By Richard J. Ellis
This paintings demanding situations the thesis first formulated through de Tocqueville and later systematically constructed via Louis Hartz, that American political tradition is characterised through a consensus on liberal capitalist values. Ranging over 300 years of historical past and drawing upon the seminal paintings anthropologist Mary Douglas, Richard Ellis demonstrates that American heritage is healthier understood as a competition among 5 rival political cultures: egalitarian neighborhood, aggressive individualism, hierarchical collectivism, atomized fatalism, and self sustaining hermitude.
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If one focuses on its commitment to individual conscience and autonomy, its adherents seem to be forerunners of a modern individu alistic age. But if attention is turned to its vision of the individual subordinated to the collective will, progressivism seems to point backward to a bygone age of hierarchy. Only if one recognizes that group and grid, integration and regulation, are distinct social dimensions can one begin to make sense of these apparently paradoxical movements that envision an egalitarian community that is neither individualistic nor hierarchical.
K. This is the answer offered in Michael Kammen ’s brilliant if elusive People of Paradox . "159 Cultural conflict, for Kammen, takes place within the American psyche. I have no wish to take issue with the notion that value systems contain paradoxical contradictions. Paradox and irony are basic to the human condition. But there is a danger of replacing social and political conflict with psychological paradox. "Godly materialism" may be an internalized tension, but it may also be a conflict between the godly and the materialistic.
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. "140 To "work not for wealth but for Weal" was the "shining goal" that W. E. B. 141 And when Frederic C. "142 Whether "the desire to... For the egalitarian, the competition and self-aggrandizement of capitalism is inherently immoral because it neglects the community interest that transcends the sum of private interests and wants.
American Political Cultures by Richard J. Ellis