Download American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time by John McGowan PDF

By John McGowan

ISBN-10: 0807831719

ISBN-13: 9780807831717

American citizens reside in a liberal democracy. but, even supposing democracy is generally touted at the present time, liberalism is scorned by way of either the fitting and the left. the us stands poised among its liberal democratic culture and the intolerant choices of liberalism's critics. In a fascinating and informative dialogue, McGowan deals a ringing endorsement of yank liberalism's uncomplicated rules, values, and commitments. He explains that the liberalism of the founders disbursed energy largely so as to restrict the facility anyone entity might workout over others. Their objective was once to supply for all a good freedom that mixed the ideal to self-determination being able to in achieving one's self-chosen targets. In tracing this background, McGowan deals a transparent imaginative and prescient of liberalism's foundational values as America's top warrantly at the present time of liberty and the peace during which to workout it.

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Extra resources for American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time

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A quasi-mystical entity, understood as preexisting the establishment of a legal framework in the Constitution, is designated as the source of the people’s “identity” as a people. These entities are quasi-mystical because, while not strictly speaking nonworldly, they can never be called into presence. Rather, they are invoked as the substance or category that underlies and unites a multiple set of people and/or practices even though this underlying principle of unity is notoriously difficult to specify.

The legislature is hardly conflict-free. There are, and should be, substantial disagreements over what the government can and should do. But the legislative process produces new laws that are positive articulations of collectively made decisions to act. These decisions are constrained by the Constitution’s established guidelines of the permissible—and, thus, all laws in the American system are subject to judicial review. The means for review, however, seem peculiar at first glance. The judges do not simply read each act passed by Congress and rule on its constitutionality.

But much depends on how that distinction is drawn. And we should fully expect that the lines between public and private will be continually contested and will shift over time. America’s current economic inequalities are certainly a symptom of consolidated power—and, as such, call for strengthening countervailing powers. 25 It is utterly consistent with liberal efforts to combat consolidations of power to institute legal mechanisms that protect workers’ interests. A minimum wage law is just one tiny example, while the actual level at which the minimum wage is set illustrates the prevailing balance of power between employees and employers.

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