10 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. The opposition of suburban whites to the welfare state (“entitlements”), beginning with the 1970s tax revolts (Burton rails at having to pay high school taxes and then see his son be forced to go to school in the inner city, and against “welfare freeloaders”), only intensified as the “hard-working” (white) “common man” in his orderly suburban family saw the New Deal dream evaporate. Burton declared in 1974: “I wanted to be somebody”, and in the economic environment symbolized by the oil price shock of that year, his identity became more and more at odds with the desire of the excluded in US society to also “be somebody”. By 1976, Burton had abandoned the Democratic party and the New Deal ethos, seeing in Ronald Reagan someone who could “deliver the nation out of its malaise”, with a reprise of Wallace’s “freshness, independence, backbone and scrappy spirit”. This is not a new story. It is rather a reflection of US history as a whole, where a frontier-spirit, classless liberalism is organically bound up with anti-democratic exclusion and an ethic of private responsibility. It is but one facet of American racialized, gendered neoliberalism.
  2. Aug 2018
    1. Liberalism remains the ideal political and economic system, but it needs to find ways to accommodate and neutralize this pesky desire for recognition.
  3. Jul 2018
    1. The liberal solution to the problem of limiting the powers of a democratic majority employed various devices. The first was the separation of powers—i.e., the distribution of power between such functionally differentiated agencies of government as the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. This arrangement, and the system of checks and balances by which it was accomplished, received its classic embodiment in the Constitution of the United States and its political justification in the Federalist papers (1787–88), by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Of course, such a separation of powers also could have been achieved through a “mixed constitution”—that is, one in which power is shared by, and governing functions appropriately differentiated between, a monarch, a hereditary chamber, and an elected assembly; this was in fact the system of government in Great Britain at the time of the American Revolution. The U.S. Constitution also contains elements of a mixed constitution, such as the division of the legislature into the popularly elected House of Representatives and the “aristocratic” Senate, the members of which originally were chosen by the state governments. But it was despotic kings and functionless aristocrats—more functionless in France than in Britain—who thwarted the interests and ambitions of the middle class, which turned, therefore, to the principle of majoritarianism.

      Group Contemporary pol T

    2. The early liberals, then, worked to free individuals from two forms of social constraint—religious conformity and aristocratic privilege—that had been maintained and enforced through the powers of government. The aim of the early liberals was thus to limit the power of government over the individual while holding it accountable to the governed. As Locke and others argued, this required a system of government based on majority rule—that is, one in which government executes the expressed will of a majority of the electorate. The chief institutional device for attaining this goal was the periodic election of legislators by popular vote and of a chief executive by popular vote or the vote of a legislative assembly.

      Group Contemporary Pol T

    3. Liberalism, political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. As the revolutionary American pamphleteer Thomas Paine expressed it in Common Sense (1776), government is at best “a necessary evil.” Laws, judges, and police are needed to secure the individual’s life and liberty, but their coercive power may also be turned against him. The problem, then, is to devise a system that gives government the power necessary to protect individual liberty but also prevents those who govern from abusing that power.

      Group Contemporary Pol T

  4. Feb 2018
    1. "First, we need to know more about how graduates with humanities degrees are doing in the workplace. Second, we need to know more about how the skills the humanities seek to impart -- critical thinking and communication skills, for instance -- actually matter in the workplace. And third, we need to be willing to adjust our views about which humanities aptitudes are significant (or not) in the extraordinarily dynamic workplace of the coming decades. Along the way, we’re also going to have to get a better grip on just how well we’re doing in fostering the capabilities we deem most relevant to work readiness and success."

      This is an argument the Humanities will always lose.

  5. Mar 2017
  6. Jun 2015
    1. But the marriage equality movement has been curiously hostile to polygamy, and for a particularly unsatisfying reason: short-term political need.

      I hope that the focus on prohibition by the drug policy reform movement helps sidestep a similar effect happening with cannabis.

  7. Sep 2013
    1. Next comes liberality; liberal people let their money go instead of fighting for it, whereas other people care more for money than for anything else.

      Interesting to see liberty and liberalism defined.