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American Heritage. Lecture 2. Wednesday, January 8 th. Add/drop deadline January 13 th Please fill out information forms Professor Kirkham will be absent a week from today. Professor Kimball will be guest lecturing in his place. Summary – Day 1.

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American heritage

American Heritage

Lecture 2


Wednesday january 8 th

Wednesday, January 8th

  • Add/drop deadline January 13th

  • Please fill out information forms

  • Professor Kirkham will be absent a week from today. Professor Kimball will be guest lecturing in his place.


Summary day 1

Summary – Day 1

  • Importance of American Heritage for helping you understand the political, cultural, and economic world surrounding you.

    • This environment shapes every significant choice you make.

    • You can run from American Heritage, but you cannot hide.

  • The American “bold experiment” affects and will be affected by the your spiritual environment as well.


American heritage

  • Elder Holland: “The meaning of America in its most theological sense, is something more than borders and boundaries, something above nativism and nationalism. It is an ideal, a thing of the spirit.”


Why american heritage

Why American Heritage?

  • “The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures. No other national story holds such tremendous lessons for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind…. As we enter the new millennium, we need to retell it, for if we can learn these lessons and build upon them, the whole of humanity will benefit in the new age which is now opening.” – Paul Johnson


Review question lecture 1

Review Question: Lecture #1

  • According to the text and lecture, what are two values any good government should seek to balance?

    • Virtue and Self-interest

    • Anarchy and Freedom

    • Liberty and Order

    • Representation and Democracy

    • None of the above


American heritage

This class focuses on ideas – the ideas that form the basis of the American founding and have continued to order our society.

  • “Ideas… both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men [and women] who believe themselves quite exempt from any intellectual influences are usually the slaves of some defunct [scholar]…. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas…. [I]t is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.”

    -- John Maynard Keynes

    General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money


Day 2 the problem of government

Day 2: The Problem of Government


Water buffalo

Water buffalo


American heritage

  • Does society exist among these animals?

  • Would this suit you?

  • Is this a civilization?

    • Are the various animals free?

    • Do they have order?

    • State of nature?

    • What’s missing?


American heritage

  • Government? Justice? A sovereign?


Justice according to sandel

Justice (according to Sandel)

  • 1. Maximizing welfare

  • 2. Protecting freedom

  • 3. Promoting virtue

    Can these all be seen as rolls of government?


Purposes of government according to the us constitution

Purposes of government (according to the US Constitution

  • 1. form a more perfect Union

  • 2. establish Justice

  • 3. insure domestic Tranquility

  • 4. provide for the common defence

  • 5. promote the general Welfare

  • 6. secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity


Is it fair to

Is it fair to…

  • A. allow vendors to charge what the market can bear in times of disaster, e.g., water and lodging at 20x their normal rate following a hurricane evacuation?

  • B. present the Purple Heart to veterans who have suffered only psychological injuries?

  • C. allow CEOs to receive multi-million dollar bonuses when their company has just been bailed out by taxpayers?


American heritage

Is fairness a good criterion by which public policies should be measured? What should be government’s role in all of this?

  • Legality v. morality

    • Should governments promote virtue or just make laws?


Some questions for the ages

Some Questions for the Ages

  • How to resolve dilemma between tyranny and anarchy?

  • What are human beings really like?

  • What is the true nature of freedom . . . individual liberty v. social order?

  • What forms of government are helpful? Destructive?

  • When and how should humans come together as political society?


Dorothy the winkies and the human predicament

Dorothy, the Winkies, and the Human Predicament

  • The Human Predicament

  • Tyranny v. anarchy

  • Virtue and Justice

  • The Good Society

    • Political legitimacy

    • Freedom


Human aspiration

A GOOD SOCIETY

A condition of ordered freedom

with plentiful goods for body and soul

Human Aspiration


Founding

Founding

Rare and Rational

A conscious, deliberate act of creating a system of government that benefits the people.


Conditions needed for a founding

Conditions needed for a founding

  • Opportunity: a new start, sovereign loses or relinquishes control

  • People who know something about government

  • Cooperation

  • A sense of importance and responsibility

  • Founder’s toolbox: structure, participation, law, tradition, moral sense, mythology, leadership (City on a Hill, pp. 11-12)


What questions do founders need to ask

What questions do founders need to ask?


Some questions for the ages1

Some Questions for the Ages

  • How to resolve dilemma between tyranny and anarchy?

  • What are human beings really like?

  • What is the true nature of freedom . . . individual liberty v. social order?

  • What forms of government are helpful? Destructive?

  • When and how should humans come together as political society?


Human predicament

Human Predicament

Tyranny

COMPETING

GROUPS

REVOLUTION

Anarchy


Tyranny and anarchy in syria

Tyranny and Anarchy in Syria


Political legitimacy

Political Legitimacy

  • Guardianships:

    • Divine right: chosen by God

    • Superior ability: Philosopher king


Guardianship

Guardianship

“Rulership…entrusted to a minority of persons who are specially qualified to govern by reason of their superior knowledge and virtue”

- Robert Dahl


Political legitimacy1

Political legitimacy

  • Guardianship:

    • Divine right: chosen by God

    • Superior ability: Philosopher king

  • Constitutional or republican democracy

    • Voice of people


Freedom

Freedom


Kinds of freedom

Kinds of Freedom

  • Do what I want: no rules

  • Make my own choices within a structure

    • Spouse

    • Religion

    • Education and occupation

    • Choose leaders

  • Greeks: taking part in the political process and observing society’s rules


American heritage

Freedom in Athens:“Having a stake in the political process required the individual to be in charge of his own life. Only free and autonomous men could participate in the free and autonomous society.” (What the Fox said pp. 5-6)


American heritage

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.… Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. Edmund Burke, Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791)


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