Term Paper: Political Science Politics

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[. . .] Democratic socialists of United States of America share a dream of having a humane international social order based on gender and racial equality, hard work, proper apportioning of resources, hygienic milieu and non-oppressive relationships.

20th century liberalism shares the views of classical liberalism put forward by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Classical liberalism appreciated human nature and created a constitution and adopted a rule of law to work with the boundary of that human nature. Modern liberalism believes that human nature is learned and mutable. Those with the greatest faith in this idea believed, as Lenin proposed, that institutions would wither away once individual human nature was properly habituated. In other words, once institutions changed human nature to maintain a self-sustaining order, those institutions would no longer be necessary and would atrophy from disuse (Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America).

The primary goal of modern liberalism is to formulate a methodical and a sustainable society. The central predicament of liberalism is that it lays emphasis on the method of freedom, which gravitates towards diffusing national energies and fragmentation of the collective purpose. It simultaneously must compete with the Marxian socialist creeds and totalitarian systems for the allegiance of the world's unenthusiastic people. To meet this dilemma, 20th-century liberalism tended to make freedom responsible rather than anarchic; to move away from the relativism and pragmatism with which the later historical liberalism had been associated; to rekindle the fires of religious belief; and increasingly to invoke equality as a goal and slogan, as well as liberty (Liberalism in the Second Half of the 20th Century, Encyclopedia Britannica).

The American society can rightfully be referred to as a liberal society. The advantage, which the Americans had, was that they arrived at the state of democracy without undergoing any democratic revolution. The American society presupposes liberalism as one of the conjecture of life. People in this society are confident that reasoning and debating can solve all issues. It was because of this way of thinking that European politicians considered America the archetype of primal political innocence. In this society men are free to write on their own aspirations without the hinder or nepotism of the accumulated evils of history. The main factor, which contributes to the liberalism in the American politics, is the absence of bureaucracy and feudalism. The absence of feudalism meant the absence of a static and confining social order, and it meant equally the absence of a profound social passion to uproot and destroy that order. This resulted in deprivation of the American culture from traditions and revolutions. This also caused deprivation of conservatism of the instinct to be responsible as well as the instinct to kill, of both decorum and of terror, reducing it, on the whole, to expressions or, rather, ejaculations of individual or class self-interest (Liberalism In America: A Note For Europeans, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.). The American liberalism is antisocialist, where socialism retains its traditional implied meaning of state ownership of the basic means of engendering and dispersion. The main reason for this is that American liberals doubt whether basis for political antithesis and independence can persevere when all power is vested in the state.

Americans believe that their views on liberalism have contributed greatly to the grand tactics of autarchy. According to Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,

American liberalism feels that realism is the source of strength, and that illusion, while productive of momentary enthusiasm, will be in the end, a source of catastrophe. And American liberalism can point to concrete national gains even in the period of the cold war, to the great strides toward achieving better opportunities for Negroes, to the maintenance of high levels of employment, to the extension of the system of social security, to the eventual defeat of Senator McCarthy (Liberalism In America: A Note

For Europeans, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.).

Even though the American society seems to be liberal and democratic in all the right sense, it does however show signs of inequality and injustice towards the black Americans, thus highlighting a slight default in its liberal structure. Slavery in America started when The New World was discovered. With the formation of colonies, slavery was further enhanced. Large shipment of African slaves were brought especially to the southern part in order to provide labor force which was to work on huge South's plantations. Even though Black Americans were granted freedom after the American Civil War they still had to fight for rights till the early 19th century. Racism in America is a national obsession. Universities, newspapers and politicians are on full alert and even though racism is greatly denounced by them, America is said to be racked with it racial inequality. Black farmers in North Carolina have recently been raising their voices against the injustice being done with them on account of racial issues. Many black farmers have been denied government loans in order to buy their own farms. The USDA has been charged of wrongfully denying the Black Americans with loans. As a result of this injustice, the government is now ready to pay $50,000 in compensation. The Blacks however refuse to accept this amount of money claiming that it will not suffice. John Boyd Jr. Of the National Black Farmers Association said, "I would like to make one thing clear, that the amount of money, is not the issue here. The government could never pay for the pain and suffering that black farmers endured across the country" (Living With Racism: The Black Middle Class Experience, Joe R. Feagin and Melvin P. Sikes).

Hence, by the above situation it becomes quite clear what Edward Greenberg tried to say about the American society, i.e. It fails to meet the rather minimal classical liberal tests of equality of rights, freedoms and opportunities and that these are not merely accidental but rather inherent in a capitalist society.

Works Cited

Friedrich A.H. The Road To Serfdom. The University Of Chicago Press. 1976.

Edmund B. Reflections On The Revolution in France. Hackett. 1987.

Alexander D.L. The Modern Democratic State. Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Louis H. The Liberal Tradition in America. 1955.

Amy H.S. The Rise, Decline And Reemergence Of Classical Liberalism. The LockeSmith Institute. 1994.

Frank S.M. Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism. 1960.

Arthur S.J. Liberalism In America: A Note For Europeans. The Politics of Hope. Boston Riverside Press. 1962.

Joe R.F. And Melvin P.S. Living With Racism: The Black Middle Class Experience.

Beacon Press 1994.

Liberalism in the Second Half of the 20th Century.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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