According to Hochschild what are the key tenets of success in American dream and in what ways might American definition of success be considered narrow?
Jennifer L. Hochschild analyzes the key “tenets” of the American Dream in the context of recent African American experience. She believes that American dream is the heart and soul of the entire nation. She tries to compare the desires of white and black people and find common features.
The recent invents show that both representatives develop rapidly in the economy and cooperate to reach the common aim of efficient development. This makes the “American dream” become a rather real perspective.
Moreover, the idea of the American dream has been connected with all spheres of life and has a great impact on the social relations development. However, it is important to realize the essence of this concept. Hochschild describes the American dream and the four main keys to it in her work. She tries to point out the importance of this concept to the whole society. She proposes some ideas about the success and failure of this idea in America to show the directions for making corrections in this activity. The result could bring a new wave of development to America, and all these dreams would come true. The American Dream is the concept that assures that anything can come true and especially good things. An essential aspect of this idea is a success for everyone. The four tenets of success according to Hochschild: everyone can gain success; success is a possible thing for everyone; success is a result of a hard work, and success is connected with a personal dignity.
There are some negative perspectives for America in case of being too close to this ideal. Firstly, the lack of success can be a real regret in case of lifetime hard work. If final results are different from the promised ones, the society can become cruel and hostile and never believe in the idea success available to everyone.
Identify the five issues of justice and liberty discussed by Zinn and explain how each relates to his main point about Constitution.
There were five basic issues connected to justice and liberty presented by Zinn. The first one is the problem of racial equality. Actually, abolition of slavery was not up to the Constitution, but it was reached by military objective reasons and activity of antislavery movements. This activity has even the character that is out of law rules. The range of amendments such as The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments proclaimed that this extralegal activity already takes its position. The Constitution was an important actor but a secondary one in this situation. Black people (due to the political situation of the 1960s) would have asked for equality even if Constitution had no stipulations about it. This would happen because antislavery movement insists on abolition of slavery even without any constitutional support.
Second constitutional right is a freedom of speech that has a rather juridical character as the true right of people to express their opinion is under a strong influence from the institutions, such as government, police, employers, and the ability to use the mass media. However, real freedom depends not on court decisions or Constitutional Amendments but on the strong will of people to fight for their rights whatever results it can provoke.
Another statement deals with the essence of economic justice. Constitution says nothing about the level of personal income or the right for medical treatment as the basics of the average level of life. This could be achieved only by means of separate actions, such as boycotts, strikes, but not the law prescriptions.
Constitution is still silent on the questions of sexual equality. All the positive results were achieved by women themselves, by numerous courts and feminist activity that began in nineteen’s century.
Finally, in times of endless wars, Constitution still keeps silence. A huge amount of conflicts is solved not due to the law. People are uninformed about the severe reality that seems to be so close to collapse.
The Constitution is like the Bible; thus it has some basic ideas. However, both could be easily manipulated and ignored. A Constitution is a fine addition to the democratic society, but it is not a manifesto of democracy itself.
Examine and discuss the advantages and disadvantages associated with federal systems. Do you feel the founding fathers made the right decision in choosing this form of government over a unitary one?
Upsides and downsides of federalism have been the subject of debates from the times of the creation of the Republic. Major scientific findings came to the idea that Federalism has the following features:
There are two main negative ideas connected with the concept of Federalism:
United States have historically practiced Federalism, and this idea is efficient in a huge country. Moreover, international experience approves this idea, as well. Russian Federation is an example that illustrates the success of Federation. It is rational to save this form of government and develop efficient cooperation between states.
What evidence does Berg provide that corporations use our political system to exercise their hegemony?
The main idea presented by Berg pointed out the idea about corporation influence on the political system of the country. The major amount of these representatives is empowered to exercise the policy connected with the economic development. Thus, this segment of society has direct interests in the economy of the country. For the last few years, the corporations get more attention and power than governments. All of the most important political and economic decisions are made by those who actually do not hold any responsibility for their activity. If we speak about politics, there are people that are responsible for the government’s actions. Political parties, political leaders may be dismissed and totally lose their power. However, in the case of a corporation, we are talking about a limited form of liability that is not laying on individual, but rather a legal entity. Of course, the legal entity has its owners, but in practice it is rather hard to determine who is responsible for its actions. Last year’s shows the capitalism florescence on its peak. At the same time, enormous pace grew in terms of capitalization of these companies. Corporations turned to the economic, social and political factors in the life of society. The level of capitalization of these corporations also grew enormously, and they became not only economically important constituents, but they also determine social relations and further political development. This situation becomes a serious threat to the government as a separate and independent mechanism of the state. There is nothing to counter this trend totally as this is an international practice. However, an activity of government should be directed towards limitation of corporate powers. This will give extra time to develop strong economic politics that will be independent of corporations as much as possible.
From a psychological perspective, what type of personality profile can you develop for a person who seeks the presidency?
President is considered to be the main person of the country, its representative. His appearance and behavior should be an example for all the country. It should be a person that will have a high level of respect in the society, has a strong will, who would be focused, and should be a person that is ready to be responsible not only for himself but the entire country, as well. First of all, he must be well educated, intelligent and a highly moral person, thus his main task is to stop the degradation of the society.
President is a leader, so this person must be purposeful and ready to lead people to new horizons and provide the security of these horizons. Moreover, it should be a person that is recognized by the international society as international relations play a major role in the development of the country, especially in terms of economy. Positive psychological portrait should embrace existence of a family. A person that promises to provide stability and development of the country should show the results of stability in his family relations, first. A lot of scientists are used to say that family is a small country; therefore, it is one prominent feature required from the person who pretends to be a president. Moreover, contender should take an active life position and show his interests in the social life. It would be better if such a person would have an experience of working in some social or charity organization. Preferably, these developments should start years before the elections process begins. Electorate trust is a basic ground to become a preferable contender for being a president.
Future president should certainly support the development of small and medium-sized businesses, create conditions for the inflow of foreign capital to the country, developments in technology, and take care of fair lawmaking.
A portrait of a future president is like a mixture of the best human qualities concentrated in one person. There is nothing strange in a strong desire of people to see the best leader that could lead them to a better future. It is said that nation determines the head of the state, and later, the head of the state would determine the future for his nation.
Heineman notes that some of the founders felt that parties “represented minority interests working against the larger public interest” and should be suppressed. Do you agree? Why or why not?
This opinion has a strong support among the proponents of law theories and their applications. This situation is evident actually in the most countries in the world. Minority mentioned above means; their representatives have a huge influence on economy, politics and social life. This category includes representatives of business, international enterprises that give a huge amount of capital to the country; thus they are interested in the development of their business according to their rules. That is why the level of their influence on the general governmental policy is strong. Here, we could point out the capitalization as the main lever of the changes in the country, and mostly in economy. Nobody takes care about interests of workers, which the majority of social community. It is a well-known fact that people who have power determine future perspectives. In the ideal situation, government should be independent and act in to the interests of the whole society but not its separate stratum. But there is almost nothing ideal in our life. The same applies to the state, maybe even more so. Imagine the situation where interests of the working class are the governmental priority. There would be no tax payments into the budget; the efficiency of labor would decrease significantly, and there would be anarchy on the level of separate groups of the society. We should agree that hierarchy existed from the beginning of the world’s existence. This fact could be hardly said to be positive, but it a reality we have even today. There is some sense in a hierarchy as everything is arranged in this way. There is a hierarchy in governmental structures, in separate enterprises, even in a family. Therefore, it is obviously required to have a certain hierarchy of interests.
Discuss the concept of judicial review. Why do you think Americans have largely ignored this unusual usurpation of power and accepted it without too much fuss?
Judicial review is a specific power of courts to review Constitution, statute or treaty to clarify their sense. This concept is actually taken from the Constitution itself, but it has not enough practice in usage of this power by the judiciary. It is worth noticing that a judicial review is not an American idea as it comes from British Common Law, and it later became a part of the legal process in the United States. The first use of this innovation was in 1792, and it happened when the circuit courts found an act of Congress with information about military veteran’s treatment. It was recognized as a non-constitutional act. Congress changed the law in their favor a year later.
Judicial review is considered to be part of the United States' government system of checks and balances. The Supreme Court executes the power of control under the acts of Congress and Executive bodies. This control takes place to guarantee the balance of powers and its limitations. This provision also aims at providing the protection of the Constitutional rights of the citizens.
Judicial review also deals with the power of the court to review the activity of public bodies in terms of lawfulness. Moreover, it includes the power to review the accordance of any treaty or statute to the Constitution.
The first time when the Supreme Court changed the legislation was connected with the case of Marbury V Madison, (1803). Chief Justice, John Marshall, stated that Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional. This situation plays a great role for the importance of the judicial branch and further attention to its development.
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The concept of judicial review has historical grounds, and it has been more important in the past, than nowadays. It is rarely used in the United States, and citizens are used to this situation as the level of judicial security has increased in last years, and there is no actual need to use this type of judicial control.
Tocqueville said “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion in America.” Why might such observations be made, and to what extent are they true?
United States is considered to be an example of a high level of democracy. Freedom of speech is a right that is provided to every citizen by Constitution. Everyone is free to express his opinion on different topics. However, there is another situation in reality, and it does not deal with Constitution. People try to be careful with what they say, due to rather theoretical character of this right. This is because there are still forces that control every aspect of social life, and every separate opinion has a great value for the activity of the state. Freedom of speech depends on people who realize this right. You can discuss everything you want till it does not deals with governmental interest. Pressure from the side of the government, employers, social and administrative organizations makes people keep silent on several topics. Nobody wants to lose their job or social status, so sometimes thoughts and words can do harm. Tocqueville used to point out that the freedom of speech is more like an illusion in the state where a pure democracy is proclaimed. The freedom of speech was given to people hundred years ago; however, even now everyone should fight hard with the society and himself, in order to get it. It is very important to realize the final result that you want to achieve by realizing your right.
To distinguish the level of democracy in United States, it is enough to analyze basic freedoms in action. Most of them has rather a juridical character. The freedoms that are proclaimed by the Constitution and its Amendments and are the guarantees of the social security and freedom, but actually show us just a good side of the reality that is far from being perfect. The level of actual freedom depends on an individual freedom from within, but not from the Constitution.
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