By Richard J. Ellis
This paintings demanding situations the thesis first formulated via de Tocqueville and later systematically built through Louis Hartz, that American political tradition is characterised via a consensus on liberal capitalist values. Ranging over 300 years of background and drawing upon the seminal paintings anthropologist Mary Douglas, Richard Ellis demonstrates that American historical past is better understood as a competition among 5 rival political cultures: egalitarian group, aggressive individualism, hierarchical collectivism, atomized fatalism, and self sustaining hermitude.
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Extra info for American Political Cultures
But if civil laws permit greater accumulation than natural law, they do not necessarily justify unlimited accumulation. "14 To those who rely on this Locke, redistribution does not seem out of the question. It can be used by individualists to justify the right of each man to keep what he has acquired, but it can also be employed by egalitarians to attack large concentrations of wealth on the grounds that such holdings do not really derive from productive labor. " Locke’s labor theory of value is thus potentially subversive of the bidding and bargaining essential to competitive individualism.
123 Among Christian progressive reformers, observes historian David Danbom, "it became commonplace... "124 "In the new society toward which we are now tending," declared a Presbyterian minister from Wisconsin, "men will cease to compete against each other, and... 129 Like Cooley, Follett believed that the problem with American society was that "the sustaining and nourishing power of the community bond... "136 Dewey’s Hull-House was the Laboratory School, which he directed from 1896 to 1904. " 139 "The most glorious career that love can conceive for its object," lectured George D.
The potential radicalism of Lockean natural rights doctrines is perhaps nowhere more fully realized than in Thomas Skidmore ’s The Rights of Man to Property! 37 Property was an inalienable right, given by "the Creator of the Universe" to every person. 39 Such drastic measures were justified, Skidmore reasoned, because no one could be denied his birthright without his consent and none could have possibly consented to a propertyless condition or one of meager property holdings. For Skidmore’s argument is not Andrew Carnegie’s argument that inheritance dulls the spirit of enterprise (the individualist rationale for inheritance taxes) but that inheritance is unjust because it gives more to some than to others (the egalitarian argument).
American Political Cultures by Richard J. Ellis