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WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
American Political Philosophy
Edited by Matt Taylor, Jim Hanson, and Brian Simmonds Written and Researched by Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, Sarah Stone
PHILOSOPHERS JAMES MADISON ALEXANDER HAMILTON RALPH WALDO EMERSON JOHN DEWEY WOODROW WILSON FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT TOM HAYDEN HOWARD ZINN JOSEPH NYE, JR. RALPH NADER LANI GUINIER THEDA SKOCPOL bell hooks PETER SINGER
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WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
Edited by Brian Simmonds, Matt Taylor, and Jim Hanson Written and Researched by
Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, and Sarah Stone
About this Handbook The Philosopher and Value Handbook introduces you to arguments, values and philosophers. This volume focuses on American thinkers in philosophy and political theory who will be useful in Lincoln-Douglas value debates. Each chapter begins with an essay explaining the life, work, and ideas of each thinker. It concludes with evidence quotations that attack and defend the philosopher's ideas. Using the arguments in this Handbook We encourage you to read the briefs you will use. Highlight (underline) the key lines you will use in the evidence. Cut out our evidence, incorporate your and others¶ research and analysis and make new arguments. File the materials so that you can easily retrieve them for debate rounds. Practice reading the evidence outloud. Practice applying the arguments to your opponents¶ positions. Practice defending your arguments in rebuttal speeches. Use West Coast Handbooks as a Beginning We hope you enjoy our handbook and find it useful. In saying this, we want to make a strong statement that we make when we coach and that we believe is vitally important to your success: DO NOT USE THIS HANDBOOK AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Instead, let it serve as a beginning. Let it inform you of important arguments, of how to tag and organize your arguments, and to offer citations for further research. Don¶t stagnate in briefs--build upon them by doing your own research. Use the essays to brainstorm research areas and use the evidence and bibliographies as a starting point for your exploration. In doing so, you¶ll use our handbook to become a better debater. Photocopying West Coast Handbooks Our policy gives you the freedom to use the handbook for educational purposes without violating the hard work that we put into the handbook. You can photocopy this handbook under the following circumstances: 1. You can make multiple copies of up to five pages of each West Coast handbook for a class handout. 2. You can make multiple copies of briefs that include evidence from this handbook as long as these photocopied briefs are significantly different from the ones in this handbook and include a significant number of pieces of evidence from sources other than a West Coast handbook. You may not electronically share or distribute this handbook with anyone other than those on your team. For other situations, you can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek our consent.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
JAMES MADISON ................................................................................................................................. 5 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 10 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE ..................... 11 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT ........................................ 12 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY ...................... 13 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS .......... 14 ALEXANDER HAMILTON................................................................................................................. 15 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 19 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED ................ 20 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD................................................................................ 21 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY.................................................................................. 22 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST ........................................................................................ 23 THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS ................................................................................................................. 24 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 29 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR.............................. 30 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION...................................... 31 AN ANTI-FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT WOULD BE UNSAFE AND INEFFECTIVE....................... 32 FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS .................................. 33 RALPH WALDO EMERSON .............................................................................................................. 34 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 39 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE ..................................................................................................... 40 POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR......................................................................... 40 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT................................................................................. 41 CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE, TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ............................. 41 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION.................... 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE ................... 43 JOHN DEWEY ..................................................................................................................................... 44 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 49 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING ....................................................................................... 50 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS ........................................................................ 51 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY .......................................... 52 DEWEY¶S JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ARE FLAWED ...................................................... 53 DEWEY¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IGNORES HUMAN NATURE AND HISTORY ....................... 53 WOODROW WILSON......................................................................................................................... 54 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 59 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS................................................................ 60 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE............................................ 61 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM ........................................ 62 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE, BUT REPRESSIVE ............................. 63 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT .................................................................................................................. 64 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 68 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT .............................................................. 69 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT .................................................................................. 70 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION .................. 71 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE ........................................................ 72 TOM HAYDEN..................................................................................................................................... 73 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 77 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE......................................................... 78 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM .............. 79 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE ................. 80 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE, BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE ............................. 81
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.......................................................................................................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED .....................................................................................com .........wcdebate....... 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST .............................................................................................................................................................. 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ......................... 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN .......................... 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING .............................................................. 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ................................................................. 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ............................................................................ 139 PETER SINGER ...................................................................................... 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ............................................ 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ......................................................................................... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ............................................................................................. 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................ 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED ............................................................................................ 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE .......................................................................................... 120 THEDA SKOCPOL ........................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL .............. 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE ................................................................. Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN.................. 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE .................. JR................................. 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www................... 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY............................................. ........... 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE .................................................................. 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ........... 130 bell hooks............................................................................................................................................ 91 JOSEPH NYE.................................... 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD .............. 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ............................................................................................ 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY........................................................................................................................................................................................ 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................ 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED .................................................................................... 100 RALPH NADER ............ 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ..................................................... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ......................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook......................................................................................... 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE .............................................................................................................................................................. 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ............. 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS .................... 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED .... 110 LANI GUINIER .............
Interestingly enough. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. Most importantly. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. His idea on the separation of church and state. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus.wcdebate. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth.com . and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. Seriously. even if just temporarily. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail." The example to follow. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. Indeed. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. James Madison. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. As a result. including George Clinton. is often placed into one or another ideological box. like the other leading figures of his generation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. is often placed into one or another ideological box. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. like the other leading figures of his generation. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. in fact. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. Not easily categorizable. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. As a result. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. No. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. one of the youngest.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. though.S. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. James Madison. Madison eventually concluded that constitutional conventions were a necessary device for allowing those like himself--those whom he called 'the most enlightened and influential patriots'--to escape from the hold of democratic institutions. the avoidance of oppression. who died in office in 1812. and the structure of representative government remain influential. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. showing his freedom from dogmatism. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. though: Madison was the smallest U. president. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. he suggests in Federalist 38. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. anti-Federalist.
Hence. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it.) 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. needs and desires. 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. (Sorry. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. the majority will look to the long-term. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. People will vote to actualize their own wants.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested.com . he was able to get what he wanted for that state. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and hence have the power to govern. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. after all. the majority is inherently self-interested. Either they will become the next majority. but they aren¶t blind. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. 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. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. What might that mean? Well. As a philosophically inclined individual. This does happen in politics all the time. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. ³Tyranny of the Majority. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job. especially if that mass had coincident interests. Thus. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. like John Ashcroft. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. In organizing a republican democracy. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. 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. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others.wcdebate." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. As a skillful politician. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. Let¶s not belabor the point. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group.
he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. The document. Madison reasoned. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. 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. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. 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. The struggle continues to this day. If power is temporary and fluid. published November 22. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills.com ." Even Jefferson. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. The church. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. Their charges have serious merit. Speaking of potential for abuse." Madison wrote. organic food labeling laws. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. then the potential for abuse is minimized. this is part of the logic of the federal system. written in June 1785. Again. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1787. 1787. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. In fact. While his father was an Episcopalian. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85." The debate raged on. 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. Number 10. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well.wcdebate.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. Indeed.
while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government.wcdebate. and that bypassing that consent was unjust.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. the powerful. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. when left alone. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. and acquires firmness and confidence. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. When the examples. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. This "unreflecting multitude´ was.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. 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. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. the mass of American people. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. In a nation of philosophers. A reverence for the laws. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. like man himself is timid and cautious. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. which should be declared "void and of no force. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . His final shot at Jefferson. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. in Madison¶s view. which fortify opinion. Madison reasoned. are antient as well as numerous. . the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. and its practical influence on his conduct. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. they are known to have a double effect.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. . Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. And in every other nation. . this consideration ought to be disregarded. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. and the summation of his argument. and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. which time bestows on everything. The reason of man. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion.
In a nation of philosophers. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. they are known to have a double effect. they¶re worth checking out. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. And in every other nation. this consideration ought to be disregarded. which time bestows on everything. A reverence for the laws. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. when left alone. and acquires firmness and confidence. the most based in a sense of ethics. .We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. and its practical influence on his conduct. like man himself is timid and cautious. and the most passionately argued. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions.wcdebate. When the examples. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. . As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. . depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. The reason of man.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. which fortify opinion. are antient as well as numerous.com .
FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.Y.H. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lance. Noam. James. 1780-l792: Ithaca.html and http://www. Hanover." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON.html and http://www. 1997). June 1997. Chomsky. http://www.gov/loc/madison/symposium.html. N. University of Kentucky.loc. Marvin. Madison. Brant. ³James Madison: Federalist. 1995. Smith. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE. 2001. Lancej. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. ed. November 15. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON.loc. 1995. ed.html. Rosen. Richard K. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. Charles historian..wcdebate.html. Matthews. Samples. under the name Publius. Meyers. Library of Congress. John.com/federalist10.com. http://www. March 16. Beard.loc.loc. 2001. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Banning. Va. March 16.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. March 16. 1776-1826: New York.. 1912. N.html and http://www. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. 1941-61. http://federalistpapers. http://www. Hutson. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers. 1995.com .html.gov/loc/madison/symposium.loc. 1787. James Morton. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. November 22.html. Kans. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.cato.org/dailys/11-15-00. 2001. Rewards. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. Z MAGAZINE. 2000. 1981. David. 10.. Mattern. 2002.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. Gary.html and http://www.gov/loc/madison/symposium. James. accessed April 22. Irving.loc. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY...gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper.loc. http://www. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis.
or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. 2000. 2002. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. and that measures are too often decided. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. as was wished and expected. 10. the evidence. therefore. 1787. provides a proper cure for it. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. adversed to the rights of other citizens. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. that our governments are too unstable. Sen. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. without violating the principles to which he is attached. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. 2. FEDERALIST PAPER No. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. at the same time. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. np. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. to set a due value on any plan which.com . He will not fail. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. p. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. November 15. but it will be found.cato.wcdebate. or of interest. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. 3. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. accessed April 22. The instability. 2002. November 22. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. As Madison knew. cannot certainly be too much admired. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. 2002. It will be found. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. on a candid review of our situation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I understand a number of citizens. Hillary Rodham Clinton. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. injustice.cato. particularly. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. p. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. I give Ms. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. np.org/dailys/11-15-00. both ancient and modern. Some will say Ms. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. Washington's newest celebrity. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. http://www. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. November 15. accessed April 22. http://federalistpapers. 2000. By a faction.html. is the latest convert to this cause.html. in truth. equally the friends of public and private faith.com/federalist10. However the election turns out.org/dailys/11-15-00. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. James Madison. have. Clinton more credit than that. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. accessed April 22. indeed. These must be chiefly. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. 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). and alarm for private rights. if not wholly. http://www. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. and confusion introduced into the public councils. and.html. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. and of public and personal liberty. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples.
accessed April 22. FEDERALIST PAPER No. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. 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.com . in controlling the effects of faction. np. 2002. November 22. 10. Nor. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. in almost every case.com/federalist10. 1787. in many cases. 2002." 2.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. who assemble and administer the government in person. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. it clearly appears. http://www. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. FEDERALIST PAPER No. 1787. 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. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. http://federalistpapers. np. be felt by a majority of the whole. -. November 15. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests.html. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. p.org/dailys/11-15-00. November 22. FEDERALIST PAPER No. accessed April 22. 1787. and render them all subservient to the public good. increase this security. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. 10. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. therefore. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. 3. If we abolish the Electoral College. and their passions. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. in fine. A common passion or interest will. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. at the same time. 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. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. Hence.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html. again. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. their opinions.html. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. 2000. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power.html. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. np. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. http://federalistpapers. Theoretic politicians. November 22. Does it. http://federalistpapers. p. p. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. 2002.cato. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions.wcdebate. p. The inference to which we are brought is.com/federalist10. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. 4. accessed April 22. accessed April 22. they would. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. 10. np. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic.com/federalist10. who have patronized this species of government. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention.
Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. who urged that "the government ought to possess. to give notice of the future danger.. under the influence of their common situation. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. Mr. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government.wcdebate." and Mr. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters." And again. 31. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. in which case there will be equal danger on another side.If property. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. the mind or sense of the people at large. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country. he contended. -. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties.aristocracy. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. would prove that property was the main object of society. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. 31." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. the power will slide into the hands of the former. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. These will either combine. 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. changeableness. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. nevertheless.." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. what is more probable. 31. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.com . and in his opinion. p. in a certain quarter. "the majority. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. historian. An accurate view of the matter. 1912. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted.or. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority. In the tenth number of The Federalist. p. 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. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. Governor Morris. According to the equal laws of suffrage. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. from which the rights of property originated. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. 1912. historian. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. he described these impending changes: "An increase in the population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life and secretly sigh for a more equitable distribution of its blessings. Wilson. 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. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. historian." Mr. Madison urged: "In future times. 1912." 3. he added. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. the force. but second. having such coexistent passion or interest. but without any other sort of property. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard." Madison doubtless summed up in a brief sentence the general opinion of the convention when he said that to secure private rights against minority factions. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. hence. a great majority of the people will not only be without land.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. then was the main object of government. not only first. p... -. 2.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. association. 8. 8. and the constitutional system generally. Whatever one's assessment of those years. branch.'' giving land to the landless. p. Madison declared.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. or prominent from exercising political power. whose views largely prevailed. his biographer observes. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. led to a completely new meaning of the term. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. typically material property. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky. he urged.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. Madison pointed out that in England. Z MAGAZINE. or any government entity. the native population driven out or exterminated. p. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. associated group. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. But the formulation is misleading. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. Z MAGAZINE. In a current official document. Furthermore.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. Among Madisonian scholars. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. 2. 3.'' he meant humans. In the debates on the Constitution. trust. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. Z MAGAZINE. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. An agrarian law would soon take place. 8. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. well born. estate. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property.'' which are property rights. June 1997. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. and anti-capitalist in spirit. June 1997. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. as some historians do. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled.'' To achieve this goal. When the facts are stated clearly.wcdebate.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented. One may argue. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form.com .'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. In both principle and practice. Property has no rights. June 1997.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. James Madison. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. It is the responsibility of government. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. But the growth of the industrial economy. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. partnership.pre-capitalist. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.
Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. After Adams was elected President. Either that. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. rebuke and scandal. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. was vocally against states¶ rights. Much of this is forgotten today. centralized union that would be a representative republic. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. he also offered a life of tragedy. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. In those papers. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. 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. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. then his ideas.an aristocratic. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. as an aristocrat. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. coercive. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well.wcdebate. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and generally made himself a pain. Either way. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously.com . an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. making it available to the general public. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. After Washington died. Hamilton first began to press the ideas that became extremely important in the formulation of the union ± he believed in a strong central government and a strong national bank. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today.
and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. Today. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. the means are authorized. the legacy of Britain. "implied powers. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably.wcdebate.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. 44) that "wherever the end is required. Even then-President George Washington. every particular power necessary for doing it is included. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced. 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. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers." Ironically. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. he claims. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do.com .´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. or not immoral. 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. As early as 1776. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. In fact. shortened to Republican.´ as is often claimed. impressive or important. Jefferson. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). 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. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. (no. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution." and the "general welfare. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican.
as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. and everyone else knew it too. scandalous and malicious writing. and consequently the more virulent. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. 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. (When Jefferson was elected. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. Benjamin Franklin Bache. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. so get over it." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker. "Men. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. administering no relief to our real disease. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas." This shows his opinion of the average American. which the urban elite would benefit). Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American." he said. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. punishable by fine and imprisonment.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. as should be clear. and many other things. which is democracy. his customary colleague. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. will only be more concentrated in each part. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. I know he was smart. my friends and I are rich.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison.com . confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora.wcdebate. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. he pardoned all of those convicted. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches.well. here¶s a translation: yeah. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. by a subdivision. and as novel as it is extraordinary. more centralized government. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country." Again. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. without any counterbalancing good. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. Allegedly. More on that in our final section. His morals -. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. the poison of which. then his closest aide. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton.
went to Hamilton's office to confront him. It gets better. natural politicians. That happened in 1792. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. Three congressmen -. Some Hamilton apologists insist that. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. but a BRIBE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ Amazingly.. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. a shady character currently in jail. in Sports Center parlance. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. while Clinton was the child of a single mother." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. Abraham Venable. al. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. written directly before the duel with Burr. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. That¶s when it got weird. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. James Reynolds. it was on. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Maria. Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. until July 1797. But it was not possible. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail . As I hope this essay makes clear. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. .. motivated. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. At that point.but he said it was his own money. greedy. It wasn¶t even the juiciest. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. And. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. They apparently did. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. the public could be kept in the dark no longer.com . But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country.money. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. . too. and agreed to keep it quiet. Reynolds had evidence. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ .James Monroe. Hamilton¶s note to his wife. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations. That money had changed hands. ³Mr. 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). Monroe et. and by the press). he did not intend to fire at Burr. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. not the government's. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. .
1912. Jacob E. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. Morton J. accessed May 1. 1961--79. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. New York: Harper & Row. Chomsky. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. p. 1985. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Frisch. 1991. ed. NATIONAL REVIEW. New York. 1999. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX.let.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.com . historian. Charles. 2002.zmag. ed. Z MAGAZINE. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. Loyola University. 1959. senior editor. 13. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.2002. Mellon Lecture. 1964. Jacob E. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. http://odur. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton.htm. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. 1997. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1970. Morton J. John C. University of Groningen. ed. Stourzh. Richard.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education..wcdebate. Department of Alfa-informatica. New York: The Free Press. Chomsky. Harold C. Chicago. Elkins.. Stanford: Stanford University Press.rug. October 19. 1982.html. accessed April 29. Frisch. Miller. 1993. Syrett. New York: Harper & Brothers. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. Noam. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Brookhiser. Cooke. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. AMERICAN. Lisa Marie. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. de Carolis. Cooke. 1994 http://www. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. January 1995. Noam. New York and London: Columbia University Press. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Gerald.
1787. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. that vicinity or nearness of situation. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. np. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. 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. accessed May 2. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. would be to forget that men are ambitious. 2. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. November 14. This cause would exist among us in full force.html. p. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. in the event of disunion. For the Independent Journal. 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 disregard the uniform course of human events. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. http://federalistpapers. 2002. 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. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. http://federalistpapers. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property.com/federalist7. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. constitutes nations natural enemies. it has been said. or only united in partial confederacies. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. November 14. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. 1787. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. 2002. 1787. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. however.html. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. and would create others on the same subject. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy.com .com/federalist6. 2002." 4. under a continuation of the Union.html. For the Independent Journal. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. accessed May 2. accessed May 2. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com/federalist6. November 15. This has been so far accomplished as. For the Independent Journal.wcdebate. http://federalistpapers. p.com/federalist6. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. np. would revive this dispute. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. 1787.html. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. vindictive. For the Independent Journal. accessed May 2. 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. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. either by actual possession. 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. if these States should either be wholly disunited. This. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. http://federalistpapers. 2002. and rapacious. np. November 14.
.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. abilities which were by nature unequal.2002. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness. simply drawing on realities that he felt.. steady. and the pursuit of happiness. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential. in their understanding.wcdebate. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. of their own interest. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham.com .did not mean to say all were equal in. http://www. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. Hamilton was. http://odur.¶ This they said and this meant. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. p." Moreover." Independent Institute Website. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan.intellect.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in the Directors of a Bank. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. .. provide capital for investments and industry. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal. and loan the government money in times of emergency. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. Department of Alfa-informatica. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. np. among which are life. moral developments. opposed to the principle of equality. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit.2002. liberty..htm. 1997. accessed May 1.html. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. as usual. He explained: "The keen." 2.let. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. Private ownership. as proprietors. whereas paper wealth was fluid.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham. Department of Alfa-informatica. 3.htm. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. provide a uniform currency. regulate banking practices around the country. and. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture. University of Dallas.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Landed wealth. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. 1997. accessed May 1. Hamilton reasoned. as it were. University of Groningen. 2002. or social capacity. .rug. 1997. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. magnetic sense. University of Groningen. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. was limiting and limited. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors.rug. The "authors of that notable instrument. accessed May 1. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. 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. Industry would diversify labor. the prosperity of the institution . although not necessarily equitable.independent. 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). represented by the Virginia opposition.let. http://odur. Department of Politics. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. pointing invariably to its true pole.
The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. 1994. Z MAGAZINE. that.com . January 1995. being independence. October 19. Hamilton.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. Gerry." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. accessed April 29." or even influential. as it was called. 2002. speaking for a host of others). in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. 1912. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. but now perceive that they can do better. np. 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.html. Loyola University. in passing. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. Madison. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. perhaps rightly. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. p. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. They feel. That's Hamilton. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. Mellon Lecture. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. of course. Z MAGAZINE. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. p. 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. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. in advocating a life term for Senators. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. The beast may not yet be tamed." Mr. but it is being caged. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. 3. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. an important victory. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. 2." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. in tracing these evils to their origin. p. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. Robert Lansing. 31. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. In the mind of Mr. We may recall. p. whatever cast it takes. Indeed." 4. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. preserved to posterity by Mr.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Mr.wcdebate. sometimes quite literally. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. 13. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard.zmag. January 1995." and he confessed that while he was still republican. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. http://www. 13. Randolph. Chicago. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. historian. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised.the main concern. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. 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.
Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. University of Groningen. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government. from which the rights of property originated. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. Department of Alfa-informatica..htm. and in his opinion." Landed wealth. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. np. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton pointed out.rug. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. 1997.com .wcdebate. accessed May 1.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.rug. he added. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities.. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. The House of Representatives. Securities. p. indebts the nation to foreign powers. np. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. Mr. University of Groningen.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy." 3." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. Hamilton needed big investors. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality.htm. Madison argued in a philosophic vein in support of the proposition that it was necessary to base the political system on the actual conditions of "natural inequality.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. However. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. Department of Alfa-informatica. 2002. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". he contended. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. Mr. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. 2002. p. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority. historian. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. accessed May 1. 1997. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. In order to stimulate the economy. 2. 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. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. Hume contended. 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. 1912. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis.let. "the majority. having such coexistent passion or interest. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie. http://odur. In the tenth number of The Federalist. 31." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hume observed.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nevertheless.let. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. and a more diverse economy. hence. . warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. http://odur. p.
therefore. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. or Madison) is well documented. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. The Confederation could not collect taxes. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. regulate commerce. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. written by Alexander Hamilton. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. However. 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. some of the major figures behind the movement. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. Jay. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. Moreover. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. 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. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. support for it was by no means unanimous. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. supported a more direct democracy. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. 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. These papers. many called for some kind of reform. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known.com . but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. Anti-federalists. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale.wcdebate. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. First. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. 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. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. James Madison. Secondly. who did which paper (Hamilton. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system.
where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. 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.com . and others. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. while he never supported the Constitution. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. 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´. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Samuel Bryan. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent).wcdebate. Robert Yates. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. No. while they share some of the same beliefs. that the government has. Clinton despised Madison. But what liberties are being shoved aside in the current system? The premise behind AntiFederalism goes deeper than knee-jerk mistrust of the federal government. For one. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. One such person is Patrick Henry. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. ideas. the problem of majority tyranny arises. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed.´ ³Old Whig. While of course they all had minor differences. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. Richard Henry Lee. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. 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. Today what we have is a republic. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. or amount of control. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. and only samples a small part of the population. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. This is democracy at its most tenuous. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. Even were polling perfectly accurate. and so on. Clinton acquiesced. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. cultures. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse.
and therefore be happy and free. and without a strong federal ability to tax. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. be achieved. find that situation lacking. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. 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. the type of person who is elected into office will never be the same type of person that she or he is supposed to represent. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. 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. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling.wcdebate. Once all private demands are met. 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. such as food and shelter. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. Indeed. say. Arendt. have the time and resources to become a serious politician.com . Finally. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. AntiFederalists. the arts. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. The lowest is that of labor. In fact. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. which encompasses crafts. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. 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. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. and similar pursuits. interestingly enough. this is often not the case. an important political theorist from this century. The next highest is work. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists argued that a result of that type of government would be that only the elite would have the capability to run for office. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. Therefore. 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 it is often still private in nature. 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. But even if all of the things above were not true. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. 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. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. 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. on the other hand. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. In other words. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. Even if every state kept standing militias. The ancient Greeks despised labor.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. The reason for this is because.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. This case was but the most visible of a massive effort by the federal government to outlaw a host of racist policies held by many States. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. 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. and the government. 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. Having a national bank system. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. 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. As for internal problems. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse.com . The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. internal commerce. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. 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. With regard to the security issue. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. issuing bonds. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. rights. and so forth. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. 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. hope is not lost yet. but it is a huge issue now. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy.wcdebate. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. such as funding of the sciences and arts. In addition to security. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. Given how complex the economic system is today. 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. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements.
Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. Instead. as Hannah Arendt suspects. Participation in a public democracy. has many potential benefits and downfalls. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. such as greater states rights in a particular area. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. 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. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way.com . and therefore in direct democracy. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. federal governments. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. Both theories have strong advantages and disadvantages that can be used to shed light on a variety of political issues in our own day and age. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Money alone cannot produce happiness. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny. local. as a political theory taken in general. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. 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. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. Moreover. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. 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. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines.wcdebate.
1969. Herbert. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Gordon. 1981. Simon & Schuster. Storing. Bernard. Northern Illinois University Press. Robert. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Berns. Walter. inc. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS.com . Herbert. 1993. University of Colorado Press. Kenneth. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Ralph. 1981. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Sinopoli. University of Chicago Press. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. 1992. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Arendt. 1992. John Wiley & Sons. Wood. Georgetown Press. Bruce. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. 1997. Christopher. Dry. Duncan. 1958. 1992. Richard. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Hannah. Dolbeare. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. Library of America. FROM MANY. Harvard University Press. 1987. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. THE HUMAN CONDITION. 1995. Penguin. Hoffer. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. and Storing. Murray. Alfred Knopf. 1986. Bailyn. University of Chicago Press. Ketcham. University of Chicago Press.wcdebate. ARTICLES.
This will retard the operations of government. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. better understood. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. the people. and of course are less protected. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. p. a legislature. abuses are of less extent. in process of time. so also was that of the Romans. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. and more within the reach of every citizen. Anti-Federalist Writer. and. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. and their interests. 2. very diverse. If this be not the case. diverse.wcdebate. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. it is subordinate to exceptions. Both of these. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. In a republic. cowardly. The United States includes a variety of climates. FROM MANY. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. and without virtue there can be no happiness.com . IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. of consequence. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. In a small one. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. in many respects. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. great and glorious. and interests of the people should be similar. by oppressing his fellow citizens. ultimately disempowering. of consequence. and consequently of less moderation. 37. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. 3. Anti-Federalist Writer. 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. any thing like the extent of the United States. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views. p. the interest of the public is easier perceived. 38. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. and the consequence was. the manners. 1997. in the words of Hannah Arendt. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. there can be no virtue. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. be the climate what it may be. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. sentiments. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. 1997. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. The laws and customs of the several states are. that it will ultimately. formed of representatives from the respective parts. and in some opposite. as would constantly be contending with each other. are in general lazy. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. FROM MANY. In a large republic. 1995.´ 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. he has interest of his own. 170-171. turbulent. Professor of Political Science. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. extended their conquests over large territories of country. and depends on accidents. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. it is true. The Grecian republics were of small extent. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing.
from the vast extent of your territory. or the opinion. If that latter clause is read correctly.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. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. the great Montesquieu again observes. Professor of Political Science." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. p. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. and the complication of interests. 1997. 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 -. beget a confidence in the people. what can you promise yourselves.wcdebate. other than those basic natural laws (but these. Furthermore. and observe. consists in security. Anti-Federalist Writer. Associate Professor of Law. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. Mr. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. depends in a great measure on their limits. FROM MANY. This moderation in governments. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. In other words. 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. into the hands of individuals. on the score of consolidation of the United States. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. which produces this security. nor compact. Spring. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. 78. 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. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of 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." Thus. where the mildness of the laws. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation).com . which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. 1995. 2000. and too mysterious for you to understand. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. useful or not. p. 42. is best obtained in moderate governments. and to work together. 37-8. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. rather. and this security therefore. or the opinion. is a government derived from neither nature. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. Political liberty. and aggrandizement. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. whose ambition for power. Locke remarks. or at least in the opinion we have of security. either limited or despotic. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. connected with their political distribution. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. 2. 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. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. From this picture. 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. the latter. and the equality of the manners. too. 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. will oppress and grind you²where.
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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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West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 33
FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS 1. STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS SELF-RESTRAINING Larry D. Kramer , Professor of Law, New York University Law School, COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, January, 2000, p. 252-3. North Carolina lawyer-planter Archibald Maclaine, writing as Publicola, made the charge of Anti-Federalist duplicity even more explicitly: I find some people are so strangely infatuated, as to think that Congress can, and therefore will, usurp powers not given them by the states, and do any thing, however oppressive and tyrannical. I know no good grounds for such a supposition, but this, that the legislative and judicial powers of the state have too often stepped over the bounds prescribed for them by the constitution; and yet, strange to tell, few of those, whose arguments I am now considering, think such measures censurable - The conclusion to be drawn here is obvious - The objectors hope to enjoy the same latitude of doing evil with impunity, and they are fearful of being restricted, if an efficient government takes place. 2. A FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT ENSURES PROSPERITY AND INCLUSION OF MINORITIES Robert Webking, Assistant Professor of Political Science, ³The Federalist: Government Power and Individual Rights,´ THE CONSTITUTIONAL POLITY, 1983, p. 7-8. Publius¶ original argument about how a people can secure the advantage and avoid the disadvantage of majority rule rests upon a distinction between species of popular government. In a pure democracy, where people gather to rule themselves directly, he writes, the danger of majority faction is unavoidable. Such a form of government can exist with only a small territory, and in a small community it is virtually certain that there will be a majority with the same partial interest. In a republic, however, the problem can be avoided. The difference between a pure democracy and a republic is that in the latter the people do not rule directly, but through representatives. Representation yields a number of happy advantages for Publius, but the decisive one is size. A republic can be very much larger than a pure democracy, and because it is larger it can include a great variety of people with many different kinds of economic activities and, hence, a multiplicity of interests. The existence of many distinct interests means the existence of many interest groups or factions. The existence of many factions rather than merely two makes it likely that there will be no majority faction. All factions will be minority factions and each faction will be prevented from using the government unjustly by the fact of majority rule. ³Extend the sphere,´ Publius writes, ³and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens.´ 3. A FEDERALIST THEORY OF LEGAL RIGHTS STOPS DISCRIMINATION Daan Braveman, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, February, 2002, p. 619. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the transformation process occurred in Brown v. Board of Education. In striking down state segregation, the Supreme Court dramatically altered the relations between the states and the national government, and made the federal courts the primary guardians of federal rights. In the years following Brown, the lower federal courts became the litigation forum for state school segregation cases, as well as actions challenging a wide range of other state activities, including zoning, reapportionment, police misconduct, and prison conditions. Notably, Brown was not decided in isolation but rather at a time when the world outside the courtroom was changing dramatically. The other branches of the federal government had a national and international agenda, which included the expansion of federal rights and a federal interest in protecting those rights from state deprivation. "A new spirit of nationalism" replaced the isolationism of the turn of the century and, as Judge Gibbons stated: "In the global village, deference to local solutions for problems that transcend local interests is a quaint anachronism." By the 1960s, the structure envisioned during Reconstruction was firmly established. Individuals had federal rights, federal remedies, and a federal forum to challenge state conduct that violated federal law.
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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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in doing so. a child.wcdebate. unchanging..com . 669).. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. he had his house burn down. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. And his marriage of philosophy. and politics. immaterial. while the realm of "becoming. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. however. living entities died. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. two brothers. he was even more a mystic than Plato. in contrast. people and history existed. 2000. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. 1882. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry." where matter. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. they could only contemplate it. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. removed from day-to-day history. 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. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. optimistic about humanity. Today. p. Emerson. In this sense. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. and have great potential for debates over morality. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. values. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). and perfection was unattainable. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency.. at least in principle. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. But humans could never really reach such a world. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. Brown. Spring. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. he lost a spouse.To be great is to be misunderstood. To understand transcendentalism. academic science of modernist philosophy. But he remained. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. and incorruptible. and lived through the Civil War. However. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization.. 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 continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. must be a nonconformist." Things changed. Plato. certain major themes stand out in his writings.
being and becoming.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding. history. Emerson really means to "accept. comprehensive understanding. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion.wcdebate. higher understanding. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. 3. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. because.com . as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming. After all. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. as the basis of genuine knowledge. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. That is why. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. or doctrines. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). Emerson. As mentioned. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. in this respect. the past is always swallowed and forgotten. holds that all living creatures and things of the earth are united as something mystically higher and more whole than the sum of their parts. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. In other words." as he puts it. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. whilst you rise from your bed.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. with your best deliberation and heed. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. "Intellect"). This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. viewpoints.´ 2. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you." including emotions such as love. which he saw as our connection to the divine. unlike Plato. as we shall see. based more on feeling than analysis. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. Transcendentalism. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision.edu/entries/emerson/). politics and the like. Plato rejected human matters. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more.´ Like the German and British Romantics. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods. He was very close. You cannot. Although. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. to being a pantheist. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts.stanford. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. as its name implies. at the end of "Circles." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. on the other hand. Like Hegel. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness." 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.
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 for thoughts. 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.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson.' ´ (Thomas J. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. presumably. Second. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. This is true of every human being.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power.wcdebate. Spring. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. of course. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. Implications for Debate First. the necessity of self-reliance. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. they will perform virtuously. 669). divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). he also extolled the virtues of capitalism." Like friendship and reading. Emerson is part Plato (humans must understand the transcendent world in order to be good) and part Aristotle (humans must actually practice virtuous behavior to be in tune with the divine). democracy. Brown. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. Because of this. morality is more important than obeying the law. and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. "the otherest. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. through Nature. In this way. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. This. 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. p. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. 2000. Some critics. and the power of individual action.com . or other distinct groups. First. George Santayana among them. however imperfect. Emerson refused to see distinctions based on skin color or national origin as being more important than the common humanity that unites Black and white.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. In his essay ³Self-Reliance.
because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. Transcendentalist ethics.F. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G.wcdebate. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. As noted above. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). For example. However. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. Third. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). Emerson¶s eloquence. on the other hand. In this way. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.W. his optimism about humanity and democracy. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil.com .
Ralph Waldo. Porte. POWER. Haight. ed. 1947) Emerson. J. Stephen E. Emerson. MEANING (New York: Dodd.. Joel.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Sealts Jr. 1941). WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. Emerson. ed. Mead. 1959).. POEMS. Arthur Cushman Jr. 1968). GROWTH. Ralph Waldo. Ralph Waldo. 1981). APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Alfred R. NAPOLEAN. eds. ADDRESSES (New York: W. Gougeon.. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. David. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. William Allen. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. eds. 1982). EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. 1878). Konvitz.Y. Emerson. Susan Sutton. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. Ralph Waldo. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. 1954). Smith. Len and Myerson. and Ferguson. Emerson. 1866). Ralph Waldo. Merton M. Black.: Kennikat Press. 1966). ed. A YANKEE IN CANADA. 1995). N. 1900). Emerson. 1969). eds. McGiffert. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. Milton R. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press.com . YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. Joel. Gordon Sherman. 1978). AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. Mifflin.H. Ralph Waldo. OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Robinson. WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. Huggard. and Whicher. Ralph Waldo. Gay Wilson. 1978).: Friends of the Dartmouth Library..wcdebate. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. N. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT. FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Ticknor and Fields. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. Emerson. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. Osgood and Company. 1903). 1938).
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and goodness. 13. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. and abdicate his kingdom. that it to say. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. American transcendentalist philosopher. He may divest himself of it. the opinions. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. American transcendentalist philosopher. every departure from his own convictions. and beauty. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. in its largest and profoundest sense. is that which is found in combination with the human will. 1986. Every heroic act is also decent. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. and nature became ancillary to a man.com . And in common life whosoever has seen a person of powerful character and happy genius will have remarked how easily he took all things along with him. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. that every false word he has uttered. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. among sordid objects.wcdebate. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. if he will. In private places. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. American transcendentalist philosopher. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. Phocion. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Homer. are but different faces of the same All. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. p. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. The presence of a higher. It is his. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. and the frame will suit the picture. 2000. as most men do. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. Beauty. and the day. 1986. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. Truth. 12. the sun as its candle. he may creep into a corner. p. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple.--the persons. Every natural action is graceful. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. p. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. 1986. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. namely. 2. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. God is the all-fair. 2. 15. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. Socrates. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. Pindar. is one expression for the universe. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. p. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. This element I call an ultimate end. 15. American transcendentalist philosopher. A virtuous man is in unison with her works.
American transcendentalist philosopher. They will not be written out on paper. 2000. interact. or spoken by the tongue. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice.wcdebate. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. that an immoral contract is void. covers. under what seem foolish details. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. p. The sense of injustice is blunted. as laws do not make right. I question the value of our civilization. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. p. For virtue is the very self of every man.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. American transcendentalist philosopher. appetite. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. and that an immoral statute is void. p. and not subject to circumstance. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and God. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. It is therefore a principle of law. for. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. at every hazard. 72-73. 361. in our own remorse. 1986. muscular force. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. 2. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. 362. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. and in the game of human life. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. man. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. if judges only quote authorities. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. pp. They elude our persevering thought. in each other¶s actions. These laws execute themselves.com . The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. motion. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. out of space. fear. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. 1986. justice. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. 73. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. American transcendentalist philosopher. 2000. love. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. principles that astonish. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. gravity. American transcendentalist philosopher. They are out of time.
philosopher. information (and) science. in doing so. 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´.´ 2. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. 90. The political corollary to this belief is an almost unmitigated laissez-faire: ³Trade is an instrument of that friendly Power which works for us in our own despite«Our part is plainly not to throw ourselves across the track.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. ³Power´ and ³Wealth. combination.wcdebate. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. ³Life is a search after power.´ 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. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. In these essays and elsewhere. 1962. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. p. Emerson the seeker of unity is at pains to assimilate the new forces to a cosmic and social teleology²to survey history for the perspective of the ³over-god´ of the Channing ode and. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. in its room.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. ³marry Right to Might. 68. 3. 68-69. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. and to conspire with the new works of new days. p. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. not to block improvement. pp. and sit till we are stone. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. 1999. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it.com . THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON.´ he announces.´ Implicit in his words are the notion that the civic world is part of nature and subject to its processes and that advancement occurs by cooperating with these processes rather than directing them toward immediate human ends.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. 1999. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow.
and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. 2. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago. the imagination and all its works²art. philosopher. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. Empty. As far as James was concerned. 31. Boston existed serenely. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). the base. 35. EMERSON AND POWER. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. Professor of English at Michigan State University. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing.´ he recalled. p. the whole ³Concord school´ had. Law. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. as Matthiessen notes. by its very definition.´ 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. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. then. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. 1996.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. must share this reproach. 1996. Mysticism. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana.´ 3. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. p. dogma. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. an island above the extremes of common human experience. EMERSON AND POWER. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature.´ It was no surprise. in his 1888 essay. ³Emerson¶s personal history. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. As every new category. so constantly on his lips. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge.´ James concludes. for God.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³like a ministry without an opposition. and as the absolute. 1962. as we have said. philosopher. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. Nature. Professor of English at Michigan State University. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. Benefit. Far from it.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed.com . to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. 32. the foul.´ sealed off. God. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. p. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. almost exclusively in the moral world. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. as he thinks.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. is not representable by any specific faculty. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. panting for sensations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. For James. 32-33. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez.´ ³We get the impression. its rewards and consolations. 4. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. however. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. 1962. p. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. or Beauty? He could not.´ He continued.
It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. For Dewey. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. Dewey would come to reject the small town provincialism of Burlington in favor of the changing and growing national community that characterized the second half of the 19th century. as some critics have charged. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. he received his PhD. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. By now. Not surprisingly. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. the son of a grocer. 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. Two years later. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. Maryland. In 1894. 1859. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. In the fall of 1882. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea.wcdebate. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools.com . Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. politics and education. at the age of twenty. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. in philosophy. From a very early age. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. If. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. on October 20. and grow accordingly. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. Vermont. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. and taught high school for three years. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. At the same time. He graduated in 1879. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate.
impartial. Like existentialists. and these experiments. and education. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. Ziniewicz. In 1904.shtml). This explains why. and despite this impact. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence. through experience and reflection (in fact. However.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy. both as a race and as individuals. www. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. genuine experience. ethics. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. Dewey sees humans as part of nature. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. To them. Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission." in theory or practice. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology.augie. and least known. removed from everyday experience. Humans may. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders.wcdebate. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. (http://inst. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. politics. and sees nature as constantly changing. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. This will become important later." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real.fred. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true.html). concerning the philosophy of religion. 1952. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. also have a history of change. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. I might be a liberal." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. although Dewey was no socialist. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but rather in reference to what "works. But unlike existentialists. and concerned with social justice. he was viewed by leftists as fair. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines.net/tzaka/deweynew. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. John Dewey died on June 1. as part of nature. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles. The fact that he could share such honest and sincere humor with one of the most dogmatic ideologues of the 20th century underscores Dewey's commitment to pluralism. Similarly." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics. I might be a socialist. few philosophers are more misunderstood.com . and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. Humans. 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). or appeals to the truth of scripture. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic.
experience can be active or passive. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. My assignment is poorly written. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. as a result of collective experience. I reconsider the original idea. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. or religious experience. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. emotional. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people.wcdebate. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. For Dewey. which we'll examine in the next section. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. I could never consider it "true. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. It includes long-term.com/entry/551811) Finally. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. because my teachers warn me about it. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. Second. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. Dewey insisted. to the maximum benefit of all participants." In fact. Moreover. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding.com . Dewey supports community ideals because. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. as already stated.but in all cases there is a social context. Rather. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. Thus. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . At least. (http://www. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. They experiment. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. propose and oppose. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. pragmatically speaking. I am part of the world). until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. Finally.´ In sum. It may even include mystical. test. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. I fail. When my experience no longer verifies it.xrefer. First. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. the example shows that theories and ideas change. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. however. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. where we learn from and with other people. In summary. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. and includes reflection as well as interaction. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. (Ziniewicz. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. At that point. and so on. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory.
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DEWEY¶S VIEWS ON EDUCATION ³Education is not a preparation for life; Education is life itself.´ ²John Dewey As might be suggested by his pragmatism, John Dewey believed education must be informed by genuine experience, constant interaction, and community values. Although he did not reject the notion that some individuals may be more motivated than others to learn, he nevertheless believed that one's environment was a huge determining factor in one's educational development. In many ways, then, Dewey's theory of education was a direct result of his pragmatist philosophical perspective. (www.infed.org/thinkers/et-dewey.htm) One of the most significant differences between traditional educational approaches and Dewey's "progressive" views of education was his perspective on the role of teachers. Dewey did not view instructors as absolute authorities imposing ideas and practices on students. Rather, he saw teachers as facilitators, guiding students through the learning process, and he believed this ought to be done as democratically as possible. Contrary to the picture some critics have painted of Dewey, he did not believe in some kind of simplistic (and utopian) democracy where students have as much authority as teachers. He simply believed that much more democracy was possible in the classroom; that students could be taught the virtues of democracy by learning to participate, in feasible ways, in their own educational experiences. Dewey rejected the "checklist" rigor of individual assignments and isolated studies in favor of group learning, discussion, and genuine experiences. If students are learning about agriculture, Dewey would rather students visit a farm and share in some of the farm work than just read about farms in a book. If the subject was politics and government, Dewey would prefer that students form their own governments and raise issues and solicit votes than merely listen to a lecture on how governments function in a democracy. OBJECTIONS TO DEWEY Critics of John Dewey¶s philosophy include both philosophers opposed to pragmatism, and political activists opposed to the soft, utopian ³liberalism´ of Dewey¶s political positions. Objections to pragmatism usually come in the form of metaphysical assertions that the truth of a claim is not dependent upon the experiential validation of that claim. To cite the example I used in the section on pragmatism, those opposed to Dewey would argue that the statement ³You should not procrastinate´ has a truth-value independent of my verification of that statement with my own experience. However, more strongly worded objections come from the political side. Primarily, Dewey is charged with having utopian aspirations regarding cooperation and progressivism, but at the same time ignoring real-world barriers to his utopia. Conservatives, for example, charge that Dewey believes all citizens (and particularly students, in regards to his educational philosophy) have the same basic abilities, or the same potential for genius; that Dewey seems to believe that all differences come from the environment. Conservatives believe that people have different abilities, and that perceived ³inequalities´ in society are really just the result of the cold, hard fact that some people are more talented and industrious than others. More criticism comes from those to the political left of Dewey, such as Marxists. For them, Dewey is a ³liberal´ in the negative sense of the term. He believes everyone can ³get along,´ even though Marxists believe that there can be no reconciliation between the ruling class and the working class. Thus, Dewey offers a vision of universal enlightenment and progressive, community virtues, but offers no material means of getting to such a world. The desire that we all get along and progress together is not enough.
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IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE Dewey¶s educational philosophy is in a class by itself, and any value debate topic dealing with education should inspire a great deal of research on Dewey¶s ideas. But in this section I will concern myself only with his general philosophy. The following main points suggest ways in which debaters can incorporate the ideas of John Dewey: Democracy: Obviously, Dewey is a strong proponent of democracy, for unique reasons. Dewey believes that we learn, both individually and collectively, through experimentation and the consideration of all ideas and possibilities. For Dewey, the clash of ideas and approaches found in a healthy democracy is the paradigm example of a progressive society. Necessity of Experience rather than Idealism: Dewey provides a solid answer to philosophers such as Plato, Hegel, Ayn Rand, Leo Strauss, and other thinkers who believe that the ³Truth´ is a transcendent set of principles simply waiting to be discovered. Rather, Dewey believes, we ³make the truth,´ not in some relativistic sense, but through genuine human experience. Moreover, Dewey would accuse these idealist and objectivist philosophers of being foundationally anti-democratic. A natural conclusion to Dewey¶s philosophy is that our collective notions of truth ought to be decided democratically. The idea that ³Truth´ emanates from on high is contrary to the notions of progressive, participatory democracy. Cooperation versus Conflict: Obviously, Dewey believes that we learn more together than we do apart, and that we achieve more when we unite around common goals than when we compete with one another. He rejected the notion of competition in academics and embraced the idea that we can learn cooperatively, helping each other out, learning from common struggles. CONCLUSION John Dewey represents something very important about American philosophy. Instead of being concerned about what is ideally true, metaphysically true, logically true or mathematically true, Dewey was concerned about the truth of what works for people in their everyday lives. This is radically democratizing, and wholly appropriate to a people who, at least in principle, rejected the divine right of kings and the assumptions of aristocracy. It is appropriate to an experiment in democracy amidst pluralism and uncertainty. Debaters wishing to incorporate Dewey's ideas ought to research both the foundations of his pragmatism, and the implications of his pragmatism on his educational theories. Although these two aspects of his philosophy are intimately related, the literature is divided rather distinctively. Debaters might also contemplate the fact that, as they search the library for Dewey's works, they might well be using the Dewey Decimal System, devised by John Dewey to catalogue books in libraries. In many ways, Dewey would be a strong advocate of academic debate. Like the participatory models of education he advocated, debate is an exercise in empowering, involved activity. It is student-centered and relies on the students experimenting, succeeding and failing, and learning from each exchange. In fact, understanding why debate is educational for you can help you understand exactly the kind of education that Dewey wanted for students. At the same time, debaters should be aware that objections to pragmatism are important. Dewey and his followers talk about the importance of democracy and participation, but they seem unable to suggest ways to dismantle the very real power structures that block these possibilities. Perhaps creative debaters can synthesize Deweyan pragmatism with effective political strategies for actually opening up the real, material possibility of change in a world where, despite Dewey's efforts, elitism still remains.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY Baker, Melvin C. FOUNDATIONS OF JOHN DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORY (New York: Atherton Press, 1966). Campbell, James. UNDERSTANDING JOHN DEWEY: NATURE AND COOPERATIVE INTELLIGENCE (Chicago: Open Court, 1995). Dewey, John and James Hayden Tufts. ETHICS (New York: H. Holt, 1936). Dewey, John. A COMMON FAITH (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). Dewey, John. ART AS EXPERIENCE (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1934). Dewey, John. ESSAYS IN EXPERIMENTAL LOGIC (New York: Dover Publications, 1953) Dewey, John. EXPERIENCE AND NATURE (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company, 1958). Dewey, John. FREEDOM AND CULTURE (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1939). Dewey, John. HOW WE THINK (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1910). Dewey, John. INDIVIDUALISM OLD AND NEW (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1930). Dewey, John. LECTURES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1899). Dewey, John. LECTURES ON ETHICS, 1900-1901 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991). Dewey, John. LIBERALISM AND SOCIAL ACTION (New York: Capricorn Books, 1963). Dewey, John. THE CHILD AND THE CURRICULUM, AND SCHOOL AND SOCIETY (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956). Dewey, John. THEORY OF THE MORAL LIFE (New York: Irvington Publishers, 1980). Dewey, John. DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (New York: The Macmillan company, 1916). Gavin, W. J. CONTEXT OVER FOUNDATION: DEWEY AND MARX (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988). Haskins, Casey, and Seiple, David I.. DEWEY RECONFIGURED: ESSAYS ON DEWEYAN PRAGMATISM (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999). Nissen, Lowell. JOHN DEWEY¶S THEORY OF INQUIRY AND TRUTH (The Hague: Mouton, 1966). Popp, Jerome A. NATURALIZING PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: JOHN DEWEY IN THE POSTANALYTIC PERIOD (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998). Schilpp, Paul Arthur. THE PHILOSOPHY OF JOHN DEWEY (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1951). Soneson, Jerome Paul. PRAGMATISM AND PLURALISM: JOHN DEWEY¶S SIGNIFICANCE FOR THEOLOGY (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993).
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FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. 2. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. and resolute. p. 298. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. p. American pragmatist philosopher. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. 1991. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. alert. brushes. political and moral matters is a gift of God. It is complete only in its possibilities. But the necessary unity between the two is involved.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. No more than any other art is it developed internally. desire and purpose more flexible. and you have freedom. but power of vision and reflection. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. Carry that identity farther. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. American pragmatist philosopher.wcdebate. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. between the natural self and the ideal self. American pragmatist philosopher. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. just as the art of painting requires paint. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. 296. however. the possible self does not represent a remote. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. LECTURES ON ETHICS.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. 89. 3. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. because open and moving toward a new future. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. It requires favorable objective conditions. p. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling. Thinking. In its reality. That is the basis of responsibility. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. the explicit thing. like mathematics. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. 1968. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. For these take effect in making preference. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. 1968. 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. 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. In other words. and canvas. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention.
existentially speaking. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. pp. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. 1968. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. while it is. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. 1968. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. p. that is for practical purposes. p. It is one with our individuality. 297-98. perfectly real. American pragmatist philosopher. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. which we want or are after. whether moral or psychological. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. effective. There was a time in the eighteenth century when the great social need was emancipation of industry and trade from a multitude of restrictions which held over from the feudal estate of Europe. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. 1968. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE.´ 2. American pragmatist philosopher. Pragmatically. rights and demands are products of interactions. the true kind. Since actual. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. and. one absolute and static because exhausted. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. American pragmatist philosopher. But like all other possibilities.com . which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. 2. morally they alone are ³real. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. and freedom of contract. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. American pragmatist philosopher.´ A reality which is taken in organic response so as to lead to subsequent reactions that are off the track and aside from the mark. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. 48-49. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. use of coal and steam. that is. It lacks the hallmark of value. 281. as facts have demonstrated. teleologically. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. it is this kind. like all others. is not good reality. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. this possibility has to be actualized. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. in command of capital. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. 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. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. much less a deviation or excrescence.wcdebate. in the problem of personal freedom. For ordinary purposes. pp. emerged. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. 1968. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. 139. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity.
PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. 2. should have done no less.com . p. as by Dewey. as I have reiterated. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. Marxist philosopher and activist. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. Marxist philosopher and activist. 251. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. is also unsatisfactory. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. which claims to be so realistic and practical. 1977. like a football captain. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. Peters.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Peters. 1975.S. Dewey was impressed. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. at least in broad outline. 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. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. an authority on some aspect of the culture. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. and he or she is meant to be. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. In a game most of the participants know how to play. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. p. to some extent.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. 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. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. as it usually does. 256. for it combined a conception of the child. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. If ³democracy´ is to include. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. Dewey¶s view of the teacher. However. 114. 1975. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. Instrumentalist morality goes from case to case and from one step to the next without reaching any general standards of right or wrong and what makes them so. p. Instead of playing a directing role. 1977. p. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication.wcdebate. to have interpreted their meaning. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century. 115. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R.S.
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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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Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. 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.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. ³I. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. alike in peace and in war. of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. an international regime managing trade. A free. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. IV. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. openly arrived at. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. The removal. determine its own institutions. therefore. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. What we demand in this war. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. like our own. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. Still. II. However. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice.wcdebate. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. wishes to live its own life. III. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time.´ That doesn¶t mean. so far as possible. outside territorial waters.´ Wilson said. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. skeptical of the League of Nations.com . open-minded. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. There. V. In fact. Wilson had this to say about the end of the ³war to end all wars´: ³We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. however. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. Open covenants of peace. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany.
why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism.com . and work together toward common goals. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. they would argue. It is better. solve disputes. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. then. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. for example). As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. and even if we can.´ As we¶ve talked about. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis. Take the example of Latin America.´ which mean different things to different people. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.N. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. both in domestic and foreign policy.wcdebate. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. But that¶s another story. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. including evacuation of conquered lands.) From another right-wing perspective. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. and established the progressive income tax. Abraham F. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. Lowenthal. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. the establishment of an independent Polish state. in my estimation. One scholar on inter-American affairs. Overseas. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. is Wilson¶s legacy. they argue. The right has a somewhat different slant. 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. etc. It is possible.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. as Wilsonian in nature -. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. For these reasons. Wilson retired to Washington. Harding in 1920. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. was interventionist by nature. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. Foreign policy: Wilson. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G.. After this effort. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. he fell ill and never fully recovered. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world.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. James M. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back.000 miles by rail around the country.wcdebate.C. either). but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. D. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics.com . Overseas. where he died in 1924. for example. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad.
Princeton University Press. Z MAGAZINE. 1980 Link. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. 1991 Zinn. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. South Africa. 1920-1939. Lloyd. Ambrosius. http://www. Thomas. http://web. Cambridge University Press. Warren and Lynne Dunn.html. 2.com . 1998 Chomsky. 1986 Knock. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.africa.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 2002. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. 2002. 2000. Princeton University Press.ufl. 1998. 10. p. 1956 Rowen. 2000. University of Arizona Press.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.htm. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. 1995 Kuehl. Gilderhus. November 1994. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION. Kent State University Press. 2. Arthur.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Louis. Auchincloss. Mark. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. Blum. Rhodes University. accessed April 22.zmag. THE NEW FREEDOM. accessed May 1. No. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. 1965 Link. PBS documentary. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. accessed April 22. Political Studies Department. Noam. Arthur. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. Herbert. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.pbs. Daniels. Oxford University Press. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. Howard. Viking Press. available online at http://www. Josephus. 2002. 2001. Princeton University Press. University of California Press. 1913-1921. 1971. 1997 Levin. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.htm. Korwa G. May 7. Norman Gordon.wcdebate. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. John Morton. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. Greenwood Publishing Group. Vol.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.
np. Adar. as well as presidential ambition. He's not tragic however in the larger scope of American history because what he did was to help us understand the complexity of power both domestically and internationally in ways that we are still working with. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism".wcdebate. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes. South Africa. 2. 2001. some of which had to wait a long time to come back.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.pbs. 2. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. However. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. accessed May 1.. Historian.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2002. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. available online at http://www. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2001. accessed May 1. available online at http://www. 2002. In the spirit of Wilsonianism. Vol. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. No. 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. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. Political Studies Department.html. Mulder.html. PBS documentary. 2002. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. Historian. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s. 4. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. accessed May 1. PBS documentary. np. BUT THE COLD WAR. PBS documentary. After his visit to Africa. available online at http://www. prohibition.ufl. accessed April 22. 2001.africa.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2002.htm. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development. Historian.pbs. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Indeed. and women¶s suffrage. http://web. The direct election of United States senators. p. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. p. np.pbs. np. Rhodes University.html. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. 1998. Wilson matters as the first modern president. 3. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. p. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. 2.com .
Rhodes University. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. For Wilson. np. Political Studies Department.africa. accessed May 1. 1998. accessed May 1.com . AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. 2. 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. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. Wilsonianism had a global impact. 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. 2002.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.africa. In his foreign policy pronouncements vis-a-vis the European colonial powers President Woodrow Wilson advocated for the pursuit of democracy and human rights conceptualized within the context of selfdetermination for the colonized peoples. 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. would promote America's long term interests.htm. South Africa. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice. Rhodes University.html. No. This. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Social and Cultural Rights. limited government. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. np. 2. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. Historian. available online at http://www.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. 2001.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs.htm. np. available online at http://www. p. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. Adar. 3. PBS documentary. he was never evasive in that way. Historian. No.ufl. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. 2001. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. 2. Moreover. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. 1998. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. Thus. he argued. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.pbs.N. Vol. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. PBS documentary. 2002. 2002. In this respect. 2. accessed April 22. Vol. p. 2. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. 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. accessed April 22. For the colonized peoples of Africa. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. np. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. 2002.html. Adar. p.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. p. Political Studies Department. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. http://web. South Africa.ufl. In his view. http://web. 4. the realization of individual freedom.
It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world.S.html. It hasn't been easy. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. Historian. Martin observed. unlike the U.wcdebate. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation.pbs. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. p. As discussed here in July. 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.com . open trade. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region. France." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. 10. Hakim observes. "in most Latin American countries. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. PBS documentary. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.N." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. and Canada. Ian Martin. witness the case of Guatemala. As the matter is now rephrased. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. or by its traditional master. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. p. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. 2001. np. If he is. They were proven right. "At first. and the world did not want the American principles. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue. was its friend and protector.. That is to continue. available online at http://www. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. accessed May 1. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. To evaluate what lies ahead. despite its rhetoric of democracy. The Europeans knew this. and to accept the rule of private power. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. recognized that the U. Consider Peter Hakim. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. November 1994. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. trusting that "the United States. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. and have been kept in power by U. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. 2002. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. aid and training for that purpose since.S. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. The Haitian military. domestic and foreign. Z MAGAZINE.
His greatest contradiction from my point of view. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. 2001. "For two centuries. 2. 2. has been an altogether different story. np.africa. p. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion.com . and put anti-war protesters in prison. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. 2. to say nothing about their weapons" -. "Like the French in the 19th century. if at times secondary. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE. Adar." he wrote. Vol. civilized mediation. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. South Africa. accessed April 22.html. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. portrayed in the same light. one of those Wilson sent to prison. very controlling. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside. but his behavior was often very paternalistic. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony.htm.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. 2000. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. 2002. or Helen Keller. 3. Rhodes University. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. November 1994. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings. May 7. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. Political Studies Department. PBS documentary.pbs. 10. We might understand this as another small contribution to the broader project of revising the history of Western colonialism so as to justify the next phase. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G.ufl.zmag. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other. 1998.wcdebate. p. Apple. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. however. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. Z MAGAZINE. http://web. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. accessed May 1. p. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.htm. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. np. As for Woodrow Wilson. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. In the current era. accessed April 22. 2002. No. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. W. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. who reviewed the lessons of history.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. Backers of President Aristide. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. brought our country into the hell of World War I. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University." 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. http://www. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. available online at http://www. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. 2002. the noise of democracy. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. np.
the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. I say with a smirk. Leuchtenburg. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. Another element is that most American of traits.com . a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. anti-Semitism. He wasn¶t -. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. and it happened 70 years ago. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. except Werner von Braun. anyway. He passed important legislation. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. popularly known as FDR. In fact.but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. of course -. 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. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. William E. from right to left to centrist.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. The architect of the New Deal. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. agree on this. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. It wasn¶t. but we¶ll get to that below. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. Historians. though. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. one has doubtless done something right. and was generally beloved by the public.according to Gentile standards.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about." according to Communist leader Earl Browder.wcdebate. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. Even today. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists.
say. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. and perhaps they are right. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. he included economic rights in that list. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model." But believe it or not. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. Unlike most every other president. Security for those who need it. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. This is not quite true. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. FDR recognized this. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. In order to understand these. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. These are the simple. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). it is important to understand the ideology behind them. too. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. Before. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. The preservation of civil liberties for all. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. as we will see later. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. Jobs for those who can work. 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. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. The ending of special privilege for the few. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform.and perhaps they are right.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. Leuchtenberg continued. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself.wcdebate.com . If you¶re starving. as failing to meet the needs of the public. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He noted ³so powerful an impression did FDR leave on the office that in the most recent survey of historians he was ranked as the second greatest president in our history. ECONOMIC POLICY: THE DEFENDERS The left saw FDR as a sellout who saved capitalism as we know it when it was on the brink of collapse. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office.
no one looms larger than FDR.com . the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR. Specifically. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. from the day he is born. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid.but. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. unemployment insurance. and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. and the blind. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. but no one heard it from the President before then. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. As evidence. finance.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. the physically handicapped. Social Security.wcdebate. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. pensions for the elderly.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. the Farm Credit Administration. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). industry. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. the aged poor. Cradle to the grave . who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. the Social Security Administration. ³with few exceptions. Higgs writes. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. Sure.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government.instead. the National Labor Relations Board. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. the Federal Housing Administration. and labor relations. industry. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. the conservative economic theorist." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. to him. 3). finance.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. the aged poor. the Securities and Exchange Commission. 2). The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. He had his own ideas -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families.´ He does not say this as a compliment. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. Nope. The FDR years.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. One of them is Robert Higgs. the physically handicapped.
only sometimes. United States. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. 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. insuring. 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. By subsidizing. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. Charming. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. say. by the way. 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. this was not the case. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. 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.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. this much is undeniable.)´ Sometimes.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. William J. financing. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. 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.wcdebate. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor.S. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. which consigned over 100. vanden Heuvel has noted.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. the Export-Import Bank. was at war with them.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. Their property was seized. including Henry Ford. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. Famously. 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. too. The vast majority of it was never returned. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman.´ he writes.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. told by William E. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. being a victim of race-baiting himself. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that students have their college loans federally provided. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. FDR was the first (and. but that¶s the way it is. One would think. Korematsu v. vanden Heuvel argues. Sadly.com . regulating. though the U. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. (Which he was there. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. Even if you¶ve got a problem with. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. To his credit.
1970.net/bookreviews/library/0024. July 24. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. http://www. EH. Namorato.ECONOMIC HISTORY.htm. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. THE FREEMAN. FRANKLIN D. Schlesinger.´ Jan.org/chat/chat03. 2002.NET BOOK REVIEW . THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. Franklin Delano.. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. accessed May 1.html. Leuchtenburg. Department of History. New York: Dodd. Jr.eh. Kenneth S. September 1998. Higgs. Roosevelt.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech. Davis. University of Mississippi . Robert. 1992. Dallek.pbs. 1932-1945.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. accessed May 10. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Oxford University Press. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. William E. 1979. 1935. 1933.wcdebate. Boston: South End Press.html. 2002. 1959. http://www.washingtonpost. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.independent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. 17. Roosevelt. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. accessed May 02. Mead and Company Publishers.htm. Warren F. accessed May 9. New York: Random House Publishing.1987. Noam. 1986. http://www. July 1997. Robert. accessed May 5. 1985. 2002. Gallagher. Arthur M. 2002. Michael V. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns. Kimball.com .feri. James MacGregor. 1991. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. http://newdeal. Hugh Gregory. Chomsky.shtml. 2002. http://www. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Franklin Delano. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
just where they are going. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E. the political paralysis. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. . in short.eh. Patterson. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. np. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge..washingtonpost.1987. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America. "The people aren't sure.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. where trading resumed on March 15. The historian James T.htm.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.. Similar to his earlier study." Again and again. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR.NET BOOK REVIEW . In this sense. Roosevelt himself. 2). accessed May 1.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Although not a great economic thinker.net/bookreviews/library/0024. 1). There was something in the air that had not been there before. July 1997.ECONOMIC HISTORY.. gone. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. p. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days.. np. everyone was joyous. Leuchtenburg. Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions." noted one business journal.shtml. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.htm. 2002. in Barber's opinion. not least those who are disadvantaged. p. p.Happy days are here again. too.wcdebate. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.1987. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. http://www. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious." On the New York Curb Exchange. In the homes on the streets. After much experimentation. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. Department of History. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. http://www. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p." 3. how Franklin D. accessed May 5. 2002. Roosevelt's Washington. 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. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. Overnight. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn. EH.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. University of Mississippi . one eyewitness later remembered. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display. np. accessed May 5. 2002. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. 2.com . Namorato.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans.washingtonpost. 3). crowds moved excitedly. http://www. Leuchtenburg. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. 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. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience.
htm. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. although promulgated by Franklin D.africa. 2002. No private program and no public policy.washingtonpost. accessed May 5. np.washingtonpost. No. 2002. Adar.com . 2. accessed April 22. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. 2002.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. 1998. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. given the nature of nuclear weapons. Leuchtenburg. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. and it seems improbable. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions." Robert Divine has concluded. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II. 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. Vol." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. Roosevelt. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. As commander-in-chief. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy. np. Political Studies Department.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. South Africa.1987. http://www.1987. 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. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. np. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. p. late in his second term. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. When he took office." 3. p. p. in any sector of our national life. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. 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. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought. Wilson's intellectual heir. Rhodes University. it is framed with perfect futility. 2.htm. "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. a position he was said to prefer to all others.ufl. Leuchtenburg.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.htm. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. As a wartime president. http://web. http://www. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. accessed May 5.wcdebate. and. 2. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.
np. and business failures. THE FREEMAN. Roosevelt deserves no reverence. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. 2002. September 1998. But instead. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. But for all his undeniable political prowess. subsidies. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs. After all. p. By wheeling and dealing. THE FREEMAN. In this madness.independent. np. he got himself elected time after time. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the New Deal created so much confusion. maintain a sound currency. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending.independent. 2002. fear. FDR and Congress. But however significant his legacies. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment.´ 4. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Rather. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. the New Deal did prolong the depression. September 1998. no economy can grow. accessed May 02. http://www. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.1 billion. 2. http://www. 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. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. http://www. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. accessed May 02. uncertainty.independent. high unemployment. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. 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. incoherent mass of new expenditures. and direct government participation in productive activities. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. 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. np.html. p.wcdebate. accessed May 02. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. Flynn said of FDR. and hence overall private economic activity.independent. as many observers claimed at the time. 2002. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. regulations. In fact. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. 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. With its bewildering. 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. accessed May 02. September 1998. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. THE FREEMAN.html. by taxing and spending.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. As John T.html. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. He was no hero.com . the New Dealers had a method. THE FREEMAN.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. p.html. September 1998. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. http://www. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. taxes. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. 2002. p. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated. 3.2 Without capital accumulation. balance the budget.
University of Mississippi . EH. http://www.. 171).net/bookreviews/library/0024.. and how people like John K. EH. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1. accessed May 1. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. indeed revere..zmag. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. In the end. 2002.. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism.. Somehow. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected.splendidly eternal for romance..shtml.ECONOMIC HISTORY. left-liberal social critic Murray Kempton describes the "majesty" of Roosevelt's smile as "he beamed from those great heights that lie beyond the taking of offense. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy.eh." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one. July 1997. through Roosevelt and Truman. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. 2002. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created.. Department of History. Finally. accessed May 1. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort. Namorato. 1992. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. University of Mississippi . who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. in his last chapters. etc.shtml." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT. Chapter 2. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors. http://www. a secret love affair.a wasteland.." But that is only the carping of trivial minds. Still. 2.. this demeanor as the aristocratic style." 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." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. Finally. http://www.ECONOMIC HISTORY." and met the great crisis in their lives. who placed their trust in him. Department of History. accessed May 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. July 1997..NET BOOK REVIEW . In fact.. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show." Try as they might.html..endearingly exalted. "in the grandest style. There was one published reaction.wcdebate. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy. 3." etc.net/bookreviews/library/0024. however. and the immediate post-war era. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population.eh.NET BOOK REVIEW .com . the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. 2002.. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal.. NOT FDR Michael V. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. by Noel Annan.. including many of the poor and working class.. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. World War II. FDR. Namorato.." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history.
were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. In 1968. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. District Judge Julius Hoffman. He later served as a ³freedom rider. Born December 11. the Los Angeles Times reported. his ideas. the 7th U. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. "Tom Hayden changed America". and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental.com) admits. And unlike me. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. Nicholas Lemann. So.S. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -.Jerry Rubin. who were not convicted.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors. The other defendants. including Froines and Weiner. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. Together.´ 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. had a charismatic and thoughtful leader named Tom Hayden who has continued (as an activist and as a California state legislator) to work for change in the American political arena. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. Later.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. Hayden continued with his activism. with that said. One of those movements. Along with four other defendants -. Hayden -. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life.com .does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. As his own website (www. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. Basically. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. Students for a Democratic Society. Circuit Court of Appeals. 1939. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. Hayden decided to run for elected office. Undaunted by his legal trouble. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person.wcdebate. In 1969 and 1970.S. Abbie Hoffman.tomhayden. As some former radicals did. All the defendants.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. though.and those who consider them to be troublemaking. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. his life. Who is right? Well. in order to answer that question. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades.
(Look it up. and more. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. author. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. At least one prominent political figure. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. But mainstream groups honored him. activist. lots of different kinds.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. That includes student groups. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States.com . praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. 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. including legislation on behalf of women. the SDS had socialist leanings -. Even in his youth. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. again husband of different actress. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". While a state legislator.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups.he sponsored numerous bills.remember. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. and on and on. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. In fact. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. Until he was forced out by term limits. workers. too. 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. and other activists of various stripes. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. He has an infant son with Williams. 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. Hardly a single issue activist or politician.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. convict. former husband of actress. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. What kind of action? Well. politician. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. of course. He backed pro-labor. husband of actress. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. kids). It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. convict with his sentence overturned. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. Indeed. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Activist. to take action. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda.wcdebate. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time.
even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. The editorials I wrote from 1957 to 1961 in the Michigan Daily were based on Cardinal Newman's concept of the university as a community of scholars. higher education is not separate from democracy. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. Rather than moral relativism. of course.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. depending on how we view it American society. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. 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 -. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. if one is not progressive at all.com . doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. Especially because of the nuclear age. It is not Plato's cave.. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. Higher education is fully integrated into . then. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thus.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. or Soviet) communism -. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. brought awareness that we ourselves. Hayden might say. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s.wcdebate. Let us turn to the latter group now. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. might die at any time. at least in the United States.. insists Hayden to this day. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended. and our friends. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. for example. As a result. Naturally. 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. And.or contaminated by. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. Like many of his vintage.´ It seems. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. the SDS. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. Quite the opposite is true. Just because it isn¶t your morality.
it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.not unlike many members of the debate community. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics. According to observers. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention. this is far from undisputed. Because of the overturned conviction. they might be criticized for methods -. it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times.and the vexing corollarly question. philosophies and ideas -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. 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. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. CONCLUSION -. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -.wcdebate.certainly. However. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. Nevertheless.is not something we will concern ourselves with here.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden.
New York: International Publishers.frontpagemag. activist and former California state legislator. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. Ronald. 1988.htm. the New Left and the Leftover Left. The Other Side. Tom Hayden. Horowitz. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. activist and former California state legislator. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2001. 2002. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. http://coursesa.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. New York: Random House.htm. 2002. accessed May 1. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. Radosh. accessed May 2. Volume 4. Staughton & Thomas Hayden. Port Huron Statement. 20. accessed May 2. Tom. #4. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. December 5. Hayden. Hayden. http://www.html. REUNION: A MEMOIR. Fall 1987. David.theamericanenterprise. activist.matrix. Rinehart and Winston. 1966. New York: New American Library. B1.wcdebate. 2002. p. former radical. 1967). MISSION TO HANOI. WASHINGTON POST. Hayden.com . 1962.org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker. Lynd. Tom.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Chicago: Holt. Tom. Tom. Hayden.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. http://www. 1972. 1999. November 27. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.msu.
We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. 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. http://coursesa. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. the workplaces. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. 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. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity .matrix. 2002. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. http://coursesa. 4. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. np. B1. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. December 5. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week.msu. marching. one which moves us and.wcdebate. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. 3.msu. 1962. activist. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Based on five days of joining in protests. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency.. 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. 2002. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. only one was about Viet Nam." That's what Bloom doesn't understand.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. 5. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden. not that of their opponents. we hope. B1. WASHINGTON POST. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. accessed May 2. 1999. My serious take on the question might surprise you. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. 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. activist. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. activist. But we are a minority .matrix. calling on us not to be "good Germans. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. Port Huron Statement..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. Port Huron Statement. accessed May 2. activist and former California state legislator. For the first time in memory. others today. They were. p. 2. p. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. Volume 4.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. December 5. np. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s. that we direct our present appeal. the bureaucracies. On the contrary. the government? It is to this latter yearning. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. p. Fall 1987. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. p. 1999. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. paralyzing policy discussion. 1962. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. on the contrary.com . and those who did so should be blessed in our history. p. One reporter even asked me.html. 20.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. #4. activist. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. WASHINGTON POST. It was honorable to protest that situation.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. at once the spark and engine of change. and a commitment to social experimentation with them..html. being gassed myself.
the president of Yale. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. NPQ: Bloom argues that. Kingman Brewster. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. 20. 20. Fall 1987.the legitimacy of questioning everything . activist and former California state legislator. 3. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I'll give another example. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. #4. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university. in the 60s. And it did. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. p. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling.com . led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. 4. One week after the Kent State shootings. activist and former California state legislator. #4. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. Volume 4. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. 20. Speaking of mindlessness. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. how are we to interpret Edward Teller's views on limited nuclear war? If academic leaders proclaim that the university is doing the best it can. Volume 4. p. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. activist and former California state legislator. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. #4. and Bloom knows that. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. let's also not forget the 60s are over. 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. Fall 1987. Fall 1987. or Morningside Heights. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. At my university. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. Fall 1987. activist and former California state legislator. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice.wcdebate.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. 20. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. 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. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . Volume 4. If there has been an erosion of general education. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. Furthermore. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. 2. p. p. Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. #4. Volume 4.
Jerry Rubin.org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. Four years later. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. former radical. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. http://www. May/June 1997. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. During the trial.htm.org/taemj97s. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. When the dust cleared in Chicago. and the chaos on the convention floor. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody.theamericanenterprise.com . 2. he said more than once. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left. One of the conspirators. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. accessed May 1.htm.htm. former radical. it "radicalizes them. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. accessed May 1.wcdebate.theamericanenterprise. http://www. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. Because of such considerations. 2002. http://www. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. former radical. May/June 1997. Hayden and seven other radicals." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1.theamericanenterprise. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. 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.org/taemj97s." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. 3. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. accessed May 1. 2002. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962. 2002.
wcdebate.htm. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. November 27. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. Sid Peck. the New Left and the Leftover Left.theamericanenterprise.htm. and Saturday. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. 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. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds. He recruited the Yippies. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. http://www. May/June 1997. 5. 2002. http://www." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden." and he told his co-organizer. former radical. a member of mobe.htm. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. http://www. 2002. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Rennie Davis. At the event. 2001. and on Tuesday.org/taemj97s. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. but it gives the lie to those who argue that there is simply no connection between the early humanist New Left and the later Weathermen. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.theamericanenterprise. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz. 2002.com ." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. May/June 1997. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. accessed May 1. May/June 1997." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. 3.org/taemj97s. 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. Todd Gitlin. PREACHING PACIFISM.htm." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir. that he expected 25 people to die. and you check around and you got your piece. Having secured pacifist cover. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz.frontpagemag. former radical. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. former radical." 4. it will flow all over the city. accessed May 2. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. 2002. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. accessed May 1. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. http://www. Thursday. one of SDS¶s first leaders.theamericanenterprise.org/taemj97s. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. Wednesday. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club. accessed May 1.
000 copies.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken.96/books9616. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.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. 506 4 Zinn. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. and rational (unemotional). 2002.´4 for example. accessed May 11. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. neutral). no date. April 18-24 1996. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. p. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides. spoken word CDs.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. objective.metroactive. np.1 In addition to his historical writing. http://howardzinn. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. 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. rules for ³good´ scholarship. 1997.htm 2 Howard Zinn. These are that writing should be disinterested. within the context of history. THE ZINN READER. has sold more than 800. the character flaws of our leaders. His progressive history text. scientific (i. 507 5 Zack Stenz.e. 2002. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. the church. 503-506 3 Zinn. ³Zinn and the Art of History. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive.com . The author of more than 15 books.. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. revolutionized the way history is told. he has authored several plays. from the author¶s perspective.org/index23. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. In contrast.wcdebate. the mass media. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. http://www. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. either nationally or in terms of his own life. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. that is. THE ZINN READER.´5 This is due.18. such as history textbooks used in schools. rather than shying away from controversy. I will address each of these in turn. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. he actively engages it.com/papers/sonoma/04. accessed May 12. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. 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. [and] popular leaders. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. because. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. p. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. p. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. but almost universally accepted. in part. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. p.
p. physically demanding. Zinn came from a working class background. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. during the depression. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. and anti-fascist writers. NONVIOLENCE. The book is organized into nine sections. to a great degree. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. Georgia. Inspired by his students. Instead. http://howardzinn. however. 8 Howard Zinn. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. John Stienbeck.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Finally. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter.wcdebate. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. Despite the benefits of that job. accessed May 12. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. p. 2002. 1998.org/index23.com . One of his lesser known books. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. lived in tenements. December 3. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. in nearly all of his books.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. Third. np. This stems. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. However. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. np. anarchist. 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. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. and closely related to the last point. and prohibited union membership." Zinn says. At age eighteen. from his role as a professor. 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. which was painful. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. particularly the United States. Marx. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. he participated in extensive protest with his students. and various communist. and others. and his next job as an Air Force bomber.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Stenz. 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. MOTHER JONES. then the punishment itself is unjust. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester.´7 In addition to these issues of racism.´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. ³[D]espite his popularity. is focused specifically on this topic. which favors the rich. Upton Sinclair. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. Z MAG. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives.
Moreover.. Zinn points out. This would include violating curfews.11 9 Howard Zinn. Zinn argues that all things being equal. 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. On the one hand. Furthermore. and progress generally. 29 Howard Zinn. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.com . Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle.. Revolutionary warfare. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Generally. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. On the other hand. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 1968. by Zinn. p. In a theoretical sense. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. as being a nonviolent world. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. in the course of a protest. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. Unfortunately.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. 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. Martin Luther King Jr. p. 45 11 Howard Zinn. etc. may be morally defensible. Zinn writes. 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.wcdebate. p. 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. desegregation). the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. or a local tyrannical elite. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. In any humanist philosophy. Self-defense is by its nature focused. 1968. 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.g.´ 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. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«.´9 In fact. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. blocking streets. This argument. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence. nonviolence is better than violence. for example. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated.´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. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable.
³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. is that law is created by the people. then law and justice are opposed to one another. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. 371 14 Zinn. April 18-24 1996. Thus. as we have seen throughout history. social. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. There are two primary differences First. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. and will therefore be just.¶ Zinn says. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. in various terms. But when it sends young men to war. accessed May 11. p. and must therefore be followed. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. THE ZINN READER. Often. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just.metroactive. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her.18. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz.96/books9616. http://www. be it material. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. Chaos and violence are not. 370-371 Zinn. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. 2002. 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. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it. but it may not bring justice. they maintain peace and stability. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. or anything else. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. p. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. and order are desirable. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. This is certainly true at times. peace. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. THE ZINN READER.¶ what was considered Zinn. Nevertheless.com/papers/sonoma/04. and she sees no other effective method. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit. Many conservative historians. THE ZINN READER. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. therefore.wcdebate. There is also justice«. particularly for a United States historian.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. stability. 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. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself.com . In these situations. p.
They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government.progressive. Howard Zinn. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«. Thus. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies. 2002. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government.com/papers/sonoma/04. July 2001.metroactive. April 18-24 1996. 2002. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win.org/zinn0701. ³Artists of Resistency. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience.html 18 Zack Stenz.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. far from being unpatriotic. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders. http://www.progressive.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility.96/books9616. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy.wcdebate. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. July 2001. in contrast to the perception of his critics.html 17 Howard Zinn.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot. http://www. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT.´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. Zinn feels that the real.com . Instead. http://www. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. However. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. accessed May 11. And that's a critical thing to do. accessed May 11. often successfully.org/zinn0701.18. 2002. by Mark Twain: Similarly. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people. ³Artists of Resistency. accessed May 11.
http://www. Howard. 1968 Zinn. Howard. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. 2001 Zinn. Ward. Howard. 2002. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. 2000 Zinn. THREE STRIKES: MINERS. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. Howard. Boston: Beacon Press. Howard. 1991 Zinn. http://www. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Accessed May 17. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA.zmag. New York: Seven Stories Press. Howard. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.wcdebate. 1964 FREESPEECH. 1994 Zinn. New York: Harper Perennial.com . Accessed May 17. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Boston: Beacon Press. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). SALESGIRLS.howardzinn. 2002 Zinn. 2002. New York: Harper Perennial. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.freespeech. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. New York: Vintage Books. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR. 2000 Zinn.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Accessed May 17.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES.org/bios/homepage. http://free. MUSICIANS. New York: Signet Books. 1999 Fortas.org/evolution/articles. et al. Abe.ORG. New York: Seven Stories Press. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. 2002. 2001 Zinn.
http://howardzinn. http://howardzinn. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law.org/index23. And in the 1850s. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. 2. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 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. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. injustices of all sorts. or in) self-defense. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. sometimes the law that is disobeyed is a law against trespassing or a law against picketing and people will commit civil disobedience and trespass as the sitdown strikers did in the United States in the 1930s when they took over factories or as the black protesters did in the civil rights movement in the United States when they sat down in lunch counters and refused to move. escaped slaves.wcdebate. 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.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 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. to disorder. aimed carefully at the source of injustice.org/index23. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. black people. December 3. and preferably directed against property rather than people. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. accessed May 12. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. white people. free black people. 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. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. juries acquitted them. p. 1968. Well people in the North. may move from mild actions. 48-49. December 3. and other means have been exhausted. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. 2002. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. There are two reasons for such criteria. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 12.com . 1998. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. And in a number of cases. to the 1850s. 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. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. limited. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 2002. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. they gathered together in committees. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. 1998. 3.
when Dan went underground. their calls for war. 1997. 65-66.org/index23. that the moment we have cast our ballots. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. 1998. 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. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY.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. ironically. accessed May 12. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. for the most part nonviolent. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. p. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law. Kennedy Campaigning). but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 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. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. and justice. Surely. or finally. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. ³It¶s not God¶s law. 2002.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. we have freedom to speak.. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. 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. Historically. in their appeals to patriotism. 2. p. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. 400-401. freedom. a devastating war waged.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1968. 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. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave.wcdebate. The feeling is justified. The psychologist Erich Fromm. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. 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. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. thinking about nuclear war. it is obedience to governments. she responded quietly. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. http://howardzinn. 3. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. December 3. And the rights of even a portion of the laboring population were secured only by extra-legal uprisings in a wave of violent labor struggles from 1877 to 1914. The result of all this is that most of us²when we are honest with ourselves²feel utterly helpless to affect public policy by the orthodox channels. and before him. how she felt about her son defying the law.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. the principles of peace. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system.´) 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. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn.
it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 70-71. p. He may. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. 62-63. 1968. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. p. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. for the rules of law. who refused to pay withholding taxes because she thought they were unlawful and she wanted to protest the invasion of her freedom as a capitalist and citizen. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. Agitators and provocateurs. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. teach us that city officials. whatever its type. Frequently. charged. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. and as a matter of good sense. p. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. and convicted. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. as well as practical wisdom. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. These mass demonstrations. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. whatever their object. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. It was true in the case of Mrs. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. 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. Demonstrators must be organized. Both of these are essential. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. The motive of civil disobedience.com . An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides.wcdebate. Vivian Kellems. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. of course. however large and inconvenient. indeed. it is the city¶s duty under law. or both. must be identified. He may be passionately inspired. 64-65. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. our Constitution and our traditions. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The city must perform this duty. and restrained law enforcement. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. It is not merely government that must live under law. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. however peacefully intended by their organizers. 3. 2. We are a government and a people under law. does not confer immunity for law violation. however noble. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. He cannot pick and choose. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. But at the same time. 1968. But despite this. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. 1968. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. 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. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. Each of us must live under law. If he is properly arrested. persuasion. in accordance with the provisions of law. These are not controlling. free of punishment or penalty. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. For example. 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. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. ordered. and controlled. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. there is always danger that individual. However careful both sides may be.
edu. 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. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. Pacifist praxis (or. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). Associate Professor in Science. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. 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. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. Accessed May 17.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. after a short flowering. http://www. p. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.uow. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. 2002. In El Salvador in 1944. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. As these conditions typically include war. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. 2002. Australia. if followed to its logical conclusions. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. np. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. 3. 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.e. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. more appropriately. 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. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. or. Accessed May 17.´ 2. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. There was a military coup later in 1944. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. 2001. worthwhile change.uow. p.wcdebate. and continued repression in following decades. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. 2001. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential.com . in practical terms. pseudo-praxis). The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. 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. 2001. http://www.. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. np. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or even a substantial social reorganization. p.edu.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and. In every instance. Associate Professor in Science. Australia. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. it is inadequate on its own. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong.
D program in government at Harvard. And. Jr. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. You might think that Nye is merely another old. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. bald white establishment guy. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. those are some big outstretched wings. He is a Rhodes Scholar. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. was born in 1937. All the while.com . and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. Longtime professor? Check. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. 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. and a graduate of the Ph. Joseph Nye. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. Joseph Nye. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. However. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals.wcdebate. 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. well. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. But the guy is a pretty sharp old. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. Jr. and received his bachelor¶s degree in an interdisciplinary major from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1958. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. Well versed in foreign policy. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. JR. JR. and Nye¶s likely got it. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. you¶d sort of be right. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition.
etc. such an evolution may continue. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. Nye is not. as should be clear. economic. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. "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. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. the case of China.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. 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. China will be a force in the new century.cultural. Nye reasons. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. in fact. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy." Nye has said.wcdebate. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. that's hard power. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. for example. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want. Take. for example. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. then. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations.. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. But if I get you to want what I want.com . Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. That said. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. engagement. An attempt to treat China as a threat.. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. If that is true. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. How. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. does one secure American interests. particularly in the post Cold War world. we aren¶t going to invade them. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -." This has not changed since September 11. then the United States must not isolate china. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy . Containment is a more hawkish strategy. a hawk per se.
NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. and the World Trade Organization.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. we should be using our influence in a positive manner. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. such as China. Rather than isolating other nations.´ he wrote.com . the International Monetary Fund. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. 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. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. especially the radical left. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens. in his view. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet. 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. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone.
This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. American credibility is diminished. not enhanced. Even open-minded. than the U. Similarly.S. Just look at Okinawa. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. Further left. It is more likely. critics say.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. if you go looking for enemies. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch. you will probably find them. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. This type of self-justifying behavior. Instead.wcdebate.com . 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. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. For example. Johnson argues. and in Japan particularly. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. for example.-Japan relationship. security relationship. However. the distinction between soft power and hard power. His most recent book was just published this year.S. As the old Chinese proverb goes. While Nye might say that the United States should continue to maintain a forward presence in Asia in order to prevent a power vacuum in the region.S. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. Take. There is no better example of this blowback. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists. 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. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. is engendering a ³blowback´ -.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas.´ No matter how you slice it. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. critics say. 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. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. Critics of this policy. 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. Nye¶s defense of the U. according to Johnson. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. 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.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. on too many fronts.
http://www. 1997). Volume V. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. March 31. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Jr. 1999) Nye. Jr. Nye. D. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.org/jpri/public/crit5...com . Jr. 3d ed. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. Jr. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. January 1998. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values.uk/Print/0... Joseph S. Nye. Keohane]. Zelikow and Davic C.jpri. HAWKS. 2002. Joseph S. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O. 2000.. 2002.. Donahue (Washington.: Brookings Institution Press.. January 2002) Nye. Joseph S. THE OBSERVER. Nye. accessed May 1.html. co-edited with John D. Joseph S. Jr. Joseph S. Joseph S.html. Jr. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. 2000). Number 1. JPRI CRITIQUE. Joseph S. Jr.wcdebate. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000). (New York: Basic Books.. Joseph S. accessed May 5. 2002.co. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. August 2001) Nye. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. (New York: Longman. Nye. Jr.3858. democracy.-Feb. NUCLEAR ETHICS.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.1. Nye.4384507. Nye. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. Nye. Joseph S. Nye.C. Joseph S. 1986). Jr. Joseph S.. Jr. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton.. Nye. Nye. Joseph S. Joseph S. 1990). DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR... 1985). Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute..observer. http://www.00. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). (New York: The Free Press.com? Governance in A Networked World. co-edited with Philip D. Nye. Joseph S. 2001). Jr. Jr.´ CURRENT (September 1999). Jr. Jr.
the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Jr. Other countries. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism.co.co.3858.uk/Print/0. http://www. coming mainly from rich countries." For globalization's supporters. THE OBSERVER. 2002. this last concern is key. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy. THE OBSERVER. Jr. the Netherlands.00. 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.uk/Print/0. Seattle. THE OBSERVER.. all three sources of power .wcdebate.html. 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. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S.4384507. accessed May 1. These protesters are a diverse lot. Quebec City. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. accessed May 1.html. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent.3858. 2002. accessed May 2.3858. 2.co. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. July/August 2001.html. Of all their complaints. and Brazil. http://www.00. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century.com . pluralism. 2002. 2002.C. March 31. http://www. and soft . SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S. Jr. Nye.html. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.4384507.. accessed May 1. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. March 31. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. D.military. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. and autonomy. And countries like the Canada. 2002.. accordingly.remain relevant. Prague. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1.foreignaffairs. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Nye.org/articles/Nye0701. 4.observer.. 2002. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century.observer. if current economic and social trends continue.uk/Print/0. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe. LIBERALISM.. such as China.00. 3. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. In such a variegated world. Conversely. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries. 2002. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. However. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. Nye. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. http://www. Nye.observer. economic. and that limits the transformation of power. 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. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. Some reject corporate capitalism. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow.4384507. India. Washington. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Jr.
Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. Containment is likely to be irreversible. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. Jr.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1.nyu. Containment has three fatal flaws.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.. accessed May 3. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. np. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed.html.nyu. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways..edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. First. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. Nye.´ June 22. only China can produce an effective containment policy. America's edge will continue to persist. 2002. 1998. p. Moreover. accessed May 3. http://www.nyu.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye..html. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. http://www. Jr. But it is not true in every case. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. p.com . 2. 2002. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. 2002. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. Three times in two weeks. http://www. No one knows for certain what China's future will be.. 1998. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. Isolating other countries is bad policy. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. http://www. accessed May 3.wcdebate. p. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. If we treat China as an enemy now.nyu. Nye. Second. For one thing. Third. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. accessed May 3.html. np. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. p.html. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War.´ June 22. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. Nye. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. a crude policy of containment would not work. 1998. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000.´ June 22. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. Nye. np. 1998. 2002. Unlike the Soviet Union. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. 3. 4. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. In that sense. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I agree. np. 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. Jr.´ June 22. In an election year. Jr.
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. p. as.. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. 1999. JANUS HEAD Vol. by contrast. Mount Allison University. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake. real-time. No. Nye. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. 2. 2. as did advances in communications technology. Fall 1999. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. JANUS HEAD Vol. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. in his phrase. and at a greater philosophic remove. http://www. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. Fall. accessed May 1. According to Nye. 2002. 2. accessed May 1. np. Fall. accessed May 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. it was further assumed. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt. 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. In this context. The terms originate with Joseph S. 2. µHard¶ power was objective.¶ he argued. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. Jr. The comparative dimension was critically important. JANUS HEAD Vol. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors.cfm. by contrast. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. In short.com . This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. 4. 2002. 2. p. No.org/2-2/whunt. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. was the contrast between authority and liberty.cfm. No. unquantifiable and indirect.org/2-2/whunt. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category..wcdebate.cfm. (Operation Allied Force. Mount Allison University. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. Mount Allison University. 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. In the study of transnational relations.janushead. 1999. p. http://www. np. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power.janushead. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. Entrepreneurial dynamism. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. or to be more precise. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. to the test. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. More ancient still.janushead.org/2-2/whunt. http://www. 2.. was tied to the ability to innovate." Space-based surveillance. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. np. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. µSoft¶ power.
Security relationship"-40.S. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. January 1998. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. January 1998. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. Number 1. 2002.wcdebate. JPRI CRITIQUE.html. increased Chinese potency. 1. planes. These are sizeable percentages. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. for failing to make up our mind. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. respondents gave the Middle East top billing. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Today. 982 responded. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers. 3. military presence reduced. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation. accessed May 5.org/jpri/public/crit5.. Last November 30. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty.jpri. Only 26% of the U.com .S.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute.S. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation.S. 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. these books are similar.S.4% of the Americans want the U. The chief difference. and a rather bad one. JPRI CRITIQUE. respondents think that the U. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision.9% of the Japanese and 20. whereas 58% of U. matters are much harder to figure out. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble.S. Number 1. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. ST. 2. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. Joseph Nye. B1. Thus. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. so they say. In Japan. Security Treaty. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. http://www. http://www. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. investment adviser. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. Most likely. to put the matter bluntly. Feb. these books definitely differ. of course. In some respects. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. In an accompanying article. 27. 2002. Volume V.952 people were interviewed. So much for some of those shared common interests. but despite the immense might that that implies. in the U. 2002. perhaps even a superduper power. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. p. Moreover. and the fact that the 'hosts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. is in itself a choice. 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.1." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts.html.jpri. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country. Volume V. But in working out our strategy.' the Japanese. While approximately half of both Japanese and U. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better.S.org/jpri/public/crit5.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). Yet we must choose." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects.S. accessed May 5. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results.S.1.S. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U.
can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. and then his political project. in a larger sense. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. assets and conditions are never for sale. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. Guided by such values. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. He researched automobile safety anyway. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. and so on. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. Ralph Nader recalls. environmental perils. but wishes he were not. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. At the time. He had to do most of this on his own. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. Connecticut. Nader. there were nearly 50. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. By 1965. which. An excellent student. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. he entered Princeton University. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. and in 1959 published his first article. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. 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. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. but wishes there were others like him. The book contained a theme that. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. of course. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. oppression. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities.000 automobile deaths every year in America. I will try to explain his philosophy.wcdebate. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. took issue with the assumption. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. Applied beyond our borders. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. Ralph Nader is one of a kind. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. Nathra. At age 17. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. After exploring his life.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. By age 14. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. in fact. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. ²Ralph Nader. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. illiteracy. and." in THE NATION.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. author of the famous Federalist No." But Jefferson. Nor could James Madison. workers. (http://bostonreview. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves. but. In fact.´ and as such. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. albeit reluctantly. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. First and most importantly. it is argued. Nader's "Raiders. innovative development in American politics at the time. Since the 2000 campaign.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore. 10 essay. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. who had written. and shareholders.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. simply a distrust). Throughout the next thirty years. First.com . official secrecy. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. (http://www."the public interest" -was a bold. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action.. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket.2/nader. in a democracy. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility." John Gardner. Bush in 2000. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. then. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. Education and Welfare. as the quotation below explains. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement.nader. fought for increased water quality.edu/BR18. taxpayers. and a plethora of other causes.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. Of course. some decades later. 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. Why.mit. would have a similar idea in 1970. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism." as they came to be called. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. 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. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.wcdebate. the people are the ultimate authorities. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. the highest office is the office of citizen.org/history/bollier_chapter_3.. when he founded Common Cause. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. contrary to his predictions. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. consumers. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. of course. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. in mandatory seat belts and air bags). virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable.
NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. 1999. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves. any elected or appointed political leader. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. literally. 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. 4.´ ±Nader.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. a communist. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. In fact. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring.com . Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. sellers need consumers. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution.wcdebate. a socialist. torts and contracts. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. Nader is none of these. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. most recently. Finally. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. and frequently more power than. to institutionalized. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. and increasing public financing of elections. literally. over the past few decades. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. even a Stalinist. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. rather. 56 Over the past two presidential races. 3. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. 2. And. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. 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. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. which should belong to everyone. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. "above" the laws of most nations. are available to the highest bidder. Second. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. giant corporations. p.
his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. higher taxes for corporations. Steverman) reports. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money.'' (VILLAGE VOICE.´ we end up with nothing (or.com . say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. Bush. but also that elitism is desirable. He would like to see much more of this." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. but the Green Party's current plans. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. Along the same lines. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss. This is because those people believe that. Democrats." In Wisconsin. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. but if they are threatened with punishment. including candidate Jim Young for governor.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. if we hold out for ³everything. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. Democrats respond that. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. libertarians claim. The problem here is not merely one election. Regulations fail. especially liberal Democrats. May 7. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. worse than nothing!). at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. 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. 5. and often makes things considerably worse. To begin with. Of course. At present. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. This is an ongoing argument. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. May 21. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. as some would say in reference to Bush. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. 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. to accept some of what we want. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats.wcdebate. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. if successful. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable.
in the strongest democratic traditions.wcdebate. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state. Were it up to him.com . it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. government is the people. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. Unlike so many of our sources. not merely philosophically. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. exploitation and imperialism. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. However. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. read commentary about him. Nader eschews elitism. Nader is no fan of capitalism. After all. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. either-or. He might also open the door to more radical alternatives to the kind of politics and economics we seem destined to accept in the status quo. and not just theoretically attractive. At the same time. but he argues that. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. Ralph Nader inspires three main ideas with immediate and far-reaching implications on value debate: Capitalism can exist with checks and balances: Traditional value debates about capitalism and its alternatives tend to be very black-and-white. since it¶s what we have. we should keep it in check. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. 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.
CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. 2002). Katherine. Burt. Ralph. Ralph. Robert F. Charles. 1975). Ralph. Ralph. 1974). 2000). Dan M. Nader. Martin's Press. 1973). Ralph. Nader. TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Ralph. Nader. Ralph. 1972). Ralph. Franklin D. Ralph. Gorey. Chu. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Nader.J. 1977). UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed.: Prentice-Hall 1972). THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.wcdebate. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton. Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. Isaac. 1996). 1982). Nader. N. Nader. 1976). McCarry. Nader. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. Martin's Press. 1973). THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. Nader. Nader. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. 1975). NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. Hays.] (New York: Grossman. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Ralph Nader Congress Project. 1986).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. 1997). THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. 1972). THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press.
If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. political activist. 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. 56.profits are up. and weaken our democracy. bailouts. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. and marketing technologies. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before.com . CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE. giveaways. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. and unemployment is down. 2. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. p. p. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. mass famines. 56. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. loan guarantees. the stock market is up. political activists. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs.´ the ³invisible currency.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . 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. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1. injure our national security. 1999. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . 2000. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. If people think more about how major business executives work. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. THE BIG BOYS. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. This is very far from the way modern corporations plan to reduce risks through market power and to get the public to help pay their costs through tax breaks and other subsidies. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader.´ the ³invisible gene. clinics. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader.wcdebate. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1. political activist. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. Yet. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy.having accepted their condition and resigned. tax loopholes. 1999. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. 2. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. 1986. p. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. 521.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ the ³invisible pollutant. schools. inflation is down. debt revocations. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. limiting their ability to deal with reality. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. artificial intelligence. p. political activist. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. production.
3. the U. 2. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. or even at the United Nations. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE.com . AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. political activist. we won¶t be able to compete. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. Narrow. and land. safety. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. 1 Citizens beware. Secrecy. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. called the Uruguay Round.S. If you do. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in the halls of the U. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. Congress. or limit their pollution of the air.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. p. political activist. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. Capitol. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). political activist. It would cost jobs. Every element of the negotiation. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. abstruseness. 3. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. the U. depress wage levels. By contrast. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. state. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. STATE. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. will be met with the refrain. adoption.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. It would destroy family farms and undermine consumer protections such as those ensuring that the food you eat is not compromised by unsanitary conditions or higher levels of pesticides and preservatives. 6. 1993. hoping to insert a special tax exemption or subsidy in the dark of night and have it voted on before the public (or even most Congressional representatives) know it exists. and make workplaces less safe. 1993.wcdebate. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. THE ENVIRONMENT. water. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. for example.S. 1993. ³You can¶t burden us like that. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health.S. 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. p. p.
Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Our diverse. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. 20 Instead. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. 1982. 1982. And it has been and would be a government they run. President of Capital Legal Foundation. economic. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. in turn. and consumers. de-centralized political. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. and local governments. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK.S. 1982.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. In sum. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. President of Capital Legal Foundation. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. and social system. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. state. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. and seek to change it. p. or in the investment markets. political tradition of the last 200 years. individualistic nation. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. 8. In this regard. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. at the bank. But it is a radical departure from U. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. 20 What is clear is that Mr. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. In some cases. In other words. 2. p. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. p. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. a new elite of un-elected. Burt. Burt.wcdebate. 1982. SEC. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. This is a distinct political ideology. Burt. on our daily lives. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. Burt. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. p.´ 2. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Mr. employers. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. President of Capital Legal Foundation. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. President of Capital Legal Foundation. 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 ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M.com .
p. the one that ended apartheid. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U." 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. 2000. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. or any corporation. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. C3. 2." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman.000. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. July 25.wcdebate. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. healthiest. March 6." At the same time." reads the statement. July 25. Cohen. Professor of Economics at MIT. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. most prosperous nation in the world. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350. A-19." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO.S. That's the problem with Ralph. Professor of Economics at MIT. 3. or Pfizer. columnist. THE HARTFORD COURANT.corporate influence." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. 2000. editor of Slate. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. we are the happiest. In 2000. Michael Kinsley. THE MILITANT.like the laws of every market economy -. because -. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5.000" to Mexico. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. markets. he said. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. in 1996 he "received nearly 700.com .I'm serious -. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. columnist.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. p. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. p.000 votes and finished in fourth place. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. 2. 2000. A-19. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. 2000.000 to 400. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president. But several days before Gingrich spoke. October 22. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. He isn't like you and me. p.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. must be bad for the world. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy.
´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. she believed in quotas for minority hiring in order to make up for the problems caused by systematic racism for the past 200 years in this country.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. but it was a very useful. 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. the right wing said. As for the second proposition -. As Mark Tushnet has written: ³Guinier's nomination to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division foundered because she understood those tensions and her work makes them apparent. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. Now. such a right was not truly meaningful. including slavery. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote.wcdebate. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. She was.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. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. right? During and prior to the Civil War. if you can¶t vote. Attorney General for Civil Rights because. they claimed. After all. For understandable political reasons. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Period. And even then and immediately thereafter.S. a ³quota queen. though. It had nothing to do with what I had written. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. to be fair. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. That¶s not just me being partisan. For them. In the South (and. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U.com . two: Quota Queen. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture. many places in the North).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it isn¶t a true democracy to you. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever.´ 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. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. 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. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. In fact. you didn¶t get to vote. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps. 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. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. and publish books.
racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The thing is. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. cracking. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. The problem is that in other districts. The result is that you get one minority representative. Hence. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane.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. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. 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. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote.´ The other problem. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. and created a right to select representatives of choice. 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. Harvey Gantt. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice.wcdebate. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. indeed. 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. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. And depending on how old there are. of course. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. So. if you go to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. alternatively. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. and they are regularly outvoted. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. and stacking. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.mostly Republicans -.com . you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district. and you headed to the polls in Florida. it takes all kinds). if the right to vote represents full citizenship. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. people -. we ought to defend it for minorities. Again. Plus. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. For example. it has another value: an instrumental value. though. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule.´ After all.
´) After all. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. 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. People are self-interested. For example. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. 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. They will vote to advance their own interests. every vote counts. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. legislators can get concessions on another. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. Since every vote counts. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. stupid things. and you¶ll be in big trouble. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. When you¶re in power.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. So. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. And nice as that sounds. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. Hence. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. economic. That includes people living in a democracy. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. 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. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. Total majority rule. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. for one thing.com . but there¶s another reason. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. for example.wcdebate. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. There would be problems with identifying these policies. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. Similarly. it doesn¶t work that way. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. and that includes affirmative action. There are a couple of reasons why. but let¶s review some of the high points here. there needs to be some check on that abuse. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be.
their interests will be better served by legislators. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. seeing what is working and what is not. There is a reason. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. programmatic change) thinker. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. for example. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. This doesn¶t always happen that way. and would include an assessment of what contributions society as a whole can expect from the student or worker after the preference policy assists them. a left-wing critic of Guinier.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance. 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. give feedback on. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). Her rationale for these reforms is simple. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. that Indian tribes hate him so much. Hence.wcdebate. usually. after all. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. Guinier asks. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. presumably. However. 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. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. etc. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. try to actively undermine their interests. The best strategy lies in other means. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. Stephen Steinberg. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. More often. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids.com . and is relatively easy to understand. You might be surprised. though. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. Guinier recognizes this. college administrators. crush their economic infrastructure. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. with its specific mission in mind. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. rather than just in name. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. each institution would. health care projects. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program.
wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. People that are interested in building a more racially just. 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. economically viable future should check out her work.com .
Guinier.6/connerly. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success.mit. December 200/January 2001. 2002. 1998. 2002. 1994. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. Guinier. edited by J. Lani.edu/BR25. 2002. BOSTON REVIEW. Ward. Vol. 1077-1154. Lani. December 200/January 2001. New York: Free Press. Mark. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Lani. January 8.mit. 1998. 1995. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE.. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.html. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE. Steinberg. Lani.wcdebate. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. Lani Guinier's Certainty. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. 505525.html. 1-16. 89. Guinier. New York: Simon & Schuster. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Boston: Beacon. http://bostonreview. No.6/steinberg. Guinier." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. Lani. 5. "President Clinton's Doubt. Guinier. Jr. http://bostonreview. Lani." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW.mit. p. March 1991. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen.3/tushnet. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. 36-37. Tushnet." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. Lani.com . accessed May 1.edu/BR19. Guinier.edu/BR25. Lani. Smith. accessed May 1. p. p." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. Stephen. 1999. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. Guinier. C. http://bostonreview. p. Guinier.html. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. accessed May 1. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1998. 1998.
EXTRA!.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. as George Will did." 2." In reality. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89). county and municipal governing bodies in America. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas ." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93). THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . injecting further distortions into the process. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. George Will and Lally Weymouth. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. p. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents. p. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Professor of Law at Harvard University. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. July/August 1993. he admitted in an interview with Extra!. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. after the nomination had already been killed -. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. two conservative columnists. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier.com . 4. 3. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. 3.a process known as "race-conscious districting. EXTRA!. electoral quotas or 'one black.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.wcdebate. p. July/August 1993. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. color-coded ballots.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. EXTRA!. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. her views were not only distorted. 3. as it was for Lally Weymouth.on June 4. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. July/August 1993. EXTRA!. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans. Apparently. July/August 1993. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen." Indeed. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. two votes' remedies." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. 3. the white minority in South Africa." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. p. Nor did I write. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 3.
describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. 2.org/mainart/confirmative_action. 3. Professor. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. 2002. That focus. she was critiquing it.minerscanary. Merit. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. In other words. in other words. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91). 6/14/93). while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. June 14. July/August 1993. 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. but to ³lift as we climb. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions.wcdebate. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. and what constitutes fairness for all. http://www. accessed May 1. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. like one¶s family tree or family assets. Professor.com .´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed.shtml. Harvard Law School. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p.shtml. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. In doing so. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . in a multiracial democracy." as George Will put it (Newsweek." But more important. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women. can be chronicled with the proper instruments. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. 3. 2002. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. EXTRA!. p. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. 2000. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. accessed May 1.minerscanary. June 14. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. p. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. in turn.org/mainart/confirmative_action. legitimacy and power base is the black community. Harvard Law School. 2000. 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. np. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. 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. http://www.
2002. In 1970. What is most striking about Guinier's work.edu/BR25. 2002. BOSTON REVIEW. we ought to believe -. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. It is a long and sordid history.edu/BR19.mit. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. Unfortunately. one for which we should all be ashamed. For her. their argument is not at all new. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. Caucasian. given these tensions. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. 4. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. City College¶s experiment has failed. people -. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. accessed May 1. 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. Thus. For its entire history. 2002. BOSTON REVIEW.that society is not so racially polarized. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. she proposes. http://bostonreview. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.perhaps most particularly whites -. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. octoroon. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools.3/tushnet.html. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions. attracting topflight students from around the world. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.6/connerly. December 200/January 2001. Thus. public policy could generate gains for everyone. EMPIRICALLY.6/connerly.mit. accessed May 1.html. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit.html. http://bostonreview. Hispanic. according to Guinier's optimistic vision.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -.6/connerly. Indian. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave.mit.html.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. Unfortunately. accessed May 1.mit. it was surprising.edu/BR25.wcdebate. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality.edu/BR25.com . 2002. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. December 200/January 2001. http://bostonreview. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. and refreshing. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. accessed May 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. All we need to do. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. etc. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. 2. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. Instead. free black." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. http://bostonreview. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. December 200/January 2001. BOSTON REVIEW.
At first blush. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling. Therefore±alas. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. December 200/January 2001. even if enacted. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. provide the access to jobs and opportunities that are today secured by affirmative action? The logic of Sturm and Guinier¶s brief can be stated as follows: 1. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. affirmative action has been under sustained assault.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg.mit.mit. 2002.mit. First. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. http://bostonreview. Against this background. Is so-and-so a "team player"? Does she do her job well? Does he have good communication skills? Does she make the tough decisions? Does he demonstrate leadership? Such judgments are easily tainted by personal prejudices. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. 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." 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. The problem. December 200/January 2001. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. 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. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg.html. December 200/January 2001. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. As the saying goes. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3." 2. http://bostonreview. 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. On closer examination. here the syllogism runs into trouble. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. accessed May 1. don¶t fix it. Indeed. 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. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. The problem is that "for more than two decades. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court.6/steinberg. 2002. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. To be sure. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. 2002. though. Though they do not say so explicitly. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik. accessed May 1. "if it ain¶t broke. 3." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. What evidence is there that overhauling the selection criteria would open up avenues for women and minorities? In most large-scale organizations±corporations and universities alike±employees are routinely evaluated by superiors on an array of performance criteria. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy.html. http://bostonreview. two troubling questions arise. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who.wcdebate. However.html.6/steinberg." The entire thrust of their argument is to explore alternatives to affirmative action that will broaden access of minorities and women to jobs and universities.edu/BR25.edu/BR25.com . accessed May 1. would their proposed reforms of the selection process.6/steinberg.edu/BR25.
She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). 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. Not only is Dr. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. shows Skocpol.com . As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles.O.C. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. but she is a wife and mother. Next. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. First. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. She is a native of the state of Michigan.´ (4). 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. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. However. The examples she points to are rebellions that. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. This perspective is useful for Lincoln Douglas debaters because it allows for method of examining values within a particular social and political climate and the effect they will have on particular resolutions. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. Skocpol argues. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E. Skocpol a researcher.wcdebate. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods.E. professor and well-known author. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. than other types of societal change. ³rapid. Dr. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. 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. 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. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. ³class-based revolts from below. especially in analyzing revolutions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. by nature. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. an active citizen. 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. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage).
The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. Hopefully. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. 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. Her claim is that: First. 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. if it wins. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. and the resources available to the group.´ that view is inaccurate.S. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. the United States¶ model. Then there develops a purposive. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. which they labeled ³the warfare state. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. the conditions that cause change. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. 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. social disorientation. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. Finally.com .S. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. for better or worse. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. their social position. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization.wcdebate. those individuals capable of creating change. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. Thus. if affirmed. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. not all social revolution is a positive thing. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. and insurance for workers. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. 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.
´ When talking about the middle she refers both to those individuals who fall into the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum as well as the middle of the generations. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. However. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Her book. 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. This has a number of implications for debate. 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.S. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.people who are not children and are not yet retirees. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. 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. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36).S. ³U. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. having trouble obtaining health care and proper treatment at their jobs and not seeing the great wealth they heard about every night from the news media. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. politics and business. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America. 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. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. 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. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. First.wcdebate. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. a widely accepted understanding in the U. Most importantly however. 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. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. The framework she sets up in this work provides yet another useful mechanisim for analyzing problems with the social and political structure in the United States while finding workable solutions to those issues. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. The work done by Skocpol in her book. which included the charities and the home. in this case the media was absolutely right.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. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. 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. unemployment was down.
First. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. 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. 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. mainly. Skocpol argues that because politicians continue to ignore the middle section of people in America¶s diverse spectrum of individuals they continuously miss the needs of this population. Volume 9 Page 124 The people she is referring to are the one who fall somewhere in between the ³poor´ that are often the focus of welfare debates and the wealthy professionals who are usually defended in political debates by the conservative politicians. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. 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. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. many of them parents. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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.com . Skocpol argues. This may leave some debaters thinking. the working population. 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. 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.S.wcdebate. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. because the theory of the missing middle addresses.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. who Skocpol argues. 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. and still are. 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. Additionally. are generally ignored in political debates. 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.
Instead. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. to explain events. 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. 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. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. 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. Additionally.wcdebate.com . 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. 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. 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. 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. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class.
. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. Wineman. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Theda. RUSSIA & CHINA.171.wcdebate. Case. April 30. Skocpol. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Norton & Company. p.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Felicia A. Skocpol. Gretchen. New York: W. Fall.S. 1992. p. Kristin Kay. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. 1997.W.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Theda. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. Terrance C. 28. THE MISSING MIDDLE. 1984.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. 1997. Greenberg. Halliday. and Nicole Mellow.183. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press. Theda.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.´ OFF OUR BACKS. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. 2000. New Haven: Yale University Press.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. July 31. May 31. Ritter. September 2000. Skocpol.com . Kornbluth. Dubrow. 1999. THE NEW MAJORITY. Theda and Stanley B. Steven. p. 1982. Boston: South End Press. Skocpol. 1996. Gail Lee. 1979.
resulting in over 500 pages of text." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. bureaucrats. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. April 30. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -. 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." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. the United States possesses a decentralized. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments.S. and policy feedback loom large. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. Professor of Sociology. political parties and officials.171. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Together. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. Rather. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits.a polity-centered perspective -. p. 2. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. September 2000. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model). SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A. governmental institutions. 14 In Skocpol's vision. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder." she argued in 1980. bureaucrats. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. Given the enormity of her undertaking. that is. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians..wcdebate. I will necessarily condense her account. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. a graduate student in the same department. Although not always explicitly. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies.. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). 1997. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. 3. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. However.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. Simply stated. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. Skocpol asserts that the early development of American social policy was shaped by a social feminist movement that advocated for the establishment of a maternalist welfare state. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. 1996. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. 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. 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.183. just as the neo-Marxists admitted the "relative autonomy" of politics while loading the dice in favor of "determination in the last instance" by economic power.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. p. Case. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. 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. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader. Kornbluth.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers.com . electoral rules. However. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. In her newest work.. July 31. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. In other words.
and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. which treated men as fathers and heads of families. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.171. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. exhausted. in their processes of creation. time-bound contribution to political thought. Case. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. were doubly paternalist: Elite males. Felicia A. April 30. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. Felicia A. 2. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. post suffrage women's movement. More important. Historical accounts of the emergence of maternal policies are significant not only because they make for a richer representation of the crucial years of welfare-state development in Western capitalist democracies between 1880 and 1940.com . ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. Kornbluth." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS." she writes. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. 1996. April 30. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.. and in their processes of creation. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. bureaucrats and national political leaders. Professor of Sociology. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states." or as the fractious. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. 1996. Many women reformers in U. potential mothers. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. In content.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. p. 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. 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. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. 3. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. Case. federal social programs for mothers. Readers may also hear in maternalism. 1997. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. July 31. p.S. (P. 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.S.S. republican motherhood." However. who know them as "social feminists. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation.171.183.wcdebate. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political.
the predominance of giant corporations." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. Author. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. Halliday. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. np. 1993. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. Koven & Michel). which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. Theory of the State.com . It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. Northwestern University. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. to "do good. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. Similarly. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment.wcdebate. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. Michel. Fall. 1984. 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. 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. "The Limits of Maternalism. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. 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. Sonya." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. in both class and state. severe stratification of power. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. Ironically. 2. New York: Routledge. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. American Bar Foundation. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. Instead.centered approaches. 1999. 307. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. Terrance C. Senior Research Fellow. not the idea of child care as public service to all.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. teaches American women's gender. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. p. 165). This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas.in the interests of the corporate order. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. p. Point for point.36. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. Within political sociology.
to be sure.com . 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". Gender means "female" for Skocpol. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. She has no critique of maternalism".PHILOL. PhD. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. Women's activism was as much as men's. in a context of male domination. to put it inversely. Gender is. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. np.PHILOL. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. it is a difference. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. was. in order to maintain the family wage system. In other words. not merely a neutral or benign difference. says Gordon. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. Clearly. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. np. p. Spring. after all. Eirinn Larsen. PhD. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program.. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. 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. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. researcher at European University Institute.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. "Specifically. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. The absence of such a specification and definition is a result of her failure to ground her concept of gender in questions of male and female power. the 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". To Gordon. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. NORWAY. 1996. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference..wcdebate.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. NORWAY. . often called the two-track welfare system. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. says Gordon. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Spring. However. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". in the way Gordon sees it. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. 2. determined by class as much as by gender. 1996. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. researcher at European University Institute.
it was simply recreated in new ways. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. For her. and the destructive effects of sexism. She knew there was something else out there for her. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. generally taught by white males. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. This interest in books was not. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. Her father feared.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. 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. that too much reading would change her life. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. 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. Paulo Friere. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society.wcdebate. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. Kentucky. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). including hooks. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. from the University of California in Santa Cruz.´ Determined to overcome these notions. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. 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.com . sexism and classism. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. politics. racism and classism. especially Friere. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. 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. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. Like everything hooks does. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. She points out that. correctly it turned out.D. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. as it might be today. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature.
Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. This process. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. 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. capitalist culture that uses racist. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. social movements and educational biases. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. 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). She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions. and classist educational policies. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. they just got up in the morning and went. racism within feminism. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. 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. white supremacist. 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. not very different from anything the students could relate to. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. The letters at the beginning of her first and last name are lower case to how that the person is not as important as the message and in hopes that people would become more connected to her words than simply attaching themselves to a name. Classism creates an elite group. Let's share them. 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.com . Let's start over. We have those definitions. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. legitimating standard English. 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. sexist.wcdebate. 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. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. 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. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. she argues. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. 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. no bussing. Let's reclaim them. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. sex or class.
have often felt marginalized. or their critics. Sexism.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ads everywhere and billboards. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. She argues that feminists are made. Let's start there. 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.com . The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. she argues. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. 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¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. television and radio commercials. and oppression. Occasionally an author. "a movement to end sexism. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. and always. 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. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. While it is important that feminism address all of the structures that support oppression they have decreased some of their power by dividing on particular issues. bell hooks sees feminism as.´ She argues that most women became involved in women¶s rights movements as a result of their efforts to create change in a cultural setting. sexist exploitation. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. is the heart of the matter. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. 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.wcdebate. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. not division in the movement. 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. 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. like hooks. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. not born. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. However. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. In her book.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Let the movement begin again. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising."(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.
debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases 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. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to.com . using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. Let¶s face it though. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. 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.wcdebate. 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. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. media and the academy. Finally. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. even worse. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. 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. 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. Whatever the flaw. 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. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. 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.
1998. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. hooks. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve.com . Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. Golden. hooks. bell. Norton & Company. New York: Doubleday. 1995. New York: Henry Holt. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.W. 1995.wcdebate. Boston: South End Press. Namulundah.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. bell. hooks. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. 1996. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. hooks. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. New York: Henry Holt. 1990. New York: Henry Holt and Company. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. Olsen. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1994. bell. hooks. 1995 hooks. Gary A. Cambridge: South End Press. New York: W. Patricia Bell-Scott). ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. bell. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. bell. and Elizabeth Hirsh. 1999.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. 2000. bell.
Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Once slavery ended.wcdebate. 1996). p. Namulundah Florence. 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. hooks. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. 67. in this case. p. 14. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. McNaught. 1994. feeling and knowing as the norm. 1988. and class specific. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. educational. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt.109). at its very core it is dehumanizing. gender. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. 1998. 1989. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. White people¶s values. 1992.. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. 1995. Nelson et al. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. 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. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. THINKING BLACK. Critical.com .122) 3. traditions. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. Of course. but threaten their very existence. and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. However. can come into being. since we who are black can never be white. p. 2. in America. (1981.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. Chinese Americans.58). 1988. Historically. these values and traditions are racial. 11. groups such as African Americans. 1996). Essentially. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. p. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. Boston: South End Press. 1998. currently policy makers(Banks. In the United States. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. In a white supremacist society. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a ³white´ self. p. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. p. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex.
Feminist theory needs to study historically.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. And I would say vice versa as well. 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. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. active and passive. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. etc. 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. author. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. 1995. girls women.com . that they receive in the existing social structure. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. to assume that black folks.. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. suspicious ways that we often view white women. 1995. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. particularly sexist black men. and all our efforts at self-determination. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. to be capable of being both strong and weak. New York: Routledge. 69. 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). for boys to be active and girls to be passive. 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. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. social critic. p. 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. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. however relative.75. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. particularly sexist black men. sociologically. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. and Mary Childers. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. p.wcdebate. New York: Henry Holt. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. 2. New York: Henry Holt. author. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. social critic. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. Certainly. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. professor. 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. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. professor. np. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. in response to specific contexts. 1990. 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. p. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. 3. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. ³A Conversation About Race and Class.
p. I was initially excited by the cover story . but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. Kelly. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. Like Jada. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture. I was surprised by what I read. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college. "While it was in the interest of mainstream white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to suppress visionary feminist thinking reformist feminists were also eager to silence these forces. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. Yes. 53. B1. television and radio commercials. 3/14/98." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. yet at one point. 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. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. 1/22/2001. like the older civil rights generation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . ³For bell. She began Ain't I a Woman in college.her passion lost. she has gone mainstream . Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. p. love goes the way of BMW's. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. staff writer. Maybe. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all.a potentially informing. Healthier. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. 50. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . ads everywhere and billboards. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. Buppiedom and Big Houses. and Better Off Financially. However." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. empowering article for Black women. 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.wcdebate. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint." 2.
phenomena. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. 2. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality.. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism.´ ³Multidimensionality. Lesbian-feminist theorists. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. and poverty studies. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional. 309-310. B. In a series of articles. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. patriarchy. Assistant Professor. law and sexuality. therefore. 288-290. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. for example.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. p. and heterosexism.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination.. Yale Law School. J. respectively.A. Multidimensionality. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. rather than conflicting. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. B..D.wcdebate. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis. I have examined the relationships among racism. gays and lesbians of color. critical race theory. Assistant Professor. Yale Law School. and.D. These scholars. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . University of Pennsylvania.. heterosexism. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. like the intersectionality theorists. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. In particular.. J. p. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. Spring 2001. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. class domination." 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.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Southern Methodist University School of Law. recently. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination.A. whose work examines the relationships among racism. University of Pennsylvania. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. Lesbian feminists. race-sexuality critics. 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.´ ³Multidimensionality. Spring 2001. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. patriarchy. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics.com . Southern Methodist University School of Law.
Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. they merely need different considerations. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor). He also reminds us that for a long period of time. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. New York University. As the President of the University noted. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. For example. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. Instead. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. sometimes quite vehemently. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. PRESENT TECHNIQUES.com . Australia on July 6. While at Monash University. MARX in 1980.about them. La Trobe University. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. Now. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991.or ways of avoiding thinking -. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. HEGEL in 1982.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792.´ and democracy. In 1998. 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 -. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. but that society has since realized its mistake.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. it was widely criticized as absurd. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. He has lectured at Radcliff. we classify members of other species as undeserving. Monash University. 1946. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. At age 30. INDIVIDUALS. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. He believes that society has become far too complacent. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980.
wcdebate. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. strength. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. like intelligence.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. however. If a creature cannot suffer. and not merely an assertion of fact. creates divisions between humanity. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. differing intellectual abilities. however. I shall argue. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. 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. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. Singer notes that. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. is not descriptive of they way beings are. In his All Animals are Equal. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. Equality. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. 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. then it is simple discrimination. and the second is if they have interests.com . according to Singer. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. wear them. rather. we will never give equal consideration. That is. then they cannot have interests. a new criteria becomes necessary. and use them to do our labor. and a decision can cause that suffering. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. as noted above. Fundamentally. differing abilities to communicate effectively. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. moral capacity. 6 This consideration is based on two things. His critics often ask. Singer. or other matters. Thus. 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. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. We eat them. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. Dogs. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. Furthermore. is sentience. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. they come with differing moral capacities. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. But if a creature can suffer. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. The first is the ability of a being to suffer.
human embryos. be right to kill him." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. would be considered persons. to plants. many animals. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life.wcdebate.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. However. therefore. Singer writes. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial. however.com . He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. Since those persons depend on the environment. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. those with significant mental retardation. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity. Those who advocate this position. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. chickens. and fish.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. 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. However. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. and more specifically. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. . Therefore. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. too focused on people. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. . Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. This would include brain-damaged people. Again. 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. who details that every living organism has a will to live. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. like dogs and bears. and that even plants are pursuing their own good. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. After all. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. human fetuses. 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. those with some forms of psychosis. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. He also explains.
an understanding of a position. Most importantly. growth. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. the painful ways in which they are killed. From a utilitarian perspective.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. etc. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. In Democracy and Disobedience. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. humanity. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. that is. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. is no justification for a lack of action. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. the absence of a benefit is not harm. facts matter. the way we should strive to make things. however. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. but to change it. Singer claims that proximity.wcdebate. it must cause suffering. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong.com . 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. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. that is. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the disease and filthy living conditions. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. The confinement that these animals endure. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. whether is causes more benefit than harm. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. Second. even if it is a short one. The second is that in Singer¶s work. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. than no life at all. engaging the argument still yields some debate. Hare takes the position that it is not. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. However. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. Here. 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. This perception that philosophy is not just for the academically inclined and is not to be merely kept in books and the classroom helps to distinguish Singer from not only his contemporaries but philosophers throughout history. The question then becomes.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. The first is that it is revisionary. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action.M. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. 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. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. especially citizens of a democracy. or the distance between an individual and a famine. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. Any advocacy of valuing progress. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. First. He says. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens.
All Animals are Equal. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement. 13 Holmes Rolston. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. Essays on Bioethics. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. or student. All Animals are Equal. 14 R. and academics. 5 Peter Singer.M.princeton.com/ 11 Smith. 10 Smith. 16 Dale Jamieson. http://www. 17 Peter Singer. 1993. medicine.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. 8 Peter Singer. 1973. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. ³It is the significant problem of equality. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. and use animals to further human aims. 6 Peter Singer. Peter Singer Gets a Chair.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. http://www.edu/~uchv/index. Wesley J. All Animals are Equal. as an issue itself.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1993.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. in moral and political philosophy. Democracy and Disobedience. 4 Peter Singer. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. 7 Peter Singer. 15 Peter Singer. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1999. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. December 7. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 1998 3 Peter Singer. All Animals are Equal. Wesley J.com . All Animals are Equal. 9 Peter Singer.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 1999. Hare.frontpagemag.frontpagemag.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age.
Singer. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Hare. Pojman. 1993). Louis J. PRACTICAL ETHICS. Peter. (New York: Longman. IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. Peter.com . (Oxford: Claredon Press. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 1997). 1999). 1994). (Malden. Peter. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. 1998). Peter. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Jamieson. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball.M. 1993). Singer. 2nd ed. R. Singer.wcdebate.. Singer. 1975). Peter. 2002). (Oxford: Oxford University Press. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. 1973). ETHICS. Dale. (Belmont. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Terrence and Richard Dagger. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Singer. (New York: Review/Random House. (Lanham.
1999. But suppose they were otherwise. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. called agape. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. as well a more conversable animal. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. or a week. the social sense as such. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. Philosopher and Jurist. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. then we will not see why it is morally significant. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. The danger is that reason. however noble their object or intent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. 3. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. Solomon. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. Austin. p. Can they suffer? 2. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas.. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1.. old. what would it avail? The question is not. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. or the termination of the os sacrum. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.subjects of experience. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. p. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. the villosity of the skin. than an infant of a day. ch. 1999.com . SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. 152153. may instead undermine them. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. since animals have experiences. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. they necessarily have selves. 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. In other words. in other words. 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.wcdebate. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. or worse. rather. instead of building on our natural impulses.by Frege¶s point. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs.69. The basic biological sense we seek. This may seem like a major provision.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. 1789. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. 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.) So. McGinn. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. XVII. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way.. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. there is the very real danger that. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . or even a month.
Of course. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery." That was April 26.must not be so engineered. 2. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. but the criminal case was over by May. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. when a grand jury refused to indict him. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. Singer of being cold-hearted. according to the total view. Linares cradles him in his arms until. 1999.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. They ³just know´ what to do. Solomon.com . the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. writer. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. half an hour later. p. it would. Critics often accuse Mr. Cook County charged Mr. Therefore. p. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. Then Linares puts down the gun and. 1999.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource.wcdebate. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. The New Yorker. too. be right to kill him. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. standing in a hospital ward. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. 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. the child dies. and Singer knows that. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. So. 10 March 2000.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. 3. September 6. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. she doesn¶t calculate it. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. np. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter.73. Linares with first-degree murder. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. 1989. gives himself up. The Chronicle of Higher Education. weeping. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. In such cases. 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. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. Austin.
it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. for instance. our breeding patterns.com . Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. are rational. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm.if. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. If we do not think in this way about dogs. part of culture rather than nature. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. but because rationality is the human norm. too. our habits. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. We are not merely at the top of the food chain.. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. and not just ordinarily dishonest. in an important sense. that we should give to the interests of each the same serious consideration as claims to considerations necessary for some standard of well-being that we can recognize and endorse. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. with its own standards of normality. We. We are. 62ff. 1999. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. 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. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. The characteristics. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. and yet not accept it at all. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. 1967.wcdebate. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. 69. But compassion. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. one could argue. Austin. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. but as normal for the species. 1967. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. p. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. Solomon. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog.. to steal from a blind man. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. we can understand that. therefore. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. too. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. 62ff. involves a certain distance.. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. that is.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. above the food chain. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. 2. 3. p. It too. just as it would be unfair. and therefore claims.
even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. My argument. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater.com . Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. 1999. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. 1999. p. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1.. In most cases. 134-135.. According to this principle. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. simply because they are men. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. 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. np. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. Austin. a zoo goer. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. according to Singer. that some people have a different skin color. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. are of a different gender. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. Reason. 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.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. They may not be dominant. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. simply because they are humans. p. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. As Singer discusses the principle. If we have a hard time grasping his view. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. Nonetheless. The danger.. Singer rightly points out that most of us are living examples of speciesism in the same sense that radical Ku Klux Klan's people are racist. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. Professor at Webster University. a pet owner and so on. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. seemingly hungry and crying. 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. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. are not 100% novel.According to Singer. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill.wcdebate. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. 1999. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. however. and it requires care and concern. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Solomon. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. in a sentence.. 3. are from a different country. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. At the same time. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. p. 2. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game.´ Thus. Let me begin with the easiest one. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. 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. For example. 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´). my number three. and they might not be sentiments of equality. on the other hand.. However. 75. and most people seem to. is that Singer. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals.
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