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Jacksonian Democracy

.. 8/6/98 Essay 5 Equality in Democracy The United States of America was founded by its people, for its people in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, by attempting to provide freedom and equality. The way of life back when the government set down its foundation was quite different than it is now. Some things were just considered natural law and were left out of law making and the Constitution because they were morally accepted as right and wrong. For instance, I highly doubt that the government would have allowed Nazi party privileges to exist under freedom of speech.

The idea of My rights end where yours begin states that an individual has freedom until the freedom interferes with the rights given to another. To create and maintain a quality form of government, one where privileges are not abused and equality is taken seriously, we must decide how large a role we want the government to play in the maintaining of morals and natural law. The use of all nine roles of government is needed to maximize the quality of democracy because it promotes the equality of each individual. (Godwin&Wahlke 15-30) The four minimal roles of the government (protection and order, collective goods and dilemmas, negative externalities and rights and duties) are generally accepted as a basis of what a government should provide its people. The government must protect the safety of its people and protect itself from internal revolutions and external invasions. Also, it attempts to improve the general welfare of its people by resolving collective dilemmas, minimizing negative externalities and providing collective goods wherever possible.

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To do this, the government must specify and enforce the rights and duties of its people. The four roles are obviously needed for control and order within a society and prove to be beneficial to everyone. (Godwin&Wahlke 23) From there, the government should apply the five additional roles of government. The five roles are: social justice, economic intervention in the economy, government as a moral force and political socialization. The application of these roles is necessary to the quality of democracy because they attempt to increase social justice, improve economic efficiency, encourage morality and socialize citizens to accept obligations appropriate to their roles in the existing society.(Godwin&Wahlke 23) By attempting to accomplish these goals, things like discrimination, public opinion and self-interest are discouraged by the promotion of a common morality. Government as a moral force, in a way, works with social justice in that it sets the foundation of which social justice attempts to achieve.

Standards, set by the people and implied by the government, should promote and be built around natural law. Locke’s theory of natural law produces natural rights,” providing the right to life, liberty, property, and equality before the law. (Godwin 48) These rights encourage an equal chance in life for freedom and property/wealth. To protect society and individuals from discrimination by preserving equal rights, social justice attempts to provide an enjoyable life and an opportunity for equality, whether it be social or economic. This role of the government is needed to provide a gateway for the less fortunate and struggling people of America to have an equal chance of success and happiness in life.

In contrast to the Gospel of Wealth which William Henley states, I am the master of my own fate; I am the captain of my own soul, (Bizzell 415) Rawls believes that Institutions should be created to keep people from falling below a minimal threshold of well-being. No one should be so disadvantaged that they cannot maintain their self-respect and defend their interests against people of much greater wealth or power. (Godwin 63-64) Social justice is essential to the quality of democracy because, without it, society would allow selfishness, public opinion, and personal interest to rule, condemning the less fortunate to their status and not honoring their rights to and equal chance of life, liberty, and happiness. Through the ideals stated in social justice, economic efficiency attempts to provide positive goods or services to all of society at minimal cost. The basic idea behind it is to put as little effort or money into something that provides the greatest amount of goods possible. As an example, the public school system, paid by the taxes of the public, provides an education for anyone in the community for free. The public pays little individually to provide anyone an opportunity for an education.

This role of government is needed to provide beneficial and efficient services to the public and to further social justice. In short, economic efficiency is needed to organize and provide services that are beneficial to all of society. Government Intervention in the Economy is another additional role beyond the four minimal roles of the government. This role allows the government to intervene in economic issues, promote social justice and maintain its moral beliefs of economic justice. Things such as minimum wage and right to strike are topics of government intervention.

In earlier years, the government allowed companies and industry to severely abuse and exploit the workers. As Elizabeth Phelps describes in The Silent Partner, working conditions in the late 1800’s were beyond exploitation. The wages were literally close to impossible to provide for a family and survive on, and the conditions were in most cases slowly killing the workers. (Bizzell&Herzberg 590) Today, because of economic intervention, the work force has the right to strike, and rightfully so, allowing them to have some leverage to fight with, thus giving them power to stand up for their needs, wants and demands. This is, in a way, the executive branch of the five additional roles of government. It is a must in order to preserve and apply the morals set forth in social justice and to provide economic efficiencies within a society.

To create a perfect democracy, absolute participation is needed. This is not a realistic goal, but through political socialization, the government attempts gain the favor of the people in hopes that they will be more likely to participate. The government wants and needs to be popular among its people in order to make day-by-day steps in improving the quality of democracy. In America today, Republican protesters are ripping the nine roles of government down. They want as little as possible of government intervention to be allowed into their lives.

The application of the nine roles is being repressed everyday by the argument that they limit personal freedom. Too much of a good thing can be bad; there obviously needs to be set limitations to the rights provided by the government. The government does limit freedom to a point, but it is only done in the interest of the people by attempting to maintain the greatest form of democracy known to the world today. The application of the nine roles of the government needs to be conserved for the benefit of democracy in America. The quality of the democracy is dependent on the moral foundations created by the people and accepted by the government.

From there, the foundation of Social Justices is determined, and the basis of providing economic efficiencies can be established. With an understanding of the society’s set beliefs, government intervention carries out and applies its views. The highest quality democracy allows the greatest happiness for the greatest amount of people. By effectively applying all nine roles of government within society, the quality of democracy will have an opportunity to reach its zenith. Politics Essays.


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