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WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
American Political Philosophy
Edited by Matt Taylor, Jim Hanson, and Brian Simmonds Written and Researched by Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, Sarah Stone
PHILOSOPHERS JAMES MADISON ALEXANDER HAMILTON RALPH WALDO EMERSON JOHN DEWEY WOODROW WILSON FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT TOM HAYDEN HOWARD ZINN JOSEPH NYE, JR. RALPH NADER LANI GUINIER THEDA SKOCPOL bell hooks PETER SINGER
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WEST COAST DEBATE
PHILOSOPHER AND VALUE HANDBOOK VOLUME 9
Edited by Brian Simmonds, Matt Taylor, and Jim Hanson Written and Researched by
Audrey Mink, Brian Ward, Emily Cordo, Jeff Shaw, Keola Whittaker, Matt Stannard, and Sarah Stone
About this Handbook The Philosopher and Value Handbook introduces you to arguments, values and philosophers. This volume focuses on American thinkers in philosophy and political theory who will be useful in Lincoln-Douglas value debates. Each chapter begins with an essay explaining the life, work, and ideas of each thinker. It concludes with evidence quotations that attack and defend the philosopher's ideas. Using the arguments in this Handbook We encourage you to read the briefs you will use. Highlight (underline) the key lines you will use in the evidence. Cut out our evidence, incorporate your and others¶ research and analysis and make new arguments. File the materials so that you can easily retrieve them for debate rounds. Practice reading the evidence outloud. Practice applying the arguments to your opponents¶ positions. Practice defending your arguments in rebuttal speeches. Use West Coast Handbooks as a Beginning We hope you enjoy our handbook and find it useful. In saying this, we want to make a strong statement that we make when we coach and that we believe is vitally important to your success: DO NOT USE THIS HANDBOOK AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Instead, let it serve as a beginning. Let it inform you of important arguments, of how to tag and organize your arguments, and to offer citations for further research. Don¶t stagnate in briefs--build upon them by doing your own research. Use the essays to brainstorm research areas and use the evidence and bibliographies as a starting point for your exploration. In doing so, you¶ll use our handbook to become a better debater. Photocopying West Coast Handbooks Our policy gives you the freedom to use the handbook for educational purposes without violating the hard work that we put into the handbook. You can photocopy this handbook under the following circumstances: 1. You can make multiple copies of up to five pages of each West Coast handbook for a class handout. 2. You can make multiple copies of briefs that include evidence from this handbook as long as these photocopied briefs are significantly different from the ones in this handbook and include a significant number of pieces of evidence from sources other than a West Coast handbook. You may not electronically share or distribute this handbook with anyone other than those on your team. For other situations, you can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek our consent.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
JAMES MADISON ................................................................................................................................. 5 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 10 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE ..................... 11 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT ........................................ 12 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY ...................... 13 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS .......... 14 ALEXANDER HAMILTON................................................................................................................. 15 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 19 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED ................ 20 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD................................................................................ 21 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY.................................................................................. 22 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST ........................................................................................ 23 THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS ................................................................................................................. 24 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 29 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR.............................. 30 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION...................................... 31 AN ANTI-FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT WOULD BE UNSAFE AND INEFFECTIVE....................... 32 FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS .................................. 33 RALPH WALDO EMERSON .............................................................................................................. 34 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 39 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE ..................................................................................................... 40 POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR......................................................................... 40 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT................................................................................. 41 CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE, TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ............................. 41 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION.................... 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE ................... 43 JOHN DEWEY ..................................................................................................................................... 44 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 49 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING ....................................................................................... 50 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS ........................................................................ 51 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY .......................................... 52 DEWEY¶S JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ARE FLAWED ...................................................... 53 DEWEY¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IGNORES HUMAN NATURE AND HISTORY ....................... 53 WOODROW WILSON......................................................................................................................... 54 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 59 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS................................................................ 60 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE............................................ 61 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM ........................................ 62 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE, BUT REPRESSIVE ............................. 63 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT .................................................................................................................. 64 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 68 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT .............................................................. 69 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT .................................................................................. 70 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION .................. 71 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE ........................................................ 72 TOM HAYDEN..................................................................................................................................... 73 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 77 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE......................................................... 78 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM .............. 79 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE ................. 80 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE, BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE ............................. 81
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..................... 148 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN ........................................................................................................................................ 89 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED .......................................................West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook............................................... 87 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED .....................................................................................................................................................................com ............. 139 PETER SINGER ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 128 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE ....... 106 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST ................................................................................................................................ 109 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE .................................................................................................................................................. 145 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM .............................. 110 LANI GUINIER .......................................................... 129 MATERNALISM IS FLAWED ..................... 146 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL ....................................................................................................................................................................... 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................. ................................... 116 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM ................. 99 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED ........................................ 147 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 138 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY.................................................... 92 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................... 91 JOSEPH NYE.......... 130 bell hooks......................................................................................................................................................................................... JR.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 98 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG ............................ 82 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................... 136 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST ............................................................................................................................................................................. 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE ........................................................................................... 149 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www........... 118 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY ..... 135 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE .......... 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................... 97 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING ................................... 100 RALPH NADER ............................................................................... 88 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ............................................................................. 140 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................................................................. 137 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE ....... 120 THEDA SKOCPOL ............. 127 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED ................... Volume 9 Page 4 HOWARD ZINN............................. 107 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS ............................................................................................................. 126 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD . 117 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY ........................................................................................................................................................... 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................... 96 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY ........................... 108 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY.................. 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................wcdebate... 90 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS .............
when he served on the Virginia delegation in the Continental Congress. The problem as he saw it was too great a regional identification.James Madison was a unique member of the group known as the Founding Fathers.com . he often split with co-author Alexander Hamilton on the issues of the day. Indeed. was that of ancient lawgivers like Solon and Lycurgus. the avoidance of oppression. A Constitutional Convention was necessary ± but not for the reasons you might suspect. Volume 9 Page 5 JAMES MADISON Every academic field has its schemes of classification.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. standing 5" 4" and weighing about 100 pounds. and then discuss the ideas he brought to the table. president. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. Madison scholars agree today ± what Madison and the boys wanted to do was (in Rosen¶s words) ³to circumvent the people. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which he identified in THE FEDERALIST PAPERS as factionalism. Not easily categorizable. Madison wondered how a more effective national government might take shape. Most importantly. As a result. As COMMENTARY MAGAZINE¶s Gary Rosen put it: Every academic field has its schemes of classification. His idea on the separation of church and state. Madison didn¶t adhere devoutly to the party line of any of the three major factions (Federalist. as opposed to a myopic concern for individual states and localities. and the structure of representative government remain influential. Seriously. is often placed into one or another ideological box.S. both of his vice presidents passed on in office. in fact. is often placed into one or another ideological box. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. There is no denying the usefulness of these labels. showing his freedom from dogmatism. We¶ll begin by examining the manner in which Madison busted onto the nation scene in 1780. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. reasons of enlightened men crafting a document in the best interests of all. one of the youngest. a nationalist or an advocate of states¶ rights. THE LIFE OF MADISON It is with this problem that James Madison enters the picture. As a result. Madison was an important figure in the early political life of the country. though: Madison was the smallest U. It is said that he is a liberal or a republican. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions.wcdebate. and I have gladly availed myself of them on many occasions. Without a predominant concern for the nation as a whole. like the other leading figures of his generation. 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. including George Clinton. he suggests in Federalist 38. Madison feared no effective national government could be formed. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. No. Though he was a co-author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. like the other leading figures of his generation. and this is especially true when dealing with a thinker of Madison¶s depth. anti-Federalist. though. When the Articles of Confederation began to fail. a follower of the "court" party or of its "country" rival. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. Madison was much younger than many of the other founders. James Madison. and scholarship on the American founding is no different. even if just temporarily. Reports that Madison and Clinton invented ³The Funk Bomb´ to contribute to the national defense are unverified. who died in office in 1812. or Democratic-Republican) of the time." The example to follow. Interestingly enough. He stepped onto the political scene in 1780. Madison eventually concluded that constitutional conventions were a necessary device for allowing those like himself--those whom he called 'the most enlightened and influential patriots'--to escape from the hold of democratic institutions. James Madison. Madison was original thinker given to philosophy. But taxonomies seldom do justice to individuals.
one must take care to build in safeguards against this. getting ahead of myself ± but I couldn¶t help it. ³Tyranny of the Majority. In organizing a republican democracy. even though that person is unqualified and unworthy of the job. 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. needs and desires.´ Reciprocity is the notion that what one group does to another is reciprocal ± what goes around comes around. the majority is inherently self-interested. The majority voting bloc is probably not going to be together in unanimity until the end of time. like John Ashcroft.´ But here¶s where Madison¶s principle of reciprocity comes in: the majority might be self-interested. Madison is famous for his advocacy of a federal system with checks and balances to provide stability and satisfy most all interest groups. As a philosophically inclined individual. 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. People will vote to actualize their own wants.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the self-interested majority worries that the minority may attract defectors from the majority and become the next governing majority itself. This does happen in politics all the time. Hence. and hence have the power to govern. Either they will become the next majority. (Sorry.com . Volume 9 Page 6 ³Paradoxical as it may sound. especially if that mass had coincident interests. Madison seems to have concluded that America would get a sound. The idea is that they might use their power to stifle the rights of others. MADISON ON THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Madison worried about the overarching power of a powerful mass of people. he was able to get what he wanted for that state. MADISON ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM As an author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Let¶s not belabor the point. 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." He did so through placing both substantive and procedural limits on democratic majority rule of the country.) What does the principle of reciprocity say? Let¶s get into that when we discuss the notion of majority tyranny itself before getting into what Madison thought that this condition might cause. or will merely have the power to make life miserable for the people who made their lives miserable over the past however many years. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. after all. he had ideas about what the ideal state would look like. You often see a good soldier get rewarded with a plum position when his or her party takes power.wcdebate. This includes the existence of the electoral college and the bicameral legislature system. This might cause problems where the majority runs roughshod over the rights of the minority ± hence. Madison is famous for having sought to avoid "the tyranny of the majority. As a skillful politician. the majority will look to the long-term. Majority group members will worry that the minority may attract defectors from the majority group. but they aren¶t blind. Thus. We¶ll examine the criticisms of Madison below. The safeguards are based on what Madison termed ³the principle of reciprocity. Let¶s just say ³it worked´ and move on. where the House of Representatives is thought to represent the masses and the Senate the landed elite. What might that mean? Well.
minority preference laws) that may either alienate their political support base ± or attract minority members. he warned that it might become "a motive to persecution and oppression. then the potential for abuse is minimized. and Madison had a key role to play in it all. Power is to be kept as separated as possible among interest groups and even elected officials. he believed that separating the two institutions served religion best as well. organic food labeling laws. Again. Indeed. did best when it was unencumbered from the mandates of a state apparatus. he had this to say: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. While his father was an Episcopalian. Their charges have serious merit. The politician always has to be on the lookout ± just ask Bill Clinton. who betrayed his core constituency with Republican style policies to the tune of sweet re-election." Madison wrote. This helps to explain his support for what we today call the separation of church and state. Volume 9 Page 7 So winning candidates don¶t have to ONLY pay attention to the majority. written in June 1785. this is part of the logic of the federal system." The debate raged on. MADISON ON RELIGION Madison had serious doubts about the role religion played in public life. CRITICS OF MADISON People who criticize Madison (and generally Hamilton) do so on one basis: that he was an elitist who was interested in preserving the rights of wealthy white landowners and not much of anybody else.´ wasn¶t as pessimistic about the social utility of the church. 1787. where he argued that there was "little to be expected" from religion in a positive way. including one given at the Federal Convention on June 6. who warned of the deadly nature of a ³priest-ridden culture.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. with Jefferson and Madison on one side (though they split on many other issues. Could it "be a sufficient restraint? It is not pretended to be such on men individually considered.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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." Even Jefferson. with Jefferson considering Madison an aristocrat) and men like Patrick Henry and his supporters on the other. Number 10. This viewpoint manifested itself in 1784-85. 1787. is celebrated by Madison¶s acolytes as "the most powerful defense of religious liberty ever written in America. Knowing that most Americans didn¶t support granting the delegates to the Constitutional Convention the power to make a new government. He consistently repeated these views in speeches of the time. He wrote in a pamphlet called MEMORIAL AND REMONSTRANCE a defense of these decisions." In the most famous of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Madison reasoned. In fact. The church. he kept his religious beliefs largely private. If power is temporary and fluid. as Madison consistently rejected tax support for religious institutions. The document. Speaking of potential for abuse. They¶ll be voting on tons of issues (road building bills. Even Madison¶s own words at the time provide a pretty damning indictment. In a memorandum entitled "Vices of the Political System" (1787) he express skepticism that religion could prevent oppression under a system of republican governance. The struggle continues to this day. Will its effects be greater on them considered in an aggregate view? Quite the reverse.com . a prominent issue in public life then as now was the role of religion. published November 22. he wrote "that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control.
and that bypassing that consent was unjust. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. and the summation of his argument. and acquires firmness and confidence. This "unreflecting multitude´ was. which time bestows on everything.´ he meant that the majority of Americans (still rural farmers. the third author of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS: ³the people who own the country ought to govern it. Volume 9 Page 8 We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. Jefferson said that if the federal government was to violate its own laws. Madison reasoned. including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. are antient as well as numerous. And in every other nation. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. IN CONCLUSION Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. not particularly wealthy) might gang up and plunder the rich. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. In a nation of philosophers. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. in Madison¶s view. and its practical influence on his conduct. the people must not be allowed or required to challenge every decision made by the ³better class of men´ ruling them. which Jefferson (and every sane person) thought were unconstitutional. Jefferson¶s first principles included the idea that government was only just with the consent of the governed. . which John Marshall¶s Supreme Court seemed destined to enforce.´ Jefferson also battled with Madison and Hamilton over the ³implied powers´ doctrine.com . when left alone. When the examples. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. like man himself is timid and cautious. the government must continue to go about its business as usual. having witnessed the first events of the French Revolution. which should be declared "void and of no force. His final shot at Jefferson. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. the people possessed a "natural right" to reject the acts. this consideration ought to be disregarded. Jefferson wrote a letter to Madison in 1789 as Jefferson was preparing to return to the United States after four years as ambassador to France. . and attacked both Madison and Hamilton for it. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. A reverence for the laws. The reason of man.´ Jefferson was a staunch critic of this viewpoint. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion.wcdebate. is contained in FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 49: As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. that "no such obligation can be so transmitted. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration. while this doctrine effectively gave the governing bodies power to do whatever they thought was best. Madison wanted to deliver power into the hands of a ³better sort´ of people ± the rich. which fortify opinion. Madison replies? In order to promote stability of government. they are known to have a double effect. Jefferson asked his colleague "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another?" He concluded. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. In order to stay away from factionalism and prevent the people from losing faith in government. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. the people Jefferson feared and mistrusted. the mass of American people. the powerful. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. Perhaps the defining quotation from this period and this viewpoint comes from John Jay. Jefferson believed that the federal government ought only have the powers expressly granted by the people." Jefferson would fight Madison on many policies over which they differed based on these principles. . When Madison said ³tyranny of the majority. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude.
like man himself is timid and cautious. frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In a nation of philosophers. would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason.wcdebate. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. The reason of man. which time bestows on everything. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. he had more influence than most any of them ± even Jefferson. which fortify opinion. Should we fall short of the necessary and proper point. this consideration ought to be disregarded. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself. All the most enlightened and respectable citizens will be its advocates. As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. . His FEDERALIST PAPERS are the most philosophical. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. this influential class of citizens will be turned against the plan. are antient as well as numerous. in proportion to the number with which it is associated. A reverence for the laws.We ought to consider what [is] right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Government. When the examples. and its practical influence on his conduct. And in every other nation. Even if you disagree with their ultimate conclusions. whose populist ideas lost out in the long run to Madison¶s aristocratic notions. .´ The youngest of the founding fathers. when left alone. Volume 9 Page 9 James Madison should be known for a lot more than being a short guy who had a wife named ³Dolley. to have the prejudices of the community on its side. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage. they are known to have a double effect.com . they¶re worth checking out. and acquires firmness and confidence. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. . and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude. and the most passionately argued. the most based in a sense of ethics. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
html and http://www. November 22. James Morton. "James Madison and the Social Utility of Religion: Risks vs. Mattern. Banning. ³Was James Madison an Original Thinker?´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. Richard K. Beard. Hutson.com. THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN JEFFERSON AND MADISON. University of Kentucky. THE LIFE OF JAMES MADISON: Indianapolis. James.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html and http://www.html.com . 1995. 2000. Brant.gov/loc/madison/symposium. March 16.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper. http://www. June 1997.loc. Irving." LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM.html. 2001. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. 2001. Marvin.com/federalist10. March 16. 1780-l792: Ithaca. March 16. David. ed. Smith. 2001..cato.loc.loc.html and http://www. http://www. Rewards. 1941-61.html.. THE MIND OF THE FOUNDER: SOURCES OF THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF JAMES MADISON. under the name Publius. 2002.H.gov/loc/madison/banning-paper. 1776-1826: New York.html and http://www. Z MAGAZINE. accessed April 22.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Meyers. http://federalistpapers.gov/loc/madison/symposium. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. All of Madison¶s FEDERALIST PAPERS are available at http://federalistpapers.loc. Charles historian. N.loc.´ LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES MADISON COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM. 1995.Y. Rosen. 1787.html. Lancej. Kans.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper.wcdebate. Matthews. THE SACRED FIRE OF LIBERTY: JAMES MADISON AND THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. http://www. IF MEN WERE ANGELS: JAMES MADISON AND THE HEARTLESS EMPIRE OF REASON: Lawrence. John. N. 1981. Library of Congress. ³James Madison: Federalist. Madison. 1995. ed.loc. November 15. Chomsky.. Lance. COMMENTARY MAGAZINE.. James. Volume 9 Page 10 BIBLIOGRAPHY Banning.. Va. 1997). Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.gov/loc/madison/rosen-paper. http://www. Gary. Noam. 10.loc. FEDERALIST PAPER No. 1912.html.org/dailys/11-15-00. Samples.. James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (Charlottesville. Hanover.
np. 10.wcdebate. Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. Some will say Ms. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. and that measures are too often decided.com . p. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY. By a faction. I understand a number of citizens. The instability. therefore.html. accessed April 22. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. both ancient and modern. 2000. p. Hillary Rodham Clinton.org/dailys/11-15-00. By that he meant that the Electoral College included both the will of the nation as expressed in the popular vote and the will of the states in a federal system (every state large or small gets two electors). adversed to the rights of other citizens. have. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. These must be chiefly. provides a proper cure for it. As Madison knew. and of public and personal liberty. 3. But that philosophy contravenes the spirit of our Constitution as expressed by its primary author. http://federalistpapers. 2002. http://www. or of interest. accessed April 22. What about the Electoral College? Madison thought it embodied the "federal will" of the nation. and confusion introduced into the public councils. Washington's newest celebrity. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. Clinton more credit than that. FEDERALIST PAPER No. as was wished and expected. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. Volume 9 Page 11 MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC MAKES FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE 1. It will be found. He found that fair given the influence of large states in other areas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. We should stick with Madison's idea of a federal republic and preserve the Electoral College. at the same time. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. 2.cato. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion. the evidence. Clinton opposes the Electoral College only because Al Gore might lose the presidency despite getting a plurality of the popular vote. He will not fail.html.com/federalist10. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. November 15. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. 2000. and. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. on a candid review of our situation. accessed April 22. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. but it will be found. 1787. Sen. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC CONTROLS FACTIONALISM AND VIOLENCE James Madison. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. without violating the principles to which he is attached. November 15. THE ³FEDERAL WILL´ IS MANIFESTED BY THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE John Samples. http://www. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.html. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. James Madison. to set a due value on any plan which. However the election turns out. indeed. proponents of pure democracy will call for the abolition of the Electoral College. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. and alarm for private rights. 2002. in truth. particularly.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.org/dailys/11-15-00. cannot certainly be too much admired. MADISON¶S IDEA OF A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL POLICY John Samples. November 22. equally the friends of public and private faith. Her opposition to the Electoral College is entirely in step with her underlying philosophy of government: centralizing liberalism. injustice. if not wholly. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. that our governments are too unstable. 2002. this amalgamation gave small and medium-sized states more leverage in presidential elections than they would have in a popular vote. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. is the latest convert to this cause. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party.cato. np. I give Ms.
np.com/federalist10. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. it clearly appears. accessed April 22. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. accessed April 22.wcdebate. CATO DAILY COMMENTARY.com . MADISONIAN FEDERALISM SOLVES FOR BETTER DEMOCRACY John Samples.html. http://www. November 22. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. p. Madison's point about federalism is also well taken. 1787. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. The inference to which we are brought is. in almost every case. director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute. FEDERALIST PAPER No. http://federalistpapers. in many cases. Theoretic politicians. at the same time. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions.com/federalist10. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. 1787.com/federalist10.is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. np. 10.org/dailys/11-15-00. who assemble and administer the government in person. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. p. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Does it.html. And we will do so just as bold policy successes in the states have shown the value of these "laboratories of democracy. FEDERALISM IS BEST James Madison. in fine. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. FEDERALIST PAPER No. FEDERALIST PAPER No. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. in controlling the effects of faction. 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. therefore. we will make it harder for the states to provide this essential defense of liberty. 2000. http://federalistpapers. Volume 9 Page 12 FEDERALISM IS KEY TO STABLE AND PROSPEROUS GOVERNMENT 1. PURE DEMOCRACY WOULD BE DIVISIVE AND FRACTIOUS: FEDERALISM IS BETTER James Madison.cato. their opinions. If we abolish the Electoral College. November 22. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. Nor. they would. and their passions. and render them all subservient to the public good. accessed April 22. 3. 2002. http://federalistpapers. 2002. A FEDERAL REPUBLIC IS MUCH BETTER THAN A DEMOCRACY James Madison. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. November 15. p. np. be felt by a majority of the whole.html. -. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. BECAUSE THE ENLIGHTENED WON¶T ALWAYS RULE. 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. np." 2. 10. 10. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. November 22. accessed April 22. who have patronized this species of government. p. and they hoped strong states would limit an expansive central government. 2002. 4. again. A common passion or interest will. increase this security.html. The Founders feared the arbitrary exercise of political power. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Hence. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. 1787. 2002. which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. In the extent and proper structure of the Union.
In the tenth number of The Federalist. but symptoms of a levelling spirit. 31. NOT DEMOCRACY Charles Beard. According to the equal laws of suffrage. In advocating a long term in order to give independence and firmness to the Senate. 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. MADISON¶S VIEW PROTECTED PROPERTY. in speaking on the problem of apportioning representatives. then was the main object of government. -. NOT PEOPLE Charles Beard. 1912. historian. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. the power will slide into the hands of the former. 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. correctly stated the sound historical fact when he declared: "Life and liberty were generally said to be of more value than property... a great majority of the people will not only be without land. Wilson. p. historian." Mr.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. the mind or sense of the people at large. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country.in which case the rights of property and the public liberty will not be secure in their hands. he added. p. 1912.aristocracy. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men. in support of the argument for a property qualification on voters. was the great object to which their inquiries had been directed. would prove that property was the main object of society. Madison urged: "In future times.com . under the influence of their common situation. 31. having such coexistent passion or interest. "the majority. as we have understood have sufficiently appeared. who urged that "the government ought to possess." and Mr. They were anxious above everything else to safeguard the rights of private property against any leveling tendencies on the part of the propertyless masses. to give notice of the future danger. and excess" of the representatives of the people by the ability and virtue of men" of great and established property -. in a certain quarter.wcdebate. but second.." 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. in concluding this splendid piece of logic." And again.Such an aristocratic body will keep down the turbulence of democracy. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. King also agreed that "property was the primary object of society. Madison warned the convention that in framing a system which they wished to last for ages they must not lose sight of the changes which the ages would produce in the forms and distribution of property. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". hence. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. the force. p. Governor Morris. Volume 9 Page 13 MADISONIAN FEDERALISM IS JUST AN EXCUSE TO CURB REAL DEMOCRACY 1. certainly it ought to be one measure of the influence due to those who were to be affected by the government. 1912. -. men who from pride will support consistency and permanency. MADISON WANTED 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. 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. MADISON ADMITTED FAVORING INEQUALITY Charles Beard. An accurate view of the matter. they will become the tools of opulence and ambition. Mr. Governor Morris wanted to check the "precipitancy." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. not only first. from which the rights of property originated.. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties.or." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2. 31. he contended. what is more probable. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and form of popular government. and in his opinion. in which case there will be equal danger on another side. These will either combine. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION." 3. but without any other sort of property. nevertheless.If property. historian." While these extreme doctrines were somewhat counterbalanced by the democratic principles of Mr. changeableness.
com . CAPITALISM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED THE WAY WE SHOULD SEE MADISON Noam Chomsky. or any government entity. In both principle and practice. there is a consensus that ``The Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period. and is crucially different from others in that one person's possession of such rights deprives another of them. MADISON WANTED TO PROTECT THE RICH MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY Noam Chomsky. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.'' a concept that doubtless would have shocked Madison and others with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -. estate.'' giving land to the landless. p. trust. Madison pointed out that in England.'' ``one of [the] favorite maxims'' of Madison's influential colleague John Jay. a personal right which must be privileged above all others. that these principles lost their force as the national territory was conquered and settled. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. One may argue. and anti-capitalist in spirit. The system that he and his associates were designing must prevent such injustice. corporation or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State). his biographer observes.'' To achieve this goal. he urged. branch. p. When the facts are stated clearly. An agrarian law would soon take place. typically material property. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. association.'' which are property rights.'' while the rest are marginalized and fragmented.'' he meant humans. ``to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.'' delivering power to a ``better sort'' of people and excluding ``those who were not rich. James Madison. 8. 8. Among Madisonian scholars. June 1997. the phrase ``rights of property'' means the right to property. When Madison spoke of ``rights of persons. But the formulation is misleading. as some historians do. if elections ``were open to all classes of people. by the late 19th century the founding doctrines took on a new and much more oppressive form. Furthermore. But the growth of the industrial economy. Madison declared. we can appreciate the force of the doctrine that ``the people who own the country ought to govern it.pre-capitalist. Z MAGAZINE. A CONSENSUS OF MADISONIAN SCHOLARS AGREES HE WAS AN ELITIST Noam Chomsky. partnership. the native population driven out or exterminated. June 1997. ```Person' is broadly defined to include any individual. It is the responsibility of government. whose views largely prevailed. the leading Framer of the constitutional system was an astute and lucid political thinker. and the constitutional system generally. 8. June 1997. political power must rest in the hands of ``the wealth of the nation. and ``secure the permanent interests of the country. and the rise of corporate forms of economic enterprise. well born. Volume 9 Page 14 MADISON WAS AN ELITIST WHOSE THEORIES FAVORED ONLY RICH LANDOWNERS 1. Whatever one's assessment of those years.'' men who would ``sympathize sufficiently'' with property rights and ``be safe depositories of power over them. In a current official document. offered only limited public participation in the political arena. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. sought to balance the rights of persons against the rights of property. led to a completely new meaning of the term. or prominent from exercising political power. Z MAGAZINE. Z MAGAZINE.wcdebate. In the debates on the Constitution. 3. Property has no rights. associated group. p.'' These conclusions are often qualified by the observation that Madison. 2.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
the letter contained some confidential cabinet information. Either way. and generally made himself a pain. Hamilton signed the new American Constitution for his state. 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. opinions that broke strongly from one notable politician of the era ± Thomas Jefferson. While Jefferson was not necessarily a states¶ rights proponent in the way we understand these terms today. he also offered a life of tragedy. making one legendary speech where he attacked the states¶ rights ideas of William Paterson. coercive. were extremely important during the early days of the United States. But of all the political ideas and economic philosophy that Hamilton offered to the world. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. After Washington died. He saw centralization of authority as necessary to protect essential functions.wcdebate. which Hamilton published (along with John Jay and James Madison) under the name Publius. Burr then PUBLISHED a copy of it. This model would have devices that would protect class and property interests. Let¶s start the process of remembrance with an exploration of his life. Volume 9 Page 15 ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton is probably best known as one of the authors of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. as an aristocrat.an aristocratic. When the Constitutional Convention was convened. centralized union that would be a representative republic. Hamilton constantly rebuked him in public. He would hold to this model in large measure for all his life. Hamilton was politically active throughout his life. After Adams was elected President. an influential series of pamphlets arguing for a federal constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel under George Washington for four years during the Revolutionary War. Shortly before the presidential election of 1800. While Hamilton intended to closely control distribution of his missive. In those papers. 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. Hamilton wrote a scathing letter attacking Adams.com . famously serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and encouraging the advance of federal power. was vocally against states¶ rights. HIS IDEAS Hamilton. He was the only delegate from New York to support the ratification of the constitution ± but he did so vociferously. Much of this is forgotten today. his political rival Aaron Burr secured a copy for himself. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Due to Hamilton¶s inside connections. blackening Hamtilon¶s eye and ratcheting up tension between Hamilton and Adams ± not to mention Hamilton and Burr. Hamilton cited the British government as the best model for the new government -. Either that.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This is one of many issues that he and Thomas Jefferson would clash on. One of those actions was to inflame Hamilton¶s feud with Aaron Burr as well. rebuke and scandal. an anti-federalist who would scrap mightily over those issues with Hamilton throughout their lives. making it available to the general public. then his ideas. talked to cabinet members in attempts to undermine Adams¶s policy. the leadership of the Federalist Party split between Hamilton and John Adams. 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 LIFE OF HAMILTON Hamilton started his career with military action during the revolt against British colonialism.
" Washington passed the Bank Bill in February of 1791. In fact.´ These ideas were later codified in the decisions of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power. In 1781 he promoted the idea that a nonexcessive public debt would be a good thing. "implied powers. opposed the project and intended to veto the bill. duties and other legislation designed to shelter fledgling industries. we would call this viewpoint ³protectionism. 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.´ Because Hamilton¶s economic ideas were so influential. Madison (with strict constructionist logic) claimed that the national bank was unconstitutional since the constitution did not explicitly approve such an institution. These doctrines meant that even if a role for the federal government was not explicitly stated. Hamilton¶s basic argument is a qualified version of one used by Madison himself in the Federalist. shortened to Republican. He wanted to protect the working classes against what he saw as the onset of aristocracy and monarchy. As early as 1776." and the "general welfare. impressive or important." Ironically. they became relatively widespread in the early days of the United States. or not immoral. who always mistrusted the financier set (and the federal government). This was also one of the most controversial agendas he advanced. Jefferson. Even then-President George Washington. the means are authorized. Today. Hamilton¶s staunch ally.´ This kind of liberal constructionism is deeply at odds with what is called ³strict constructionism. every particular power necessary for doing it is included.wcdebate. (no. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ as is often claimed. Hamilton was the Federalist¶s Federalist. Hamilton¶s logic: "[the government has] a right to employ all the means requisite. Because he advocated the constitutional doctrines of liberal construction." one could think of him as one of the first ³big government liberals. The Opinion sees Hamilton flesh out his view of the implied powers of the constitution. 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. The document argued for a system of protective duties designed to promote the interests of American businessmen and manufacturers. One of Hamilton¶s lasting legacies is the creation of a national bank. This is perhaps the most concrete consequence of Hamilton¶s idea of implied powers. and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution. he suggested the direct collection of federal taxes by federal agents ± a fairly radical stance in such an anti-tax climate. Jefferson was considered a Democratic-Republican. 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. His REPORT ON MANUFACTURERS (1791) was the first major departure from Adam Smith¶s WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776). allowing it to do things that many of the anti-Federalists opposed.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. he claims.com . or not contrary to the essential ends of political society.´ which argues that the federal government only gets to do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it gets to do. 44) that "wherever the end is required. America probably would not have successfully industrialized at all if not for Hamiltonian policies of protective tariffs. the legacy of Britain. was a vocal opponent of the national bank. HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS His economic ideas were no less radical. Hamilton¶s interpretation opens up the federal government¶s role considerably. They probably would not have agreed to the constitution if they had known some of the things he had in mind. Volume 9 Page 16 As labels of the day went.
punishable by fine and imprisonment. more centralized government." He referred (in his last letter on politics) to democracy as a ³disease. Hamilton¶s response: "It is a strange perversion of ideas. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as should be clear. HAMILTON¶S OPPRESSIVE IDEAS Hamilton¶s notion of a strong national government did err on the side of oppression at times. Twenty-five men were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down as a result of this legislation ± including Benjamin Franklin's grandson. Benjamin Franklin Bache. Madison¶s final assessment of Hamilton was written in 1831: "That he possessed intellectual powers of the first order. There are a lot of Hamiltonians still around in American politics. will only be more concentrated in each part. and consequently the more virulent. where Hamilton repeatedly ripped Burr in public speeches. More on that in our final section. his customary colleague. then his closest aide." For those of you that don¶t speak Old Uptight American. Perhaps the most balanced view came from Madison. editor of the Philadelphia DemocratRepublican Aurora." Again. At least he admitted it and didn't overtly destabilize the government. That culminated in the elections season of 1804. Perhaps his sternest rebuke to Hamilton came based on Jefferson¶s moral objections investment speculation. saying this behavior ³nourishes in our citizens vice & idleness instead of industry & morality. he pardoned all of those convicted.wcdebate. 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. His morals -. accusing him of engaging in a monarchical conspiracy. and as novel as it is extraordinary. disputed the geographical distribution of the benefits (Jefferson thought farmers would get screwed. as much due to his belief in free speech as to his desire to stick his thumb in Hamilton¶s eye. Allegedly. so get over it. my friends and I are rich. compared to Jefferson¶s continued desire to trust the public. "are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. These acts made illegal the publication of "any false. If some farmers lose out on their land and enterprises so that my friends and I can run the country." Such publications were made high misdemeanors. the translation from Old Uptight American: Hamilton preferred a more robust." he said. and the greater merit of co-operating faithfully in maturing and supporting a system which was not his choice. This is best evidenced by his warm support for the final form of the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. here¶s a translation: yeah. (When Jefferson was elected. confronting Washington with a list of 21 objections to Hamilton¶s proposed policies. that¶s a price I¶m willing to pay. which is democracy. and many other things. Volume 9 Page 17 Jefferson hated these economic ideas. scandalous and malicious writing. I know he was smart.´ saying that "a clear sacrifice of great positive advantages. Even sometime allies recognized the elitist tendency in Hamilton. And we¶re just going to get richer as the country grows. which the urban elite would benefit).com .) Hamilton constantly disputed Jefferson¶s claim that the general public should control government. administering no relief to our real disease. If his theory of government deviated from the republican standard he had the candour to avow it. "Men. has been awarded him by a suffrage now universal. at least he had SOME integrity and honor about him. the poison of which. without any counterbalancing good. Jefferson decried Hamilton¶s desire to increase the public debt. that men should be deemed corrupt & criminal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their Country." Hamilton¶s ideas seemed to Jefferson to be a lot closer to King George III than to any American thinker. and the moral qualities of integrity and honor in a captivating degree.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Aaron Burr had been a political rival of Hamilton¶s since at least 1777." This shows his opinion of the average American. These laws were mostly used to silence dissent. when Burr sent a contemptuous letter to Washington about Hamilton. and everyone else knew it too.well. by a subdivision. DENOUMENT We know about the scandal that ended up killing Hamilton.
Hamilton¶s note to his wife. ³Mr. Reynolds said that Hamilton could continue the affair so long as the money kept coming. One could make a strong case for Hamilton as the Bill Clinton of his day: both were extremely intelligent. Three congressmen -. They apparently did. But the Burr scandal wasn¶t the only hot water Hamilton found himself embroiled in. James Reynolds. At that point. That happened in 1792. went to Hamilton's office to confront him. That money had changed hands. As historian Lisa Marie de Carolis noted. Monroe et. Reynolds had evidence. and agreed to keep it quiet. . Hamilton actually followed through with physical violence against a political rival. Maria. And the money wasn¶t for speculation (though that is apparently how Reynolds used it ± proving Jefferson¶s maxim about the moral character of speculators). too. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. written directly before the duel with Burr. the public could be kept in the dark no longer. Hamilton was technically born illegitimate. the three congressmen were satisfied by Hamilton¶s explanation. And. Hamilton admitted he had given James Reynolds money -. but a BRIBE. and Frederick Muhlenberg ± thought they had found evidence that Hamilton was misappropriating government funds. that though he held "despicable" opinions of Burr. But it was not possible. while Clinton was the child of a single mother." No word on whether he penned a similar missive to James Reynolds¶ wife. a still more despicable opinion" of Burr.. When Reynolds found out he demanded ³satisfaction´ . A journalist reported to the country that Hamilton "could detail .Adieu best of wives and best of Women. until July 1797. is the final record from his life: "If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview. was bragging that Hamilton had given him money out of the treasury to play the stock market. It gets better. without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. and by the press). a shady character currently in jail.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and while Clinton merely threatened to bash William Safire in the nose. Hamilton was having an affair Hamilton with Reynolds' wife. Volume 9 Page 18 But he crossed the line when he said (at an event attended by a Burr supporter. It wasn¶t even the juiciest. al. it just ain¶t so ± and it¶s somewhat comforting that the politicians of days past were just as sleazy. he did not intend to fire at Burr. Reynolds was a clever pimp who was now harboring some very destructive information on one of the highest officials in the country.com . when Hamilton headed up the Treasury Department. in Sports Center parlance. . though he showed up to the duel and took a pistol. CONCLUSION When you learn about the so-called ³Founding Fathers´ in school. As I hope this essay makes clear. . my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. you get the impression that they were these morally upstanding men of a bygone era where honor was protected at all costs. it was on. motivated. and sexually predatory as the ones we see today. not the government's. greedy.James Monroe.money.´ Amazingly. both saw their records tarnished by stunning sex scandals. That¶s when it got weird.. Some Hamilton apologists insist that. Abraham Venable. natural politicians.but he said it was his own money. he had more dirt on him that he wouldn¶t dish just yet. when a pamphlet was published with the allegations. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate.
NATIONAL REVIEW. Lisa Marie.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Loyola University.rug. Stanley and Eric McKitrick. accessed April 29. 13. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1982. Morton J. October 19. Morton J. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Charles. AMERICAN. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Frisch. http://odur. Stanford: Stanford University Press. THE AGE OF FEDERALISM. Frisch. accessed May 1. 1961--79. Jacob E. Mellon Lecture. 1997.zmag. Gerald. 1991. Chomsky. Chomsky. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. Richard. 1993. ed. SELECTED WRITINGS AND SPEECHES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Miller. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. ALEXANDER HAMILTON. New York: Harper & Row.wcdebate. Cooke.. New York and London: Columbia University Press. Syrett. Stourzh.. Chicago. Brookhiser.org/chomsky/talks/9410-education. New York: The Free Press. ALEXANDER HAMILTON.2002.let. Washington/London: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. ed. University of Groningen. January 1995. 2002. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE IDEA OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. Harold C.html. Department of Alfa-informatica. senior editor. historian. p. ed. New York: Harper & Brothers. Cooke. 1970. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. Jacob E. Z MAGAZINE. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America. John C. Noam. New York. 1985. Volume 9 Page 19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Beard. Elkins.com . 1912. 1959. THE REPORTS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE POLITICAL ORDER.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00.htm. Noam. 1999. 1964. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. 1994 http://www. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: PORTRAIT IN PARADOX. de Carolis.
it has been said. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace.com/federalist7." 4. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property. accessed May 2. vindictive.wcdebate. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events.com . For the Independent Journal. http://federalistpapers. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence. np. accessed May 2. http://federalistpapers. p. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union.com/federalist6. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions.html. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. 2002. This has been so far accomplished as. For the Independent Journal. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? 3. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. that vicinity or nearness of situation. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. either by actual possession. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. 2. UNION IS THE ANTIDOTE TO HOSTILITY BETWEEN NATIONS Alexander Hamilton. 2002. http://federalistpapers. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. 1787. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. 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. 1787. np. 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. 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. p. however. November 14. http://federalistpapers. if these States should either be wholly disunited. accessed May 2.html. or only united in partial confederacies. would revive this dispute. p. This cause would exist among us in full force. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. Volume 9 Page 20 FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED 1. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN¶T PERFECT. November 15.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. November 14. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. constitutes nations natural enemies. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. and would create others on the same subject. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood.html. WE NEED A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT Alexander Hamilton. STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ARE NEEDED BECAUSE HUMANS ARE VINDICTIVE Alexander Hamilton. 1787. would be to forget that men are ambitious. 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. FEDERALIST PAPER # 7. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC. 1787. For the Independent Journal.com/federalist6. under a continuation of the Union. FEDERALIST PAPER # 6. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors.com/federalist6. TERRITORIAL DISPUTES CAUSE STRIFE: STRONG NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED Alexander Hamilton. 2002. and rapacious. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. in the event of disunion.html. np. 2002. This. November 14. For the Independent Journal. accessed May 2.
p. 3..let. As Lincoln repeatedly emphasized. Hamilton saw it as no less than an engine of national prosperity and a necessary ancillary to his overall plan. NOT FORCED EQUITY David Upham. thus creating more jobs and income sources for a burgeoning population. opposed to the principle of equality. This was Hamilton's most controversial position about which he was quite frank. Securing the support of the wealthy was only a first step in his complete economic picture. HAMILTON¶S NATIONAL BANK WAS AN ENGINE OF PROSPERITY Lisa Marie de Carolis. Hamilton reasoned. would prevent the corruption which might result if the bank were run by government officials as was the Bank of England. 2002.2002. Volume 9 Page 21 HAMILTON¶S ECONOMIC IDEAS WERE GOOD 1. provide capital for investments and industry. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. in the Directors of a Bank. Landed wealth.did not mean to say all were equal in. http://odur.com . HAMILTON¶S SUPPORT OF THE WEALTHY DIDN¶T INTEND TO CREATE ARISTOCRACY Lisa Marie de Carolis. They defined with tolerable distinctiveness." Independent Institute Website. of their own interest.wcdebate. "The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding. accessed May 1.html. accessed May 1.independent.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. the prosperity of the institution . 1997. would benefit the nation as a whole in the long run.¶ This they said and this meant.htm. He explained: "The keen. Private ownership. np. and. Industry would diversify labor. HAMILTON BELIEVED IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. whereas paper wealth was fluid. the equality proclaimed in the Declaration is not an equality in all respects.rug. their conception of human equality necessarily excluded equality of condition. and which would incite fierce protest on the part of those who feared that Hamilton aimed to create an aristocracy." 2." Moreover. in what respects they did considered all men created equal²equal in µcertain unalienable rights. was limiting and limited. moral developments. provide a uniform currency. and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself. and loan the government money in times of emergency. 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. pointing invariably to its true pole. Hamilton envisioned a strong economy in which everyone could participate and profit. although not necessarily equitable. Department of Politics.. The "authors of that notable instrument. accessed May 1. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. http://www. in their understanding. 1997. among which are life.intellect. The bank proposed by Hamilton would be a national institution run by a private board of directors. magnetic sense. liberty. abilities which were by nature unequal.org/tii/students/GarveyEssay97Upham.." Hamilton explained that a national bank would provide a safe depository for government funds. http://odur.rug. Department of Alfa-informatica. as proprietors.htm.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. simply drawing on realities that he felt. . and that the equal right to employ unequal talents would necessarily lead to economic inequality. The accumulation of wealth was not Hamilton's goal.2002.let.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. Department of Alfa-informatica. University of Groningen. They believed that everyone had an equal right to exercise his individual abilities to acquire property. as usual. steady. and opened up wider vistas in international trade and domestic industrialization. University of Dallas. regulate banking practices around the country. and the pursuit of happiness. . he wanted to encourage the use of private wealth for beneficial enterprises. University of Groningen. The Founders¶ attachment to economic freedom was in no way. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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). 1997. Hamilton was.. represented by the Virginia opposition. as it were. 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.
We may recall. Z MAGAZINE. 13. an important victory. HAMILTON BELIEVED DEMOCRACY WAS A GREAT BEAST. 1912. 13. being independence. sometimes quite literally. he "had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit. attitudes that led to Wilson's Red Scare." Mr. that fear of democracy and freedom has always been one of the factors motivating the terror and sometimes outright aggression undertaken to eliminate "rotten apples" that might "spoil the barrel" and "viruses" that might "infect others. Volume 9 Page 22 HAMILTON WAS OPPOSED TO DEMOCRACY 1. The basic attitudes coming into this century were expressed very clearly by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. observed "that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored.com . p. They feel. that some check therefore was to be sought for against this tendency of our governments. speaking for a host of others). as Jefferson's fears and Bakunin's predictions were increasingly realised. sometimes in chains of dogma and deceit. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. Gerry. January 1995.org/chomsky/talks/9410education. Eighty years earlier Alexander Hamilton had put it clearly. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. but it is being caged. 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.zmag. in passing. p. Loyola University. preserved to posterity by Mr. October 19. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION. of course." in the terminology favored by leading planners -. Restating the Doctrine without equivocation. That's Hamilton. safeguarded on the one hand against the possibilities of despotism and on the other against the onslaught of majorities. These ideas have become ever more entrenched in educated circles. January 1995." or even influential." 4. 1994." Mr. 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. in advocating a life term for Senators. that they can dismantle the social contract that has been in some measure achieved. whatever cast it takes. np. that. Robert Lansing. Mellon Lecture.wcdebate. in offering to the consideration of the convention his plan of government. accessed April 29. Indeed. Chicago. HAMILTON FEARED DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM Noam Chomsky. HAMILTON SOUGHT TO PRESERVE THE POWER OF THE RICH Noam Chomsky. The architects of policy can move on to establish a utopia of the masters based on the values of greed and power. Madison. 2002. 31. but now perceive that they can do better. historian. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. shows conclusively that the members of that assembly were not seeking to realize any fine notions about democracy and equality. The beast may not yet be tamed. Randolph. the masters have long sought to contain popular struggles to expand the range of meaningful democracy and human rights. It therefore became necessary to renew with much greater intensity the constant campaign to tame and cage that "great beast. Professor of Linguistics at MIT. and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose. COMMON PEOPLE A MENACE Noam Chomsky. 3.the main concern. the evils they had experienced flowed "from the excess of democracy. perhaps rightly. Hamilton. as it was called. every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. He said there was the idea that your people are a great beast and that the real disease is democracy. as he believed the Bolsheviks intended. Lansing warned of the danger of allowing the "ignorant and incapable mass of humanity" to become "dominant in the earth. That's the hysterical and utterly erroneous reaction that's pretty standard among people who feel that their power is threatened. every page of the laconic record of the proceedings of the convention. rolling back the threat posed by the "great beast" that keeps trying "to plunder the rich" (Alexander Hamilton and John Foster Dulles. 2. HAMILTON THOUGHT THE ³WELL BORN´ SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY Charles Beard.html." as Alexander Hamilton termed the "people" with horror and indignation as he was laying the foundations for state-guided industrial democracy." and he confessed that while he was still republican. In the mind of Mr. which destroyed labour and independent thought for a decade. in tracing these evils to their origin.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. p. Z MAGAZINE. urged that "all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born and the other the mass of the people who seldom judge or determine right. http://www.
by the system of checks and balances placed in the government. from the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately resulted. Volume 9 Page 23 HAMILTON WAS AN ECONOMIC ELITIST 1. makes "country gentlemen" out of wealthy merchants. HAMILTON¶S GOVERNMENT IDEAS FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE RICH Charles Beard. the protection of these faculties was the first object of government. In the tenth number of The Federalist. indebts the nation to foreign powers. the "invigorating principle" which would infuse the United States with the energy and international respectability he had envisioned. with variations more suited to the United States' unique characteristics. Hamilton pointed out. Nevertheless. he contended.htm.. warning that a funded debt necessitates oppressive taxes to pay the interest. Hume observed. 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. University of Groningen. HAMILTON IGNORED HUME¶S WARNINGS ABOUT THE SYSTEM HE FAVORED Lisa Marie de Carolis. Hamilton based his program primarily on the British model. and a more diverse economy. Hume felt that the evils greatly outweighed the advantages. np. having such coexistent passion or interest. Hamilton dismissed Hume's warnings and instead focused on the positive aspects of national credit. the unequal distribution of wealth inevitably led to a clash of interests in which the majority was liable to carry out its policies at the expense of the minority. historian. Department of Alfa-informatica. creates dangerous disparities in wealth. was impossible on account of the diversity in the faculties of men." while the Senate was to preserve the rights of property and the interests of the minority against the demands of the majority. from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensued a division of society into different interests and parties. Department of Alfa-informatica. In order to stimulate the economy." Uniformity of interests throughout the state. the availability of which enables merchants to engage in more extensive trade enterprises. the convention safeguarded the interests of property against attacks by majorities." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." 3. 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.com .nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. and renders the stock holders largely idle and useless for everything but playing the market. Hume emphasized the many evils of a credit-based economy. 2. Hamilton needed big investors. whereas paper capital fosters a more international mentality. accessed May 1. Securities. The support and capital of the nation's wealthiest citizens would provide the foundation and security of his system. p. http://odur. but pointed out some advantages to a credit-based economy. 1997.rug. in concluding this splendid piece of logic. 1997. he added.htm. .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Mr. "the majority.let. Mr. Hume contended. Hume in particular was cautionary about the British system. the continuing vitality of the British economy was enough to prove the efficacy of their system. which in turn makes commodities cheaper and easier to procure. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Public credit was to become the pillar of Hamilton's fiscal reform package.rug. 2002. A Biography of Alexander Hamilton. and thus helps spread "arts and industry throughout the whole society.wcdebate. 1912. HAMILTON RELIED ON THE WEALTHY ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH STATE POWER Lisa Marie de Carolis. 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. "was so formed as to render it particularly the guardian of the poorer orders of citizens. The House of Representatives. and in his opinion. np. hence. FRAMING THE CONSTITUTION.let. 2002. must be rendered by their number and local situation unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression". University of Groningen. http://odur. 31.nl/~usa/B/hamilton/hamil00. from which the rights of property originated. However.. p. provide ready capital with the value and function of specie.No plan could succeed which does not unite the interest and credit of rich individuals with that of the state." Landed wealth. accessed May 1.
These papers. However. seemed to the Federalists a clear signal that a new Constitution was needed. HISTORICAL CONTEXT The driving issues in early American political theory arose as a response to the treatment of the original colonies by Great Britain. Although the new Constitution was passed largely the way that the Federalists hoped it would be. 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. The contingent of people who felt that the proposed Constitution had too strong of a Central government were known as the Anti-Federalists. it is important to keep in mind that terminology changes. there is not an established number to each document or speech that constituted Anti-Federalist contributions to the political debate. or Madison) is well documented. and partially to the fact that history has not glorified their accomplishments as it has the Federalists. They felt that the essence of democracy could only be carried out on a small scale. written by Alexander Hamilton.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Contemporary readers might feel as if these terms are backwards. many called for some kind of reform. with that of the Anti-Federalists being one of the most extreme. the Anti-Federalists are no mere moment in history. some of the major figures behind the movement. Although far from universally read at the time ± the pamphlets were mostly published in New York ± a group of 85 documents which came to be known as the Federalist Papers came to be the most famous articulation of Federalist views. amending the Articles required unanimity among the states. regulate commerce. and the various potential pros and cons to such a political system. James Madison. supported a more direct democracy. Moreover. notably the Shays Rebellion that occurred in Massachusetts for half a year before it could be quelled. Anti-federalists. 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. The American Revolution came about for a myriad of reasons. First. This essay will explore the context surrounding the Anti-Federalists. all connected to the desire to have independence from the tyrannical rule of the British monarchy. who did which paper (Hamilton. therefore. Even though the Federalist Papers bore the same pen name. but instead have had a profound influence upon the entirety of American politics. and John Jay under the pseudonym ³Publius. Jay.wcdebate. but it is not always conclusive which actual person lies behind what name. Therefore the issue of liberty was foremost in the minds of Americans when considering how to craft a government of their own. the Anti-Federalists were not as organized in their publications. the identity of the authors of the Anti-Federalist papers is not always known. support for it was by no means unanimous. There have been a variety of different approaches to that question over the years. The Anti-Federalists also used pseudonyms borrowed from past figures from Rome (as well as other names). Viewing these and many other aspects of the Articles as deep flaws. 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. During the time of various Constitutional Conventions. The Confederation could not collect taxes.´ advocated a much stronger central government than what the Articles provided. Secondly. The inability of the federal government to take care of a lot of problems. which established a very limited central government with strong powers left to the individual states. as opposed to the republican government that connected to the citizens only via mediating representatives.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This is partially due to the less organized nature of the Anti-Federalists. This federalist camp by and large supported the proposed Constitution that was being debated at the Conventions. Anti-Federalist differ from the Federalist Papers in a few significant ways. the benefits of which were lost in such a massive government. or a great many other things that are matter of course for the federal government today. The first attempt was guided by the Articles of Confederation. Given their position in history as one of the main political groups at the time of the crafting of the Constitution. a great deal of writing was done by various political figures that advocated different positions on what direction the country ought to take.
it is typically meant to designate the bureaucracy. No. but they would also stress that said governing body has to be concerned with a vastly smaller area than the US currently is.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. While the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial signing of the Constitution. Anti-Federalism is an entirely different view of what government means than is considered in contemporary political discourse.com . Clinton acquiesced. 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´. Henry did not support the Constitution that was eventually passed in 1787. 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. Henry associated the Federalist supporters with the kind of aristocracy that the Revolutionary War was meant to free America from. Even were polling perfectly accurate. while they share some of the same beliefs. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and only samples a small part of the population. ideas. but when it was approved by the requisite nine states at the Convention in his very own state. that the government has.´ ³Old Whig. and later would become Vice President for both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.´ or ³Federal Farmer´ may be an ongoing debate. Clinton despised Madison. it was promised to be included by Congress shortly thereafter. Especially given the US¶s self-proclaimed status as a melting pot of races. or amount of control. Since potential actions to be taken by Congress are almost never a black and white issue. For one. And it is true that Anti-Federalists would argue for a less massive government. the problem of majority tyranny arises. some of the more important figures in the theory are well known.´ Clinton did his best to block ratification of the Constitution.wcdebate. This is democracy at its most tenuous. The inclusion of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution is owed in part to Patrick Henry. Clinton authored some of the Anti-Federalist papers that were published under the name ³Cato. 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. Today what we have is a republic. Ironically he ended up Vice-President to Madison. This ensures that oftentimes the majority opinion does not even constitute over half of the population. One such person is Patrick Henry. When the words ³big´ or ³small´ are used to describe governments today. and others. one of his greatest criticisms of it was the lack of any explicit limitations upon the powers of the federal government. while he never supported the Constitution. the thread running through them all was a mistrust of too massive a government. where representatives are elected with the supposed task of voicing the opinions of all of the people in Congress. There are a great many other important Anti-Federalist thinkers: James Winthrop. Volume 9 Page 25 WHO THEY WERE While the issue of which Anti-Federalist authors were behind the works of pseudonyms such as ³Brutus. The closest way to understanding the will of the electorate ± polling ± is remarkably inaccurate. not the one in the Funkadelic Parliament. Robert Yates. there is no way for Representatives to actually know the desires of the people they are voting for. which the Bill of Rights provided (to some extent). Richard Henry Lee. To understand Anti-Federalists merely in terms of modern-day states-rights discourse would be in a sense misleading. making most of the people¶s wishes going unheeded. While his famous quotation in which he prefers liberty to life became one of the central rallying cries of the Revolution. This is because when a regime is in control over a large enough populace. George Clinton was the first governor of New York during the ratification of the Constitution. and so on. cultures. direct democracy becomes simply unfeasible. 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. there are a host of different possible options to be argued for. one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. Samuel Bryan. Another prominent Anti-Federalist was George Clinton. but took the post after his own Presidential ambitions were dashed. The first major premise in Anti-Federalism is that true government is only possible on a small scale. it becomes all the more difficult for any group to get the policy they want. While of course they all had minor differences.
precisely because they see participation in politics as an end to itself. whereby one toils to take care of private necessities. and therefore used slavery to divest themselves of the need to do tasks that they consider menial. AntiFederalists. To achieve enough public recognition to get elected. the highest type of human activity is what Arendt says the Greeks considered true ³action´: politics. such as food and shelter. Only that way can the desire to life a public life. What is to stop one state from deciding to use aggressive force against another to take. which encompasses crafts. The difference lies in the fact that our conception of politics is as a means to an end. be achieved. many Anti-Federalists charged that it was elite interests that motivated the structure of the government set up in the Constitution. Anti-Federalists would still have a large problem with the massive republic that we live in today. this is often not the case. have the time and resources to become a serious politician. The ancient Greeks despised labor. But even if all of the things above were not true. In fact. it would seem difficult to coordinate efforts. Provided that a Senator votes the way someone theoretically would want them to. The current controversy over money spent in campaigns is telling. THE CASE AGAINST THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS As pretty of a picture of an idyllic small town democracy this paints.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and without a strong federal ability to tax. There is the possibility of public appreciation of work. 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. She draws upon Greek culture in her book THE HUMAN CONDITION to explain the various degrees of human activity. In other words. 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. This problem has gotten even more out of control given the importance of self-advertisement during campaigns. 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. some economic resources? Threats from other countries are even more frightening. the arts. The same problems that were apparent at the time of the Articles of the Confederation are still present in a system that devolves a great deal of authority. the type of person who is elected into office will never be the same type of person that she or he is supposed to represent. many of the Anti-Federalists papers make explicit reference to Greek and Roman societies ± before they developed strong tyrannical central governments ± as being ideals insofar as democracy is concerned. But even if stringent campaign finance reform measures were to pass.com . there is no way a national army Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. Christopher Duncan explains why it is that Anti-Federalists place intrinsic value upon direct democracy. and Senators and Representatives were somehow able to represent the wishes of their constituents completely accurately. let alone the middle class who spend a great deal of time working to (for example) put their kids through college. then one can spend their time caring for the polis (city). on the other hand. Even if every state kept standing militias. The lowest is that of labor. and therefore be happy and free. This is not to suggest that the Anti-Federalists merely wanted to copy the Greeks. one would have to not be tied to any sort of private concerns that would distract from that goal. one can readily find fault with such a small-scale system of government. the political sphere and one¶s own relationship to it can be safely ignored. Therefore the most glory came from being an honored statesman in the city-state. people tend to be only concerned with issues such as representation insofar as they get what they want. say. but it is often still private in nature. an important political theorist from this century. Once all private demands are met. but instead that understanding the rationale behind the Greek priority of action in the public realm sheds light on why AntiFederalists find value in pure democracy. The next highest is work. No one struggling to earn enough money to survive. and similar pursuits. 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. 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. find that situation lacking. Arendt. interestingly enough. Therefore. The reason for this is because. Finally. While it is certainly possible for a person of a different station to understand the situation of a common person. 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. Indeed. Anti-Federalism dovetails nicely with one of the main tenets of Hannah Arendt¶s belief on the nature of politics. First and foremost is a problem with security from threats both internal and external. contends that the highest form of human existence lies in the participation in politics.
environmental theory has taught that those situations are dangerous given the transitory nature of pollution. The negative effects of industry in one county or state could most directly affect another area completely. Strict laws governing the states are needed to keep them accountable for their environmental damage. and the government. 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. There might not be any way to have stopped that discrimination throughout the country in the system promoted by the Anti-Federalists. In that sense there likelihood of an attack against the US might decrease. with those citizens lacking any method of recourse. Volume 9 Page 27 could be built and maintained that would comport to the standards necessary to be competitive. None could be performed during the Articles of Confederation. 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. hope is not lost yet. a brand new turn is taken in the relationship between individuals. 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. one might question the incentive for other countries to attack the United States if it were more decentralized. The 50 states retain a massive amount of control over criminal laws. This case was but the most visible of a massive effort by the federal government to outlaw a host of racist policies held by many States. economic prosperity seems to be a direct result of a strong federal government. 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. Given how complex the economic system is today. In addition to security. As for internal problems. Nor is there a complete disregard for the rights and powers of the states even within this system.com . it is very possible that their mistrust of a strong central government was not merely reactionary fear stemming from their dealings with Great Britain. the Federal Reserve ± all are functions that are distinctly national in character. With regard to the security issue. Power over such things as taxation has certainly not spiraled into overwhelming tyranny. Many authors specifically respond to some of these criticisms and explain why they might not seem as problematic as they seem. These protections against discrimination apply to sexism and other forms of oppression through the Equal Protection amendment. wars tend to start due to tensions over disagreements. 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. internal commerce. While the Anti-Federalists sought to organize small like-minded communities. The most famous example of this comes with the controversy concerning segregation in the South. Few would call the powers that the federal government claims right to now ³tyrannical´ by any means. 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. it is natural that uprisings like the Shay¶s Rebellion would occur during a country¶s birth pangs. issuing bonds. but it is a huge issue now.wcdebate. RESPONSES TO SOME OF THE ATTACKS ON THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS While this list of problems might seem difficult for the Anti-Federalists to overcome. While the fundamental motivation for the Anti-Federalists was the protection of liberty through democracy. A thriving economy is a necessary condition for a lot of other things. rights. Even if there is some sacrifice of liberties in order to make those things possible. and so forth. Until the Supreme Court decision of Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. schools wouldn¶t allow blacks the same educational opportunities. such as funding of the sciences and arts. Countries don¶t just go around attacking each other for land nowadays. A strong central government seems to be a prerequisite of peace and order. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Having a national bank system. countries would no longer have cause to resent the US throwing its superpower weight around world affairs. but there is less reason to believe such events would be a matter of course without a powerful federal 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.
excluding most people from participating in it in any meaningful way. Even if the federal government has not proven to turn into a tyranny. It can be used in its specific historical context to criticize or justify the Constitution. or to help argue for or against other political objectives that would affect the balance of power between the people and their state. Volume 9 Page 28 Issues such as the environment and minority rights could be dealt with in a collective fashion. has many potential benefits and downfalls. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The Federalist model did establish an effective system for pursuing one¶s private wishes. As the lower class gets larger and poorer. It is certain that the country would be less economically prosperous if it had developed more along AntiFederalist lines. 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. CONCLUSION Anti-Federalism. True happiness is found in one¶s civic existence. its principles of maintaining a genuine democracy can be utilized to argue in favor of smaller changes. Perhaps the widespread depression exhibited in American society today is a result of the alienation felt towards one¶s fellow humans. can be much more fundamental to human happiness than amassing material wealth. no political system is wholly comprised of one ideology or another. as Hannah Arendt suspects. The most skillful use of it will be to argue for a particular type of democracy that actually involves people. federal governments. but its inclusion of a Bill of Rights. 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. Given the swing in opinion towards protecting the environment and ending discrimination.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. instead of merely a republic where no one¶s interests but the very powerful are furthered. Instead. 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. Participation in a public democracy. as a political theory taken in general. as well as a few other modifications to it are distinctly Anti-Federalist in nature. 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. such as greater states rights in a particular area. there is little denying that politics in this country has become an affair of the rich and elite. it is natural to question just how successful the country is economically.wcdebate. no matter what the Gross Domestic Product statistics say. local. the Constitution may have been promoted mainly by Federalists. and it can even create tensions in a society where the wealth is increasingly becoming concentrated in a small percentage of the population. Money alone cannot produce happiness. The American political tradition has always been a product of the dialectic of both of those movements. Moreover. and therefore in direct democracy. Truly understanding the various twists and turns of American politics requires a grasp upon its roots in both the Federalist as well as Anti-Federalist traditions. but those are nothing more than glorified necessities taken too far. but economic might is not necessarily the highest aim for a country.
ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 1981. Arendt. Dry. Hoffer. 1992. John Wiley & Sons. Georgetown Press. Library of America. WHAT THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE FOR.com . Ketcham. 1992. Penguin. Gordon. WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS. Herbert. 1995. Dolbeare. 1987. THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST. A POLITICS OF TENSION: THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEAS. Hannah.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1992. University of Chicago Press. 1981. and Storing. Alfred Knopf. 1986. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. 1958. THE HUMAN CONDITION. Duncan. Murray. Robert. THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES. ARTICLES. Berns. University of Chicago Press. Bernard. TAKING THE CONSTITUTION SERIOUSLY. Storing. Harvard University Press. Bailyn. inc. Christopher. FROM MANY. Volume 9 Page 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman. Walter. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Ralph. 1993. THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES. Bruce. University of Chicago Press. Herbert. AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION. 1969. Northern Illinois University Press. University of Colorado Press. Richard. THE RADICALISM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Wood.wcdebate. Sinopoli. Kenneth. 1997. DIRECTIONS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. Simon & Schuster.
document will leave them bereft of their power to save themselves. great and glorious. it is subordinate to exceptions. by oppressing his fellow citizens. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions. it was an opportunity to transform themselves and expand their circle of concerns while encouraging others to do the same. It is the notion that the Constitution as a centralizing. p. better understood. we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. in the words of Hannah Arendt. turbulent. and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. a legislature. and of course are less protected. p. Anti-Federalist Writer. cowardly. so also was that of the Romans. 1995. ultimately disempowering. This is the theoretical thread that ties Anti²Federalist thought together. abuses are of less extent. In a republic. that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject. and the consequence was. 1997. This will retard the operations of government. each would be in favor of its own interests and customs. as would constantly be contending with each other. would not be too numerous to act with any care or decision. of consequence. Self-government for the Anti-Federalists was not just a mechanistic device to ensure the safety of their fortunes. ³banish the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of their households. and. extended their conquests over large territories of country. The laws and customs of the several states are.´ History furnishes no example of a free republic. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. FROM MANY. in many respects. Professor of Political Science. The United States includes a variety of climates. 170-171. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant. he soon begins to think that he may be happy. and interests of the people should be similar. FROM MANY. and their interests. The Grecian republics were of small extent. are in general lazy. formed of representatives from the respective parts. Volume 9 Page 30 THE ANTI-FEDERALIST VISION OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS SUPERIOR 1. and depends on accidents. The question the Anti-Federalists worried about was not how we organize our polity for order and greatness but how we organize our polity for public happiness and political salvation. and more within the reach of every citizen. 1997. very diverse. and demand of them that they mind their own private business. that it will ultimately. be the climate what it may be. GOVERNMENTS THAT RULE OVER SIMILAR PEOPLE OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY Brutus. there will be a constant clashing of opinions.com . and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. sentiments. In a small one. and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. and their sentiments are by no means coincident. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles. p. the manners. any thing like the extent of the United States. and without virtue there can be no happiness. in process of time. it is true. Both of these. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. diverse. 37. IT IS EMPIRICALLY SHOWN THAT ONLY SMALL GOVERNMENTS AVOID CORRUPTION Brutus.wcdebate. he has interest of his own. the interest of the public is easier perceived. there can be no virtue. 2. and vicious to an extreme´ are but his way of saying that without the sense of attachment and empowerment that comes with public participation. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States. the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views. the people. Anti-Federalist Writer.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In a large republic. 38. of consequence. If this be not the case. Agrippa¶s claims that ³freedom is necessary for industry´ and that ³in absolute governments. and consequently of less moderation. and in some opposite.´ 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. 3. SMALLER SCALE POLITICS ALLOW FOR HAPPINESS VIA A GENUINE PUBLIC SPHERE Christopher Duncan. Political participation for the Anti-Federalists became an end to be pursued as well as a means. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes.
Anti-Federalist Writer. and by which you are to be conducted into a monarchy. not on questions of the general welfare but on questions of mutual and general welfare. which produces this security." Thus. too. depends in a great measure on their limits. p. or the opinion. 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. and this security therefore. and the complication of interests. shared racial experience and the legacy of white hostility and bigotry constitute the compelling reason for majority-black districts as a necessary means to effectuate the Anti-Federalist insight that in order to guarantee liberty "like best represents like. Furthermore. Mr. to whose contumely you will continually be an object²you must risque much. rather. Thus the mode of operation was consensual rather than majoritarian or adversarial. 1997. 42. 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. nor compact. which results in the continuing existence of white bloc voting. and too mysterious for you to understand. on the score of consolidation of the United States. If that latter clause is read correctly. ONE: READINGS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 2. by indispensably placing trusts of the greatest magnitude. is a government derived from neither nature.wcdebate. From this picture. 2000. will oppress and grind you²where. This moderation in governments. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. FROM MANY. THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS AND EARLY AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT. 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. Associate Professor of Law. ANTI-FEDERALISM STOPS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION James Etienne Viator. is best obtained in moderate governments. Volume 9 Page 31 ANTI-FEDERALISM GIVES RIGHTS AND PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION 1. consists in security. 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. LOYOLA JOURNAL OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. Political liberty. In other words. what can you promise yourselves.com . 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. whose ambition for power. Locke remarks. Professor of Political Science. the latter. connected with their political distribution. and aggrandizement. and the equality of the manners. and observe. and to work together. from the vast extent of your territory. were open to a good deal of ³relative´ interpretation). Keith Reeves demonstrated the continued presence of bigoted attitudes among white voters. 1995. 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 -.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. or at least in the opinion we have of security. into the hands of individuals. p. in that under the Articles of Confederation there was no ³truth or Platonic form. Communal welfare and justice were both the products of local political conversations. ONLY SMALLER LIMITED GOVERNMENTS ALLOW LIBERTY Cato. beget a confidence in the people. Spring. other than those basic natural laws (but these. where the mildness of the laws. it should be clear that there was no such thing as the general welfare of the country. Loyola University New Orleans School of Law.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." ONLY ANTI-FEDERALIST POLITICS ALLOW TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MULTIPLICITY OF INTERESTS Christopher Duncan. the great Montesquieu again observes. either limited or despotic. p. or the opinion. that transcended the local community and its own particular determinations about right and wrong. which accounts for the nine-vote decisionmaking threshold and the provisions for unanimity with regard to amendment that marked the Articles. 78. the science of government will become intricate and perplexed. useful or not. 37-8. they have agreed to protect each other from external dangers to their collective²not individual²liberties. The distinction here is once again of critical importance from a theoretical perspective. Using an innovative mixture of campaign news stories and public opinion surveys of voters.
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.
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West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 33
FEDERALIST THEORY PROTECTS INDIVIDUAL AND MINORITY RIGHTS 1. STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS SELF-RESTRAINING Larry D. Kramer , Professor of Law, New York University Law School, COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, January, 2000, p. 252-3. North Carolina lawyer-planter Archibald Maclaine, writing as Publicola, made the charge of Anti-Federalist duplicity even more explicitly: I find some people are so strangely infatuated, as to think that Congress can, and therefore will, usurp powers not given them by the states, and do any thing, however oppressive and tyrannical. I know no good grounds for such a supposition, but this, that the legislative and judicial powers of the state have too often stepped over the bounds prescribed for them by the constitution; and yet, strange to tell, few of those, whose arguments I am now considering, think such measures censurable - The conclusion to be drawn here is obvious - The objectors hope to enjoy the same latitude of doing evil with impunity, and they are fearful of being restricted, if an efficient government takes place. 2. A FEDERALIST GOVERNMENT ENSURES PROSPERITY AND INCLUSION OF MINORITIES Robert Webking, Assistant Professor of Political Science, ³The Federalist: Government Power and Individual Rights,´ THE CONSTITUTIONAL POLITY, 1983, p. 7-8. Publius¶ original argument about how a people can secure the advantage and avoid the disadvantage of majority rule rests upon a distinction between species of popular government. In a pure democracy, where people gather to rule themselves directly, he writes, the danger of majority faction is unavoidable. Such a form of government can exist with only a small territory, and in a small community it is virtually certain that there will be a majority with the same partial interest. In a republic, however, the problem can be avoided. The difference between a pure democracy and a republic is that in the latter the people do not rule directly, but through representatives. Representation yields a number of happy advantages for Publius, but the decisive one is size. A republic can be very much larger than a pure democracy, and because it is larger it can include a great variety of people with many different kinds of economic activities and, hence, a multiplicity of interests. The existence of many distinct interests means the existence of many interest groups or factions. The existence of many factions rather than merely two makes it likely that there will be no majority faction. All factions will be minority factions and each faction will be prevented from using the government unjustly by the fact of majority rule. ³Extend the sphere,´ Publius writes, ³and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens.´ 3. A FEDERALIST THEORY OF LEGAL RIGHTS STOPS DISCRIMINATION Daan Braveman, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, February, 2002, p. 619. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the transformation process occurred in Brown v. Board of Education. In striking down state segregation, the Supreme Court dramatically altered the relations between the states and the national government, and made the federal courts the primary guardians of federal rights. In the years following Brown, the lower federal courts became the litigation forum for state school segregation cases, as well as actions challenging a wide range of other state activities, including zoning, reapportionment, police misconduct, and prison conditions. Notably, Brown was not decided in isolation but rather at a time when the world outside the courtroom was changing dramatically. The other branches of the federal government had a national and international agenda, which included the expansion of federal rights and a federal interest in protecting those rights from state deprivation. "A new spirit of nationalism" replaced the isolationism of the turn of the century and, as Judge Gibbons stated: "In the global village, deference to local solutions for problems that transcend local interests is a quaint anachronism." By the 1960s, the structure envisioned during Reconstruction was firmly established. Individuals had federal rights, federal remedies, and a federal forum to challenge state conduct that violated federal law.
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West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook, Volume 9 Page 34
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
"It is one soul that animates all men." -Ralph Waldo Emerson INTRODUCTION Ralph Waldo Emerson surely epitomizes the uniqueness of 19th century American philosophy. Emerging at a time when American thought was struggling to forge its own identity, reflective of both the optimism and the cynicism of the American political experience, Emerson¶s transcendentalism is a spiritual and philosophical reflection of his time. But it is also an inspiring statement of the universality of human experience. By painting humans with broad brushstrokes as half-animal and half-divine, and by attempting to chronicle humanity¶s relation to the ³absolute,´ Emerson is the American Hegel. Emerson¶s work included poetry and personal essays as well as philosophy, and there is a heavy religious element in all of his writing. Nevertheless, his work contains important implications for political philosophy. In this essay I will attempt to explain his philosophy as a whole, but I will also pay special attention to the political implications of Emerson¶s work, along with the way in which these political elements can be used in value debate. EMERSON¶S LIFE AND TIMES Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803, into a family whose male members were typically clergymen. He studied divinity at Harvard. Well-educated and taught to embrace open-mindedness as well as religion, Emerson was ordained a Unitarian minister in 1929. He was a good speaker, delivered a good sermon or two, but something was missing. ³He would begin his sermons with words from the Bible, but would gradually find himself discussing the unfathomable ideals found in nature,´ or abstract philosophy. He had problems trying to find ³his way back into the Bible to close the speeches.´ Although some of his parishioners liked his style, others did not. ³Stumbling for appropriate words at the bedside of a dying veteran of the American Revolution,´ the dying man reportedly told Emerson: ³Young man, if you don¶t know your business, you had better go home´ (www.litkicks.com). Although he had entered into the ministry with high hopes (and Unitarianism has always been a liberal and progressive religion, even back then), Emerson resigned from ministry and journeyed to England in 1832 following the death of his first wife, Ellen Tucker. She had died of tuberculosis after they had been married only eighteen months. This broke Emerson¶s heart and caused a deep spiritual crisis. His time in England was spent cultivating friendships and intellectual associations with people like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas Carlyle. Needless to say, by the time he returned to America, Emerson had a newfound optimism, as well as a greater understanding of philosophy. He returned to America in 1834, but tragedy would strike at his optimism once again. That same year, Ralph Waldo¶s brother Edward died. To make matters worse, his brother Charles died in 1836. Emerson would be a haunted man the rest of his days. His writings and lectures contained dark clouds even in his most arduous attempts to celebrate the glory of humanity. By the time Charles had died, Emerson had remarried (his second wife was named Lydia Jackson), settled in Concord, and begun to publish essays about the human spirit, freedom and independence, and the undesirability of following tradition. Among these early essays was one of his greatest, ³Self-Reliance,´ a polemic about the necessity of complete individual freedom (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/poet/emerson.html, www.litkicks.com). Emerson co-founded a journal, and collected a group of fellow writers (both male and female; like his friend John Stuart Mill, Emerson believed in women¶s emancipation), and started a tradition known as the New England Transcendentalists. Expanding outside that small circle of colleagues, Emerson discovered one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century, when he met and wrote a letter of recommendation for Henry David Thoreau. Two decades later, Emerson would again contribute to the intellectual history of America by promoting the work of poet Walt Whitman. Along the way, he promoted Buddhism and other eastern religions, opposed slavery, fought for women¶s equality, and remained a dedicated, if cynical, proponent of democracy.
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living entities died.wcdebate.. he had his house burn down. values. two brothers. and his mystical vision of ³feeling´ or ³mood´ over logic as the basis of human understanding. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. 2000. in contrast.To be great is to be misunderstood. Emerson had a habit of characterizing important figures of his time as somehow transcendent. He influenced Henry David Thoreau and. However. and Emerson was as anti-systemic as they come. theology and poetry brought romanticism to America. at least in principle. a child. and incorruptible. academic science of modernist philosophy. it is impossible to systematize or categorize Emerson¶s thinking. was the first major figure to posit a distinction between spirit and matter. Emerson was the first major thinker in America to offer up non-Western. seemed to de-value understanding in favor of heavenly emotions. EMERSON¶S IDEAS "Whosoever would be a man. and lived through the Civil War. 669). I will describe his Platonic conception of spirit as primary and matter as secondary. one must first and foremost understand its derivation from Platonism. who he saw as intrinsically tied to the transcendent and divine. p. they could only contemplate it. But he remained. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY." where matter. To understand transcendentalism. Today. and have great potential for debates over morality. he lost a spouse. Spring. removed from day-to-day history. and politics. Even to call it ³transcendentalism´ seems a stretch.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. As George Santayana characterizes him: Similarly. Brown. inspired civil disobedience advocates from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. people and history existed." Things changed.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 35 Ralph Waldo Emerson died of pneumonia on April 27. And his marriage of philosophy. Plato. his differences from Plato (especially in Emerson¶s faith in humanity and democracy). however. His life had never been as peaceful and content as his privileged New England upbringing might have predicted. 1882. a continent perhaps more ready for it that Europe had ever been. Ordinary humans could contemplate this world of spirit provided they shed their worldly concerns and concentrate only on philosophical ideals. and perfection was unattainable. In this sense. non-linear thinking as an alternative to the dry. Emerson.. Plato believed that the realm of "being" was absolute. unchanging." In this section I will argue that it is possible to trace several complimentary (if sometimes contradictory) ideas in Emerson¶s writings. was a degraded and corrupt reflection of "being. But humans could never really reach such a world. 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. since ³-isms´ are usually systems. optimistic about humanity." where the things and ideas we contemplate exist in a state of unchanging consistency.. even as they sought to reform the conditions of the time. in doing so. certain major themes stand out in his writings. This paradoxical figure would influence a certain strain of American thought well into the 20th century. Philosophers usually seek some kind of analytic understanding.. Plato envisioned a realm of "perfect forms. must be a nonconformist. immaterial. one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Western civilization. he was even more a mystic than Plato. while the realm of "becoming.
After all. It was fortunate that Emerson believed history and human interaction were important. This is apparent in Emerson's position against slavery. being and becoming. based more on feeling than analysis. Emerson trusted instinct and emotion. This was reflected in Emerson¶s faith in democracy." 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. there is nothing stable to be responsible to: "every moment is new. which he saw as our connection to the divine. or walk abroad in the morning after meditating the matter before sleep on the previous night" (Emerson. In other words. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay. viewpoints. He wrote: "Our spontaneous action is always the best.´ and in doing so lose the spontaneous connection to creation and nature that Romantics saw as vital to a higher kind of understanding.´ 2. Plato rejected human matters. Emerson believed that it was possible to ³think too much. As mentioned.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. That is why. politics and the like. Emerson believed contradictory premises were simply stepping-stones to a higher. the coming only is sacred" (CW2: 189) (http://plato. Emerson put forth a mystical sense of "vision.wcdebate. Emerson¶s "epistemology of moods" is an attempt to construct a framework for encompassing what might otherwise seem contradictory outlooks. it would make sense that a transcendentalist would value the ³spirit´ of emotion more than the analysis of individual thoughts. as we shall see. with your best deliberation and heed. Volume 9 Page 36 Emerson's transcendentalism was an optimistic version of Plato's distinction between spirit and matter. or doctrines. he did believe that a mystical spirit-reality existed and was the true inspiration for human greatness. I wish to concentrate on this last point a little more. Like Hegel. and in turn viewed the divine as an aggregate reflection of all creatures and things. Emerson combined this idea of the essential unity of all things and creatures with a belief in the innate goodness of humanity. Emerson really means to "accept. Transcendentalism.stanford. "the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies" (CW3: 36). Like many of transcendentalism's central themes. more than he trusted logic and analytic thought. Emerson. He was very close. as its name implies. believed it impossible "to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. This way of thinking has been called Emerson¶s ³epistemology of moods. Since that connectedness is more real than the analytic separateness of individual thinking. because. history. It is instructive to note that Emerson differed from Plato in a few important ways: 1." he writes that he is "only an experimenter«with no Past at my back" (CW2: 188). Although. as corruptible facets of the realm of becoming.edu/entries/emerson/). on the other hand. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the past is always swallowed and forgotten. This serves as a useful transition into Emerson¶s belief in the connectedness of all creatures and things. Emerson and the other transcendentalists turned toward the mystical world of the Romantics. a system of government Plato categorically rejected. at the end of "Circles. transcends the old Aristotelian maxim that things cannot be both true and false. Emerson viewed emotion as the emanation of the divine. comprehensive understanding.com . Whereas Plato ultimately appealed to reason and a kind of logic to govern philosophical thought. in this respect. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. You cannot. whilst you rise from your bed. come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you. unlike Plato." as he puts it. the notion of a "unitary soul" uniting all humankind seems more "Eastern" than "Western. Emerson believed human beings and human endeavors were innately good. higher understanding. to being a pantheist. as the basis of genuine knowledge. 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.´ Like the German and British Romantics." including emotions such as love. 3. Emerson did not believe history or human interaction were irrelevant. "Intellect").
doubt that it¶s even proper to call Emerson a philosopher. George Santayana among them. Second. Brown. of course. 669). or other distinct groups.com . and it inspired Henry David Thoreau¶s entire essay ³Civil Disobedience. Implications for Debate First. was a method by which human beings could serve as "lenses through which we read our own minds. In this way.´ The problem is that Emerson never really comes to terms with how his pronouncements on power (³Life is a search after power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. First. Obsession with power: As much as Emerson extolled the sins of slavery and patriarchy. Emerson was a strong supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws. democracy. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the necessity of self-reliance. This obsession with power has long been a rallying point against Emerson. Insofar as human beings embrace their connection to transcendent. since governments are not the ultimate source of morality. and the notion of morality transcending states and governments Second. 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). he also extolled the virtues of capitalism. This is the most well-known of Emerson¶s philosophies. OBJECTIONS TO EMERSON As already noted. 2000. critics sometimes contend that he glosses over many injustices that are on par with slavery. presumably. morality is more important than obeying the law. but it also reflects Emerson¶s desire to be a truly ³American´ thinker at a time when Americans were confronting and conquering ³the frontier. This is true of every human being. Because of this.' ´ (Thomas J. ³self-reliance´ is valuable to Emerson because he sees ³power´ as something that makes us human. p. democracy offered a variation of the process by which other individuals act as "lenses through which we read our own minds. Volume 9 Page 37 For Emerson. Because he held an almost Nietzschian awe of power. Emerson refused to see distinctions based on skin color or national origin as being more important than the common humanity that unites Black and white. Emerson¶s philosophy strongly supports civil disobedience and the refusal to follow unjust laws.´ Emerson argues that Nature reveals moral truth. explains his opposition to slavery and his position in favor of women¶s emancipation. This. Some critics. There are two more important political implications found in Emerson. This is another instance of the inconsistency cited earlier. In his essay ³Self-Reliance. divine virtue (which Emerson also calls ³beauty´). and dependence on others as a natural indictment of that power.´ he declared) problematized his political stance against oppression. however imperfect. Emerson¶s philosophy makes a very optimistic statement about human nature." As each person searches for the perfectly fitted lens. 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. they will perform virtuously. "the otherest." some geniuses manage to serve large groups because they 'stand for facts.wcdebate. Spring. through Nature. and for thoughts. 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. such as rapid industrialization or capitalist exploitation. and the power of individual action. LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY." Like friendship and reading.´ Emerson¶s embrace of civil disobedience comes from two areas of his philosophy: antimajoritarianism. 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.
his stance often seems anti-foundationalist and anti-analytic. Emerson¶s eloquence. because it is a reflection of transcendent beauty and goodness. Emerson is like John Stuart Mill (who believed capitalism would evolve into a just economic system) or G. Emerson takes virtuous behavior to be among the highest ethical goods.F. on the other hand. It serves as an intrinsic justification for moral behavior. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. It may even be an alternative to deontological or utilitarian modes of ethics. since all phenomena and actions are linked in some way. deontological ethics mandates the disregard of consequences.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. his optimism about humanity and democracy. These ethical codes arguably allow one to escape from various moral responsibilities by assigning greater and lesser values to respective moral commands. Volume 9 Page 38 Although critics accuse Emerson of justifying evil. Debaters interested in incorporating Emerson into their arguments should be cautioned that he is far from a systematic thinker. As noted above. meaning that there will be a certain awkwardness involved in using his ideas for the sometimes-binaristic world of debate. For example. Hegel (who believed all bad states of affairs would transcend into good things). However. would probably call for a unity of intentions and consequences. exploitative systems (such as ruthless capitalism). In this way.com . it may be reasonably replied that Emerson simply believes seemingly miserable situations (such as poverty) will ultimately culminate in human growth and transcendence. compensate for his imperfect attempt to do justice to the paradoxical nature of human existence. Transcendentalist ethics. while utilitarian ethics mandates an exclusive focus on consequences. and his powerful statements against human bondage and majoritarianism.W. This may be among Emerson¶s most ³Platonic´ philosophical notions. Third.
GROWTH. Ralph Waldo. 1947) Emerson. 1941).. 1982). 1978).. Stephen E. McGiffert. POEMS. Ralph Waldo. ed. 1938). EMERSON AND THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND PEACE (Iowa City: The University Press.H. 1995). 1900). 1966). Alfred R. Gougeon. N. Black. ADDRESSES (New York: W. REPRESENTATIVE MAN: RALPH WALDO EMERSON IN HIS TIME (New York: Oxford University Press. THE EARLY LECTURES OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. THE BEST OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON: ESSAYS. EMERSON¶S NATURE: ORIGIN. 1978). Ticknor and Fields. and Ferguson. Porte. AND OTHER PAPERS (Boston: Houghton. and Whicher. Gordon Sherman. INDIAN SUPERSTITION (Hanover. 1990) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. EMERSON ON EDUCATION: SELECTIONS (New York: Teachers College Press. 1866). eds.: Friends of the Dartmouth Library. POWER. Mead. Emerson. eds. Emerson. 1969). RALPH WALDO EMERSON: A BIOGRAPHY (New York: Viking Press. Emerson. Emerson. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Westport: Greenwood Press. Huggard. Ralph Waldo.: Kennikat Press. YOUNG EMERSON SPEAKS: UNPUBLISHED DISCOURSES ON MANY SUBJECTS (Port Washington. 1954). Ralph Waldo. 1903). APOSTLE OF CULTURE: EMERSON AS PREACHER AND LECTURER (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. WEALTH (New York: Scott-Thaw. N.. EMERSON¶S ANTISLAVERY WRITINGS (New Haven: Yale University Press. ed. Mifflin. Len and Myerson.wcdebate. Joel. Susan Sutton. Merton M. Emerson. Emerson. THE CONDUCT OF LIFE: NINE ESSAYS ON FATE..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. NAPOLEAN. Robinson. 1959). Ralph Waldo. FORTUNE OF THE REPUBLIC (Boston: Hougton. Milton R. A YANKEE IN CANADA. J. Konvitz. MEANING (New York: Dodd. Haight. Gay Wilson.com . OR THE MAN OF THE WORLD (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Volume 9 Page 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen. Osgood and Company. Sealts Jr. Smith. eds. NATURAL HISTORY OF INTELLECT. 1981). 1968). Ralph Waldo. 1878). WITH ANTI-SLAVERY AND REFORM PAPERS (Boston. ed. Joel. Ralph Waldo. William Allen. THE TOPICAL NOTEBOOKS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. David.Y. Arthur Cushman Jr.
p. namely. It is his. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. One measure of a man¶s character is his effect upon his fellow-men. Truth. every departure from his own convictions. the opinions. and makes the central figure of the visible sphere. For every man knows whether he has been accustomed to receive truth or falsehood² valuable opinions or foolish talking²from his brother. Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. and beauty. VIRTUOUS ACTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSES THE RATIONALITY OF THE UNIVERSE Ralph Waldo Emerson. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. God is the all-fair. BEAUTY IS THE ULTIMATE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL ACTIVITY Ralph Waldo Emerson. associate themselves fitly in our memory with the geography and climate of Greece. but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. the sun as its candle. And any one who will steadily observe his own experience will I think become convinced. POWER IS DERIVED FROM VIRTUOUS BEHAVIOR 1. Phocion. The presence of a higher. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. and abdicate his kingdom. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. as most men do. 1986. in its largest and profoundest sense. Every heroic act is also decent. 2. American transcendentalist philosopher. This element I call an ultimate end. that it to say. 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. 13. only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. In private places. and the frame will suit the picture. p. and the day. 2000. is one expression for the universe. and this knowledge must inevitably determine his respect. and causes the place and the bystanders to shine. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Pindar. Beauty. 15. Homer. 2. and nature became ancillary to a man. American transcendentalist philosopher. Volume 9 Page 40 BEAUTY IS THE HIGHEST VALUE 1. Socrates. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope. We are taught by great actions that the universe is the property of every individual in it. Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue. an act of truth or heroism seems at once to draw to itself the sky as its temple. he may creep into a corner. 12. 15. and goodness. and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet. The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. 1986. Every natural action is graceful. that every false word he has uttered. Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man. VIRTUOUS ACTS PLACE US IN UNISON WITH THE POWER OF NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson. of the spiritual element is essential to its perfection. p. WE DERIVE POWER FROM BEING VIRTUOUS AND HONEST Ralph Waldo Emerson.wcdebate. 1986. if he will. A virtuous man is in unison with her works. American transcendentalist philosopher.com . The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus.--the persons. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. out of deference to others has been a sacrifice of a certain amount of his power over other men. are but different faces of the same All. American transcendentalist philosopher. among sordid objects. The high and divine beauty which can be loved without effeminacy. is that which is found in combination with the human will. He may divest himself of it.
For virtue is the very self of every man. These laws refuse to be adequately stated. American transcendentalist philosopher. motion. but are simply declatory of a right which already existed. American transcendentalist philosopher. The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. Volume 9 Page 41 MORALITY IS INNATE AND TRANSCENDENT 1. They will not be written out on paper. and not subject to circumstance. interact. TRANSCENDENT MORAL LAWS EXIST IN HUMAN INTUITION Ralph Waldo Emerson. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. An immoral law makes it a man¶s duty to break it. if a hurricane of party feeling and a combination of monied interests can beat them to the ground? What is the use of courts. if its opinions are the political breath of the hour? And what is the use of constitutions. when I see that the public mind has never less hold of the strongest of all truths. gravity. It perceives that this homely game of life we play. and that an immoral statute is void. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. out of space. American transcendentalist philosopher. 361. justice. 72-73. They elude our persevering thought. and God. 2000. yet we read them hourly in each other¶s faces. 73. I cannot accept the railroad and the telegraph in exchange for reason and clarity. it is not to be presumed that they can so stultify themselves as to command injustice. 362.com . American transcendentalist philosopher. p. love. TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE 1. The sense of injustice is blunted. I cannot think the most judicious tubing a compensation for metaphysical debility. The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light. in each other¶s actions. The sentiment of virtue is a reverence and delight in the presence of certain divine laws. 2. covers. They are out of time. or spoken by the tongue. 1986. It is therefore a principle of law. I question the value of our civilization. 2000. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a sure sign of the shallowness of our intellect. if all the guarantees provided by the jealousy of ages for the protection of liberty are made of no effect. when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner? 2. LAWS WITHOUT TRANSCENDENT JUSTICE ARE USELESS Ralph Waldo Emerson. for. appetite. fear. EMERSON ON TRANSCENDENTALISM. as laws do not make right. if judges only quote authorities. pp. p. Thus in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. at every hazard. WE HAVE A DUTY TO BREAK IMMORAL LAWS Ralph Waldo Emerson. muscular force. in our own remorse. 1986. and no judge exerts original jurisdiction. These laws execute themselves. that an immoral contract is void. EMERSON¶S PROSE AND POETRY. What is the use of admirable law-forms and political forms. p. He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled. THE TRUE SOURCE OF MORALITY IS IN THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF HUMANITY¶S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE AND EACH OTHER Ralph Waldo Emerson. man. or recurs to first principles? What is the use of a Federal Bench. CIVIL LAWS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF TRUE.wcdebate. It is not skill in iron locomotives that marks so fine civility as the jealousy of liberty. under what seem foolish details. and in the game of human life. principles that astonish.
EMERSON GLORIFIED POWER AND ELITISM Daniel Aron. 1999. and to conspire with the new works of new days.´ 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. combination. The difference is that where Adams the ironist would dwell on multiplicity and a vertiginous acceleration of energies without immanent purpose or foreseeable end. ³marry Right to Might. and sit till we are stone. ³The Young American´ (1844)²Emerson¶s ³battle cry for the new era of industrial expansion and manifest destiny. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. 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. and sketching the ideal political economy under which the superman might best exercise his uncommon talents. 3.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. Emerson was not ³co-opted´ by liberal capitalism so much as he hastened to join it. Volume 9 Page 42 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES RUTHLESS POWER AND COMPETITION 1. but to watch the uprise of successive mornings. who convert ³the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. ³Life is a search after power.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ Implicit in his words are the notion that the civic world is part of nature and subject to its processes and that advancement occurs by cooperating with these processes rather than directing them toward immediate human ends. in its room.´ the ³men of the right Caesarian pattern´ who transcend the pettiness of ³talkers´ and ³clerks´ and dominate the world by sheer force of character. Emerson 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´. ³Power´ and ³Wealth.wcdebate.´ Here he reiterates his preference for the ³bruisers´ and ³pirates. information (and) science. 1999. 90. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LEGITIMIZES UNCHECKED CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION Robert Milder.´ Emerson can associate capitalism with ³amelioration in nature. and the successful men who understand the laws of Nature and respond to the godhead within themselves.´ 2. pp. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. 68. not to block improvement. In these essays and elsewhere.´ are unconsciously fulfilling the plan of a benevolent providence. which displaces the ³physical strength´ of kings and aristocrats and ³installs´ the enlightened forces of ³computation. 1962. 68-69. he was also outlining a code of behavior that the superior man must follow.com . 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. since aligning himself with the divinely empowered forces of the age was always the condition for a living philosophy.´ he announces. which alone permits and authorizes amelioration in mankind. Professor of English at Washington University of Saint Louis. By emphasizing the ³anti-feudal power´ of trade. Emerson¶s respect for power and its achievements is even more glowingly expressed in two others essays. EMERSON SAW CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM AS THE UNFOLDING OF DIVINE WILL Robert Milder. THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON. p. in doing so. philosopher.
worship²must presently be rejected for the same reason. The deeper he went and the more he tried to grapple with fundamental conceptions. 2. 1996. Professor of English at Michigan State University. 1962. that his eyes were ³thickly bandaged´ to all ³sense of the dark. ³enacted a series of experiments in the void. Did he know what he meant by Spirit or the ³Over-Soul´? Could he say what he understood by the terms. so that the end of his purification is the atrophy of his whole nature. As far as James was concerned. the imagination thus prepares its own destructing. is not representable by any specific faculty.wcdebate. For James. 31. 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.´ 3. 1962. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS.´ The ³decidedly lean Boston´ of Emerson¶s day was self-enclosed. TRANSCENDENTALISM PLACES ITSELF ABOVE ORDINARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE Michael Lopez. Volume 9 Page 43 EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IS IRRELEVANT TO EVERYDAY AND POLITICAL LIFE 1. Law. the imagination and all its works²art. ³of a conscience gasping in the void. to associate Emerson with the ³terrible paucity of alternatives. the emptying of his whole heart and mind to make room. p. p. so constantly on his lips. 35. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY LACKS ANY SPECIFIC CONTENT OR DEFINITION George Santayana.´ 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. Benefit. and conscience must follow after: for all these are human and relative. then. Mysticism. EMERSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS. as Matthiessen notes.com . descended again to make authoritative report of it to the world. perpetually untested by the ³beguilements and prizes´ of experience. and having there beheld the transfigured reality. ³like a ministry without an opposition. philosopher. the foul. or Beauty? He could not.´ the ³achromatic picture´ his environment presented him. however.´ and no surprise that there was ³a certain inadequacy and thinness in (Emerson¶s) enumerations´ and ³quaint animadversions. almost exclusively in the moral world. Professor of English at Michigan State University. EMERSONIAN MYSTICISM VOIDS ALL REASON AND UNDERSTANDING George Santayana.´ He continued. By attacking the authority of the understanding as the organon of knowledge. in his 1888 essay. the mystic is obliged in the end to give them all up. it must be approached through the abandonment of all. panting for sensations.´ he recalled. EMERSON¶S PHILOSOPHY IGNORES THE EVILS OF THE REAL WORLD Michael Lopez. is the surrender of a category of thought because we divine its relativity. with something of the movement of the gills of a landed fish. Far from it. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. This effect was by no means due to the possession on the part of Emerson of the secret of the universe. as he thinks. philosopher. vacant²the image is invoked repeatedly in Henry James¶s and Santayana¶s portrayals of Emerson. or even of a definite conception of ultimate truth. Mysticism will be satisfied only with the absolute. Emerson¶s memory evoked an unforgettable series of ³impressions´ of New England¶s cultural barrenness. Emerson¶s limited moral world was. could be ³condensed into the single word Concord. God. the vaguer and more elusive they became in his hands.´ ³We get the impression. p. by its very definition. EMERSON AND POWER. 32-33. for God. Common sense and poetry must both go by the board. its rewards and consolations. the base. an island above the extremes of common human experience. 1996.´ Emerson¶s ³special capacity for moral experience´²which for James meant Emerson¶s ³ripe unconscious of evil. As every new category. For if the understanding is rejected because it cannot grasp the absolute. EMERSON AND POWER. At bottom he had no doctrine at all. p. ³Emerson¶s personal history.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 4. He was not a prophet who had once for all climbed his Sinai or his Tabor. 32. Nature. James writes (and he means Boston to stand for Emerson). like the ³New England (of) fifty years ago.´ sealed off.´ James concludes. Empty. the poetic and moral categories no less than the physical.´ It was no surprise. and as the absolute. the whole ³Concord school´ had. and all the condensation in the world will not make it look rich. by substituting itself for it as the herald of a deeper truth. Boston existed serenely. dogma. must share this reproach.
taught to memorize proofs and facts and histories. Volume 9 Page 44 JOHN DEWEY "Men have never fully used [their] powers to advance the good in life. Maryland. psychology and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. He would come to understand that if teachers and administrators believed in students. from base "vocational" education to higher forms of learning. Two years later. Dewey held that transcendent ³truths´ were not as important as the collective experience of ordinary human beings. Dewey stayed in Burlington after graduating from the public schools.wcdebate. in philosophy. Dewey enrolled in the philosophy graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. I will attempt to explain both the philosophy of pragmatism and Dewey¶s educational philosophy. Dewey would come to reject the small town provincialism of Burlington in favor of the changing and growing national community that characterized the second half of the 19th century. Not surprisingly. Burlington possessed paradoxical traits (and in many ways. and enrolled at the University of Vermont. At the same time. Dewey has influenced famous contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson in the area of philosophy. still does): It was both a local intellectual center and a community of simple farming and trade. because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. LIFE AND WORK John Dewey was born in Burlington. he received his PhD. 1859. on October 20. Dewey left public school teaching in favor of exploring the alternatives that might be available. as some critics have charged. Both of these philosophies stem from particular assumptions such as the vitality of experience and usefulness. and Dewey grew up listening to local customers at the store discuss politics and culture. Dewey possessed an unreasonable utopian trust in communities. and expected to regurgitate them faithfully. and received an appointment from the University of Michigan to teach philosophy and psychology. John Dewey witnessed the kind of community participation that would inspire his views on society. at the age of twenty.com . Dewey was appointed professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy. What makes Dewey uniquely American is his pragmatism. It was at Chicago where Dewey would begin experimenting with Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the young scholar had experienced a wide range of educational models. from the naive provincialism of small town public schools to the progressive possibilities of advanced study in philosophy. and taught high school for three years. and these divisions were often based on students' economic circumstances rather than any useful distinctions. 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. In the fall of 1882. the ultimate test of a theory or idea was whether it ³worked´ for ordinary people applying the theory or idea. along with some ideas about how Dewey can be used in value debate. a distinctively American pragmatist philosopher. If. From a very early age. and the belief that humans can progress and improve themselves over time. In 1894. By now. After examining Dewey¶s interesting life. it may very well have been his youth in Burlington that inspired that trust. politics and education. For Dewey. as well as countless teachers and educational theorists. He graduated in 1879. Students were herded in and out of classrooms." ²John Dewey INTRODUCTION This essay will explore the life and thought of John Dewey. and grow accordingly. Dewey's father owned a general store in the small Vermont community. rather than seeing them as defects to be corrected or workers to be trained. These early teaching experiences no doubt forced Dewey to realize that something was not quite right with the education system in America. There seemed to be different "tracks" for different students. A brief synopsis of some general objections of Dewey follows. the primacy of collective and community activity over individual reflection. saw students as valuable in and of themselves. most students would take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. Vermont. the son of a grocer.
of Dewey's achievements came in 1937 when he chaired the "Dewey Commission. He wrote essays and books about epistemology. John Dewey died on June 1.wcdebate. "A thing is its history" for Dewey. Ziniewicz. Dewey believes that history and experience are collective as well as individual. and despite this impact. ethics. as part of nature." in theory or practice. and education. However. 1952. concerning the philosophy of religion. who by all accounts represented exactly the kind of "old school" traditionalism Dewey opposed. when we see how strongly Dewey believes in cooperation instead of competition.html). Dewey sees mental reflection as part of the sum of human experience). he offered a notion that was both politically radical and educationally sound: Education must occur through real. Dewey sees humans as part of nature." an effort to clear Soviet revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky of Josef Stalin's charges that Trotsky was a counterrevolutionary sabuteur. few philosophers are more misunderstood. but through a contemplation of the consequences of behaving as if the theory or idea were true. He influenced teachers and educational theorists all over the world. engaged to the child by teachers who visibly value the child. Dewey's role in vindicating Trotsky is important because it shows how his concern for justice and solidarity overrode his differences with the communists. But unlike existentialists. and least known.org/history/1997/may1997/dewey. (http://inst.edu/~mafjerke/dewey. No other 20th century American philosopher has enjoyed a greater impact on the day-to-day workings of the system. Dewey and Trotsky shared a laugh when Trotsky reportedly said "If more liberals were like you. 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's commission cleared Trotsky of all of Stalin's charges.com .fred. www. he was viewed by leftists as fair. William James was more concerned about people's personal religious experiences than with the various logical "proofs" for God's existence. and sees nature as constantly changing. genuine experience. Humans." and Dewey replied "If more socialists were like you. In 1904. along with his prolific and rigorous essays in philosophy and psychology. also have a history of change.htm) Perhaps one of the most significant. and he would produce a body of work nearly unmatched in the history of American philosophy.net/tzaka/deweynew. brought national fame to the young man from Burlington. and concerned with social justice.shtml). This near-certainty results not from an abstract examination of a theory or idea. politics." This exchange speaks volumes about Dewey's philosophy and politics.augie. Volume 9 Page 45 his progressive theories of education. 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. Like existentialists. A collection of anti-Stalinist left activists and anti-capitalist figures asked Dewey to chair the commission because. I might be a socialist. removed from everyday experience. This will become important later. To them. reach near-certainty about theories or ideas. through experience and reflection (in fact. and allow the child to participate in his or her own education. the experiments and the progressive thinking also brought Dewey directly into conflict with University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper. or appeals to the truth of scripture. which did not stop Stalin's agents from assassinating Trotsky in Mexico a short time later (wsws. Dewey believes that what constitutes "human nature" is a history of experience. Humans may. both as a race and as individuals. At a gathering of Trotsky's defenders. James and Peirce believed that theoretical soundness was not a matter of adherence to some kind of transcendent logic. His writings and experiments enjoyed free reign and institutional encouragement. although Dewey was no socialist." and what coheres with the genuine experience of living subjects. and these experiments. Dewey left the University of Chicago to become a professor of philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. He believed that shared experiences were always more important than ideological doctrines. impartial. This explains why. and that history is lived experience (Gordon L. "Truth" for pragmatists is not determined in reference to absolute metaphysical principles.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but rather in reference to what "works. Similarly. John Dewey would stay at Columbia for the next 47 years. Pragmatism holds that there is no such thing as "absolute certainty. I might be a liberal. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.
where we learn from and with other people.com . I may have this idea because my parents kept pounding it into my head. experience is not (as it was for the empiricists). pragmatically speaking.xrefer.com/entry/551811) Finally. my lived experience is more important than logic or metaphysics in determining the truth or falsity of a claim. IBID) Many scholars refer to these pragmatic ideas as John Dewey¶s ³instrumentalism. emotional. I hold something true as long as my experience verifies it. Dewey's philosophy is an affirmation of humans as part of an ever-changing natural world. For Dewey. which we'll examine in the next section. just as available in matters of morals and politics as in matters of physics and chemistry. As long as those things add to my understanding of the way the world works (and remember. At that point. The best political world is one that maximizes the strength of communities. My lived experience tells me that it is okay to procrastinate." In fact. "community ideals" are those ideas and principles that a community develops over time. When my experience no longer verifies it. in imaginative rehearsal of conflicting habits of action. Dewey is a strong proponent of collectivism and cooperation. experience can be active or passive. Dewey supports community ideals because. Dewey insisted. then they are valuable parts of the way I know things. we achieve more cooperating with others than we achieve on our own. I no longer have sound reason to hold it true. to the maximum benefit of all participants. because my teachers warn me about it. Finally. What counts as 'testing' may vary with the 'felt difficulty' in need of resolution-testing may occur in a chemistry laboratory. I do not learn things merely by self-reflection. I may work well under the pressure of the last minute.wcdebate. test. as already stated. and through trial and error reach a higher stage of understanding. I may be talented enough to pull off last-minute miracles. Rather. or religious experience. I reconsider the original idea. Abstract principles are only valuable insofar as they cohere to our experiences of and in this ever-changing natural world. my teacher tells me it's obvious I wrote it the night before. the example shows that theories and ideas change. Part of this experience is our membership in a community. propose and oppose. In summary. They experiment. as there is no absolute certainty: Dewey's 'instrumentalism' defined inquiry as the transformation of a puzzling. and the knowledge that is the object of inquiry is. that I should adhere to my schedule and not put things off until the last minute. Moreover. My experiences include the stories and experiences of other people. I could never consider it "true. and being in turn transformed by the inquiry. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. It includes long-term. What is required in all cases is the application of intelligent inquiry. instrumentalism holds that humans encounter problems and exercise mental inquiry to solve those problems.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in legislation that changes some functions of a government . the self-correcting method of experimentally testing hypotheses created and refined from our previous experience.´ In sum.but in all cases there is a social context. the simple reception and contemplation of external data. mediating both the terms of the initial problem and its solution. indeterminate situation into one that is sufficiently unified to enable warranted assertion or coherent action. I fail. Second. Thus. (http://www. This example illustrates two important aspects of Dewey's pragmatism. rigorous meditation on ideas and things. My assignment is poorly written. and includes reflection as well as interaction. however. There are many reasons for this beyond mere progressive political sentiment. and begin to think that procrastination might be bad after all. my experience may contradict the advice of my parents and teachers. The journey to higher levels of understanding has no end. as a result of collective experience. until the inevitable time that my last-minute miracle doesn't happen. I may have the idea that procrastination is an undesirable character trait. At least. (Ziniewicz. I am part of the world). It may even include mystical. and so on. First. But unless the "procrastination is bad" idea is validated by my lived experience. Volume 9 Page 46 For example. his collectivism stems directly from his belief in the universality of experience as the arbiter of knowledge. This explains Dewey's strong support of schools and progressive education.
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DEWEY¶S VIEWS ON EDUCATION ³Education is not a preparation for life; Education is life itself.´ ²John Dewey As might be suggested by his pragmatism, John Dewey believed education must be informed by genuine experience, constant interaction, and community values. Although he did not reject the notion that some individuals may be more motivated than others to learn, he nevertheless believed that one's environment was a huge determining factor in one's educational development. In many ways, then, Dewey's theory of education was a direct result of his pragmatist philosophical perspective. (www.infed.org/thinkers/et-dewey.htm) One of the most significant differences between traditional educational approaches and Dewey's "progressive" views of education was his perspective on the role of teachers. Dewey did not view instructors as absolute authorities imposing ideas and practices on students. Rather, he saw teachers as facilitators, guiding students through the learning process, and he believed this ought to be done as democratically as possible. Contrary to the picture some critics have painted of Dewey, he did not believe in some kind of simplistic (and utopian) democracy where students have as much authority as teachers. He simply believed that much more democracy was possible in the classroom; that students could be taught the virtues of democracy by learning to participate, in feasible ways, in their own educational experiences. Dewey rejected the "checklist" rigor of individual assignments and isolated studies in favor of group learning, discussion, and genuine experiences. If students are learning about agriculture, Dewey would rather students visit a farm and share in some of the farm work than just read about farms in a book. If the subject was politics and government, Dewey would prefer that students form their own governments and raise issues and solicit votes than merely listen to a lecture on how governments function in a democracy. OBJECTIONS TO DEWEY Critics of John Dewey¶s philosophy include both philosophers opposed to pragmatism, and political activists opposed to the soft, utopian ³liberalism´ of Dewey¶s political positions. Objections to pragmatism usually come in the form of metaphysical assertions that the truth of a claim is not dependent upon the experiential validation of that claim. To cite the example I used in the section on pragmatism, those opposed to Dewey would argue that the statement ³You should not procrastinate´ has a truth-value independent of my verification of that statement with my own experience. However, more strongly worded objections come from the political side. Primarily, Dewey is charged with having utopian aspirations regarding cooperation and progressivism, but at the same time ignoring real-world barriers to his utopia. Conservatives, for example, charge that Dewey believes all citizens (and particularly students, in regards to his educational philosophy) have the same basic abilities, or the same potential for genius; that Dewey seems to believe that all differences come from the environment. Conservatives believe that people have different abilities, and that perceived ³inequalities´ in society are really just the result of the cold, hard fact that some people are more talented and industrious than others. More criticism comes from those to the political left of Dewey, such as Marxists. For them, Dewey is a ³liberal´ in the negative sense of the term. He believes everyone can ³get along,´ even though Marxists believe that there can be no reconciliation between the ruling class and the working class. Thus, Dewey offers a vision of universal enlightenment and progressive, community virtues, but offers no material means of getting to such a world. The desire that we all get along and progress together is not enough.
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IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE Dewey¶s educational philosophy is in a class by itself, and any value debate topic dealing with education should inspire a great deal of research on Dewey¶s ideas. But in this section I will concern myself only with his general philosophy. The following main points suggest ways in which debaters can incorporate the ideas of John Dewey: Democracy: Obviously, Dewey is a strong proponent of democracy, for unique reasons. Dewey believes that we learn, both individually and collectively, through experimentation and the consideration of all ideas and possibilities. For Dewey, the clash of ideas and approaches found in a healthy democracy is the paradigm example of a progressive society. Necessity of Experience rather than Idealism: Dewey provides a solid answer to philosophers such as Plato, Hegel, Ayn Rand, Leo Strauss, and other thinkers who believe that the ³Truth´ is a transcendent set of principles simply waiting to be discovered. Rather, Dewey believes, we ³make the truth,´ not in some relativistic sense, but through genuine human experience. Moreover, Dewey would accuse these idealist and objectivist philosophers of being foundationally anti-democratic. A natural conclusion to Dewey¶s philosophy is that our collective notions of truth ought to be decided democratically. The idea that ³Truth´ emanates from on high is contrary to the notions of progressive, participatory democracy. Cooperation versus Conflict: Obviously, Dewey believes that we learn more together than we do apart, and that we achieve more when we unite around common goals than when we compete with one another. He rejected the notion of competition in academics and embraced the idea that we can learn cooperatively, helping each other out, learning from common struggles. CONCLUSION John Dewey represents something very important about American philosophy. Instead of being concerned about what is ideally true, metaphysically true, logically true or mathematically true, Dewey was concerned about the truth of what works for people in their everyday lives. This is radically democratizing, and wholly appropriate to a people who, at least in principle, rejected the divine right of kings and the assumptions of aristocracy. It is appropriate to an experiment in democracy amidst pluralism and uncertainty. Debaters wishing to incorporate Dewey's ideas ought to research both the foundations of his pragmatism, and the implications of his pragmatism on his educational theories. Although these two aspects of his philosophy are intimately related, the literature is divided rather distinctively. Debaters might also contemplate the fact that, as they search the library for Dewey's works, they might well be using the Dewey Decimal System, devised by John Dewey to catalogue books in libraries. In many ways, Dewey would be a strong advocate of academic debate. Like the participatory models of education he advocated, debate is an exercise in empowering, involved activity. It is student-centered and relies on the students experimenting, succeeding and failing, and learning from each exchange. In fact, understanding why debate is educational for you can help you understand exactly the kind of education that Dewey wanted for students. At the same time, debaters should be aware that objections to pragmatism are important. Dewey and his followers talk about the importance of democracy and participation, but they seem unable to suggest ways to dismantle the very real power structures that block these possibilities. Perhaps creative debaters can synthesize Deweyan pragmatism with effective political strategies for actually opening up the real, material possibility of change in a world where, despite Dewey's efforts, elitism still remains.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY Baker, Melvin C. FOUNDATIONS OF JOHN DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORY (New York: Atherton Press, 1966). Campbell, James. UNDERSTANDING JOHN DEWEY: NATURE AND COOPERATIVE INTELLIGENCE (Chicago: Open Court, 1995). Dewey, John and James Hayden Tufts. ETHICS (New York: H. Holt, 1936). Dewey, John. A COMMON FAITH (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). Dewey, John. ART AS EXPERIENCE (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1934). Dewey, John. ESSAYS IN EXPERIMENTAL LOGIC (New York: Dover Publications, 1953) Dewey, John. EXPERIENCE AND NATURE (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company, 1958). Dewey, John. FREEDOM AND CULTURE (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1939). Dewey, John. HOW WE THINK (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1910). Dewey, John. INDIVIDUALISM OLD AND NEW (New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1930). Dewey, John. LECTURES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1899). Dewey, John. LECTURES ON ETHICS, 1900-1901 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991). Dewey, John. LIBERALISM AND SOCIAL ACTION (New York: Capricorn Books, 1963). Dewey, John. THE CHILD AND THE CURRICULUM, AND SCHOOL AND SOCIETY (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956). Dewey, John. THEORY OF THE MORAL LIFE (New York: Irvington Publishers, 1980). Dewey, John. DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (New York: The Macmillan company, 1916). Gavin, W. J. CONTEXT OVER FOUNDATION: DEWEY AND MARX (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988). Haskins, Casey, and Seiple, David I.. DEWEY RECONFIGURED: ESSAYS ON DEWEYAN PRAGMATISM (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999). Nissen, Lowell. JOHN DEWEY¶S THEORY OF INQUIRY AND TRUTH (The Hague: Mouton, 1966). Popp, Jerome A. NATURALIZING PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: JOHN DEWEY IN THE POSTANALYTIC PERIOD (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998). Schilpp, Paul Arthur. THE PHILOSOPHY OF JOHN DEWEY (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1951). Soneson, Jerome Paul. PRAGMATISM AND PLURALISM: JOHN DEWEY¶S SIGNIFICANCE FOR THEOLOGY (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993).
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1991. Constant and uniform relations in change and a knowledge of them in ³laws. 3. and canvas.´ are not a hindrance to freedom. For these take effect in making preference. 298. not abstract knowledge and abstract thought. and the emphasis is on the other side of the identity between the two. The point of simple tension between the two has been passed. and that the gift operates by a kind of spontaneous combustion. Thinking. No more than any other art is it developed internally. 296. The actual self is not complete as long as it is stated simply as given. freedom is a resolute will operating in a world in some respects indeterminate. desire and purpose more flexible.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. like mathematics. between the natural self and the ideal self. is the most difficult occupation in which man engages. p.com . 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. It requires favorable objective conditions. ADAPTING TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINES OUR ABILITY TO THINK WELL John Dewey. the explicit thing. In other words. but upon the whole we act as if that were true. It is complete only in its possibilities. That is the basis of responsibility. FREEDOM CONSISTS IN RECOGNIZING AND ADAPTING TO CHANGE John Dewey. but power of vision and reflection. 2. p. just as the art of painting requires paint. American pragmatist philosopher. 1968. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. Make it not merely an identity in conception but in action. Volume 9 Page 50 TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE AND EVOLVING 1. 89. Few would perhaps defend this doctrine thus boldly stated. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. but a necessary factor in coming to be effectively that which we have the capacity to grow into. But we appear to assume that ability to think effectively in social. Social conditions interact with the preferences of an individual (that are his individuality) in a way favorable to actualizing freedom only when they develop intelligence. Freedom is the equivalent of the reality of growth. the power to think requires even more conscious and consecutive attention. Judgment or responsibility depends upon the balance between the subject and the predicate. PRODUCING CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF MORALITY John Dewey. and resolute. American pragmatist philosopher. because open and moving toward a new future. 1968. brushes. American pragmatist philosopher. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. abstract possibility but is the possibility of the actual self. Freedom has too long been thought of as an indeterminate power operating in a closed and ended world. If the other arts have to be acquired through ordered apprenticeship. But the necessary unity between the two is involved. In its reality. LECTURES ON ETHICS. In obligation. political and moral matters is a gift of God. SOCIAL CONDITIONS INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. The most important problem in freedom of thinking is whether social conditions obstruct the development of judgment and insight or effectively promote it. p. and you have freedom. We take for granted the necessity of special opportunity and prolonged education to secure ability to think in a special calling.wcdebate. however. the element of tension or resistance between the two is perhaps the more emphasized. Carry that identity farther. the possible self does not represent a remote. alert.
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. like all others. Adapted well enough to the localized and fixed conditions of that earlier age. they became hindrances and annoyances as the effects of new methods.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1968. rights and demands are products of interactions.com . But the absolutistic logic of rigid syllogistic forms infected these ideas. MATERIAL MEANS TO ATTAIN CHOICE John Dewey. mere elimination of obstructions is not enough.´ 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. the true kind. Since actual. emerged. much less a deviation or excrescence. this identification of truth and ³reality´ is sound and reasonable: rationalistically. the other phenomenal and kept continually on the jump because otherwise its own inherent nothingness would lead to its total annihilation. it can only be actualized through interaction with objective conditions. 48-49. that is for practical purposes. BUT CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. whether moral or psychological. p. this possibility has to be actualized. needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations. things which are good for what they lay claim to in the way of consequences. pp. 1968. For ordinary purposes. explains the otherwise paradoxical fact that the slogans of the liberalism of one period often become the bulwarks of reaction in a subsequent era. The question of political and economic freedom is not an addendum or afterthought. existentially speaking. p. and the control of the social environment which is furnished by the institution of property²is a pure absurdity. Pragmatically. 1968. American pragmatist philosopher. which for us monopolizes the title of reality. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in command of capital. Failure to recognize that general legal rules and principles are working hypotheses. VALUES ARE DEPENDENT UPON REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES John Dewey. FREEDOM REQUIRES THE OBJECTIVE. 2. It is one with our individuality. which were embodied in a mass of legal decisions. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. perfectly real. But like all other possibilities. MORAL AND LEGAL RULES ARE NOT FIXED AND TRANSCENDENT. I sum up by saying that the possibility of freedom is deeply grounded in our very beings. effective. ABSTRACT FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH: WE NEED THE MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC MEANS TO BE FREE John Dewey. morally they alone are ³real. use of coal and steam. that is.wcdebate. Since it is a certain kind of object which we want. For the conditions that form political and economic liberty are required in order to realize the potentiality of freedom each of us carries with him in his very structure. Since it is only genuine and sincere things. and. pp. The notion that men are equally free to act if only the same legal arrangements apply equally to all² irrespective of differences in education. is not good reality.´ 2. FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY REQUIRE MATERIAL EQUALITY 1. our being uniquely what we are and not imitators and parasites of others. 139. 1968. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. and freedom of contract. 281. American pragmatist philosopher. one absolute and static because exhausted. while it is. it leads to the notion of the duplicate versions of reality. American pragmatist philosopher. teleologically. one which will be as favorable as possible to a consistent and liberal or growing functioning. PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION. it is this kind. the truth and the realness of things are synonymous. as facts have demonstrated. The movement of emancipation expressed itself in principles of liberty in use of property. in the problem of personal freedom. which we want or are after. and are not found in the original and isolated constitution of human nature. It lacks the hallmark of value. We are all children who saw ³really and truly. Volume 9 Page 51 THERE ARE NO TRANSCENDENT MORAL TRUTHS 1. 297-98. The latter merely liberates force and ability as that happens to be distributed by past accidents of history. American pragmatist philosopher.
DEWEY¶S EDUCATIONAL THEORIES IGNORED SOCIAL CONDITIONS R. Deweyism has been caught off guard and overwhelmed by the sweep of events. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN DISPROVEN BY 20TH CENTURY HISTORY George Novack. to some extent. 1975. The most it can offer is a reasonable assumption or hopeful expectation that this way may be better than that. DEWEY¶S MORAL PHILOSOPHY HAS NO OBJECTIVE BASIS George Novack. 256. 1977. as it usually does. p.wcdebate. DEWEY FAILS SYNTHESIZE THE TEACHER¶S ROLES AS PARTICIPANT AND AUTHORITY R. 1975. Peters. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. to have interpreted their meaning. But he did not ask the questions ³which home?´ and ³which local community?´. as by Dewey. is also unsatisfactory. 2. at least in broad outline. with a too limited view of what he called ³the social medium. This disparity between teacher and taught²especially in the primary school²makes talk of ³democracy in education´ problematic. 115. 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. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED.´ A teacher is not just a leader in a game.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. However. 1977. an authority on some aspect of the culture. Their perplexity and powerlessness was first exhibited in the First World War. which was almost as idealistic as his conception of democracy. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IS FLAWED 1. Instead of playing a directing role.S. p. its adherents have been towed along in the wake of the more aggressive and dominant forces of plutocratic reaction. Just as ideas have no validity before all the returns are in but must be tested afresh in each instance. Peters. p. so moral judgments have no verifiable value or weight in advance of their results in action. for it slurs over the dualism between the teacher¶s position as an authority and the legitimate demand for ³participation. 251. Dewey¶s theory of ethics suffers from the same faults as his theory of knowledge. we are then confronted with current tensions underlying the question of how much ³participation´ is compatible with the freedom and authority of the teacher. 114. and thereby to have helped influence the course of events in a progressive direction. Marxist philosopher and activist. 2. it has been duplicated in every serious crisis convulsing the United States since that time. the growth and outbreak of these upheavals. for sociologists have catalogued the vast disparities that exist between homes in this respect. and he or she is meant to be. JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED. like a football captain. without examining the requisite objective grounds for the hypothetical belief. PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM. to have prepared and equipped people to cope with them. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. If ³democracy´ is to include. Dewey¶s view of the teacher.´ This led him to oversimplify the dualism between what he called ³internal conditions´ and what is the result of social influences. In a game most of the participants know how to play. the record shows that at every critical turn of American history in the twentieth century. which claims to be so realistic and practical.S. Dewey¶s treatment of the psychological principle was equally unsatisfactory. but pupils come to a teacher because they are ignorant.com . who is society¶s agent for the transmission and development of its cultural heritage. Volume 9 Page 52 DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY IS GENERALLY REMOVED FROM REALITY 1. should have done no less. unless ³democracy´ is watered down to mean just multiplying shared experiences and openness of communication. Dewey was impressed. Certainly a philosophy like instrumentalism. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London. Any philosophy which had not lost contact with the realities of social life should have been able to foresee. Marxist philosopher and activist. as I have reiterated. p. some suggestion of participation in decisionmaking. for it combined a conception of the child. 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.
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DEWEY¶S JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ARE FLAWED 1. DEWEY¶S PHILOSOPHY OF DEMOCRACY IS MYSTICAL AND IMPRACTICAL R.S. Peters, professor of the philosophy of education at the University of London, JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED, 1977, pp. 114-115. Dewey himself never paid much attention to institutional issues. This was not just because he lived before the days when ³participation´ became an issue. It was also because his attitude towards the democratic way of life was semi-mystical. ³When the emotional force, the mystical force, one might say, of the miracles of the shared life and shared experience is spontaneously felt, the hardness and concreteness of contemporary life will be bathed in a light that never was on land or sea.´ I wonder if he always felt like this about sitting on committees! 2. DEWEY¶S BELIEF IN DEMOCRACY IS BASED ON MYSTICAL, RELIGIOUS NOTIONS George Novack, Marxist philosopher and activist, PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM, 1975, p. 291. Dewey derived his basic stance toward democracy not, as he contended, from a scientific investigation of the history of society and a realistic analysis of American conditions, but rather from a tradition that was rooted in the mystical equality promised by the Christians. He accused the dualistic idealist philosophers of Greek and modern times of ³operating with ideal fancies´ instead of dealing with the given facts. Yet he committed the same error of metaphysical abstraction in the pivotal question of his whole philosophy: the origin, meaning, and application of democracy. He approached democracy not in its concrete manifestations throughout class society, but as an abstraction to be stuffed with the content he preferred to give it. Democracy to him was less a historical phenomenon than a secular religion. DEWEY¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IGNORES HUMAN NATURE AND HISTORY 1. DEWEY IGNORES NATURAL DIFFERENCES AND INEQUALITIES Anthony Flew, professor of philosophy at the University of Reading, JOHN DEWEY RECONSIDERED, 1977, p. 87. But even if we do concede that this opposite tendency really is implicit in the original insistence upon maximum ³interplay with other forms of association,´ there is no getting away from the truth of Bantock¶s contention that ³there are strong pressures of equality of outcome in the work of John Dewey;´ for if associations are good and democratic in so far as their members share numerous and varied interests, and if education for democracy is to be a matter of concentrating on the development of various but always shared interests, then the variety of those shared interests, and the scope for independent individual development, necessarily must be limited correspondingly. It must, that is to say, be limited by and to whatever happens to be the maximum attainable either by the least richly talented or by the modal majority. Maybe Dewey himself would have been unhappy about the full force of these implications. But he never comes to terms in this context with the truth that people vary enormously in all natural endowments. 2. DEWEY IGNORES CLASS CONFLICT George Novack, Marxist philosopher and activist, PRAGMATISM VERSUS MARXISM, 1975, pp. 250-51. Dewey refused to believe that class conflict arises from deep-seated, compelling, and ineradicable causes in the capitalist system. It was an occasional and subordinate phenomenon that could be overcome by joint effort, good will, mutual give and take. He therefore looked to different agencies and means than the Marxists for achieving the desirable ends of a better life. He wrote: ³That work can be done only by the resolute, patient, cooperative activities of men and women of good will, drawn from every useful calling, over an indefinitely long period.´ In other words, class collaboration is the preferable means of social reformation, political action, and moral improvement. Class struggle goes in the wrong direction and gives disastrous results.
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When most of us think of Woodrow Wilson, we don¶t necessarily think ³philosopher´ -- but that¶s what this visionary president of the United States was. Best remembered as the progenitor of the League of Nations (the precursor to today¶s United Nations) and of the fourteen point program for peace, Wilson¶s name is also invoked by students of international relations theory today in the context of so-called ³Wilsonian idealism´ -- the notion that an interventionist American foreign policy can spawn positive changes in other countries and cultures. This, for better or for worse, is the former president¶s predominant legacy: the liberal internationalism that continues to inform American foreign policy under most Democratic presidents (and some Republicans, such as the first George Bush). Like most historic ³truths´, these simple summations contain quite a bit of accuracy and a little sleight-ofhand. The veracity of these statements depend on one¶s political perspective, on one¶s position in the world, and various other factors. I will try to present diverse perspectives on the life, work and thoughts of this embattled and interesting president. Though perspectives differ on his ideas -- and the efficacy of those views in a swift and fierce world -- it cannot be denied that those views have had a major impact on American and global visions of justice. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia, and grew up during and immediately following the Civil War. His father was a Presbyterian minister, and at times taught college courses. He was inspired by his father¶s religion and love of education. Young Woodrow Wilson first went to Davidson College in North Carolina, but was forced to withdraw due to illness. He graduated what was then the College of New Jersey (and what later became Princeton University) and went on to get his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1879-80 and passed the Georgia bar in 1882. His law practice floundered, though, prompting a career change into government and politics. He returned to school in 1883, studying government and history at Johns Hopkins University. His book Congressional Government was accepted as his dissertation in 1885, and led to his receipt of the Ph.D. degree in political science from Johns Hopkins. To this day, Wilson is the only U.S. president to hold a Ph.D. proving that most presidents just aren¶t too smart. But Wilson was, teaching at Bryn Mawr College, Wesleyan University and Princeton University. After an accomplished career as an author and essayist, he was named president of Princeton University in 1902. From there, politics was a natural step. In 1910, Wilson won the Democratic nomination for governor of New Jersey, subsequently winning the election by a wide margin. His agenda was a progressive one: he focused on preventing the public¶s exploitation by monopolies and trusts. This earned him serious popularity with the masses, and just two years later he accepted the Democratic nomination for president. Wilson called his platform the "New Freedom" platform, and gave keen attention to stimulating the American economy. Again, he earned a landslide victory, winning the presidency with 435 electoral votes out of a possible 531. His brother wasn¶t a governor, and he did not have to cheat to win. True to his word, Wilson followed through on a domestic agenda based on busting corrupt trusts. To this end, he created a dramatic array of economic reforms. He pushed through the Underwood Act (which reformed tariffs and instituted a progressive income tax) and the Federal Reserve Bill (which established our modern banking system, creating new currency and establishing the twelve Federal Reserve banks and their board of governors) in 1913. Yes, we can partially blame Alan Greenspan on Wilson. He also established the Federal Trade Commission in 1914 to restrict "unfair" trade practices.
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These economic reforms show Wilson¶s brand of liberalism: create reforms that stabilize a functioning market economy and offer marginal protections for the poor, while promoting international trade to enrich the wealthy. You can see the economic legacy of Wilson in today¶s New Democrats. THE WAR YEARS Some of the controversy surrounding Wilson¶s ³idealism´ involves the way he handled American involvement in World War I, which began in 1914. Wilson, despite growing pressure from allies like Britain (who were losing an entire generation of young men), resisted American involvement in Europe¶s war. In fact, he ran for reelection in 1916 with the slogans "he kept us out of war" and ³peace without victory.´ Conventional wisdom holds that escalation of submarine warfare by Germany forced Wilson¶s hand in declaring war -- the sinking of the passenger liner Lusitania is often cited. It may be, however, that these events came at the same time a revolution in Wilson¶s thinking was brewing --a revolution that would inspire his ideas on how to make peace. Some critics believe that Wilson, despite his public pronouncements, had already decided to enter the fray. They point to that fact that he created the U.S. government¶s first major state propaganda agency (the Committee on Public Information, also called the Creel Commission). The population of the U.S. didn¶t favor war at the time, and the theory goes that Wilson intended to change their minds. At any rate, he asked Congress for a declaration of war in April 1917. This turn of events led the United States into the fight, and led to Wilson¶s famous efforts at peace -- culminating in the Fourteen Points Address of 1918, which we¶ll discuss below. The critics on the right accused Wilson of thinking wrongly that the United States owes an obligation to the rest of the world -- that instead of intervening to help other nations, we should tend to our own business. The critics on the left had then and have now a radically different take: that not only are their few if any places where American intervention can help the rest of the world, the impulse to intervene is itself a pernicious manifestation of liberal internationalism that desires to control the rest of the human community. This type of thinking reveals itself at home, too, when people opposing governmental policies must also be controlled through imprisonment. Historians such as Howard Zinn point to the Sedition Acts that were used to jail opponents of the war. He criticizes the administration for passing such legislation and the Supreme Court for failing to challenge it on a constitutional basis: This shows the irony of liberalism: Wilson supported many progressive social agendas (women received the right to vote when he was in office, for example), but when one¶s own power and decision-making are challenged, that commitment to social progress sometimes flies out the nearest window. Domestic policy aside -- and it was not an insignificant part of Wilson¶s presidency -- most people remember Wilson for his foreign policy, specifically the role he played in the ending of World War I. Let¶s turn to his ideas on that front now.
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It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in.com . All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest.´ That doesn¶t mean. The removal. they might have been written after the Gulf War by George Bush or Bill Clinton.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The prime points of this neoliberal order include free trade (absolute freedom of navigation. the Europeans considered Wilson a key factor in making peace -.one largely supported by both political parties in the United States. including the internationalist tendencies favoring collective security that are even today rejected by many Republicans who favor the big-stick. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas. the removal of all economic barriers to trade. V. unilaterist school of ³diplomacy. however. In fact. an international regime managing trade. like our own. Still.he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. What we demand in this war. where he promoted his plan for peace in Europe. ³I. the Versailles Treaty was signed with Germany during the Paris Peace Conference. after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. we see the ideas he held most dear in both promotion of peace and economic justice. 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. therefore.´ One can see in these first several points the framework for establishing what we would call today a ³neoliberal´ economic order -. Why was the peace negotiated by Wilson so controversial at home? Many of his ideas were quite ahead of their time. open-minded. wishes to live its own life. II. except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. However. be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims. 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. 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. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. Volume 9 Page 56 THE IDEAS OF WOODROW WILSON In 1919.´ Wilson said. determine its own institutions. and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. A free. openly arrived at. How to establish justice? The first five points hold up remarkably well in today¶s political climate. and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which. that the ideas behind the league have lost their relevance. Open covenants of peace. alike in peace and in war. Before presenting the fourteen points themselves. is nothing peculiar to ourselves. III. 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. a new Republican Congress in the United States rejected the peace negotiated under Wilson. skeptical of the League of Nations. FOURTEEN POINTS The best single summary of Woodrow Wilson¶s political philosophy came in his Fourteen Points Address to Congress. A separate peace had to be negotiated between the United States and Germany. outside territorial waters. IV. There.wcdebate. so far as possible.
wcdebate. he sought to promote trade as a path to peace. both in domestic and foreign policy.´ which mean different things to different people. Take the example of Latin America. But that¶s another story.) From another right-wing perspective. it¶s overly simplistic to say that only the right favors this line of analysis. Overseas. given the myriad factors at play in the formation of one¶s thinking. including evacuation of conquered lands. the nation-building activities have bad tradeoffs. while maintaining other kinds of dominance (economic. then. preferring to think of Wilson as a meddlesome tinkerer who bumbled into trouble by trying to do too much good overseas. This shows that he believed in government as a positive force for change in economics as in foreign policy. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. Others see him as a man who wanted to bring ³peace´ to rich nations and rich men living within them. and established the progressive income tax. and even if we can. These thinkers claim that it¶s a fallacy to presume we can effectively promote those institutions worldwide. Lowenthal. where Wilson once refused to acknowledge non-democratic governments. Volume 9 Page 57 View this in the context of his domestic economic policy: Wilson established the Federal Reserve Bank. etc. and arguably the one with the most historic staying power: ³XIV. to see Wilson at once as overly idealistic and overly cynical. stabilized the economy with numerous reforms that foreshadowed big-government liberalism. Points six through thirteen establish the territorial settlements following the conflict. Wilson is important to understand as a precursor to today¶s modern liberal politicians.a collective body for the nations of the world to gather and discuss problems. is Wilson¶s legacy. in my estimation. Wilson would argue that promoting ³justice´ (through institutions like American democracy) abroad is the best way to get peace. One scholar on inter-American affairs. 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.N.com . 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. solve disputes. DEBATE APPLICATION Motives are a difficult thing to ascertain in any human being. As long as the United States can protect itself with the most powerful military in the world. It is better.´ As we¶ve talked about. they would argue. they argue. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Many left-wing thinkers have taken a similar angle. -. for example). 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. But the fourteenth point was the most controversial to the Republican Congress Wilson faced at home. His ideas have impacted today¶s Democratic party in at least two major ways. As the far-right author David Horowitz wrote this February: (Of course. groups like the Cato institute toe a more isolationist line. a ³consensus´ to Horowitz means something different than what it does to the rest of the world. Some see him as a man who naively believed one powerful country could bring peace to the world. the establishment of an independent Polish state. this vision is what¶s behind today¶s U. The right has a somewhat different slant. why blunt the focus of American foreign policy by taking on multiple ³humanitarian´ missions? This kind of misguided internationalism. Abraham F. was quoted in a Cato publication as concluding: Of course. Not even the mainstream right takes him seriously. and work together toward common goals. It is possible.
Overseas. Foreign policy: Wilson. D. was interventionist by nature. For these reasons. Wilson didn¶t believe in ³laissezfaire´ (let it be) economics. for example. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Since Wilson was unable to campaign for the presidency. despite his initial reluctance to get involved in World War I. After this effort. it is possible to see both Bush¶s and Clinton¶s attacks on Iraq. He never saw most of the impact his ideas would have on the world.000 miles by rail around the country. 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.com . Harding in 1920. Wilson retired to Washington. he fell ill and never fully recovered. CONCLUSION: THE LEGACY OF WOODROW WILSON When Wilson was president. James M. He passed the Family Leave Act as a domestic reform to marginally benefit working Americans while vigorously pursuing free trade agreements abroad. he backed the free trade policies that modern Democrats fall over themselves to back. Volume 9 Page 58 Economic policy: unlike his Republican successors such as Calvin Coolidge. He believed the government should take an active role in stimulating the economy through establishing necessary regulations at home. either). Cox took the Democratic nomination and was beaten by Warren G.C.wcdebate.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. where he died in 1924. his dogged pursuit of the Versailles Treaty necessitated traveling 8. as Wilsonian in nature -.. One can see Bill Clinton¶s economic policy¶s roots in Wilson.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. but then pursued his own policies after employing substantial spin from his propaganda agency.
org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. Louis. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. No. Blum. Ambrosius. Rhodes University. 1986 Knock. Greenwood Publishing Group. PAN AMERICAN VISIONS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Mark. University of California Press. Viking Press. Princeton University Press. 1913-1921. available online at http://www. University of Arizona Press. Howard.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html. 1997 Levin. 2. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.com . Daniels.htm. Josephus. Gilderhus.htm.africa. WOODROW WILSON: A LIFE FOR WORLD PEACE. http://web. Oxford University Press. 1998 Chomsky. WOODROW WILSON: A PENGUIN LIFE. 1998. 1990 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Addison-Wesley Pub Co. 10. Auchincloss. Herbert. 2000. Noam.ufl. 1956 Rowen. PBS documentary. Volume 9 Page 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adar. WOODROW WILSON AND THE POLITICS OF MORALITY. THE NEW FREEDOM. 1980 Link. Political Studies Department. Lloyd. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. accessed April 22. p. 1965 Link.wcdebate. 2. Princeton University Press. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. Warren and Lynne Dunn. Norman Gordon. Thomas. Vol. TO END ALL WARS: WOODROW WILSON AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER. WOODROW WILSON AND WORLD POLITICS. 2002. 1991 Zinn. KEEPING THE COVENANT: AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISTS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Cambridge University Press. 2000. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. 2001. Arthur.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1920-1939. 1995 Kuehl. 1971. http://www. Kent State University Press. accessed April 22. Z MAGAZINE. November 1994.zmag. South Africa. accessed May 1.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. May 7. WOODROW WILSON AND THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC TRADITION: THE TREATY FIGHT IN PERSPECTIVE. THE LIFE OF WOODROW WILSON. Arthur. AMERICA'S RESPONSE TO WAR AND REVOLUTION. CAMPAIGNS FOR PROGRESSIVISM AND PEACE.pbs. Korwa G. Princeton University Press. 2002. 2002. John Morton.
accessed May 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.. 2. Vice-President Nixon in his report to Eisenhower explained that "the course of Africa's development. 2002. np. No.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.com . 2001. 2002.html. Historian. p. Rhodes University. Wilson matters as someone who followed a progressive political agenda and who established a model for subsequent possibilities. After his visit to Africa. THAT PROMOTED COLONIALISM Korwa G. some of which had to wait a long time to come back. emerging American national interests became defined in terms of combatting communism in Africa and other parts of the world. np.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. 2. In the spirit of Wilsonianism.ufl. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. the US welcomed decolonization and independence in Africa in the 1960s.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. BUT THE COLD WAR.pbs. The period of his presidency was a period therefore of extraordinary new assertion of governmental capacity in the United States. Adar. p. WILSON¶S LEGACY INCLUDES MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson. 4. 1998. I see Wilson's life as tragic in the sense that he obviously lost on the League. prohibition. 2001. p. WILSON¶S CONCEPTS OF POWER AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE STILL USEFUL John M. http://web. and women¶s suffrage.could well prove to be the decisive factor between the forces of freedom and international communism".pbs.html. 3.africa. South Africa. Volume 9 Page 60 WILSON PROMOTED PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL AGENDAS 1. accessed April 22. 2001. Historian. WILSON SUPPORTED MANY PROGRESSIVE AGENDAS Ira Katznelson.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 2002. available online at http://www.htm. IT WASN¶T WILSONIANISM. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. available online at http://www.. 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. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. such concerns were evident even prior to much of Africa's independence. Indeed. However. Mulder. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. PBS documentary. 2. with Cold War prism taking a centre stage.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. The direct election of United States senators. Wilson matters as the first modern president. np.html. np. Wilson's also important as the president who presided over a number of major constitutional changes. available online at http://www. 2002. as well as presidential ambition. PBS documentary. Wilson matters as the person who led the United States into global geopolitics. Political Studies Department. Vol. accessed May 1. p.wcdebate. PBS documentary. accessed May 1. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Historian.
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. 2. he argued.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Thus. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON. Historian. South Africa.htm. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. http://web. Historian. It was within this philosophical context that he advocated for the need to make the world safe for democracy. he was never evasive in that way. 2002.html. p.wcdebate. 4. available online at http://www. Moreover. the momentum on the issues of democracy and human rights was evidenced with the appointment of Eleanor Roosevelt to Chair a Commission on Human Rights. accessed May 1. Such thinking would go on to inform the founding fathers of the United Nations. Adar.africa. the crucial priority was the need to establish people-oriented internal and international democratic institutions that would act as the custodians of democracy and human rights as conceptualised within the general rubric of self-determination. 2001. Political Studies Department. If one wants to talk about Wilson¶s legacy. This. South Africa. WILSON¶S IDEAS HELP CONTROL POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL ANARCHY John Morton Blum.htm. This idealism culminated in the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. 2. 2001. np. p.ufl. Adar. accessed April 22. and legitimacy of power held the key to both international peace and the emancipation of humanity from injustice. Wilsonianism not only challenged dictatorial and authoritarian systems worldwide but it also helped oppressed people become aware of their rights.pbs. Vol. np. accessed April 22. What Wilson was capable of was as a president.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. 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. 3. to involve himself in great affairs and to try to find ways in which to work out the problems created by those great affairs. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. Volume 9 Page 61 WILSONIAN THOUGHT HELPED CREATE INTERNATIONAL PEACE 1. Wilsonianism was not only internationalised but also institutionalised. I see it at least more in terms of a process than I do in terms of a product. The UN system tangibly paved the way for the process of decolonization in Africa through the UN General Assembly resolutions. Wilson¶s ideas were victorious even if his policies weren¶t.N.com .pbs. WILSONIAN PHILOSOPHY HELPED CREATE THE U. Vol. WILSON¶S IDEAS WERE VICTORIOUS EVEN THOUGH HIS POLICIES WEREN¶T Jay Winter. In this respect. 2. with African countries which were independent at the time as well as India and the socialist countries taking the lead. He left his stamp upon the way in which American foreign policy has been formulated throughout the 20th Century and the paradox is that a man whose vision was repudiated by the political leadership of his time managed to achieve a way of framing the language of American foreign policy throughout the 80 years since his death. 2002. 1998. http://web. 2. limited government. For Wilson. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Wilsonianism had a global impact.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. WILSONIAN THINKING HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR DECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA Korwa G.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. np. np. p. It isn¶t the League of Nations but the importance of thinking through a way to the control the potential anarchy and the relations of states. PBS documentary. Although the United States did not become a contracting party to the League. The idea of universal morality was central for Wilson. Social and Cultural Rights. Political Studies Department. democracy and human rights (or self-determination in general) was equated with the absence of colonialism. 2.html. One of the central concerns at the time was how to avoid war and conflict in general. Rhodes University. the realization of individual freedom. 2002.ufl. would promote America's long term interests. p. For the colonized peoples of Africa.africa. No. accessed May 1. AND HAD A GLOBAL IMPACT Korwa G. No. available online at http://www. PBS documentary. 1998. In his view. Rhodes University. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Wilsonianism emerged as a distinct policy philosophy at the end of the First World War.
Historian. p. They were proven right. To evaluate what lies ahead. Martin observed. and Canada. The Europeans knew this. and have been kept in power by U. PBS documentary. np. Z MAGAZINE.html. p. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the consensus is "broadly based" in the sense that sustained terror and degradation. Ian Martin. was ambivalent about that power shift" to popular elements represented by Aristide. the one partial exception to the array of horror chambers that Washington has maintained in the region.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If he is. and to accept the rule of private power. the head of the OAS/UN mission through December 1993. aid and training for that purpose since.S. Volume 9 Page 62 WILSON SUPPORTED AMERICAN COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM 1. The military and police forces were established during Woodrow Wilson's invasion as an instrument to control the population. Hakim observes. WILSON¶S ³IDEALISM´ CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE TRAGEDIES IN HAITI Noam Chomsky. WILSON FAILED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO APPLY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES TO THE WORLD Walter LaFeber.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy. recognized that the U. 2001. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Europeans knew that Wilson¶s principles had problems.. The Haitian military. trusting that "the United States. Whether Aristide is allowed to return in some fashion is anyone's guess at the time of writing. open trade. on a par with "Wilsonian idealism. It seems to me that Wilson failed because he tried to apply American principles to the world. "in most Latin American countries. the phrase conceals a grain of truth. rejecting Aristide's plea to reduce them along lines that had proven successful in Costa Rica. As discussed here in July. much of it organized right where Hakim speaks. but Administration officials said they persuaded him to accept them. 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. 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. we should look carefully at the plans for the security forces and the economy. Consider Peter Hakim. revealed by the belief of half the population that the political system is so rotten that both parties should be disbanded. This was one of the successes of the educational program designed for the "doctrinaire monomaniac. Washington director of the Inter-American dialogue. As the matter is now rephrased. available online at http://www. unlike the U. or by its traditional master.N.who could teach some lessons to their kindly tutors about what was meant by "democracy" in days when the term was still taken seriously. The generals continued their resistance to a diplomatic settlement. It hasn't been easy. That is to continue." so the New York Times reported on the eve of the invasion. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON." It is true enough that from the southern cone to Central America and the Caribbean. Aristide has been unwilling to shift power to the "enlightened" sectors of foreign and domestic Civil Society and their security forces. domestic and foreign."Aristide's unwillingness to "broaden the political base" has become a kind of mantra. Hakim also surely knows the nature of the "consensus" at home. has taught people to abandon hope for freedom and democracy. It is intriguing to watch the process at work. He took a kind of an American liberalism and essentially tried to create a form of world institutions: self-determination. November 1994. Father Aristide resisted having so many former soldiers in the police force. 10. France. just now attaining the proper broad consensus after many years of education. reported in Foreign Policy that negotiations had stalled because of Washington's insistence on maintaining the power of the security forces. movement from authoritarianism to democracy tends to reflect a more broadly based consensus than is currently the case in Haiti. 2002. was its friend and protector. He still keeps his allegiance to the general population and their organizations -. accessed May 1. despite its rhetoric of democracy. well-informed about the hemisphere and far from a ranting ideologue." Like many other mindless propaganda slogans.wcdebate. While Aristide was elected by a two-thirds majority. it will be under conditions designed to discredit him and further demoralize those who hoped that democracy might be tolerated in Haiti.pbs.S. "At first. witness the case of Guatemala. 2. and the world did not want the American principles.
wcdebate. He saw democracy as a tool for creating harmony. who reviewed the lessons of history. "political opponents in Haiti have routinely slaughtered each other. WILSON¶S IDEAS JUSTIFY VICIOUS COLONIALISM Noam Chomsky.html.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/sfeature/sf_legacy.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. one of the most hideous crimes of an era not known for its gentleness. 2002. also occupying an important place in the pantheon of American liberalism. WILSON¶S PHILOSOPHY INCLUDED RACISM AND WAR-MONGERING Howard Zinn. He wasn¶t always comfortable with the fact that democracy is a noisy and messy business. themes within the rhetoric of American foreign policy toward Africa since the end of World War II. accessed April 22. accessed May 1. Z MAGAZINE. p. p. South Africa. portrayed in the same light. 2. "Like the French in the 19th century. Z MAGAZINE NETWORK DAILY COMMENTARY. the question emerges as to the resonance of such Wilsonian principles in US foreign policy towards Africa. np. like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. No.pbs. WILSONIAN POLICIES AREN¶T IDEALISTIC: JUST THE SAME OLD REALPOLITIK Korwa G. As for Woodrow Wilson. np. np. 2001. leaving concerns for democracy and human rights aside. http://www. November 1994. W. very unsympathetic with and having very little patience for the messiness of democracy. but it is a novelty to see Napoleon's invasion. or Helen Keller. civilized mediation. very controlling. has been an altogether different story.ufl. Volume 9 Page 63 WILSON¶S SOCIAL IDEAS WEREN¶T NOT PROGRESSIVE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. BUT REPRESSIVE 1. 1998. May 7. We might understand this as another small contribution to the broader project of revising the history of Western colonialism so as to justify the next phase. one of those Wilson sent to prison." 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. "Perspective" on what is taking place was provided in the New York Times by R. Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University. 2. PBS documentary. the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy. 10. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit.org/Sustainers/content/2000-05/07zinn. to say nothing about their weapons" -. p. Historian AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WOODROW WILSON.which the homicidal maniacs in the slums have cleverly concealed. Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussets Institute of Technology.zmag. Should we not bring forward as a national hero Emma Goldman. 2002. His greatest contradiction from my point of view. 2000. sent an occupation army into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Vol. Apple. followers of General Cedras and the former Tontons Macoute retain their homicidal tendencies. The principles of democracy and human rights have been persistent. http://web. BUT HIS SOCIAL POLICIES WEREN¶T Victoria Bissell Brown. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and put anti-war protesters in prison.htm. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. the noise of democracy. however.htm. that he bombarded the Mexican coast." he wrote. 2002. Backers of President Aristide. conditions are now in place for the tangible and coherent pursuit of an American foreign policy based on democracy and human rights.africa. who fearlessly spoke out against the war? 3. 2. WILSON¶S RHETORIC WAS PRO-DEMOCRATIC. US policy makers consistently followed the dictates of realpolitik in the era of the Cold War.com . available online at http://www. 3. shouldn't we remind his admirers that he insisted on racial segregation in federal buildings. Adar. In the current era. but his behavior was often very paternalistic. p. Political Studies Department. if at times secondary. is that his rhetoric was pro-democratic. The linking of such Wilsonian precepts with foreign policy practice. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY. "For two centuries. Rhodes University. accessed April 22. brought our country into the hell of World War I.
´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. That¶s not to say the left doesn¶t have problems with FDR. The New Deal included massive government spending to create jobs and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Another element is that most American of traits. Leuchtenburg. it is certainly remarkable that the enmity exists more than two generations later in this country. FDR nevertheless rose to great heights as a statesman. said that ³The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.and academic articles from scholars and think tank employees slathering over why the New Deal was unconstitutional.not a bad record for a man who left office nearly 70 years ago. the charming and affable voice behind the Fireside Chats. Only recently has there been mass outcry about this mass violation of human rights. He passed important legislation. So what¶s up with the bitterness? Well. from right to left to centrist. This isn¶t to say that there aren¶t legitimate criticisms of FDR. Historians. and was generally beloved by the public. The architect of the New Deal." (Told you so about the anti-Semitism). anyway. (³But I didn¶t know FDR was Jewish!´ you say. while American fascist William Dudley Pelley called him the "lowest form of human worm .but there are certainly things we can all now (hopefully) agree on as grievous acts on FDR¶s part. you¶ll see conspiracy theorist websites devoted to decrying Roosevelt¶s influence on the country -. If one can inspire vitriol of this nature from both sides of the American political spectrum.wcdebate. All this should tell you that Roosevelt had a monumental impact on American life. which proved that private industry isn¶t the only way to create jobs. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms. neither the left nor the right felt they had to restrain themselves when criticizing FDR: FDR was "carrying out more thoroughly and brutally than even Hoover the capitalist attack against the masses. at the Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. He wasn¶t -. Why the hatred from the right wing? After all.but no one accused the far right of being rocket scientists. a horrific violation of civil liberties and a betrayal of what would appear to be FDR¶s own principles. It also says something about the limits of mainstream liberalism. he was perhaps the living embodiment of that ³rugged individualism´ and ³pulling yourself up by your bootstraps´ stuff that conservatives like to bluster about. Whatever the roots of the anti-FDR sentiment. Many saw the New Deal as a cop-out. which tells you we have a ways to go yet in this country. In fact. one has doubtless done something right. except Werner von Braun. the majority of it is due to the success of FDR¶s liberal social programs. though. a bone thrown to the masses who demanded an alternative to the capitalism that was starving them in droves (in their view). perhaps none (even including Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton) has inspired such virulent criticism and simultaneously vociferous defense as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. of course -. even people that hate Roosevelt acknowledge his importance. Debilitated by a youthful bout with polio. popularly known as FDR. I say with a smirk. but we¶ll get to that below. Even today. but the threat of a good example of liberalism is still pretty threatening to these people. It wasn¶t. and it happened 70 years ago. There¶s no way to anger a political opponent than by passing popular and effective legislation. Roosevelt isn¶t just the man who pulled the country out of the Great Depression. William E. the first president to truly take his case directly to the people. agree on this.according to Gentile standards.) We¶ll discuss how that applies in a bit. The best example: the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. ROOSEVELT¶S IMPORTANCE As I said above. What is legitimate depends on what side of the political discourse you come down on. Volume 9 Page 64 FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT Of all the former presidents the United States has seen leave office in the past 100 years. FDR is feted by liberals and reviled by conservatives to this day -. anti-Semitism.com ." according to Communist leader Earl Browder.
foregoing more revolutionary change for institutional reform. These are the simple. or at the very least an advocate of disarmament. and perhaps they are right. the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world.wcdebate. it is important to understand the ideology behind them.´ This did not stop some of his contemporaries from referring to FDR as "that megalomaniac cripple in the White House. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. the government had no rhetorical or actual commitment to the average working person. some of that sentiment stems from the same root. someone making a union-won family wage who can provide for his or her family and even be a little bit comfortable. He figured if America as we knew it was to survive intact. FDR saw the economic system of the early 20th century as too harsh. Before.where significantly more power rests in the hands of the executive branch -. and you have to put your 10-year-old to work in a factory. as we will see later. This is why the left sees Roosevelt as a betrayer of social revolution. ROOSEVELT¶S IDEAS Much is made of Roosevelt¶s social and economic reforms. In his famour ³Four Freedoms´ speech. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. sewing clothes for 16 hours a day for pennies a day (due to no child labor laws and no minimum wage). say. The four freedoms which give the famous speech its name are listed here: One would think that this made FDR a pacifist. surpassed only by the legendary Abraham Lincoln. Leuchtenberg continued.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. he included economic rights in that list. Security for those who need it. someone had to do something fast to preserve the positive aspects of the old order. Volume 9 Page 65 There are many reasons for this. If you¶re starving. as failing to meet the needs of the public. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. Unlike most every other president.and perhaps they are right. The thing they both agree on is that a fundamental shift occurred during his time in office. He also thought there were certain fundamental rights to which humans were entitled. you¶re a lot more susceptible to someone preaching overthrow of the existing system than. Jobs for those who can work. This is not quite true. The preservation of civil liberties for all. The ending of special privilege for the few. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. The right see him as having betrayed capitalism for a more socialist model. FDR recognized this. Perhaps the best manifestation of these ideas came from the man himself. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. 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. Many believe that today¶s so-called ³imperial presidency´ -.began with FDR and his legislative ideas. FDR laid out exactly to what he thought humans ought to be entitled: Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. This is also why the right sees him as a betrayer of unfettered capitalism -." But believe it or not. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. from his leadership in World War II to his economic ideas to his intangible inspirational qualities. too. In order to understand these.
Social Security. Higgs breaks out the organizational chart of the federal government. and was arguing in the 1950s and 1960s along with Joe McCarthy that Communists were infiltrating the American government. when voters unceremoniously dumped him in favor of FDR.but. there are lots of people that won¶t let 70-year-old policies go. the Securities and Exchange Commission. All of these were first established under Franklin Roosevelt. the physically handicapped. the aged poor. Sure. and income supplements for dependent children in single-parent families. such programs as massive relief programs for the unemployed. historians have taken a positive view of the New Deal´ -. and labor relations. industry. One of them is Robert Higgs. pathological anti-communist who saw such things as laws against child labor as a sign of the creeping red tide. The FDR years. the Social Security Administration. from the day he is born. were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. and the creation of Social Security with its old-age pensions. Nope. Aside from the governmental influx of capital to boost the economy. Higgs writes. Specifically. 3).wcdebate.´ This imprecise term covers a variety of reforms that constitute a safety net for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged. finance. finance.Barber says he was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" -. It¶s also pretty interesting how he skips over free-market conservative Herbert Hoover. Volume 9 Page 66 In January 1935. He points to such agencies as the Export-Import Bank. industry.but he was more a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. the National Labor Relations Board. unemployment insurance and aid to families with dependent children. He explained his rationale in the Four Freedoms speech: ECONOMIC POLICY: THE CRITICS As I mentioned. FDR is best known for promoting what is known as ³the welfare state. and the blind. unemployment insurance. Things we take for granted today include: relief programs for the unemployed. the expanded federal regulation of agriculture. but no one heard it from the President before then. Cradle to the grave . the aged poor. ³with few exceptions. and who continued to adopt laissez-faire policies that deepened the depression until 1932. who admits that ³In the construction of the American regulatory and welfare state. He had his own ideas -. He also promoted expanded federal regulation of agriculture. The reason was not that Roosevelt was revolutionary economic thinker himself -. and the blind are not beneficent ideas designed to make the functioning of government and economy more humane. the FDR experimentation resulted in an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which relied on government stimulation of private industry. pensions for the elderly. who was president when the Great Depression started in 1929.com . the establishment of a legal minimum wage. these policies are a power grab by liberal economists! Of course. the Federal Housing Administration. FDR emphasized his commitment to social security this way: "I see no reason why every child. wrote William Barber in his book DESIGN WITHOUT DISORDER." You may have heard this ³cradle to the grave´ rhetoric before. he was a man with certain values (expressed above) that was willing to listen to professional economists about how to achieve those values. he doesn¶t mention that Kershner was a paranoid. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the physically handicapped. shouldn't be a member of the social security system. the Rural Development Administration (formerly the Farmers Home Administration). Higgs and the like paint FDR as a big-government liberal who created federal agencies for their own sake and no other. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the conservative economic theorist.´ He does not say this as a compliment.from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system. As evidence. to him. the establishment of a legal minimum wage. the Farm Credit Administration. and labor relations to prevent market failures and offer governmental support of certain businesses in danger of failure. 2). no one looms larger than FDR. the Rural Utility Service (formerly the Rural Electrification Administration).instead.
that students have their college loans federally provided. this was not the case. Even if you¶ve got a problem with. FDR signed Executive Order 9066.´ playing to racist notions of wealthy Jews running the government.S. By subsidizing. vanden Heuvel has noted. FDR would have seen the folly in his most shameful act of the war. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. And what about all those that got their jollies in hating Roosevelt? My favorite story is this one. though the U. who praised Hitler and continued to trade with Nazi Germany AFTER World War II began). CONCLUSION FDR might be the most important president of the 20th century.000 loyal Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps for years. FDR was the first (and. Charming. vanden Heuvel argues. the Export-Import Bank. Leuchtenberg: ³In Kansas a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. which consigned over 100. Famously. The legal precedent that justified this vile act. was upheld by the Supreme Court and stands a valid legal precedent to this day. including Holocaust deniers like David Irving and his ilk. No similar policies were enacted for Americans of German or Italian descent. ³interferes with the effective operation of the free market.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. (Which he was there. To his credit. isn¶t it a good rather than a bad thing that farmers get subsidies that help family farms stay afloat. narratives end with perfect poetic justice. but that¶s the way it is.´ he writes. Sadly. this much is undeniable. and thereby diverting resources from the uses most valued by consumers. insuring. United States. Korematsu v. Volume 9 Page 67 and the Tennessee Valley Authority as ³the offspring of the New Deal´ and argues that they are pernicious in their effects. was at war with them. told by William E. regulating.wcdebate. only sometimes. too. each renders the economy less productive than it could be-and all in the service of one special interest or another. William J.´ and called his policies ³the Jew Deal. This nonsense about Roosevelt and about Jews continues to this day among the racist right.)´ Sometimes. so even (gasp!) the middle class and below can attend universities. 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. the ONLY) political leader to stand against Hitler from the very beginning. say. Their property was seized. it certainly serves as a major mark in Roosevelt¶s favor. It also helps to explain the hatred of FDR by the anti-Semitic right. being a victim of race-baiting himself. who didn¶t see the murder of European Jews as any of out business. by the way. Love him or give in to insane and illogical hatred of him.com . but virtually alone among prominent Americans (many of whom. financing. No act of espionage by any Japanese American was ever proven. including Henry Ford. ³Each in its own fashion. The vast majority of it was never returned.´ Regardless of how one feels about each of these individual agencies. One would think. The nutty right spread rumors that Roosevelt¶s real name was ³Rosenfeld. Considering that this made him alone not only among the political leaders of the world. his wife ran off with a traveling salesman. 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. and one can certainly debate about the impacts of some of them.
2002. July 24. 1992.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/nf/resource/fdr/primdocs/socsecspeech. Franklin Delano. Kimball. Mead and Company Publishers.wcdebate. 1932-1945. accessed May 5. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Robert. 1959. 1979. accessed May 9.NET BOOK REVIEW .shtml. James MacGregor. 2002.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 17.´ Jan.htm.pbs. FDR'S SPLENDID DECEPTION. accessed May 02. Jr.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. http://www.htm. Noam.net/bookreviews/library/0024. http://www. William E. FRANKLIN D. Kenneth S. THE FREEMAN. Higgs. ³Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery (Fireside Chat)´. Dallek. 2002. THE JUGGLER: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AS WARTIME STATESMAN. Oxford University Press. DETERRING DEMOCRACY. Hugh Gregory.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. New York: Random House Publishing. 1991.1987. ROOSEVELT AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. Princeton: Princeton University Press.feri. 1933. Robert. Roosevelt. Franklin Delano. July 1997. 1986. FDR: THE NEW DEAL YEARS 1933-1937. 2002. THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL. Arthur M. http://www. accessed May 10. Gallagher. Department of History. New York: Dodd. accessed May 1. Boston: South End Press. http://newdeal. Davis.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3.washingtonpost. Warren F. http://www. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. ROOSEVELT: THE SOLDIER OF FREEDOM. 1985. 1970. Michael V. Volume 9 Page 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Burns.html. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.ECONOMIC HISTORY. September 1998.independent.eh. Leuchtenburg. Roosevelt.html. 1935.org/chat/chat03. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. EH. Chomsky. University of Mississippi . ³A Message to the Congress on Social Security.com . Namorato. Schlesinger.
In this sense." 3. the political paralysis. http://www.just where they are going." noted one business journal. p. Although not a great economic thinker. It was not just for the day as it was in Cambridge. responding to left-wing critiques of FDR. http://www. Roosevelt rested his legislative program on the assumption that government should actively seek social justice for all Americans. the notion of the State got little attention in America before FDR.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. in short. where trading resumed on March 15. 2002.. "The people aren't sure. Leuchtenburg." On the New York Curb Exchange. . too. Volume 9 Page 69 FDR¶S ECONOMIC LEGACY IS CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT 1.. http://www. The historian James T. without which the New Deal would indeed have been mindless and devious. Roosevelt himself. in the offices there is a feeling of hope reborn. years after it had become a fixture in other lands. accessed May 1. the Rooseveltian years were "a watershed in economic policy and in economic thinking" (p. IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. the spirit of the country seemed markedly changed. np.NET BOOK REVIEW . 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. After much experimentation. Although European theorists had been talking about der Staat for decades. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.washingtonpost.1987. the end result was an "Americanized version of Keynesian macroeconomics" which became part and parcel of governmental policy by the end of the 1930s. accessed May 5.net/bookreviews/library/0024. "but anywhere seems better than where they have been. not least those who are disadvantaged. one eyewitness later remembered.wcdebate. Roosevelt listened to and responded to their suggestions. EH.ECONOMIC HISTORY. gone. np.htm. Starting in the spectacular First Hundred Days.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. Namorato.1987. Only a few weeks after Roosevelt took office. Department of History. 2002.htm. 1).com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears.washingtonpost.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the stock ticker ended the day with the merry message: "Goodnite. Roosevelt's Washington. FDR REPRESENTED A WATERSHED IN ECONOMIC THINKING Michael V. July 1997. 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.eh. FDR TRANSFORMED THE NATION¶S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK William E. p. In the homes on the streets. 2. his opportunism was grounded in social concern and conscience. np. FDR WAS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED William E. Gone was the torpor of the Hoover years..com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. Patterson. 2). Washington seemed like Cambridge on the morning of the Harvard-Yale game: "All the shops were on display.. Overnight. was a "laboratory affording economists an opportunity to make hands-on contact with the world of events" (p. Roosevelt brought the Welfare State to America. In the case of Franklin Roosevelt." Again and again. There was something in the air that had not been there before.shtml. p. everyone was joyous. Leuchtenburg. He provided those with more learning and understanding of economic matters an opportunity to develop their ideas. how Franklin D. accessed May 5. Designs Within Disorder concentrates on what economists were saying during the New Deal. 2002. in Barber's opinion. and the ultimate impact these economic thinkers had on long-term federal economic policy.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. crowds moved excitedly. and in the New Deal that continued throughout. Similar to his earlier study.Happy days are here again.com . University of Mississippi . was "an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty" (p. has written: ³Roosevelt was no hard-eyed merchandiser. 3). ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.
FDR HELPED PROMOTE SOVEREIGNTY FOR COLONIZED PEOPLES Korwa G.africa. 2. FDR¶S LEGACY IS THE ABOLITION OF INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONISM William E. Wilsonian precepts resonated clearly in the messsage of the Atlantic Charter which. Vol. accessed May 5.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY.htm. accessed May 5." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Adar. 2002. No private program and no public policy. 2. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.htm. Roosevelt's high place rests also on his role in leading the nation to accept the far-ranging responsibilities of world power. p. 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. ³The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. p. Leuchtenburg. President Wilson's global campaign as the champion for the silent majority also set the stage for a United States democracy and human rights foreign policy in the twentieth century. although promulgated by Franklin D. Rhodes University.washingtonpost. As a wartime president.1987. p. http://www. http://web.´ Conference on Leadership in the Modern Presidency at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University on April 3. As commander-in-chief. FDR¶S INTERNATIONAL ROLE WAS FIRST-RATE William E. No." Robert Divine has concluded. it had refused to participate in either the League of Nations or the World Court. np." 3. "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. late in his second term. manifestly indicated US dissatisfaction with the lack of sovereignty for colonised peoples. given the nature of nuclear weapons.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. When he took office. Roosevelt made full use of his executive power in recognizing the USSR. crafting the Good Neighbor Policy.1987. South Africa. http://www. accessed April 22. np.washingtonpost. Denied by Congress the discretionary authority he sought. Roosevelt had wide latitude to demonstrate his executive leadership by guiding the country through a victorious struggle against the fascist powers. in any sector of our national life. professor of International Relations at the International Studies Unit. Political Studies Department.htm. Roosevelt. 2. Volume 9 Page 70 FDR¶S OVERSEAS POLICY WAS EXCELLENT 1. 1998. can now escape from the compelling fact that if it is not framed with reference to the world. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and it seems improbable. Never before had a president been given the opportunity to lead his people to a triumph of these global dimensions.com . Wilson's intellectual heir. that such a circumstance will ever arise again. and. 2002.ufl. it is framed with perfect futility. Leuchtenburg. 2002. "His role in insuring the downfall of Adolf Hitler is alone enough to earn him a respected place in history.edu/asq/v2/v2i2a3. providing aid to the Allies and leading the nation toward active involvement in World War II.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/fdryears. the United States was firmly committed to isolationism. a position he was said to prefer to all others.wcdebate. np.
by taxing and spending. regulations.wcdebate. accessed May 02. embraced interventionist policies on a wide front. Volume 9 Page 71 THE NEW DEAL WAS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.independent. accessed May 02. September 1998. np. He was no hero.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs.html. With its bewildering. 2. Flynn said of FDR. incoherent mass of new expenditures. the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme. http://www. stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington²the depression might have passed into history before his next campaign in 1936. As John T. which would have increased the national income 30 to 40 percent. THE NEW DEAL WAS A MASSIVE VOTE-BUYING SCHEME Robert Higgs.html. the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. and business failures. But for all his undeniable political prowess. http://www. THE FREEMAN. 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. THE FREEMAN. Coming into power at a time of widespread destitution. FDR and Congress. 2002. the New Deal created so much confusion. taxes. never recovered enough to restore the high levels of production and employment enjoyed in the 1920s.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. The government¶s own greatly enlarged economic activity did not compensate for the private shortfall.independent. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. accessed May 02. After all. Had Roosevelt only kept his inoffensive campaign promises of 1932²cut federal spending. Rather. 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. http://www. 3. Despite its economic illogic and incoherence. np. and hostility among businessmen and investors that private investment.2 Without capital accumulation.com . Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. he prolonged the depression and fastened on the country a bloated. accessed May 02. 2002. as many observers claimed at the time. fear. especially during the congressional sessions of 1933 and 1935. 2002. subsidies. no economy can grow. September 1998.html. the New Dealers had a method. THE FREEMAN.1 billion. Senior Fellow in Political Economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. In fact. PROLONGING THE DEPRESSION 1. September 1998. by ranting against "economic royalists" and posturing as the friend of the common man. In the face of the interventionist onslaught. np. the American economy between 1930 and 1940 failed to add anything to its capital stock: net private investment for that eleven-year period totaled minus $3. Between 1929 and 1939 the economy sacrificed an entire decade of normal economic growth. http://www. THE FREEMAN. 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. intrusive government that has been trampling on the people¶s liberties ever since.independent. he got himself elected time after time. 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. and hence overall private economic activity. But instead.´ 4. In this madness. high unemployment.org/tii/news/x980900Higgs. p. 2002.html. ROOSEVELT¶S LEGACY IS TO TRAMPLE ON LIBERTY Robert Higgs. p. p. But however significant his legacies. maintain a sound currency. By wheeling and dealing. np. balance the budget. uncertainty. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ and eventually ³no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs. the New Deal did prolong the depression. September 1998. and direct government participation in productive activities. THE NEW DEAL PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.independent. FDR¶S POLICIES ACTUALLY PROLONGED THE DEPRESSION Robert Higgs. Roosevelt deserves no reverence.
Those of us who were born to circumstances less assured tend to think of. Roosevelt is lost amidst the intellectual environment that Barber has created. University of Mississippi .. 2002. There was one published reaction." "That Roosevelt was the democrat that great gentlemen always are in no way abated his grandeur. 3.zmag.." Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer "were persons even grander on the domestic stage than they would end up being on the cosmic one.. Barber details how Hopkins brought in young academics sympathetic to this approach.ECONOMIC HISTORY." His "enormous bulk" stands between us "and all prior history..eh. who praised "the encomium that Murray Kempton justly bestowed on Roosevelt. DETERRING DEMOCRACY." 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. in his last chapters." Try as they might.. The aura of sanctity remains among intellectuals who worship at the shrine. http://www.a wasteland. Franklin Delano Roosevelt attained similar heights among large sectors of the population.. July 1997. by Noel Annan. Namorato. the spinners of fantasy could not even approach such heights in the Reagan era. In fact. DESPITE ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS. Keynesianism took hold after 1945 only after it had infiltrated the universities (p. [We are] as homesick as Alsop for a time when America was ruled by gentlemen and ladies. The important fact is that Roosevelt brought us "comfort. Volume 9 Page 72 FDR¶S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE NOT TRULY EFFECTIVE 1.. FDR SHOULD NOT GET CREDIT FOR KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS Michael V." whatever the record of economic reform and civil rights may show. http://www.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and how people like John K. July 1997. how the president barely tolerated Thurman Arnold and his anti-trust movement. accessed May 1.ECONOMIC HISTORY." He left us with "nostalgia" that is "aching. including many of the poor and working class." and met the great crisis in their lives. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Department of History.. Barber credits Roosevelt with so much in terms of providing economists with an opportunity to influence policy.owing to his engraving upon the public consciousness the sense that men were indeed equal.html. Department of History.." etc. accessed May 1. Galbraith in the Office of Price Administration helped to mobilize America's wartime economy.. accessed May 1. Roosevelt took such complete command that he "left social inquiry.. Somehow. World War II. EH. THE ECONOMISTS SHOULD GET THE CREDIT. Finally. "in the grandest style. indeed revere. Barber concluded that the Full Employment Act was more of a victory for the opponents of the Keynesian approach than one would have suspected. 2002. a secret love affair. http://www. Barber takes his argument through the later 1930s.wcdebate. FDR. [His blend of elegance with compassion] adds up to true majesty. who placed their trust in him...shtml. 2002.org/chomsky/dd/dd-c02s03. Namorato. through Roosevelt and Truman.NET BOOK REVIEW . DIDN¶T ADDRESS INEQUITY Noam Chomsky. 1992.endearingly exalted. EH. individuals like Galbraith left the New Deal. Chapter 2.eh. Seeing Harry Hopkins' appointment as Secretary of Commerce as a turning point towards official acceptance of Keynesianism." But that is only the carping of trivial minds. University of Mississippi . 171). and the immediate post-war era.net/bookreviews/library/0024. 2.. no less analyzed in terms of his own thinking on what these economists were telling him and his close advisors.com .shtml.net/bookreviews/library/0024. In the end. Still. etc.. this demeanor as the aristocratic style. Finally. Reviewing a laudatory book on FDR by Joseph Alsop in the New York Review of Books. but the president himself is seldom even mentioned. however.NET BOOK REVIEW ... 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. NOT FDR Michael V.splendidly eternal for romance.
and when he was elected as a state assemblyman 20 years ago. Along with four other defendants -. we¶ll have to take a look at Hayden. It wouldn¶t hurt to have a gander at what they have continued to do in the ensuing decades. even those ³intent to riot´ convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court. let¶s examine one of the most fascinating periods of recent American history. were acquitted of additional conspiracy charges. and what he and those inspired by him did during the 1960s.Jerry Rubin. As his own website (www. though.the issues they tackled ranged from the war in Vietnam to racial injustice to anti-nuclear politics to American economic inequity -.it is possible to sum up the academic debate surrounding them. He later served as a ³freedom rider.and those who consider them to be troublemaking. some of whom even tried to expel him from the Legislature as a "traitor. he was best known for his 16-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. Basically. In 1969 and 1970. Hayden continued with his activism. he was a prominent defendant in the Chicago Seven trial.S. who were not convicted. Undaunted by his legal trouble.com . wrote the national correspondent of The Atlantic. TOM HAYDEN¶S LIFE Regardless of your opinion of Hayden as an activist or as a person. In 1968. he has lived in Los Angeles since 1971. were John Froines and Lee Weiner.S. "Tom Hayden changed America". there are two camps that feel strongly as regards Hayden and SDS.does not shy away from nor roll his eyes at debates on the impact of the 1960s.committed to the Socratic and Platonic tradition of logic and rhetoric -. and whether some of the political movements of the time were benevolent or detrimental."´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. District Judge Julius Hoffman. Hayden -. So. Later. which he sees as necessary for a rich and stable intellectual culture. As some former radicals did. 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. his life. Hayden decided to run for elected office. Nicholas Lemann. That court based its decision on procedural errors by U. Who is right? Well.´ 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. Born December 11. The other defendants. including Froines and Weiner. Far from it: Hayden welcomes the dialogue. And unlike me. they participated in many controversial events demonstrating their opposition to the Vietnam War. challengers of the status quo and defenders of the downtrodden -. Students for a Democratic Society. One of those movements. Abbie Hoffman.wcdebate. ³he was regarded warily as an invader and outlaw by his fellow lawmakers.com) admits. There are those who consider them to be heroic protestors.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Volume 9 Page 73 TOM HAYDEN It says a great deal about American academic thinking that we are still arguing about the 1960s. he was arrested as a member of the "Chicago Seven" for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention.Hayden was convicted of intent to riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. you¶ve gotta admit he¶s led a pretty interesting life so far. the 7th U. the Los Angeles Times reported. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1982 -. in order to answer that question.tomhayden. Circuit Court of Appeals. While it¶s certainly impossible to sum up either the SDS or Hayden in just a few pages -. 1939. with that said. his ideas. anti-American louts who have frayed the fabric of the blue jeans of American life. Rennie Davis and David Dellinger -. Together. All the defendants.
the SDS got its name from a desire for what they termed ³true democracy. and decried the prominence of special interest waste and abuse of power in California politics.his radical views often polarized even friendly legislators -. Unlike many of his fellow radicals. including legislation on behalf of women. He has an infant son with Williams. lots of different kinds. of course. and other activists of various stripes. and more. In fact. Hayden was called the "legislator of the year" by the American Lung Association for taking on the tobacco industry. to take action. 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. anti-sweatshop legislation -which you might expect of a former 1960s radical. wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Until he was forced out by term limits. He backed pro-labor. Activist. hailed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his civil rights achievements.com .not necessarily the hard Marxist leaning of various communist groups. author. the culmination of seven consecutive electoral victories representing the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.remember. Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement while a student at The University of Wisconsin. While he didn¶t pass much legislation -. the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society. Indeed.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. he was "the conscience of the (California State) Senate". but a general desire for leveling the economic playing field in the United States. Hardly a single issue activist or politician. (Look it up. While a state legislator. Like many of the so-called New Left groups of the time. As one might expect given the racial intolerance prevalent in America at the time -. The conclusion of the Port Huron Declaration reads: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. But mainstream groups honored him. workers. convict with his sentence overturned. again husband of different actress. Volume 9 Page 74 This didn¶t stop him. It¶s been a tumultuous ride for Hayden. 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. That includes student groups. former husband of actress. as he was elected to the state Senate in 1992. husband of actress. too. Hayden recognized that power could not truly be challenged without alliances between various progressive groups. Hayden never decried the existence of the political system as such. Hayden also has two grown children from his earlier marriage to Fonda. Recognizing that this would require revolutionary change. activist. 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. At least one prominent political figure. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was still two years away -. and on and on.wcdebate.´ using rhetoric reminiscent of early American rabble rousers such as Thomas Paine. What kind of action? Well. praised by the Jewish National Fund for his support of Israel. presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. fought for reform of the K-12 educational system. his tenure as a state senator was not the first time Hayden had influenced legislative agendas.he sponsored numerous bills. politician. African-Americans and Latinos and Holocaust survivors. Hayden fought against university tuition increases. kids). Even in his youth. which was written by Tom Hayden in 1962.Hayden decried the injustice of the discrepancy in material wealth and economic opportunity between the white and black communities. convict. the SDS had socialist leanings -. Then statement encouraged other students to research and understand the world at large. He is currently married to the actress Barbara Williams. even when he wasn¶t married to Barbarella. he was given kudos by the Sierra Club and the California League Conservation Voters for backing protection of endangered species and proenvironment record.
Especially because of the nuclear age. Pursuit of knowledge is then eclipsed by the needs of the moment and the opinion of the masses. It's an institution that is a full participant in our democratic society. but it seems difficult for him to comprehend that. Quite the opposite is true. there was tension in this: many labor groups distrust environmentalists because of perceived inattention to the cause of workers. on the remoteness of the curriculum from the real dilemmas of life.they were defending their own brand of moral claims. that the United States should not engage in what the SDS felt were immoral activities. Rather than moral relativism. as long as we have a US Constitution there will be the possibility of strikes or Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com .. The 1960s radicals were not defending Vietnamese (or Chinese. ³the enclosing fact of the Cold War. on the failure of the university to stand as a critical institution representing inquiry. When he was interviewed by the journal NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. And. the SDS. brought awareness that we ourselves. He responds to the charges of people such as Allan Bloom and David Horowitz thusly: What Bloom and others see as moral relativism -. on the cowardly silence of the intellectual community in the 50s. Volume 9 Page 75 While Hayden has never focused on one issue to the exclusion of all others.or contaminated by. Thus. doesn¶t mean there isn¶t a moral system behind it.wcdebate. the university loses the critical detachment necessary to preserve and pass on the core values of Western civilization. and our friends. insists Hayden to this day.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. this was actually the mirror image of the moral absolutism that Bloom and his allies defended.´ It seems. it is certainly possible to decide based on his activist priorities which are the most important to him. 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.. even people that consider themselves ³progressive´ on one or more issues might not be given to the kind of movement-building that SDS advocated. As a result. 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. then. Naturally. Higher education is fully integrated into . when the current preoccupations of a democratic society become the primary concerns of the university. pacifism and the avoidance of war were a pressing concern for Hayden: as he wrote then.Hayden sees as merely a shift in morals. Just because it isn¶t your morality. and indeed the 1960s in its entirety. if one is not progressive at all. Bloom continuously asserts that higher education has failed democracy. It is not Plato's cave. one would hardly be given to support any of the prevailing agendas that Hayden or his allies would. depending on how we view it American society. the Vietnam War provided his activist awakening.they argue that the student movements essentially defended the right of societies to choose communism -. might die at any time. Like many of his vintage. Hayden expanded upon this defense of his philosophy: NPQ: In Bloom's mind. Hayden might say.of turning a blind eye to oppression if it suits their political ends. improving cultural literacy or improving the quality of life. at least in the United States. or Soviet) communism -. for example. We live in an economy and a culture where ideas are not separate from improving productivity. and some of the charges they have levied against Hayden. symbolized by the presence of the Bomb. of course. higher education is not separate from democracy. THE CHARGE OF MORAL AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM Conservative academics interesting in revising history have tried to give a black eye to the 1960s student movements by accusing them of moral and cultural relativism -. and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril. that Hayden and SDS defended a multidisciplinary activism that recognized the need for progressive groups of all stripes to come together toward overlapping goals. HAYDEN: Bloom has it backwards. Let us turn to the latter group now.
it¶s this: he isn't afraid to change with the times. it is worth reporting and considering that Hayden and SDS were certainly on the edge of the debate. others maintain that Hayden and SDS were supporters of violent groups. this is far from undisputed.and the vexing corollarly question. who refused to rule out violence as a political tactic. The question of whether violence is justified as a political tactic -. philosophies and ideas -. OTHER CRITICISMS OF HAYDEN Even if individuals agreed with the goals of the SDS. However. He is unafraid of a vigorous and public discussion on policies. According to observers.is not something we will concern ourselves with here.com . 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." This would seem to be at least a tacit endorsement of the group¶s tactics. that was the basis of the government¶s case against the Chicago Seven. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. they might be criticized for methods -. at the Weathermen¶s Days of Rage gathering. Critics cite Hayden¶s speech to the radical group The Weathermen.such as a willingness to riot at the Democratic National Convention.not unlike many members of the debate community.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. Hayden told the group: "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Because of the overturned conviction. whether it is justified in an advanced democracy which generally protects freedom of speech -.certainly. CONCLUSION -. Many say that the riot was something the SDS planned all along -. Nevertheless. even if they weren¶t violent themselves.HAYDEN AND DEBATE If there is one thing that we can say about Tom Hayden.
B1.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. Herbert with prefaces by Staughton Lynd and Tom Hayden. New York: New American Library. Tom.org/taemj97s.matrix.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. THE LOVE OF POSSESSION IS A DISEASE WITH THEM. Chicago: Holt. Rinehart and Winston. accessed May 1. 1972. author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. REUNION: A MEMOIR.htm. MISSION TO HANOI. November 27. activist and former California state legislator. Hayden. 20.wcdebate. 1999. Radosh. Port Huron Statement. 2001. Hayden. December 5. David. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. 1988. Hayden.com . activist. WASHINGTON POST. p. 2002. Tom. 2002. Tom Hayden. Hayden. Volume 9 Page 77 BIBLIOGRAPHY Aptheker. Staughton & Thomas Hayden. the New Left and the Leftover Left. 1966. 1966 (pb New York: Signet. 2002. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. accessed May 2. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html.theamericanenterprise. p.msu. http://www. http://coursesa. Volume 4. #4. Lynd. May/June 1997. activist and former California state legislator. The Other Side. former radical. New York: International Publishers. Tom.htm. Fall 1987. Horowitz. New York: Random House. 1967). 1962.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 2. http://www. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY.frontpagemag. Tom. Ronald.
on the contrary. we hope.. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1999. and those who did so should be blessed in our history.com . hundreds of Americans per week were coming home in body bags. WE MUST CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT TOWARD TRUE DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden. 5. December 5. not that of their opponents. one can argue that the finest moment of the university was when students and faculty stopped the university's business-as-usual during a time of national crisis. THE 1960s WERE THE UNIVERSTIES¶ FINEST MOMENT Tom Hayden. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present. activist. p. 2. 4. We were spending $30 billion a year on death and destruction. is the pepper spray helping you relive your youth? My response was that it beats taking Viagra.msu. being gassed myself. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. But we are a minority . p. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency. 2002.msu.html. They are the exact opposite of Nazi storm troopers.matrix. the bureaucracies. the workplaces. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 4. They were. that something can be done to change circumstances in the school. Fall 1987.the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. It was honorable to protest that situation. B1. that we direct our present appeal. Port Huron Statement. is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise. np. Port Huron Statement.wcdebate. one which moves us and.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. AND HAVE MORE IMPACT Tom Hayden. For the first time in memory. My serious take on the question might surprise you. Our world is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. p. calling on us not to be "good Germans. 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. accessed May 2. In actuality it frustrates democracy by confusing the individual citizen. and consolidating the irresponsible power of military and business interests. yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. 3. 20. activist. Professors at Columbia and Berkeley were among the intellectual architects of that war. Volume 9 Page 78 THE 1960s ACTIVISM OF SDS AND HAYDEN WAS POSITIVE 1. THE NEW MOVEMENTS CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE 60s. B1. sitting on cold pavements and hard floors. marching. and to this day I am astounded by the fact that of nearly 1000 academic articles written for leading political science journals during the 60s. activist. np. Based on five days of joining in protests.matrix. do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present. 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. Do the Clinton administration's investor-based trade priorities benefit America's interest in highwage jobs.html. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM ISN¶T REALLY DEMOCRACY Tom Hayden.. 2002. THE NEW MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE THE NEW BOSTON TEA PARTY Tom Hayden." That's what Bloom doesn't understand. Seattle '99 was more like the Boston Tea Party than the days of rage we knew in the late '60s.edu/~hst306/documents/huron. only one was about Viet Nam. p. 1962. On the contrary.. 1999. http://coursesa.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. WASHINGTON POST. and a commitment to social experimentation with them. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity . #4. 1962. paralyzing policy discussion. the government? It is to this latter yearning. the patriotism of the corporate globalizers is in question. others today. WASHINGTON POST. One reporter even asked me. The American political system is not the democratic model of which its glorifiers speak. activist. at once the spark and engine of change. December 5. p. http://coursesa. accessed May 2. Comparisons between the World Trade Organization protests here and the protest movements of the '60s became a media micro-industry last week.
Did that damage Yale? Did it morally and intellectually cripple the thousand students who participated? I think not. That omission is another reason why his book is so baffling. NPQ: Bloom argues that. 20. That administrative behavior deserved a revolt. 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. 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. HAYDEN¶S CRITICS HAVE MANY MORE MORAL PROBLEMS THAN HE DOES Tom Hayden. the whitest universities elitists could want and the income base of the people attending our universities is safely affluent. And it did. activist and former California state legislator. Fall 1987. If there has been an erosion of general education. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. and Bloom knows that. They spent an entire week involved in the process of lobbying the government to terminate the war.then of course one of the occasional consequences will be rebellious behavior. the president of Yale. One week after the Kent State shootings. Fall 1987. p.the legitimacy of questioning everything . Does Bloom have a point? Hayden: Of course he has a point. THE 1960s WEREN¶T ABOUT RELATIVISM: THEY INTRODUCED REAL MORALITY Tom Hayden.wcdebate. Volume 4. That was the University of Michigan in 1960. ALLAN BLOOM¶S FOCUS IS CONFUSED: HE SELECTS THE WRONG ISSUES Tom Hayden. 20. At my university. but it's confused because the cloistered community of scholars Bloom describes has not existed for many centuries. #4. p. thinking stopped with the moral indignation over the Vietnam War and racial injustice. To view the 60s as mindless because many of us followed C. We have the most conservative president we have ever had. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. He complains that students become economics majors prematurely and they all go to university with fantasies about becoming millionaires. the university will unfortunately reap a whirlwind. #4. and it's not anti-intellectual to revolt against those attitudes. in the 60s. #4. 4. activist and former California state legislator. and they say those things loudly on the edge of the Oakland ghetto. Fall 1987. the Dean of Women was not encouraging reading in Greek tragedy. 2. that erosion comes from turning the university to the specialized uses of society. Fall 1987. She was deploying a network of informants who notified parents of the white girls who were seen socializing with black men in the student union. to be much more accurate about the 60s than Bloom.com . NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. Volume 4. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Furthermore. let's also not forget the 60s are over. #4. Wright Mills and Albert Camus rather than Allan Bloom's prescriptions is wrong. or Morningside Heights. p. led one thousand Yale students to Washington in protest. 20. p. how should we regard the official claim that the US was in Viet Nam to stop Chinese communism? Speaking of moral relativism. the most traditional US Secretary of Education we have ever had. NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY. The 60s were an intellectual and intensely introspective decade. I'll give another example. 3. Volume 9 Page 79 HAYDEN¶S CRITICS ARE WRONG ± THE 60s WEREN¶T ABOUT MORAL RELATIVISM 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. If we accept Bloom's Platonic model . BLOOM IS WRONG ± HIS IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY HASN¶T EXISTED FOR CENTURIES Tom Hayden. Kingman Brewster. 20. the 60s introduced morality into an amoral society and a materialistic university. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 4. Was that a worthy undertaking by a university leader? Absolutely. activist and former California state legislator. Volume 4. but it can't improve on a black admission rate of 5% or 6%. Speaking of mindlessness. But far from being a time which gave birth to moral relativism. What would Bloom make of that situation? His focus is so confused because he chooses his events so selectively.
org/taemj97s. Hayden and seven other radicals. May/June 1997.htm. Tom Hayden had helped launch Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). former radical. former radical. he said more than once. 2002.org/taemj97s. Because of such considerations." The trick was to maneuver the idealistic and unsuspecting into situations that would achieve this result. May/June 1997. The ensuing melee changed the shape of American politics. When he called for a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic national convention to protest the Vietnam War. When people¶s heads are cracked by police. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. http://www. HAYDEN PROPELLED THE LEFT WING DEMOCRATS INTO POWER David Horowitz. admitted a decade later that the organizers had lured activists to Chicago hoping to create the riot that eventually took place. Hayden¶s plans attracted only two or three thousand people to Lincoln Park. Seale was so obstructive that the judge ordered him bound and gagged. The now-famous pictures of demonstrators being bloodied by police. But that was enough to generate trouble²Hayden¶s real agenda. including the Black Panthers¶ Bobby Seale. and the chaos on the convention floor. 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. http://www. accessed May 1. Jerry Rubin." as Mao¶s Red Guards had done during the cultural revolution in China. http://www. When the dust cleared in Chicago. the defendants created a near-riot in the courtroom itself.theamericanenterprise. During the trial.theamericanenterprise. which soon became the largest student organization of the New Left. HAYDEN LURED PEOPLE TO CHICAGO FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RIOTING David Horowitz. 2002. During the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.org/taemj97s. everybody knew it meant a confrontation with the Chicago police that could prove bloody. One of the conspirators. Four years later. HAYDEN AND SDS ONLY WANTED TO STIR UP TROUBLE David Horowitz. destroyed the presidential chances of Hubert Humphrey and moved the Democratic party dramatically to the left.htm. 2. accessed May 1. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. 3.htm. it "radicalizes them. A radical street protest would put people¶s lives at risk. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.theamericanenterprise. Volume 9 Page 80 HAYDEN¶S POLITICAL AGENDA WAS SECONDARY: HE JUST WANTED TROUBLE 1. former radical. The picture of a black man in chains was a made-to-order script for the radical melodrama. Ramparts editor-in-chief Warren Hinckle decided to participate by publishing a "wall paper. May/June 1997. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. accessed May 1. This fit with the general strategy Hayden had laid out in private discussions with me.com . were indicted for conspiring to create a riot. As principal architect of the Port Huron Statement in 1962. Chicago¶s Mayor Daley had recently ordered his police to shoot looters.wcdebate.
htm. HAYDEN ADVOCATED VIOLENCE Ronald Radosh." Anyone who knew Tom knew that the bombthrower was the real Hayden.org/taemj97s. 2002. former radical. accessed May 1. Hayden also met before the convention with the Weatherman faction of sds. he warned one group in New York that "they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood.theamericanenterprise." 4. It is therefore good that Ayers reminds us of Hayden¶s speech to the Weatherman at their Days of Rage. May/June 1997." You won¶t find this in Hayden¶s own memoir. has condemned Ayers as a "failed terrorist.frontpagemag. former radical.wcdebate. showed the possibility of a true democratic radicalism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . author of Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left. May/June 1997. According to Hayden¶s own retrospective account. Todd Gitlin. He recruited the Yippies. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Thursday.com/columnists/radosh/2001/rr11-27-01. 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 Friday [Hayden] was a National Liberation Front guerrilla. Hayden defiantly incited the crowd to "make sure that if blood is going to flow. Rennie Davis. that he expected 25 people to die. Hayden gave Bobby Seale a platform in Lincoln Park. We¶re gonna barbecue us some pork!" Once the violence started. 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. 3.theamericanenterprise. Hayden¶s duplicity continued throughout the event. 5.org/taemj97s. May/June 1997. http://www. which had issued a call for "armed struggle" in American cities. accessed May 1.htm. http://www. 2002.htm. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. 2001. a member of mobe. the pacifist group that issued the call to the Chicago demonstration. We are so often told by Gitlin and others that Tom Hayden. HAYDEN REALLY ADVOCATED FIREBOMBING COP CARS David Horowitz. the New Left and the Leftover Left. who wrote the famed SDS Port Huron statement in the movement¶s early days. a group organized by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. PREACHING PACIFISM. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. Hayden proposed to them that "It might be useful if someone were to fire-bomb police cars. November 27. assuring everyone that his intentions were nonviolent." and he told his co-organizer.htm. when Hayden told the rioters "Anything that intensifies our resistance«is in the service of humanity. http://www. BUT HE REALLY WANTED VIOLENCE 1. he«was on the left wing of the Democratic party. http://www. and you check around and you got your piece. it will flow all over the city. Sid Peck. 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. who alarmed Chicago officials by immediately threatening to put lsd in the Chicago water supply. Wednesday.theamericanenterprise. one of SDS¶s first leaders. HAYDEN WAS A GUERILLA BOMBTHROWER David Horowitz. 2002. As one of the Weather leaders told me later. later told me with somebitterness that Hayden had been "extremely deceptive" in outlining his agenda for the gathering.org/taemj97s. HAYDEN TRIED TO MAKE BLOOD FLOW ALL OVER THE CITY David Horowitz. causing the radical historian Staughton Lynd to comment that "on Monday. Volume 9 Page 81 HAYDEN SAID HE WANTED PEACE. Having secured pacifist cover. and on Tuesday. you got to down that pig in defense of yourself. and Seale addressed the crowd with the suggestive exhortation that "If a pig comes up to us and starts swinging a billy club." and accuses him of responsibility for destroying what he saw as becoming a mass democratic Left. 2002. At the event. and Saturday. FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE. accessed May 2. former radical. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. accessed May 1. Some would like to separate the rest of the so-called moderate New Left from the Weatherman.
http://howardzinn. but almost universally accepted. he integrates the concepts of historiography with activism. in part. he has authored several plays. the character flaws of our leaders. p. There are a number of different values and philosophical arguments that Zinn writes about. Because many of them are framed in terms of their historical context. Howard Zinn takes an entirely different approach to the writing of history. accessed May 11.e.18. Most United States history is told from a perspective that puts the government and politicians at the center. 1997. [and] popular leaders. 503-506 3 Zinn.wcdebate. revolutionized the way history is told.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. narrowly tailored to one academic discipline.96/books9616. from the author¶s perspective. In his essay ³The Uses of Scholarship. that students can be taught to think critically about the world that they live in. objective. His progressive history text. the mass media. has sold more than 800. to Zinn¶s personal background 1 Interview of Howard Zinn by Robert Birnbaum. that is. it makes them appear more credible and authoritative than their competitors. THE ZINN READER.com/papers/sonoma/04. These books have a vested interest in making their version of history appear definitive. These are that writing should be disinterested. 2002. and ignores the daily lives of ordinary citizens.metroactive.000 copies. Zinn is not only prolific but is considered one of the most accessible modern historical writers. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. 506 4 Zinn.htm 2 Howard Zinn. p. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. np. the church. this essay will engage each of these values in the context he provides. p. The author of more than 15 books.com . 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. he actively engages it. This is particularly the case in texts that claim to be at all comprehensive. I will address each of these in turn. In contrast. April 18-24 1996. scientific (i.org/index23.´5 This is due. he tells the narrative of history from the bottom up. 507 5 Zack Stenz. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. because. either nationally or in terms of his own life. rules for ³good´ scholarship.html Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. and rational (unemotional). He received his Doctorate in history from Columbia and is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. rather than shying away from controversy.´ Zinn critiques what he sees as the sometimes unspoken.´4 for example. http://www. CRITIQUES OF HISTORIOGRAPHY Zinn¶s seminal text. THE ZINN READER. from the perspective of those who have been disempowered throughout each era. 2002. such as history textbooks used in schools. and an autobiographical commentary on politics and history. 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. Volume 9 Page 82 HOWARD ZINN Howard Zinn is a historian and activist to take note of by any measure. within the context of history. The second way that Zinn¶s historical methodology challenges the dominant orthodoxy is that it describes history from the standpoint of the oppressed. accessed May 12. ³Zinn and the Art of History. no date. spoken word CDs. History has traditionally been told as though there was an objective truth waiting to be discovered and written. neutral). A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.1 In addition to his historical writing.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. and the lies propagated by ³politicians.
Zinn argues that if one is punished for breaking an unjust law."Whenever you introduce a new view of historical events. 1998. but extends to all of his writing. particularly the United States. about the role of social protest and civil disobedience within democratic societies. John Stienbeck. a ³Negro college´ in a deeply segregated area. AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES Zinn writes extensively. he won a New Deal job as an apprentice shipfitter. Zinn came from a working class background. December 3. each of which refutes one of the primary arguments made by opponents of civil disobedience. Third. A PEOPLE¶S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Instead. and his next job as an Air Force bomber. You'll find huge subsidies to corporations all through [A]merican history. Zinn's brand of "bottom-up" history has been reviled by political conservatives. YOU MUST ACCEPT PUNISHMENT IF YOU COMMIT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE This fallacy derives from the glorification of Socrates¶ decision to accept his unjust death sentence. Z MAG. and as a result eventually wrote the book DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY (his treatise on civil disobedience). 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.htm Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as well as many essays about his specific experience at Spelman. However. p. from his role as a professor. he participated in extensive protest with his students. Inspired by his students. Upton Sinclair. Marx. Stenz. At age eighteen. np. and others. he does not identify with those who argue that hard work is all that is needed to get ahead. who were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. NONVIOLENCE. but I will focus on those concerning the role of the social protester. and ³when 6 7 Stenz. in part because of his commitment to stirring up controversy. Some of these fallacies are specific to the role of the court system in ensuring justice. lived in tenements. particularly former Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas. and closely related to the last point. MOTHER JONES. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. physically demanding. is focused specifically on this topic. and he confesses that he isn't surprised«. the guardians of the old order will spring to the attack.´7 In addition to these issues of racism. ³[D]espite his popularity. he is a proponent of progressive social and economic policy. Georgia." Zinn says. p. Volume 9 Page 83 with the civil rights movement and the labor movement. This stems. 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.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE.com . to take a position as the chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College. then the punishment itself is unjust.org/index23. Zinn explained: ³I could see history being made before my eyes by ordinary people who are never written about in the history books. you'll find that most of the legislation passed is class legislation which favors the elite. This makes him simultaneously one of the most loved and hated historians of this era. Zinn is well known for integrating his own personal advocacy and activism with his writing. and prohibited union membership. Despite the benefits of that job. the role socioeconomic class played throughout history greatly effected Zinn. in nearly all of his books. and various communist. accessed May 12. np. to a great degree. The book is organized into nine sections. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn.´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. anarchist.´6 His perspective is that revolutionary and even utopian ideas are crucial for shaking up the stronghold conservatives have over academia. http://howardzinn. 2002. One of his lesser known books. however. 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. such as his retelling of the colonization of North America from the perspective of indigenous peoples.wcdebate. In 1956 Zinn moved his wife and children to Atlanta. Finally. during the depression. which was painful. and anti-fascist writers. and at a young age was influenced by the writing of Charles Dickens. 8 Howard Zinn. which favors the rich.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. Furthermore. in the course of a protest. even thinkers like Gandhi and Thoreau at times defended the use of violence when no other option was available. or a local tyrannical elite. p. may be morally defensible.´9 In fact. Zinn outlines several situations which demonstrate the inanity of this principle. This principle would also proscribe any solution to injustice resulting not from unjust laws.´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. p. Zinn distinguishes between different levels of violence. and progress generally. for example. On the one hand. Zinn writes. is useful in answering quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. desegregation). In any humanist philosophy. because it is counterviolence directed only at a perpetrator of violence«. Unfortunately. but instead finds a middle ground between violence and nonviolence. This would include violating curfews. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY NONVIOLENT There are a plethora of excellent theorists²including Gandhi. 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. This argument. injustice is sanctioned and perpetuated. Planned acts of violence in an enormously important cause (the resistance against Hitler may be an example) could be justifiable. 29 Howard Zinn. he sees the ultimate end of civil disobedience. it treats protest like a game to argue that protesters should accept the penalty for losing instead of continuing their protest to the end. Revolutionary warfare. Perhaps the most obvious example were the ³sit ins´ in the segregated South which violated laws against trespassing. On the other hand. 1968. Generally. Zinn points out.11 9 Howard Zinn.. Martin Luther King Jr. the reason this principle is invalid is that it fails to distinguish between important and trivial laws in the context of preventing massive injustice. Moreover. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. 48 10 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. a distinction must be drawn between violence against people and violence against property. Volume 9 Page 84 unjust decisions are accepted. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. p. but the failure of the government to enforce just laws (e. Zinn argues that all things being equal. the more it is aimed carefully at either a foreign controlling power.. as being a nonviolent world. by Zinn. a massive amount of violence for a small or dubious reason would be harder to justify than a small amount of violence for an important and a clear reason. nonviolence is better than violence.. 1968. blocking streets.wcdebate. etc. when the segregation was not a public law but a decision by a private business owner. and Thoreau²who argue for the benefits of nonviolence. 45 11 Howard Zinn.´ 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. in his essay ³Letter From A Birmingham Jail.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. In a theoretical sense.g. One virtue of Zinn¶s writing is that he does not explicitly encourage violence. 1968. 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.com . Self-defense is by its nature focused. 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.
civil disobedience may be the only possible method for fighting for justice.metroactive. when there are no other viable means of successful protest. the minority is structurally precluded from using the law to advance their rights. This is certainly true at times. stability.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. it will protect whatever the majority sees as just. the majority denies basic principles of justice to the minority for the sake of the majority¶s benefit. Thus. accessed May 11. 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. April 18-24 1996. or anything else. Zinn argued that ³the great writers could see through the fog of what was called µpatriotism. Volume 9 Page 85 In essence. p.´12 The most important question then becomes: when the law does not serve the cause of justice. There are two primary differences First. THE ZINN READER.96/books9616. 371 14 Zinn. The problem with this view is that it places stability at a premium while ignoring the price of that stability: ³Surely.¶´ 15 This demonstrates the fundamental distinction Zinn draws between how conservatives define patriotism and how he defines it. be it material. Nevertheless. peace. therefore. It is too simplistic to argue that because democracy is majoritarian. 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.18. THE ZINN READER. PATRIOTISM AND OPTIMISM Zinn is frequently criticized for not being sufficiently patriotic. In these situations. µBut«while it's true that I take a very critical view of the United States government in history. 370-371 Zinn. There is also justice«. and she sees no other effective method. and order are desirable. even civil disobedience that has good intentions is unjust. and will therefore be just. THE ZINN READER. Zinn¶s argument is that limited violence is justified when the oppression being fought is extreme. 370-371 15 Zack Stenz. she is justified in violating laws²even if that lawlessness leads to social instability²to fight to stop the injustice. they maintain peace and stability.html 13 12 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. p. Many conservative historians. http://www. 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. when it protects the rich and punishes the poor. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily. but it may not bring justice. But when it sends young men to war.wcdebate. as Zinn writes: ³The law may serve justice. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions social life.´14 It is in these instances that civil disobedience is justified. when an individual sees injustice in the world around her. have ³µcharacterized A People's History as a ³Hate America´ book. and must therefore be followed. I take a very positive view toward the mass movements of people in America who have fought to make the country a better place. The first of these arguments is that regardless of whether the laws are just or unjust. The second justification for the argument that the law (at least in a democracy) has intrinsic value. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. as we have seen throughout history. thus making civil disobedience unjustified. as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. particularly for a United States historian.com .¶ Zinn says. in various terms. and in these cases it is irrefutable that the law ought be followed. is that law is created by the people.com/papers/sonoma/04. Often. There is no better example of such a case than in the civil rights movement in the United States. do citizens have a greater obligation to ensure lawfulness or justice? Zinn writes: Thus. Chaos and violence are not.¶ what was considered Zinn. then law and justice are opposed to one another. p. 2002. and when the target of the violence is directly responsible for the oppression. social.
18. As he argues in his examination of civil disobedience.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. in contrast to the perception of his critics. he writes history from a perspective which demonstrates the gains that have been made by social movements since the government was established. Howard Zinn. And that's a critical thing to do.wcdebate. Zinn feels that the real. ³Artists of Resistency.org/zinn0701. accessed May 11. accessed May 11. Instead. ³Artists of Resistency. by protesting we strengthen and engage in the true democratic spirit of America. far from being unpatriotic. attempt to describe a world of oppressive futility.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. by Mark Twain: Similarly.progressive.metroactive.96/books9616. he quoted from the satire A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. 2002. His optimism leads him to take a more balanced approach: ³the left hasn't balanced its act very well«.html 16 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. often successfully. in which the government is overwhelmingly bad and cannot be resisted.org/zinn0701. http://www. Thus. The second aspect of Zinn¶s redefinition of patriotism is his insistence that criticizing the government.progressive. However. challenging unjust governmental policies is an integral part of being a citizen of a democracy. eternal part of what makes America America is not the government. They've done a very good job of illuminating the various bad policies of the American government.¶´ 16 To demonstrate the distinction.´18 One important aspect of Zinn¶s writing is that it does not. 2002. July 2001. accessed May 11. July 2001. Only by exercizing the right (and duty) to protest do we as individuals truly participate in democracy.com/papers/sonoma/04. http://www. to show people in the present day that they can fight back and win. but they haven't shown what people have done to resist these policies.html 17 Howard Zinn.html 18 Zack Stenz. 2002. but the people and the social movements that have fought for justice for all people. April 18-24 1996. Volume 9 Page 86 loyalty.com . http://www. ³Howard Zinn brings his passion for history to Sonoma County´ in The Sonoma Independent. is actually one of the best ways of being a patriot.´ THE PROGRESSIVE. Zinn is not purely critical of the United States government and its leaders.
howardzinn. Howard. Howard. http://www.com . 1994 Zinn. New York: Seven Stories Press.htm HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. http://free. TERRORISM AND WAR (OPEN MEDIA PAMPHLET SERIES). Howard. 2001 Zinn. 1964 FREESPEECH. 2001 Zinn. New York: Harper Perennial. Ward. http://www. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1492 TO PRESENT. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY : REFLECTIONS ON THE ROLE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN NORTH AMERICA. Howard.org/ HOWARD ZINN¶S ZNET HOMEPAGE. Boston: Beacon Press. New York: Vintage Books. 2002. Boston: Beacon Press. Volume 9 Page 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY Churchill. SALESGIRLS. 2000 Zinn. Howard. 2002 Zinn.freespeech. MUSICIANS.wcdebate. Abe. DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE : CROSS-EXAMINING AMERICAN IDEOLOGY. 1999 Fortas. 2002. New York: Seven Stories Press. Accessed May 17. YOU CAN¶T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF OUR TIMES. 2002. Howard. Howard. New York: Seven Stories Press. 1997 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2000 Zinn. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. HOWARD ZINN: ON HISTORY. THREE STRIKES: MINERS.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. New York: Harper Perennial. Howard.org/bios/homepage. AND THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF LABOR'S LAST CENTURY. et al. 1991 Zinn. Accessed May 17. Howard. 1968 Zinn. Accessed May 17. New York: Signet Books.cfm?authorID=97 Zinn. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: NINE FALLACIES ON LAW AND ORDER. New York: Seven Stories Press.org/evolution/articles.zmag. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. HOWARD ZINN ON WAR.ORG.
´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. manifested itself in many acts of civil disobedience against the Fugitive Slave Act that had been passed in 1850. 1998. Sometimes though it's the law itself that's disobeyed. 1998.org/index23. 1968. http://howardzinn. and other means have been exhausted. 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. or in) self-defense. December 3. 2002.htm The principle of civil disobedience doesn't state as a universal that you must always disobey the law (laughter). escaped slaves. juries acquitted them. 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. And so laws that sustain injustice should be disobeyed. injustices of all sorts. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. 3.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.org/index23. p.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. Volume 9 Page 88 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS JUSTIFIED 1. accessed May 12. to disorder. December 3. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. aimed carefully at the source of injustice. But the idea of civil disobedience is that Law is not sacrosanct. Well people in the North. you'll see that it wasn't Lincoln who caused the anti-slavery sentiment in the country to grow. may move from mild actions. They broke into courthouses and into jailhouses to rescue escaped slaves. All this is to suggest what criteria need to be kept in mind whenever civil disobedience. And in a number of cases. The Fugitive Slave Act required the federal government to aid southern slave owners in bringing escaped slaves back to the South. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. If you go back a hundred and fifty years ago to the middle of the nineteenth century. 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. to overt violence: it would have to guarded. And in the 1850s. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE Howard Zinn. in situations of urgency where very vital issues are at stake. Lincoln was reacting to the growth of the movement that became stronger and stronger from the 1830s to the outbreak of the civil war. And they used certainly acts of civil disobedience. You were talking about this going on for hundreds of years. to the 1850s. 2. white people.com . And what it does is declare a willingness to decide when laws are consonant with morality and when laws are immoral and support terrible things like war or racism or sexism. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. they gathered together in committees. limited. and so can only be justified in those circumstances where it is a last resort in eliminating a greater evil.htm I think that the history of the United States indicates that when we have had to redress serious grievances.wcdebate. One is the moral reason: that violence is in itself an evil. black people. when they were brought up on charges and put on trial. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY SPECIFIC CRITERIA Howard Zinn. There are two reasons for such criteria. and indiscriminate violence turns people (rightly) away. http://howardzinn. and preferably directed against property rather than people. Because juries recognized the morality of what they were doing even though they had broken the law. What it does do is refuse the universal principle that you must always obey the law. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. free black people. The other is the reason of effectiveness: The purpose of civil disobedience is to communicate to others. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 2002. 48-49. accessed May 12. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DENIES THAT LAWS ARE ALWAYS MORAL OR CORRECT Howard Zinn.
for Michels¶ ³iron law of oligarchy´ operates to keep us at the mercy of powerful politicos in both parties. she responded quietly. p. when Dan went underground. We forget (hence all the emphasis in recent years on voting rights for the Negro) how inadequate is the ballot. 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. 3. THE ZINN READER: WRITINGS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. for the most part nonviolent. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 1968.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. 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. We have been naive in America about the efficacy of the ballot box and representative government to rectify injustice. in their appeals to patriotism. Victor Considerant pointed out) and we have lost our freedom. Undemocratic because it divests you as an individual and the right to make a decision yourself about what is right or wrong and it gives all of that power to that small band of legislators who have decided for themselves what is right and what is wrong. The feeling is justified. thinking about nuclear war.wcdebate. how she felt about her son defying the law. Slavery probably could not he ended without either a series of revolts by blacks. 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. So to me the idea of civil dissobedience is to really enhance democracy. 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. ironically. has been directed to stopping the violence of war. the representative takes over (as Rousseau. by the very government that condemned John Brown to death for seeking a less costly means of emancipating the slave. and again during the sit-down strikes of the 1930¶s. p. Or perhaps we should say ³ignore man-made law. we have freedom to speak. Surely.´) 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. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. 1997. DISOBEDIENCE AND DEMOCRACY. or finally. And the rights of even a portion of the laboring population were secured only by extra-legal uprisings in a wave of violent labor struggles from 1877 to 1914. 2002. that the two-party system is_only slightly less tyrannical than the one-party system. we have found it necessary to go outside ³the proper channels´ at certain pivotal times in our history. accessed May 12. The psychologist Erich Fromm. PROTEST IS NECESSARY WHEN VOTING FAILS TO PROMOTE JUSTICE Howard Zinn. ³It¶s not God¶s law. freedom.. 1998.that wealth dominates the electoral process (see Murray Levin¶s meticulous study.´ HOWARD ZINN ONLINE. 400-401. The disobedience of conscientious citizens. Historically. 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. 2.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. DEMOCRATIC LAW IS NOT SACROSANCT. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University. December 3. ³Gray Matters Interviews Howard Zinn. but how much of an audience we can speak to depends on how much money we have). (Daniel Berrigan¶s elderly mother was asked by a reporter. 65-66. it is obedience to governments.´ Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. that is responsible for the terrible violence of our century. the principles of peace. IT MAY BE VIOLATED ON BEHALF OF JUSTICE Howard Zinn. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE ENHANCES DEMOCRACY Howard Zinn.org/index23. Kennedy Campaigning). Volume 9 Page 89 DEMOCRACY DOESN¶T DELEGITIMIZE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 1. and before him. and it's a profoundly undemocratic idea to say that you should judge what you do according to what the law says. their calls for war. that the moment we have cast our ballots. a devastating war waged. http://howardzinn. and justice.
free of punishment or penalty. 1968. p. and civil disobedience may turn into riot. These are not controlling. Vivian Kellems. Each of us must live under law. p.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and restrained law enforcement. It must be prepared to prevent this by the use of planning. But at the same time. Frequently. Demonstrators must be organized. but his essay should not be read as a handbook on political science. But despite this. and convicted. If he is properly arrested. A citizen cannot demand of his government or of other people obedience to the law. and to provide protection for the demonstrators. indeed. He may be motivated by the highest moral principles. It is the state¶s duty to arrest and punish those who violate the laws designed to protect private safety and public order. He cannot pick and choose. This is the dangerous potential of mass demonstrations. Law violation or intemperate behavior by one demonstrator may provoke police action. be right in the eyes of history or morality or philosophy. Especially if the civil disobedience involves violence or a breach of public order prohibited by statute or ordinance. civil disobedience is prompted by both motives²by both a desire to make propaganda and to challenge the law. and as a matter of good sense. and controlled. For example. as well as practical wisdom. must be identified. JUSTIFYING ITS RESTRAING Abe Fortas. so each individual is bound by all of the laws under the Constitution. of course. 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. however peacefully intended by their organizers. We are a government and a people under law. 64-65. Intemperate or hasty retaliation by a single policeman may provoke disorder. it is the state¶s duty to arrest the dissident. unless the law is invalid in general or as applied. however large and inconvenient. This is true in many instances of refusal to submit to induction. 1968. isolated acts of a few persons will overwhelm the restraint of thousands. and any move that they may make toward violence must be quickly countered. so it also depends upon the individual¶s subservience to the laws duly prescribed. However careful both sides may be. for the rules of law. He may. so that it can be conducted without paralyzing the city¶s life. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. It is not merely government that must live under law. police and citizens must be tolerant of mass demonstrations. it is the city¶s duty under law. 2. Thoreau was an inspiring figure and a great writer. The motive of civil disobedience. he should be punished by fine or imprisonment. whatever their object. charged. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. but which is practiced as a technique of warfare in a social and political conflict over other issues. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. whatever its type. and at the same time claim a right in himself to break it by lawless conduct. 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. Let me first be clear about a fundamental proposition. to make every effort to provide adequate facilities so that the demonstration can be effectively staged. It was true in the case of Mrs. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. These mass demonstrations. p. Just as we expect the government to be bound by all laws. Both of these are essential. He may be passionately inspired. in accordance with the provisions of law. persuasion. always involve the danger that they may erupt into violence.wcdebate. teach us that city officials. CONCERNING DISSENT AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. GOOD MOTIVATIONS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE DO NOT MAKE IT JUSTIFIED Abe Fortas. This is very different from the kind of civil disobedience which is not engaged in for the purpose of testing the legality of an order within our system of government and laws. Agitators and provocateurs. Police must be trained in tact as well as tactics. ordered. does not confer immunity for law violation. however noble. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST Abe Fortas. 3. Volume 9 Page 90 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS UNJUSTIFIED 1. No city should be expected to submit to paralysis or to widespread injury to persons and property brought on by violation of law. our Constitution and our traditions. or both. An enormous degree of self-control and discipline are required on both sides. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MAY SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. 62-63. 70-71. He cannot substitute his own judgment or passion. there is always danger that individual. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 1968. The city must perform this duty. Just as our form of life depends upon the government¶s subordination to law under the Constitution.com .
as a means for persuading opponents to change their minds as a result of their witnessing the commitment and willing sacrifice of nonviolent activists. NONVIOLENCE DO NOT CREATE SUSTAINABLE VICTORIES Brian Martin. NONVIOLENCE FAILS IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN CONFLICTS Brian Martin. if followed to its logical conclusions. or even a substantial social reorganization. after a short flowering. In every instance. Bomber pilots show little remorse for the agony caused by their weapons detonating far below. 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. Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at University of Colorado. 2001. pacifism and its attendant sacrifice of life cannot even be rightly said to have substantially impacted the level of evident societal violence. http://www. 2001. While this approach explains some aspects of the power of nonviolent action. 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. worthwhile change. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. np. Accessed May 17. but variations do little to alter the crux of the situation: there simply has never been a revolution. Australia. 2002. Moral persuasion sometimes works in face-to-face encounters. Associate Professor in Science. or.uow. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. The new Islamic regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini was just as ruthless as its predecessor in stamping out dissent. 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.com . the successful nonviolent insurrection against the Martínez dictatorship did not lead to long term improvement for the El Salvadorean people. NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM. As these conditions typically include war. p. p. There was a military coup later in 1944.´ 2.uow. at least a relative degree of nonviolence). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2001. 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. brought into being on the basis of the principles of pacifism. In El Salvador in 1944.wcdebate.html The consent theory of power Gandhi approached nonviolent action as a moral issue and.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.html It is important to note that not all uses of nonviolent action lead to long-lasting. Volume 9 Page 91 NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FAILS 1. while managers of large international banks have little inkling of the suffering caused by their lending policies in foreign countries. 2002.edu.. Accessed May 17. the induced starvation of whole populations and the like. Nonviolent action is not guaranteed to succeed either in the short term or long term. in practical terms. it is inadequate on its own. To make themselves a clear and apparent danger to the state. The mass suffering that revolution is intended to alleviate will continue as the revolution strangles itself on the altar of ³nonviolence. was crushed in the Beijing massacre. np. The 1989 prodemocracy movement in China. in which case they will likely be largely ignored by the status quo and self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. Pacifist praxis (or. more appropriately. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution was equally disastrous.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. http://www. and continued repression in following decades. Technology & Society at the University of Wollongong. Associate Professor in Science.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/01nvc/nvcall. pseudo-praxis). Australia.edu. The fallacy of such a proposition is best demonstrated by the nazi state¶s removal of its ³Jewish threat. in which case they are subject to physical liquidation by the status quo and are self-eliminating in terms of revolutionary potential. 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. PACIFISM AS PATHOLOGY. History is replete with variations on these two subthemes. NONVIOLENT STRATEGIES ARE UNABLE TO EFFECTUATE CHANGE Ward Churchill. p. 3. but has little chance when cause and effect are separated. violence has been an integral requirement of the process of transforming the state.e. Perhaps more worrying are the dispiriting aftermaths following some short-term successes of nonviolent action.
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. you¶d sort of be right. Nye kept up his prolific writing on international security issues. he is an intriguing thinker who appears to approach each problem as a fresh challenge. those are some big outstretched wings. Written for the heavy-hitter journals? Check. He has written more than one hundred articles in professional journals. and his viewpoints are refreshing in their lack of ideological predisposition. and a graduate of the Ph. But the guy is a pretty sharp old. The fact that Nye is neither a lifelong government official nor a lifelong academic may have some influence on his thinking. and imagine the wings praising Nye as belonging to some giant bird. THE LIFE OF JOSEPH NYE. He fluttered between governmental work and university work over the next several years. All the while. well. Well versed in foreign policy. JR. He stayed on in that capacity from 1977-1979. he asked Nye to serve as deputy undersecretary in charge of Carter's nonproliferation initiatives.com . Volume 9 Page 92 JOSEPH NYE. Nye was recruited to join his transition team as a consultant on nuclear proliferation. let¶s look at where Nye has come from in order to understand where he is today. Longtime professor? Check. bald white establishment guy. However. from the Democratic establishment sources like Strobe Talbott and Madeleine Albright to academics of all kinds. It¶s hard to imagine the left cozying up to him very much. I wouldn¶t want to wash my car while that seagull is flying overhead. he is also an influential thinker on the domestic scene. Speaking of his upbringing and intellectual culture. The further right won¶t like his reluctance to use American power in every situation.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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.D program in government at Harvard. and Nye¶s likely got it. After Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. Nye is currently Dean of Harvard University¶s Kennedy School of Government. serving as an editorial board member of Foreign Policy and International Security magazines. he is at least apparently willing to try to step outside that rigid intellectual framework as he explores the issues of today. If we are to think of American politics in terms of the left wing and the right wing. was born in 1937. doing his post-graduate work at Oxford University. Nye grew up on a farm in Northwest New Jersey. You might think that Nye is merely another old. is one of the most influential modern voices in American governance and political science. bald white guy that has worked in the government and worked with universities. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. to the extent that Nye is reluctant to adopt the ideological fabric of any particular pigeonhole.wcdebate. That¶s not to say there is something in Nye for everyone. Jr. And. He is a Rhodes Scholar. Joseph Nye. Joseph Nye. When Cyrus Vance was appointed secretary of state. Name a qualification that holds weight in the policy wonk world. While he is certainly a product of his upbringing and intellectual culture. 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. Intellectual chops that are unquestioned? Check. after which he returned to Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government to teach. JR. Jr.
If that is true. Nye is not. then the United States must not isolate china. Nye reasons. as should be clear. a hawk per se.´ Nye wrote an insightful article with a global focus in the Guardian on March 31. That¶s true of most adversaries in addition to traditional allies like Japan. "Soft Power is your ability to attract others to get the outcomes you want. especially in the face of competing and potentially adversarial powers? The answer is a question of containment vs. NYE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS While technically Nye falls under the school of ³realism´ in international relations. Engagement is where a nation continues to interact with the adversarial power through trade.. other measures (such as the multilateral United Nations oil embargo and other sanctions) are really more effective with less of an opportunity cost.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. "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.com . An emerging power with one billion citizens and a growing economy. might turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. but it is clearly better than the containment strategy . Volume 9 Page 93 As Nye himself has observed This lack of a fixed plan mirrors his thinking -. Nye coined the marvelously efficient phrase ³soft power´ to refer to those non-military forms of exerting influence -. in fact. Nye is a realist who does seek to advance American interests through the policies he advocates. which included the following: Soft power is an important concept to understand. for example. such an evolution may continue. particularly in the post Cold War world. But if I get you to want what I want.always reacting to emerging situations rather than viewing emerging phenomena through a fixed lens.cultural.. 2001) that will of necessity engender a military response. War is an impractical and problematic means of enforcing American interests and desires. and I don't have to use a carrot or a stick. we aren¶t going to invade them.wcdebate. that's the ultimate because it costs me almost nothing but I get the outcomes I want. Will this strategy work? No one can be certain. While Bush has been threatening to invade Iraq almost constantly for the last year. Nye is a believer in war as a last resort. diplomacy and other channels in an attempt to exert influence over the other state. If we disagree with Japan¶s trade policy. How. for example. despite the United States so-called ³war on terrorism. Take. 2002. Nye is usually an advocate of engagement. given that a weak China would be more given to lash out to shore up its power -. Bush did by imposing steel tariffs recently) in response.especially against American allies like Taiwan (an island nation that China considers a part of its country. economic. It would be one of Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. That said. engagement. Containment is a more hawkish strategy. considering it a ³solution´ that is often actually creates worse problems. does one secure American interests. An attempt to treat China as a threat. that's hard power. It¶s only for a truly dramatic event (like the terrorist tragedy on September 11. the case of China. ³If China can be brought into a network of rule-based relations. Nye¶s idea is that a strong China is better for the world community than a weak China. 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. then. where one uses foreign policy tools to isolate an adversarial power." This has not changed since September 11. 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. etc. though the Taiwanese don¶t agree) or Japan." Nye has said. his views of power and global politics is much more nuanced than the big-stick diplomats that dominate the scene today.
NYE ON GLOBALIZATION Neither a demagogue nor a radical. it will help allay the fears of most Americans and other world citizens. Rather than isolating other nations. Nye knows what kind of policies led to increased tensions during that period in history.´ He sets out a program of action for increasing transparency and democratic accountability for actions at organizations such as the World Bank. he at least has attempted to address the flaws in the system some have identified. It should be noted that this falls right in line with his idea of soft power: the ³big stick´ approach is a counterproductive one. As an intellectual who lived through the darkest moments of the Cold War. While himself an advocate of a globalized economy and free trade ± believing that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. in his view.´ he wrote. we should be using our influence in a positive manner. even the poor ± he is one of the few mainstream analysts who has attempted to seek out ways to assuage the concerns of protesters. and the World Trade Organization. such as China. Volume 9 Page 94 history's tragic ironies if domestic politics leads to an unnecessary Cold War in Asia that will be costly for this and future generations of Americans.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. He reasons that if decisions are made out in the open. an establishment journal that some call the most influential in the world.wcdebate. and that citizens might have better opportunities to influence those decisions.com . the International Monetary Fund. especially the radical left. Nye wrote on ³Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable. Nye takes the line on globalization that you might expect from an establishment centrist. While Nye recognizes this probably won¶t satisfy everyone. While he surely agrees with virtually none of their prescribed solutions (calling anti-free trade protesters ³demagogues in the street´). Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. He is keen on avoiding that kind of situation with other powers. In an article for FOREIGN AFFAIRS. that might satisfy the majority of the populace and confer a legitimacy on those institutions they haven¶t seen yet.
Where there is a foreign policy crisis that affects the United States. The difference between Nye and his critics is that Nye believes American influence is generally benign or positive. for example. that the arrangement is contributing to ³imperial overstretch´ rather than ³soft power. and that Nye misanalyses available data from polls and opinion surveys. critics say. according to Johnson. you will probably find them. Johnson argued in his 2000 book of the same name. than the U. The American military bases on the island are the subjects of constant protests from the locals. 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. It is more likely.S. Even open-minded.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Similarly. Johnson argues. 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.S. No great radical thought here: everyone from the establishment to Noam Chomsky agrees on that.who take a broader view of the American national interest -. and he continues to write for the most influential periodicals in print and on-line.S. and in Japan particularly. As the old Chinese proverb goes. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the JPRI and Johnson claim that the American military presence overseas. the distinction between soft power and hard power. the United States is going to be extending its influence on the world in a manner designed to advance its interests. Nye is a staunch defender of the Japan-U. serves to perpetuate the hegemonic imperialism of the United States just as much as the more realpolitik theorists. is engendering a ³blowback´ -. This type of self-justifying behavior. on too many fronts. Just look at Okinawa. and any military utility of these bases is speculative at best. if you go looking for enemies. critics would say that the lens he uses to evaluate such phenomena is fundamentally corrupted. not enhanced. American credibility is diminished. Further left.are still trapped by the paradigm of American imperialism in the view of these critics. However. security relationship. by this unwieldy and counterproductive arrangement. even if the ³soft power´ phenomenon is true. critics say.´ Imperial overstretch is where an empire (like the United States) tries to project power into too many places. 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. His most recent book was just published this year. 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. 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. thus preventing a war that is damaging to American (and world) interests. This lens seeks threats in the world for the United States to solve.com .wcdebate. Critics of this policy.´ No matter how you slice it. you can be sure this scholar will have something to say about it. Instead.unintended and unpredictable consequences which threaten security instead of enhancing it. Volume 9 Page 95 CRITICS OF NYE Critics of Nye fall into several different categories. liberal internationalist thinkers like Nye -. people looking for a role for the American military (or even ³soft power´) will probably find an indispensable role for it. This entails both the United States maintaining a military presence in Asia (predominantly on the island of Okinawa) and the United States continuing to exert influence over Japan in international relations. America keeps itself in the news in a negative manner due to the annual rapes of young Okinawan girls committed by American servicemen. For example.-Japan relationship.-Japan arrangement might be just such an example of overstretch. They have a common denominator -the term ³power. Take. Nye¶s defense of the U. There is no better example of this blowback. it is possible to sketch out the general precepts that Nye values ± and to watch as his thinking continues to evolve.
Joseph S.html. UNDERSTANDING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND HISTORY. democracy.3858. 2002.. Nye. March 31. NUCLEAR ETHICS. Jr. 1985).. accessed May 5. (New York: The Free Press.´ CURRENT (September 1999). Jr. 3d ed.html.. accessed May 1. King (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ³Military Deglobalization?´ FoREIGN POLICY (Jan. August 2001) Nye. Number 1. 2002. Zelikow and Davic C. ³The US and Europe: Continental Drift?´ INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (January 2000). GOVERNANCE AMID BIGGER.. Jr.jpri. Joseph S. Joseph S. Nye. WHY PEOPLE DON¶T TRUST GOVERNMENT. Nye.com .4384507. (New York: Basic Books. ³Redefining America's National Interest: The Complexity of Values. Nye.1. Joseph S.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2000. Joseph S. Nye. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.00.. Jr. Jr. Nye. Donahue (Washington.wcdebate. Joseph S. FOREIGN POLICY (spring 2000)..co. Bound to Lead: THE CHANGING NATURE OF AMERICAN POWER. Joseph S. Keohane]. Nye. ³Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)´ [co-authored with Robert O.org/jpri/public/crit5. 2000). Joseph S. JPRI CRITIQUE. Joseph S. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Volume V.. Nye.. 1990). Joseph S. co-edited with John D. Joseph S.. Nye. Joseph S. Joseph S. THE OBSERVER. DOVES AND OWLS: AN AGENDA FOR AVOIDING NUCLEAR WAR.uk/Print/0. http://www. THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER: WHY THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER CAN'T GO IT ALONE (New York: Oxford University Press. 2001).-Feb. co-edited with Elaine Ciulla Kamarck (Hollis Publishing. http://www. 1999) Nye. Jr. coauthored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (New York: Norton. January 1998. Volume 9 Page 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japan Policy Research Institute.. Jr. Jr.com? Governance in A Networked World.C. 2002. 1997).. Jr. Jr. HAWKS. BETTER MARKETS (Brookings Institution Press. January 2002) Nye. D..: Brookings Institution Press.. Jr.observer.. 1986). Joseph S. Nye. (New York: Longman. Jr. Nye. Jr. Jr. co-edited with Philip D. GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD.
March 31. THE OBSERVER. SOFT POWER DOESN'T DEPEND ON HARD POWER Joseph S. Conversely.html. March 31. Seattle. SOFT POWER IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER Joseph S. THE OBSERVER.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 1.co.. These protesters are a diverse lot. 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. And countries like the Canada. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Nye. even though its economic and military resources continued to grow. GLOBALIZATION SHOULD BE MORE DEMOCRATIC Joseph S.remain relevant. accordingly. 4.4384507.html. 2002.00. and that limits the transformation of power. The Vatican did not lose its soft power when it lost the Papal States in Italy in the nineteenth century. Nye. Power in the global information age is becoming less coercive among advanced countries. Quebec City.4384507. D. Prague. and soft . The countries that are likely to gain soft power are those closest to global norms of liberalism. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. all three sources of power . Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Much of Africa and the Middle East remains locked in pre-industrial agricultural societies with weak institutions and authoritarian rulers.observer.co. accessed May 1. 2002.C. and those whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international performance. THE OBSERVER. 2. FOREIGN AFFAIRS..00. finding some way to address its perceived democratic deficit should become a high priority.4384507.html.observer. Of all their complaints. Volume 9 Page 97 SOFT POWER AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION ARE INCREASINGLY KEY 1. are industrial economies analogous to parts of the West in the mid-twentieth century. Jr.foreignaffairs. Other countries. Washington. They have included trade unionists worried about losing jobs and students who want to help the underdeveloped world gain them.3858.uk/Print/0. 2002.3858. Jr. http://www. http://www. 2002.wcdebate. 3. coming mainly from rich countries. LIBERALISM. and their coalition has not always been internally consistent.org/articles/Nye0701. It is becoming difficult for international economic organizations to meet without attracting crowds of protesters decrying globalization. 2002. those with the most access to multiple channels of communication. and Brazil. Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. and autonomy. India.uk/Print/0. Nye.. leadership in the information revolution and soft power will become more important in the mix. Jr. accessed May 2. Some protesters claim to represent poor countries but simultaneously defend agricultural protectionism in wealthy countries.html. In such a variegated world. whereas others accept the benefits of international markets but worry that globalization is destroying democracy. the Netherlands.00. 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. the Soviet Union lost much of its soft power after it invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia. such as China." For globalization's supporters.. Jr..3858. http://www. But most of the world does not consist of post-industrial societies. http://www. if current economic and social trends continue.military. However.co.observer. economic. Nye. 2002. pluralism. this last concern is key. Imperious policies that utilised Soviet hard power actually undercut its soft power. environmentalists concerned about ecological degradation and anarchists who object to all forms of international regulation. July/August 2001. accessed May 1. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.uk/Print/0. PLURALISM AND AUTONOMY INCREASE SOFT POWER Joseph S. March 31. Some reject corporate capitalism. 2002.com . These dimensions of power give a strong advantage to the United States and Europe. Soft power is not simply the reflection of hard power.
CONTAINMENT HAS THREE FATAL FLAWS Joseph S. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. No one knows for certain what China's future will be. Clinton defended his trip in a recent speech. accessed May 3. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. accessed May 3. Isolating other countries is bad policy.nyu. Nye. 2002. Jr. np.. Democrats looking forward to the year 2000. only China can produce an effective containment policy. Third. Jr. Volume 9 Page 98 ISOLATION AND CONTAINMENT DON¶T WORK IN POLICY-MAKING 1. But the current debate between containment and engagement is too simple. Ever since Thucydides and the ancient Greeks.nyu. I agree. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. If we treat China as an enemy now. ISOLATING OTHER COUNTRIES IS BAD POLICY Joseph S.´ June 22. 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. particularly given the fact that nationalism is rapidly replacing communism as the dominant ideology among the Chinese people. 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. It would be a pity if domestic politics caused Americans to lose sight of our long-term strategic interest in East Asia. Dean of Harvard¶s Kennedy School of Government. http://www.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. China's neighbors do not see it as a current threat in the way the Soviet Union's neighbors did during the Cold War. In that sense. New powers can be accommodated if they can be persuaded to define their interests in responsible ways. p. p. Nye. Jr. p.html. while engagement can be reversed if China changes for the worse. 4.nyu.´ June 22. the House of Representatives rebuked the president over China. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. but it makes no sense to throw away the more benign possibilities at this point. Washington's current hysteria about China is largely driven by domestic politics. Unlike the Soviet Union. Nye.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.. it exaggerates current and future Chinese strength. Republicans seize on allegations of campaign finance scandals.. 3. EVEN IF CHINA RISES AS A GREAT POWER. p. we are guaranteeing ourselves an enemy. Disagreeing with those who want to isolate China.html. Containment is likely to be irreversible. 2002. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Jr. 1998. 2. which had an expansionist ideology and conventional military superiority in Europe. A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK Joseph S. 2002. Nye.html.. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. Containment has three fatal flaws. WE CAN ACCOMODATE THEM Joseph S. http://www.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. That is the overarching question the United States faces in its relations with China. the United States could not now develop a coalition to contain China even if we tried. split over how to handle human rights during Clinton's trip. and illegal technology transfers to build campaign issues. in the new dimensions of military strength in the information age.wcdebate. accessed May 3. Three times in two weeks. http://www. 2002.html.´ June 22.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. ³The Case Against Containment: Treat China Like an Enemy and That's What It Will Be. np. 1998. But it is not true in every case.nyu. America's edge will continue to persist. For one thing. Only if China's future behavior becomes more aggressive could such a coalition be formed. he argued that such a course would make the world more dangerous. np. 1998.´ June 22. Second.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998nye. First. In an election year. 1998. China lacks the capacity to project military power much beyond its borders. accessed May 3. historians have known that great wars are often caused by the rise of new powers and the fears such change creates in established powers. a crude policy of containment would not work. as a quick survey of Asian capitals makes clear. Moreover.com . np. http://www.
np. 4. His concern is with the present and the way in which the future can be brought to the present. the strategic balance between µhard¶ and µsoft¶ power has been much commented upon. direct broadcasting and a high speed µsystem of systems. 1999. in his phrase. "a force multiplier in American diplomacy. it was further assumed. http://www. The comparative dimension was critically important. http://www. JANUS HEAD Vol. relies on the force of ideas rather than the force of arms. No. Fall. 2002. Mainstream Hollywood movies as well as sophisticated advertising techniques came into this category." Space-based surveillance. This was observed in the tension between realpolitik and idealism which analysts have long detected in America¶s relations with other powers. as did advances in communications technology. http://www.cfm.wcdebate. No. 2. µSoft¶ power was associated with the relative strength of the American economy in relation to its competitors. Nye clearly sees µsoft¶ power as the way of the future. Fall. 2. In the study of transnational relations. 2002. In Nye¶s writings this longer scholarly tradition goes unremarked upon.com . As such it allows for the free play of creative instincts. insisting that it can be a force for good throughout the world. 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. In this context. SOFT POWER STILL DEFENDS AMERICAN TECHNOSTRATEGIC INTERVENTION Wayne Hunt.cfm. a µparadigm shift¶ as some enthusiasts would have it. According to Nye. Mount Allison University. Volume 9 Page 99 NYE¶S NOTION OF SOFT POWER IS WRONG 1. 1999. np. In short. put many of the beliefs about µsurgical¶ intervention. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. as do the requisite material conditions necessary to sustain this force. p. On the one hand there were those who engaged with the world as it is. The terms originate with Joseph S. Jr. in areas where there is not an obvious national interest at stake. quantifiable and direct while µsoft¶ power was subjective. situational awareness of military field operations exceeds that of all other nations combined. as.. Included in this first definition are the ethical values which have been injected into the international arena by a number of mediating institutions. Fall 1999. Nye and Owens (1996) examine this from a geopolitical perspective.org/2-2/whunt. This assertion rested on the strategic argument that America¶s capacity for accurate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and on the other there were those who looked to what ought to be. the state-sanctioned application of force comes under the definition of µhard¶ power. with coercive measures on one side of the divide and co-operative ones on the other. NYE¶S SOFT POWER JUST SEEKS TO PROJECT CAPITALISM Wayne Hunt. accessed May 1. 2. accessed May 1. Mount Allison University. was tied to the ability to innovate..org/2-2/whunt. 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. had given the United States a "dominant battlespace knowledge"-.janushead. Thus µsoft¶ power can work in tandem with µhard¶ power. JANUS HEAD Vol. 2002. µHard¶ power was objective. He implies that it is superior to µhard¶ power because it relies on uncommanded loyalties. JANUS HEAD Vol.org/2-2/whunt. Nye.janushead. by contrast. it approximates an anglo-American form of capitalism. The second seemed to indicate a larger transformation. 2. to the test. Mount Allison University. NYE¶S VIEW OF SOFT POWER IGNORES HISTORY Wayne Hunt. Involved as well were competing conceptions of political community.) Assumed here was a technologically-driven view of American intervention. and at a greater philosophic remove. Entrepreneurial dynamism. 2. p. 2. unquantifiable and indirect. µSoft¶ power. Allied to this was a bifurcated view of the nature of public action.as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox presumably demonstrated. 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. or to be more precise. 2. But on closer inspection these categories seemed to take on an older dimension. More ancient still. np. (Operation Allied Force. p.janushead. No. real-time.. accessed May 1. by contrast.cfm. an idealized version of what this form of capitalism represents.¶ he argued. was the contrast between authority and liberty.
the air surrounding Japan's American bases is decidedly unhealthy. That may not have been how it seemed at the time. these books are similar.S. increased Chinese potency.S. of course. In Japan.jpri. So much for some of those shared common interests.html. these books definitely differ. When respondents were asked which nations or regions they believed might pose a military threat to their own country. NYE SEVERELY MISANALYZES THE DATA ± U." Throughout the book there are tables that propose desirable projects. 69% of the Japanese named the Korean Peninsula. respondents think that the U.-JAPAN RELATIONSHIP IS FLAWED Japan Policy Research Institute.. 27. 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. to put the matter bluntly. There is a further statistic that should give both sides pause. Confusing situations produce squadrons of deconfusers. These are sizeable percentages. it should tell us that we have become an unwelcome army of occupation rather than of liberation.S. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Both make the same basic assumption: The United States is the world's only superpower. 2002. is that Mead has written a valuable book while Nye's effort is feeble. military presence reduced. and that if security is the air we breathe (to use Professor Nye's tired analogy). January 1998.com . http://www. uncertain economic trends and many other crosscurrents -. In an accompanying article. While he acknowledged "some perception gaps between the two countries on military cooperation. respondents believed that the Korean Peninsula posed a military threat." JPRI's reading of the same statistics is far less sanguine. Feb. Yet we must choose. in the U.org/jpri/public/crit5. But in working out our strategy.' the Japanese. January 1998.S. and this is especially so now that we have entered the Age of Terror and anti-terror. but despite the immense might that that implies. and a rather bad one. mainly over details for implementing new defense cooperation guidelines. he argues that it is not just hard power (guns. So we get nuggets such as "countries that are well-placed in terms of soft power do better. so they say. is in itself a choice. our freedom to do just what we want is limited. JPRI CRITIQUE.4% of the Americans want the U. http://www. investment adviser. Volume V. accessed May 5. Joseph Nye. The latter's little treatise is long on cliches and short on substance. but commentators are notorious hindsight experts.jpri.9% of the Japanese and 20. and the fact that the 'hosts. respondents gave the Middle East top billing. AND JAPAN Japan Policy Research Institute.S. military presence in Asia should be maintained-which Joseph Nye cites as evidence of "the broad public support in both countries for the reaffirmation of the Japan-U.952 people were interviewed. B1. Thus. Only 26% of the U. 2.wcdebate. 982 responded. 3.1. whereas 58% of U. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. and professors Joseph Nye and Walter Mead have come forward to explicate our condition and prescribe programs of policy. Moreover. accessed May 5. Security Treaty.S.S. Volume 9 Page 100 NYE¶S FOREIGN POLICY THINKING IS FLAWED 1.there are more options for our country to follow and more spokespeople to advocate them.S.S. in a world with such diverse developments -Muslim hostility. 1.S. 2002. NYE¶S EFFORTS AT EXPLAINING THE POST-SEPTEMBER 11 WORLD ARE FEEBLE Joseph Losos.1. one of the principal architects of last year's revised Security Treaty. or simply drifting from one crisis to the next. for failing to make up our mind. Both authors argue that we cannot retreat from most or all of our present involvements. While approximately half of both Japanese and U. JPRI CRITIQUE. Today. outvote their 'guests' by two to one in calling for a reduction of troops must tell us something.html. Number 1. aspirations that would not surprise any reasonably studious 15-year-old. 2002. ST. NYE IS WRONG ABOUT COMMON INTERESTS BETWEEN U. money) but also soft power (what anybody else calls influence) that counts. so that this should be taken as the basis for decision." he professed to believe that the poll reveals "Japan and the United States share common interests in the Asia-Pacific region. p.org/jpri/public/crit5. In some respects. Last November 30. perhaps even a superduper power. The chief difference. Volume V. Most likely. tried to put a positive spin on the poll's results.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. matters are much harder to figure out. Number 1. planes. Security relationship"-40.
people who devote their lives to working for reforms and exposing corruption within all power centers. Nader wanted to study the legal issues involving food production and automobile safety. After exploring his life. and simultaneously brings other radical thought into the mainstream. By 1965. At age 17. Guided by such values. of course. 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. took issue with the assumption. I will try to explain his philosophy. but wishes there were others like him. and.wcdebate." in THE NATION. He had to do most of this on his own. This essay will explore both the philosophical foundations and the practical political implications of Ralph Nader¶s work and thought. from the preface to Crashing the Party Among contemporary political figures. He immediately developed an aversion to the corporate orientation of both the courses and the professors' ideologies. Such policies strengthen noncommercial values. we can better use our wealth and power to benefit all Americans. Connecticut. Nathra. I will conclude with some thoughts on using Ralph Nader¶s writings in debate rounds. The automobile industry spent millions in "public service" propaganda blaming "the nut behind the wheel" for auto fatalities. and justified his position with painstaking research and eloquent prose. He researched automobile safety anyway. By age 14. assets and conditions are never for sale.000 automobile deaths every year in America. Nathra and Rose had strong opinions about democracy. Lebanese immigrants who owned a restaurant in the small town of Winstead. He has been a thorn in the side of corporate power and governmental corruption for nearly forty years. is almost uniquely attributable to Nader in American politics: corporations habitually blame consumers for defects in their products. but wishes he were not. and more than twice that amount of permanent disabilities incurred in automobile accidents. nourished by public enlightenment and civic participation. and infectious diseases that threaten to jeopardize directly our own national security as well as that of the rest of the world. Ralph Nader is one of a kind. which. he had expanded the article into a devastating book. Ralph Nader had closely read the classic journalistic muckrakers of his day as well as several years of the Congressional Record. UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE. just as all perpetrators tend to blame the victims. Ralph Nader recalls. finding these endeavors unsuccessful. "The Safe Car You Can't Buy. and then his political project. in a larger sense. Nader. illiteracy. resigned himself to studying Chinese and preparing for law school. just as the rich blame the poor for being poor. and so on.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. oppression. Nader entered Harvard Law School in 1955. as Harvard Law School didn't offer such courses and the professors were enthusiastically uninterested. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader believed--and would continue to believe--that car companies simply didn't believe safety was worth the cost. The book contained a theme that. can provide wondrous opportunities to improve our country. came to the defense of small business owners being abused by larger businesses. Volume 9 Page 101 RALPH NADER Great societies must have public policies that declare which rights. environmental perils. would encourage patrons at his restaurant to participate in informal political debates. At the time. and in 1959 published his first article. there were nearly 50. Applied beyond our borders. An excellent student. from his student activist days to his two presidential runs. he wishes that contemporary American politics was full of Ralph Naders. ²Ralph Nader. He attempted to get the administration to ban the spraying of DDT on campus trees. these values can help us astutely wage peace and address the extreme poverty. where he would have the opportunity to test his father's enthusiasm for public protest. NADER¶S LIFE AND WORK Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to Rose and Nathra Nader. Nader radicalizes the Jeffersonian tradition of democratic participation. he entered Princeton University.com . in fact.
mit.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Nader spent the rest of the 1960s expanding his project to include the creation of various task forces and groups of young advocates dedicated to consumer safety and rights. a good government lobby that focused primarily on procedural reforms such as campaign finance reform and government ethics. Nader's "Raiders. Nader has continued to organize grass roots activists against corporate power and irresponsibility.nader. based on their tendency towards theory at the expense of action. most contemporary followers of politics identify Nader with his 1996 and 2000 Presidential runs on the Green Party ticket. This is Jeffersonian democracy at its most extreme.wcdebate. and shareholders."the public interest" -was a bold. Congress enacted tougher automobile safety laws (eventually culminating. some decades later. The creation of a citizens' lobby to represent the people as a whole -. fought for increased water quality. contrary to his predictions." as they came to be called.org/history/bollier_chapter_3. Since the 2000 campaign. consumers. Bush in 2000. taxpayers. Education and Welfare." But Jefferson. and a plethora of other causes. it is argued. could not have envisioned how moneyed special interests. There are two basic philosophical premises behind Nader¶s politics. he seems to have an inherent distrust of academic intellectuals (not a hostility. Nor could James Madison.html) Nader¶s second philosophical premise is that power tends to corrupt unless it is checked by a wide array of citizens. then. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. which he exploited in order to launch a career of public service and anti-corporate activism. Nader¶s philosophy can be summed up as ³citizen empowerment. Nader believes that ordinary people must make both corporations and governments more accountable. A statement Nader made in 1993 sums up his political perspective: What neither Clinton. have predicted how competing special-interest factions might not yield the public good.. the highest office is the office of citizen. indistinguishable from typical liberal democrats. Because of UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. and General Motors' attempt to discredit Nader assured his fame. First and most importantly.´ despite the best efforts of conservatives and moderates to paint him as such. procedural complexities and the brute size of the nation would erode the sinews of government accountability. in mandatory seat belts and air bags). It represented a creative attempt to reclaim Jefferson's faith in "the people themselves. should corporations be held to the same standard as politicians? There are several sensible reasons for this. when he founded Common Cause. Nader took voters away who would have voted for the centrist Democrat Gore. (http://bostonreview. First. enduring change will require an institutionalized shift of power from corporations and government to ordinary Americans. in a democracy. 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. Throughout the next thirty years. of course. While politicians have now made an art of populist symbolism. the democratic "experiment" is about checking excessive power. "I know of no safer depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. simply a distrust). While other activists dedicated themselves to ending the Vietnam War. reforms in the Food and Drug Administration. albeit reluctantly. workers. official secrecy. would have a similar idea in 1970. By campaigning to the "left" of Gore politically. In fact.´ and as such. author of the famous Federalist No.nor most other Democratic Party proponents of change seem to realize is that significant. Why.. virtually none have a serious agenda to strengthen Americans in their key roles as voters. as the quotation below explains. He is also not a ³radical revolutionary. In 1969 he and his comrades formed the Center for Study of Responsive Law. draws upon the American political tradition in much the same way as any social movement.com . who had written. but." John Gardner. 10 essay.2/nader.edu/BR18. (http://www. innovative development in American politics at the time. the people are the ultimate authorities. Many hold him uniquely responsible for Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to George W. Of course. This is why it is grossly over simplistic to view Nader as merely a proponent of greater government control. a former Secretary of the Department of Health." ²Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Ralph Nader is not a philosopher.html) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF NADER¶S POLITICS "In a democracy. Volume 9 Page 102 The book launched the consumer rights movement.
a socialist. And. Facilitate voter initiatives: Nader wants to make it easier to vote. They can make decisions that have far-reaching environmental and economic effects. wealth is a social creation: capitalists need laborers. and the use of referendums and initiatives to increase public control over the lawmaking process. Reclaim the public airwaves: Nader is very concerned that radio and television waves.´ ±Nader. He does not call for the end of corporations or market economies. giant corporations. 56 Over the past two presidential races. and the resources extracted from the earth do not belong to any one individual in some a priori sense. and increasing public financing of elections. the kinds of "checks" which defenders of corporate power claim exist are not really effective. most recently. citizens do not have the kind of information that voters in political elections possess. which should belong to everyone. Little did I know then that in 1999 this very thing would be occurring. Term limits would increase opportunity for ordinary citizens to participate in government. sometimes stretching centuries into the future. Nader is none of these. checks must exist on corporate power because the classic individualist metaphors of entrepreneurship and hard work hardly do justice to the corporate juggernauts. Second. literally. a communist. 1999. the multinational status of many corporations makes them. and since advertising does not normally reveal the truth about the production process. In fact.com . even a Stalinist. Finally. rather." Aside from the fact that this means people with a million dollars get a million votes. Wealth is not generated through the individual actions of individual innovators. limiting the amount of money people can spend on political campaigns. Some less-than-eloquent critics have. Reform our corrupt campaign finance system: Nader is a strong proponent of viable campaign finance reform. and also increase the number of things people vote for and against. p. and frequently more power than. are available to the highest bidder. He was instrumental in encouraging ³public access´ laws Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. over the past few decades. any elected or appointed political leader. sellers need consumers. Since most corporate decisions are made behind closed doors. They are not heeding the warnings of Justice Louis Brandis and Henry Stimpson and Ella Herue. and discourage ³career politicians´ who tend to become cynical and greedy. 3. NADER¶S POLITICAL PRINCIPLES ³When I was in law school. He sees the democratic process as little more than a joke if elections come down to who has the most money. referred to Nader as an anti-capitalist. The classic argument is that citizens "vote with their dollars. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. He is in favor of more accessible voter registration. "above" the laws of most nations. torts and contracts. we had a joke that at Harvard they teach you how to distort the law of contracts and contract the law of torts. Corporate law firms are composed of lawyers who have forgotten what it means to be a professional and who are themselves losing their independence. Set term limits for Members of Congress: Term limits allow the system to constantly rejuvenate and reinvent itself. 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. who warned about corporate law firms losing their independence to corporate clients by becoming mere adjuncts to the corporation's priorities. We are losing the two great pillars of American law. All of these reasons provide sound philosophical justification for an increased watchdog role on the part of concerned citizens.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. not exist without the collective masses that sustain them.wcdebate. 4. 2. They can control resources and make large-scale decisions about production and distribution. So corporations need to be accountable because corporations could. Volume 9 Page 103 Corporations have as much power as. Such an argument assumes what many capitalist apologists assume without proof: that citizens possess near-perfect information about public and private transactions and the effects of corporate decisions. Ralph Nader has tended to stress the following points as a political program: 1. literally. to institutionalized.
shareholders possess minimal power compared to the day-to-day power of corporate executives. This is an ongoing argument. at a time when many citizens seem to be drifting to the right. May 21.'' (VILLAGE VOICE. they simply find ways around the tough regulations rather than ways to comply with them. "the Green Party has a dozen chapters around the state. since they alienated the voters who ended up either not voting at all. 5. The idea is that people respond favorably to carrots (rewards). To begin with. many people advocate pollution trading permits rather than strong regulations against pollution.wcdebate. Bush. libertarians claim." In Wisconsin.´ we end up with nothing (or. only four of which existed before the 2000 election. OBJECTIONS TO NADER To answer Ralph Nader's underlying political philosophy is difficult. Democrats. Even many non-libertarians favor measures such as tax incentives rather than regulatory schemes to make corporations behave better. but also that elitism is desirable. and often makes things considerably worse. May 7. 2002) Another source of objection to Nader¶s ideas is found in libertarian philosophies. as recent events demonstrate: The Capital Times (5/21. but the Green Party's current plans. higher taxes for corporations. we should settle for checks on that drift rather than try to get everything.com . Although Nader is not simply a pro-government liberal. 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. worse than nothing!)." (THE BULLETIN'S FRONTRUNNER. Volume 9 Page 104 requiring cable companies to devote some of their stations to public use. At present. to accept some of what we want. He would like to see much more of this. but if they are threatened with punishment. especially liberal Democrats. and they are planning to run a candidate for every statewide office in Wisconsin. say Greens end up hurting the very causes that they support by playing the spoiler in many races. The problem here is not merely one election. including candidate Jim Young for governor. Libertarians generally believe that regulation of the market never yields the results intended. Create shareholder democracy: Nader wants shareholders in corporations to have greater power over corporate decision-making. they were still comparatively closer to those ideals than were the Republicans and George W. It places in question Nader¶s whole philosophy of stubborn and dogmatic insistence that only his platform is viable and democratic. many people are angry that Nader¶s dogmatic and ³purist´ run for the presidency in 2000 supposedly cost the Democrats the White House. 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. One must assert and prove not only that capitalism is desirable. This is because those people believe that. Nader supporters responded that the Democrats had themselves to blame for the election loss.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. his ideas clearly include tougher regulations. Of course. Regulations fail. Green Party activists say they have learned a lot since 2000. Democrats respond that. could frustrate Democrats in Wisconsin and around the country even more. " Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential run angered many Democrats. if successful. while Gore and the Democrats may not have been as faithful to Nader¶s ideals as the Greens were. as some would say in reference to Bush. because people respond better to self-management than hierarchical management. and more restrictions on what people can do with their money. if we hold out for ³everything. especially when they are given a chance to participate in the large-scale affairs that determine so much in their lives. He believes that ordinary people are not stupid. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2002) The argument is that we must be willing to compromise. Along the same lines. Steverman) reports. Most of these platforms stem from the overarching desire on Ralph Nader¶s part to increase citizen empowerment.
However. government is the people. Nader eschews elitism. since it¶s what we have.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Democracy must be participatory: More than any other idea. After all. debaters might argue that political and economic alternatives exist. either-or. Were it up to him. Ralph Nader continues to make news every day. Ralph Nader advocates the notion of citizen participation and a breaking down of the distinctions between government and people. Alternatives to capitalism and globalization can be explored through a widening of the political arena: Conversely. and even update their files with the daily news reports about Nader and his movement. read commentary about him. 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. 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. One side argues that capitalism is necessary because it maximizes individual freedom. since such ideas prevent the excesses that fuel the anti-capitalism movement. and that we should explore those alternatives by broadening the political arena. Debaters may even be able to argue that the ideas of people like Nader are essential to capitalism¶s survival. Debaters wishing to explore more about Ralph Nader can do many things: read his books. Volume 9 Page 105 Overall.wcdebate. it would be citizens making the news instead of corporate news agencies. CONCLUSION Ralph Nader is currently America¶s loudest and most passionate advocate of citizen participation and greater corporate accountability. Nader is no fan of capitalism. not merely philosophically. Greater participation by third parties and citizens¶ movements can help this happen.com . and that lesson might itself serve as a reminder that alternatives must be pragmatic. but he argues that. IMPLICATIONS FOR DEBATE In my mind. Unlike so many of our sources. his stubborn insistence that the people not compromise with those in power cost him a great deal of credibility in 2000. and not just theoretically attractive. At the same time. in the strongest democratic traditions. but with many historical examples of the disasterous effects of unchecked power among governments and corporations. exploitation and imperialism. Writing about a living person is a lot different than writing about a long-dead philosopher. we should keep it in check. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. while the other side emphasizes the problems of selfishness.
RALPH NADER¶S PRACTICING DEMOCRACY 1997: A GUIDE TO STUDENT ACTION (New York: St. Ralph. 1977). Nader. RULING CONGRESS: A STUDY OF HOW THE HOUSE AND SENATE RULES GOVERN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (New York: Grossman Publishers. Franklin D. Nader. N.] (New York: Grossman. Burt. 1975). Nader.: Prentice-Hall 1972). Gorey. Ralph. 1996). UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: THE DESIGNED-IN DANGERS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE [Expanded ed. 1976). Volume 9 Page 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY Buckhorn. Dan M. 1973). McCarry. 1972). Isaac. Nader. NO CONTEST: CORPORATE LAWYERS AND THE PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN AMERICA (New York: Random House. Ralph. THE CONSUMER AND CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. CITIZEN NADER (New York: Saturday Review Press. Martin's Press. Hays. Chu. 1975). Nader. Martin's Press. NADER: THE PEOPLE¶S LAWYER (Englewood Cliffs. 1972). Ralph Nader Congress Project. 1982). Katherine. NADER AND THE POWER OF EVERYMAN (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY (New York: Norton.wcdebate. 2002).J. Ralph. Nader. Ralph. Ralph.com . CRASHING THE PARTY: TAKING ON THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT IN AN AGE OF SURRENDER (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. THE RALPH NADER READER (foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (New York: Seven Stories Press. THE BIG BOYS: POWER AND POSITION IN AMERICAN BUSINESS (New York: Pantheon Books. 1986). Nader. Ralph. 1974). 1997). TAMING THE GIANT CORPORATION (New York: Norton. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Nader. Robert F. Ralph. Charles. Nader.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE MADNESS ESTABLISHMENT: RALPH NADER¶S STUDY GROUP REPORT ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (New York: Grossman Publishers. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA (New York: Grossman. Ralph. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK (Chicago: Regnery Gateway. 2000). 1973).
pampered executives can distance themselves from everyday life. If we were to use the people's yardsticks to report on the state of the economy. 521. political activist. There are a record number of consumers filing bankruptcies and living beyond their means in order to subsist. 2.´ the ³invisible currency.´ the ³invisible gene. 2. limiting their ability to deal with reality. CORPORATE POWER THREATENS THE PUBLIC GOOD 1. p.profits are up. he uses oligarchic indicators that imply the economy could hardly be better . and marketing technologies. We are then at a point where such a question cannot be answered without a firm understanding of our past. Homelessness and poverty are affecting large numbers of families and people than ever before.´ Working at high levels of abstraction. 1999. If someone were to ask how much injustice exists in society. bailouts. Poor or oppressed persons are often downtrodden . p. debt revocations. CORPORATE WELFARE SIPHONS FUNDS FROM OTHER PRIORITIES Ralph Nader. how would you respond? The criteria for analyzing a just society is very primitive and unclear. ELITE CONTROL OF THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE ENSURES FURTHER INJUSTICE Ralph Nader. what Congress hears is that our economy could not be better. loan guarantees. I think that the level of injustice in our society is partly a reflection of expectation levels. the stock market is up. clinics. If people think more about how major business executives work. THE BIG BOYS. and unemployment is down. subsidize companies ripping minerals from federal lands. 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. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. then they also control agendas and that is what is happening. political activist. If the oligarchy controls the yardsticks by which we measure progress and justice. Smith¶s ³invisible hand´ of 1776 has been joined two centuries later by the ³invisible atom. then we become very uneasy with the state of affairs. 13 Corporate welfare²the enormous and myriad subsidies. To introduce more managerial foresight and honesty. then those executives may think harder about how their work affects people. THE CRITERIA FOR JUSTICE SHOULD BE THE CONDITION OF THE POOR AND OPPRESSED Ralph Nader. 1999. 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. CUTTING CORPORATE WELFARE. totaling record amounts of consumer debt. p. 56. 1986. injure our national security. enable pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers. Yet.having accepted their condition and resigned. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. inflation is down. 56.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 2000. CAPITALISM REQUIRES CHECKS AND BALANCES Ralph Nader and William Taylor. political activist. and public utilities are in extreme disrepair. those at the peaks of corporate power need to have their thoughts and actions better known to the public. Adam Smith knew that the ideology of the ³invisible hand´ was an idealization quite removed from market reality. production. The data one would use is arguably nonexistent. and weaken our democracy. political activists.com . and genetic engineering are added to the stresses of conventional chemical. artificial intelligence. Corporate welfare programs siphon funds from appropriate public investments. 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.´ the ³invisible pollutant. discounted insurance and other benefits conferred by government on business²is a function of political corruption. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY. If the larger society has a higher expectation level. mass famines. The need for distance grows more insistent every day²the mounting challenges of doomsday weapons. When Alan Greenspan reports to Congress every few weeks on the state of the economy.wcdebate. schools. p.´ and the ³invisible bureaucrat. giveaways. tax loopholes. Volume 9 Page 107 EGALITARIAN CRITERIA OF JUSTICE IS BEST 1.
or even at the United Nations. depress wage levels. and unaccountability: these are the watchwords of global trade policy-making. THE ENVIRONMENT.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. political activist. or even national effort in the United States to demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. 1993. 1993.S. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. 1993. AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY 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. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. It would cost jobs. will be met with the refrain. Capitol. Narrow. state. 3.wcdebate. GLOBAL FREE TRADE UNDERMINES LOCAL. multinational corporations are working hard to expand their control over the international economy and to undo vital health. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. 6. the U. We¶ll have to close down and move to a country that offers us a more hospitable business climate. we won¶t be able to compete. and make workplaces less safe. THE CASE AGAINST FREE TRADE. By contrast.S. and land. safety. the U. called the Uruguay Round.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal (formally known as NAFTA. Secrecy. citizenbased initiatives generally succeed only if they generate public debate and receive widespread support. in a bold and brazen drive to achieve an autocratic far-reaching agenda through two trade agreements. provide a decent standard of living to their employees. The megacorporations are not expecting these victories to be gained in town halls.com . 1 Citizens beware. The Fortune 200¶s GATT and NAFTA agenda would make the air you breathe dirtier and the water you drink more polluted. GLOBALIZATION HURTS DEMOCRACY AND PROMOTES AUTOCRATIC SECRECY Ralph Nader. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ 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. Volume 9 Page 108 GLOBAL FREE TRADE HAS HORRIBLE IMPACTS 1. Operating under the deceptive banner of ³free´ trade. If you do. for example. 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. The process by which a policy is developed and enacted often yields insights into who stands to benefit from its enactment. 3. ³You can¶t burden us like that. in the halls of the U. p. political activist. They are looking to circumvent the democratic process altogether. AND WORKERS¶ RIGHTS Ralph Nader. abstruseness. p. GLOBALIZATION UNDERMINES HEALTH. Congress. Every element of the negotiation. the North American Free Trade Agreement) and an expansion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). corporate lobbyists roam the corridors before a budget or tax package is to be voted on. state offices. and they know all to well from experience that threats of this sort are often carried out.S. p. and implementation of the trade agreements is designed to foreclose citizen participation or even awareness. private interests inevitably prefer secrecy. STATE. water. and environmental protections won by citizen movements across the globe in recent decades. adoption. Enactment of the free trade deals virtually ensures that any local. 2. or limit their pollution of the air.
Our diverse. 1982. and it does not square with the common view of the nature of the public interest. and the economic votes we make every day with our money at the cash register. 1982. Testimony is often given on behalf of the ³public interest´ before congressional committees and federal regulatory panels. de-centralized political.wcdebate. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1982. individualistic nation. NADER¶S ADVOCACY TRANSFERS POWER FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ELITES CLAIMING TO SPEAK IN THE ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ Dan M. which has been and remains in vogue in Western thought. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. In sum. ³PUBLIC INTEREST´ ADVOCACY UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY Dan M. Burt. Mr. 20 Instead. political tradition of the last 200 years. They do not put much faith in the democratic process that has been America¶s unique tradition for the past 200 years²that is. Burt. p.com . Burt.´ ³Public interest´ groups seek an alternative means of influencing decision-making in both government and industry. Burt. away from the individual and into the hands of the government and ³public interest´ groups. President of Capital Legal Foundation. President of Capital Legal Foundation. and consumers. p. a new elite of un-elected. 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. at the bank. ³Public interest´ advocacy has become one of the signs of our times. the political votes we cast regularly at the ballot box. Volume 9 Page 109 NADER¶S PHILOSOPHY HURTS DEMOCRACY 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. This most often takes the form of intervention in the regulatory processes of the federal. 20 What is clear is that Mr. President of Capital Legal Foundation. NADER¶S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY WOULD CULMINATE IN TOTALITARIANISM Dan M. In this regard. and social system. government would probably become more authoritarian or even totalitarian by encroaching more on our private lives as workers. 135 In place of our system of modified and limited individual choice and private enterprise²we certainly recognize and welcome much of what FDA. America would become a more centrally governed and less free. with its heavy reliance on individual choice.S. 8. NADER¶S ADVOCACY DESTROYS INDIVIDUAL CHOICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Dan M. Government would have an especially large influence on the functioning of the economy and. 2. Ralph Nader seeks nothing less than a transfer of power in America. This is a distinct political ideology. and seek to change it. Nader and his groups seek a greater politicization of life in America. and local governments. professional ³public interest´ advocates would acquire a substantial amount of power to make decisions in both the private and public sectors. employers. ³Public interest´ advocates would become new power-brokers. and their ideology would have immense impact on political and economic activities and society as a whole. President of Capital Legal Foundation. p. or in the investment markets. is not considered adequate to achieve the ³public interest´ or the ³common good.´ NADER IS ELITIST AND TOTALITARIAN 1. on our daily lives. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. But it is a radical departure from U. in turn. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. SEC.´ 2. state. the groups elect to fight the issues out before the courts. where more decisions will be made by a few to affect the many. ABUSE OF TRUST: A REPORT ON RALPH NADER¶S NETWORK. economic. In other words. Nader and his network distrust the current political and economic system in the United States. And it has been and would be a government they run. p. 1982. In some cases. EPA and similar agencies do²the ³public interest´ groups would appear to want more politicization of life in America.
000. who put forward economic nationalist slogans that drew favorable comment from Buchanan.it grants corporations some legal status as individuals." reads the statement. THE HARTFORD COURANT. markets. According to the February 21 Green Party news release announcing Nader's bid. now vying for the Reform Party presidential nomination. At times Nader's hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. in his first major speech after leaving Congress. he said. Volume 9 Page 110 NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE AGENDA IS UNDESIRABLE 1. must be bad for the world. NADER IS A NATIONALIST WHO EXPLOITS AMERICANS¶ FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS Patrick O¶Neill. or Pfizer. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE." At the same time. That's the problem with Ralph. most prosperous nation in the world.corporate influence. A-19. 2. editor of Slate. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. But it is less well known that he was equally adamant in opposing a bill removing barriers to Africa's exports -." (Most African countries would be delighted to attract a bit of foreign investment.wcdebate. Nader says he will concentrate on "democracy. In 2000. A-19. NADER IGNORES THE CONTRIBUTIONS CORPORATIONS MAKE TO OUR PROSPERITY Laurence D. we are the happiest. NADER¶S OPPOSITION TO TRADE AGREEMENTS HURTS DEVELOPING NATIONS Paul Krugman.000 to 400. the Nader campaign intends to raise $5 million dollars. Because multinational corporations go their amoral way. p. The North American Free Trade Association treaty means "we're exporting jobs--probably about 350. July 25. 2000. 3. If you look for a unifying theme in all these causes. Everyone knows about Nader's furious opposition to global trade agreements. Cohen. because chemical companies have to put their gunk somewhere.a move that Africans themselves welcomed. Nader presented his campaign as a "pull to the left" for the Democratic Party. Professor of Economics at MIT. Michael Kinsley. Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to -. March 6. Professor of Economics at MIT. p. He isn't like you and me. although limiting his campaign spending to under $5." But you can't create a public good until you recognize the reality of a private good. C3. because -. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 2000.I'm serious -. To block opportunities for corporate profit he is quite willing to prevent desperately poor nations from selling their goods in U. But several days before Gingrich spoke.) Similar fears led Nader to condemn South Africa's new constitution.000 votes and finished in fourth place. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when. 2000. Nader's 1996 campaign was marked by nationalist themes. saying he has "learned a lot in the last few years about corporate power. THE MILITANT. He complimented rightist politician Patrick Buchanan. or any corporation. he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. healthiest. but which Nader denounced because of his fear that African companies would be "run into the ground by multinational corporations moving into local economies. concentrated corporate power and the excessive disparities of wealth." The campaign will have similar themes to the effort of four years ago. prevent patients from getting drugs that might give them a decent life and prevent a moderate who gets along with business from becoming president.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.S." Nader will invoke "the message of last year's Seattle demonstrations against the WTO. had it right when he characterized the Nader reason-for-being as "irritating others for the public good. NADER PRACTICES A RHETORIC OF FEAR AND OVERSIMPLIFICATION 1. the product of freedom to acquire and strive and create for personal gain. NADER¶S ANTI-CORPORATE RHETORIC OVERSIMPLIFIES THE ISSUES Paul Krugman. it seems to be not consumer protection but general hostility toward corporations. columnist. columnist. in 1996 he "received nearly 700. October 22." 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.com . p. the one that ended apartheid. because insurance companies have to say no to some doctors sometimes. July 25. 2000. Those demonstrations were led by union officials and liberal and environmental activists. p. 2.000" to Mexico. Nader now apparently believes that whatever is good for General Motors.like the laws of every market economy -.
In the South (and. two: Quota Queen. such a right was not truly meaningful. Let¶s start with what white citizens of this country take as a given: voting rights. As for the second proposition -. That didn¶t stop the hounds once they had been released. including slavery. Guinier was unjustly denied her rightful post as Assistant U. That¶s not just me being partisan. Period. she OPPOSED quotas ± they went contrary to her notion of ³confirmative action. many places in the North).wcdebate. write manifold articles on the subject of race in the United States. a ³quota queen. GUINIER¶S THOUGHT Guinier doesn¶t just talk about affirmative action ± far from it. and publish books. they claimed. the politicians who control the nomination process preferred to keep the tensions under wraps.S. you didn¶t get to vote. but it was a very useful. we get to inspect the ideas of one of the most forward-looking thinkers on race in America. we define you by no more than three or four words-in my case. if you can¶t vote. She was. As the woman herself said in a subsequent interview on the topic: ³Because we are in a sound-bite culture.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. to be fair.´ Guinier continues to teach law at Harvard Law School. Volume 9 Page 111 LANI GUINIER Lani Guinier was unjustly passed over in one of the most highly publicized confirmation hearings ever. She examines all kinds of issues relevant to racial politics in this country. It had nothing to do with what I had written. 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.com . After all. the right wing said. right? During and prior to the Civil War.´ Just one problem: Guinier had never advocated quota-based hiring. In fact. Guinier's intellectual honesty made her politically unacceptable. Voting rights are the essential element of a democracy. For understandable political reasons. 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.´ 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. it isn¶t a true democracy to you. places dealt with the issue in a straightforward manner: if you were black.What do we learn from the fact that her nomination was torpedoed? ± we learn that being an insightful critical thinker instead of a partisan demagogue is a sure way to avoid public service at a high level. Now. it wasn¶t until the mid-1960s that African Americans had the right to vote. 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.´ Guinier¶s version of affirmative action. So the first wave of voting rights laws dealt with these Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. alliterated metaphor that served partisan purposes at the time. though. or create new forms of discrimination? These are questions without easy answers. Attorney General for Civil Rights because. And even then and immediately thereafter. For them. 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.
You vote for Ralph Nader because he says he¶ll challenge corporate rule. you can guarantee the election of a minority representative by packing as many members of that minority as possible into a single district. The problem is that in other districts. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made sure of that. Harvey Gantt. The thing is.wcdebate. The result is that you get one minority representative. You vote for Jesse Helms because you¶re a psychotic racist (hey. your parents (and certainly your grandparents) might remember a time when Black Americans didn¶t even have the lip-service right to vote. The only question was how to actualize this? In the past. racial minorities are so few in number that candidates can simply disregard them.discovered techniques that would guarantee the election of some members of racial minorities while actually reducing the chances that the views of those representatives would prevail in the legislature. and you headed to the polls in Florida. indeed. So. The techniques are known in the voting rights field as packing. if you go to vote. 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. We had to deal with it in the LAST presidential election. is that concentrating minorities in certain districts means that OTHER districts can effectively IGNORE their interests altogether. this is far from an issue we¶ve left behind. As Tushnet notes. this ³turned out to be something between a very bad thing and a disaster for racial minorities. but they have the same result: the legislature has the "right number" of minority representatives. What is the solution? Some suggested establishing "majority-minority" districts so that minorities would be assured of candidates that reflected their interests. whites have gerrymandered districts so that minorities couldn¶t overwhelm the white majority and elect candidates of choice. The Voting Rights Act Amendmnts of 1982 recognized that this was a problem. 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. Something between a very bad thing and a disaster.mostly Republicans -.com . the votes of minorities can be trumped by the White Folks Vote. of course. Particularly as it became easy to use computer technology to draw district lines.´ The other problem. Cracking and stacking are more complicated. Hence. though. 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 stacking. and a slew of representatives who owe nothing to minority constituents. Again.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. alternatively. And depending on how old there are. if you¶re one of the 90 percent of African Americans that voted for Al Gore. For example. it takes all kinds). cracking. Volume 9 Page 112 ³formal exclusions´ from the franchise: they FORCED states to allow Black Americans to vote. white people keep electing the aforementioned Mr. and they are regularly outvoted. is an excellent candidate who is notably NOT insane. Helms despite the fact that the Black man who keeps running against him. You sue your vote to elect people who will do the things that you want done. we ought to defend it for minorities. and created a right to select representatives of choice. You vote for Jesse Ventura because he says he¶ll battle special interests. Plus. minorities often have a problem electing what voting rights law calls "representatives of their choice. it has another value: an instrumental value. people -.´ After all. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. if the right to vote represents full citizenship.
or we¶ll filibuster and block the bill which brings the pork barrel project to your district. but let¶s review some of the high points here. There would be problems with identifying these policies. Guinier has many ideas for transformation of the current situation. Similarly. whose theory of representative democracy appealed to "the principle of reciprocity. There are a couple of reasons why.´) After all. (³Give us labor provisions in the FTAA bill. too: voters and politicians have to think about the long term. and you¶ll be in big trouble. not all of which involve modifying affirmative action. That includes people living in a democracy. 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. When you¶re in power. For example. Some involve changing the internal decision-making structure of state and local legislatures. It could provide them a valuable commodity (a small voting block) where they could trade votes in exchange for other favorable legislation. of course ± but even requiring a super-majority on all legislation might help minority constituencies. Just because you¶re in the majority now doesn¶t guarantee that you will ALWAYS be. what is a filibuster but a minority veto ± enacted by a minority of one. there¶s the well-established propaganda system. but because it¶s just as integral to the thinking of Lani Guinier as anything else. This is especially true in close races or districts where there is an even split in political opinion. And nice as that sounds. This is one major reason both parties talk about bipartisanship: they want to appeal to voters of the other political party. Since every vote counts. Total majority rule. That¶s why we have three branches of government ± to stop excesses and abuses of power by those who reach past their intended authority. you don¶t want to totally ignore the minority (whether racial. Hence. every vote counts. usually Ted Kennedy? GUINIER AND THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY Now. legislators can get concessions on another. They will vote to advance their own interests. Oregon did in the 1990s) or to do other unconstitutional. The second reason is that those are the principles the Republic was founded on. or political) ± because they may be the MAJORITY in four years. 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. for example. Reagan was re-elected primarily with the votes of traditional Democrats. economic. and that includes affirmative action. stupid things. So. Volume 9 Page 113 Enter Lani Guinier. Sound radical? Ever heard of the filibuster in the Senate? That¶s an example of how. but there¶s another reason.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the tribes Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. every interest group is up for schmoozing ± even traditional enemies.com . 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.´ This topic is covered in great detail in the Madison essay. some might say there is nothing more democratic than majority rule. you see things like former Washington Senator Slade Gorton cozying up to Indian tribes. why don¶t poor people just vote to take all the money from rich people through taxation? Well. People are self-interested. it doesn¶t work that way. for one thing. by merely threatening a filibuster on a certain bill or resolution. even though he spent 30 years trying to screw them sideways ± in a close election.wcdebate. Guinier borrows the title of her book from James Madison. there needs to be some check on that abuse.
college administrators. though. If admissions policies and employment opportunities are truly to be merit-based. That¶s why she¶s so concerned with voting rights reform: if minorities can be represented in fact. a left-wing critic of Guinier. The conservative critics are relatively easy to understand: we should all be evaluated on an individual basis. presumably. Stephen Steinberg. after all. has thoughts I feel are worth considering: Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Her rationale for these reforms is simple. usually. for example. give feedback on. Volume 9 Page 114 don¶t want to blast Gorton with both barrels when he¶s in office. What does confirmative action entail? It entails a merit-based approach that is continually evolving. seeing what is working and what is not." Guinier's books and law review articles support only one conclusion -. that Indian tribes hate him so much. but many liberals consider Guinier a fairly ³conservative´ (in the sense of being careful and wary to offer wild. we need to admit that those merit-based criteria exclude certain people ± you¶re not going to get as good grades as other kids. people like Gorton just ignore their traditional enemies altogether ± or worse yet. Guinier's political views in no way support her designation as a "quota queen. rather than just in name. That means includes continually updating affirmative into new policies that Guinier calls ³Confirmative Action. and carry out the criteria that are adopted? Do their decisions support the institution as a public place? Are graduates contributing back to the institution and the society it serves? This continual review process would involve. and would include an assessment of what contributions society as a whole can expect from the student or worker after the preference policy assists them. and neither race nor class should not be a determining factor in discussions. their interests will be better served by legislators. 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. if you need a 40-hour a week job and/or don¶t get enough to eat. Hence. Guinier asks. regularly review and seek feedback on its admissions program. crush their economic infrastructure. to revamp their admissions policies based on various factors: Practicing confirmative action. and abrogate their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights).West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. try to actively undermine their interests. The best strategy lies in other means.com . and is relatively easy to understand. This doesn¶t always happen that way. and so poor whites are also considered in programs like jobs and university admissions. etc. programmatic change) thinker. Guinier recognizes this. More often. This is a flaw Guinier finds in traditional affirmative action. Guinier writes: So a policy of ³confirmative action´ would include economics as a decision calculus. health care projects. each institution would.she believes a quota of minorities taken as representatives of the minority races as a whole will not truly give minorities a fair chance.wcdebate. There is a reason. (He tried to take away their fishing rights. because he controls appropriations money for their environmental restoration projects. with its specific mission in mind. This is your basic Ward Connerly school of thought. You might be surprised. SOME CRITICS Critics of Guinier fall into basically two categories: the conservative and the liberal. However. GUINIER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As noted above.´ This includes modifying preference policies to consider class ± so minorities that are truly disadvantaged get the most preferences.
Volume 9 Page 115 CONCLUSION Whether you agree or disagree with Lani Guinier¶s ideas -.wcdebate.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. economically viable future should check out her work.and whether you disagree with her from the left or the right ± you have to admit her ideas are provocative. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.com . People that are interested in building a more racially just.
html. Guinier. Smith. 1995.mit. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. 5. Lani. http://bostonreview. Foreword to REFLECTING ALL OF US: THE CASE FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. C. Guinier. Guinier." NEW YORK UNIVERSITY REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 24. Guinier. "Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen.wcdebate. 2002. 1994.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. http://bostonreview. http://bostonreview. accessed May 1. Guinier. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press." In REBELS IN LAW: VOICES IN HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS. Steinberg. p. p. Lani. by Robert Richie and Steven Hill.html. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY: FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. December 200/January 2001. 1-16.edu/BR25." THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. 2002." MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW. Guinier. accessed May 1. Lani. accessed May 1. Lani. Vol.com . New York: Free Press." KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 86. 2002. Ward. December 200/January 2001. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 1998.edu/BR19.html. 89. 1998. edited by J. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success. Mark. Guinier. p. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. New York: Simon & Schuster. Lani. "President Clinton's Doubt. 505525. "Reframing the Affirmative Action Debate. 1999. 36-37. Tushnet. BOSTON REVIEW.6/connerly. Stephen. 1998. January 8. Volume 9 Page 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY Connerly.edu/BR25. Guinier. No. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. Jr. Lani.6/steinberg..3/tushnet. 1077-1154. "Don't Scapegoat the Gerrymander. p. 1998. LIFT EVERY VOICE: TURNING A CIVIL RIGHTS SETBACK INTO A NEW VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.mit. Lani.mit. Lani. Lani Guinier's Certainty. Boston: Beacon. March 1991.
3. the white minority in South Africa. 3. July/August 1993. 4. "Almost everyone is relying on reconstructions by journalists and partisans. p.there still was not a single quote from any of her writings. Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen. praising ideas remarkably similar to mine. Professor of Law at Harvard University. THE MEDIA ADMITS THEY ARE BIASED AGAINST GUINIER Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests. p. p. 3. EXTRA!. there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably. about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded. The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. EXTRA!. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. color-coded ballots. EXTRA!. but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. many journalists preferred to simply repeat the charges of ideologically motivated opponents." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule. two votes' remedies. Nor did I write. her views were not only distorted. In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier. 3. EXTRA!. a Reagan-era Justice Department official. Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -. electoral quotas or 'one black. tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests. July/August 1993. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www." Indeed. as it was for Lally Weymouth.which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -. Volume 9 Page 117 GUINIER¶S VIEWS AREN¶T BAD: THE MEDIA LIES TO US ABOUT THEM 1. two conservative columnists." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -. some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans. Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights. the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas. she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides. both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93). No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.a process known as "race-conscious districting." a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick." But once the stereotype was affixed to her. THE MEDIA DISTORTS GUINIER¶S VIEWS TO THE EXTREME Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. county and municipal governing bodies in America.was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts. Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting." reporter David Margolick wrote -"everyone" including himself. The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota. after the nomination had already been killed -. George Will and Lally Weymouth. 3. CONSERVATIVES ARE HYPOCRITICAL WHEN THEY CHALLENGE GUINIER¶S VIEWS Lani Guinier." 2.com . I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local. When the New York Times finally devoted an article to her views. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89). so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities. 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable. How could Guinier's positions be distorted so thoroughly? Part of the problem was simple laziness: Rather than doing research into Guinier's record.Yet these same two journalists and many others condemned me as anti-democratic.on June 4. July/August 1993. she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review. July/August 1993. Apparently. as George Will did. injecting further distortions into the process. p. but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans." a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist. rather than to the political firestorm that raged around them -. GUINIER IS THE OPPOSITE OF A ³QUOTA QUEEN´ Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas ." columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93).wcdebate. he admitted in an interview with Extra!." In reality.
A first step is to view ³merit´ as a functional rather than generic concept. June 14. 3. in other words. THE CHARGES OF REVERSE RACISM AGAINST GUINIER ARE LUDICROUS Rob Richie and Jim Naureckas . Our commitment to democratic values benefits from studies like the one at the University of Michigan. That focus. 6/14/93). ³CONFIRMATIVE ACTION´ IS A COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY Lani Guinier. even as it demands clarifying and explicitly stating our institutional objectives.org/mainart/confirmative_action. Harvard Law School. 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. she was not endorsing the concept of authentic representation. June 14. Harvard Law School.wcdebate. In doing so. describing it as a "limited empowerment tool. np. 2002. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. EXTRA!. July/August 1993. p. In this fuller accounting of the democratic values of publicly supported institutions." as George Will put it (Newsweek. Professor. 2000. 3. Dynamic merit involves a commitment to distribution of opportunity not only at birth but also through one¶s life. 2000. legitimacy and power base is the black community. like one¶s family tree or family assets.com . AND SHOULD INCLUDE POOR WHITES Lani Guinier." Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. each of us is then obligated not only to succeed as individuals. while keeping firmly in mind the democratic purposes of higher education and the specific mission of most institutions of higher education. accessed May 1. becomes future-oriented and dynamic. Many commentators painted Guinier as a racial polarizer who implies that "only blacks can represent blacks. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE¶S STATE OF AMERICA 2000 CONFERENCE. Merit.shtml. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. in turn. she was critiquing it. But in a Michigan Law Review article (3/91). in a multiracial democracy. which showcase the experience of people of color and many women.shtml. np. I tentatively call this a process of confirmative action. In other words." But more important.minerscanary. who carry a commitment to contributing back to those who are less fortunate. accessed May 1.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. And she was repeatedly charged with believing that only "authentic" blacks counted. 2. can be chronicled with the proper instruments. but to ³lift as we climb. we must more carefully explore how to measure and what to call merit. quantifiable and backwards-looking entity that. http://www. 2002. between claims of individual desert based on past opportunities and individual contributions based on future societal needs. It is changing and manifests itself differently depending on how you look at it. and what constitutes fairness for all. p. 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. 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. Guinier stated that "authentic representatives need not be black as long as the source of the authority. It is contextual and resistant to standardized measurement. http://www.minerscanary. If we are to move beyond the present polarization in a manner consistent with the commitments to fairness and equality that both positions endorse. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AIDS DEMOCRACY.org/mainart/confirmative_action. Volume 9 Page 118 LANI GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE GOOD FOR MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY 1. It requires modesty in our beliefs about what we can measure in human beings. Professor. allows us to reconsider the relationship between individual merit and operational fairness.´ Merit becomes a forward-looking function of what a democratic society needs and values rather than a fixed. p.
Unfortunately. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.html. 2. 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. given these tensions.edu/BR25. American governments at all levels have sorted us into categories based on our skin color: slave. etc. BOSTON REVIEW.6/connerly. http://bostonreview. Sturm and Guinier ignore this fundamental reality.edu/BR25. Indian. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.6/connerly.edu/BR19.apparently in the face of the failures of public policy -. GUINIER¶S IDEAS WERE TRIED AND FAILED 30 YEARS AGO Ward Connerly. 4. While the City College administration shared their concerns about racial equality and merit. Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center. attracting topflight students from around the world. Volume 9 Page 119 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WON¶T HELP SOLVE RACISM OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY 1. octoroon. Their prescription of emphasizing race anew merely resurrects the worst of our history. she proposes. it was surprising. one for which we should all be ashamed. Unfortunately. in which what one group wins necessarily comes at the expense of another group. public policy could generate gains for everyone. Thus. the history of City College¶s experiment highlights the inherent problems in sacrificing merit on the altar of race.html. http://bostonreview. All we need to do.com . The substantive failures of policy can be eliminated by following the indirect strategy of using the right procedures. we ought to believe -. accessed May 1. Both departments¶ alumni often proceed to top graduate programs in the country. and that those failures must result from a more deeply-rooted racism than Guinier is willing to acknowledge. BOSTON REVIEW. City College¶s School of Engineering remains one of the best schools in the country. In 1970.html.html. their argument is not at all new. BOSTON REVIEW June/September 1994. 3. and refreshing. The English Department is also enjoying a renaissance. EMPIRICALLY.mit. City College of New York embarked on precisely the same social experiment advocated by Sturm and Guinier today: open admissions. December 200/January 2001. Nor do we lack for evidence about how their proposal would work. It is a long and sordid history. to see Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier propose "shift[ing] the terrain of the debate. is develop procedures which will allow all of us to work together to find the policies which will do that.3/tushnet. is how optimistic and fundamentally conservative she is. Caucasian. The next step in fulfilling America¶s promise is to create a colorblind state. free black.mit. 2002. 2002. they mount a frontal assault on the "prevailing selection procedures" of American society: academic standards measured by paper-and-pencil tests. December 200/January 2001. Instead.have mistakenly seen politics as a zero-sum game. GUINIER¶S IDEAS LEAD TO RACIAL POLARIZATION Ward Connerly. according to Guinier's optimistic vision. GUINIER IGNORES THAT RACISM IS TOO DEEPLY ROOTED FOR HER PROPOSALS Mark Tushnet. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute. http://bostonreview. Its efforts to create a student body with the right mix of skin colors have polarized it into two schools. http://bostonreview. 2002. Thus. Hispanic.mit. What is most striking about Guinier's work. For its entire history. December 200/January 2001.6/connerly. For her. accessed May 1. accessed May 1." Sturm and Guinier implicitly concede that preference proponents cannot carry the day while traditional measures of merit prevail. accessed May 1. City College¶s experiment has failed. people -. BOSTON REVIEW. Students admitted based on their prior academic performance continue to succeed. 2002.that society is not so racially polarized.edu/BR25. SORTING PEOPLE INTO CATEGORIES AS GUINIER DOES IS RACIST Ward Connerly.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.perhaps most particularly whites -.mit.
2002. 2002." 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. December 200/January 2001. First. the "testocracy" that is used to assess merit is neither fair nor functional.6/steinberg. 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. "if it ain¶t broke." 2. affirmative action has been under sustained assault.6/steinberg. Indeed. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. here the syllogism runs into trouble. 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." 2. http://bostonreview. accessed May 1.wcdebate." as Sturm and Guinier write in their opening sentence. The problem is that "for more than two decades. GUINIER¶S IDEAS ARE IMPRACTICAL Stephen Steinberg. 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. Though they do not say so explicitly. would their proposed reforms of the selection process. two troubling questions arise. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE GUINIER¶S PROPOSALS WOULD WORK Stephen Steinberg. even if enacted. Affirmative action is assailed by critics as violating cherished principles of "merit. As the saying goes. On closer examination.mit. aside from the advantages that derive from better schooling. is that they implicitly advocate these reforms as a surrogate for affirmative action policy.mit. author of The Ethnic Myth and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy BOSTON REVIEW. they seem resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court. don¶t fix it. this strategy may appear to be a sensible concession to political reality. 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. Against this background. especially when the people doing the evaluations are white and male and the people being evaluated belong to stigmatized groups. Nor will Sturm and Guinier get the concessions they are bargaining for. 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. though. 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. studies have consistently found that performance appraisal ratings of women and people of color are prone to bias. December 200/January 2001. accessed May 1. 3.edu/BR25.html.html.edu/BR25. To be sure. Volume 9 Page 120 GUINIER¶S IDEAS WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE 1. 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. The problem.com .West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. accessed May 1. Sturm and Guinier could have concluded that the case against affirmative action is specious and therefore affirmative action should be upheld. However. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. is now poised to deliver the coup de grace. Instead Sturm and Guinier make a case for overhauling the selection process that evaluates candidates for jobs and college admissions.edu/BR25. NOT GIVE UP AS GUINIER DOES Stephen Steinberg. At first blush. rather than scores on "paper-andpencil" tests. December 200/January 2001. THE SOLUTION IS TO MEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. 2002. http://bostonreview. They may tell themselves that they are driven by realpolitik. there are compelling arguments for abandoning standardized tests that favor privileged groups who. Therefore±alas. which has already eviscerated affirmative action through a series of decisions. Is this not the lesson of Bill Clinton¶s ill-fated proposal to "end welfare as we know it"? 3.html. http://bostonreview.mit.6/steinberg. have the resources to pay for expensive prep courses. Sturm and Guinier declare that "it is time to shift the terrain of debate.
She then uses her knowledge of history to create a more generalizable framework and allow readers to move beyond particular cases. In addition to all of this responsibility she still finds time to be what she calls her readers to be. basic transformations of a society¶s state and class structures.wcdebate. In this essay I will briefly describe some of Theda Skocpol¶s most prominant works and the theories she has developed in them. Not only is Dr. 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. Her work includes discussions about the nature of the state. shows Skocpol.com . I will end with a general discussion of the importance of Skocpol¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debaters. Her work focuses on a structural perspective and pays special attention to the specific contexts in which certain types of revolutions take place. a social revolution involves the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval. ³rapid. She is a native of the state of Michigan. She points out that they are accompanied and partially carried out by. 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. full scale social revolution has been quite rare. She argues that social revolutions involve two coincidences. they involve the coincidence of political and social transformations. She is involved in the community around her not only through her books but by contributing to local newspapers.E.C. She now has tenure in both Sociology and the Department of Government at Harvard. STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Each section should provide another useful way of approaching domestic and foreign topics in the realm of social policy or social change. ³class-based revolts from below. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. Her earlier works focused more on revolution while her more recent literature tends to deal extensively with the United States¶ domestic social policies. The nature of the social revolution is unique because of its mutually reinforcing nature and the intensity through which they work. First. Volume 9 Page 121 THEDA SKOCPOL Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Theda Skocpol defines social revolutions as. In 1981 the all-male department of Sociology at Harvard refused tenure to Dr. than other types of societal change. She received her Bachelor¶s degree from Michigan State in 1969 and then went on to study for her PhD at Harvard. As well as political revolutions that transform the state but not society and do not necessarily involve class struggles. Skocpol a researcher. Social revolutions are fundamentally different. Skocpol utilizes her experience in sociology and political science to analyze the nature of public policy and social revolutions. Skocpol¶s way of tying social and political forces together and analyzing those issue which effect both provides debaters with a model for effective argumentation through a discussion of past events. Other forms of change never achieve this unique combination. Skocpol¶s work refutes such mechanisms as the best method.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.´ This type of change is not the only force of change in the modern world. From 1981 to 1985 she taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Chicago. involve class-based revolt but not structural change.´ (4). by nature. 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. social policies and revolution through historical and comparative methods.O. in fact. professor and well-known author. but she is a wife and mother. EXPLAINING SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS In her early work. an active citizen. Dr. Skocpol and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) filed charges against Harvard with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (E.) on her behalf (Impersonal at Best). especially in analyzing revolutions. However. The examples she points to are rebellions that. that this particular form of change deserves special attention because they are a distinctive pattern of sociopolitical change that has a large and lasting effect on both the country where the revolution occurs as well as other nations around the world. Skocpol argues. Next. Debaters are often drawn to a social science perspective on social change in order to explain the effects of their views on society. she then returned to Harvard¶s Sociology Department. From 1975 to 1981 she taught as a member of the non-tenured faculty at Harvard (Homepage).
those individuals capable of creating change. or new class or group interests and potentials for collective mobilization. The structural perspective taken by Skocpol is one that examines.´ The concept of the welfare state began in countries like Australia. Finally. the revolutionary movement fights it out with the authorities or dominant class and. Early social spending in these countries continued to spread to other nations as well including Denmark. Americans tend to perceive these programs as handouts to people who are lazy and haven¶t earned them. The federal government has never created a national health insurance policy and though it offers some subsides for public assistance programs it is left up to the states to administer such policies. changes in social systems or societies give rise to grievances.´ Though many politicians would like to believe that the U. While all of the previously mentioned nations provided social benefits directly from the nation¶s budget. Her claim is that: First. ³«collective action is based upon group organization and access to resources«´ (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14).´ that view is inaccurate. and examining how their development was effected by who could vote and have an effect on the legislation. This concept makes receipt of such benefits demeaning and citizens attempt to avoid them. Skocpol takes the work from both of these areas in to consideration in understanding the development of social policies in the U. She takes the Marxist analysis further by examining other factors that have an influence on social change. The idea of political-conflict is based in the assumption that. Skocpol examines these issues in order to analyze the way the United States chooses to give out social benefits. The term ³welfare´ has always been a negative term in United States political discussions. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 122 Skocpol¶s work draws heavily on Marxist tradition from which she recognizes that class conflicts figure prominently in social revolutions. (STATES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS 14-15) Obviously. the conditions that cause change. mass-based movementcoalescing with the aid of ideology and organization. Other issues dealt with by the Social Security Act were things such as unemployment insurance. and insurance for workers. through this analysis the debater should be able to show how their stance can create positive changes in society. New Zealand and Brazil between 1880 and World War I.S. undertakes to establish its own authority and program. for better or worse. which left states in charge of taxes and allowed them to determine coverage and benefits. not all social revolution is a positive thing.com . never followed a noncontributory model and in only one instance was anything allotted directly from the federal government to the citizens. MATERNALIST SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK In American political debates it is common to hear politicians refer to this nation as a ³welfare state. Then there develops a purposive.S. For this understanding political-conflict theories are necessary in Skocpol¶s analysis. if affirmed. 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. Britain and Germany where governments enacted laws concerning hour and wage regulations as well as arbitration of labor disputes for workers. which started long after these other nations¶ programs. if it wins. social disorientation. In the past individuals in a variety of areas.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the United States¶ model.wcdebate. These countries also began noncontributory pensions for the elderly. and the resources available to the group. which they labeled ³the warfare state. their social position. political science and history being the most prominent have discussed the concept of welfare.that consciously undertakes to overthrow the existing government and perhaps the entire social order. A debater can use this strategy to make the argument that the status quo is good or at least that the case brought about by their opponent. The Social Security Act of 1935 included contributory retirement programs as its only national program. Hopefully. in following Skocpol¶s model successfully a debater would outline a particular stance on the resolution. 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. Thus. exists in the framework of the ³welfare state.
Despite media reports that America was in a prosperous time the majority of the country was feeling overworked and underpaid. was for males and females were responsible for the private realm. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS. Her theory applies to Working men and women of modest economic means. 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. However. This could be followed by reports of the Clinton administration¶s success at keeping the economy up and unemployment rates low. They are adults who do most of the providing and caring for the children. this 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. politics and business. Her book. Most importantly however. First.´ 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. having trouble obtaining health care and proper treatment at their jobs and not seeing the great wealth they heard about every night from the news media. The work done by Skocpol in her book. Skocpol develops a maternalist theory of the United Stats social policies. the subject is not presented as one sided but rather analyzed through an understanding of the interplay between a variety of forces which she claims include women¶s organizations as well as.S. This book defends an understanding of the power of various women¶s organizations that make up the women¶s movement in America. by examining pensions and programs for males and the elderly as well as subsidies for women and children. The fundamental understanding and belief has been that the public sphere. Skocpol alters that reality by examining gendered social policies as well as maternalist policies in her work. was published in 2000 and all of the issues that she addresses are still important in current political debates. Welfare literature often ignores the gendered dimension when examining American politics. (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8) Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. However. 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. which included the charities and the home. 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. while paying the taxes that sustain retirees now and into the future. She explains the powerful place middle-class women found themselves in once they began to organize around particular issues affecting their place in society. Skocpol 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. Most nights the average American could turn on the news and see President Bill Clinton or Vice President Al Gore promoting their latest policy to put health care in the hands of the people and provide opportunities to the working class. in this case the media was absolutely right.com . ³U. THE MISSING MIDDLE The late 1990s were a fairly positive time in American history.wcdebate. This has a number of implications for debate. political institutions and variously structured social movements and political coalitions´ (PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS 36). THE MISSING MIDDLE. a widely accepted understanding in the U. 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. unemployment was down.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. the stock market was up and social spending was high as well. Second it provides a well rounded concept of social policy in the United States. A shallow analysis of this problem may yield support for an understanding that American media is inaccurate.people who are not children and are not yet retirees.S. This mentality causes theorists to miss important issues when attempting to understand the history and development of social policy in the United States. In order to explain this paradox Skocpol developed her theory of the ³missing middle. She argues that up until this point the role of literature on women and welfare has been to sensitize readers to the subject and it therefore treats the subject through the use of narrative and interpretive essay. Volume 9 Page 123 The welfare state concept has always been approached from a masculine standpoint.
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. Skocpol argues. working class parents it provides a realistic mechanism for assessing the resolution which your judges may often relate to. First. taking this approach insures that politicians leave out the largest portion of American society. mainly. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. Additionally. are generally ignored in political debates. Skocpol argues that because politicians continue to ignore the middle section of people in America¶s diverse spectrum of individuals they continuously miss the needs of this population. While all of these groups are relevant to discussions on social policy. 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. many of them parents. and still are. 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.S. 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. who Skocpol argues. the working population. This may leave some debaters thinking.com . ³are truly at the epicenter of the changing realities of U. Politicians tend to juxtapose the needs of an aging population with the programs designed to help underprivileged children. 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. 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. Those individuals who fall in the middle of the generational and socio-economic spectrum. because the theory of the missing middle addresses. 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. More recently social policy debates have become an issue of the elderly verses the young. Though the Clinton administration can tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market it is irrelevant to a large portion of the population. The group Skocpol seeks to address are generally working Americans who spend long hours at a job because they need to feed families and want to create a decent life either as a single parent or in a dual income home. 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.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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. 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.wcdebate. society and economic life´ (THE MISSING MIDDLE 8).
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. In Skocpol¶s book a debater will not only find a framework through which to construct a case. Skocpol¶s work is useful for any Lincoln Douglas debater who finds themselves in a debate about domestic or foreign social policies. She takes great care in pointing out the roots of social policy as well as explaining work done in a variety of fields and showing what other scholars have contributed to the research. 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. which LD tends to draw upon. 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. tied together with values and political context as well as factors such as class. Instead. Volume 9 Page 125 LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE APPLICATIONS Some of the implications of this author¶s work for Lincoln-Douglas debates have already been outlined in previous sections. to explain events.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.wcdebate. they will find useful examples and explanations that support the arguments they choose to make. Here I would like to give a more broad discussion of the application of Skocpol¶s work to this activity. 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. her criticisms and explanations end with plans for practical actions that could bring about desired change.com . 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. She also does a beautiful job of answering those theories that she chooses to disagree with. 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. Additionally.
THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. ³Impersonal at best: tales from the tenure track. and Nicole Mellow. p. Gail Lee. 1982. Wineman. Case.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. 1992. Kornbluth. STATES & SOCIAL REVOLUTIONS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRANCE.. Felicia A.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. THE NEW MAJORITY. 2000. Volume 9 Page 126 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barker.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. RUSSIA & CHINA. Skocpol. Dubrow. Theda. Theda and Stanley B. Terrance C. Norton & Company. Fall. p. PROTECTING SOLDIERS AND MOTHERS: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. 1996. Boston: South End Press. 1997. Ritter. Gretchen. April 30. July 31. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. 1984. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.W. 1979.S. New York: Cambridge University Press. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. New Haven: Yale University Press.171. Skocpol. May 31. Theda. Theda.´ OFF OUR BACKS. New York: W. September 2000. Skocpol. THE MISSING MIDDLE. 1999. Halliday. Skocpol.183. p. 1997. 28.wcdebate.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY. Kristin Kay. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. Greenberg. Steven.com .
Simply stated.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Given the enormity of her undertaking. 14 In Skocpol's vision. organizationally grounded analysis of American political development"(526). 1997. 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. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. that is. and the random walk that such policies often take along their autonomous historical paths. 3.for accounting for the trajectory of social provisions. a graduate student in the same department.183. April 30. electoral rules. the United States possesses a decentralized. the shape of a government in itself-which she takes as mostly invariant over time. in her polity-centered perspective (much as in her earlier state-centered model).. 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. Neither neo-Marxists nor Skocpolians offered a model that entirely works for feminist students of welfare. In The Wages of Motherhood (1995). and policy feedback loom large. historical sociologist Theda Skocpol delivered a series of blows that threatened to bring it tumbling down. July 31. 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." she argued in 1980. Professor of Sociology. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.wcdebate. 1996. In other words. the literature under review profiles both the tight links between sexism and state policies.171. Skocpol pushes social determinants out of her study so far as to load the dice in favor of autonomous state actors. governmental institutions. has helped in describing the complex historical relationships between masculine power and government policy. In her newest work. [S]tate structures and party organizations have (to a very significant degree) independent histories. p. in combination with the postmodern suspicion of theories that make social life sum up into a neat coherent whole. weakly bureaucratic "Tudor polity. INCLUDING GENDER IN POLITICAL STUDIES IMPROVES THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK Gretchen Ritter. Skocpol introduces the term "structured polity" to describe the mix of political autonomy and social constraints that operate to produce social policy.S. 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. to the emergence of particular government policies from particular governments. and elite interest groups account for much of the remainder. However.com .a polity-centered perspective -. Together. Case. political parties and officials." whereas historic monarchies like Sweden and France have strong central states-has enormous weight in shaping public policy. I will necessarily condense her account. "only (extremely flexible) outer limits. In Protecting Soldiers and Mothers (1992). To this already weakened edifice of Marxian theory. However. resulting in over 500 pages of text. Although not always explicitly.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. "[C]apitalism in general has no politics. 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. bureaucrats. Rather.. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. bureaucrats. SKOCPOL CAN ACCOUNTS FOR INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS BEARING ON POLITICS Kristin Kay Barker. Skocpol's larger theoretical agenda is to substantiate her framework -.´ THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. Gender is being used not just to add women to a fixed political picture. SKOCPOL¶S EXPLAINS STATES POLICIES' RELATIONSHIP TO SEXISM WELL Felicia A.. The negotiations and conflicts among politicians. these institutionalized forces create policy opportunities and barriers. the emphasis of both models on determination and autonomy. September 2000. p. from whether and how economic elites could determine political outcomes.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. ³The State of Gender Studies in Political Science. it provides an analytic concept for understanding the nature of political relations and state institutions. 2." 13 Skocpol and her colleagues redirected the focus of study. Associate professor of American Politics at University of Texas at Austin and Nicole Mellow. Volume 9 Page 127 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE IS GOOD 1. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. Kornbluth. 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. the history of social policy is understood by situating it "within a broader.
1996." However.S. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. who know them as "social feminists. they treated women as mothers who made claims on the state thereby. Professor of Sociology. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U. and other reform ideologies by emphasizing its special.. 317) As paternalist social policies were paternalist in two ways-in their content.wcdebate.´ FEMINIST STUDIES. post suffrage women's movement. and/or that governments had a special responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of children. potential mothers. 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. Volume 9 Page 128 SKOCPOL'S UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALISM SHOULD BE ADOPTED 1. ³The New Literature on Gender and the Welfare State: The U.´ FEMINIST STUDIES.171. 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. Many women reformers in U. Kornbluth. and in their processes of creation. Although often overlooked in scholarship focused on state provisions to workers." or as the fractious. established regulations or social benefits for members of the working class-that is. p. in Protecting Soldiers and Mothers. [W]hile very little paternalist legislation was passed in the early-twentiethcentury United States." But we can distinguish maternalism from social feminism. federal social programs for mothers. Readers may also hear in maternalism. April 30. p.S. SKOCPOL PROVIDES THE CLEAREST UNDERSTANDING OF MATERNALIST POLICIES Kornbluth. April 30. which were largely closed to their putative workingclass beneficiaries-so were maternalist policies maternalist in two ways. they were designed by ambitious middle-class women for working-class women. exhausted.171. ³Federal Maternal Policy and gender Politics: Comparative Insights. More important." she writes. they offer a fundamental restructuring of our current understanding of what is political. republican motherhood. "Pioneering European and Australasian welfare states. 1997. p. MATERNALISM UNDERSTANDS THAT WOMEN HAVE A POLITICAL ROLE AS MOTHERS. time-bound contribution to political thought. Felicia A. 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. which simultaneously justified a public role for women and affirmed women's primary responsibility for children.183. echoes of what historians of the early national United States have termed "republican motherhood.S. rather than just along the lines their organizations requested. 1996. Felicia A. which treated men as fathers and heads of families.com . 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. in their processes of creation. and children figured prominently in the configuration of early welfare politics. Case. (P. bureaucrats and national political leaders. Case. the story was different when it came to what might be called maternalist legislation. programs designed "in the best interest" of workers. that women as mothers deserved a return from their governments for the socially vital work they performed by raising children. 3.´ JOURNAL OF WOMEN¶S HISTORY. 2. Skocpol clarifies her operating definition of maternalism by analogy to the "paternalism" she argues characterized most other welfare states. maternalism represents a unique political philosophy that is particular to the historical moment at which it emerged. July 31. In content. 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. with the latter's perceived best interests in mind. THE HISTORY OF MATERNALISM SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN¶S EXPERIENCES Kristin Kay Barker. were doubly paternalist: Elite males.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.
p. but he criticizes Skocpol and other state theorists for failing to comprehend law's autonomy: "In asserting the autonomy of the state. Northwestern University. p. Fall. THE WELFARE STATE IS AN INSTITUTION OF EXPLOITATION THAT CAN'T BE REFORMED Steven Wineman. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 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. liberal human services leave basic elements of the political economy in tact: structural unemployment. it was maternalism that fueled the campaign for mothers' pensions. she is also the co-editor and author of a variety of works on these subjects.36. they represent a different version of how to sustain the corporate capitalist structure.in the interests of the corporate order. While maternalism empowered the early female philanthropists to establish day nurseries and the NDFN to improve them. 2. Volume 9 Page 129 SKOCPOL¶S THEORY CANNOT CREATE CHANGE 1. but also maternalism that contributed to the humiliating and punitive treatment of recipients. Adjunct Professor of Sociology.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. American Bar Foundation. 307. Michel. New York: Routledge. MATERNALISM CAN ONLY PROVIDE A LIMITED CONCEPT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN WOMEN. It was the limited vision of women's rights and responsibilities." MATERNALISM IS FLAWED 1. the hidden function of the welfare state is to maintain political and social stability and to deter fundamental change. which continued to be reproduced not only by experts on children and the family. law and its carriers had been reduced to a mere instrumentality" (p. it is also good enough to take seriously the autonomy of law. Koven & Michel). Instead. 1993.centered approaches. the predominance of giant corporations. and that became maternalism's legacy to the American welfare state. and social welfare history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This function proceeds despite the conscious of many individuals. not the idea of child care as public service to all. Ironically. 1984. after the turn of the century maternalist ideology began to weaken as parent education and other fields challenged the notion of maternal instinct and called for training and professionalization for those who dealt with children. Sonya. Terrance C. p.´ LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY." MOTHERS OF A NEW WORLD (ed. Theory of the State. It is a mistake to view the welfare state policies as representing a qualitatively different system from the conservative program. Senior Research Fellow. in both class and state. maternalism can also cast public child care as peculiarly unstable enterprise with a self-divided and self-defeating sense of purpose.wcdebate. THIS CAUSES THEIR POLICY INFLUENCE TO OFTEN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. but also by policy makers seeking to restrict governmental services for women. ³Review Section Symposium: Lawyers and Politics and Civic Professionalism: Legal Elites and Cause Lawyers. 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. severe stratification of power. "The Limits of Maternalism. 1999. to "do good. What became extracted and reified was the single trope of the woman as mother in the home. Shamir sympathizes with Theda Skocpol's thesis that state managers develop their own agendas. Within political sociology. Hence Shamir maintains that if it is good enough to argue for the autonomy of the state and its managers. 165). teaches American women's gender. from legislators to bureaucrats to social workers. Similarly.com . reliance on industrial production which poisons the planet. Point for point. Author. SKOCPOL¶S THEORY OF THE STATE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF LAW. THE POLITICS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Halliday. np. If the true agenda of the conservative program is to serve the interests of big business.
and Gordon claims that "she produces an entirely celebratory account of the women's organizations she studies. To Gordon.PHILOL.. However. a result of gender values shared by both men and women. Gender means "female" for Skocpol. She has no critique of maternalism". "Gender and the Welfare State: Maternalism: a New Historical Concept?" A THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEGREE OF CAND. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. . 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. By not employing gender as a male/female opposition.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook." Gordon continues: She [Skocpol] generalizes about these "maternalists" as if they were manifestations of some universal female principle. Spring. Eirinn Larsen. Women's activism was as much as men's.male and female welfare reformers worked within substantially the same gender system. of the fact that the forms of political power with which Skocpol is so concerned are shaped by their maleness. often called the two-track welfare system. In other words. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. determined by class as much as by gender. Volume 9 Page 130 MATERNALISM IS BAD FOR WOMEN 1. researcher at European University Institute. to put it inversely. while these gendered assumptions did not necessarily express antagonism between men and women. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. the same set of assumptions about proper family life and the proper sphere for men and women. in the way Gordon sees it. NORWAY. Clearly. p. but one that did not fit the needs and understandings of many less privileged citizens". NORWAY. it is a difference. with the exception of the structural differences mentioned above. they were anything but universal: "they expressed a dominant outlook. 1996. np.. The stratification of the American welfare system into the social insurance and public assistance program. p. Spring. says Gordon. 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. this supposed unity denies that women's agency also derives from other aspects of their social position. PhD. says Gordon. 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.The maternalist strategy was after all a result of women's lack of political power. SKOCPOL'S ESSENTIALISM REINFORCES A DESTRUCTIVE GENDER BINARY. In the entire book there is no discussion of male power in general or in its specifics -or. Skocpol uses maternalism as an opposition to paternalism. was. 1996. THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY. Gender is. researcher at European University Institute. and thus the concepts of paternalism/maternalism refer to an inequity of power in relation to both gender and generation. They did share some fundamental beliefs and assumptions about proper role of government and the proper construction of families. np.com . "Specifically. SKOCPOL'S GENDER ANALYSIS IS SIMPLISTIC AND INCOMPLETE Eirinn Larsen. PhD. 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". but Skocpol identifies these commonalties no more than their differences. to be sure.wcdebate. after all.PHILOL. Gordon indicates that Skocpol's analysis is not matched by familiarity with scholarly debates on gender. UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN. in order to maintain the family wage system. without directly expressing the distinctions between the two concepts. 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". not merely a neutral or benign difference. 2. Gordon thinks it is false to believe that a kind of unity among women was present at this time. in a context of male domination.
generally taught by white males. In her classes. Volume 9 Page 131 bell hooks bell hooks is the name chosen by Gloria Watkins as her pseudonym. Despite the fact the many feminist critics. as it might be today. and the destructive effects of sexism. Though hooks will make reference in her works to scholars who have influenced her work. racism and classism. 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. academia and her southern upbringing to a criticism of society that speaks to readers among a variety of audiences. She follows his model because it is participatory and employs the notion of praxis. She points out that. In the period from 1980 to 1998 she produced sixteen books as well as numerous articles and speeches.com . Like everything hooks does. For her. She chooses to use this particular name in honor of her great-grandmother who she sees as a powerful. In her reading hooks found one author who she had a particular connection with. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. she would have to avoid excessive involvement in books. She could often be found curled up on her bed on a mental escape in a good book. Her father feared. it was simply recreated in new ways. especially Friere. have indicted Friere as "partially blinded by sexism"(Women Writing Culture 106). hooks was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville. there are many aspects of his work that have nurturing qualities for hooks and she feels justified in overlooking the sexist tendency. At the university she found herself further away from individuals expecting girls to seek out married life but the sex discrimination was not gone. highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including literature.D. 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. she does not generally conform to rules of source citation or footnoting.´ Determined to overcome these notions. Kentucky. which allows the author to combine reflex and action. self-actualized woman who survived harsh racism. She has been extremely successful in applying her personal experiences in feminism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. which was supposed to be the primary goal in every girl¶s mind. Friere's work has served as a model of critical consciousness. Growing up hooks was taught that men did not like to be with smart girls and if she ever wanted to marry.wcdebate. from the University of California in Santa Cruz. that too much reading would change her life. correctly it turned out. her writing style functions as a critical tool that breaks down accepted notions of proper and improper in academic scholarship. This interest in books was not. From the age of ten she was sure she wanted to become a writer. This is part of her attempt to decolonize her mind and the minds of other colonized people. hooks continued writing and went on to Yale after graduating. This is accomplished in most of hooks' work through the contribution of her own life experience. She later returned to California to obtain her Ph. 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. She knew there was something else out there for her. She uses her own experience to help others understand the hierarchy that exists in American society. She earned her bachelor¶s degree from Stanford University where she expected to find a more enlightened view on the role of reading and education in a woman¶s life. Hooks describes her grandmother as: bell hooks is a prolific author. The desire to marry was not something bell hooks chose to focus on. she found a hostile reaction toward discussions of ³feminism. 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. Paulo Friere. WRITING STYLE bell hooks is a scholar. perceived as a productive activity for a young girl to be engaged in. politics. including hooks.
There are a few terms that are frequently used in criticisms of the structure hooks describes.wcdebate. Racism privileges one group of people over another based on racial classification. No one ever informed her that she was living in a white-supremacist nation. which was obvious to her as she took the long bus ride to her all-black school. FEMINISM "Feminist politics is losing momentum because feminist movement has lost clear definitions. Let's share them. in a white supremacist society white individuals have the highest concentration of power thus white people are seen as superior to any other racial group. No matter your debate topic hooks has probably written something that applies. sexist. Patriarchy is the privileging of males over females. Let's start over. Even the smallest elements of bell hooks¶ work are purposeful. 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. sex or class. hooks argues that this acts as a barrier to self actualization by creating a false consciousness. hooks deals with issues that are important in the lives of everyday people. RACISM Growing up hooks attended segregated elementary schools. no bussing. She argues white supremacist values continue to develop in society even today. also occurs in the classroom where students are presented with white heritage and values but not called upon to consider the history of any other cultures and when those cultures are presented they are generally shown as they are perceived by the white historians. The bus riding process seems minor but it was one major example of the racist dehumanization young black children like bell hooks were forced to endure. representations of their value structures and a devaluing of non-white people further marginalizes those groups. not very different from anything the students could relate to. This process. white supremacist. The lower case letters were an attempt to avoid the status of icon but the name remains one regardless. hooks explains that the mass media plays an enormous role in the construction of images that construct America¶s social reality. they just got up in the morning and went. this essay will deal with her general theoretical arguments and the literature on those subjects. Frequently the media represents black people in subordinate roles to whites and fails to represent their reality or daily concerns. Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Because of this values conveyed by television play themselves out in everyday life. Classism creates an elite group. 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. It is experiences like these that cause her to point out that the ³world is more a home for white folks than it is for anyone else«´ (BONE BLACK 31). She indicts institutions and promotes a multitude of values. 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. The prominent group controlling American mass media are white males. and classist educational policies. 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. 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. which seek to create a more open society free of oppression on the basis of race.com . Volume 9 Page 132 She often feels free to alter the structure or grammar of her writing depending on the audience. in a capitalist society it is those with the most money. legitimating standard English. Vernacular is another tool she uses to maintain connection with her roots as well as connections to her audience.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. racism within feminism. We have those definitions. she argues. hooks discusses pictures in her all-black school that portrayed black people as primitive savages in loin cloths. Let's reclaim them. social movements and educational biases. capitalist culture that uses racist. Her argument is that we live in a patriarchal. (KILLING RAGE) There are five major angles from which hooks chooses to analyze white supremacist tendencies in society: American nationalism. and it privileges that group over disenfranchised peoples. hooks articulates the impact of white supremacist media influence as socialization and colonization of the mind.
not division in the movement. sexist exploitation. Though hooks advocates unity among feminists she realizes that the prevalence of racism even in the roots of the movement itself create a problem. and all manner of printed material that tells the world about feminism. bell hooks sees feminism as.´ This lead women to begin working on things that most affected them. The goal of her writing is consciousness raising in order to overturn the ³white supremacist patriarchal system. The women¶s movement has fractured into multiple movements based on the area certain women are most concerned with. have often felt marginalized. 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. she argues. bell hooks is in the business of consciousness raising. is the heart of the matter. Work on personal issues have caused feminists to group together based on their lifestyle. 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. may even create a new type of feminism for the ideas presented in their work. The white supremacist culture has less difficulty recognizing upper class white women¶s experience then the experience of those generally excluded from this grouping. In FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY she points out: This is the reason many early feminists lashed out at men. Let the movement begin again. Feminists who are recognized by the media and the American culture are generally white women and black women in the movement. about women becoming equal to men and she indicts the notion that feminism is anti-male. Because of this a more beneficial definition of the feminist movement is the one used above by hooks that provides cohesion. However. ads everywhere and billboards. These structures are mutually reinforcing and dependent. We can share the simple yet powerful message that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. and that individuals who choose to advocate feminist ideals do so as a result of a conscious choice that comes from consciousness raising. She argues that in order to rectify the problem we must. not only on feminist issues but a variety of social concerns. and oppression. they perceived them as the problem and the reason for the perpetuation of a sexist structure that allowed them to be dominant. In her book. 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. Let's start there. She argues that feminists are made. It is broad and able to include institutionalized sexism. hooks¶ argument is that these groups need to come to this realization and reunite to regain power for social change. ³acknowledge the ways politics of difference have created exploitative and oppressive power relations between women that must be contested and changed´(SKIN DEEP 272). hooks argues against the impression that feminism is only. Sexism. "a movement to end sexism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. hooks¶ version of feminism is one that goes beyond traditional notions of a feminist movement that only deals with women¶s issues to include race.com .wcdebate. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. television and radio commercials. men are not the sole reason there is sexism in society and feminists had to eventually learn to fight the oppressive structures through sisterhood. Issues of who perpetuates sexism or whom it is directed toward are irrelevant. Volume 9 Page 133 postcards and hip hop music. At the core of her feminist theory is the assumption that racism and sexism are intimately intertwined forms of oppression. RACISM DIVIDING FEMINISM Earlier it was said that there are a variety of definitions of feminism. She believes that this is a good definition of the feminism because it does not imply that men are an enemy of the movement. and always."(FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY 1). or their critics. hooks identifies this as the most destructive force in current feminist ideology.´ 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. Occasionally an author. not born. 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. like hooks.
wcdebate. even her publishing company has made parts of the book FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY available on their website for free. using hooks¶ work debaters should be able to uncover the problems with assumptions made in the case construction process. Manifestations of this racism can be seen in schools as well as in the workforce. Type the name bell hooks into internet search engines and you will find tons of information.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 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 even writes interesting children¶s books! Bookstores often carry a sampling of hooks¶ major works as well. Not only can you find her work but when you sit down to read it you will not be lost. Freedom of expression is another great area to use hooks¶ work. One of the most important issues for hooks as an author is a student¶s ability to read. debaters tend to want the information accessible on the computer as well. Type her name into any library data base and you are bound to find something written by this author. hooks will generally have something to criticize because even when someone is conscious to avoid racism and sexism they often don¶t recognize the critical role class plays in the assumptions we make about the way society functions. Not only is her work easy to locate but it is simple to read. White feminists also have been known to express connection with black women¶s experiences while completely missing their point of view all together. Her use of personal experience allows her work o be passionate and compelling. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. A careful deployment of hooks¶ work can bring audiences to your side. even worse. That makes her a good person to refer to when constructing cases as well. Finally. Combined with knowledge of social realities and academic subjects hooks is an author many audiences can relate to. Whatever the flaw. Her criticisms apply to every conceivable area of American life because she critiques the fundamental structures in which we live. 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. When faced with a case that advocates a particular ideology. These are only a few of the many areas bell hooks has chosen to write about. The next great thing about bell hooks is her accessibility. The wonderful thing about hooks for debaters is that she does not simply critique. media and the academy. This critical approach may seem most accessible for a debater on the negative who wants to critique the dominant stance of the affirmative case. Let¶s face it though. The key is finding the appropriate discussions to have with particular audiences in order to raise consciousness. Having the dominant culture speak for black women in the movement is not only damaging because it creates misunderstanding but.com . She looks at issues of poverty and class and discusses the ways that a feminist perspective addresses those issues. 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. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE bell hooks is a wonderful resource for debaters because of her application to a wide variety of concerns. She wants to make her work something that everyone can understand the issues that are important to her. She provides a unique perspective for creating practical approaches to societal issues. 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. While white supremacist sexist society guarantees a devaluing of women¶s experiences and their bodies white women will always be better off on this structure than black women because of their race. Her theories work well to indict any affirmative case that does not question its own underlying assumptions. it silences their voices out of the movement further denying self actualization to this group of people.
bell. WOMEN WRITING CULTURE. 1999. New York: W. hooks. and Elizabeth Hirsh. Namulundah. Marita and Susan Richards Shreeve. SKIN DEEP: BLACK WOMEN & WHITE WOMEN WRITE ABOUT RACE. Golden. Gary A. hooks. 1995 hooks. bell. Patricia Bell-Scott). Olsen. 1995. 1996. bell. hooks.com . Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Boston: South End Press. hooks. New York: Doubleday. bell.´ LIFE NOTES (ed. Volume 9 Page 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY Florence. New York: Henry Holt. 1998. bell. Albany: State University of New York Press. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. BONE BLACK:MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. 1994. WOUNDS OF PASSION: A WRITING LIFE. 1995. Cambridge: South End Press. FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY. New York: Henry Holt. ³Black Woman Artist Becoming. New York: Henry Holt and Company.W.wcdebate. bell. 2000. Norton & Company. hooks. 1990.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. YEARNING: RACE GENDER AND CULTURAL POLITICS.
com . but threaten their very existence. since we who are black can never be white. In a white supremacist society. 1995. Once slavery ended. hooks. can come into being. However. 1989. 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. p. 1992. Anglo-Saxon sociocultural traditions functioned as a ³prerequsite to social acceptability and access to the political structure´ (Banks 1988. TALKING BACK: THINKING FEMINIST. Boston: South End Press. p. currently policy makers(Banks. Chinese Americans. this very effort promotes and fosters serious psychological stress and even severe mental illness. McNaught. Volume 9 Page 136 RACISM PERMEATES US CULTURE 1. This strategy of colonialism needed no country. Namulundah Florence. hooks succinctly states: In the beginning black folks were most effectively colonized via the structure of ownership. (1981. these values and traditions are racial. 1996). 1988. In the United States. p. 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. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Critical. 1996). and political structures that primarily served the interests of the colonizers . and Mexican Americans faced greater challenges in trying to assimilate as a result of possessing different cultural traits and characteristics from the mainstream (Banks. AMERICAN CULTURAL BIAS IS ROOTED IN COLONIZATION Namulundah Florence. in this case. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. and class specific. p. Embedded in the logic of assimilation is the white-supremacist assumption that blackness must be eradicated so that a new self. AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST CULTURE. 1994. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Essentially. at its very core it is dehumanizing. educational. ASSIMILATION HAS A DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT ON BLACK STUDENTS bell hooks. 67. My concern about the process of assimilation has deepened as I hear black students express pain and hurt. Insisting on the primacy of racial discrimination. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS. traditions. While assimilation is seen as an approach that ensures the successful entry of black people into the mainstream. 1998. a ³white´ self. feminist and multicultural critics highlight the fallacy behind mainstream norms and practices. unlike Northern and Western European immigrants. 1998. for the space it sought to own and conquer was the minds of blacks (1995. feeling and knowing as the norm. 2. colonization of the continent led to the institution of economic. THINKING BLACK. BELL HOOKS¶ ENGAGED PEDAGOGY: A TRANSGRESSIVE EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS.. Students from marginalized cultures find their primary cultural values and traditions inadequately represented and/or denied. White people¶s values. p. Nelson et al.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. gender. Historically. groups such as African Americans. and practices are engrained in social policies and norms serving as basic criteria for social and economic mobility.122) 3. as I observe them suffer in ways that not only inhibit their ability t perform academically.wcdebate. 14. hooks contends: Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in both the white world¶s interaction with Native Americans and African Americans. Of course. 11. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness.109). It is argued that a pervasive false consciousness is reinforced in society due to the sanctioning of exclusive ways of being. adjunct faculty member in Fordham Univeristy¶s Graduate School of Education and College of Bussiness. just as racism overshadowed any bonding between black women and white women on the basis of sex. 1988. in America.58). p.
Certainly as a group white males have been more oppressive to black women. 3. sociologically. In this case both groups are acting to protect and maintain the privileges. Volume 9 Page 137 THE INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH IS BEST 1. we would need to recognize biological differences without seeing them as markers of specific gender traits. to be capable of being both strong and weak. etc. active and passive. Associate Professor of English and Women¶s Studies at Oberlin College. New York: Henry Holt. Surely it is patriarchal condescension that leads black folks. I want to privilege political commitment because in this culture we do not emphasize enough that you can choose to be politically committed in ways that change your behavior and action. 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.´ CONFLICTS IN FEMINISM.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. 1995. p. 1990. girls women. 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. author. with different ³inherent´ characteristics. 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. Certainly. Often this condescension merely masks the allegiance to sexism and patriarchal thinking in black life. Ours task in parenting and in education would be to encourage in both females and males the capacity to be holistic. CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND SEX IS KEY bell hooks.. and all our efforts at self-determination. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. np. particularly sexist black men. 2. New York: Henry Holt. Rather than continuing to see them as opposites. 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).com . a strengthened when black males and females participate as equals in daily life and struggle. 69. INCORPORATION OF FEMINISM IS NECESSARY FOR BLACK LIBERATION bell hooks. If we start with the premise that black liberation struggle. This would mean no longer thinking that it is ³natural´ for boys to be strong and girls to be weak. in response to specific contexts. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. To advance this agenda we would need to rethink our notions of manhood and womanhood. FEMINISM ALLOWS THE BREAKDOWN THE RACIAL DIVISIONS AMONG WOMEN bell hooks. Rather than defining manhood in relation to sexuality. 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. with the understanding that both categories are synonymous with selfhood. and anthropologically how we see one another and why it has been so hard or us to change how we see one another. author. social critic. suspicious ways that we often view white women. and Mary Childers. particularly sexist black men. we would acknowledge it in relation to biology: boys become men. professor. Feminist theory needs to study historically. We need to do more work examining the reasons white women and black women of all classes view one another with suspicion. And I would say vice versa as well. professor. yet black women don¶t unequivocally view white males in the hostile. social critic. for boys to be active and girls to be passive. New York: Routledge. that concerns itself with ending sexism and sexist oppression in our diverse communities. that they receive in the existing social structure. Women seem to be particularly threatened when our differences are marked by class privilege.75. KILLING RAGE: ENDING RACISM. to assume that black females are incapable of embracing revolutionary feminism in ways that would enhance rather than diminish black liberation. ³A Conversation About Race and Class. 1995. to assume that black folks.wcdebate. p. p. however relative. 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.
empowering article for Black women. in recent year Hooks' work seems to have gone the direction of pop culture rather than a critique of dominant culture. staff writer.wcdebate." I wish I could tell you in more detail what hook¶s revolution might look like. Kelly. ads everywhere and billboards. Hooks was an important player in developing Black feminist theory. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 50. television and radio commercials. 53. like the older civil rights generation. 1/22/2001. Maybe. It is clear from her Essence interview the "rage of youth" in Ain't I a Woman is gone. Healthier. Buppiedom and Big Houses. I was initially excited by the cover story .her passion lost. Volume 9 Page 138 HOOKS' CRITICISM IS INEFFECTIVE 1. "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 . B1.a potentially informing. I was surprised by what I read. NATIONAL REVIEW vol." 2. An unreconstructed black radical feminist. Her follow-up works equally impressed me. HOOKS' FASCINATION WITH POP CULTURE WEAKENS HER CRITIQUE Catharine R. Bell Hooks and her BMW have disappointed me for the last time. Equally hard to explain is her naive idea that all that prevents the triumph of radical feminism is bad marketing: "Let's start over. ³For bell. I read Hooks' first book as a young women in college. 3/14/98. Like Jada. love goes the way of BMW's. HOOKS FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE ALTERNATIVE VISION Maggie Gallagher. and all manner of printed material that tells the world that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. However. She began Ain't I a Woman in college. Which is exactly bell hook¶s complaint.Bell Hooks interviewing Jada Pinkett for Essence . Let's have T-shirts and bumper stickers and postcards and hip-hop music. Black people and especially artists are often pigeonholed. p. she has gone mainstream . In the past hooks has defended this move by arguing she should be allowed to "grow" and should not be pigeonholed. 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. co-author (with Linda Waite) of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier. Reformist feminism became their route to class mobility. Hook's interview actually reinforces white-male-dominated patriarchal ideas she built her career fighting. but in 123 pages she never gets around to explaining what "ending sexist oppression" means. and Better Off Financially. aside from abortion on demand and contraceptives for all." in which "the politics was slowly removed from feminism. 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. I was impressed with her passion in telling the historical oppression of Black women in America. p. lulled into a more "comfortable" and "middle class" existence." hooks is equally disdainful of what she calls "lifestyle feminism.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. yet at one point. Yes.´ MICHIGAN CITIZEN.
University of Pennsylvania.. J. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www.´ ³Multidimensionality. The feminist of color critiques of feminism and antiracism provided the earliest framework for analyzing oppression in complex terms. and the failure to recognize the multidimensional and complex nature of subordination. gays and lesbians of color. I have examined the relationships among racism.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination." Multidimensionality "recognizes the inherent complexity of systems of oppression . heterosexism. Their work on the intersectionality of subordination has encouraged some judges and progressive scholars to discard the "separate spheres" analysis of race and gender. Volume 9 Page 139 MULTIDIMENSIONALITY IS SUPERIOR TO INTERSECTIONALITY 1. Spring 2001. patriarchy. rather than as separate and mutually exclusive systems of domination. race-sexuality critics. These scholars. and the social identity categories around which social power and disempowerment are distributed.com . p. and poverty studies.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. Southern Methodist University School of Law..´ ³Multidimensionality.´ and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. Feminists of color and other critical scholars have examined racism and patriarchy as "intersecting" phenomena. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY ALLOWS THE EXAMINATION OF MULTIPLE INTERSECTIONS Lennard Hutchinson. Multidimensionality.. These "postintersectionality" scholars are collectively pushing jurists and progressive theorists to examine forms of subordination as interrelated. OPPOSITIONAL STRUCTURES OF RACE AND SEX BECOME BARRIERS TO COALITIONS Lennard Hutchinson. class domination. single-issue politics and have proposed reforms in a variety of doctrinal and policy contexts.. 309-310. 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. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. Yale Law School. for example. whose work examines the relationships among racism. The powerful intersectionality model has also inspired many other avenues of critical engagement. structural problems in antisubordination theory: the embrace of essentialist politics. In a series of articles. law and sexuality. therefore. ³Symposium Article: Identity Crisis: ³Intersectionality. The intersectionality scholarship has inspired helpful analyses in areas outside of the contexts of feminism and antiracism. Southern Methodist University School of Law." 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. a growing intellectual movement has emerged that responds to racism within gay and lesbian circles and heterosexism within antiracist activism. B. Spring 2001.D. have challenged the patriarchy and heterosexism of law and sexuality and feminist theorists. and. 2. Lesbian feminists. Lesbian-feminist theorists.A. Assistant Professor. respectively.D. phenomena. are currently developing a sizeable body of scholarship that extends intersectionality theory into new substantive and conceptual terrains. the "post-intersectionality" theorists have offered several improvements to the intersectionality model. 288-290. like the intersectionality theorists.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and other scholars have utilized the intersectional model in order to counter essentialism in feminism. recently. Assistant Professor. J. and heterosexism. The HRC endorsement controversy reflects broader. and class oppression utilizing a model I refer to as "multidimensionality. rather than as potential alliances and coalitions... the positioning of progressive movements as oppositional and conflicting forces. University of Pennsylvania.´ MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE & LAW. critical race theory.wcdebate. arises out of and is informed by intersectionality theory. rather than conflicting. While essentialism remains a prominent feature of progressive social movements. B. critical scholars have offered persuasive arguments against traditional.A. In particular. Yale Law School. p. patriarchy. Although heavily influenced by intersectional analysis.
RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH: THE COLLAPSE OF OUR TRADITIONAL ETHICS in 1994. an MA from the University of Melbourne in 1969. 1946. 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. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN OBLIGATIONS: AN ANTHOLOGY in 1976. PRESENT TECHNIQUES. ANIMAL FACTORIES (co-author with James Mason) in 1980.wcdebate. what makes an individual or creature a ³person. In 1998.or ways of avoiding thinking -.com . HUMANS AND PERSONS: QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH (Co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1994. He also reminds us that for a long period of time. whereas a man cannot physically require an abortion and so does not have this right. with what he has to say or will reject some of the premises upon which he bases his arguments. A COMPANION TO ETHICS in 1991. they merely need different considerations. Australia on July 6. Peter Singer¶s educational experiences include a BA with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1967. He was a senior scholar in the Fullbright Program. he began his teaching career and has been teaching and writing since. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS in 1975. but that society has since realized its mistake. and again turns to the women¶s rights movement as an example. Singer was a professor at the Center for Human Bioethics. He has lectured at Radcliff. Monash University. and thinks that they have gotten rid of the last form of discrimination. INDIVIDUALS. His writings include discussion of issues like animal rights. He believes that society has become far too complacent. As the President of the University noted. he was given a professorship at Princeton University amid much controversy. it was widely criticized as absurd. PRACTICAL ETHICS in 1979. He is the author of the major article on ethics in the current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. While at Monash University. ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE (co-author with Terry Carney) in 1986. liberation movements for minorities and women seemed far-fetched. MARX in 1980. and co-director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Policy. For example.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. and a BA in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1971. SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED INFANTS (co-author with Helga Kuhse) in 1985. a woman can claim that she has a right to an abortion. the decision was met with much enthusiasm and controversy. Now. EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION in 1990. At age 30. But Singer explains that equality can be extended with attention paid to detail. IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS in 1985.´ 2 SINGER AND HISTORICAL OPPRESSION Singer uses a comparison of ³speciesism´ to the historical concepts of racism and sexism. His works include DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE in 1973.´ and democracy. Instead. New York University. When Mary Wollstonecraft published her VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in 1792. He explains that conceding the differences in beings does not mean they are unworthy of equality. the Director of the Center for Human Bioethics. Even careful readers of his works will disagree. AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES in 1982. La Trobe University. Volume 9 Page 140 PETER SINGER Peter Singer was born in Melbourne. His works have appeared in nineteen languages. and Princeton University (where he currently is a professor). 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. we classify members of other species as undeserving. Singer understands that extending rights to animals seems a bit far-fetched. and was awarded the National Book Council of Australia Banjo Award for non-fiction in 1995. TEST-TUBE BABIES: A GUIDE TO MORAL QUESTIONS. HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? ETHICS IN AN AGE OF SELF-INTEREST in 1995. 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 -. 1 When he was hired at Princeton University. sometimes quite vehemently.about them. HEGEL in 1982. instead of classifying those of other races or women as less deserving of rights. He was awarded a fellowship by the Academy of Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.
But because we believe our interests are always in conflict. like intelligence. it is a prescription of the way beings should be treated. points out that all of the proposed criterion exclude some of humanity while including some non-human animals. Singer¶s ideas here begin with the notion that not all human beings are the same. we must first have a clear understanding of how he defines equality. 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. differing abilities to communicate effectively. 6 This consideration is based on two things. A difference in ability documented in fact does not justify any difference in the consideration we give them. they come with differing moral capacities. strength. moral capacity.´ 7 These differences make it nearly impossible to create a criteria that encompasses all of humanity. But if a creature can suffer. Singer notes how much money and resources it requires to raise animals for food. 8 There are a few other arguments that Singer answers. would that be ok? Singer responds with another hypothetical situation: would the experimenter be prepared to conduct the study using a human infant? If he is not. We eat them. and the second is if they have interests. Singer is quick to explain the problem with this criterion: it necessarily excludes humans who are infants and those who have mental defects. however. and explains how it is not necessary for a healthy diet. then they cannot have interests. ³Humans come in different in different shapes and sizes. Dogs.´ 5 This helps to further clarify the notion that equality does not mean an extension of the exact same rights. according to Singer. a criteria based on equality only in certain circumstances fails. creates divisions between humanity. Singer. differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others. Perhaps the conflict of interests is not real. He poses the hypothetical situation of an experiment that needs testing. a new criteria becomes necessary.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Another proposed criterion to decide upon the extension of equality is intelligence or the capability to reason. The criteria agreed upon by Singer. rather. The proposed criterion are ways to determine who is worth of having equality extended to them. That is. I shall argue. is equality of consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. 4 Singer concedes that there exist important differences between animals and people. and use them to do our labor. however. is not descriptive of they way beings are. Volume 9 Page 141 right to vote because they are capable of rational decision making just like men are. is sentience. Singer offers the following definition: ³The basic principle of equality. THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY Before we can explore the ways in which Singer believes equality should be extended. and not merely an assertion of fact. but that does not mean that the basic principle of extending equality to non-human animals is invalid. their interests must be given equal consideration to human interests or any other animal¶s interest. or other matters. If a creature cannot suffer. CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF EQUALITY Critics of Peter Singer often offer criteria that attempts to include all of humanity and exclude non-human animals.wcdebate. factual equality comes with no guarantee that the abilities and capacities that humans have are distributed evenly throughout the population. Because the notion of basing equality on a fact. differing intellectual abilities. The first is the ability of a being to suffer. Thus. then it is simple discrimination. 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. the determining factor is the capacity to suffer or experience happiness. 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. and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain. It would also mean that Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Fundamentally. His critics often ask. Equality. and a decision can cause that suffering. Furthermore. do not have that same capability and should not be allowed the right to vote. In his All Animals are Equal. Singer notes that. wear them.com . Singer¶s notion of equality is that it is a moral ideal. After noting the similarity this principle holds with the racist and sexist policies of the past. as noted above. Others have proposed differing criterion that Singer responds to. if harming one animal in tests could save thousands. we will never give equal consideration.
Rolston concedes that our views regarding ethics prior to Singer were too humanist. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. the good of a missile is to blow up and should be considered. Singer argues that you would conduct environmental policy with regards to the interest of those who are granted the status of person. critics of Singer argue that those with mental defects should still be extended equality. Volume 9 Page 142 sperm and eggs would also have to garner equal treatment as a full-grown being. After all. Here Singer enters territory that offends many and has helped to create a feeling of hatred towards him. but cannot articulate why their criteria of intelligence and reasoning apply. if the killing of the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others it would . Therefore. and that even plants are pursuing their own good. would be considered persons.´9 This dates back to the ideals of the Renaissance and humanists. Singer notes that this is couched in many elegant phrasings. In PRACTICAL ETHICS. It leaves us searching for the characteristic that all humans possess and other animals don¶t that would qualify them for intrinsic dignity. This would include brain-damaged people. and more specifically. such as ³the intrinsic dignity of the human individual. 13 Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Critics of Singer say that his criteria for declaring someone a person are ³rationality and self awareness over time. like dogs and bears.com . and a river is seeking its own good to reach the sea. Singer writes. human fetuses. that ³Singer has proven himself blind to the still larger effort in environmental ethics to value life at all its ranges and levels. He supports his idea with the thoughts of Paul Taylor.wcdebate. ³"When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. However. 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. to plants. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. Rolston says value comes from having a respect for life. be right to kill him. Singer questions this criticism by pondering how we assign value if not based on sentience. those with significant mental retardation. Since those persons depend on the environment.´10 This leads many beings to not get classified as persons. those with some forms of psychosis. . Singer maintains that this idea only holds up when it goes unquestioned and assumed. human embryos. many animals. fellow humans are not eager to disagree with the view that they are members of the highest order. The final argument Singer addresses is that humans have an intrinsic dignity.´12 The implications of this view outlined by Rolston are those of an anthropocentric society. However. policy decisions would be made to protect the environment in the interest of persons. find themselves in a precarious situation without the ability to distinguish a defining characteristic. Those who advocate this position. and fish. He also explains. and therefore be seen as unworthy of equality.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. interpretations of these references is varied and controversial. indeed to care for a biospheric Earth.´ or that ³humans are ends in themselves. SINGER AND BIOCENTRISM Holmes Rolston III and some green philosophers argue that Singer¶s position is detrimental to biocentrism. Once we ask the question as to why all humans have this worth we are only taken back to the previous issue. who details that every living organism has a will to live. Singer goes on to add that by the logic of those who advocate looking to plant¶s interests. 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. therefore. and runs through Judeo-Christian doctrines." 11 While many people disagree with Singer¶s position. . few are able to articulate a standard that includes all types of humanity and excludes all non-human animals. Again. however. 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. chickens. rather it is just what the plant does and cannot be anything else. too focused on people.
is irrelevant and uninteresting unless it calls for an action in a way that individuals can have power. 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. than no life at all. If humans simply took advantage of the fact that animals died. This is why Singer discusses action as well as right and wrong. Singer explains how philosophy should be accessible to everyone by noting.´ 14 Singer answers this claim on several levels. Complacently allowing death to happen is just as morally and ethically wrong as dong the killing yourself. The second is that in Singer¶s work.´ 15 Singer¶s view of accessibility extends to the way people use philosophy. who find themselves faced with a law they oppose. Here. Singer discusses the ideas of our responsibility in world famine. ³For it is better for an animal to live a happy life. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. the absence of a benefit is not harm. Most importantly. 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. Many philosophers and their positions seem to invite action. The first is that it is revisionary. First. 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. etc. an understanding of a position. 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. PRACTICAL ETHICS The philosophy of Singer is based on the idea of practical ethics.M. does raising animals for food cause more benefit than harm? R. An understanding of the way things are is necessary to determine the way things should be. This position is initially weakened by the fact that it ignores the entire premise that killing animals in any way could be simply wrong. its purpose is to not merely explain the world and the way it works. growth.wcdebate. even if it is a short one. Unless your opponent can identify why that belief is justified. The creature would be allowed to live without human interference. all suggest a lack of concern for the animals. A third is that there is an assumption that individual action can make a difference. Second. SINGER IN DEBATE Singer¶s framework is particularly useful for calling into question the underlying assumptions of your opponent. Hare takes the position that it is not. ³As the subject of this book is one that concerns not only those studying or teaching political philosophy in universities but also any citizens. 16 Singer feels that a discussion of an argument. is no justification for a lack of action. Singer notes that the way animal production works within the system does not take into account animal suffering.com . the way we should strive to make things. he notes that mere existence is not in itself a benefit. engaging the argument still yields some debate. the painful ways in which they are killed. it must cause suffering. even if the benefit that this existence creates is good. From a utilitarian perspective. Singer claims that proximity.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. that is. I have tried to write throughout to write in a way that can easily be understood by those who have never studied philosophy. humanity. The question then becomes. the disease and filthy living conditions. it would still not justify the use of the creatures as a means to an end. Any advocacy of valuing progress. will most likely rest on the assumption that humans are inherently more valuable than non-human animals. or the distance between an individual and a famine. why he tries to make his work easy to read and applicable to individuals. that is. Singer argues that allowing death is as bad as causing death. especially citizens of a democracy. In Democracy and Disobedience. whether is causes more benefit than harm. He says. however. However. a counter-advocacy of a value that encompasses all those considered ³persons´ would be more beneficial. but to change it. but few have gone so far as Singer in making it a primary goal explicitly explained to his readers and audiences. Practical ethics have three primary characteristics. so breeding a new existence is not some sort of net gain for the animal. The confinement that these animals endure. facts matter. in order for an action against an animal to be wrong. We cannot compare what an animal would have in nature to what they would have in a farm.
10 Smith. and academics. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. 9 Peter Singer.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.frontpagemag.´ 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. is invariably formulated in terms of human equality. 1998 3 Peter Singer. Peter Singer Gets a Chair. These lines of study all rely heavily on the superiority of humanity. December 7. in moral and political philosophy. Hare. All Animals are Equal.and this is already an indication of the failure of philosophy to challenge accepted beliefs. Singer and the Practical Ethics Movement. 1973. Democracy and Disobedience. 14 R. Essays on Bioethics. http://www.com/ 11 Smith. Counter values that rely on inclusive values of animals and all life are much more preferable.´ It also calls for a questioning of the basic assumptions of the age. All Animals are Equal. The effect of this is that the question of the equality of other animals does not confront the philosopher. 1993.frontpagemag. 5 Peter Singer. 4 Peter Singer.com/ 12 Holmes Rolston. as an issue itself. All Animals are Equal. medicine. It calls for a justification of the superiority of human beings that does not rely on rhetoric such as. Volume 9 Page 144 Singer¶s advocacy also has implications to any topics that particularly deal with science. All Animals are Equal. Wesley J. http://www. 7 Peter Singer. __________________________________________________________________________________ 1 http://www. 16 Dale Jamieson. All Animals are Equal Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. 8 Peter Singer. and use animals to further human aims. ³It is the significant problem of equality. 17 Peter Singer.html 2 Princeton Weekly Bulletin. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. ³intrinsic worth of humanity. 13 Holmes Rolston.wcdebate. 1999.edu/~uchv/index.princeton. 6 Peter Singer. Wesley J.com .M. All Animals are Equal. 1999. 1993. Respect for Life: Counting what Singer Finds of no Account. 15 Peter Singer. Singer also offers a critique of modern philosophy that can be applied in many ways. All Animals are Equal. or student.
Singer. 1998). 1994). Hare. Peter. Peter. Singer. Volume 9 Page 145 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ball.. (New York: Review/Random House. (New York: Longman. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Singer. 1997). Dale. 1973). ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: READINGS IN THEORY AND APPLICATION. Mass: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Singer. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 1993). 1993). Jamieson. 1975). ETHICS. IDEALS AND IDEOLOGIES. (Malden. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. Pojman. (Oxford: Oxford University Press.wcdebate.M. ESSAYS ON BIOETHICS. DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE. Singer. (Oxford: Claredon Press. Peter. (Lanham.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. ANIMAL LIBERATION: A NEW ETHICS FOR OUR TREATMENT OF ANIMALS. 2002). (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Peter. 1999). Peter. R. Terrence and Richard Dagger. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2nd ed. ETHICS INTO ACTION: HENRY SPIRA AND THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. PRACTICAL ETHICS. Louis J. (Belmont. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.com .
The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without a redress to the caprice of a tormentor. or perhaps the faculty or discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational. Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but. old. SPECIESISM ATTEMPTS TO LOWER GROUPS JUST AS RACISM DID Colin. The basic biological sense we seek.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. Austin. In other words. But I want to be equally cautious about premature enthusiasm for those universal feelings of love. 1999. 1999. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs. the social sense as such. rather. and one that threatens to exclude animal experience from the moral realm. or a week. are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate.subjects of experience. there is the very real danger that. This may seem like a major provision. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. however noble their object or intent. The point is that we should not think of animal pain as intrinsically ³ownerless. will degenerate into a diffuse and ultimately pointless sentimentality. 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. to speak of experiences at all is already to assume bearers for them. since pain matters only because it is pain for someone. It is not that you bundle some inherently ownerless experiences together and get a self.. or the termination of the os sacrum. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS DIVERSITY AS AN IDEAL Robert C. called agape. XVII. There is the very familiar danger that such feelings. If the basis of ethics is personal feeling for those we care about. 152153. but in fact it is simply a point about the very concept of experience. Solomon. as well a more conversable animal. 1789. ch. which have been defended by some of the great (and not-so-great) religious thinkers of the world. Putatively ownerless pain sensations have no moral weight. Thus it is wrong to cause them pain. in over-enlarging the circle to include everyone and everything or in turning from the personal to the impersonality of reason .. Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.An experience always comes with an owner built into it. what would it avail? The question is not. 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. McGinn. which may well produce much caring and many kindnesses but will also provoke rivalry and competition. Philosopher and Jurist. thus refusing to grant genuine selfhood to animals. (This is so whether or not the experiences are conceived to be embodied in an organism. 3. or even a month. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason. because this will necessarily be pain for a subject of consciousness. but rather a kind of kinship or fellow-feeling. since the alleged pain is not painful to a subject of awareness. since animals have experiences. may instead undermine them. The natural sensibility that is at issue here is nothing so lofty as love or even universal care. than an infant of a day.69. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. If we conceive of animal pain in this subjectless way. instead of building on our natural impulses. Can they suffer? 2. in other words. we will lose precisely that dimension of the personal that produces ethics in the first place.) So. animals need to be granted selves if their sensations are to matter morally. The danger is that reason.com . p. is not so much a particular attitude or emotion as it is a sense of belonging. the villosity of the skin. Volume 9 Page 146 SPECIESISM IS THE NEW RACISM 1. they necessarily have selves. or worse. p.wcdebate.´ Animal minds are not just bundles of subjectless sensations gathered around a single body.. But suppose they were otherwise. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. as Hume was (partially) inclined to suppose. REALIZATION OF THE FAULT OF RACISM IS LIKE REALIZING THE FAULT OF SPECIESISM Jeremy Bentham. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. then we will not see why it is morally significant.by Frege¶s point.
" That was April 26. 1999. It is not necessarily thinking or negotiating that are essential here. be right to kill him. SINGER MAKES STRONG ARGUMENTS. Therefore. 3. Of course.mother birds pretending to have broken wings to lead predators away from the nest. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. Volume 9 Page 147 REJECTING THE CRITERIA OF RATIONALITY IS BENEFICIAL 1. p. writer. she doesn¶t calculate it. but the criminal case was over by May. when a grand jury refused to indict him. Few people will ever consider infants replaceable in the way that they consider free-range chickens replaceable. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS.com . FOCUSING ON RATIONALITY DESTROYS INTUITION AND DEVALUES IT Robert C. weeping. Linares with first-degree murder. 2. gives himself up. The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 6. and Singer knows that.must not be so engineered. EUTHENASIA ALLOWS GREATER HAPPINESS FOR ALL Jeff Sharlet. A good billiards or pool player simply ³sees´ the shot. Successful traders and businessmen often claim (truthfully) that they don¶t ³think´ about what they are doing. Austin. Critics often accuse Mr. The New Yorker. too. Solomon. Linares cradles him in his arms until. Good game players usually describe their own skill in non-intellectual terms. But to him the symbol of the "tragic farce" brought on by an inhumane adherence to the sanctity-of-life principle is "Rudy Linares. They ³just know´ what to do. In such cases. Then Linares puts down the gun and. np. When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life. a man who measures happiness in numbers and considers love a replaceable resource. So. the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. according to the total view. even Darwin himself seems to have erred in giving too much credit here to the role of ³reason´ and not enough to heredity. keeping nurses at bay with a gun while he disconnects the respirator that for eight months has kept his comatose infant son Samuel alive. When Samuel is free of the respirator at last. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. half an hour later.the tit-for-tat attitude as such. animals display a remarkable array of strategic behaviors. p. if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others. it would. Cook County charged Mr. death would be more merciful than a life governed by misery. Yet many of those who would never act on his conclusions still agree that if an infant really had no hope of happiness. Singer of being cold-hearted. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COUNTER-INTUITIVE Michael Specter. 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. but to attribute strategic skill to heredity is not to relegate it to merely automatic behavior. standing in a hospital ward.without any need on our part to postulate Pentagon-like tactical mentality behind their behavior.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook.73. THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHER. a twenty-three-year-old Chicago housepainter. 1999. 1989. A good poker player doesn¶t sit skimming a mathematical odds book on the one hand and a psychology of facial expressions text on the other. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF PETER SINGER?.wcdebate. 10 March 2000. monkeys fooling one another by uttering a misleading cry to distract the others. the child dies.
Solomon. ad aggressive campaigns on the behalf of sensitivity when we become adults. as an expression of a certain sentimentality as well as a Christian allegory. This is what distinguishes our attitude to animals from our attitude to imbeciles. and yet not accept it at all. Not to possess human shape is a disqualifying condition. for instance. If we do not think in this way about dogs. p. RATIONALITY IS THE HUMAN NORM AND ALLOWS FOR EXCEPTIONS Stanley Benn. We respect the interests of men and give them priority over dogs not insofar as they are rational. RATIONALITY DISTINGUISHES SPECIES AND IS ACCEPTED STANDARD Stanley Benn. and therefore claims. Volume 9 Page 148 RATIONALITY IS BEST STANDARD 1. We are. unable to recognize a fundamental inequality of claims.wcdebate. we can acknowledge the harshness of the world. we can understand that. and this is precisely because a man does not become a member of a different species. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. to steal from a blind man. As intelligent and sensitive human beings. 62ff.. it is because we do not see the irrationality of the dog as a deficiency or a handicap. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. As for the saccharine quality of those Christmas greetings and that biblical fantasy. as opposed to all the other creatures in nature. 69. 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. It would be odd to say that we ought to respect equally the dignity or personality of the imbecile and of the rational man. 1967. We are not merely at the top of the food chain. However faithful or intelligent a dog maybe. therefore. of precisely the same kind as we make on our own behalf. are rational. anyone who chose the dog would generally be reckoned morally defective. one had to decide between feeding a hungry baby or a hungy dog. 3. the result of so many cuddly teddy bears and puppies when we were children. just as it would be unfair. in an important sense. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia. involves a certain distance. RATIONALITY DEFINES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANITY AND ANIMALS Robert C. too.. it would be a monstrous sentimentality to attribute to him interests that could be weighed in an equal balance with those of human beings.but there is nothing odd about saying that we should respect their interests equally. or the distinguishing criteria of the class of morally considerable persons. The characteristics. that is. and not just ordinarily dishonest. with its own standards of normality. It too.West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. p. our habits. 1999. they are not in fact the qualifying conditions for membership. But although these characteristics may provide the point of the distinction between men and other species. but as normal for the species.´ We are able to reflect and choose our food. part of culture rather than nature. p. But compassion. our breeding patterns.if.com . NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. 62ff. that distinguish the normal man from the normal dog make it intelligible for us to talk of other man having interests and capacities. one could argue. Senior Fellow in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences in Australia.. We have what is uncritically called ³free will. NOMOS IX: EQUALITY. too. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. is not opposed to but a consequence of reason. We. above the food chain. We say it is unfair to exploit the deficiencies of the imbecile who falls short of the norm. 2. but because rationality is the human norm. by reason of not possessing these characteristics.. 1967. Austin. Our strange compassion for other species is a ³natural´ projection of our more immediate concerns but something learned and cultivated.
We would not be absolutely immune to the "interests" of the kitten. so does it condemn granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of humans over non-humans. 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.com . Professor at Webster University. adds universal principles to the promptings of our biologically inherited feelings.´ Thus. In most cases. 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´). At the same time. 1999. Austin. simply because they are men. a pet owner and so on. 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.. and they might not be sentiments of equality. as evidenced by any number of philosophers who simply ³talk a good game. 1999. perhaps returning to some of those personal sentiments or intuitions might be a good place to go.. simply because they are humans. is that Singer. a need to know about the state of the world and plight of people outside of one¶s own limited domain. Solomon. is a theory that violates the principle of equal consideration of interests. If we have a hard time grasping his view. p. 2. are of a different gender. p. and they many not compete well with contrary interests toward humans..West Coast Philosopher and Value Handbook. For example. 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. According to this principle. AN EMPHASIS ON REASON BY SINGER DESTROYS THE NATURE OF COMPASSION Robert C. even though our lives as a whole might suggest we were speciesists of the worst sort. seemingly hungry and crying. WE ALREADY GIVE CONSIDERATION TO ANIMALS Bob Corbett. WE HAVE NO NEED TO GO FURTHER. However. As Singer discusses the principle. Let me begin with the easiest one. p. and it requires care and concern. Volume 9 Page 149 THE INCLUSION OF ANIMALS AS WORTHY OF EQUALITY IS BAD 1.According to Singer. At the same time one noticed a small kitten. GRANTING ANIMALS EQUALITY HARMS POLITICALLY DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE Lori Gruen. My argument. The notion that Singer will develop in ways that may well be strange and new to us. are from a different country.Just as Singer¶s substantive impartiality condemns granting additional consideration to the interests or preferences of one¶s racial or ethic group. Quincy Lee Centennial and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. on the role of normative ethical theory) underestimates the power of compassion. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. however. 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. np. 1999. 134-135. An adequate sense of ethics requires not only reason but concern and curiosity. Visit West Coast Publishing at: www. unconcerned with the processes of producing meat for the table. The point here is that many of us have some intuitions toward the interests of animals. are not 100% novel. the emotional sense that what happens to other matters. and most people seem to. SINGER AND HIS CRITICS. is that reason will also leave those feelings behind. Suppose one were drinking a large glass of milk and had drunk one's fill. a zoo goer. most of us are familiar with anti-speciesist sentiments.wcdebate. such differences do not provide a rational basis for differences in our ethical considerations or treatment. Nonetheless. on the other hand. one might have an experience that is contrary to this position. it prohibits granting any weight to particular features of a situation. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. Suppose one were all the things Singer attacks: a meat eater. according to Singer. or have different abilities than the person engaging in moral deliberation are not considerations that in themselves justify differential treatment. COMMENTS ON PETER SINGER'S ANALYSIS THAT LEADS TO SPECIESISM. that some people have a different skin color. 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. in his emphasis on reason (and consequently. my number three. Reason. 3.. we still often have some positive sentiments and intuitions toward the interests of animals. 75. They may not be dominant. The danger.. in a sentence.