Words of Wisdom:

"The pain you feel is nothing compared to the pain of giving up." - Ldpende

A Comparative Essay

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 05:29 AM
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After reading America’s Constitutional Soul, by Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., and The True and Only Heaven, by Christopher Lasch, I came to the realization that while they have varying ideas on many topics, they have similar conservative views regarding citizenship and civil rights.

Specifically, Mansfield discusses his belief that people are best served through a

representative government and does not believe that all citizens should be allowed to rule directly (Mansfield 141).   In this regard, Mansfield contends that people, in general, tend to be irrational and rely too much on feelings as opposed to reasoned conclusions (Mansfield 29-30).   Therefore, if a true

form of participatory democracy were practiced where all citizens have the right to actively

participate in the decision-making processes, Mansfield believes that our society would not benefit.   Mansfield, in maintaining his views that citizens are easily swayed by their feelings instead of by intellectual reasoning, believes that professional, special interest groups that are savvy enough to capitalize on this human weakness, would sway the votes of the majority and earn themselves a majority vote.   To combat this problem, Mansfield believes (as did our Founding Fathers when they

created the Electoral College), that a   representative form of democracy is the more viable form of government which will better suit our society by assuring that rational, unselfish decisions will be made which will ultimately be needed for the progression of our free and democratic society

(Mansfield 29-30).

Furthermore, in continuing with our discussion of citizenship, I believe that Mansfield believes that through the use of formal, government institutions, citizens are able to rise above self-interest.   He points to the fact that our United States   institution is an institution of formalized

behavior.   This document requires that...


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