This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 2
WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
Edited by Brian Simmonds, Matt Taylor, and Jim Hanson Written and Researched by
Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, and Sarah Stone
About this Handbook The Philosopher and Value Handbook introduces you to arguments, values and philosophers. This volume focuses on American thinkers in philosophy and political theory who will be useful in Lincoln-Douglas value debates. Each chapter begins with an essay explaining the life, work, and ideas of each thinker. It concludes with evidence quotations that attack and defend the philosopher's ideas. Using the arguments in this Handbook We encourage you to read the briefs you will use. Highlight (underline) the key lines you will use in the evidence. Cut out our evidence, incorporate your and others¶ research and analysis and make new arguments. File the materials so that you can easily retrieve them for debate rounds. Practice reading the evidence outloud. Practice applying the arguments to your opponents¶ positions. Practice defending your arguments in rebuttal speeches. Use West Coast Handbooks as a Beginning We hope you enjoy our handbook and find it useful. In saying this, we want to make a strong statement that we make when we coach and that we believe is vitally important to your success: DO NOT USE THIS HANDBOOK AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Instead, let it serve as a beginning. Let it inform you of important arguments, of how to tag and organize your arguments, and to offer citations for further research. Don¶t stagnate in briefs--build upon them by doing your own research. Use the essays to brainstorm research areas and use the evidence and bibliographies as a starting point for your exploration. In doing so, you¶ll use our handbook to become a better debater. Photocopying West Coast Handbooks Our policy gives you the freedom to use the handbook for educational purposes without violating the hard work that we put into the handbook. You can photocopy this handbook under the following circumstances: 1. You can make multiple copies of up to five pages of each West Coast handbook for a class handout. 2. You can make multiple copies of briefs that include evidence from this handbook as long as these photocopied briefs are significantly different from the ones in this handbook and include a significant number of pieces of evidence from sources other than a West Coast handbook. You may not electronically share or distribute this handbook with anyone other than those on your team. For other situations, you can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek our consent.
ORDER WEST COAST HANDBOOKS 1. E-mail us at email@example.com 2. Visit the West Coast Web Page at www.wcdebate.com
You can also use the Order Form on the last page of this handbook; call us at 888-255-9133; fax us at 877781-5058; or write to West Coast Publishing; PO Box 8066; Fountain Valley CA 92728-8066 Copyright 2002 (minor update, 2003). West Coast Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
Visit our web page!
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 3
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
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
......... 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ........................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS ....................................................................................................................................................................... 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ................. 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www..................... 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE .................................................................................................................................................................. 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ................ 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED ............. 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ..... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN...................................................................................................... 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................. 100 RALPH NADER ............. 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY .............................................................................................. 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................. 130 bell hooks...........................com ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................. 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ................................................................................................................................................. 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM ........................................................................ 139 PETER SINGER ................................... 91 JOSEPH NYE........................................................................................................................ 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY .......... JR. 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................................................................... 120 THEDA SKOCPOL . 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................. 110 LANI GUINIER .......................................... 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE .................................. 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY.............. 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ............................. 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST ....... 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE .......................................................... 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ................................................................................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ................................................................ 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ................................................................ 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD ................................................... ...................................................... 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ....................................................................................................................................... 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY......................................................................................... 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ..................... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN ........................................................................................................................................................................... 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................... 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ....................................................................................................... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ............................................................................................................ 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE .....................wcdebate.................................................................................................................................................
It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. the avoidance of oppression. like the other leading figures of his generation. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels." The example to follow. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders.S. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. who died in office in 1812. even if just temporarily. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification. though. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. Indeed. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. he suggests in Federalist 38. president.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and the structure of representative government remain influential. though: Madison was the smallest U. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. one of the youngest. Not easily categorizable. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. No.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. Seriously. Interestingly enough. or Democratic-Republican) of the time. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. men of "preeminent wisdom and approved integrity" who nonetheless were compelled to act outside the bounds of regular authority. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table.com . We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780.wcdebate. James Madison. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. 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. anti-Federalist. he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. in fact. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. showing his freedom from dogmatism. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. including George Clinton. As a result. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals. is often placed into one or another ideological box. Most importantly. like the other leading figures of his generation. when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. James Madison. is often placed into one or another ideological box. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. As a result. His idea on the separation of church and state. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities.
Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. As a skillful politician. In organizing a republican democracy. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others.com .´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. Let¶s not belabor the point. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. (Sorry.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thus. This does happen in politics all the time. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. Hence. and hence have the power to govern. People will vote to actualize their own wants. ³Tyranny of the Majority. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. Either they will become the next majority. the majority is inherently self-interested. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. but they aren¶t blind.) 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. While he was hardly alone in this viewpoint ± Hamilton was another who worried about the majority of people rallying against the few who were elected to govern them ± Madison put the most effort into thinking about the philosophical implications. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. after all. the majority will look to the long-term. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. What might that mean? Well. republican Constitution only by means of an aristocratic coup of sorts´ writes Rosen ± a charge that Madison¶s critics then and now would jump all over. Madison's theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity´ as a means of dealing with the unwashed heathen masses pillaging the rich. one must take care to build in safeguards against this. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power. As a philosophically inclined individual. needs and desires. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. especially if that mass had coincident interests. like John Ashcroft." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job.
including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. While his father was an Episcopalian. 1787. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. In fact." 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. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. If power is temporary and fluid. 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. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. Indeed. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials. he kept his religious beliefs largely private." The debate raged on. Their charges have serious merit. The struggle continues to this day. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. 1787.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. Number 10. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. Speaking of potential for abuse. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions. Madison reasoned. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion.com ." Madison wrote. Again. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. The church. then the potential for abuse is minimized. organic food labeling laws. published November 22. The document. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. this is part of the logic of the federal system." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and Madison had a key role to play in it all.wcdebate. 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. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election. written in June 1785. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. 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.
which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. which time bestows on everything. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. and the summation of his argument.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. this consideration ought to be disregarded. . IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. are antient as well as numerous. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. This "unreflecting multitude´ was.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine. the mass of American people. A reverence for the laws. which fortify opinion. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. In a nation of philosophers. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. The reason of man. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. . All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. which should be declared "void and of no force. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. like man himself is timid and cautious. .´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. Madison reasoned. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude.wcdebate. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. and that bypassing that consent was unjust. Jefferson wrote a letter to Madison in 1789 as Jefferson was preparing to return to the United States after four years as ambassador to France. which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. and acquires firmness and confidence. And in every other nation. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. they are known to have a double effect. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. in Madison¶s view. and its practical influence on his conduct. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. when left alone. When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. the powerful. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. in proportion to the number with which it is associated.com . When the examples. His final shot at Jefferson. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government.
The reason of man. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage.com . like man himself is timid and cautious. they¶re worth checking out. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. which fortify opinion. . . If it be true that all governments rest on opinion.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. .wcdebate. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. and its practical influence on his conduct.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. When the examples. In a nation of philosophers. And in every other nation. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. which time bestows on everything. and the most passionately argued. His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. when left alone. are antient as well as numerous. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. and acquires firmness and confidence. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. they are known to have a double effect.´ The youngest of the founding fathers. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. A reverence for the laws. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. this consideration ought to be disregarded. the most based in a sense of ethics. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato.
CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. March 16.html.html.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. March 16.html. 10. ed. Noam.loc.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.loc. 1776-1826: New York. Meyers. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.html and http://www. ed. Banning. November 22. March 16. James.html and http://www. Z MAGAZINE. Gary. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning. Mattern. Va. N. Beard.. accessed April 22.Y.loc. Marvin. November 15.com/federalist10. James Morton. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. Rosen.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. Samples. Chomsky. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE. 2001.gov/loc/madison/symposium. 1997). Kans. ³James Madison: Federalist. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Smith. 1995.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper.loc. http://www. http://www. FEDERALIST PAPER No.org/dailys/11-15-00. 1912.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. Irving. 2002.html and http://www.. http://www.H. University of Kentucky. David. Library of Congress. Brant. under the name Publius. Madison.cato. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON.com . N.wcdebate.com. Lancej. 1995.. John. 1995.html.loc. June 1997. 2001. http://www. 2000. http://federalistpapers.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. 1981." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Rewards.gov/loc/madison/symposium.loc.html. 1941-61.loc. Lance.. Hanover. Hutson. 1780-l792: Ithaca. Richard K. James. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers. 1787. Matthews.html and http://www. 2001. Charles historian. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence.
The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate.com . However the election turns out. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. November 15.html. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. 3. 2002. By a faction. accessed April 22. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. p. np. I give Ms. in truth. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. that our governments are too unstable. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. both ancient and modern. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. have. Sen. FEDERALIST PAPER No. These must be chiefly. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. indeed. 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. on a candid review of our situation. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments.cato. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. as was wished and expected. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. adversed to the rights of other citizens. the evidence.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 10. As Madison knew. Washington's newest celebrity. 2002. injustice. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. accessed April 22. if not wholly.com/federalist10. accessed April 22. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. provides a proper cure for it.wcdebate. Some will say Ms. 2000. but it will be found. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. is the latest convert to this cause. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. therefore. particularly. http://www. p. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. and that measures are too often decided. 1787. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. The instability. November 22. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. cannot certainly be too much admired. at the same time. 2002. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. and of public and personal liberty. np.cato. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. and confusion introduced into the public councils.html. 2. November 15. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. 2000.org/dailys/11-15-00.org/dailys/11-15-00. I understand a number of citizens. Hillary Rodham Clinton. and. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. http://federalistpapers. Clinton more credit than that. without violating the principles to which he is attached. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. James Madison. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. http://www. It will be found.html. equally the friends of public and private faith. or of interest. to set a due value on any plan which. He will not fail. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison." 2. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. 2002. http://federalistpapers. 1787. np. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison. they would. 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. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. increase this security. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. in fine. http://federalistpapers. Nor. np. accessed April 22. accessed April 22. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. November 22. 3. 4. 2002. in controlling the effects of faction. be felt by a majority of the whole. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Theoretic politicians. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. p. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. Does it. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. -. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. accessed April 22. 1787.com/federalist10. 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. it clearly appears. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power. The inference to which we are brought is. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. again. November 22. in almost every case.com . in many cases. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests.html. 2000. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. November 15. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. http://federalistpapers. p. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations.org/dailys/11-15-00. 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. np. FEDERALIST PAPER No.html. 10. In the extent and proper structure of the Union.cato. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken.com/federalist10.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. 10. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. November 22. who assemble and administer the government in person.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. FEDERALIST PAPER No. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. therefore. MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. and render them all subservient to the public good. Hence.html. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. 10. p. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.html. at the same time. and their passions. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. 2002. A common passion or interest will.wcdebate. http://www. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. 2002. their opinions. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. accessed April 22. who have patronized this species of government. p. If we abolish the Electoral College.com/federalist10. 1787. np. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. 1912. to give notice of the future danger. p. nevertheless. a great majority of the people will not only be without land. then was the main object of government.. having such coexistent passion or interest." Mr. p. 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. historian. 1912. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. would prove that property was the main object of society. 1912. historian. what is more probable." 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 the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. 31." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. 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. who urged that "the government ought to possess. and in his opinion.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. p. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties." and Mr. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. Madison urged: "In future times. These will either combine. the force." And again.aristocracy. 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." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. In the tenth number of The Federalist. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country. 31. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. the power will slide into the hands of the former. -. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. "the majority. hence. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society." 3. he contended.. the mind or sense of the people at large. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. under the influence of their common situation. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. he added. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. 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.. not only first. An accurate view of the matter. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. 2. Wilson. changeableness. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. from which the rights of property originated. in a certain quarter.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. historian." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". they will become the tools of opulence and ambition.. -.or. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. 31. According to the equal laws of suffrage.If property. Governor Morris. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property. Mr. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. MADISON WANTED ARISTOCRACY. 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. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared.wcdebate. but without any other sort of property.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. but second. in which case there will be equal danger on another side. but symptoms of a levelling spirit.com . MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY.
Madison pointed out that in England. But the formulation is misleading. June 1997. as some historians do. trust. p. and the constitutional system generally. Among Madisonian scholars. Z MAGAZINE.pre-capitalist. association. Madison declared. Furthermore. 8. led to a completely new meaning of the term. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. In a current official document.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. his biographer observes. he urged. In both principle and practice. 3. the native population driven out or exterminated. Z MAGAZINE.com . June 1997. or any government entity.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. One may argue. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. It is the responsibility of government. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. But the growth of the industrial economy. branch. CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. partnership. An agrarian law would soon take place. well born. In the debates on the Constitution. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. or prominent from exercising political power. typically material property. associated group. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. James Madison. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it. Property has no rights. June 1997. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. p. Z MAGAZINE. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. estate. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. whose views largely prevailed. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 8. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. 8.wcdebate. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. Whatever one's assessment of those years.'' giving land to the landless. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. When the facts are stated clearly. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State).'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. 2.'' which are property rights.'' To achieve this goal.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them.'' he meant humans.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. and anti-capitalist in spirit. p.
Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. Either way. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections.com . HIS IDEAS Hamilton. rebuke and scandal. THE LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. Either that. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. he also offered a life of tragedy. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world.an aristocratic. making it available to the general public. 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. Much of this is forgotten today. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. then his ideas. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. as an aristocrat. In those papers. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. After Adams was elected President. and generally made himself a pain. After Washington died.wcdebate. centralized union that would be a representative republic. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. coercive.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. 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. he was an influential figure in the early days of this country who is too often overlooked today. or the fact that he was killed by political rival Aaron Burr in a duel. the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. was vocally against states¶ rights. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation.
who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. shortened to Republican. This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced." Ironically.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. Hamilton¶s staunch ally. impressive or important. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. In fact. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution.com . One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776).´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. (no. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. 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. Jefferson.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. Today. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. 44) that "wherever the end is required. 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. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. As early as 1776. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. the legacy of Britain. he claims. 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." and the "general welfare. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers.wcdebate. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution. every particular power necessary for doing it is included.´ as is often claimed." Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791. or not contrary to the essential ends of political society. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. Even then-President George Washington. "implied powers. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. the means are authorized.
wcdebate. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public." Such publications were made high misdemeanors." This shows his opinion of the average American. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. and consequently the more virulent. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas. here¶s a translation: yeah." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease.com . Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. Benjamin Franklin Bache. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. as should be clear. my friends and I are rich. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country. administering no relief to our real disease. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. more centralized government. the poison of which.well. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality." Again. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas." he said. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. which the urban elite would benefit).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. His morals -. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton. will only be more concentrated in each part. "Men. I know he was smart. by a subdivision. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics. punishable by fine and imprisonment. More on that in our final section. which is democracy. without any counterbalancing good. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. and everyone else knew it too. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree. 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. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. Allegedly. scandalous and malicious writing." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. and as novel as it is extraordinary. (When Jefferson was elected.) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. he pardoned all of those convicted. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. and many other things. his customary colleague. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. then his closest aide. so get over it.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages.
Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. ³Mr. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. ." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. That happened in 1792. in Sports Center parlance. . But it was not possible. while Clinton was the child of a single mother. written directly before the duel with Burr. until July 1797. . the public could be kept in the dark no longer. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. Monroe et. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. too. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. As I hope this essay makes clear. Hamilton¶s note to his wife. and by the press). Reynolds had evidence.. it was on. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. he did not intend to fire at Burr. It wasn¶t even the juiciest.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Three congressmen -. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. Maria. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs.money. That¶s when it got weird. It gets better. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. and agreed to keep it quiet. natural politicians. motivated. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. Abraham Venable. but a BRIBE.but he said it was his own money. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr. At that point. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals.James Monroe. And. my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. 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). al.Adieu best of wives and best of Women. went to Hamilton's office to confront him. That money had changed hands. A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail . greedy. James Reynolds. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose.wcdebate. Some Hamilton apologists insist that. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. They apparently did. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a shady character currently in jail. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. not the government's.com ..´ Amazingly. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations.
accessed May 1. 1985. October 19.htm. Lisa Marie. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ed. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 1970. 2002. Gerald. Noam. 1994 http://www. Cooke.. Miller. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. January 1995. 1997. http://odur. Stourzh. Richard.let.com .wcdebate. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Jacob E. 1991. Department of Alfa-informatica. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Morton J. New York: Harper & Brothers.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. Harold C. Charles Scribner's Sons. Charles. AMERICAN. Stanford: Stanford University Press. NATIONAL REVIEW. Syrett. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. 1959. Cooke. Chomsky. 1993. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. Brookhiser. de Carolis. New York and London: Columbia University Press. Z MAGAZINE. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. New York: The Free Press. 1912. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ed. Chicago.. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. historian. Morton J. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. senior editor. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 1964. John C. p. Elkins. 1961--79. 1982. Noam. Mellon Lecture. New York: Harper & Row.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Frisch. ed. 1999. accessed April 29. Chomsky. Frisch.2002.html. New York. Loyola University.rug.zmag. 13. University of Groningen. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. Jacob E.
com/federalist6. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. http://federalistpapers. This. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. For the Independent Journal.com . the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. For the Independent Journal. For the Independent Journal.com/federalist7. http://federalistpapers. p. np. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. November 15. 2002. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. accessed May 2.html. 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. np. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence. in the event of disunion. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. 1787. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. 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. accessed May 2. if these States should either be wholly disunited. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. 1787. 1787.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. however. p. and would create others on the same subject. accessed May 2. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. would revive this dispute. would be to forget that men are ambitious. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. 2002. 2002. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. np. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. November 14. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it has been said. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. November 14. vindictive. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. 2. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property.wcdebate. This cause would exist among us in full force. 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. either by actual possession. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. This has been so far accomplished as. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. 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. http://federalistpapers. accessed May 2. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. 1787. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. 2002. that vicinity or nearness of situation.html. November 14.com/federalist6. under a continuation of the Union. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. and rapacious. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin.html." 4. constitutes nations natural enemies. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. p. or only united in partial confederacies. For the Independent Journal. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics.com/federalist6. 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. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6.html. http://federalistpapers.
let. and the pursuit of happiness. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal..wcdebate. and. as usual. was limiting and limited. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1.intellect. . Department of Politics." Independent Institute Website. Landed wealth. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy. University of Groningen. provide capital for investments and industry. . abilities which were by nature unequal. Private ownership. Department of Alfa-informatica.. as proprietors. moral developments. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. and loan the government money in times of emergency. in their understanding. accessed May 1. represented by the Virginia opposition.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.rug. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. accessed May 1. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. regulate banking practices around the country. the prosperity of the institution . pointing invariably to its true pole. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. Hamilton reasoned.rug. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. University of Dallas. liberty. he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. Hamilton was.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham.2002.let." 2.¶ This they said and this meant.htm. Hamilton's vision was dynamic and made use of all the possibilities of a young nation with unlimited resources and boundless potential. or social capacity. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. 3. although not necessarily equitable. magnetic sense.did not mean to say all were equal in. http://odur. 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.htm. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness. as it were. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis." Moreover.. 2002.independent. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. 1997. He explained: "The keen. in the Directors of a Bank. 1997. 1997. provide a uniform currency. University of Groningen. http://odur. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. p. not only did the Founders¶ understanding of equality not include all kinds of equality (such as the equality of economic condition championed by the Progressives). whereas paper wealth was fluid. opposed to the principle of equality. http://www. accessed May 1. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. simply drawing on realities that he felt..html. of their own interest.com . among which are life. steady. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. Department of Alfa-informatica. The "authors of that notable instrument. Industry would diversify labor.2002. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture.
but now perceive that they can do better. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. p. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. Gerry.zmag. being independence.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. speaking for a host of others). That's Hamilton. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.wcdebate. In the mind of Mr.com . an important victory. Z MAGAZINE. that. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002. January 1995. Chicago. 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." Mr. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. 1994. Professor of Linguistics at MIT.html. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored. Z MAGAZINE. preserved to posterity by Mr. They feel. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. np. in advocating a life term for Senators. p. 2. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Mellon Lecture. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. in tracing these evils to their origin. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. Robert Lansing. but it is being caged. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. 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. October 19. as it was called. We may recall. in passing. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. 13. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy." or even influential. sometimes quite literally. p. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. p. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. Randolph.the main concern. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. 31. http://www. perhaps rightly. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. accessed April 29. 13. 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. 3. January 1995. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. Hamilton. whatever cast it takes. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. historian. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky." and he confessed that while he was still republican." 4. 1912. of course. Indeed. Madison." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy. Loyola University." Mr. The beast may not yet be tamed.
Hamilton needed big investors. Department of Alfa-informatica. Hume observed. p. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". 2002. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. np.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Hume contended. 1997. by the system of checks and balances placed in the government. Securities.htm.wcdebate. 2002. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie. . 2. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. 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. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. Mr. Mr. University of Groningen." Landed wealth. Nevertheless." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. he contended. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system.htm. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. historian. p. having such coexistent passion or interest. and a more diverse economy. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. from which the rights of property originated. and in his opinion. 1997.rug. University of Groningen. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. 1912.rug. hence. In order to stimulate the economy. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. 31. However.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. accessed May 1. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. http://odur. np. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Hamilton pointed out. http://odur. accessed May 1. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties.. In the tenth number of The Federalist. Department of Alfa-informatica. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. indebts the nation to foreign powers. "the majority. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority.." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. He 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. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men.let. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. The House of Representatives. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. he added." 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com . but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted.let.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. Madison argued in a philosophic vein in support of the proposition that it was necessary to base the political system on the actual conditions of "natural inequality. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton.
Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. many called for some kind of reform. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. James Madison. 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. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. or Madison) is well documented. Jay. supported a more direct democracy. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. However. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). Secondly. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. First. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. some of the major figures behind the movement. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. 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. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale. Moreover. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. therefore. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. These papers. 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. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius.com . regulate commerce. 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. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. who did which paper (Hamilton. written by Alexander Hamilton. The Confederation could not collect taxes. 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. support for it was by no means unanimous.
the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. cultures. or amount of control. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. 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´. For one. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Even were polling perfectly accurate. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. while they share some of the same beliefs. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. This is democracy at its most tenuous. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. Clinton acquiesced. and so on. Today what we have is a republic. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). the problem of majority tyranny arises. and others. it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. 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. Samuel Bryan. Robert Yates. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. No. while he never supported the Constitution. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. One such person is Patrick Henry. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. While of course they all had minor differences.wcdebate. Richard Henry Lee. and only samples a small part of the population. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution.´ ³Old Whig. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. 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.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. 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. Clinton despised Madison. ideas. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. that the government has. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry.com .
This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. and similar pursuits. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. 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. 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. this is often not the case. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. 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. which encompasses crafts. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. 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. Once all private demands are met. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass. say. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). In other words. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. In fact. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. find that situation lacking. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. but it is often still private in nature. Indeed. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. 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. Arendt. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints. the arts. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The incapability of internal uprisings and the like to be dealt with a weak central government was arguably shown back as early as Shay¶s Rebellion. Finally. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. an important political theorist from this century. on the other hand. and therefore be happy and free. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. But even if all of the things above were not true. such as food and shelter. The reason for this is because. and without a strong federal ability to tax. The ancient Greeks despised labor. interestingly enough. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. 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. Even if every state kept standing militias.com . contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics. Anti-Federalists desired the smaller town-hall type governments were individual could have a say and come to some consensus about issues that affected them and their town. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. 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. AntiFederalists. Therefore. The lowest is that of labor.wcdebate. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. be achieved. The Anti-Federalists argued that a result of that type of government would be that only the elite would have the capability to run for office. The next highest is work.
Given how complex the economic system is today. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. 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. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. issuing bonds. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements.wcdebate. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. With regard to the security issue. but it is a huge issue now. 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. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. 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. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. hope is not lost yet. it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. 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. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. internal commerce.com . None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. rights. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. and the government. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal 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. As for internal problems. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. In addition to security. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal government. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. such as funding of the sciences and arts. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. 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. This picture of rights flips on its head the problem envisioned by the Anti-Federalists of a tyrannical national government. there are a variety of important tasks that can only be performed by the national government that seem integral to maintaining a healthy economy. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and so forth. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. Having a national bank system.
the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination. 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. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. Instead. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. as Hannah Arendt suspects. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite.wcdebate. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. and therefore in direct democracy. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. Both theories have strong advantages and disadvantages that can be used to shed light on a variety of political issues in our own day and age. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. 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. such as greater states rights in a particular area.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. Just because power would be devolved to a large degree does not mean that national laws would not work pending the acceptance of the majority of states. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. as a political theory taken in general.com . but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. local. Participation in a public democracy. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. Moreover. has many potential benefits and downfalls. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. Money alone cannot produce happiness. federal governments. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny.
Bailyn. Harvard University Press. 1995. Gordon. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. 1981. Northern Illinois University Press. Hoffer. Bruce. Arendt. University of Chicago Press. 1986. 1993. Ketcham. Dry. Kenneth. 1992. Herbert. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. University of Chicago Press. Duncan. FROM MANY. Penguin. Murray. Ralph. THE HUMAN CONDITION. 1987. Simon & Schuster. Alfred Knopf. 1997. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. Wood. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. and Storing. Georgetown Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1969. ARTICLES. inc. Richard. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.wcdebate. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. Christopher. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. University of Colorado Press. Storing. Hannah. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR. John Wiley & Sons.com . THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. University of Chicago Press. 1992. Berns. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. Herbert. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. 1992. Dolbeare. Bernard. Sinopoli. Walter. Library of America. 1958. Robert. 1981.
and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. Professor of Political Science.com . be the climate what it may be. The United States includes a variety of climates. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. abuses are of less extent. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes. and their interests. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. in process of time. sentiments. better understood. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. In a large republic. in many respects. the people. diverse. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. and of course are less protected. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. 1995.wcdebate. and. he has interest of his own. of consequence. The Grecian republics were of small extent. turbulent. extended their conquests over large territories of country. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. This will retard the operations of government. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus. ultimately disempowering. p. 3. so also was that of the Romans. any thing like the extent of the United States.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. and the consequence was. 2. Anti-Federalist Writer. by oppressing his fellow citizens. a legislature. great and glorious. cowardly. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. and without virtue there can be no happiness.´ 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. In a republic. in the words of Hannah Arendt. as would constantly be contending with each other. FROM MANY. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. and consequently of less moderation. document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. very diverse. it is subordinate to exceptions. p. Anti-Federalist Writer. 1997. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. FROM MANY. and interests of the people should be similar. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. there will be a constant clashing of opinions. 37. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. that it will ultimately. p. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. there can be no virtue. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. formed of representatives from the respective parts. of consequence. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Both of these. are in general lazy. If this be not the case. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and depends on accidents. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. 38. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. 170-171. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. The laws and customs of the several states are. and more within the reach of every citizen. the manners. 1997. In a small one. 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. it is true. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. and in some opposite. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. the interest of the public is easier perceived.
and the equality of the manners." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. 78. where the mildness of the laws. Professor of Political Science. Political liberty. and the complication of interests. nor compact. FROM MANY. Furthermore. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. rather. 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. If that latter clause is read correctly. 42. Spring. consists in security. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. p. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. 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 -. or the opinion. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. on the score of consolidation of the United States. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. 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. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. beget a confidence in the people. is best obtained in moderate governments. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. 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. other than those basic natural laws (but these. connected with their political distribution. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations.com . From this picture. p. the latter. or the opinion. Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. 2000. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. 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. Anti-Federalist Writer.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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1995. depends in a great measure on their limits. Locke remarks. which produces this security. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. what can you promise yourselves. 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. whose ambition for power. p. This moderation in governments." Thus. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. 37-8. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). or at least in the opinion we have of security. Associate Professor of Law. too. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT.wcdebate. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. and aggrandizement. from the vast extent of your territory. 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. In other words. useful or not. 1997. Mr. will oppress and grind you²where. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. into the hands of individuals. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. and to work together. and too mysterious for you to understand. and this security therefore. the great Montesquieu again observes. either limited or despotic. is a government derived from neither nature. and observe.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 32
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
academic science of modernist philosophy. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. must be a nonconformist. in contrast. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. while the realm of "becoming. But humans could never really reach such a world. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1882. To understand transcendentalism.. unchanging. Spring. optimistic about humanity." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. a child. and lived through the Civil War. removed from day-to-day history. and politics.wcdebate. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America.. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. 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. and have great potential for debates over morality. immaterial. However." where matter." Things changed..A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. 2000. 669). Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. In this sense. he had his house burn down. in doing so. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. 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. however. Plato. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been. certain major themes stand out in his writings. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. p.com . Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. Brown. Emerson. they could only contemplate it. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. living entities died. and incorruptible. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. and perfection was unattainable. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. people and history existed. values. two brothers. I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. he was even more a mystic than Plato. But he remained. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. And his marriage of philosophy. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time.." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. he lost a spouse.To be great is to be misunderstood. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding. Today. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. at least in principle. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking.
or doctrines. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. viewpoints.´ 2. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. 3. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. which he saw as our connection to the divine. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. Plato rejected human matters. unlike Plato. based more on feeling than analysis. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter." 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. in this respect. 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.edu/entries/emerson/). Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. history. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming.stanford. comprehensive understanding. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more. whilst you rise from your bed. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1." including emotions such as love. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. As mentioned.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Although. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy. Like Hegel. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision. In other words. as its name implies. politics and the like. Transcendentalism. higher understanding. "Intellect"). and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. to being a pantheist. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. Emerson. Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. the past is always swallowed and forgotten. on the other hand. with your best deliberation and heed. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. You cannot. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery.com . as we shall see. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness." as he puts it. because. at the end of "Circles.wcdebate." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. After all. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. being and becoming. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. He was very close. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. Emerson really means to "accept. as the basis of genuine knowledge. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. That is why. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding.´ Like the German and British Romantics.
through Nature. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human. and for thoughts. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. Those arguing against Emerson can gain a great deal of ground by citing the numerous instances where his thoughts lead to mystical pronouncements instead of solid and warranted conclusions. In his essay ³Self-Reliance. In this way. Some critics. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. 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. he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´).wcdebate.com . and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power. This. p. Because of this. First. Second. or other distinct groups. however imperfect." Like friendship and reading. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws. Spring. doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher.' ´ (Thomas J.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. presumably. Implications for Debate First. they will perform virtuously." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. 669). This is true of every human being. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. of course. "the otherest. democracy. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. the necessity of self-reliance. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature. 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)." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In ³The American Scholar´ he argues that institutions and books do not reveal truth as well as can be revealed through our personal relationships with the divine² mediated. and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power. Brown. George Santayana among them. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent. 2000. morality is more important than obeying the law. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. and the power of individual action. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. 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.
his optimism about humanity and democracy. on the other hand.com . deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences. Emerson¶s eloquence. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. However. it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. As noted above. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). Transcendentalist ethics. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil. For example. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G.F. Third. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness.wcdebate. In this way. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions.W. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics.
1982). WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. Porte.wcdebate. Gay Wilson. Mifflin. Haight. and Ferguson. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. ed. OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Sealts Jr. AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. Ralph Waldo. Ralph Waldo. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. David. 1981).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Stephen E. A YANKEE IN CANADA. Ralph Waldo. Arthur Cushman Jr. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. 1900). Mead. ed. Ralph Waldo.. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. eds. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. 1995). Emerson. 1969). Joel. J. Len and Myerson. Merton M. FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. MEANING (New York: Dodd. NAPOLEAN. APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Robinson. 1966).. 1878). Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. 1978). 1947) Emerson.com . 1954). 1903). ADDRESSES (New York: W. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. 1941). Gordon Sherman. Emerson. POWER. Ralph Waldo. 1866). Huggard. GROWTH. Konvitz. William Allen. Emerson. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Alfred R. Ralph Waldo. 1959). ed. McGiffert. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. Gougeon. Osgood and Company. Smith. Joel. 1938).: Kennikat Press. Emerson..Y. Black. N. 1968). Susan Sutton. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT.H. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. POEMS. Ticknor and Fields. Emerson.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. 1978). 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Emerson. eds. eds. N. EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press. Milton R. Ralph Waldo. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press.. and Whicher.
and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. American transcendentalist philosopher. 2. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Homer. every departure from his own convictions. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. 15. and goodness. is one expression for the universe. 1986. the opinions. 12. that every false word he has uttered. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson. The presence of a higher. Pindar. Beauty. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. 15. and abdicate his kingdom. This element I call an ultimate end. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. p. if he will. 13. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. American transcendentalist philosopher. in its largest and profoundest sense. American transcendentalist philosopher. as most men do. 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. Every natural action is graceful. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother.wcdebate. and beauty. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. the sun as its candle. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. In private places. 2. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. among sordid objects. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. American transcendentalist philosopher. The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. Truth. Socrates.com . Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. p. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. He may divest himself of it. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. 2000. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. p. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. and the frame will suit the picture. and the day.--the persons. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. that it to say. 1986. he may creep into a corner. p. God is the all-fair. and nature became ancillary to a man. Every heroic act is also decent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1986. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. It is his. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. are but different faces of the same All. Phocion. is that which is found in combination with the human will. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. namely. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men.
out of space. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. in each other¶s actions. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. if judges only quote authorities. 1986. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. muscular force. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. under what seem foolish details. They elude our persevering thought. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. American transcendentalist philosopher. man. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. They will not be written out on paper. p. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. 2. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. that an immoral contract is void. They are out of time. motion. as laws do not make right. It is therefore a principle of law. and not subject to circumstance. fear. 2000. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. These laws execute themselves. American transcendentalist philosopher. 361.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. at every hazard. 72-73. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. pp. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. love. in our own remorse. American transcendentalist philosopher. gravity. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE. 73. principles that astonish.wcdebate. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. and God. For virtue is the very self of every man. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. p. appetite. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. The sense of injustice is blunted. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. 362. or spoken by the tongue. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. and in the game of human life. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. I question the value of our civilization. p. interact. justice. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. covers. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. 1986. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. 2000. for. and that an immoral statute is void. American transcendentalist philosopher.com .
and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. information (and) science. 1999. 3. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. p. ³Power´ and ³Wealth.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. 68. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation. 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. 68-69. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ³Life is a search after power. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. in its room.´ 2.´ 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. ³marry Right to Might. philosopher. 90.wcdebate. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. 1962. In these essays and elsewhere. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. 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. EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. and sit till we are stone.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. pp. not to block improvement.´ 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 difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end.com . and to conspire with the new works of new days. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. in doing so. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. 1999. Emerson was not only synchronizing the predatory practices of the entrepreneur with the harmony of the universe and permitting merchants (as Bronson Alcott shrewdly said) to ³find a refuge from their own duplicity under his broad shield´. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON.´ he announces. he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. combination.
Boston existed serenely. God. 31. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. so constantly on his lips. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). by its very definition. Mysticism. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions.´ It was no surprise. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. ³of a conscience gasping in the void.´ He continued. Far from it. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature.wcdebate. 1962. philosopher. EMERSON AND POWER. 1996.´ sealed off. however. Professor of English at Michigan State University. Benefit. 1962. ³like a ministry without an opposition. an island above the extremes of common human experience. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms.´ James concludes. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. philosopher. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. EMERSON AND POWER. and the consciousness of that incapacity was so lively within him that he never attempted to give articulation to his philosophy. as we have said. Empty. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. the foul. 1996. panting for sensations.´ ³We get the impression. 32-33. and as the absolute. as he thinks. For James. Nature. descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. 2.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. p. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. is not representable by any specific faculty. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. in his 1888 essay. then. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. must share this reproach. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. or Beauty? He could not. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. As far as James was concerned.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. dogma.com .´ his inability ³to look at anything but the soul´²was the result of his coming to maturity in a community that ³had to seek its entertainment. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical. the whole ³Concord school´ had. p. Law. 32. 4. As every new category. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. almost exclusively in the moral world. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. p. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. for God. its rewards and consolations. ³Emerson¶s personal history.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge.´ he recalled. 35. p.´ 3. Professor of English at Michigan State University. like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago. as Matthiessen notes. the base. the imagination and all its works²art. it must be approached through the abandonment of all.
He was beginning to realize that what separated these extremes was not so much the "natural talent" of students as the philosophical commitments of the instructors and administrators. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. At the same time. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. From a very early age. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. and taught high school for three years. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. Vermont. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. Two years later. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. Dewey would come to reject the small town provincialism of Burlington in favor of the changing and growing national community that characterized the second half of the 19th century. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. as some critics have charged. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. he received his PhD. the son of a grocer. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. In the fall of 1882. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. on October 20. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. In 1894. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. politics and education. 1859. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. Maryland.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. Not surprisingly.wcdebate.com . John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. and grow accordingly. taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. Students were herded in and out of classrooms. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. at the age of twenty. By now. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He graduated in 1879. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. For Dewey. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. in philosophy. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. If. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America.
I might be a socialist. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence. But unlike existentialists. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington.html). few philosophers are more misunderstood. Dewey's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges. However. also have a history of change. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. and least known. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. he was viewed by leftists as fair. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. although Dewey was no socialist. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. through experience and reflection (in fact. Dewey sees humans as part of nature. and concerned with social justice. 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). Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). This explains why. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition. ethics. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. To them. 1952. John Dewey died on June 1. In 1904. This will become important later. This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea.fred." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists.wcdebate. politics. and sees nature as constantly changing. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. Similarly. but rather in reference to what "works. 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. as part of nature. and education. and these experiments. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. Like existentialists. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. removed from everyday experience. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you.augie." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. both as a race and as individuals. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic. Humans. Ziniewicz.shtml).net/tzaka/deweynew. concerning the philosophy of religion. genuine experience. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system." in theory or practice. or appeals to the truth of scripture. he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. I might be a liberal. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. and despite this impact. Humans may. impartial. www." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. (http://inst.
Volume 9 Page 46 For example.xrefer. I could never consider it "true.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.com/entry/551811) Finally. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . and so on. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education. I fail. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers.wcdebate. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory." In fact. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. experience can be active or passive.´ In sum. First. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. (http://www. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems. I reconsider the original idea. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. At that point. because my teachers warn me about it. Finally. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. Rather. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. as a result of collective experience. emotional. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience. and includes reflection as well as interaction. In summary. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it.but in all cases there is a social context. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. (Ziniewicz. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. Second. I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. I am part of the world).com . It includes long-term. At least. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. They experiment. Thus. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. Moreover. where we learn from and with other people. Dewey supports community ideals because. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. My assignment is poorly written. It may even include mystical. to the maximum benefit of all participants. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Dewey insisted. however. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. propose and oppose. the example shows that theories and ideas change. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. test. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. as already stated. For Dewey. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. When my experience no longer verifies it. which we'll examine in the next section. or religious experience. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. pragmatically speaking.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 47
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 48
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 49
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).
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. 298. and canvas. the possible self does not represent a remote. p. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. just as the art of painting requires paint. It is complete only in its possibilities. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. LECTURES ON ETHICS. No more than any other art is it developed internally. p. because open and moving toward a new future. American pragmatist philosopher. 1991. alert. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. 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. 1968. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social.com . The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. 1968. political and moral matters is a gift of God. In its reality. the explicit thing. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. desire and purpose more flexible. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. but power of vision and reflection. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. Thinking. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. In obligation. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. In other words. p. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. Social conditions interact with the preferences of an individual (that are his individuality) in a way favorable to actualizing freedom only when they develop intelligence. between the natural self and the ideal self. 2.´ are not a hindrance to freedom.wcdebate. 3. It requires favorable objective conditions. American pragmatist philosopher. Carry that identity farther. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. and resolute. like mathematics. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. and you have freedom. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. brushes. 89. That is the basis of responsibility. FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. 296. however. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. For these take effect in making preference.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. American pragmatist philosopher.
´ 2. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1968. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. p. teleologically. American pragmatist philosopher. one absolute and static because exhausted. 1968. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. pp. It lacks the hallmark of value. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. it is this kind. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. 297-98. 2. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. existentially speaking. the true kind. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. and freedom of contract. that is for practical purposes. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. For ordinary purposes. 1968. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. in command of capital. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. like all others.´ A reality which is taken in organic response so as to lead to subsequent reactions that are off the track and aside from the mark. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. rights and demands are products of interactions. 48-49. 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. is not good reality. But like all other possibilities. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. whether moral or psychological. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. 1968. 139.wcdebate. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. American pragmatist philosopher. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. American pragmatist philosopher. emerged. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. morally they alone are ³real. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. this possibility has to be actualized.com . American pragmatist philosopher. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. It is one with our individuality. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. pp. But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. which we want or are after. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. perfectly real. and. in the problem of personal freedom. Since actual. while it is. use of coal and steam. 281. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. much less a deviation or excrescence. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. that is. as facts have demonstrated. 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. Pragmatically. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. effective. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey.
to some extent. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. p. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. Peters. Dewey¶s view of the teacher. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. 256. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. should have done no less. at least in broad outline. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. as it usually does. 114. If ³democracy´ is to include. p. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. 1977. Peters. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century. Marxist philosopher and activist. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. and he or she is meant to be. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. p. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. Instead of playing a directing role.S. 251. like a football captain. However. 115. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. p. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. is also unsatisfactory. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. 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. for it combined a conception of the child. as by Dewey. 1975. 2. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. 1975. as I have reiterated.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R.com . which claims to be so realistic and practical. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London.S. 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. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. In a game most of the participants know how to play. 1977. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. Dewey was impressed. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. Marxist philosopher and activist. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. an authority on some aspect of the culture. to have interpreted their meaning. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory.
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 53
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 54
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 55
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.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.com
However. open-minded. alike in peace and in war.wcdebate. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. There.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. III. 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. What we demand in this war. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. therefore. Still. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time.´ Wilson said. A free. The removal. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. openly arrived at. 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. In fact. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. wishes to live its own life. outside territorial waters. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. 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. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton. however. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. ³I. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. Open covenants of peace. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. like our own. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which.com . IV. skeptical of the League of Nations. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. V. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. II. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest. an international regime managing trade. determine its own institutions.´ That doesn¶t mean. so far as possible.
a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. for example). Overseas. including evacuation of conquered lands. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. It is better.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. Take the example of Latin America. The right has a somewhat different slant. they argue. Abraham F. they would argue. -. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. to examine the policies Wilson favored rather than muddy the water with simple labels like ³idealism. but made more of these policies¶ effects on the nations in question rather than the impact they had on the United States. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis.N. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. Lowenthal. is Wilson¶s legacy. It is possible. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. solve disputes. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. and work together toward common goals. One scholar on inter-American affairs.´ which mean different things to different people.´ As we¶ve talked about. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas.wcdebate. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. A more concrete term we can grab onto might be ³liberalism´: the belief that government economic or social interventions are necessary to build a just world. But that¶s another story. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. and even if we can. in my estimation. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. etc.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. the establishment of an independent Polish state. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course.) From another right-wing perspective. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace.com . Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. 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. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. and established the progressive income tax. then. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. 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. both in domestic and foreign policy. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line.
his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson. Harding in 1920. Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G. For these reasons.com . Overseas. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. either). He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. for example. as Wilsonian in nature -. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics.C. was interventionist by nature. Foreign policy: Wilson.000 miles by rail around the country. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. where he died in 1924. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. James M. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. After this effort. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. he fell ill and never fully recovered.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.wcdebate. D. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president.. This can be explained by the American public¶s marked opposition to the war: he knew from polls what a winning election issue would be. Wilson retired to Washington.
Kent State University Press. 1991 Zinn. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. THE NEW FREEDOM. 1980 Link.com . WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. 1995 Kuehl. 1971. Princeton University Press. University of Arizona Press. Princeton University Press. Viking Press. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Greenwood Publishing Group. PBS documentary. Noam. John Morton. Mark. accessed April 22. University of California Press. No.zmag. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998. 1965 Link. 1998 Chomsky. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. Lloyd.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. accessed April 22. Norman Gordon. South Africa. 2. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. Auchincloss.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Korwa G. 1997 Levin. Vol.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. Ambrosius. Rhodes University.wcdebate. Warren and Lynne Dunn. Josephus. Howard. 2002.html.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.ufl. http://www. 1913-1921.africa. 2. accessed May 1. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 2002. 1986 Knock.pbs. Herbert. Z MAGAZINE. Princeton University Press. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. May 7. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Arthur. November 1994. Cambridge University Press. available online at http://www. p. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. Arthur. 10. Louis. Oxford University Press.htm. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. http://web. 2000. Thomas. Blum.htm. 2002. 1956 Rowen. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. 2000. 1920-1939. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. Gilderhus. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. 2001. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. Daniels. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE. Political Studies Department.
prohibition. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. 2002. BUT THE COLD WAR. No. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. np. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. South Africa. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M.africa.pbs. as well as presidential ambition. Historian. Mulder. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes.com . AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. Wilson matters as the first modern president. p. accessed April 22. np. Political Studies Department. Indeed. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. accessed May 1. np. accessed May 1.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. available online at http://www.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.htm. The Wilsonian concepts of how political power should be used on behalf of social justice are still defining assumptions for twentieth century American political life. The direct election of United States senators. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics.wcdebate. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. 3. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. http://web. 2002. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. PBS documentary. PBS documentary. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. np. Rhodes University. p. Historian. 1998. Adar. 2. p.. 2.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism". 4.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. After his visit to Africa.html. Vol. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. In the spirit of Wilsonianism.pbs. Historian. 2002. PBS documentary. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. available online at http://www. 2002. and women¶s suffrage. 2001. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. 2001. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development.pbs.html. 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.ufl. p. 2001. 2. accessed May 1.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.html..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. available online at http://www. However.
pbs. Vol. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism.wcdebate. In his view. http://web. For Wilson. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Adar. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. accessed April 22. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice. 3.ufl. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. 2002. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights. 2002. 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. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. p. 2001. would promote America's long term interests. 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. The results of Roosevelt's Commission were the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its corollaries the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. Historian. 1998. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War. np. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. p. available online at http://www. accessed May 1. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t. available online at http://www. np. South Africa. Political Studies Department. 2. 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. Rhodes University. the realization of individual freedom. Moreover. np. limited government. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. 2.com . 2. he was never evasive in that way. np.htm. No. 2. 4. 2002. No. Social and Cultural Rights.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. 2001. Vol.africa.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. For the colonized peoples of Africa. he argued. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. accessed May 1. 2002.htm.pbs. 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. PBS documentary. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. Historian. Political Studies Department. accessed April 22.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. Adar. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy.html.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.ufl.N. This. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product.africa. 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. PBS documentary. 2. What Wilson was capable of was as a president. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. South Africa.html. Thus. Rhodes University. Wilsonianism had a global impact. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G. 1998. In this respect. http://web.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3.
While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. 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. November 1994. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti. The Haitian military.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. PBS documentary. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. France. and the world did not want the American principles. open trade. Hakim observes.com . Ian Martin.S. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force.pbs. 2001. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. recognized that the U. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. "in most Latin American countries. domestic and foreign. If he is. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. accessed May 1. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. unlike the U. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism.wcdebate. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. despite its rhetoric of democracy. Z MAGAZINE. 2002. 10. It hasn't been easy. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. As discussed here in July. To evaluate what lies ahead. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean.html. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. trusting that "the United States. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. The Europeans knew this. or by its traditional master. As the matter is now rephrased. np. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy.. 2. Martin observed. p. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Historian. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems. That is to continue. Consider Peter Hakim. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. available online at http://www. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. and have been kept in power by U. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans. aid and training for that purpose since.N. They were proven right. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber. 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. "At first. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. witness the case of Guatemala. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. and to accept the rule of private power. was its friend and protector. p. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1.S. and Canada.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.
Vol. portrayed in the same light. "For two centuries. http://www. November 1994. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. np. 3.htm. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. if at times secondary. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. brought our country into the hell of World War I. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings. Z MAGAZINE. Apple. Adar. Backers of President Aristide.wcdebate. np. accessed April 22. 2002. p. May 7." 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. 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. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion.zmag. 2001. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent.africa. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. W. Political Studies Department. 2002. 2002. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War. 2. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 2. np.htm. accessed May 1. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. http://web. has been an altogether different story. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. the noise of democracy. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. to say nothing about their weapons" -. but his behavior was often very paternalistic. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Rhodes University. who reviewed the lessons of history. No. that he bombarded the Mexican coast. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. "Like the French in the 19th century. As for Woodrow Wilson. p. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky.html. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. 1998. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE.com . civilized mediation. 10. or Helen Keller.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G. one of those Wilson sent to prison. PBS documentary. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. In the current era. very controlling. and put anti-war protesters in prison. accessed April 22. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC.ufl. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. p. however. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed.pbs. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. 2000. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony." he wrote. 2. South Africa. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. available online at http://www.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. p. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. of course -.com . That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. Another element is that most American of traits. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. Leuchtenburg. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. anyway. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. except Werner von Braun. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. though. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. and was generally beloved by the public. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs.according to Gentile standards. William E.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. 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." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people." according to Communist leader Earl Browder. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm . If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum. and it happened 70 years ago. popularly known as FDR. but we¶ll get to that below. I say with a smirk.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. one has doubtless done something right.wcdebate. anti-Semitism. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. He wasn¶t -. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Historians. a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. from right to left to centrist. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. Even today. The architect of the New Deal. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. It wasn¶t.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. He passed important legislation. In fact. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. agree on this. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression.
´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. Before. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -.wcdebate. Unlike most every other president. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office.com . surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. Jobs for those who can work. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -. say. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. 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. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. FDR recognized this. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. 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. 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. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. In order to understand these. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -. Leuchtenberg continued. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. These are the simple." But believe it or not.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. too. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. as we will see later. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. it is important to understand the ideology behind them. as failing to meet the needs of the public. If you¶re starving. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. and perhaps they are right. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself.and perhaps they are right. Security for those who need it. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. The preservation of civil liberties for all. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. The ending of special privilege for the few. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. he included economic rights in that list. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform. This is not quite true.
instead. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. pensions for the elderly. Nope. the Farm Credit Administration. 3). He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. Cradle to the grave . shouldn't be a member of the social security system. the aged poor.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. 2).Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration). As evidence. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government.but.com . and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. and the blind. finance. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. the aged poor. The FDR years. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. the physically handicapped. no one looms larger than FDR. ³with few exceptions. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. Specifically. the conservative economic theorist. He had his own ideas -. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. the National Labor Relations Board.´ He does not say this as a compliment. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. unemployment insurance. Sure. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). Higgs writes. the Federal Housing Administration. the physically handicapped. from the day he is born. but no one heard it from the President before then. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. finance. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. Social Security. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. the Social Security Administration.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. to him. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. industry. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. One of them is Robert Higgs. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. the Securities and Exchange Commission. Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. industry.wcdebate. and labor relations. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state.
CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century. United States. but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. Korematsu v. One would think. but that¶s the way it is.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. financing. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. ³Each in its own fashion. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. regulating. FDR signed Executive Order 9066. too. only sometimes. Charming.)´ Sometimes. Even if you¶ve got a problem with.wcdebate. vanden Heuvel argues. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. this much is undeniable. (Which he was there. 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. that students have their college loans federally provided. 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. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal.com . this was not the case. though the U. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. Their property was seized. The vast majority of it was never returned. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. being a victim of race-baiting himself. William J. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market. Famously. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. FDR was the first (and. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. say. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning.S.´ he writes.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them. the Export-Import Bank. was at war with them. which consigned over 100. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. vanden Heuvel has noted. 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. 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. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). Sadly. by the way. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him. including Henry Ford. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. By subsidizing.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. To his credit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. told by William E. insuring. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world.
Namorato. Oxford University Press. Higgs. ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security.NET BOOK REVIEW . Roosevelt. Arthur M. 1979. Franklin Delano. Schlesinger. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns.htm.independent.com . July 24. 1985. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Department of History.´ Jan. Jr. July 1997.htm. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. http://www. 1992. 1933. http://www. 2002.eh. 1935. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. http://www.feri. 17. 2002. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. 2002.. Mead and Company Publishers. accessed May 02. 2002. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. FRANKLIN D. William E. Boston: South End Press. Leuchtenburg. Michael V. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. accessed May 5. University of Mississippi . ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. EH.ECONOMIC HISTORY. Kenneth S. Hugh Gregory.pbs. http://www.net/bookreviews/library/0024.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.washingtonpost. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. Roosevelt. Gallagher. Kimball.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech.html. 2002.html. Princeton: Princeton University Press.shtml. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. New York: Dodd. Chomsky. http://newdeal. Franklin Delano. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.org/chat/chat03.1987. Warren F. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Davis. James MacGregor. 1932-1945. 1959. 1991. accessed May 9. accessed May 1.wcdebate. Robert.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. accessed May 10.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. 1986. Noam. Robert. THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. New York: Random House Publishing. September 1998. 1970. Dallek. THE FREEMAN.
htm. University of Mississippi . FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. the political paralysis. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans. Patterson.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Overnight. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR. accessed May 1. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. np. p.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Department of History. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America. gone. 1). Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. 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. "The people aren't sure. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience.net/bookreviews/library/0024. Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. p. In this sense. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years. crowds moved excitedly.washingtonpost. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. Roosevelt himself. p. http://www." Again and again.. 2002.wcdebate. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s.. was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. http://www.. np. 2002. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn. where trading resumed on March 15.1987.shtml.ECONOMIC HISTORY. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed. 3).Happy days are here again. 2002.1987. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt. Leuchtenburg. Leuchtenburg. July 1997. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. accessed May 5. Although not a great economic thinker." On the New York Curb Exchange. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. one eyewitness later remembered.com .NET BOOK REVIEW . and in the New Deal that continued throughout. in Barber's opinion. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. not least those who are disadvantaged. 2). Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. 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." noted one business journal.eh.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." 3. http://www. There was something in the air that had not been there before. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. Similar to his earlier study..´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1. The historian James T. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. . was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. too.htm. everyone was joyous. np.just where they are going. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. In the homes on the streets. EH. Namorato. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. in short. 2. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge. accessed May 5. After much experimentation. Roosevelt's Washington. how Franklin D.
accessed April 22. 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. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. South Africa. 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. p. and it seems improbable. np. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. Vol. accessed May 5. Wilson's intellectual heir. No. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. np. it is framed with perfect futility.com . http://www. np. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. given the nature of nuclear weapons. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. in any sector of our national life.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Leuchtenburg. Political Studies Department. Adar. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. Roosevelt. 2. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II. p.wcdebate. p. 2. As commander-in-chief. and. although promulgated by Franklin D. 1998.washingtonpost. FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history. 2.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. As a wartime president." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Leuchtenburg.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. 2002. http://www.1987. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers.africa. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. late in his second term. http://web.htm. No private program and no public policy.washingtonpost. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions. 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. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. "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. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR. Rhodes University. 2002. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E.htm. When he took office." Robert Divine has concluded.1987. 2002. accessed May 5.htm." 3.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.ufl. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. a position he was said to prefer to all others.
1 billion. accessed May 02.html. accessed May 02. http://www. In fact. 2002. regulations.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. But instead. He was no hero.´ 4. np. np. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. np. Rather. After all. 3. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs.html. 2002. high unemployment. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. 2. and hence overall private economic activity. THE FREEMAN. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated. THE FREEMAN.com . taxes. September 1998. 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.independent. But for all his undeniable political prowess. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.independent. http://www. FDR and Congress.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. balance the budget. THE FREEMAN. With its bewildering. and direct government participation in productive activities. 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.html. THE FREEMAN. and business failures. maintain a sound currency. The irony is that even if Roosevelt did help to lift the spirits of the American people in the depths of the depression-an uplift for which no compelling documentation exists-this achievement only led the public to labor under an illusion. fear. Roosevelt deserves no reverence. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution. by taxing and spending. accessed May 02. the New Dealers had a method. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. In this madness. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. September 1998.independent.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme.2 Without capital accumulation.html. the New Deal did prolong the depression. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. incoherent mass of new expenditures. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment. p. September 1998. September 1998. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. 2002. p. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. 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. But however significant his legacies. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. as many observers claimed at the time. np. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s. no economy can grow. accessed May 02. As John T. he got himself elected time after time. the New Deal created so much confusion. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. http://www. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. p. Flynn said of FDR. 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. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. subsidies. 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. By wheeling and dealing. http://www.independent. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. uncertainty.
.. Chapter 2..shtml. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach. 3. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show." Try as they might. 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. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors. Department of History. University of Mississippi . 171). THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT.ECONOMIC HISTORY. 1992. and the immediate post-war era. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy. Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of. DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky.wcdebate.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www......" He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. in his last chapters." But that is only the carping of trivial minds. a secret love affair.NET BOOK REVIEW .." so much so that "ten years went by before a Commerce Department economist grew curious about the distribution of income and was surprised to discover that its inequality had persisted almost unchanged from Hoover. Namorato.com .net/bookreviews/library/0024.. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. University of Mississippi . Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. Finally. 2002.a wasteland. "in the grandest style.zmag.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal. by Noel Annan.. etc. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. accessed May 1. EH. http://www. this demeanor as the aristocratic style. 2002.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03." and met the great crisis in their lives. http://www. accessed May 1.net/bookreviews/library/0024. including many of the poor and working class. NOT FDR Michael V. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement.. Namorato." etc. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry. who placed their trust in him.splendidly eternal for romance. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. Still.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html. DETERRING DEMOCRACY.ECONOMIC HISTORY..endearingly exalted.. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal.eh. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. and how people like John K. indeed revere. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V. FDR. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s. July 1997. http://www. July 1997. In fact. In the end. World War II. Finally.shtml... however. 2002. through Roosevelt and Truman.eh. EH. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS.NET BOOK REVIEW . Somehow. 2. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort. There was one published reaction. accessed May 1. Department of History.
were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges.and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. All the defendants. As some former radicals did. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. Nicholas Lemann. including Froines and Weiner. though. were John Froines and Lee Weiner. Hayden continued with his activism. Together.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.S.tomhayden. One of those movements. in order to answer that question. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. As his own website (www. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. The other defendants. his ideas. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. the 7th U. 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. Undaunted by his legal trouble. Along with four other defendants -. Circuit Court of Appeals. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. Born December 11.Jerry Rubin."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. "Tom Hayden changed America". Hayden -. Students for a Democratic Society. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. Later. Basically. He later served as a ³freedom rider.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s. And unlike me. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial.and those who consider them to be troublemaking. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue.wcdebate. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. So. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. 1939. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -. the Los Angeles Times reported. Abbie Hoffman. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. Who is right? Well. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades. his life.S. wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental. District Judge Julius Hoffman.´ The freedom riders were a group of mostly white students from the north who traveled to the American south in efforts to assist racial desegregation the South. Hayden decided to run for elected office.com . In 1969 and 1970. there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS. In 1968. with that said. who were not convicted.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.com) admits.
the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -.not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record. activist. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. In fact. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. former husband of actress. author. including legislation on behalf of women.com . Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. convict with his sentence overturned. What kind of action? Well.wcdebate. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. Even in his youth. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. too. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas. 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. Activist. Indeed. 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. 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. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. But mainstream groups honored him. the SDS had socialist leanings -. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962.he sponsored numerous bills. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. That includes student groups. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. (Look it up. lots of different kinds. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. At least one prominent political figure. Until he was forced out by term limits. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. and on and on.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. husband of actress. and other activists of various stripes. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. He has an infant son with Williams. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. While a state legislator. convict. politician.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. workers. of course.remember. kids). praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. He backed pro-labor. again husband of different actress. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. to take action. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics. and more. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry.
HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. insists Hayden to this day. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. Hayden might say.. 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. Just because it isn¶t your morality. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. Let us turn to the latter group now. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. for example. higher education is not separate from democracy. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. And. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then. at least in the United States. 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.. and our friends.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. or Soviet) communism -. of course.or contaminated by. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others. Like many of his vintage. if one is not progressive at all.wcdebate. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. Rather than moral relativism. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. then. Quite the opposite is true. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. brought awareness that we ourselves. Higher education is fully integrated into . It is not Plato's cave. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. the SDS. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. 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 -.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ It seems. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. Thus. might die at any time. depending on how we view it American society. Especially because of the nuclear age. Naturally.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. As a result.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals.com .
Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now.certainly. Nevertheless. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. they might be criticized for methods -. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -. 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. According to observers.not unlike many members of the debate community.is not something we will concern ourselves with here. this is far from undisputed. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.and the vexing corollarly question. CONCLUSION -. Because of the overturned conviction.wcdebate.com . it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times. philosophies and ideas -. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering. However.
Tom. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. David. Lynd. New York: Random House. http://coursesa. Tom Hayden.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.matrix. MISSION TO HANOI. Tom.theamericanenterprise. 20. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. May/June 1997. New York: International Publishers. 2002. p. Hayden. 2001. 1999. #4.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. 2002. Tom.html. Radosh.htm. http://www. November 27. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. Hayden. 1967).htm. Rinehart and Winston. former radical. accessed May 2. 1962. WASHINGTON POST. Chicago: Holt.org/taemj97s. Hayden. 1966. Fall 1987. December 5. http://www.msu. activist.frontpagemag. Volume 4. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. p. activist and former California state legislator. 1972. B1. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. REUNION: A MEMOIR. Ronald. accessed May 1. New York: New American Library. Hayden. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. 2002. The Other Side. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker.com . Port Huron Statement.wcdebate. 1988. Tom. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. the New Left and the Leftover Left. activist and former California state legislator. Staughton & Thomas Hayden. Horowitz. accessed May 2.
It was honorable to protest that situation. activist. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. WASHINGTON POST. activist. p. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. calling on us not to be "good Germans. My serious take on the question might surprise you. activist. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. that we direct our present appeal.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. 2. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. For the first time in memory. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. np. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden.. and a commitment to social experimentation with them.matrix. others today. Port Huron Statement. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. the government? It is to this latter yearning." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden.html. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. only one was about Viet Nam. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. activist and former California state legislator. 5. p. On the contrary.msu. But we are a minority . do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. Based on five days of joining in protests. marching. http://coursesa. WASHINGTON POST.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. one can argue that the finest moment of the university was when students and faculty stopped the university's business-as-usual during a time of national crisis. Volume 4. accessed May 2. 3. Port Huron Statement. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present.wcdebate. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. p. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . 20. not that of their opponents.. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. p. 1962. B1. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. December 5. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra. #4. 4.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. the bureaucracies. one which moves us and. hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags.com . accessed May 2.html. we hope. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency. and those who did so should be blessed in our history. paralyzing policy discussion. 1999. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. 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. December 5. at once the spark and engine of change. 2002. on the contrary. They were. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. np. 2002.msu. 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. 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. activist. 1999.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. being gassed myself.matrix. p. One reporter even asked me. http://coursesa. B1. Fall 1987. the workplaces. 1962. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s.
wcdebate. p. in the 60s. and Bloom knows that. #4. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war. Fall 1987. And it did. 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. activist and former California state legislator. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. One week after the Kent State shootings. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. activist and former California state legislator. p. Furthermore. 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. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. #4. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. 3. #4. the president of Yale. Fall 1987. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. p. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. 20. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. Volume 4. Volume 4. NPQ: Bloom argues that. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I'll give another example. 20. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively. 20. Volume 4.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden. 4. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. Fall 1987.the legitimacy of questioning everything . NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. p. Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. At my university.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . 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. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. activist and former California state legislator. let's also not forget the 60s are over. Kingman Brewster. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely.com . the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. activist and former California state legislator. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. 20. or Morningside Heights. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom. Fall 1987. Speaking of mindlessness. 2. If there has been an erosion of general education. Volume 4. #4. Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden.
May/June 1997. Jerry Rubin. former radical. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself. http://www.theamericanenterprise. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. accessed May 1. 3. When the dust cleared in Chicago. 2. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz.htm. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left. and the chaos on the convention floor. May/June 1997. Because of such considerations. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park.org/taemj97s.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.htm. 2002. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. 2002. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. it "radicalizes them.wcdebate." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. accessed May 1. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).com .htm.theamericanenterprise. Four years later." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. 2002. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. http://www. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left. accessed May 1.org/taemj97s. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. former radical. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. During the trial. http://www. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama.org/taemj97s. 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. he said more than once. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. One of the conspirators. May/June 1997. former radical.theamericanenterprise. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Hayden and seven other radicals.
http://www. former radical. Sid Peck. May/June 1997. Wednesday. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden.org/taemj97s. accessed May 1." and he told his co-organizer. 2002. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. Todd Gitlin.htm. accessed May 2." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. http://www. Hayden gave the New Left the alternative of entering into the nation¶s democratic political structure and waging a serious political fight for left-wing social policies within the two-party system. and you check around and you got your piece. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. 2002. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. 2002. 2002. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. former radical. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. and Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. http://www." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. accessed May 1.theamericanenterprise. http://www. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz.frontpagemag. November 27. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. 2001." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.com . He recruited the Yippies. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE.theamericanenterprise.theamericanenterprise." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent. and on Tuesday. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. May/June 1997. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event.htm. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman. former radical.org/taemj97s. accessed May 1. the New Left and the Leftover Left. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days.org/taemj97s. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist. 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. and Saturday. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. one of SDS¶s first leaders. Rennie Davis. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. 5. Having secured pacifist cover. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. At the event.htm. Thursday. May/June 1997.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. 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. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. PREACHING PACIFISM. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz. a member of mobe. 3. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club. it will flow all over the city.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. that he expected 25 people to die. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.htm." 4.wcdebate.
e. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure.htm 2 Howard Zinn.000 copies. the character flaws of our leaders. These are that writing should be disinterested. but almost universally accepted. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com/papers/sonoma/04. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed.96/books9616. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. p. His progressive history text. rules for ³good´ scholarship. 506 4 Zinn. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors. from the author¶s perspective. has sold more than 800.. scientific (i. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. because. and the lies propagated by ³politicians. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. that is. accessed May 11. np. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides.1 In addition to his historical writing.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken. p. objective. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. p. 2002. ³Zinn and the Art of History.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE ZINN READER. 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.´4 for example. and rational (unemotional). In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline.metroactive. http://howardzinn. he has authored several plays. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. In contrast. such as history textbooks used in schools. rather than shying away from controversy. either nationally or in terms of his own life. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. in part. the church. I will address each of these in turn. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. April 18-24 1996. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. 507 5 Zack Stenz.´5 This is due. http://www. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. There are four ways in particular that Zinn¶s historical methodology radically different from the norm: he recognizes (and even embraces) the bias in perspective that is a natural part of historiography. [and] popular leaders. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. no date. neutral).org/index23. The author of more than 15 books. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. 503-506 3 Zinn.wcdebate. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. accessed May 12. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about.18. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. 1997.com . p. revolutionized the way history is told. spoken word CDs. 2002. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. he actively engages it. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens. He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. THE ZINN READER. the mass media. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive.2 One of Zinn¶s primary arguments against this approach is that the disinterested and ³rational´ approach to history facilitates a distance between the historian and the subject matter that leads to complicity with evils in history: It is precisely by describing the brutality of war. within the context of history.
This stems. to a great degree. Third. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Instead. he participated in extensive protest with his students. but extends to all of his writing. however. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. NONVIOLENCE. and anti-fascist writers. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. The book is organized into nine sections.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. anarchist. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta.org/index23. 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. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. which was painful.wcdebate. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). However. then the punishment itself is unjust. to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. p. and various communist. and others. accessed May 12. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. Despite the benefits of that job. http://howardzinn."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. 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. 8 Howard Zinn. physically demanding. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. ³[D]espite his popularity. Upton Sinclair." Zinn says. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Stenz.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. lived in tenements. Marx. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. 1998. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. Inspired by his students. December 3. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. particularly the United States. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. Finally. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. MOTHER JONES. from his role as a professor. and closely related to the last point. p. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. is focused specifically on this topic. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. This is the perspective of much of his historical writing (A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES includes lots of infrequently taught labor union history) as well as the chapter of his memoir called ³Growing Up Class Conscious´ from YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN. in nearly all of his books. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. Zinn came from a working class background. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«.´8 Despite being someone who might be described as having ³pulled himself up by his bootstraps´ to raise from a working class background to a famous intellectual. 2002. Georgia. during the depression. John Stienbeck. which favors the rich. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. np.com . his youth heavily influenced his perspective on class in the United States: ³If you look at the laws passed in the United States from the very beginning of the [A]merican republic down to the present day. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack. One of his lesser known books. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. At age eighteen. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. and prohibited union membership. Z MAG.
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. 1968. Furthermore. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing.. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr.11 9 Howard Zinn. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. 1968.´9 In fact. This argument.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. Zinn points out. In a theoretical sense. This would include violating curfews. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. desegregation). the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power. Unfortunately. p. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. Zinn argues that all things being equal. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Revolutionary warfare.´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. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. may be morally defensible. by Zinn. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws.com . p. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr..g. Generally.´ 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. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. for example. as being a nonviolent world. Self-defense is by its nature focused. etc. and progress generally. In any humanist philosophy. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable. 1968. p. nonviolence is better than violence. 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. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. or a local tyrannical elite. Moreover.. blocking streets. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. On the one hand. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. 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. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. 45 11 Howard Zinn. 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. Zinn writes. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 29 Howard Zinn. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. On the other hand. in the course of a protest. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence.
even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. There is also justice«. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. Chaos and violence are not. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. http://www. as we have seen throughout history. social. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. There are two primary differences First. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice. particularly for a United States historian. Nevertheless. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. they maintain peace and stability.wcdebate. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just.com/papers/sonoma/04. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus.18. 2002. is that law is created by the people. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit. In these situations. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. p. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or anything else.¶ what was considered Zinn. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. accessed May 11. be it material.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.¶ Zinn says. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. p. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. Thus. THE ZINN READER. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. and she sees no other effective method. but it may not bring justice. This is certainly true at times. p. Often. 370-371 Zinn. THE ZINN READER. Many conservative historians. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz.96/books9616. in various terms. 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. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life.metroactive. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. But when it sends young men to war. and order are desirable. Zinn argues that there is a substantial difference between loyalty to the government of a country and loyalty to the country itself. thus represents the common sentiment of what is just. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. and will therefore be just. 371 14 Zinn. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. 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.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. therefore. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. April 18-24 1996. THE ZINN READER.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified.com . then law and justice are opposed to one another. and must therefore be followed. peace. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights.
´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility. However.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. far from being unpatriotic. July 2001.18. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. accessed May 11. April 18-24 1996. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America.progressive. in contrast to the perception of his critics. http://www. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«. 2002. by Mark Twain: Similarly.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction. http://www.html 18 Zack Stenz. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. accessed May 11. accessed May 11. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government.html 17 Howard Zinn. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. 2002. Zinn feels that the real. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders.96/books9616. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience.com . 2002. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent.´ THE PROGRESSIVE.progressive. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. July 2001. often successfully.org/zinn0701. ³Artists of Resistency. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted.com/papers/sonoma/04. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies. ³Artists of Resistency.metroactive. Howard Zinn. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. And that's a critical thing to do. Thus. Instead.org/zinn0701. http://www.
com . 1991 Zinn. Howard. New York: Harper Perennial. New York: Harper Perennial. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2002 Zinn.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. http://www. 2001 Zinn. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR. New York: Seven Stories Press. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. 2002. Abe. 2000 Zinn. http://www. New York: Signet Books. Howard. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). 2002. et al. Howard. Boston: Beacon Press. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. Accessed May 17. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. Ward. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Howard. SALESGIRLS. 1968 Zinn. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. Accessed May 17. 2001 Zinn. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES.zmag. New York: Vintage Books. 2002.ORG. Accessed May 17. Howard. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. MUSICIANS.org/bios/homepage. Howard.freespeech. Boston: Beacon Press. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1994 Zinn. Howard. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. 2000 Zinn.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE.howardzinn. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Howard. Howard.wcdebate. New York: Seven Stories Press.org/evolution/articles. 1999 Fortas. New York: Seven Stories Press. 1964 FREESPEECH. http://free. THREE STRIKES: MINERS.
´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 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. 2002. And in a number of cases. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil.org/index23.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. And in the 1850s. juries acquitted them. accessed May 12. 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. http://howardzinn. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. injustices of all sorts. to the 1850s.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances. 3. they gathered together in committees. p. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. 1968. free black people. http://howardzinn.wcdebate. 1998.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and other means have been exhausted. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. escaped slaves. 1998. 2002. 48-49. There are two reasons for such criteria. black people. It hasn't been Congress or the President or the Supreme Court who have initiated acts to remedy racial inequality or tho do something about the government going to war or about economic injustice. and preferably directed against property rather than people. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. Well people in the North. 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. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.org/index23. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. accessed May 12. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. white people. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.com . may move from mild actions. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. December 3. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. December 3. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. or in) self-defense. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. limited.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. 2. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. to disorder.
The result of all this is that most of us²when we are honest with ourselves²feel utterly helpless to affect public policy by the orthodox channels. The feeling is justified. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. their calls for war. Surely. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn. 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. ironically. Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. 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. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. ³It¶s not God¶s law.. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. she responded quietly. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. 1968. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. 65-66. 400-401. that the moment we have cast our ballots. Kennedy Campaigning). how she felt about her son defying the law. for the most part nonviolent. (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1997. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. a devastating war waged. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University.wcdebate.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. Historically. 3.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. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. or finally. 2. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history.´) The truth is so often the total reverse of what has been told us by our culture that we cannot turn our heads far enough around to see it. when Dan went underground. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. and justice. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law. December 3. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice. 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. 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. in their appeals to patriotism. and before him. thinking about nuclear war. 1998. freedom. we have freedom to speak. http://howardzinn. The psychologist Erich Fromm. it is obedience to governments.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study. accessed May 12.com . 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. 2002. 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 principles of peace.org/index23. p. the representative takes over (as Rousseau.
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. 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. Agitators and provocateurs. 1968. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution. He may. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. indeed. p. Frequently. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. in accordance with the provisions of law. our Constitution and our traditions. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. and restrained law enforcement. It is not merely government that must live under law. and convicted. it is the city¶s duty under law. 1968. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. The motive of civil disobedience. The city must perform this duty. ordered. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence. as well as practical wisdom. We are a government and a people under law. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. persuasion. But at the same time. free of punishment or penalty. However careful both sides may be. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. 70-71.com . whatever their object. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations.wcdebate. 3. teach us that city officials. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. however peacefully intended by their organizers. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. or both. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. For example. does not confer immunity for law violation. These mass demonstrations. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. however noble. 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. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. These are not controlling. of course. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. 62-63. He cannot pick and choose. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. 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 the dissident. But despite this. If he is properly arrested. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. and controlled. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. there is always danger that individual. Demonstrators must be organized. 2. for the rules of law. however large and inconvenient. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. 1968. Vivian Kellems. It was true in the case of Mrs. He may be passionately inspired. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. Both of these are essential. p. 64-65. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. charged. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. must be identified. p. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. and as a matter of good sense. whatever its type. Each of us must live under law.
NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting.com . brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Accessed May 17. Accessed May 17. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. 2002. after a short flowering.wcdebate. p. more appropriately. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. In El Salvador in 1944. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. np. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. Pacifist praxis (or. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. np.uow. 2001. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. 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. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action. 3. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. p.e. or even a substantial social reorganization. In either event ² mere ineffectuality or suicide ² the objective conditions leading to the necessity for social revolution remain unlikely to be altered by purely pacifist strategies. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. In every instance. Associate Professor in Science. As these conditions typically include war. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. in practical terms. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. p. Australia. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. if followed to its logical conclusions. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. 2001. and continued repression in following decades.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. it is inadequate on its own. 2002.´ 2. at least a relative degree of nonviolence).edu.edu.. pseudo-praxis). the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. http://www. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution.uow. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. 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. There was a military coup later in 1944. 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. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. 2001. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. ³ Violent intervention by others divides itself naturally into the two parts represented by Gandhi¶s unsolicited ³windfall´ of massive violence directed against his opponents and King¶s rather more conscious and deliberate utilization of incipient antistate violence as a means of advancing his own pacifist agenda. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. http://www. Associate Professor in Science. Australia. or. worthwhile change.
But the guy is a pretty sharp old. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. Joseph Nye. 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. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation. those are some big outstretched wings. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. well. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. JR. was born in 1937. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. Well versed in foreign policy. All the while. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. And. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. JR. bald white establishment guy. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. you¶d sort of be right. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. Longtime professor? Check. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. and a graduate of the Ph. He is a Rhodes Scholar. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture.wcdebate. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. You might think that Nye is merely another old. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. Joseph Nye. Jr. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. Just look at the wide variety of sources that have praised his work: from Machiavellian realists like Henry Kissinger to loose cannons like George Soros. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. Jr. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. and Nye¶s likely got it. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. 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.D program in government at Harvard. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. However.com . I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election.
and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick.com . then. we aren¶t going to invade them. An attempt to treat China as a threat.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. How. economic. 2002. that's hard power. engagement. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan. Take.cultural. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. as should be clear.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens. "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. then the United States must not isolate china. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in fact.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems.. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. for example. does one secure American interests. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. Nye reasons..wcdebate. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. If that is true. such an evolution may continue. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. Nye is not. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy ." Nye has said. for example. the case of China. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response. 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. Containment is a more hawkish strategy. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost. particularly in the post Cold War world. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. But if I get you to want what I want. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want. etc. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade." This has not changed since September 11. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today. a hawk per se. That said. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. China will be a force in the new century. We¶re going to either negotiate with them or flex our own economic muscles (as George W. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11.
Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. in his view.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. 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.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical.wcdebate. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. such as China. Rather than isolating other nations. an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). especially the radical left.´ he wrote. the International Monetary Fund. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. and the World Trade Organization. we should be using our influence in a positive manner.
by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. according to Johnson. 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. There is no better example of this blowback. not enhanced.-Japan relationship. This type of self-justifying behavior. Even open-minded. than the U. security relationship. Johnson argues. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas.wcdebate. 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. American credibility is diminished. if you go looking for enemies. 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. Further left. and in Japan particularly.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it.com . The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. on too many fronts. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line.S. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. Instead. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Take. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. Critics of this policy. For example. 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.S. for example. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that. Similarly. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. critics say. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. the distinction between soft power and hard power. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. critics say. His most recent book was just published this year. 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. It is more likely.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen.S. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists.´ No matter how you slice it. However. 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. you will probably find them. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. As the old Chinese proverb goes. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. Nye¶s defense of the U. Just look at Okinawa. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics.
Joseph S.uk/Print/0. 2001). DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR.. 2002. Joseph S.jpri. Nye. Jr. 2002. 1990).3858. Jr. 2000. Nye. January 2002) Nye.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER. accessed May 5. Jr. August 2001) Nye. Joseph S. 1999) Nye.. Nye.wcdebate. Joseph S..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. January 1998.co.com . Nye. Joseph S.. Jr. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press. Joseph S.C. Jr.. Jr. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. 2000).. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000).1.html. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O. Nye. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute. Number 1. accessed May 1. co-edited with John D. Joseph S.observer. 1985). 3d ed. HAWKS. Joseph S. Joseph S.00. http://www. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY.org/jpri/public/crit5. Nye... (New York: The Free Press. 1986). Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.´ CURRENT (September 1999). Nye. March 31. Joseph S. 1997). Volume V. Joseph S. Zelikow and Davic C. THE OBSERVER.4384507.com? Governance in A Networked World. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). Jr. Joseph S.. Nye. Joseph S.html. D. http://www. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Jr. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD. Donahue (Washington. Nye. 2002.. Jr.. JPRI CRITIQUE. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. co-edited with Philip D.-Feb. Jr. Jr. (New York: Longman. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan.: Brookings Institution Press. Jr. democracy.. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. Jr. Jr. Nye. Nye. (New York: Basic Books. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values. Joseph S. Keohane]. NUCLEAR ETHICS..
4384507. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy. 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. 2002. accessed May 1. Nye. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent. http://www.00. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries. 2002. if current economic and social trends continue.co. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. 2002. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers. July/August 2001.observer. D. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. THE OBSERVER. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. 2002. and soft . 4. 2002. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. http://www. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century. LIBERALISM.C. These protesters are a diverse lot. And countries like the Canada. However. accessed May 2. Conversely." For globalization's supporters.observer.html.org/articles/Nye0701.remain relevant.. http://www. economic.. THE OBSERVER. Prague. Some reject corporate capitalism.wcdebate. Quebec City. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Nye.uk/Print/0.00. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. 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. coming mainly from rich countries. 2. Other countries. Of all their complaints.. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. Jr. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.co. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S.co. March 31. accessed May 1. this last concern is key.00. In such a variegated world. http://www.. Nye. Jr. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance.observer. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S.html.html. March 31.foreignaffairs.com . finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority.html.4384507.. accessed May 1. Washington. India. 3. and Brazil. accordingly.uk/Print/0.uk/Print/0. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. and autonomy. THE OBSERVER. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Seattle.3858. pluralism.3858. the Netherlands.military. Jr. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. March 31. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.3858. 2002. all three sources of power . Jr. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix.4384507. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. and that limits the transformation of power. Nye. These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe. such as China. 2002.
np.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye.. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. 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. In that sense. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S.html. Nye.com . a crude policy of containment would not work. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. First. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy.wcdebate. For one thing. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe.html.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 3. 1998.nyu. accessed May 3. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. 1998. Jr. Nye. Moreover.´ June 22. accessed May 3. CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. np. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government.nyu.nyu. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. 2. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ June 22. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. 1998. Jr. http://www. accessed May 3. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. 2002. 2002. containment is mistaken because it discounts the possibility that China can evolve to define its interests as a responsible power. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Isolating other countries is bad policy. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age. Unlike the Soviet Union.´ June 22. 2002. America's edge will continue to persist.´ June 22.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. http://www. p. Nye.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. np.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.. Jr. Jr. No one knows for certain what China's future will be.html. But it is not true in every case. p. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Three times in two weeks. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. 1998.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. http://www. 4. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. p. Second. Third. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. 2002. Containment has three fatal flaws. Nye.. I agree.. np. In an election year. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. Containment is likely to be irreversible. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks. 3. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried.nyu. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. If we treat China as an enemy now. http://www. only China can produce an effective containment policy.
The terms originate with Joseph S. 2. p.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt. was the contrast between authority and liberty. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. Fall. No. (Operation Allied Force.cfm. http://www. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate. p. JANUS HEAD Vol. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt. 1999. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power.. 2002.. In short. 4.¶ he argued.org/2-2/whunt." Space-based surveillance. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. Fall 1999. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective.org/2-2/whunt. JANUS HEAD Vol. 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. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. accessed May 1. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. In the study of transnational relations. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. np. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension.com . by contrast. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. 2. 2002. by contrast. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake. as. Mount Allison University. No. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents. to the test. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-. 2002. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action. As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts.org/2-2/whunt. unquantifiable and indirect. 1999. in his phrase. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community. In this context. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. accessed May 1. µSoft¶ power. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. http://www.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. http://www. Mount Allison University.wcdebate. The comparative dimension was critically important. it was further assumed. Fall. real-time. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. 2. According to Nye. Jr. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. and at a greater philosophic remove. or to be more precise.cfm. np. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors.cfm. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. Mount Allison University. p. More ancient still. µHard¶ power was objective. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. Nye. 2. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. No.janushead. np. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. JANUS HEAD Vol. was tied to the ability to innovate. 2. The first was readily understandable because it spoke to the traditional role of the state which was to provide for security of the person as well as the security of property. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. Entrepreneurial dynamism..janushead.janushead. accessed May 1. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. as did advances in communications technology. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future.
982 responded. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos. While approximately half of both Japanese and U. whereas 58% of U. matters are much harder to figure out. respondents gave the Middle East top billing. these books are similar.jpri. Moreover.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute. increased Chinese potency. 2. So much for some of those shared common interests. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country.1.S.S. so they say. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. perhaps even a superduper power.952 people were interviewed. 3.S. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat. for failing to make up our mind. 27. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects.S. 1.9% of the Japanese and 20. of course.. Security relationship"-40. these books definitely differ. 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. planes.S. Today. That may not have been how it seemed at the time.html.com . but despite the immense might that that implies. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute. Thus. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. But in working out our strategy. Yet we must choose. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.S. Number 1. http://www. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. ST. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. in the U. In some respects. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old.S. Feb. and the fact that the 'hosts.S. These are sizeable percentages." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. 2002.S. is in itself a choice. JPRI CRITIQUE.wcdebate. In Japan. military presence reduced." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. p. investment adviser. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Joseph Nye. Only 26% of the U. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation. JPRI CRITIQUE. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy.' the Japanese. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. In an accompanying article. Number 1. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U.html. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something. to put the matter bluntly. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility. Volume V. Most likely. Volume V.org/jpri/public/crit5.S. January 1998.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Last November 30. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. accessed May 5. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. B1. respondents think that the U.jpri. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. January 1998.4% of the Americans want the U. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation. 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.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts. Security Treaty. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1.1. 2002. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers. http://www.org/jpri/public/crit5. accessed May 5. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision. The chief difference. and a rather bad one. 2002.
and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. which. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. in fact. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. Nader. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. 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. By age 14. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. Nathra. By 1965. ²Ralph Nader.000 automobile deaths every year in America. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. and. At age 17. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. and then his political project. he entered Princeton University. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world.wcdebate. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. Guided by such values. He researched automobile safety anyway. Ralph Nader recalls. but wishes he were not. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. Applied beyond our borders. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. illiteracy. and so on. I will try to explain his philosophy. The book contained a theme that. An excellent student. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. took issue with the assumption. in a larger sense. He had to do most of this on his own. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities.com . is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. At the time. assets and conditions are never for sale. and in 1959 published his first article. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. After exploring his life. oppression. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. of course. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. environmental perils. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. Ralph Nader is one of a kind." in THE NATION. Connecticut. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. but wishes there were others like him. there were nearly 50. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims.
albeit reluctantly. and shareholders. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. (http://www. of course. the highest office is the office of citizen. It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves.2/nader.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. when he founded Common Cause. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. (http://bostonreview. 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. Education and Welfare. then. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary. who had written. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable."the public interest" -was a bold. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. workers. Since the 2000 campaign.mit. some decades later.´ and as such. Throughout the next thirty years. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." But Jefferson. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. simply a distrust). and a plethora of other causes. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. in a democracy.nader. In fact. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W. but.. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism.edu/BR18. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. consumers. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. the people are the ultimate authorities. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. Bush in 2000. it is argued. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility. Why. in mandatory seat belts and air bags).com . First. taxpayers. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. official secrecy. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics. First and most importantly. author of the famous Federalist No." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good. Of course. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. contrary to his predictions. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore.. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. 10 essay. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. a former Secretary of the Department of Health. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement. While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War." as they came to be called. as the quotation below explains. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. 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. Nader's "Raiders. fought for increased water quality." John Gardner. innovative development in American politics at the time. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. would have a similar idea in 1970. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. Nor could James Madison.
In fact. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. Second. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. most recently. "above" the laws of most nations. 2. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which should belong to everyone. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. 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. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them. 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." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. torts and contracts. a socialist. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. 3. literally. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. even a Stalinist. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. 56 Over the past two presidential races. literally. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. sellers need consumers. any elected or appointed political leader. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. over the past few decades. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators.wcdebate. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens. Nader is none of these. 1999. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. giant corporations. and frequently more power than. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. And. the multinational status of many corporations makes them.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. are available to the highest bidder. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. and increasing public financing of elections. p. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist.com . Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. 4. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. Finally. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts.´ ±Nader. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. rather. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. to institutionalized. a communist. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves.
Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss." In Wisconsin. Democrats respond that. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. Of course. especially liberal Democrats. higher taxes for corporations. This is because those people believe that. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. May 21. 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. if we hold out for ³everything. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). but also that elitism is desirable. Democrats. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. and often makes things considerably worse. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right.´ we end up with nothing (or. At present. This is an ongoing argument. but the Green Party's current plans. 5. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. Regulations fail. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. To begin with. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. Along the same lines. Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Bush. worse than nothing!). as some would say in reference to Bush. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution.'' (VILLAGE VOICE. He would like to see much more of this. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. The problem here is not merely one election. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment. libertarians claim. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were.wcdebate. Steverman) reports. May 7. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. if successful. to accept some of what we want. but if they are threatened with punishment. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state.com . including candidate Jim Young for governor. or voting for Nader: Sam Smith is right when he points out that the liberal establishment in the Democratic Party--which includes the current congressional leaders of the party--''yawned as the Clintons disassembled their own cause and became incensed when Ralph Nader dared to defend it.
At the same time. not merely philosophically. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. but he argues that. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. since it¶s what we have. and not just theoretically attractive. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. Nader is no fan of capitalism. either-or. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. exploitation and imperialism. 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. most of the objections to Nader¶s ideas work well within the general framework of libertarianism and belief in a minimal state. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. Were it up to him. in the strongest democratic traditions. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen. government is the people. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. However. Unlike so many of our sources. we should keep it in check. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. 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. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books.wcdebate. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. After all. read commentary about him.com . Nader eschews elitism.
CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. Robert F. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. Ralph. Ralph. Ralph Nader Congress Project. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton. Burt. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press.] (New York: Grossman.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1996). Ralph. Ralph.J. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. 1974). THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. Nader. Charles. Ralph. 1997). TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. 1982). UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. Ralph. 1973). Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. Franklin D. Gorey. 1975).: Prentice-Hall 1972). RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. 2000). Martin's Press. 1975). Isaac. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Ralph. 1977).wcdebate. Katherine. 1973). Nader. Nader. Chu. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. Ralph.com . 1976). N. Nader. 1986). CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. Hays. Nader. 1972). Martin's Press. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. Dan M. 1972). 2002). Nader. Ralph. McCarry. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Nader. Nader. Nader.
p. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers.´ the ³invisible pollutant. 56. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. artificial intelligence. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE. inflation is down. 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. perpetuate anti-competitive oligopolistic markets. 1986. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. If people think more about how major business executives work. 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.com . production. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs.profits are up. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better .having accepted their condition and resigned. and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. and weaken our democracy. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people.´ the ³invisible gene. 2000. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. 1999. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. 1999. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. p. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. the stock market is up. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. and marketing technologies. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. limiting their ability to deal with reality. giveaways.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. THE BIG BOYS. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader. loan guarantees. injure our national security. 2. political activist. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. 56. political activist. 2. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1. clinics. schools. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. Yet. and unemployment is down. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before.wcdebate. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 521. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . p. political activists. bailouts. 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. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. mass famines. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. tax loopholes. political activist. debt revocations.´ the ³invisible currency. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons.
1993. abstruseness. state offices.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. 1993. 1 Citizens beware. p. Narrow. 6.S. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls. and land. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. political activist.com . An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. 3. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. p. in the halls of the U.wcdebate. adoption. 2. Capitol. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. p. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. the U. will be met with the refrain. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. 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. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. state. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Secrecy. depress wage levels. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. political activist. It would cost jobs. corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. 1993. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. water. Congress. 3. safety. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out. or limit their pollution of the air. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. called the Uruguay Round. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ This sort of threat is extremely powerful²communities already devastated by plant closures and a declining manufacturing base are desperate not to lose more jobs. political activist.S. STATE. Every element of the negotiation. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. or even at the United Nations. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. THE ENVIRONMENT. By contrast. for example. If you do. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. 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. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. and make workplaces less safe. we won¶t be able to compete. the U. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY Ralph Nader.S. ³You can¶t burden us like that.
135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. de-centralized political. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. at the bank.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. In sum.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. But it is a radical departure from U. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. p.´ 2. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. individualistic nation. political tradition of the last 200 years. 2. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. In some cases. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. President of Capital Legal Foundation. or in the investment markets. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good. President of Capital Legal Foundation.S. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. In other words. Burt.wcdebate. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. in turn. SEC. President of Capital Legal Foundation. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. Our diverse. This is a distinct political ideology. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. Burt. 1982. And it has been and would be a government they run. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. Burt.com . ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. 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. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. and local governments. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. Mr. President of Capital Legal Foundation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. economic. 1982. a new elite of un-elected. state. employers. and seek to change it. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. and social system. In this regard. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. 20 Instead. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America. 8. Burt. 20 What is clear is that Mr. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. p. 1982. on our daily lives. and consumers. 1982. with its heavy reliance on individual choice. America would become a more centrally governed and less free.
3.I'm serious -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. we are the happiest. 2000. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. 2. Professor of Economics at MIT. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. he said. 2000. 2000. p.like the laws of every market economy -. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. most prosperous nation in the world. columnist. must be bad for the world. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements." 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. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars. THE MILITANT. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination.000. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. or Pfizer." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good.000" to Mexico. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. p. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. C3. or any corporation. October 22. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. He isn't like you and me. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. In 2000. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U.wcdebate. Cohen. healthiest. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president.000 to 400. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.corporate influence. July 25. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere. 2000. A-19." reads the statement. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5. THE HARTFORD COURANT. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. July 25." At the same time. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. A-19. But several days before Gingrich spoke.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution. p. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350.000 votes and finished in fourth place. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Professor of Economics at MIT." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. Michael Kinsley. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. columnist. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. 2.S. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman. March 6. editor of Slate. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D.com .a move that Africans themselves welcomed.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals. p. because -. the one that ended apartheid. That's the problem with Ralph. markets. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes.
right? During and prior to the Civil War. a ³quota queen. 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. It had nothing to do with what I had written. For them. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy.´ 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. they claimed. you didn¶t get to vote. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. After all. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. Period. As for the second proposition -.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. but it was a very useful. She was. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. it isn¶t a true democracy to you.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. two: Quota Queen. In the South (and. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps.S. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. and publish books. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. including slavery. if you can¶t vote. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. For understandable political reasons. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. As Mark Tushnet has written: ³Guinier's nomination to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division foundered because she understood those tensions and her work makes them apparent. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. such a right was not truly meaningful. And even then and immediately thereafter. though. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. In fact. to be fair.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. many places in the North). 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. the right wing said. That¶s not just me being partisan.com . 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. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. Now. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. Attorney General for Civil Rights because.
cracking. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule.com . The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. As Tushnet notes.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. we ought to defend it for minorities. alternatively. So. indeed. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. and you headed to the polls in Florida. it has another value: an instrumental value. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. The problem is that in other districts. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote. For example.´ The other problem. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. 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. and they are regularly outvoted. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. if you go to vote. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. The thing is. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. and created a right to select representatives of choice. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. 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. Plus. And depending on how old there are. Harvey Gantt. Again. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines. and stacking. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. people -. Hence. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. The result is that you get one minority representative. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. if the right to vote represents full citizenship.´ After all.wcdebate.mostly Republicans -.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. though. 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. it takes all kinds). of course. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district.
for one thing. but let¶s review some of the high points here. 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. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. there needs to be some check on that abuse. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. stupid things.wcdebate. There are a couple of reasons why. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. for example. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. For example. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be.´) After all. and you¶ll be in big trouble. it doesn¶t work that way. or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. People are self-interested. When you¶re in power. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. legislators can get concessions on another. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. And nice as that sounds. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. Total majority rule. 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. economic. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. They will vote to advance their own interests. There would be problems with identifying these policies. Hence. every vote counts.com . Similarly. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. Since every vote counts. and that includes affirmative action. but there¶s another reason. So. 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. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. That includes people living in a democracy. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison.
However. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. health care projects. Guinier recognizes this. crush their economic infrastructure.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences. 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. You might be surprised. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. though. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. seeing what is working and what is not. This doesn¶t always happen that way. 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 AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above. Stephen Steinberg. a left-wing critic of Guinier. programmatic change) thinker. college administrators. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. presumably. 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. for example. rather than just in name. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights). we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. etc. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. The best strategy lies in other means. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office.com .she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance. try to actively undermine their interests. give feedback on. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. Hence.wcdebate. Guinier asks. and is relatively easy to understand. their interests will be better served by legislators. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis. after all. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. There is a reason.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. More often. each institution would. that Indian tribes hate him so much. with its specific mission in mind. usually.
Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. People that are interested in building a more racially just.and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.com . economically viable future should check out her work.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
wcdebate. accessed May 1.6/connerly. 2002. 505525. 1994." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. New York: Simon & Schuster.html. p.3/tushnet. 1995. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. Lani. Guinier. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1998. Jr. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. 1998. Lani. C. Lani." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. accessed May 1. 1999. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill. Lani. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.edu/BR25. Guinier.6/steinberg. http://bostonreview. 1998. 1-16. Guinier. 2002.mit. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. No. 5. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. BOSTON REVIEW. Guinier. Lani. January 8. Ward. 36-37.edu/BR19. accessed May 1. Guinier. Lani. Guinier. December 200/January 2001. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly. http://bostonreview. 89. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. p. edited by J." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. Mark. 2002. March 1991. "President Clinton's Doubt. December 200/January 2001.html. Smith.edu/BR25. New York: Free Press. 1998. p. Lani.mit. Guinier. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center.html.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Boston: Beacon. Lani Guinier's Certainty. Tushnet. Steinberg. Lani. Stephen.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://bostonreview. Vol.mit. 1077-1154. p. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen. Guinier.
he admitted in an interview with Extra!. her views were not only distorted." In reality. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. EXTRA!." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. electoral quotas or 'one black. so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89).on June 4. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. George Will and Lally Weymouth.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. EXTRA!." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -.com . praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. after the nomination had already been killed -. EXTRA!. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. 3. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93).a process known as "race-conscious districting. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. Nor did I write. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. injecting further distortions into the process. July/August 1993. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views. 3." 2. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. July/August 1993. color-coded ballots. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Professor of Law at Harvard University. Apparently. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. county and municipal governing bodies in America. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . p. 3. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . p.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. 3. p. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas." Indeed. EXTRA!. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . two conservative columnists. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). 3. July/August 1993. two votes' remedies.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. 4. as George Will did. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. July/August 1993. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. the white minority in South Africa. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. p.wcdebate. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. as it was for Lally Weymouth.
And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. In doing so.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Merit. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women." as George Will put it (Newsweek.com . who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. July/August 1993. p. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. accessed May 1. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. That focus. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier. in turn. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. but to ³lift as we climb. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. Professor. Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. 3. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91).minerscanary. EXTRA!. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse.wcdebate. http://www. she was critiquing it. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. 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.org/mainart/confirmative_action. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. Professor. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY. ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. 3. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. In other words. p.org/mainart/confirmative_action. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. np." But more important. Harvard Law School. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. p.minerscanary. 2000. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. June 14. 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. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. June 14. 2.shtml. Harvard Law School. np. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept.shtml. can be chronicled with the proper instruments. 6/14/93). in a multiracial democracy. in other words. 2002. legitimacy and power base is the black community. http://www. 2002. 2000. and what constitutes fairness for all. like one¶s family tree or family assets. accessed May 1. 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.
accessed May 1.wcdebate. 2002. 2.mit. Indian. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality. their argument is not at all new.edu/BR25. Hispanic. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions. 2002. given these tensions. For her. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. 2002. EMPIRICALLY. 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.perhaps most particularly whites -. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests.edu/BR25. December 200/January 2001. accessed May 1. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. http://bostonreview. people -. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. December 200/January 2001. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. Unfortunately. December 200/January 2001. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. public policy could generate gains for everyone. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly. accessed May 1. http://bostonreview. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. http://bostonreview.6/connerly.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -.edu/BR25. Caucasian.mit.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. Unfortunately. 4. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. 3. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave.html. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. Instead.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. For its entire history. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. BOSTON REVIEW.com . it was surprising.3/tushnet. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. What is most striking about Guinier's work.6/connerly. City College¶s experiment has failed. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. http://bostonreview.html. 2002.html. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. and refreshing. we ought to believe -. All we need to do. 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. octoroon.html. attracting topflight students from around the world. In 1970.edu/BR19.that society is not so racially polarized. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. BOSTON REVIEW. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. accessed May 1. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. etc.6/connerly. Thus.mit. she proposes. one for which we should all be ashamed. It is a long and sordid history. BOSTON REVIEW. Thus." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. free black.mit.
December 200/January 2001. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. 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. accessed May 1. First. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. Indeed.mit. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions. However. Sturm and Guinier also make a compelling case that it would be fairer and more productive to judge applicants on the basis of performance criteria. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. affirmative action has been under sustained assault.html." 2. don¶t fix it. even if enacted. The problem is that "for more than two decades. As the saying goes. accessed May 1. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1." The entire thrust of their argument is to explore alternatives to affirmative action that will broaden access of minorities and women to jobs and universities. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate. December 200/January 2001. two troubling questions arise.html. 3.mit. though. here the syllogism runs into trouble. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional. 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. 2002. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence." 2. At first blush. 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 now poised to deliver the coup de grace.edu/BR25. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. On closer examination.wcdebate. 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. Against this background.6/steinberg. The problem. Though they do not say so explicitly. http://bostonreview.6/steinberg. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. http://bostonreview. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW.com . author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW.edu/BR25. provide the access to jobs and opportunities that are today secured by affirmative action? The logic of Sturm and Guinier¶s brief can be stated as follows: 1. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. accessed May 1. December 200/January 2001. 2002. http://bostonreview. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. 2002. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik.html.edu/BR25. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who.6/steinberg. "if it ain¶t broke. To be sure.mit. Therefore±alas. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups.
Skocpol a researcher. Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. involve class-based revolt but not structural change. 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.C. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures. especially in analyzing revolutions. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. shows Skocpol. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. in fact. ³class-based revolts from below. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. an active citizen. 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. 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. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. professor and well-known author. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers. Next. Dr.´ (4). In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. However. The examples she points to are rebellions that.E. Through comparative historical analysis she helps to create an understanding of international contexts and changes in domestic policies that spawn revolutionary change in a particular society. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. She is a native of the state of Michigan. but she is a wife and mother. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. First. I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters.O.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. full scale social revolution has been quite rare.com .) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). 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. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. ³rapid.wcdebate. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage). Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods. Not only is Dr. by nature. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. Skocpol argues. than other types of societal change. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as.
in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits.wcdebate. In the past individuals in a variety of areas. Thus. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. and the resources available to the group. The same method may prove successful in answering a plan that could have detrimental effects. could create a situation that would lead to an undesirable revolution. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. 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. social disorientation. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances. and insurance for workers.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order.´ that view is inaccurate. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I. for better or worse. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. if affirmed. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. Her claim is that: First. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. their social position. never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14). 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. Then there develops a purposive. if it wins. which they labeled ³the warfare state. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines.S. the United States¶ model. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. 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. those individuals capable of creating change. not all social revolution is a positive thing. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. Finally. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. Hopefully.com . the conditions that cause change.S. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark.
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. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere.´ 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in this case the media was absolutely right. 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. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. unemployment was down. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. having trouble obtaining health care and proper treatment at their jobs and not seeing the great wealth they heard about every night from the news media. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history. However. 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. politics and business. 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.com .people who are not children and are not yet retirees. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. First. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. ³U. However. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate. THE MISSING MIDDLE.S. This has a number of implications for debate. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. The work done by Skocpol in her book. Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint. a widely accepted understanding in the U. Skocpol takes on the challenge of creating a straightforward treatment of gender and social policies while learning from the more tentative arguments that have previously been made on the subject. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. which included the charities and the home.wcdebate. 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. Most importantly however. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. 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. 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. She argues that up until this point the role of literature on women and welfare has been to sensitize readers to the subject and it therefore treats the subject through the use of narrative and interpretive essay.
By examining 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.S. Additionally. many of them parents. 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. ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U.wcdebate. and still are. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 124 The people she is referring to are the one who fall somewhere in between the ³poor´ that are often the focus of welfare debates and the wealthy professionals who are usually defended in political debates by the conservative politicians. because Skocpol¶s theory tends to address the unspoken majority in American society she may provide a safer perspective when you are having trouble with audience analysis. 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. 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. are generally ignored in political debates. 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. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. Skocpol argues. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8). More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. This may leave some debaters thinking. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. who Skocpol argues. First. 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. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. 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.com . While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. the working population. mainly. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. This work is especially important for Lincoln-Douglas debaters to have as a tool when determining a perspective with which to shape the debate for a couple of reasons. 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.
her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change. 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. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. 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. 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. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. Instead. 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. Additionally.com . Her work provides a mechanism for examining proposals made in the form of policy action as well as those that are created more as social changes. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. reading Skocpol¶s work will assist debaters in understanding perspectives that may be used to answer their case and providing them the tools necessary for refuting such arguments. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity.wcdebate. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. which LD tends to draw upon. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. to explain events.
Felicia A.171. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. RUSSIA & CHINA. 1984. Skocpol.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.´ OFF OUR BACKS. Ritter. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Case. Gail Lee. Wineman. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. September 2000. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker. April 30. Theda.183. New York: Cambridge University Press.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. and Nicole Mellow. THE MISSING MIDDLE. Gretchen. 1997.W.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. 28. Fall. 1999. Boston: South End Press. 2000. 1992. Skocpol. 1979.. Kristin Kay. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE. Halliday.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY.com . New Haven: Yale University Press. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. p. 1996. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. p. 1997.wcdebate.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. Skocpol. Dubrow. Norton & Company. Theda and Stanley B.S. New York: W. Kornbluth. THE NEW MAJORITY. Terrance C. Theda. 1982. Skocpol. Theda. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. Greenberg. May 31. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. Steven. July 31. p. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.
171. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. Kornbluth. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader.. electoral rules. Rather. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments. resulting in over 500 pages of text. However. To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. 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. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. Together. April 30. p. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States.183. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. However. bureaucrats. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. governmental institutions. the United States possesses a decentralized. Simply stated. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. 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. 1997. Professor of Sociology. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). that is. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A.com . 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. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. Given the enormity of her undertaking.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. political parties and officials. 3.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. 1996. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy." she argued in 1980. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. 14 In Skocpol's vision. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526).S. 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. September 2000. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook... p. bureaucrats.a polity-centered perspective -. 2. I will necessarily condense her account. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study. and policy feedback loom large. a graduate student in the same department. 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. 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.wcdebate." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. In other words. In her newest work. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes. July 31. Although not always explicitly. Case. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity.
317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1.wcdebate. which treated men as fathers and heads of families." However. 2. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children." or as the fractious.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. and in their processes of creation.171. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. 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. Case. 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. 1996.183." she writes. 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. 3.S. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. Felicia A. Case. 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. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. in their processes of creation.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Many women reformers in U. p. potential mothers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. federal social programs for mothers. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. p. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. bureaucrats and national political leaders. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states. July 31. Readers may also hear in maternalism. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. (P. 1996. More important. time-bound contribution to political thought. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS. April 30. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker.com . were doubly paternalist: Elite males. Professor of Sociology. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation.. exhausted. republican motherhood. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special.S. Kornbluth. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. p. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States. Felicia A. who know them as "social feminists. post suffrage women's movement. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.171.S. 1997. April 30. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. In content. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. These texts continue to advance the larger claim of feminist scholarship that existing categories of analysis fail to capture adequately women's realities. Maternalist reformers may be familiar to some readers. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby.
Sonya. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. teaches American women's gender. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. Within political sociology. to "do good. American Bar Foundation. "The Limits of Maternalism. Northwestern University. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. 307. severe stratification of power. Theory of the State. Fall. 1999. Similarly. 1993. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. New York: Routledge. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure. Author. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. p.com . but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. Koven & Michel). It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. The case of child care and mothers' pensions reveals both the strengths and the limitations of an ideology rooted in arguments about women's natural capacity as mothers. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. in both class and state. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN.in the interests of the corporate order. Halliday. 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. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. 165). Michel. 1984. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities. reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. not the idea of child care as public service to all." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose. Ironically. 2. Point for point.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. Senior Research Fellow. Instead. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. np. Adjunct Professor of Sociology. the predominance of giant corporations. 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." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. p. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions.centered approaches. p. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. Terrance C.36.
but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. Spring. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. p. np. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. to be sure. it is a difference. researcher at European University Institute. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition. in order to maintain the family wage system. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. "Specifically. Gender means "female" for Skocpol." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. NORWAY. determined by class as much as by gender.PHILOL. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. 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. 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". UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. 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. 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. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. often called the two-track welfare system. Clearly.wcdebate. np. or rather a set of meanings culturally constructed around sexual difference. "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. In other words.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. after all. 2. and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Gender is. says Gordon. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. However. but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY.com .. the problems in Skocpol's interpretations are already present in the outset of the book: she fails to produce any adequate definitions of what she means by "paternalist" and "maternalist". "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. She has no critique of maternalism". SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. researcher at European University Institute. To Gordon. . NORWAY. PhD. to put it inversely. 1996.PHILOL. 1996. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families.. in the way Gordon sees it. in a context of male domination. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. was. Spring. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. Women's activism was as much as men's. says Gordon. PhD. Eirinn Larsen. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. p. not merely a neutral or benign difference. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook.
highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature. 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. For her. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. 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. This interest in books was not. including hooks. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. especially Friere. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches. Kentucky. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. Despite this realization hooks continues her practice because she feels the accessibility of her work to those outside of the scholarly community is more important. generally taught by white males. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry.´ Determined to overcome these notions. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism.wcdebate. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Like everything hooks does. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. She points out that. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. Unfortunately she realizes that it is this choice that often causes her work to be passed over for use in institutions of higher learning. sexism and classism. politics. In her classes. hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. race and gender studies but she more often chooses to write from her experiences and to adopt a more narrative style regardless of the type of work she is composing. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph.D. correctly it turned out. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). She knew there was something else out there for her. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work.com . that too much reading would change her life. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism. and the destructive effects of sexism. it was simply recreated in new ways. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. racism and classism. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. as it might be today. Paulo Friere. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. Her father feared.
no bussing.wcdebate. in a white supremacist society white individuals have the highest concentration of power thus white people are seen as superior to any other racial group. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. Let's start over. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This process. 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. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. racism within feminism. social movements and educational biases. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. Classism creates an elite group. 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. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. she argues. 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). legitimating standard English. 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. There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. 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.com . sexist. Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. capitalist culture that uses racist. and classist educational policies. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. sex or class. they just got up in the morning and went. 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. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. Let's share them. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. We have those definitions. not very different from anything the students could relate to. Let's reclaim them. 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. Mass media is generally seen as a mechanism for entertainment but with the frequency that it is viewed in American society there is a tendency for individuals to accept those things consistently seen on television as normal.
and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). Let's start there. like hooks. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and always. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. hooks¶ version of feminism is one that goes beyond traditional notions of a feminist movement that only deals with women¶s issues to include race. Let the movement begin again. 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. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. not born. ads everywhere and billboards. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. sexist exploitation. 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. In her book. She argues that feminists are made.´ 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."(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. and oppression. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. Sexism. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. television and radio commercials. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. "a movement to end sexism. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. bell hooks sees feminism as. 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.com . She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping. not division in the movement."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. Occasionally an author. have often felt marginalized. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent.wcdebate. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. she argues. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. 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. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant. or their critics. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising. However. is the heart of the matter.
Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well.wcdebate. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. 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. Because she is so interesting people want to provide information on her. 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. She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. even worse. Let¶s face it though. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. media and the academy. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. Volume 9 Page 134 White women often speak for black women without fully understanding their experience and thus complicating the problem with increased racist assumptions under the guise of positive social change. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. she even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. While white supremacist sexist society guarantees a devaluing of women¶s experiences and their bodies white women will always be better off on this structure than black women because of their race. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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.com . She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. Whatever the flaw. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. Finally. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology.
W. bell. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. Gary A. 1994. New York: Henry Holt. 2000. New York: Doubleday.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1996. New York: Henry Holt. Golden. hooks. and Elizabeth Hirsh. bell. Cambridge: South End Press. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. New York: Henry Holt and Company. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. hooks. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE.com . 1995. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. Olsen. 1999. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. 1998. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. hooks. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. Albany: State University of New York Press. Boston: South End Press. bell. Namulundah. hooks. 1990. bell.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. 1995 hooks. bell. Norton & Company. 1995. hooks. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. bell. Patricia Bell-Scott). FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. New York: W.wcdebate.
1992. p.. It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. 1989. 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. Namulundah Florence. 11. 1988. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. p. these values and traditions are racial. currently policy makers(Banks. White people¶s values. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. 1998. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. Chinese Americans. McNaught. Of course.122) 3. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. p. THINKING BLACK. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. feeling and knowing as the norm. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically. and class specific. 1988. p. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. p. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. 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. at its very core it is dehumanizing. In a white supremacist society. 1994. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. Historically. Boston: South End Press. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. 1996). but threaten their very existence. 2. Nelson et al. 1998. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. since we who are black can never be white.58). Essentially. (1981. gender. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. a ³white´ self. in America. and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility. in this case. educational. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness.com . and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. traditions. In the United States. can come into being. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. p. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS.wcdebate. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. 1995. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. 1996). TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST.109). Once slavery ended. 67. Critical. 14. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. groups such as African Americans. hooks. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. However.
with different ³inherent´ characteristics. p. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. etc.com . New York: Routledge. 2. Certainly. suspicious ways that we often view white women. p. that they receive in the existing social structure. 1995. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. particularly sexist black men.wcdebate. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege. social critic. active and passive. and Mary Childers. professor. New York: Henry Holt. to assume that black folks.75. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. 1995. social critic. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks. 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). author. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. 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. to be capable of being both strong and weak. particularly sexist black men. professor. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. And I would say vice versa as well. in response to specific contexts. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. girls women. and all our efforts at self-determination. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. I don¶t think we really understand either historically or in terms of contemporary circumstances why we view each other in such incredibly negative terms. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. 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. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. for boys to be active and girls to be passive.. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. however relative. sociologically. 1990. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. author. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. p. 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. Feminist theory needs to study historically. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. I want to privilege political commitment because in this culture we do not emphasize enough that you can choose to be politically committed in ways that change your behavior and action. 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. New York: Henry Holt. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. 3. np.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM. 69.
However. 50. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. 53. "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.com . Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. yet at one point. 3/14/98. Healthier." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. B1. love goes the way of BMW's. she has gone mainstream . Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. p. Buppiedom and Big Houses. television and radio commercials. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. Maybe." 2. empowering article for Black women.wcdebate. p. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. ads everywhere and billboards. An unreconstructed black radical feminist.a potentially informing. In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. Kelly. Posing as a "feminist author" Bell Hooks' interview with Jada Pinkett in the March issue of Essence magazine falls short of her used-to-be scathing critiques of dominant culture. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. She began Ain't I a Woman in college.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . hooks (who insists on the lowercase letters) has nothing but disdain for "reformists" like Estrich who sought only to claim the "class privilege" their brothers enjoyed. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence. 1/22/2001.her passion lost. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college. and Better Off Financially. staff writer. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. NATIONAL REVIEW vol. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN. I was initially excited by the cover story . aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all. Yes. I was surprised by what I read. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint. ³For bell. Like Jada. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. like the older civil rights generation.
arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. therefore. the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces.D..com . The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. rather than conflicting. respectively.A. 288-290. class domination.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Spring 2001. Southern Methodist University School of Law. Lesbian feminists. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. In a series of articles. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination.. law and sexuality. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts.´ ³Multidimensionality.. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed. and poverty studies. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. and heterosexism. 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. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics. B. 309-310.. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. p. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. University of Pennsylvania. J. These scholars.wcdebate. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. J. and. Spring 2001. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader. race-sexuality critics. critical race theory.. Lesbian-feminist theorists. phenomena. I have examined the relationships among racism. patriarchy. whose work examines the relationships among racism. In particular." Multidimensionality posits that the various forms of identity and oppression are "inextricably and forever intertwined" and that essentialist equality theories "invariably reflect the experiences of class-and race-privileged" individuals. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. 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. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Assistant Professor.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. gays and lesbians of color. like the intersectionality theorists. Yale Law School. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements.A. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Multidimensionality. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. Yale Law School. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. 2. heterosexism. p. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. B.. Southern Methodist University School of Law. University of Pennsylvania.´ ³Multidimensionality. recently.D. for example.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Assistant Professor. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. patriarchy.
He has lectured at Radcliff. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy.´ and democracy. 1946. HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. it was widely criticized as absurd. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973. He believes that society has become far too complacent. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination.or ways of avoiding thinking -. 3 The barrier that causes society to not extend rights to animals is their view that these species are fundamentally different. and ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in 1998. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. THE REPRODUCTION REVOLUTION: NEW WAYS OF MAKING BABIES (co-author with Deane Wells) in 1984. Women were given the Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. they merely need different considerations. ³But some of the controversy arises from the fact that he works on difficult and provocative topics and in many cases challenges long-established ways of thinking -. In 1998.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. sometimes quite vehemently. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980. Instead.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. At age 30. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. we classify members of other species as undeserving. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985.wcdebate. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971.about them. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. New York University. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics.com . For example. La Trobe University. but that society has since realized its mistake. Monash University. RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. As the President of the University noted. INDIVIDUALS. MARX in 1980. While at Monash University. Australia on July 6. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. HEGEL in 1982. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor). PRESENT TECHNIQUES. Now. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969.
Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. 6 This consideration is based on two things. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. moral capacity. But if a creature can suffer. Fundamentally. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason.com . and the second is if they have interests. a new criteria becomes necessary. is not descriptive of they way beings are. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. creates divisions between humanity. His critics often ask. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and use them to do our labor. In his All Animals are Equal. Singer notes that. would that be ok? Singer responds with another hypothetical situation: would the experimenter be prepared to conduct the study using a human infant? If he is not. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population.wcdebate. Furthermore. I shall argue. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. wear them. rather. differing abilities to communicate effectively. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. If a creature cannot suffer. they come with differing moral capacities. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. We eat them. or other matters. 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. and a decision can cause that suffering. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. strength. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. however. Singer. That is. however.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. is sentience. and not merely an assertion of fact. Equality. then it is simple discrimination. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals. differing intellectual abilities. Singer explains that if fails since our interests are constructed to always be in conflict with other species. This would mean that individuals with mental defects still would not be included. like intelligence. according to Singer. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. 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. Dogs. But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as noted above. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. then they cannot have interests. Thus. we will never give equal consideration.
This would include brain-damaged people. chickens. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity. Therefore. would be considered persons. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. too focused on people. Singer writes. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. like dogs and bears. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. and more specifically. Since those persons depend on the environment. many animals. and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life.com . SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth. After all. Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He also explains. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. . Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. those with some forms of psychosis. However. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality. few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor. 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. Again. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. 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.wcdebate. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. and fish. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. . to plants. Those who advocate this position. who details that every living organism has a will to live. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. be right to kill him. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. therefore. human embryos. In PRACTICAL ETHICS.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. an environmental ethic that is based on human needs does not often differ in policy recommendations from an environmental ethic based on the biosphere as its center. human fetuses. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. However. and that even plants are pursuing their own good. those with significant mental retardation. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. however.
From a utilitarian perspective. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics. Hare takes the position that it is not. Most importantly.com . However. that is. an understanding of a position. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. engaging the argument still yields some debate. the painful ways in which they are killed. is no justification for a lack of action. the way we should strive to make things. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. whether is causes more benefit than harm. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm. especially citizens of a democracy. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering. Here. The second is that in Singer¶s work. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. Any advocacy of valuing progress.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. growth. The question then becomes. however. The first is that it is revisionary. humanity. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. This perception that philosophy is not just for the academically inclined and is not to be merely kept in books and the classroom helps to distinguish Singer from not only his contemporaries but philosophers throughout history. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. First. 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. the disease and filthy living conditions. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. that is. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. 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. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died.wcdebate. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. but to change it. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the absence of a benefit is not harm. He says. than no life at all. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. etc. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified.M. Second. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. The confinement that these animals endure. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. 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. even if it is a short one. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. Singer claims that proximity.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. In Democracy and Disobedience. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. facts matter. it must cause suffering. or the distance between an individual and a famine.
Essays on Bioethics. 6 Peter Singer. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. or student.M. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. as an issue itself.´ 17 A critical discussion of what makes beings equal must escape the normalcy of an assumption that humans are and animals aren¶t. All Animals are Equal. Wesley J. 1993. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable. in moral and political philosophy. 7 Peter Singer. 16 Dale Jamieson. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement.frontpagemag. 8 Peter Singer.frontpagemag.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. All Animals are Equal.com . Democracy and Disobedience. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. 10 Smith. All Animals are Equal. All Animals are Equal. 5 Peter Singer.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. All Animals are Equal. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as. 13 Holmes Rolston. 1973. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity.wcdebate. All Animals are Equal. Hare.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. All Animals are Equal. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 15 Peter Singer. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. http://www.princeton. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. medicine. 9 Peter Singer. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. 1999.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. and use animals to further human aims. and academics. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 14 R.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. 1999. 17 Peter Singer.edu/~uchv/index. http://www. ³It is the significant problem of equality. 4 Peter Singer. 1993. 1998 3 Peter Singer.com/ 11 Smith. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. December 7. Wesley J.
Peter. 1975). SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. Jamieson. Pojman. Singer. (Oxford: Oxford University Press.. Louis J. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS.M. 1993). (Belmont. Singer. R. Singer.com . (New York: Review/Random House. (Oxford: Claredon Press. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. 1997). Peter. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball. Hare. 1973). (Malden. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ETHICS. Peter. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 1999). (Lanham. Dale.wcdebate. 2nd ed. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002). ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1993). Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Singer. Terrence and Richard Dagger. Peter. Singer. PRACTICAL ETHICS. 1994). 1998). (New York: Longman. Peter.
SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. In other words. 1789. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place. instead of building on our natural impulses. they necessarily have selves. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. as well a more conversable animal. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason . there is the very real danger that. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. then we will not see why it is morally significant. old. or worse. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. p. that form of hypocrisy that 9as has often been said of such ³lovers of humanity´ as Rousseau and Marx) adores the species but deplores almost every individual of it. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. 1999.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.. p. since animals have experiences. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. 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. Can they suffer? 2. The basic biological sense we seek. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but.by Frege¶s point. however noble their object or intent. Solomon. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. the villosity of the skin. what would it avail? The question is not. McGinn.69. called agape. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose.wcdebate. But suppose they were otherwise. 3. may instead undermine them. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. than an infant of a day. XVII. or a week. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. 1999. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. The danger is that reason. or the termination of the os sacrum. rather. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1.com . are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. This may seem like a major provision. 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. or even a month. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C.subjects of experience. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals.. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain.) So. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. ch. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. Austin. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. Philosopher and Jurist. 152153.. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. in other words. the social sense as such.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. Critics often accuse Mr.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior. Linares cradles him in his arms until. They ³just know´ what to do. be right to kill him. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. it would. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. So. Singer of being cold-hearted. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. Then Linares puts down the gun and. writer. 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. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. 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. Cook County charged Mr. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. 1989. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. In such cases. standing in a hospital ward. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive." That was April 26. weeping.wcdebate.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. Solomon. FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. September 6.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. Therefore. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. gives himself up.com . THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. and Singer knows that. the child dies. p. half an hour later. 1999.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. 10 March 2000.73. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?. but the criminal case was over by May. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. when a grand jury refused to indict him. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. The New Yorker. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. Of course. The Chronicle of Higher Education. too.must not be so engineered. 3. Linares with first-degree murder. she doesn¶t calculate it. 1999. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. Austin. according to the total view. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. np.
too. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. part of culture rather than nature. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. 1967. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. We. The characteristics. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. just as it would be unfair. but as normal for the species. too. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. and yet not accept it at all. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm. 1999. with its own standards of normality. to steal from a blind man. But compassion. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. p. p. but because rationality is the human norm. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. one could argue. 62ff. are rational. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. 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. 1967.. We are. 69. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. Solomon. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. involves a certain distance. by reason of not possessing these characteristics. we can understand that. Austin.if. that is.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. It too.wcdebate. 3. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. and therefore claims. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. p. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. and not just ordinarily dishonest. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings. our habits. above the food chain. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species.com . We are not merely at the top of the food chain.. 62ff. 2. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational.. in an important sense.. our breeding patterns. If we do not think in this way about dogs. therefore. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims. for instance. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe.
the emotional sense that what happens to other matters.. My argument. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. 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. 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. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. p. are not 100% novel. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments. and they might not be sentiments of equality.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings. 3. p. is that Singer. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. For example. np.com . Nonetheless. in a sentence. simply because they are men. 75. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. Let me begin with the easiest one. At the same time one noticed a small kitten.According to Singer. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. At the same time. and most people seem to. a pet owner and so on. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. 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´). 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. are from a different country. 134-135.wcdebate. simply because they are humans. that some people have a different skin color. p. As Singer discusses the principle.. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. 1999. Austin. If we have a hard time grasping his view. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. 2. Reason. They may not be dominant. are of a different gender. The danger..Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. 1999. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. my number three. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. on the other hand. a zoo goer. However. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS... seemingly hungry and crying. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. I want to argue that what allows the circle to expand is not reason (in the technical sense of calculation on the basis of abstract principles) but rather knowledge and understanding in the sense of coming to appreciate the situations and the circumstances in which other people and creatures find themselves. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. Solomon. In most cases. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1.´ Thus. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. according to Singer. however. According to this principle. 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. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. 1999. and it requires care and concern. Professor at Webster University.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?