Essay: Mill Take Issue

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[. . .] In a speech to a group of fellow clergymen, Revered Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about this negative opinion of the American involvement in Vietnam. He believes that the 1960s are a period of revolution because for the first time large groups of people were standing up to the government and voicing decent on large scales. King says, "We must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history" (1). Whereas before the citizens would more or less follow blindly whatever the government ordered, the 1960s created a new national psychology. No longer could people sit idly by and allow the world to burn away without trying to do something to stop it.

9. Why does Shabazz claim that Black Nationalism is a "self-help philosophy?" Explain.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X, was a radical in the 1960s who believed in Black Nationalism, a movement which not only sought equality with the Caucasian majority population but wanted a cultural divorce between the races. He explained in a speech to a group of Black Muslims how he felt about the movement and why it was a philosophy of self aggrandizement and help. By contributing money only into the community of black Americans, Shabazz states that the community will improve to the point where African-Americans can be self-reliant and self-sufficient. He says, "Once you can create some employment in the community where you live it will eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully, boycotting and picketing some practice some place else trying to beg him for a job. Anytime you have to rely upon your enemy for a job -- you're in bad shape" (Shabazz 2). Black Nationalism is a system, according to Shabazz, which demands that the black community support itself and itself only. By putting money into the community, the community can expand. But more than this, it prevents the external communities from expanding any further.

10. Why does Shabazz bring up the matter of revolutions? Explain.

In his speech Shabazz talks about historical revolutions and how they have never been bloodless. He also promises that the United States can potentially have the first bloodless revolution provided the African-American man is given his equal rights. "Revolutions overturn systems…A revolution is bloody, but America is in a unique position. She's the only country in history in a position actually to become involved in a bloodless revolution…today this country can become involved in a revolution that won't take bloodshed. All she's got to do is give the black man in this country everything that's due him, everything" (Shabazz 6). If these rights are not provided, he pledges that he and his brethren will do what they have to do, which it is implied will be a bloody and violent revolution. He brings this up both as a way to stir his audience and as a threat to those who might oppose him and his fellow Black Nationals.

11. How is the conservative disposition different from a desire to innovate? Explain.

Although a desire to be innovative is a good thing, there is always the chance that the innovation will fail. The reason that conservatives tend to shy away from innovation is because of the potential for failure and risking the government in such a way is to potentially destroy it. According to Oakeshott, "To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss. Familiar relationships and loyalties will be preferred to the allure of more profitable attachments; to acquire and to enlarge will be less important that to keep, to cultivate and to enjoy; the grief of loss will be more acute than the excitement of novelty or promise" (1). In this passage, Oakeshott explains why innovation can be destructive. Although it is hoped that new ideas will better the situations of mankind, it is also possible that such innovations can make life worse. Therefore, the conservatives focus on the present and what is working now rather than risk people's lives or livelihood on the off chance that an innovation might make things a little bit better.

12. Why does Oakeshott offer the example of fishing? Explain.

One of the best things about living is America is that people have the right to make their own decisions regarding what to belief and how to vote. Conservatism is not considered the best political perspective anymore and those with conservative beliefs are often accused of racism or prejudices or wanting to ban all social programs although none of these things are true. Oakeshott uses the analogy of fishing to explain what it is like to be a conservative despite the fact that they have not been successful in all elections. He argues that conservatives are more interested in what is right about politics rather than focusing on successfully winning elections. Oakeshott writes, "Fishing is an activity that may be engaged in, not for the profit of a catch, but for its own sake; and the fisherman may return home in the evening not less content for being empty-handed" (5). Liberals, by contrast, care more about fishing with the best bait and worry only about the number of fish that they take home. For this group, according to Oakeshott, they would be the commercial fisher because all they want is the win and are not really concerned about what happens to the people in the country.

13. Why does Goldman "repudiate" centralized production? Explain.

Emma Goldman writes in "Anarchism: What it Really Stands For" about how she interprets anarchism and its failings according to the uneducated opposition. Anarchism, as she defines it, is a means of creating equality for all people regardless of social position and one of the ways in which equality is achieved is through the destruction of centralized production. She repudiates centralized production because "centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these things being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere" (Goldman 3). Only through abandonment of this process can people achieve autonomy and personal satisfaction in the workforce.

14. What does Goldman argue for instead of "parliamentarism?" Explain.

Just as Goldman despises centralized production, she also expresses the desire that the people reject parliamentarian government. Actually all forms of government are distasteful to her because she asserts that the government's only real function is to oppress the individual. She believes that "government, with its unjust, arbitrary, repressive measures, must be done away with. At best it has but imposed one single mode of life upon all, without regard to individual and social variations and needs" (Goldman 5-6). Only by the complete elimination of government can human beings obtain personal freedom, at least according to Goldman and the anarchist perspective. By creating a world without governments, there are no boundaries for states and therefore there will be no wars and large amounts of crime will be eradicated as well.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. "Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln." N.p. n.d. Web. 18 March. 2013.

El-Shabazz, El-Hajj Malik (Malcolm X). "The Ballot or the Bullet." N.p. n.d. Web. 18 March.

2013.

Goldman, Emma. "Anarchism: What it Really Stands For." Print.

King, Jr., Martin Luther. "Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence." N.p. n.d. Web. 18 March.

2013.

Mill, John Stewart. "Chapter 4." On Liberty. N.p. n.d. Web. 18 March. 2013.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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