Describe the ways that globalization has affected government and society in the United States.
Give practical examples of ways in which the values of freedom, order, and equality may conflict.
Provide a conceptual framework for analyzing government.
Discuss the three major purposes of government.
Explain the two dilemmas of government.
Sketch a continuum of ideological stances on the scope of government, ranging from totalitarianism to anarchism.
Construct a two-dimensional, fourfold classification of American political ideologies, using the values of freedom, order, and equality.
Distinguish between liberals and conservatives with regard to their attitudes about the scope and purpose of government.
0Freedom, Order, AND Equality, OR the Challenge of Democracy
Chapter 1 explores the meaning of three of the text’s five major themes: freedom, order, and equality. These values are important ones in the U.S. political system. They often come into conflict with one another, however, thus posing a dilemma for people who are forced to choose between competing values. The chapter’s opening vignette, describing how globalization affects our housing market, reveals the costs and challenges associated with balancing freedom, order, and equality. The chapters ahead focus on the setting, structure, and institutions of U.S. government and the policymaking process; as we proceed, we will see many examples of these conflicting values.
0The Globalization of American Government
Whereas nations used to be understood as independent political actors, global economic interdependence and the growing importance of international organizations challenge this independence. Nations are compelled to reconcile national political values with international values that may represent a different balance between freedom, order, and equality. The 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty was blocked until 2007. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in 2007 because the political climate had changed and certain advantages of the treaty became evident.
0The Purposes of Government
Government is the legitimate use of force to control human behavior. Throughout history, government has served three major purposes: (1) maintaining order, including preserving life and protecting property, (2) providing public goods, and (3) promoting equality. Maintaining order, the first purpose, is the oldest and least contended purpose of government. Most would agree with Thomas Hobbes that the security of civil society is preferable to life in a warlike state of nature. But the question of whether maintaining order requires the government to infringe on an individual’s personal freedom is a tough one to answer. The second purpose—providing public goods—leads to questions of just what goods the government ought to provide. Over the years, the scope of the U.S. government has expanded considerably, as the government has assumed greater responsibility for providing an array of social benefits. The third purpose of government—promoting equality—is the newest and probably most controversial purpose of government today. It raises issues about the extent of the government’s role in redistributing wealth, regulating social behavior, and providing opportunities.
0A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Government
People often have difficulty understanding the U.S. government because they lack a framework to help them organize the facts of politics. The framework supplied in this text distinguishes between the values citizens pursue through government and the institutional models that guide them in their efforts to govern themselves democratically. The framework presented here uses five major concepts. The three presented in this chapter—freedom, order, and equality—represent what democratic governments try to do. The two remaining concepts concern how democratic governments do what they do; governments may behave according to pluralistic or majoritarian models. These models are explained more fully in the next chapter.
0The Concepts of Freedom, Order, and Equality
Freedom, as used in this text, is synonymous with liberty, that is, the freedom to speak, worship, and so forth. In a narrow sense, order consists of preserving life and protecting property, but it may also refer to social order, which prescribes the accepted way of doing things. Equality is used to mean several different things: political equality, or equality of influence in the political process; social equality, or equality in wealth, education, and social status; equality of opportunity, or equality in chances for success; and equality of outcome, or equality for people in the end. The last concept is connected with the idea of entitlements and requires much more government intervention to sustain than either political equality or equality of opportunity.
0Two Dilemmas of Government
Two major dilemmas confront government today. The first one, the original dilemma, involves tradeoffs between freedom and order. How much freedom are people willing to give up to achieve complete safety? How much insecurity are they willing to tolerate to preserve personal freedom? The second one, the modern dilemma, deals with the balance between freedom and equality. Should government act to promote equal access for women and African Americans to high-paying jobs, even though this restricts the freedom of their employers?
0Ideology and the Scope of Government
Political ideologies provide their adherents with consistent, organized beliefs about government. Each ideology provides a different answer to questions about the scope of government, that is, how far government should go in maintaining order, providing public goods, and promoting equality.
Totalitarianism believes in total control by the government over business, labor, education, religion, sports, and the arts. Socialists would have government control basic industries but leave room for some private ownership of productive capacities and for the operation of civil liberties. Some socialists practice democratic socialism, which guarantees civil liberties, free elections, and competitive political parties. Capitalists favor private ownership of the means of production and no government interference with business. Libertarians oppose government action except where absolutely necessary to protect life and property. Anarchists oppose all government.
Practical politics in the United States tend to be fought out in the middle ground of this continuum—a place inhabited by conservatives and liberals, who differ on both the scope and the purpose of government action. Liberals favor generous government support for education, wildlife protection, public transportation, and a whole range of social programs. Conservatives believe in smaller government and fewer social programs. In the past, liberals and conservatives have been distinguished by their attitudes toward the scope of government. Today this approach is not quite adequate; ideological divisions among Americans involve not only disagreements over the scope of government but also disagreements about the purposes of government, that is, the degree to which the government should promote freedom, order, and equality.
0American Political Ideologies and the Purpose of Government
Liberals and conservatives differ on both of the major value conflicts described in this chapter. By using a two-dimensional classification system that depicts freedom and order on one axis and freedom and equality on the other, it is possible to obtain a more accurate picture of the differences between liberals and conservatives. This scheme yields a fourfold classification of American political ideologies. Under it, those who prefer order to freedom and freedom to equality are conservatives. Those who prefer equality to freedom and freedom to order are liberals. Those who prefer freedom above the other values are libertarians. Those who would give up freedom for either equality or order are called communitarians.
equality of opportunity
equality of outcome
0Outlining the Text Chapters
One good way to learn the material in the text is to outline each chapter after you have read it. This will help you understand how a chapter is organized and how its main points fit together. The act of writing the outline focuses your attention on the material and also reinforces what you have read.
Outlining styles tend to be idiosyncratic: one person might prepare an outline that uses full sentences or long phrases to help recall the substance of sections of the text; another might rely on brief phrases or key words. For starters though, you will probably want to use the chapter’s main headings and subheadingsas the skeleton for your outline. Then flesh these out by noting the main points within each subheading, and where you think it is useful, add some notes to indicate just how each point is connected to the main heading.
Here is a sample outline of Chapter 1.
I0. The globalization of American government0
A0. Principle of national sovereignty: Each national government has the right to govern its people as it wishes, without interference from other nations.
B0. Increasing globalization has eroded national sovereignty.0
10. Mr. Rodriguez and the U.S. mortgage crisis
20. 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty
C0. U.S. foreign and domestic policies have faced international scrutiny0.
10. United States refused to participate in the International Criminal Court.
20. United States’ trade policies are critical to good relations with our trading partners0000.
II0. The purposes of government0
A0. Definition of government: the legitimate use of force within territorial boundaries to control human behavior
B0. Maintain order0
10. State of nature survival and Thomas Hobbes
20. Unalienable rights and liberalism
C0. Provide public goods0
10. Public goods: benefits available to all citizens that are not likely to be produced voluntarily by individuals
20. Tension between government and private business
D0. Promote equality0
10. Economic: redistribute wealth
20. Social: regulate social behavior
30. Tension between equality and freedom
III0. A conceptual framework for analyzing government0
A0. Definition of a concept: a generalized idea grouping events, objects, or qualities under a common classification or label
B0. Five concepts used in this text0
10. What government tries to do (values)0
20. How governments do it (models)0
IV0. The concepts of freedom, order, and equality0
10. Freedom of: liberty
20. Freedom from: immunity or, as used in this text, equality
10. Preserving life
20. Protecting property
30. Maintaining social order: use of police power
10. Political equality0
a0) one person, one vote
b0) ability to influence political decisions through wealth or status
20. Social equality0
a0) equality of opportunity: each person has the same chance to succeed in life
b0) equality of outcome0
(10) government redistributions of wealth to ensure that economic equality and social equality are achieved
(20) governmental rights as entitlements
V0. Two dilemmas of government0
A0. The original dilemma: freedom versus order
B0. The modern dilemma: freedom versus equality
VI0. Ideology and the scope of government0
A0. Definition of an ideology: a consistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government
B0. Continuum of ideologies based on beliefs about government scope000
10. Totalitarianism: controls all aspects of behavior in all sectors of society
a0) broad scope of state authority in the economic life of the nation
b0) communism versus democratic socialism
a0) private business operating without government regulations
b0) U.S. capitalism: some regulation of business and direction of overall economy
a0) opposed to all government action except what is necessary to protect life and property
b0) liberal versus libertarian
a0) opposed to all government
b0) value freedom
C0. Liberals and conservatives: the narrow middle0
a0) favor broad scope of government in providing public goods
b0) yet reject censorship, regulation of abortion
a0) oppose government role as activist in economy
b0) favor small government
c0) yet favor government regulation of social behavior
30. Need to look at both scope and purpose of government action
VII0. American political ideologies and the purpose of government0
A0. Liberals versus conservatives: the new differences0
(20) preserve traditional patterns of social relations
a0) scope of government: broad
b0) purpose of government: promote equality (coercive power of state may be used)
B0. Two-dimensional classification of ideologies0
20. Four ideological types0
(10) value freedom more than order
(20) value freedom more than equality
(10) value freedom more than order
(20) value equality more than freedom
(10) value freedom more than equality
(20) value order more than freedom
(10) value equality more than freedom
(20) value order more than freedom
0Research and Resources
This chapter introduces three of the key concepts used to build the analytical framework of the text. Freedom, order, and equality are such important concepts and are so critical to the approach of The Challenge of Democracy that you may wish to learn more about these ideas. One way to go about it is to consult an encyclopedia or dictionary, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica or Webster’s New World Dictionary. (Access to Britannica is available online as a paid service. For a free trial, go to <http://www.eb.com>.) In these works, you will find a general treatment of the terms. A general encyclopedic discussion may include some material of interest to social scientists, but it may also include material more interesting to people in other fields (for example, philosophers may be more interested in the question of free will versus determinism, a question often included in general discussions of freedom). However, these general reference works, while useful, may not provide quite the depth you want. You may find it helpful to turn to a more specialized work tailored to providing information about subjects as they apply to social or political science.
The following are some useful specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias:
Gould, Julius, and William Kolb, eds. A Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1964.
Greenberg, Milton, and Jack C. Plano, eds. The American Political Dictionary. l0th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1996.
Kuper, Adam, and Jessica Kuper, eds. The Social Science Encyclopedia. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Shafritz, Jay M. The HarperCollins Dictionary of American Government and Politics. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Stills, David L., ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 17 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1968.
0Using Your Knowledge0
10. Become familiar with specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries. Look up the terms equality, freedom, democracy, ideology, and pluralism in some of the works cited above. Compare the material covered in the different sources. Are all these terms included in every work?
20. Use your knowledge and resources to define freedom, order, and equality. Is there a common concept that can be used to define all these terms at once, or are they too different?
30. 0Visit the websites of groups that represent each of the four ideological types discussed in the chapter. At each site, see if you can find statements that illustrate the group’s viewpoint on freedom, order, and equality, the key values discussed in this chapter. How well does each group fit into the typology? You may try the websites listed here or at the end of the textbook chapter, or you may try to make your own list of ideologically oriented groups. For libertarians, try <http://www.lp.org>. For communitarians, try <http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps>.
0Sample Exam Questions
(Answers to multiple-choice questions are at the end of the chapter.)0
10. Approximately what percentage of people agree with the statement, “Politics and government seem so complicated that a person like me can’t understand what’s going on”?0
a0. 20 percent
b0. 40 percent
c0. 60 percent
d0. 80 percent
e0. 100 percent
20. “The legitimate use of force to control human behavior within specified geographic boundaries” is a definition of0
30. Why did the United States wait so long to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty?0
a0. feared it would undermine our sovereignty by delegating authority to an International Seabed Authority
b0. feared it would be too detrimental to the U.S. economy
c0. feared the United States would lose control of its moral authority in the regions
d0. feared the United States could not fulfill the environmental antipollution requirements for the region
e0. feared the United States would not have enough time to properly maintain its responsibilities
40. Which of the following is not one of the four indicators used to rank a country’s globalization?0
a0. economic integration
b0. technological connectivity
c0. political engagement
d0. leadership coefficient
e0. None of the above; all are indicators of globalization.
50. Which political philosopher first defined the doctrine of liberalism, which linked the defense of property rights to the safeguards of individual liberties?0
a0. Thomas Hobbes
b0. Thomas Jefferson
c0. John Locke
d0. Karl Marx
e0. James Monroe
60. The modern dilemma of government can be seen in0
a0. Oregon’s approach to assisted suicide.
b0. Michigan’s approach to assisted suicide.
c0. employment provisions of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
d0. decisions leading up to the war in Iraq.
e0. decisions to ban smoking in public buildings.
70. Faced with the paradox of poverty and plenty in their nation, many European nations expanded the role of government to provide medical care, education, and income for a lifetime. What is this lifetime of government benefits called? 0
a0. from birth to burial
b0. from toddler to dodder
c0. from young to old
d0. from spring to winter
e0. from cradle to grave
80. What term do we use to describe the benefits and services available to all, such as education, sanitation, roads, bridges, etc.?0
a0. global equity
b0. community services
c0. liberal ideals
d0. public goods
e0. national equity
90. Who was the first woman to receive the honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda?0
a0. Rosa Parks
b0. Barbara Jordan
c0. Dolly Madison
d0. Eleanor Roosevelt
e0. Susan B. Anthony
100. Which of the following is not one of the four freedoms Franklin Roosevelt described and fought for during his terms in office?0
210. What do we call a consistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government?0
a0. political ideology
b0. political equality
e0. equality of opportunity
220. Which of the following would be an accurate description of today’s liberals?0
a0. They oppose government in all its forms.
b0. They are strong adherents of government who believe government’s power should unlimited.
c0. They believe in free enterprise without government interference.
d0. They promote equality of outcome while preserving order.
e0. They see a positive role for government in helping the disadvantaged.
230. Among the major purposes of government, the newest to be added to the list is0
a0. promoting equality.
b0. maintaining order.
c0. restricting equality.
d0. providing public goods.
e0. protecting private property.
240. Which of the following is a case of government regulation of social behavior to enforce equality?0
a0. a state law prohibiting assisted suicide
b0. a state law permitting assisted suicide
c0. a federal law outlawing pornographic material on the Internet
d0. a court decision permitting homosexuals to serve on a local police force
e0. a court decision forbidding homosexuals to serve on a local police force
250. Conservatives would be mostlikely to support which of the following?0
a0. a government-sponsored program to combat poverty
b0. a Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign to lower the drinking age
c0. reregulation of the airlines
d0. a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning
e0. affirmative action
10. On a number of college campuses, fraternities and sororities are not permitted to serve alcohol at parties they host. Which of the values discussed in the chapter (freedom, order, or equality) would you say are involved in these conflicts? How are they involved? How do the values you have mentioned come into conflict with each other?
20. Why is the United States less globalized than other nations? What could we do to increase our globalization?
30. Explain the key differences between liberals and conservatives in modern U.S. politics.
40. According to the text, the newest major purpose of government is to promote equality. Explain the various meanings of the term equality. What aspects of this new purpose of government are controversial in the United States? Why?
50. How has globalization affected domestic political choices in the United States? Are international organization and conventions eroding U.S. national sovereignty?