Jacob E. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. New York: Harper & Row.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Morton J.. 1961--79. ed. ed. January 1995. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON.zmag.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Chicago. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. John C. 1985. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Stourzh. Chomsky. New York. Cooke. Chomsky. Department of Alfa-informatica. 13. 1970. New York and London: Columbia University Press. NATIONAL REVIEW. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. accessed May 1. Harold C. Cooke. 1999. Morton J.2002. 1964.html. Jacob E. 1993. October 19.rug. 1982. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.com . Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 2002. Noam. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. Loyola University. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. Richard.. Syrett. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Charles. Elkins. Lisa Marie. Frisch. senior editor. 1991. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. historian. ed. New York: The Free Press. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. 1994 http://www. Mellon Lecture. University of Groningen. AMERICAN. Noam. New York: Harper & Brothers. http://odur. Frisch. Brookhiser. Z MAGAZINE. Gerald. p. 1959. 1997.htm. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton.let. 1912. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Miller.wcdebate. Charles Scribner's Sons. de Carolis. accessed April 29. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
p. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. p. what reason can we have to confide in those reveries which would seduce us into an expectation of peace and cordiality between the members of the present confederacy. This.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. November 15. it has been said. This cause would exist among us in full force. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. and rapacious. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. This has been so far accomplished as. vindictive. accessed May 2. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own.html. accessed May 2.html. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. For the Independent Journal. 2002. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. that vicinity or nearness of situation. November 14. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. November 14. if these States should either be wholly disunited. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. 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. would be to forget that men are ambitious. November 14. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. 2002.com .com/federalist6. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. and would create others on the same subject. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. would revive this dispute.com/federalist7. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. For the Independent Journal. np. http://federalistpapers. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. accessed May 2. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. either by actual possession.com/federalist6. 2. 1787. 1787. 2002. accessed May 2. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton.com/federalist6. np. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. 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. http://federalistpapers. in the event of disunion. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. constitutes nations natural enemies. p. For the Independent Journal. http://federalistpapers. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. 1787. http://federalistpapers. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain.html. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. np." 4. 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. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. under a continuation of the Union. however. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States. or only united in partial confederacies. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. 1787. For the Independent Journal.wcdebate. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3.html. 2002. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property.
. or social capacity. np. 3.let. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. http://www. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. was limiting and limited.html. 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.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.wcdebate. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture. 2002. Industry would diversify labor.2002. Landed wealth. moral developments. Department of Alfa-informatica.htm.independent. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham." Moreover. and. The "authors of that notable instrument. as it were. http://odur. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. as proprietors.intellect. University of Groningen. as usual. 1997.let. University of Dallas. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan. Hamilton was. provide a uniform currency.2002. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. simply drawing on realities that he felt. University of Groningen. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Private ownership.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. pointing invariably to its true pole.. opposed to the principle of equality. liberty.rug.¶ This they said and this meant. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential. whereas paper wealth was fluid. http://odur.. although not necessarily equitable. p. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. accessed May 1. accessed May 1. 1997.com ." Independent Institute Website. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. of their own interest. regulate banking practices around the country. Hamilton reasoned. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness. abilities which were by nature unequal." 2. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. and the pursuit of happiness." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. in the Directors of a Bank. among which are life. . and loan the government money in times of emergency. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property.rug. He explained: "The keen. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. in their understanding.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. 1997. provide capital for investments and industry. represented by the Virginia opposition. 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).org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. magnetic sense. Department of Alfa-informatica. . steady.did not mean to say all were equal in. Department of Politics. the prosperity of the institution .htm. accessed May 1.
p. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. as it was called. whatever cast it takes. 2. Z MAGAZINE. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. In the mind of Mr. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. Chicago. http://www. 13. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. in advocating a life term for Senators." Mr." or even influential.com . That's Hamilton. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. January 1995. in passing. Robert Lansing. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. 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." and he confessed that while he was still republican. 1994. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. October 19. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles." Mr. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard. Hamilton. but now perceive that they can do better. that. 2002. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. 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. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power. sometimes quite literally. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. 13. speaking for a host of others). He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. accessed April 29. Gerry.html. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. of course. perhaps rightly. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. Loyola University. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. being independence. 3. in tracing these evils to their origin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. 31. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. p. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. np. an important victory. preserved to posterity by Mr. 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." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit." 4. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Randolph.wcdebate. Madison. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. but it is being caged. Z MAGAZINE. historian. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. p. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. p. 1912.the main concern.zmag. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. January 1995. We may recall. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. Indeed. Mellon Lecture. They feel. The beast may not yet be tamed.
"was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. "the majority. historian. hence. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton." Landed wealth.com . provide ready capital with the value and function of specie.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. Hume contended. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. 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. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. 2. np. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. http://odur.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. Hamilton pointed out.rug. University of Groningen. p. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. Mr. 2002.htm. 1997. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. np.. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Department of Alfa-informatica. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard." 3. University of Groningen. and a more diverse economy.let. http://odur. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.wcdebate. accessed May 1. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government.. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. p. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. 2002. he contended. p. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. and in his opinion. 1997. 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. 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." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. In order to stimulate the economy. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". accessed May 1. indebts the nation to foreign powers.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. In the tenth number of The Federalist. .let. Securities. 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. he added.htm. from which the rights of property originated. Hume observed. 31. The House of Representatives. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. 1912. However. Mr. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. Nevertheless. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities. having such coexistent passion or interest. Hamilton needed big investors. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest.rug. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. Department of Alfa-informatica.
Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. First. However. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. supported a more direct democracy. many called for some kind of reform. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. The Confederation could not collect taxes. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes.wcdebate. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. some of the major figures behind the movement. therefore. Moreover. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. 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. Anti-federalists. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. regulate commerce. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. or Madison) is well documented. who did which paper (Hamilton. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale. 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. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation.com . a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. Secondly. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. written by Alexander Hamilton. James Madison. 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. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. These papers. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. support for it was by no means unanimous.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. given that in today¶s lexicon ³federalism´ refers to the doctrine that the federal government should not encroach upon the proper powers of the states. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. Jay. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
wcdebate. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. and so on. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. Richard Henry Lee. Clinton acquiesced. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. Clinton despised Madison. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. 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. the problem of majority tyranny arises. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution.´ ³Old Whig. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. While of course they all had minor differences. For one. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. Today what we have is a republic. or amount of control. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. and others.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. ideas.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Even were polling perfectly accurate. 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´. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. No. and only samples a small part of the population. One such person is Patrick Henry.com . cultures. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. while they share some of the same beliefs. This is democracy at its most tenuous. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. 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. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. while he never supported the Constitution. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. that the government has. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. Samuel Bryan. Robert Yates. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed.
Therefore.wcdebate. be achieved. 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. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. 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. but it is often still private in nature. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. But even if all of the things above were not true. AntiFederalists. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. 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. In other words. The lowest is that of labor. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. Indeed. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. interestingly enough. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. and without a strong federal ability to tax. find that situation lacking. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). Even if every state kept standing militias. the arts. The same problems that were apparent at the time of the Articles of the Confederation are still present in a system that devolves a great deal of authority. The 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 similar pursuits. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. Once all private demands are met. which encompasses crafts. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. 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. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. such as food and shelter. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. this is often not the case. The reason for this is because.com . First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. an important political theorist from this century. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. Finally. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. on the other hand. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. 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. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. many of the Anti-Federalists papers make explicit reference to Greek and Roman societies ± before they developed strong tyrannical central governments ± as being ideals insofar as democracy is concerned. but 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. The next highest is work. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. say. Arendt. In fact. 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. and therefore be happy and free. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. The incapability of internal uprisings and the like to be dealt with a weak central government was arguably shown back as early as Shay¶s Rebellion. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. The ancient Greeks despised labor. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end.
it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. With regard to the security issue. such as funding of the sciences and arts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. Environmental disputes were not much of a problem back in colonial times when the majority of the United States had yet to even be charted by European settlers. One of the revolutions in the past hundred years has been the increasing role of the federal government as the protector of individual rights from state discrimination. 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. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. In addition to security. and so forth. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. issuing bonds. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order.wcdebate. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. Given how complex the economic system is today. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive.com . with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. internal commerce. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. rights. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. As for internal problems. and the government. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. 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. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. 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. 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. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. hope is not lost yet. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. Having a national bank system. but it is a huge issue now. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character.
It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. 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. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. such as greater states rights in a particular area. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. as a political theory taken in general.wcdebate. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. 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. 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. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. as Hannah Arendt suspects. 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. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. federal governments. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Moreover. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. and therefore in direct democracy. 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. has many potential benefits and downfalls. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state.com . The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. Participation in a public democracy. Instead. Money alone cannot produce happiness. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. local. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population.
Bernard. 1986. Bailyn. Dry. 1997. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. Penguin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . 1995. 1987. THE HUMAN CONDITION. Robert. and Storing. 1958. 1993. Arendt. Ralph.wcdebate. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. Northern Illinois University Press. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. Wood. 1981. 1969. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR. Bruce. University of Chicago Press. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. John Wiley & Sons. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Berns. Alfred Knopf. 1992. 1981. University of Chicago Press. Walter. Library of America. Murray. Gordon. Storing. Hoffer. Sinopoli. Simon & Schuster. Duncan. University of Colorado Press. Dolbeare. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. Kenneth. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Herbert. Georgetown Press. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hannah. Richard. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Herbert. 1992. 1992. University of Chicago Press. FROM MANY. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. Ketcham. Christopher. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. inc. Harvard University Press. ARTICLES. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST.
3. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. and depends on accidents. in process of time. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. 38. 1997. p. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. sentiments. 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. FROM MANY.com . better understood. If this be not the case. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. a legislature. The laws and customs of the several states are. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. the people. great and glorious. Professor of Political Science. 170-171. Anti-Federalist Writer. Anti-Federalist Writer. the interest of the public is easier perceived. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. In a republic. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. Both of these. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. 1995. in many respects. as would constantly be contending with each other. he has interest of his own. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. ultimately disempowering. and. in the words of Hannah Arendt. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. the manners. of consequence. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. diverse. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. and of course are less protected. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. and their interests. and without virtue there can be no happiness. 2. turbulent. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. be the climate what it may be. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. The Grecian republics were of small extent. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. 37.wcdebate. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. that it will ultimately. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and interests of the people should be similar.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. p. abuses are of less extent. there can be no virtue. are in general lazy. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. extended their conquests over large territories of country. it is subordinate to exceptions. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. formed of representatives from the respective parts. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views. and more within the reach of every citizen. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. 1997.´ 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. very diverse. p. it is true. FROM MANY. cowardly. of consequence. This will retard the operations of government. and the consequence was. by oppressing his fellow citizens. In a small one. and in some opposite. In a large republic. any thing like the extent of the United States. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. and consequently of less moderation. so also was that of the Romans. The United States includes a variety of climates.
LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. the latter." Thus. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. and the complication of interests. and the equality of the manners. In other words. beget a confidence in the people. p. 1995. Spring.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. Furthermore. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. 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. It is this stubborn persistence of racially polarized voting that confirms the enduring wisdom of and necessity for the Anti-Federalist view that representatives should be "made of the same stuff collectively as their constituents. Locke remarks. either limited or despotic. p. 42. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). where the mildness of the laws.com . This moderation in governments. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. 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. 78. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. p. rather.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. whose ambition for power. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. depends in a great measure on their limits. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. which produces this security. and to work together. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. is best obtained in moderate governments. will oppress and grind you²where. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. 2. and any attempt to conflate the judgments of those independent entities had to be agreed to by them and the like associations involved in order to be legitimate. useful or not. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or the opinion. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. Anti-Federalist Writer. and too mysterious for you to understand. 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. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. and observe. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. there was a series of particular ³welfares´ that could only be considered general when in fact the question at issue was one of mutual concern as determined by the state itself. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters. Mr. the phenomenon of white bloc voting makes race-conscious districting a properly narrow means to further the "compelling interest" in full freedom for black Americans -. From this picture. what can you promise yourselves.wcdebate. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. nor compact. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. into the hands of individuals. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. and aggrandizement. too. Professor of Political Science. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. 37-8. or at least in the opinion we have of security. is a government derived from neither nature. other than those basic natural laws (but these." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. Political liberty. Associate Professor of Law. or the opinion. the great Montesquieu again observes. If that latter clause is read correctly. and this security therefore. from the vast extent of your territory. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. connected with their political distribution. 2000. 1997. consists in security. on the score of consolidation of the United States. FROM MANY.
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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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2000. And his marriage of philosophy." where matter. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. must be a nonconformist. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. academic science of modernist philosophy. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been.. in contrast. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. Today. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. However. But he remained. immaterial. and have great potential for debates over morality.To be great is to be misunderstood. 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..A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. unchanging. they could only contemplate it. But humans could never really reach such a world. he lost a spouse. Emerson. a child. values. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted.. he had his house burn down. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. and lived through the Civil War. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. and politics. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. and perfection was unattainable. living entities died. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). and incorruptible." Things changed. In this sense. 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. Plato." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency. in doing so. optimistic about humanity. two brothers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. people and history existed. 1882. removed from day-to-day history. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. Spring. at least in principle. Brown. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. however. while the realm of "becoming. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. certain major themes stand out in his writings. 669). Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. he was even more a mystic than Plato." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings.com . LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. To understand transcendentalism. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27.. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. p.wcdebate. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent.
and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. Although. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). history. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. Emerson. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. Like Hegel. as we shall see. 3. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more.com ." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. at the end of "Circles. as its name implies. viewpoints." But the idea that we are all joined by one common soul has immediate and important political implications that give a strong metaphysical basis to the American political ideal of equality. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. in this respect. because. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. comprehensive understanding.edu/entries/emerson/).wcdebate. "Intellect"). This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. Transcendentalism.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding. being and becoming. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming. Plato rejected human matters. which he saw as our connection to the divine. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. unlike Plato. to being a pantheist. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. with your best deliberation and heed.stanford. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. as the basis of genuine knowledge. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. As mentioned. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. Emerson really means to "accept. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. based more on feeling than analysis. You cannot. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. That is why. He was very close. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. higher understanding." as he puts it. After all. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. or doctrines. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." including emotions such as love. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. 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. on the other hand.´ Like the German and British Romantics. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. the past is always swallowed and forgotten.´ 2. In other words. whilst you rise from your bed. politics and the like.
OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. and for thoughts. "the otherest. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. 2000. p. Implications for Debate First. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. 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). divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). First. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. presumably. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. This is true of every human being. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. the necessity of self-reliance." Like friendship and reading. of course. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier.com . 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. 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. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. This. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. morality is more important than obeying the law.wcdebate. 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. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. Because of this. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson.' ´ (Thomas J. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. and the power of individual action. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. through Nature. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. or other distinct groups. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. however imperfect. George Santayana among them. In his essay ³Self-Reliance. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. Some critics. Brown. Spring. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. Second.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. 669). In this way. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. they will perform virtuously. democracy. he also extolled the virtues of capitalism.
In this way.com . and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism.wcdebate. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence.W. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences.F. his optimism about humanity and democracy. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. Transcendentalist ethics. Emerson¶s eloquence. For example. However. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands. Third. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil. As noted above. 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. on the other hand.
Konvitz. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. 1978). REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. A YANKEE IN CANADA. Emerson. 1978). N. Mead. ed.. 1941). Black. GROWTH. Emerson. Ralph Waldo. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ralph Waldo. eds. MEANING (New York: Dodd. and Ferguson. POEMS. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. Sealts Jr. Emerson. McGiffert. David. Stephen E.. Gordon Sherman.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Ralph Waldo.wcdebate. 1995). 1968). 1947) Emerson.. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. eds.: Kennikat Press. Ralph Waldo. 1903).Y. Huggard. Robinson. FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Joel.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. Emerson. POWER. 1981).com . Alfred R. ed. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. 1982). 1954). 1959). OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Susan Sutton. and Whicher. Joel. Gougeon. N. Gay Wilson. NAPOLEAN. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 1878). 1900). RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. Ralph Waldo. ADDRESSES (New York: W. Mifflin. Arthur Cushman Jr.H. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Smith. Porte. Emerson. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. eds. J. 1938). Ticknor and Fields. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. Osgood and Company.. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. William Allen. ed. 1966). 1866). Emerson. Merton M. 1969). Ralph Waldo. Haight. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. Len and Myerson. Milton R. Ralph Waldo. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE.
and abdicate his kingdom. Every natural action is graceful. p. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. as most men do. 2. 15. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. Phocion.com . For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. among sordid objects. Socrates. the sun as its candle. It is his. Truth. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. p. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Beauty. 15. Pindar. that it to say. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. and the frame will suit the picture. in its largest and profoundest sense. God is the all-fair. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. This element I call an ultimate end. every departure from his own convictions. American transcendentalist philosopher. 13. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. p. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. He may divest himself of it. and nature became ancillary to a man. 2000.--the persons. 2. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. and beauty. American transcendentalist philosopher. and goodness. 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. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. are but different faces of the same All. 1986. 12. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. the opinions. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. American transcendentalist philosopher. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. In private places. if he will. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. The presence of a higher. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. 1986. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1986. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. Every heroic act is also decent. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. he may creep into a corner. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and the day. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. Homer. namely. is that which is found in combination with the human will. is one expression for the universe. American transcendentalist philosopher. p. that every false word he has uttered.
It is therefore a principle of law. American transcendentalist philosopher. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. principles that astonish. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. motion. justice. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. They will not be written out on paper. These laws execute themselves. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. 2000. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. I question the value of our civilization. They elude our persevering thought. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. fear. 1986. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. The sense of injustice is blunted. and that an immoral statute is void. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. that an immoral contract is void. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. p. love. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. 362. pp. for. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction.wcdebate. gravity. 1986. as laws do not make right. appetite. 72-73. American transcendentalist philosopher. man. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. For virtue is the very self of every man. They are out of time. muscular force. if judges only quote authorities. interact. American transcendentalist philosopher. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. 73. out of space. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. p. and God. covers. 2. at every hazard. and not subject to circumstance. under what seem foolish details. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. American transcendentalist philosopher. and in the game of human life. p. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM.com . in our own remorse. or spoken by the tongue.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in each other¶s actions. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. 361. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. 2000. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity.
he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. 1962. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. combination.com . pp. philosopher. and sit till we are stone.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 3. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS.´ he announces. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. ³Life is a search after power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. The political corollary to this belief is an almost unmitigated laissez-faire: ³Trade is an instrument of that friendly Power which works for us in our own despite«Our part is plainly not to throw ourselves across the track. p. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON.´ 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. not to block improvement. In these essays and elsewhere.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. 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.´ 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. in doing so. 90. 1999.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. 68-69. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. ³Power´ and ³Wealth. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. and to conspire with the new works of new days. 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.wcdebate.´ 2. 1999. 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´. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. p. 68. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. ³marry Right to Might. information (and) science. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. in its room.
Boston existed serenely. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago.´ It was no surprise.´ James concludes. an island above the extremes of common human experience. Empty. Far from it. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana. ³like a ministry without an opposition. philosopher. For James. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. p. philosopher. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. by its very definition. the foul.com . however. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. is not representable by any specific faculty. Mysticism. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. p. as we have said. 1962.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. 32-33. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. Nature. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. the imagination and all its works²art.´ 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. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. 1996. in his 1888 essay. must share this reproach. EMERSON AND POWER. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. Professor of English at Michigan State University. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. the whole ³Concord school´ had. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness.wcdebate. 32. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. 1962. dogma. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. or Beauty? He could not. panting for sensations. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. Emerson¶s limited moral world was.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. As every new category. the base. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. p. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. Benefit. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. ³Emerson¶s personal history. then. as he thinks. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. Law. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing.´ 3. EMERSON AND POWER. so constantly on his lips. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. 35. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative.´ ³We get the impression. 2. as Matthiessen notes.´ sealed off. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. p. 4. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark.´ he recalled. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1996.´ He continued. almost exclusively in the moral world. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. its rewards and consolations. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. for God. Professor of English at Michigan State University. God. and as the absolute. As far as James was concerned. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. 31.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. Not surprisingly. 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. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. At the same time. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. From a very early age. the son of a grocer. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. By now. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. Vermont.com . There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. Maryland. and taught high school for three years. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. in philosophy. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. on October 20. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. Two years later. 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. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. He graduated in 1879. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. If. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. For Dewey. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. he received his PhD. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. 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. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. at the age of twenty. politics and education.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and grow accordingly.wcdebate. 1859. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. In 1894. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. as some critics have charged. In the fall of 1882. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea.
and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. Like existentialists. 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. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. or appeals to the truth of scripture. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. I might be a liberal. Ziniewicz. 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. concerning the philosophy of religion. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In 1904. John Dewey died on June 1. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. both as a race and as individuals. and education. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. and least known. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles. Humans. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you.fred. as part of nature.com . Humans may. To them. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. also have a history of change. This explains why. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. Dewey sees humans as part of nature. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. However.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. I might be a socialist.wcdebate. and sees nature as constantly changing. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. But unlike existentialists. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. ethics. through experience and reflection (in fact. and despite this impact. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). and concerned with social justice. he was viewed by leftists as fair.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. removed from everyday experience. few philosophers are more misunderstood. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. (http://inst. but rather in reference to what "works.shtml).augie. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence." in theory or practice. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. 1952. although Dewey was no socialist." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. This will become important later. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. www. 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). impartial. genuine experience. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty.net/tzaka/deweynew. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges.html). brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. Similarly. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. and these experiments. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. politics.
It may even include mystical. because my teachers warn me about it. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. as already stated. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. They experiment. Thus. At that point. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. Rather.but in all cases there is a social context. where we learn from and with other people. and so on. to the maximum benefit of all participants. Moreover. I am part of the world). I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. propose and oppose. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. Dewey supports community ideals because. experience can be active or passive. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. For Dewey. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. Dewey insisted. At least. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. Finally. In summary. test. or religious experience. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience.xrefer. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. and includes reflection as well as interaction.wcdebate. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. I could never consider it "true. however. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action.com . and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. (Ziniewicz. When my experience no longer verifies it. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. I reconsider the original idea. First. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. (http://www. the example shows that theories and ideas change. I fail. emotional.com/entry/551811) Finally. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. My assignment is poorly written. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. It includes long-term. pragmatically speaking.´ In sum. as a result of collective experience. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. which we'll examine in the next section. Second. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." In fact.
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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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Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. 2. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. brushes. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. however. and you have freedom. p. p. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. 1968. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. American pragmatist philosopher.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. American pragmatist philosopher. the explicit thing. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. p. FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. 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. For these take effect in making preference. 89. political and moral matters is a gift of God. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. and resolute. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. 3. between the natural self and the ideal self.com . the possible self does not represent a remote. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. Carry that identity farther. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. 1991.wcdebate. alert. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling. It is complete only in its possibilities. That is the basis of responsibility. because open and moving toward a new future. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. In its reality. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. In obligation. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. Thinking. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. In other words. desire and purpose more flexible. It requires favorable objective conditions. 296. just as the art of painting requires paint. 298. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. and canvas. American pragmatist philosopher. No more than any other art is it developed internally. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. like mathematics. LECTURES ON ETHICS.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. 1968. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. but power of vision and reflection. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it.
1968. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. which we want or are after. the true kind. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. pp. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. p. Pragmatically. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. one absolute and static because exhausted. 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. pp. For ordinary purposes.com . The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. like all others. 48-49.´ A reality which is taken in organic response so as to lead to subsequent reactions that are off the track and aside from the mark. in the problem of personal freedom. p. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. rights and demands are products of interactions. that is for practical purposes. perfectly real. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. American pragmatist philosopher. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. and. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. 297-98. American pragmatist philosopher. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. while it is. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. It is one with our individuality.´ 2. 2. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. 1968. effective. existentially speaking. whether moral or psychological. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. It lacks the hallmark of value. 1968. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. is not good reality. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. American pragmatist philosopher. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. this possibility has to be actualized. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough.wcdebate. that is. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. in command of capital. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. 139. emerged. it is this kind. But like all other possibilities. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. and freedom of contract. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. 1968. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. 281. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. For the conditions that form political and economic liberty are required in order to realize the potentiality of freedom each of us carries with him in his very structure. Since actual. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. morally they alone are ³real. teleologically. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. American pragmatist philosopher. much less a deviation or excrescence. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. use of coal and steam. as facts have demonstrated.
Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. Instead of playing a directing role. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. Dewey¶s view of the teacher. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. 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. Marxist philosopher and activist. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED.com . it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. for it combined a conception of the child. However. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. to have interpreted their meaning. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. as I have reiterated.S. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. an authority on some aspect of the culture. 115. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events.wcdebate. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. Dewey was impressed. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. 2. p. Marxist philosopher and activist. p. 1975. 256. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. to some extent. is also unsatisfactory. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. 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.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. at least in broad outline. like a football captain. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. and he or she is meant to be. as by Dewey. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. 1975. 251. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. which claims to be so realistic and practical. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. 1977. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. p.S. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. If ³democracy´ is to include. Peters. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1977. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. as it usually does. 114.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. 2. should have done no less. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. p. In a game most of the participants know how to play. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. Peters. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century.
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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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the removal of all economic barriers to trade. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. an international regime managing trade. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. A free. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. alike in peace and in war. However. Open covenants of peace. Still. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. wishes to live its own life. 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. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. 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.com . that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. 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.´ Wilson said. III. There. IV. so far as possible.wcdebate. 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.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. like our own. In fact. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. V. What we demand in this war. The removal. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. II. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. openly arrived at. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ That doesn¶t mean. open-minded. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. skeptical of the League of Nations. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. therefore. outside territorial waters.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. ³I. determine its own institutions. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. however.
Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. for example). preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. One scholar on inter-American affairs. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. solve disputes. in my estimation. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It is possible. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis.) From another right-wing perspective. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. 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. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. they would argue.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. -. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide.´ which mean different things to different people. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs.N. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being. both in domestic and foreign policy. The right has a somewhat different slant. and work together toward common goals. It is better. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. Overseas. the establishment of an independent Polish state. Take the example of Latin America. and established the progressive income tax. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism. then. 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. But that¶s another story. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace.com . and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. Abraham F. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. including evacuation of conquered lands. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. they argue. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. Lowenthal. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. is Wilson¶s legacy. 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. and even if we can. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. etc. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States.wcdebate.´ As we¶ve talked about. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle.
he fell ill and never fully recovered. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics. This can be explained by the American public¶s marked opposition to the war: he knew from polls what a winning election issue would be. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. Wilson retired to Washington. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. Overseas. where he died in 1924. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. After this effort. was interventionist by nature. D.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. either). Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G. as Wilsonian in nature -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.000 miles by rail around the country.. For these reasons. Foreign policy: Wilson. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world.C. for example. Harding in 1920.com . One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson.wcdebate. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. James M. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad.
1971. Warren and Lynne Dunn. Auchincloss. Mark.wcdebate.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. accessed April 22. Howard. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. 1991 Zinn. Political Studies Department. John Morton. Princeton University Press. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 1998. South Africa. Daniels. 2002. Ambrosius. Gilderhus. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. 2001. http://www. 10.htm. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. University of Arizona Press. 2000. Arthur. May 7. PBS documentary. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. accessed May 1. 1965 Link. 1986 Knock. 1997 Levin. 1980 Link. Oxford University Press. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION. 2.africa.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. p.pbs. Herbert. 1998 Chomsky. November 1994. 2002.html. Thomas. 1956 Rowen. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. Josephus. Korwa G.zmag. University of California Press. Arthur. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. Kent State University Press. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. 1920-1939. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Princeton University Press. accessed April 22.ufl. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. Louis. Rhodes University. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.com .org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Blum. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. No. Princeton University Press. available online at http://www. Z MAGAZINE. Norman Gordon. http://web. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. Viking Press. 1913-1921. Vol. Noam. Cambridge University Press.htm. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2002. THE NEW FREEDOM. 2000. 1995 Kuehl. Lloyd. 2. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE.
Mulder. 2002.pbs. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. available online at http://www. The direct election of United States senators.html. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Historian.. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 1998. Political Studies Department. 2001.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. np. 2002.html. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Indeed. accessed May 1.html. accessed April 22. PBS documentary. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. available online at http://www. Historian.htm. PBS documentary. accessed May 1. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. np. 2001. BUT THE COLD WAR. as well as presidential ambition. accessed May 1. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development. However. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 3. After his visit to Africa. p. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. np. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. 4. Rhodes University.africa. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. Adar. http://web. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. South Africa. 2002. Historian. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. Wilson matters as the first modern president. 2001. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. 2002. np. prohibition.com . No.wcdebate. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2. p. and women¶s suffrage. PBS documentary. 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. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage.pbs. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes.. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. 2.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. available online at http://www.ufl. Vol.pbs. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s. p. p. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M. 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.
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. South Africa. accessed May 1. accessed May 1. PBS documentary. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2. http://web. In his view. 2002.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. accessed April 22. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 4. Social and Cultural Rights. Rhodes University.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Vol. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.html. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. Historian.htm. Rhodes University. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. 2001.africa. No. he argued. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. Wilsonianism had a global impact. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice. 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. Historian. available online at http://www. p. np. limited government. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. 3. np.ufl. 2002. 2002. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. the momentum on the issues of democracy and human rights was evidenced with the appointment of Eleanor Roosevelt to Chair a Commission on Human Rights. He 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. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs.N. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. In this respect. For Wilson. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. np.html. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 2. Thus. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead.com . Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War.pbs. np.africa. the realization of individual freedom. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson.htm. available online at http://www.wcdebate. Adar. p. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. 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. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism. For the colonized peoples of Africa. 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. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. he was never evasive in that way. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. 2.ufl. Adar. 2. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. 1998.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.pbs. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. This. South Africa. 2002. Political Studies Department. 2001. No. 1998. accessed April 22. 2. p. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. Moreover. Vol. PBS documentary. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. p. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. http://web. Political Studies Department. would promote America's long term interests.
p. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. France. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. As the matter is now rephrased. That is to continue. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. np. domestic and foreign."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously. trusting that "the United States. The Europeans knew this. Martin observed. The Haitian military. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. p. and to accept the rule of private power. Consider Peter Hakim.S. 2. and have been kept in power by U.wcdebate. aid and training for that purpose since. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue.com . or by its traditional master. And he knows full well what efforts are made to broaden government to include authentic representatives of the overwhelming majority of the population in Latin America.html. "At first. was its friend and protector. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education. 10. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. available online at http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded.pbs." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans.N. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. 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. If he is." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world. To evaluate what lies ahead. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. despite its rhetoric of democracy. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population.. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. 2002. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. open trade. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. and the world did not want the American principles. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. 2001. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. accessed May 1. Hakim observes. recognized that the U. unlike the U. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. witness the case of Guatemala. Z MAGAZINE. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. PBS documentary.S. As discussed here in July. Ian Martin. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. It hasn't been easy.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. They were proven right. November 1994. "in most Latin American countries. Historian. and Canada. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac.
In the current era. civilized mediation. the noise of democracy. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.africa.html. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony." he wrote. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. 10. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business.pbs. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. Rhodes University. portrayed in the same light. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other.htm.wcdebate. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. 3. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent.ufl. if at times secondary. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. 2000. np. but his behavior was often very paternalistic.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. 2002. 2. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. Apple. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G. http://web. PBS documentary. available online at http://www. and put anti-war protesters in prison. Political Studies Department. brought our country into the hell of World War I. W. accessed May 1. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. Backers of President Aristide. South Africa.zmag. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. Adar. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. np. Z MAGAZINE. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. p. accessed April 22. "Like the French in the 19th century. has been an altogether different story.com . Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. to say nothing about their weapons" -. p. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. accessed April 22. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. however. http://www.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. very controlling. p. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. November 1994. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside. or Helen Keller. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. one of those Wilson sent to prison. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. No. 2. 2001. 2. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. May 7. 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. np. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings.htm. As for Woodrow Wilson. 2002. 2002. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. Vol. 1998. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn." 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.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. who reviewed the lessons of history. p. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. "For two centuries. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism.
a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression. Historians. In fact. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He passed important legislation. William E.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. 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. He wasn¶t -.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. of course -. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. from right to left to centrist. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. Another element is that most American of traits. though. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -." according to Communist leader Earl Browder. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. Leuchtenburg.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. but we¶ll get to that below. I say with a smirk. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. one has doubtless done something right. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. and it happened 70 years ago. anti-Semitism. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio.com . He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. except Werner von Braun. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. popularly known as FDR. agree on this.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above.wcdebate. neither the left nor the right felt they had to restrain themselves when criticizing FDR: FDR was "carrying out more thoroughly and brutally than even Hoover the capitalist attack against the masses.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. anyway. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. and was generally beloved by the public. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs.according to Gentile standards. 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 majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. It wasn¶t.
Unlike most every other president. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. 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 did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. as we will see later. say. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office. he included economic rights in that list.wcdebate. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. Security for those who need it. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. In order to understand these. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. and perhaps they are right. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.and perhaps they are right. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." But believe it or not. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform. Jobs for those who can work. 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. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself. This is not quite true. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. it is important to understand the ideology behind them. as failing to meet the needs of the public.com . Leuchtenberg continued. These are the simple. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. If you¶re starving. Before. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. 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. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. FDR recognized this. The ending of special privilege for the few. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. The preservation of civil liberties for all.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -. too.
and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. but no one heard it from the President before then. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. He had his own ideas -. the Federal Housing Administration. finance. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. One of them is Robert Higgs.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. the aged poor. to him.instead.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. the conservative economic theorist. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. 3). He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. The FDR years. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). As evidence. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. Specifically. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go.com . from the day he is born. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. 2). Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. the Securities and Exchange Commission. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. finance. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. the Social Security Administration. industry. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the National Labor Relations Board.wcdebate. the physically handicapped. no one looms larger than FDR. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. Nope. Higgs writes.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Social Security. Cradle to the grave . the physically handicapped. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. industry. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. Sure. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. the Farm Credit Administration. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. ³with few exceptions. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. pensions for the elderly.but. unemployment insurance. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. the aged poor.´ He does not say this as a compliment. and the blind. and labor relations. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration).
³Each in its own fashion. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. including Henry Ford. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. which consigned over 100.wcdebate. Sadly. insuring. Korematsu v. 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.´ he writes. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. financing. By subsidizing. though the U. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. The vast majority of it was never returned. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. too. this was not the case. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. 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. One would think. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. that students have their college loans federally provided. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. told by William E. vanden Heuvel argues. 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. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. this much is undeniable.S. regulating. Charming. was at war with them. only sometimes. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. but that¶s the way it is. Their property was seized. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. (Which he was there. the Export-Import Bank.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. Famously. vanden Heuvel has noted. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. 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. William J. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. narratives end with perfect poetic justice.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com .´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. Even if you¶ve got a problem with. by the way. To his credit.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government.)´ Sometimes. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. being a victim of race-baiting himself. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century. FDR was the first (and. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. United States. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. say.
1992. 2002. Leuchtenburg. 1933.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. http://newdeal. Davis. accessed May 1. Gallagher. 1986. William E. Kimball. Warren F. Namorato. Higgs.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Michael V. Mead and Company Publishers. Jr. 1979. Schlesinger. EH. THE FREEMAN. 1970.washingtonpost.´ Jan. July 1997. Roosevelt. Boston: South End Press. Roosevelt. 1985. accessed May 9. Hugh Gregory. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. Robert. accessed May 5. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. 1932-1945. Noam.com . THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. Oxford University Press. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. University of Mississippi . http://www. Arthur M. 1959. 17. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. http://www.wcdebate. Dallek.eh.pbs. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2002. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. James MacGregor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.1987.htm. http://www. New York: Dodd.independent.feri. 1991. FRANKLIN D. September 1998.org/chat/chat03. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. 1935. 2002.NET BOOK REVIEW . DETERRING DEMOCRACY.html.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Robert. July 24.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´.shtml. Franklin Delano. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns. New York: Random House Publishing. accessed May 10.ECONOMIC HISTORY. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security. http://www. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. Kenneth S. Chomsky. Department of History.htm.html. Franklin Delano. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review..org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. accessed May 02. 2002.
accessed May 5. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office.1987.eh. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V.htm.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy.. Roosevelt himself. Roosevelt's Washington. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. p. in Barber's opinion. 2002.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience. 3). ." 3. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. 2002.net/bookreviews/library/0024.. where trading resumed on March 15. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR.htm. In this sense. Barber believes that professional economists had a president who was willing to listen to them and who was a "consumer" of what they had to offer. too. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. how Franklin D. accessed May 5. 1). in short. http://www. 2002. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious.wcdebate. http://www. one eyewitness later remembered. Department of History. Leuchtenburg.1987. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser.just where they are going." On the New York Curb Exchange. Similar to his earlier study. p. the political paralysis. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt.com . Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge." Again and again. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. July 1997. 2). "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p.Happy days are here again. not least those who are disadvantaged.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Namorato. everyone was joyous. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. After much experimentation. np.shtml. accessed May 1. gone. There was something in the air that had not been there before. np." noted one business journal. University of Mississippi . Patterson. Leuchtenburg. crowds moved excitedly..ECONOMIC HISTORY. 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. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. The historian James T. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display.washingtonpost. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America. "The people aren't sure. 2.NET BOOK REVIEW . EH. p. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed. Overnight. http://www. np. In the homes on the streets. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn. Although not a great economic thinker.washingtonpost.
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.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Leuchtenburg. 1998. No private program and no public policy. although promulgated by Franklin D.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. in any sector of our national life. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions.1987. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. p. Vol.wcdebate. 2.htm. Rhodes University." Robert Divine has concluded. accessed April 22. 2002. 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. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. np. As a wartime president. 2. Roosevelt.htm. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. accessed May 5." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. "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. http://web. Adar. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. and.com . Wilson's intellectual heir. a position he was said to prefer to all others. p. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. No.washingtonpost." 3. As commander-in-chief. http://www.1987. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. and it seems improbable.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR. np.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it is framed with perfect futility.washingtonpost. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. late in his second term. np.africa. Political Studies Department. Leuchtenburg. 2002. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. South Africa.ufl. 2. When he took office. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. http://www. accessed May 5. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought. p.htm. 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. given the nature of nuclear weapons.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. 2002.
ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. accessed May 02. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as many observers claimed at the time. accessed May 02.html. he got himself elected time after time. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending.independent. September 1998. 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. http://www. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. Flynn said of FDR. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. and direct government participation in productive activities. As John T.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the New Dealers had a method. p. THE FREEMAN. In fact. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs. After all. 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. high unemployment. THE FREEMAN. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution. http://www. But for all his undeniable political prowess. THE FREEMAN. and business failures.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. uncertainty. 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. accessed May 02. The irony is that even if Roosevelt did help to lift the spirits of the American people in the depths of the depression-an uplift for which no compelling documentation exists-this achievement only led the public to labor under an illusion. taxes.wcdebate. regulations. np. np. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme.html. p. fear. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. maintain a sound currency. ³it was always easy to interest him in a plan which would confer some special benefit upon some special class in the population in exchange for their votes. subsidies. np. Roosevelt deserves no reverence. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. no economy can grow. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. and hence overall private economic activity. He was no hero. 2002. 3. accessed May 02. p. balance the budget. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. the New Deal did prolong the depression. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. 2. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment. With its bewildering. September 1998. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since. http://www. incoherent mass of new expenditures.independent. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935.2 Without capital accumulation. THE FREEMAN.1 billion.independent. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. FDR and Congress.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. But however significant his legacies. Rather. September 1998. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936.com .org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. By wheeling and dealing.html.´ 4. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. p. np.independent. the New Deal created so much confusion. 2002. 2002. But instead. September 1998. 2002.html. by taxing and spending. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. http://www. In this madness.
DETERRING DEMOCRACY..net/bookreviews/library/0024.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism.shtml. accessed May 1. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. through Roosevelt and Truman. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. Department of History." etc. July 1997. EH.shtml. Still.wcdebate.endearingly exalted. 2002." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. Somehow. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach. University of Mississippi .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies. University of Mississippi . Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In the end. Namorato. Finally. a secret love affair. including many of the poor and working class. Finally. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS.html.. accessed May 1. etc.eh. 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. by Noel Annan." But that is only the carping of trivial minds. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. "in the grandest style. in his last chapters.a wasteland. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. In fact. Department of History. World War II." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. http://www.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal.ECONOMIC HISTORY. NOT FDR Michael V.. 2002. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort.. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. who placed their trust in him.. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy.. indeed revere. accessed May 1.splendidly eternal for romance.." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. http://www. and the immediate post-war era.NET BOOK REVIEW .." Try as they might. this demeanor as the aristocratic style." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history. Chapter 2. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. 2002. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt.eh. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement... 171)... 2.ECONOMIC HISTORY. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. July 1997. and how people like John K." 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. Namorato. http://www... EH... There was one published reaction. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur." and met the great crisis in their lives. FDR. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. 1992. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty.NET BOOK REVIEW . 3.com ..zmag. however.
com) admits. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. So. "Tom Hayden changed America". with that said. In 1968. the 7th U. the Los Angeles Times reported. Born December 11. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. Later.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. Along with four other defendants -. All the defendants. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. As his own website (www.com . 1939. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. 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. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. The other defendants. Together. Circuit Court of Appeals. though. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. Hayden decided to run for elected office. Who is right? Well. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. Students for a Democratic Society. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago.and those who consider them to be troublemaking.Jerry Rubin. in order to answer that question. his ideas. Abbie Hoffman. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. Hayden -. including Froines and Weiner. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. And unlike me. As some former radicals did. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far.wcdebate.´ 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. Basically. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. his life. He later served as a ³freedom rider. Undaunted by his legal trouble. District Judge Julius Hoffman. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nicholas Lemann.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. One of those movements. Hayden continued with his activism. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. In 1969 and 1970. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades.S. who were not convicted. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -.S.tomhayden.
too. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors.com . Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. convict with his sentence overturned. convict. Unlike many of his fellow radicals.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. 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. lots of different kinds. He has an infant son with Williams. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. former husband of actress. and other activists of various stripes. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. He backed pro-labor. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". author. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. While a state legislator. and more. (Look it up. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements.remember. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. Even in his youth.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. of course. 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. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. What kind of action? Well. Until he was forced out by term limits. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. 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. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. politician. the SDS had socialist leanings -. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. including legislation on behalf of women. At least one prominent political figure. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams.he sponsored numerous bills. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. to take action. husband of actress. That includes student groups. and on and on.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. Activist. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. activist. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics.wcdebate. In fact. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. Indeed. kids). Hayden fought against university tuition increases. workers. But mainstream groups honored him. again husband of different actress.
of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. Thus. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. might die at any time. the SDS. Quite the opposite is true. brought awareness that we ourselves.com . When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Higher education is fully integrated into . this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended. Naturally. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. at least in the United States.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. 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. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. Let us turn to the latter group now. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. As a result. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society.or contaminated by. depending on how we view it American society. This man who makes so much of being able to distinguish between shadow and substance in Plato's cave becomes blind to the fact that the anguished cry of the students in the 60s was not so very different from Bloom's own lament. of course. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. higher education is not separate from democracy. Especially because of the nuclear age. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. Rather than moral relativism. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. 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 -. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization. Like many of his vintage. and our friends. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind.´ It seems. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities. for example. It is not Plato's cave. Hayden might say. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. if one is not progressive at all. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that.wcdebate. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. And.. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. Just because it isn¶t your morality.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. or Soviet) communism -. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. insists Hayden to this day. then.
HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. According to observers. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. 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.is not something we will concern ourselves with here.certainly.and the vexing corollarly question. they might be criticized for methods -. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention.not unlike many members of the debate community. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. However." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. philosophies and ideas -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times.wcdebate. CONCLUSION -. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen.com . this is far from undisputed. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. Because of the overturned conviction. Nevertheless.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.
theamericanenterprise. 1966.com . http://coursesa.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. November 27. 1999. accessed May 2. Tom Hayden. Staughton & Thomas Hayden.frontpagemag. activist and former California state legislator. 2001. MISSION TO HANOI. activist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Rinehart and Winston. 2002. REUNION: A MEMOIR. Fall 1987. http://www. New York: New American Library. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. B1. May/June 1997. Tom. Hayden. accessed May 2. 1962. 20. Tom. The Other Side.htm. Port Huron Statement. Hayden. p. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. 1972.matrix. 2002. accessed May 1. Chicago: Holt. #4. New York: Random House. New York: International Publishers. activist and former California state legislator. WASHINGTON POST. Horowitz. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker. December 5. 2002.html. 1967). Volume 4. Hayden. David. Ronald.msu. http://www.wcdebate.htm. p. Tom.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Radosh. former radical. the New Left and the Leftover Left. Hayden.org/taemj97s. 1988. Lynd. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. Tom.
AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. the government? It is to this latter yearning. marching. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. activist and former California state legislator. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. being gassed myself. activist. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. 1962. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. B1. It was honorable to protest that situation. 5. the bureaucracies. p. only one was about Viet Nam.msu. 3. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. 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. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. the workplaces.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts.. One reporter even asked me.html. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . p. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. B1. Port Huron Statement. 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. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency. On the contrary.. But we are a minority . 2002. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. http://coursesa. activist. For the first time in memory.msu. p. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. 20. on the contrary. paralyzing policy discussion.. 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. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. we hope. WASHINGTON POST.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. WASHINGTON POST. #4. Fall 1987.wcdebate. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. 4. activist. at once the spark and engine of change. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. December 5. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. My serious take on the question might surprise you. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. one which moves us and. 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. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. 2002.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. Volume 4. 2.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.matrix. http://coursesa. accessed May 2. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1962. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. p. and a commitment to social experimentation with them." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. np. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. Port Huron Statement. activist. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors.html. December 5.com . Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living.matrix. not that of their opponents. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. accessed May 2. others today. 1999. They were. 1999. Based on five days of joining in protests. np. calling on us not to be "good Germans. that we direct our present appeal.
#4. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Fall 1987. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. 3. At my university. 2. Fall 1987. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt.the legitimacy of questioning everything . 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.com . 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. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society.wcdebate. activist and former California state legislator. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. activist and former California state legislator. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. Fall 1987. #4. Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. the president of Yale. 20. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. Furthermore. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. p. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. Volume 4. p. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. Volume 4. Fall 1987. NPQ: Bloom argues that. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. I'll give another example. 4. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. If there has been an erosion of general education. in the 60s. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. p. And it did. 20. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. Kingman Brewster. and Bloom knows that. or Morningside Heights. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 4. One week after the Kent State shootings. 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. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. #4. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. #4. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 4. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. let's also not forget the 60s are over. Speaking of mindlessness. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. activist and former California state legislator. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 20. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. 20.
org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. accessed May 1. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. During the trial.htm. One of the conspirators. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda.theamericanenterprise. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left.org/taemj97s. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot.org/taemj97s. 2002. he said more than once. 2. May/June 1997. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hayden and seven other radicals. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. Four years later. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. 3. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. former radical. Because of such considerations. former radical. 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. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. it "radicalizes them. When the dust cleared in Chicago. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. accessed May 1." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. Jerry Rubin. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. 2002. 2002. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama.wcdebate. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. http://www.htm. http://www. accessed May 1. former radical.theamericanenterprise. http://www. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics.theamericanenterprise. and the chaos on the convention floor.htm. May/June 1997. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police.
causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday.htm." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. Thursday. the New Left and the Leftover Left. 2002. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01.com . HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. http://www. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. Having secured pacifist cover. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. but it gives the lie to those who argue that there is simply no connection between the early humanist New Left and the later Weathermen. 2002.wcdebate. and you check around and you got your piece. accessed May 2. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir. Sid Peck. He recruited the Yippies. May/June 1997.org/taemj97s.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. PREACHING PACIFISM. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. accessed May 1.theamericanenterprise. 5. former radical. At the event. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started.htm.org/taemj97s. http://www. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin." 4.theamericanenterprise. 2001.theamericanenterprise. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. Todd Gitlin. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent. May/June 1997. a member of mobe. accessed May 1." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden. and Saturday. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club. http://www. May/June 1997." and he told his co-organizer. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds.htm. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. 3. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz.frontpagemag.htm. http://www. and on Tuesday. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. November 27. Wednesday. 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. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. former radical. it will flow all over the city. 2002.org/taemj97s. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. 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. that he expected 25 people to die. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. one of SDS¶s first leaders. former radical. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Rennie Davis. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. accessed May 1. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla.
THE ZINN READER. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. His progressive history text. np.e. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p.´4 for example. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. spoken word CDs. scientific (i. 506 4 Zinn. revolutionized the way history is told. in part. he actively engages it. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://howardzinn. has sold more than 800. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive. April 18-24 1996. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. accessed May 11. THE ZINN READER. such as history textbooks used in schools. 2002. ³Zinn and the Art of History. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. These are that writing should be disinterested. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. objective. no date. p. either nationally or in terms of his own life.metroactive. because. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in.000 copies.com/papers/sonoma/04. 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.htm 2 Howard Zinn. from the author¶s perspective. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. [and] popular leaders. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. The author of more than 15 books. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. p. In contrast. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. 507 5 Zack Stenz. the mass media. 1997. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. neutral).wcdebate. p. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors. but almost universally accepted. 503-506 3 Zinn. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent.com . History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. I will address each of these in turn.org/index23. rules for ³good´ scholarship. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history.´5 This is due. he has authored several plays. the church.18.. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. 2002. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. http://www.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. within the context of history.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. rather than shying away from controversy.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. that is.1 In addition to his historical writing. and rational (unemotional). the character flaws of our leaders. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. There are four ways in particular that Zinn¶s historical methodology radically different from the norm: he recognizes (and even embraces) the bias in perspective that is a natural part of historiography. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. accessed May 12.96/books9616.
particularly the United States.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. This stems. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. Upton Sinclair. ³[D]espite his popularity. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. John Stienbeck. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. MOTHER JONES. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. accessed May 12. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. however."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. lived in tenements. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. which favors the rich. which was painful.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. and closely related to the last point. anarchist. The book is organized into nine sections. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. but extends to all of his writing. 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. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. and others.wcdebate. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. Inspired by his students. p. during the depression. np. and prohibited union membership. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). Z MAG. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. 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. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1998.´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. 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. http://howardzinn. np. NONVIOLENCE. Marx.org/index23.com . YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. is focused specifically on this topic. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. and ³when 6 7 Stenz.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. 2002. Georgia. Instead. in nearly all of his books. and various communist. physically demanding. 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. to a great degree. 8 Howard Zinn. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. p. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. he participated in extensive protest with his students. Third. then the punishment itself is unjust. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. However. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. Zinn came from a working class background. December 3. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn." Zinn says. Stenz. Despite the benefits of that job. and anti-fascist writers. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. At age eighteen. One of his lesser known books. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. from his role as a professor. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. Finally.
In a theoretical sense. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. Unfortunately. This would include violating curfews. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 1968. Moreover. Zinn argues that all things being equal. may be morally defensible. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. 29 Howard Zinn. and progress generally. blocking streets. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. p. This argument.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´9 In fact. 1968. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE LIMITED TO LAWS WHICH ARE THEMSELVES WRONG Statists argue that violating laws other than those which are directly unfair is unjustified. by Zinn. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. in the course of a protest. desegregation). for example. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable..11 9 Howard Zinn. p. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Revolutionary warfare. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. as being a nonviolent world. etc. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence.. 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. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 45 11 Howard Zinn. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. Zinn writes.com . Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence.wcdebate. Furthermore. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. 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. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws. or a local tyrannical elite. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice.´ 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. On the one hand.g. On the other hand. Zinn points out. nonviolence is better than violence. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. Generally. Self-defense is by its nature focused.´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. 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. p. In any humanist philosophy..
PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. Nevertheless. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. 2002. then law and justice are opposed to one another. This is certainly true at times. particularly for a United States historian. 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. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. THE ZINN READER. Thus. social. Chaos and violence are not. 371 14 Zinn. when there are no other viable means of successful protest.metroactive. There is also justice«. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. and she sees no other effective method. be it material. http://www. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. stability. they maintain peace and stability. 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. But when it sends young men to war. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely.¶ Zinn says.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. p. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality.¶ what was considered Zinn. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. and order are desirable. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. 370-371 Zinn. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. and will therefore be just. In these situations. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. is that law is created by the people. 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.com . Many conservative historians. p. therefore. and must therefore be followed.18. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. THE ZINN READER. THE ZINN READER. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. Often. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. There are two primary differences First. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. accessed May 11. peace.wcdebate. p. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life.96/books9616. in various terms.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just. as we have seen throughout history. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. but it may not bring justice. April 18-24 1996. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. or anything else. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history.com/papers/sonoma/04.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it.
to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. July 2001.18. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. April 18-24 1996. http://www. ³Artists of Resistency. Zinn feels that the real. by Mark Twain: Similarly.96/books9616.org/zinn0701. accessed May 11.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. And that's a critical thing to do. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies. accessed May 11. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted. ³Artists of Resistency. Thus.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. Instead.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not.progressive. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. 2002. Howard Zinn. accessed May 11.html 17 Howard Zinn.org/zinn0701. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. However. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people.com/papers/sonoma/04. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot.metroactive. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government. in contrast to the perception of his critics. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. http://www. far from being unpatriotic.html 18 Zack Stenz. http://www. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«.wcdebate. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. July 2001. often successfully. 2002.com .progressive.
AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. 2002 Zinn. New York: Harper Perennial.org/evolution/articles. New York: Harper Perennial. Accessed May 17. Ward. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. New York: Seven Stories Press. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR.com . New York: Vintage Books. New York: Signet Books. Howard. Boston: Beacon Press.freespeech. http://www.wcdebate. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. 2000 Zinn. 2001 Zinn. Boston: Beacon Press. Howard. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES.howardzinn. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. Howard.zmag. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. 2002. Accessed May 17. 2002. et al. Howard. SALESGIRLS. Howard. MUSICIANS. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1999 Fortas.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. 1968 Zinn. 1964 FREESPEECH. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. 1994 Zinn.ORG. New York: Seven Stories Press. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. Abe. Howard.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 2001 Zinn. http://free.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. 2002. 2000 Zinn. New York: Seven Stories Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Accessed May 17. 1991 Zinn. http://www. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). Howard. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.org/bios/homepage. Howard.
manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. and preferably directed against property rather than people. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. 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. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century. white people. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. http://howardzinn. 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. There are two reasons for such criteria. 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. and other means have been exhausted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. free black people.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. may move from mild actions. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998. And in the 1850s. 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. December 3.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 3. p. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. http://howardzinn.wcdebate. limited. And in a number of cases. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. 1998. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. injustices of all sorts. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. accessed May 12. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. Well people in the North.org/index23. 1968. 2002. to the 1850s. December 3.com . DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. juries acquitted them. 48-49. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn.org/index23. or in) self-defense. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 2002. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. black people. escaped slaves. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances. to disorder.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. 2. they gathered together in committees. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. 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.
freedom. 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. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. their calls for war.. ironically. p. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. that the moment we have cast our ballots.wcdebate. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. December 3. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 65-66. 2. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). 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.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. The psychologist Erich Fromm. 3.´) 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. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. or finally. 400-401.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. thinking about nuclear war. we have freedom to speak. Kennedy Campaigning). she responded quietly. p. The feeling is justified. a devastating war waged. in their appeals to patriotism. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. 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. 2002. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.org/index23. The result of all this is that most of us²when we are honest with ourselves²feel utterly helpless to affect public policy by the orthodox channels. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. 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. 1998. 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. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice. Historically.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. ³It¶s not God¶s law. http://howardzinn. when Dan went underground. the principles of peace. Surely. it is obedience to governments.com . by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. 1997. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. 1968. and before him. and justice. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. for the most part nonviolent. accessed May 12. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. how she felt about her son defying the law. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law.
p. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. must be identified. These mass demonstrations. It is not merely government that must live under law.com . 62-63. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. of course. But despite this. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. whatever its type. for the rules of law. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. ordered. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. 1968. however noble. indeed. charged. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. free of punishment or penalty. 1968. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. does not confer immunity for law violation. It was true in the case of Mrs. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. Agitators and provocateurs. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. as well as practical wisdom. He may be passionately inspired. But at the same time. however large and inconvenient. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. The motive of civil disobedience. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. These are not controlling. 1968. there is always danger that individual. or both. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. 70-71. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. p. in accordance with the provisions of law. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. and convicted. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. Frequently. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. whatever their object. 3. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. teach us that city officials. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. For example. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. Both of these are essential. The city must perform this duty. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. 2. Demonstrators must be organized. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. 64-65. Vivian Kellems. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. however peacefully intended by their organizers. persuasion. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. Each of us must live under law. and restrained law enforcement. If he is properly arrested. it is the city¶s duty under law. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. who refused to pay withholding taxes because she thought they were unlawful and she wanted to protest the invasion of her freedom as a capitalist and citizen. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. and as a matter of good sense. and controlled. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. p. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. He may. However careful both sides may be. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas.wcdebate. He cannot pick and choose. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. our Constitution and our traditions. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. 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. We are a government and a people under law.
if followed to its logical conclusions. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. pseudo-praxis). In either event ² mere ineffectuality or suicide ² the objective conditions leading to the necessity for social revolution remain unlikely to be altered by purely pacifist strategies. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. In every instance. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. or. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below.e.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. Pacifist praxis (or. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. 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. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. more appropriately. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). or even a substantial social reorganization. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. In El Salvador in 1944.uow. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. 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. 2002. 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. Australia. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. p. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. p. np.edu.´ 2. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. 2001. http://www. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. 2002. Associate Professor in Science. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. np. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state.wcdebate. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. after a short flowering. worthwhile change.uow. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. As these conditions typically include war. 2001. http://www. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. p. There was a military coup later in 1944.edu. it is inadequate on its own. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. 2001. 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. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. Australia.com .au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. Associate Professor in Science. Accessed May 17. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. 3. and continued repression in following decades. Accessed May 17. in practical terms. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence.
he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. Joseph Nye. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. Joseph Nye. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. and a graduate of the Ph. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. Jr. you¶d sort of be right.wcdebate. JR. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. However. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. You might think that Nye is merely another old. bald white establishment guy. All the while. He is a Rhodes Scholar. Longtime professor? Check. Jr. those are some big outstretched wings. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. 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. JR. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. 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. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. And. 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. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues.com . and Nye¶s likely got it. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. Well versed in foreign policy. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE.D program in government at Harvard. well. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. Just look at the wide variety of sources that have praised his work: from Machiavellian realists like Henry Kissinger to loose cannons like George Soros. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. was born in 1937. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge.
How. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want.wcdebate. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. the case of China. engagement.cultural.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. 2002. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. for example. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. such an evolution may continue. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. that's hard power. "Hard power is when I coerce you--if I the use a carrot or a stick to get you to do something you otherwise wouldn't do. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power.com . ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. An attempt to treat China as a threat. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. as should be clear. 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. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W. Containment is a more hawkish strategy. does one secure American interests. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. particularly in the post Cold War world. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort." This has not changed since September 11. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. for example. economic. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. then the United States must not isolate china. If that is true. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy . etc. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. That said. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. a hawk per se. Nye is not. But if I get you to want what I want. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade." Nye has said. then. China will be a force in the new century.. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. Nye reasons.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. Take. in fact. we aren¶t going to invade them.. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan.
Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. the International Monetary Fund. Volume 9 Page 94 history's tragic ironies if domestic politics leads to an unnecessary Cold War in Asia that will be costly for this and future generations of Americans. Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. we should be using our influence in a positive manner. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. in his view. such as China. especially the radical left.´ he wrote. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. Rather than isolating other nations.com . While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens. and the World Trade Organization. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history. an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified.
S. and in Japan particularly. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve.´ No matter how you slice it. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists.-Japan relationship. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. you will probably find them. according to Johnson.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. 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. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. 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. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. 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. However. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. Critics of this policy. There is no better example of this blowback. Johnson argues.S. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. Take. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. Nye¶s defense of the U. critics say. It is more likely. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. This type of self-justifying behavior. This entails both the United States maintaining a military presence in Asia (predominantly on the island of Okinawa) and the United States continuing to exert influence over Japan in international relations. the distinction between soft power and hard power. For example.wcdebate. not enhanced. Similarly. if you go looking for enemies. American credibility is diminished. security relationship. Further left. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. for example.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch. 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. 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. Even open-minded. His most recent book was just published this year. Just look at Okinawa.com . Instead. As the old Chinese proverb goes. than the U. critics say. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. on too many fronts. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement.S.
accessed May 1. 1985). (New York: The Free Press. Number 1.3858. Joseph S.. Jr. co-edited with Philip D.. 1997). 2000).-Feb.1. Jr. Jr. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. accessed May 5. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. Zelikow and Davic C... Jr. 2002.´ CURRENT (September 1999). THE OBSERVER. http://www.uk/Print/0. Nye. Joseph S. 1999) Nye.. Nye. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. co-edited with John D. Nye. Jr. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O.C. D. Nye. HAWKS. 2002. 2001)..00. 3d ed. 1990).. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. (New York: Basic Books. Joseph S. March 31. Joseph S.com? Governance in A Networked World. Keohane].. August 2001) Nye. Joseph S. Jr.wcdebate. Jr. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. Jr.4384507. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). Nye. Volume V. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values.. January 2002) Nye. (New York: Longman. Nye. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. Joseph S. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. Nye. Joseph S. http://www.html. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. JPRI CRITIQUE. Jr.. Joseph S. Joseph S. Nye.html. Joseph S. 1986). Jr. NUCLEAR ETHICS. 2002. January 1998. Jr. Nye..jpri. Joseph S.. democracy. 2000.com . Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute.. Joseph S. Joseph S. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press.observer. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. Jr. Jr. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR.. Nye. Joseph S. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD.co.: Brookings Institution Press. Nye. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Jr. Donahue (Washington. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press.org/jpri/public/crit5.
co.. and Brazil. THE OBSERVER. 4.html. Jr. pluralism.html. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. 3. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. 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. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. http://www.html. Quebec City.uk/Print/0.4384507. 2002.4384507. 2.. March 31. 2002. March 31. 2002. and that limits the transformation of power. Nye.com . accessed May 1. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. coming mainly from rich countries. July/August 2001. LIBERALISM.00. India. Nye. And countries like the Canada. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. all three sources of power .org/articles/Nye0701. Prague. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S. Nye. Seattle.00. accessed May 1. economic.foreignaffairs. http://www. 2002. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers.C." For globalization's supporters. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S.uk/Print/0. accordingly. Jr. Washington.3858. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy.4384507. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. and autonomy. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. 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.00. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. and soft .co..observer. Nye. 2002. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century.co. Jr.uk/Print/0. http://www.3858. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. if current economic and social trends continue. Of all their complaints. However. In such a variegated world. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S. http://www. 2002. Conversely. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. this last concern is key.3858. Some reject corporate capitalism. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. such as China. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. THE OBSERVER. Other countries.wcdebate. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation.observer.html. March 31. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority.remain relevant. Jr.observer. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries. These protesters are a diverse lot. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. the Netherlands.. D. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent.. THE OBSERVER. accessed May 1. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. accessed May 2. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe.military.
nyu.wcdebate. Isolating other countries is bad policy. 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. accessed May 3. Three times in two weeks. Nye. 2002. http://www. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. http://www. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia.. accessed May 3. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. 1998. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. 2002. 2002. Nye. In an election year. p. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. accessed May 3. Containment is likely to be irreversible. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be.´ June 22. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. Jr. only China can produce an effective containment policy. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. But it is not true in every case. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. 4. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. 2. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. If we treat China as an enemy now. Unlike the Soviet Union. Containment has three fatal flaws.html. Second.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. p. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. In that sense.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways. I agree. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be.´ June 22. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. a crude policy of containment would not work.. First.nyu. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. p. Nye. http://www. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. For one thing. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed. Jr. np. America's edge will continue to persist. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength.´ June 22. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. np. 3. 1998. Jr. np.nyu.. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. np. 2002.html.com . Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. Nye. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. Jr. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.´ June 22. 1998.html. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip.nyu. http://www. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. accessed May 3. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals. Third. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. 1998.html. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. p. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Moreover. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous.
In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon.janushead. 1999. JANUS HEAD Vol. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. np.. was tied to the ability to innovate. accessed May 1. Jr. 1999. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. Mount Allison University. Mount Allison University.cfm. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. Entrepreneurial dynamism. 2. 2002. 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. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. In the study of transnational relations. p.janushead. by contrast. 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. The comparative dimension was critically important. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt.com . Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective. JANUS HEAD Vol. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. unquantifiable and indirect. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension. http://www. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category.. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake.org/2-2/whunt. According to Nye. 2. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be.¶ he argued. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. Fall. np. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. Fall 1999. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. or to be more precise. More ancient still. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. JANUS HEAD Vol. accessed May 1. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. http://www. and at a greater philosophic remove. 2. 2002. in his phrase. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. 2.. was the contrast between authority and liberty. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other.org/2-2/whunt. 4. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power. Nye. The terms originate with Joseph S. In short. Fall. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt.cfm.janushead. p. No.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. accessed May 1.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention.cfm. µHard¶ power was objective. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. real-time. to the test. 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. No. p. np. it was further assumed." Space-based surveillance. µSoft¶ power. Mount Allison University. as did advances in communications technology. (Operation Allied Force. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. No.wcdebate. 2.org/2-2/whunt. In this context. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. 2002. 2. by contrast. as.
Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. these books are similar. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. 3. to put the matter bluntly. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -.1. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. 27.S. Joseph Nye. Volume V. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. Last November 30. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. JPRI CRITIQUE. these books definitely differ. So much for some of those shared common interests. matters are much harder to figure out. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). Number 1.S. Volume V. The chief difference. respondents think that the U.jpri. January 1998." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. 2002.S.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute.9% of the Japanese and 20.952 people were interviewed. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. ST. so they say.org/jpri/public/crit5. 1. military presence reduced. and the fact that the 'hosts. 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. Most likely. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. respondents gave the Middle East top billing.org/jpri/public/crit5.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. Feb. whereas 58% of U. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy.wcdebate." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects. accessed May 5. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. But in working out our strategy. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos. In some respects. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. and a rather bad one. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements.com . http://www. B1. In Japan. These are sizeable percentages.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2002. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. 982 responded. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. for failing to make up our mind.jpri. Thus. accessed May 5.S. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. January 1998.S. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. increased Chinese potency. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U.S. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation. perhaps even a superduper power. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. planes. Today. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. p.S. http://www. 2. investment adviser. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts.html. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. In an accompanying article. Only 26% of the U.S.html. While approximately half of both Japanese and U.S.S. Security relationship"-40.' the Japanese. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Moreover. 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. JPRI CRITIQUE. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. is in itself a choice. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. Yet we must choose.. Number 1. in the U. 2002.4% of the Americans want the U. of course. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country. but despite the immense might that that implies. Security Treaty.1.
He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. An excellent student. The book contained a theme that. 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. of course. Connecticut. and. He researched automobile safety anyway. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. oppression. He had to do most of this on his own. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. By age 14. Ralph Nader recalls. Guided by such values. in fact. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. but wishes there were others like him. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies.000 automobile deaths every year in America. environmental perils. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers." in THE NATION. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. I will try to explain his philosophy. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. After exploring his life. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. By 1965. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. he entered Princeton University. and so on. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. and in 1959 published his first article. ²Ralph Nader. in a larger sense. Nathra. assets and conditions are never for sale. and then his political project. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates.com . At the time. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. illiteracy. Applied beyond our borders. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. but wishes he were not. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. Ralph Nader is one of a kind. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. there were nearly 50. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. At age 17. took issue with the assumption. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. which. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. Nader.wcdebate. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values.
a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics. would have a similar idea in 1970. 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." as they came to be called. In fact. Of course. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility. Education and Welfare. fought for increased water quality. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. as the quotation below explains. some decades later. 10 essay. in mandatory seat belts and air bags). taxpayers. (http://www. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. contrary to his predictions. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. Since the 2000 campaign. First and most importantly. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. the highest office is the office of citizen. it is argued. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W. and shareholders. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable.´ and as such." John Gardner.. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.mit. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good.2/nader. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. the people are the ultimate authorities. Throughout the next thirty years.com .´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. in a democracy.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. simply a distrust). Why. Nader's "Raiders.wcdebate.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. when he founded Common Cause. and a plethora of other causes. of course. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. but. First. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement.edu/BR18. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. official secrecy. albeit reluctantly. Nor could James Madison. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket." But Jefferson. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating.nader. 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. Bush in 2000. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. (http://bostonreview."the public interest" -was a bold.. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. consumers. author of the famous Federalist No. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. then. who had written. workers." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. innovative development in American politics at the time.
They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. to institutionalized. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. which should belong to everyone. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. torts and contracts. And. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. Second. giant corporations. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. any elected or appointed political leader. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. most recently. Nader is none of these. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. "above" the laws of most nations. sellers need consumers. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. and increasing public financing of elections. 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. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. over the past few decades. even a Stalinist. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. 56 Over the past two presidential races." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. a socialist. 1999. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. literally. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. 3. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration.´ ±Nader. 2. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. literally.com . Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. In fact. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. 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.wcdebate. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. 4. a communist. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. p. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. and frequently more power than. Finally. are available to the highest bidder. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. rather. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as.
at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. higher taxes for corporations.com . 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. To begin with. This is because those people believe that. The problem here is not merely one election. but if they are threatened with punishment.´ we end up with nothing (or. Democrats. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss. if successful. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. May 21. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. He would like to see much more of this. 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. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Steverman) reports. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. if we hold out for ³everything. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. This is an ongoing argument. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. May 7. Of course. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. 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. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. but also that elitism is desirable." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. Along the same lines. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. Democrats respond that." In Wisconsin. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. worse than nothing!).'' (VILLAGE VOICE. 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. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. and often makes things considerably worse. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. as some would say in reference to Bush. especially liberal Democrats. including candidate Jim Young for governor. Regulations fail. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management.wcdebate. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. 5. but the Green Party's current plans. Bush. to accept some of what we want. libertarians claim. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. At present. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything.
Nader eschews elitism. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. 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. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. However. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. 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. either-or. government is the people. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher.wcdebate. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. not merely philosophically. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist.com . Were it up to him. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. After all. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. 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. Unlike so many of our sources. exploitation and imperialism. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. since it¶s what we have. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. At the same time. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. we should keep it in check. in the strongest democratic traditions. and not just theoretically attractive.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. Nader is no fan of capitalism. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. read commentary about him. but he argues that.
1972). Isaac. Ralph. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway.: Prentice-Hall 1972). N. 1972). RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Chu. Ralph. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1976). CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. 1973). 2002). Nader. Charles. NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St.] (New York: Grossman. Martin's Press. Ralph. Burt. Franklin D. Martin's Press. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers.wcdebate. Nader.J. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. Ralph. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton. 1996). 1975).com . Ralph. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. 1973). Dan M. 1997). Ralph. Nader. Nader. Katherine. Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. 1977). Nader. 1975). Ralph Nader Congress Project. Nader. Nader. TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Gorey. 1974). 1982). Ralph. 2000). Ralph. Robert F. 1986).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. Nader. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. Hays. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. Nader. Ralph. McCarry.
and public utilities are in extreme disrepair.wcdebate.´ the ³invisible currency. This is very far from the way modern corporations plan to reduce risks through market power and to get the public to help pay their costs through tax breaks and other subsidies.´ the ³invisible pollutant. clinics. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. and marketing technologies. and unemployment is down. If people think more about how major business executives work. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. loan guarantees. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before. giveaways. p. 1999. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. Yet. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs. political activist.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. limiting their ability to deal with reality. schools. 521. 2. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. 1999. 1986. 56. THE BIG BOYS. the stock market is up. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . political activist. p. 56. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. 2. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE.profits are up. 2000. 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. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. mass famines. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. artificial intelligence. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. injure our national security. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. political activists. production. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1.´ the ³invisible gene. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1.com . p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. debt revocations. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. 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. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. tax loopholes. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. bailouts. and weaken our democracy.having accepted their condition and resigned. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. political activist. inflation is down.
political activist. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. abstruseness. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. 1993. 6. for example. p. 3. political activist. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. 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. will be met with the refrain. Congress.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE ENVIRONMENT. Every element of the negotiation. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. 1 Citizens beware. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. Capitol. p. and make workplaces less safe. By contrast.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. STATE. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. water. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. It would cost jobs. p. Secrecy. adoption. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements.S. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. safety. If you do. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. and land. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. 3.wcdebate. Narrow. depress wage levels. ³You can¶t burden us like that. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making.S. or limit their pollution of the air. or even at the United Nations. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. in the halls of the U. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. 1993. 1993.com . An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. the U. state. 2. called the Uruguay Round. we won¶t be able to compete. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness.S. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. state offices.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs. 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. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. political activist. the U.
Burt. 1982. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. p. state. and consumers.S.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry.com . In sum. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1982. This is a distinct political ideology. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. 2. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. In some cases. Burt. 1982. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. Our diverse.wcdebate. de-centralized political. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1.´ 2. 1982. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. p. at the bank. President of Capital Legal Foundation. 20 Instead. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Burt. employers. p. And it has been and would be a government they run. and seek to change it. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. in turn. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and social system. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. SEC. 20 What is clear is that Mr. and local governments. a new elite of un-elected. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. on our daily lives. Mr. President of Capital Legal Foundation. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. p. 8. or in the investment markets. Burt. In this regard. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. In other words. economic. President of Capital Legal Foundation. political tradition of the last 200 years. individualistic nation. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. 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. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. President of Capital Legal Foundation. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. But it is a radical departure from U. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register.
Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. p. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. he said. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. 2000.like the laws of every market economy -.000 to 400. p.000 votes and finished in fourth place. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. 2. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. March 6." At the same time." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5.000" to Mexico.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals.corporate influence." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment. 2000. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. He isn't like you and me. in his first major speech after leaving Congress.wcdebate. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars. the one that ended apartheid. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. A-19. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. Cohen. July 25. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. 2000.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth. C3. October 22. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. July 25. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. columnist. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. A-19. or Pfizer. But several days before Gingrich spoke. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D.000. must be bad for the world. Michael Kinsley. editor of Slate. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. we are the happiest. 3. Professor of Economics at MIT. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. columnist. THE HARTFORD COURANT. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U. In 2000. That's the problem with Ralph. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. most prosperous nation in the world. healthiest. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. 2000. Professor of Economics at MIT. because -. p. p." reads the statement. THE MILITANT. markets. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -." 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.S. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350.com . Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when.I'm serious -. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman. or any corporation.
Attorney General for Civil Rights because. they claimed. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. It had nothing to do with what I had written. Now. you didn¶t get to vote. though.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. We get to watch as one of the best legal minds in America grapples with issues to which there are no easy solution: to what extent does the pact inform today? What kind of remedies are effective for centurieslong discrimination? How can we ensure those remedies don¶t inflame the problem. For understandable political reasons. After all. to be fair. That¶s not just me being partisan.com . which also had elections? Any democratic theory worth its salt has to acknowledge that an inability to vote equals an inability to call one¶s government a legitimate and functioning democracy. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. In fact. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. many places in the North). That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. As for the second proposition -.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. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. it isn¶t a true democracy to you.´ What do we learn from reading the work of Lani Guinier? What do we learn from the fact that her nomination was torpedoed? To answer the first question. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. such a right was not truly meaningful. She was. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. For them. two: Quota Queen. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. and publish books. she believed in quotas for minority hiring in order to make up for the problems caused by systematic racism for the past 200 years in this country.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. 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. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black.wcdebate. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. right? During and prior to the Civil War. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. if you can¶t vote. Period. a ³quota queen.S. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. 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. And even then and immediately thereafter. the right wing said. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. but it was a very useful. including slavery. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. In the South (and. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture.
if the right to vote represents full citizenship. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster.´ The other problem. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. cracking. and stacking. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. Harvey Gantt. Plus. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. of course.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. The problem is that in other districts. 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. indeed. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. For example. it has another value: an instrumental value. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. 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.wcdebate. So. And depending on how old there are. we ought to defend it for minorities. and you headed to the polls in Florida.´ After all. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. As Tushnet notes. 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. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district. if you go to vote.com . Hence. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests.mostly Republicans -. The result is that you get one minority representative. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. Again. alternatively. though. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. it takes all kinds). and created a right to select representatives of choice. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. The thing is. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. and they are regularly outvoted. people -.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. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote.
economic. People are self-interested. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. There are a couple of reasons why. So. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. Similarly. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. For example. but let¶s review some of the high points here.´) After all. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. there needs to be some check on that abuse. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be. Hence. That includes people living in a democracy. for example. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies.wcdebate. for one thing. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. They will vote to advance their own interests. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. every vote counts. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. but there¶s another reason. 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. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. and that includes affirmative action. 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. 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. Total majority rule.com . This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. And nice as that sounds. Since every vote counts.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. legislators can get concessions on another. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. 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. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. and you¶ll be in big trouble. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. When you¶re in power. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. There would be problems with identifying these policies. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. stupid things. it doesn¶t work that way.
What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. There is a reason. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. college administrators. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. More often. with its specific mission in mind. 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. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. health care projects. (He tried to take away their fishing rights.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. presumably. However. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. give feedback on. 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. that Indian tribes hate him so much. programmatic change) thinker. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. their interests will be better served by legislators. Stephen Steinberg. usually. Guinier asks. crush their economic infrastructure. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. each institution would. and is relatively easy to understand. The best strategy lies in other means. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. Hence.com . people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. try to actively undermine their interests. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. for example. You might be surprised. though. Guinier recognizes this. a left-wing critic of Guinier. rather than just in name. This doesn¶t always happen that way. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. after all. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. etc. 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. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis. seeing what is working and what is not.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. economically viable future should check out her work. People that are interested in building a more racially just.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.
edited by J. p. Stephen. December 200/January 2001.. 2002. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen. 1998. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. 5. accessed May 1. p.html. "President Clinton's Doubt. New York: Free Press. December 200/January 2001.mit. http://bostonreview. http://bostonreview.mit. 1-16.edu/BR25. Boston: Beacon.edu/BR19. March 1991." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. Lani.6/steinberg. Guinier. 1998. 2002. Tushnet. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. 2002. Guinier. 36-37. New York: Simon & Schuster. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE. Guinier. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. 1077-1154. 1998." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24.com . Lani. Lani. 1998.mit." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. January 8. Smith. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. Vol. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. Guinier.wcdebate. Lani." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill. No. 1994. 1995. Guinier.edu/BR25. 1999.html. p. Mark. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. 89. C. Guinier. Jr. Guinier. Lani. Lani.3/tushnet. Guinier. accessed May 1. Steinberg. Lani Guinier's Certainty. 505525. http://bostonreview. Ward. Lani. BOSTON REVIEW. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994.6/connerly.html. accessed May 1. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Lani.
July/August 1993. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. Professor of Law at Harvard University. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Nor did I write. p.on June 4. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. 3. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas." Indeed. Apparently." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. 3. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. July/August 1993.com . county and municipal governing bodies in America. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. 4. as it was for Lally Weymouth. he admitted in an interview with Extra!. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93). after the nomination had already been killed -.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. two conservative columnists. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist. as George Will did. 3. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. p. her views were not only distorted. EXTRA!. July/August 1993. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen." 2. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. EXTRA!.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. two votes' remedies. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. EXTRA!. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -.a process known as "race-conscious districting." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. p. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable." But once the stereotype was affixed to her.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . George Will and Lally Weymouth. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. p. the white minority in South Africa. color-coded ballots. 3. July/August 1993. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities.wcdebate. injecting further distortions into the process. 3." In reality. EXTRA!. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. electoral quotas or 'one black. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions.
2. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings.minerscanary." But more important. np. legitimacy and power base is the black community.shtml. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. Harvard Law School. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. in other words. 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. June 14. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. and what constitutes fairness for all. p. in turn. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. like one¶s family tree or family assets. 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. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. In other words. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. but to ³lift as we climb. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. 2002. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. p. np. In doing so. p.com . can be chronicled with the proper instruments. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. 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. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. 3. http://www. 3. July/August 1993. EXTRA!.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. accessed May 1.minerscanary.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. in a multiracial democracy.org/mainart/confirmative_action. she was critiquing it." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Professor. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. http://www. 2000. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. 2000. 2002. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. Professor. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives. 6/14/93)." as George Will put it (Newsweek.org/mainart/confirmative_action. June 14. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier.wcdebate. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse.shtml. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. That focus. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91). Merit. Harvard Law School. accessed May 1.
Indian. December 200/January 2001. Hispanic. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. accessed May 1. 2002. 2002. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country.6/connerly. It is a long and sordid history. All we need to do. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. City College¶s experiment has failed. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave.6/connerly.6/connerly. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that.edu/BR19. What is most striking about Guinier's work. For its entire history. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. http://bostonreview. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. public policy could generate gains for everyone. 2002.html. 3. http://bostonreview.edu/BR25. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. December 200/January 2001.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. and refreshing.mit. Thus. attracting topflight students from around the world. BOSTON REVIEW. octoroon. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions. BOSTON REVIEW. she proposes. etc. http://bostonreview. accessed May 1. December 200/January 2001. one for which we should all be ashamed. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. accessed May 1. free black.edu/BR25.html. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. In 1970. http://bostonreview. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. 2002. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. Instead. it was surprising. Which invites the pessimist to reply that the failures of policy show that the principle of reciprocity really doesn't work on matters of importance to African Americans.edu/BR25.com .3/tushnet. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history.mit. Unfortunately.html. Thus. Caucasian. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. 4.mit. accessed May 1. Unfortunately. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. their argument is not at all new. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html.wcdebate.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.perhaps most particularly whites -. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. For her. 2. given these tensions. EMPIRICALLY. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests.mit. BOSTON REVIEW. we ought to believe -. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. people -.that society is not so racially polarized.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -.
Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. 3. December 200/January 2001. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. even if enacted. 2002. 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. don¶t fix it. 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. 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. First." 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. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. http://bostonreview. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. 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. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions." 2. At first blush. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. Against this background. Their ideological enemies will revel in this retreat to a second line of defense by two law professors who are identified with the cause of affirmative action.html. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. Though they do not say so explicitly. 2002. December 200/January 2001.edu/BR25. 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. To be sure. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Indeed.6/steinberg. December 200/January 2001. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. Therefore±alas. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. As the saying goes. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik.html. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests.mit.6/steinberg.mit. 2002. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate.6/steinberg. The problem. http://bostonreview.edu/BR25. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional.com . affirmative action has been under sustained assault.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 1.html.mit. two troubling questions arise. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg. The problem is that "for more than two decades. However. here the syllogism runs into trouble. "if it ain¶t broke. accessed May 1. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias.wcdebate. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. On closer examination. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. though.edu/BR25. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. 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." 2. http://bostonreview. accessed May 1.
a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. especially in analyzing revolutions. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. Skocpol a researcher.´ (4). I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. ³rapid. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. 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. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but she is a wife and mother. First.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). ³class-based revolts from below. 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.O. Skocpol argues. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department.com . However. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods.C. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. Next. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. 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. professor and well-known author. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. The examples she points to are rebellions that. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E.E.wcdebate. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. Dr.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. shows Skocpol. an active citizen. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. 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. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. She is a native of the state of Michigan. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. 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. Not only is Dr. in fact. Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). than other types of societal change. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. by nature.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. Then there develops a purposive. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. social disorientation. which they labeled ³the warfare state. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. not all social revolution is a positive thing. the conditions that cause change. the United States¶ model.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U.S. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. and the resources available to the group. 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.´ that view is inaccurate. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions.com . if it wins. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines. if affirmed. Her claim is that: First. for better or worse. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. their social position. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. Hopefully. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. 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. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. 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. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. Finally. During wartime nations like Britain became successful in maintaining and increasing such policies by juxtaposing their model of the ³welfare state´ against the Nazi model. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U.S. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. Thus. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. 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. those individuals capable of creating change.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. and insurance for workers.
Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. 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.wcdebate. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. 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. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. The work done by Skocpol in her book.people who are not children and are not yet retirees. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. This has a number of implications for debate. First. this perspective allows debaters to move beyond shallow criticisms of a patriarchal structure to a full understanding of what that term truly means and how it may be an inaccurate criticism of United States policies.S.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. unemployment was down. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. which included the charities and the home. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. In such a political climate it struck many people as strange that Theda Skocpol would choose that time to speak out about inequality in America. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. 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. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. 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. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. Most importantly however. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS.com . A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. 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.S. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. However.´ 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. ³U. 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. 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. However. Most nights the average American could turn on the news and see President Bill Clinton or Vice President Al Gore promoting their latest policy to put health care in the hands of the people and provide opportunities to the working class. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. in this case the media was absolutely right. THE MISSING MIDDLE. politics and business. Her book. a widely accepted understanding in the U.
taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society.com . Often working parents make up a large portion of the audience at tournaments and Skocpol¶s theory of the missing middle may be the perfect perspective with which to approach a resolution and make arguments that your audience can relate to. 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. Skocpol argues that because politicians continue to ignore the middle section of people in America¶s diverse spectrum of individuals they continuously miss the needs of this population. This 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. and still are.S. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. Additionally. 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. mainly. This may leave some debaters thinking. many of them parents. 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.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. 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. 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. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. 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. Skocpol argues. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. are generally ignored in political debates. the working population. this theory differs from most current social and political theories in that it stand right in the middle of the dominant perspectives and still provides tons of clash with all of the things around it. who Skocpol argues. She points out that political debates devolve into conflicts between what are seen as the ³rich´ and ³poor´ in American society on issues such as welfare. 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. First. 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.
She takes great care in pointing out the roots of social policy as well as explaining work done in a variety of fields and showing what other scholars have contributed to the research. which LD tends to draw upon. 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. 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. 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.com . 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. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. Instead. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. The final reason that debaters may find Skocpol¶s work accessible is that she does not merely offer an explanation of why things are the way that they are nor does she stop after a thorough criticism of a particular structure. to explain events. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. Additionally.wcdebate. 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.
New York: W.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. Dubrow. 1997. Felicia A.. September 2000. Steven. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. 1996. p. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES.183. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. Theda. Fall. 1999. Greenberg. Theda. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. 1984. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1982.´ OFF OUR BACKS. July 31. Kristin Kay. Wineman. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gretchen. April 30. p. Gail Lee. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Ritter. RUSSIA & CHINA. May 31. Boston: South End Press. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1997.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. 2000. 28. Skocpol. Case. Skocpol. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Norton & Company.S.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. 1979.com . Kornbluth. and Nicole Mellow. THE NEW MAJORITY. Theda. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. p.W.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Theda and Stanley B.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES.171. Halliday. Skocpol. Terrance C. 1992. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. Skocpol.wcdebate.
for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. Professor of Sociology." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study. 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. Case. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2. 14 In Skocpol's vision. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. September 2000. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992).´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. 3. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments.S. However. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. Kornbluth.. p. Rather. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model). weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. In her newest work. In other words. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). 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. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. April 30. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. However. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. the United States possesses a decentralized.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1997. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A.. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader.com .183. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. 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. Given the enormity of her undertaking. 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. 1996.. 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. that is. July 31. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. 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.171. 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. Together. electoral rules. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. Although not always explicitly.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. political parties and officials. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. bureaucrats. resulting in over 500 pages of text. bureaucrats. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. a graduate student in the same department. I will necessarily condense her account.a polity-centered perspective -. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). governmental institutions.wcdebate.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. Simply stated. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1." she argued in 1980. p.
1997. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states.S.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.183. republican motherhood. In content. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content.S. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. were doubly paternalist: Elite males. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. Many women reformers in U. 1996. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. Felicia A. in their processes of creation. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. 3. time-bound contribution to political thought." she writes. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. bureaucrats and national political leaders. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation. p. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. 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.171. exhausted. 2. More important. April 30.. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. which treated men as fathers and heads of families." or as the fractious. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. 1996. 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. July 31.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. 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. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. and in their processes of creation. potential mothers. p. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities.wcdebate. post suffrage women's movement. Professor of Sociology. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Kornbluth.S. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. (P. federal social programs for mothers. Case. Case. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. p. April 30. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS.com .171." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism." However. who know them as "social feminists. Felicia A. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. Readers may also hear in maternalism.
Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. 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. Northwestern University. Ironically. "The Limits of Maternalism. 307. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. Author. Senior Research Fellow. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. Similarly. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. the predominance of giant corporations. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman.centered approaches. severe stratification of power." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. Instead. Michel. 1993. Koven & Michel). to "do good. p. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. 2. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. Terrance C. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. np.wcdebate. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. teaches American women's gender. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. in both class and state.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. not the idea of child care as public service to all. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. Point for point." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. 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. New York: Routledge. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose.com . and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment. American Bar Foundation. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. 1999. 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. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home.in the interests of the corporate order. Sonya. 165). p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Within political sociology. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. Theory of the State. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change.36. Fall. 1984. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. Halliday.
np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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".. in a context of male domination. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. to put it inversely. PhD. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. However. p. researcher at European University Institute. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". researcher at European University Institute. Spring. 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". Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program. Women's activism was as much as men's. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. in the way Gordon sees it. to be sure. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. after all. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. was. Clearly. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. says Gordon.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. not merely a neutral or benign difference. Spring. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. Gender means "female" for Skocpol. 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. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women.PHILOL. in order to maintain the family wage system.wcdebate. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. determined by class as much as by gender. NORWAY. often called the two-track welfare system. it is a difference. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. She has no critique of maternalism". UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN.com . 2.. Gender is. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. To Gordon. .PHILOL." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. 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. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. says Gordon. PhD. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. In other words. Eirinn Larsen. np. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. 1996. NORWAY. "Specifically. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. 1996.
racism and classism. politics. Her father feared. 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. In her classes. that too much reading would change her life. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. She points out that.wcdebate. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. and the destructive effects of sexism. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches.D. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. as it might be today. especially Friere. 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 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. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. sexism and classism. Like everything hooks does. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. 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. generally taught by white males. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. For her. She knew there was something else out there for her. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. correctly it turned out. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. including hooks. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature.´ Determined to overcome these notions.com . This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. it was simply recreated in new ways. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. This interest in books was not.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Paulo Friere. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. Kentucky.
(KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. Let's share them. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. not very different from anything the students could relate to. 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. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. Classism creates an elite group. 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. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. 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. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. capitalist culture that uses racist. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. she argues. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males.com . This process. 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. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. 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. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. they just got up in the morning and went. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. 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. legitimating standard English. no bussing. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. We have those definitions. white supremacist. sex or class. Let's start over. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. racism within feminism. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. and classist educational policies. social movements and educational biases. sexist. 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. 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. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. Let's reclaim them.wcdebate. 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. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. 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). FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions. 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 start there. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping. She argues that feminists are made. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. 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. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant.´ 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. 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. However. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant."(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. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. not born. like hooks. ads everywhere and billboards. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. she argues. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. Let the movement begin again. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). 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. television and radio commercials. 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. is the heart of the matter. and always. bell hooks sees feminism as. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. "a movement to end sexism. 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. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. Sexism.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising. or their critics. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. have often felt marginalized. and oppression.com . sexist exploitation. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns.wcdebate. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Occasionally an author. In her book. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. not division in the movement. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions.wcdebate. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well.com . Finally. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. Whatever the flaw. 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. media and the academy. even worse. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. Let¶s face it though. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. 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. 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. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. She may criticize the educational process in America but her books also discuss what can be done to alleviate detrimental effects of a problematic educational system. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. one of the most important parts of winning a debate is the ability to persuade your audience that the stance you have taken is correct. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues.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.
Albany: State University of New York Press. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1994. bell. bell. New York: W.com . New York: Henry Holt.wcdebate. Norton & Company. Namulundah. 1998. bell. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. New York: Henry Holt and Company. and Elizabeth Hirsh. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. Boston: South End Press. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. bell. 1990. 1995 hooks.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. hooks. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. 1995. bell. bell. 1999.W. Olsen. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2000. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. 1996. 1995. Gary A. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. hooks. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. hooks. Patricia Bell-Scott). hooks. hooks. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. Cambridge: South End Press. New York: Doubleday. New York: Henry Holt. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. Golden.
ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. 1995. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self.58). this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness.122) 3. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. 11. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. 1998.wcdebate. in this case.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Of course. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Critical. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. educational. can come into being. a ³white´ self. 2. Nelson et al. these values and traditions are racial. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. 14. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. 1996). hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. 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. 1992. McNaught. 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. feeling and knowing as the norm. 1988. Chinese Americans. hooks. 1988. currently policy makers(Banks. p. 1996). 1998.com . and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. white 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. Once slavery ended. p. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. gender. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. but threaten their very existence. Boston: South End Press.. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . in America. White people¶s values. 1994. THINKING BLACK. Historically. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. (1981. and class specific. 1989. 67. Namulundah Florence. p. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt.109). However. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. at its very core it is dehumanizing. Essentially. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. traditions. p. In the United States. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. groups such as African Americans. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. p. p. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988.
New York: Henry Holt. sociologically. author. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men.wcdebate. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. however relative. professor. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. etc. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. and Mary Childers. New York: Henry Holt. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. particularly sexist black men. in response to specific contexts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. social critic. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. 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. 1990. p. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. 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). And I would say vice versa as well. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. professor. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. 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. np. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. to be capable of being both strong and weak. Feminist theory needs to study historically. for boys to be active and girls to be passive. girls women. 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. 3. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle..com . and all our efforts at self-determination. the labeling of black women who engage in feminist thinking as race traitors is meant to prevent us From embracing feminist politics as surely as white power feminism acts to exclude our voices and silence our critiques. suspicious ways that we often view white women. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. particularly sexist black men. social critic. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. Certainly. 1995.75. 69. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. to assume that black folks. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. 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. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. that they receive in the existing social structure. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. active and passive. p. author. p. New York: Routledge. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. 1995. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. 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. 2. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities.
aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. television and radio commercials. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Kelly.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ads everywhere and billboards.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. staff writer. Her follow-up works equally impressed me." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism. empowering article for Black women." 2. I was initially excited by the cover story .com . Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. 50. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. 1/22/2001. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . Healthier. love goes the way of BMW's. p. 53. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. 3/14/98. and Better Off Financially. However.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. p. yet at one point. she has gone mainstream . I was surprised by what I read. Yes. NATIONAL REVIEW vol." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. Buppiedom and Big Houses.a potentially informing. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. like the older civil rights generation. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. B1. An unreconstructed black radical feminist. 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. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. 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. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. Like Jada. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. Maybe.her passion lost. "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. ³For bell. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone.
structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains.D. race-sexuality critics. Lesbian feminists.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. In particular. 2. p. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader.. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination.com . Assistant Professor. and poverty studies." 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.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. I have examined the relationships among racism. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. University of Pennsylvania.. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. class domination.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. J. recently. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. 288-290. Yale Law School. patriarchy.. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. patriarchy. gays and lesbians of color. In a series of articles. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists.´ ³Multidimensionality.´ ³Multidimensionality. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory.D. p. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. B. phenomena.. and.. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. J. Yale Law School. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. respectively. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. Assistant Professor. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. Spring 2001. Multidimensionality.A. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. These scholars. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. B. law and sexuality. critical race theory.A. rather than conflicting. Lesbian-feminist theorists. whose work examines the relationships among racism. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional. 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. 309-310. University of Pennsylvania. like the intersectionality theorists.wcdebate. for example. therefore. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. Spring 2001.. and heterosexism. Southern Methodist University School of Law.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. heterosexism. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. Southern Methodist University School of Law.
But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. Now. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor).or ways of avoiding thinking -. MARX in 1980. He also reminds us that for a long period of time.about them. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. they merely need different considerations. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. Instead. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. While at Monash University. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. For example. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. sometimes quite vehemently. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975.´ and democracy. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. INDIVIDUALS. HEGEL in 1982. but that society has since realized its mistake. La Trobe University.com . HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. 1946. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. it was widely criticized as absurd. New York University.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy.wcdebate. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. He has lectured at Radcliff. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969.´ 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. Monash University. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. As the President of the University noted. At age 30. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. Australia on July 6. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. we classify members of other species as undeserving. In 1998. He believes that society has become far too complacent. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. 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 -. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. 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.
Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. is not descriptive of they way beings are. 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. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. according to Singer. then they cannot have interests. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. and use them to do our labor. strength. But if a creature can suffer. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. is sentience. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. We eat them. creates divisions between humanity. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. differing abilities to communicate effectively. The first is the ability of a being to suffer.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails.wcdebate. In his All Animals are Equal. however. moral capacity. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. Dogs. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. and a decision can cause that suffering. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. Singer. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. Fundamentally. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. His critics often ask. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. 6 This consideration is based on two things. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. or other matters. as noted above. If a creature cannot suffer.com . The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. and not merely an assertion of fact. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. rather. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. I shall argue. That is. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. a new criteria becomes necessary. then it is simple discrimination. and the second is if they have interests. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. Thus. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. they come with differing moral capacities. 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. we will never give equal consideration. wear them. Furthermore. like intelligence. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. 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. differing intellectual abilities. Equality. however. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. Singer notes that. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
and that even plants are pursuing their own good. chickens. would be considered persons. Therefore.wcdebate. 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. too focused on people. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality. to plants.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea. However. however. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. However. He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. Those who advocate this position. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. Singer writes. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. 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. those with significant mental retardation. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. After all. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. He also explains. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. . human fetuses. and more specifically. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial. therefore. 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.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. those with some forms of psychosis. be right to kill him. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. . Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. This would include brain-damaged people. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Again. Since those persons depend on the environment. like dogs and bears. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. many animals. human embryos. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. who details that every living organism has a will to live.com . Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. and fish. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves.
even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. 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. it must cause suffering. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. especially citizens of a democracy. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. Any advocacy of valuing progress. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. that is. The confinement that these animals endure. but to change it.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. that is. whether is causes more benefit than harm. an understanding of a position. the absence of a benefit is not harm. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. Hare takes the position that it is not. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or the distance between an individual and a famine. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. In Democracy and Disobedience. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. The question then becomes. the way we should strive to make things. than no life at all. The second is that in Singer¶s work. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. Second. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. 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.M. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. However. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. engaging the argument still yields some debate. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. He first alludes to the notion that philosophy and ethics should entail action in the introduction to a book that developed from his thesis project at Oxford. 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. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. the painful ways in which they are killed. Most importantly. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. He says. Here. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. First. the disease and filthy living conditions. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. etc.com . even if it is a short one.wcdebate. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. however. is no justification for a lack of action. facts matter. growth. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. From a utilitarian perspective. humanity. Singer claims that proximity. The first is that it is revisionary. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals.
com/ 11 Smith. All Animals are Equal.´ 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. 13 Holmes Rolston. medicine. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. 15 Peter Singer. 7 Peter Singer. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement.frontpagemag. 1993. 14 R.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 8 Peter Singer. http://www. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 16 Dale Jamieson. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. 9 Peter Singer. or student. 6 Peter Singer.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. Wesley J. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www.com .frontpagemag.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. in moral and political philosophy. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. All Animals are Equal. as an issue itself. Democracy and Disobedience. Essays on Bioethics. 1993.princeton. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. Hare. All Animals are Equal.wcdebate. ³It is the significant problem of equality. and academics.edu/~uchv/index. December 7. http://www. 10 Smith. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. and use animals to further human aims. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 17 Peter Singer. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 1999. 1999. 4 Peter Singer. 1973. Wesley J.M. 1998 3 Peter Singer.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. 5 Peter Singer. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
Terrence and Richard Dagger. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Singer. Dale. Louis J. 1993). PRACTICAL ETHICS. Hare. 2nd ed. Peter. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1993). Peter. 1998). ETHICS. Peter. (New York: Review/Random House. 1997). Jamieson. (Malden. Peter. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. (Oxford: Oxford University Press.com . 1973). IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. Peter. 1994). 1999).. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. 2002). Singer. Singer. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. R. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. (Oxford: Claredon Press. Singer.M. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (New York: Longman. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. (Lanham. (Belmont.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. Pojman. 1975). CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
old. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. Solomon. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. The basic biological sense we seek. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. The danger is that reason. or a week. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. This may seem like a major provision. there is the very real danger that. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. as well a more conversable animal. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . 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. In other words. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain.wcdebate. instead of building on our natural impulses. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C.by Frege¶s point. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. then we will not see why it is morally significant. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling.. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. 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. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. they necessarily have selves. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals.) So. 1789. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care.69. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. or even a month. however noble their object or intent. 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. or the termination of the os sacrum. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs.com . because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. 1999. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. XVII. Austin. what would it avail? The question is not. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational.. since animals have experiences.subjects of experience. 152153. the social sense as such. in other words. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.. called agape. ch. But suppose they were otherwise. p. Philosopher and Jurist. 1999. the villosity of the skin. p. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. may instead undermine them. 3. or worse. McGinn. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. Can they suffer? 2. rather. than an infant of a day. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience.
1999. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. p. according to the total view.must not be so engineered. Linares cradles him in his arms until. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. Linares with first-degree murder. the child dies. Singer of being cold-hearted.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. 2. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. 1999. 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. Then Linares puts down the gun and. September 6." That was April 26. and Singer knows that. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. np. 1989.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. too. The Chronicle of Higher Education. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. Critics often accuse Mr. The New Yorker. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. In such cases. half an hour later. Therefore.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. be right to kill him.the tit-for-tat attitude as such.73. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. Solomon. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. They ³just know´ what to do. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. Of course. 10 March 2000. 3. weeping. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. it would. So. Austin. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. writer. Cook County charged Mr. when a grand jury refused to indict him. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. p. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. 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. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms.wcdebate. she doesn¶t calculate it. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet.com . gives himself up. but the criminal case was over by May. standing in a hospital ward.
to steal from a blind man. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. p. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. 2. 1999.com . SINGER AND HIS CRITICS.. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. 3. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. and therefore claims. are rational. 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. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. p. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. 62ff. part of culture rather than nature. in an important sense. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. We. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. The characteristics. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. above the food chain. 1967. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. too. Solomon. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. our breeding patterns. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. that is. but as normal for the species. involves a certain distance. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. We are not merely at the top of the food chain. just as it would be unfair. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. too.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. It too. for instance.if. and yet not accept it at all. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. 62ff.wcdebate. with its own standards of normality. 69. but because rationality is the human norm. Austin. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. p.. But compassion. our habits. We are.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. As intelligent and sensitive human beings.. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. If we do not think in this way about dogs. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. we can understand that. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. and not just ordinarily dishonest. one could argue.. therefore. 1967. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia.
. 1999. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. np. Reason. 1999. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. 75. As Singer discusses the principle. 134-135. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. p. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. and they might not be sentiments of equality. 3. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. 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. Let me begin with the easiest one. however. 1999. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. In most cases. seemingly hungry and crying. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater.com . 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. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans.. For example. my number three.. a zoo goer. 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. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation.. p. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. Solomon. 2. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1. The danger. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. 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.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. in a sentence.wcdebate. However. Austin.. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. If we have a hard time grasping his view. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. simply because they are humans. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. on the other hand. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. according to Singer. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. are not 100% novel. Professor at Webster University. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. are of a different gender. Nonetheless. They may not be dominant. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. 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. According to this principle. My argument. simply because they are men. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. that some people have a different skin color. and it requires care and concern.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. are from a different country. 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´). unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table.According to Singer. p. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. is that Singer. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. At the same time. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. a pet owner and so on. and most people seem to.´ Thus. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently.
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