Sunday, April 14, 2013

Influences on Early American L

It is strange to consider Thomas Jeffersons writings when talk on traits of the Ameri rat. Jefferson never wrote directly on the topic of the command character of the Ameri chiffonier. It was he, who was more responsible for setting the parameters of a high family which would fulfill the ideals of what would become a part of the the Statesn character. He knew that liberty and equality could non exist in a hierarchical society. He also was aw ar that a society which was primarily production lie, bound together by mutuality on those who controlled the the financial resources would model to much power in the hands of a few. A society of farmers, he believed, could game a society based on individualism and not alineity. This view, select by early Americans, led to the view of the American being an individualist and not a conformist.

In parade to be considered a commonwealth the people micturate to be united through a series of common qualities and values. The nearly important of these is the quality of individualism. To be an individualist ties in each the other inherent qualities of being an American such(prenominal) as the right to create your own destiny. The opposite of this value is conformity, an essential trait of those under a hierarchical system such as a monarchy. Conformity is not only seen as a trait of the subservient scarcely also a destroyer of true democracy.

Individualism was a trait true(a) selected for by the in truth processes which led a certain grammatical case of soulfulness to come to America. The non-conformists were people who would not allow themselves to be goaded into directions the monarchs of the old world wanted them to follow. This type of person has to be and individualist because a conformist would just retain in the old world content to follow the chip in of others. The effect of settling a wilderness also was a contri stilling factor to the formation of this trait. Being isolated from others and around of the time totally dependent on yourself or the low band to which you belonged for all your needs is very(prenominal) conducive to get on development of individualism.

This individualism could only thrive in a society such as the one Jefferson conceived. As society develops and the populations become concentrated interdependency grows killing off the autonomous spirit. As society changed from an agrarian one to production oriented society, starting in the early 1800s, Americans became dependent on others for things which they no longer produced as a family unit. If you atomic number 18 working for somebody else and dependent on pay from them to buy things you cant or dont produce you have dis ordinationed your independence. Once independence is lost you become just a cog in the machinery of society.

Majority rule, which Jefferson espoused, was one of the great destroyers of this individualism. It is an lawsuit of American culture being shaped by the forces of democracy. plane though you might hark back rule by the absolute bulk is conducive to individualism it is not. Rule by the majority fosters dependence on others because of the tremendous pressure it puts on the minority to conform to mass ideals. Jefferson, a great believer in the individual spirit, actually sounded its death knell with his democratic ideals of rule by the majority.

It is in this that you find the greatest ambivalence in his writing. Jefferson include in his desirable traits two traits, which on the surface consider completely compatible, but in reality are not conducive to each other. Rule by the majority fosters interdependency between the majority and minority. The majority has more control on society then the most despotic monarch can have. Majority rule acts on society both physically and morally exerting tremendous pressure on the individual. A monarchy can only act physically to control and subjugate the individualist. Americans are forced to bow down not to the power of the monarchy but instead to the much greater power of a majority of his peers and is required morally to not only follow but to actively support their wishes. Jeffersons writing was wide-eyedly read and acted as a trigger in society. He put into motion the very forces which destroyed his ideal of individualism. The democracy in which he was instrumental in fostering destroyed the primary characteristic he sought to preserve. Individualism and rule by the majority, both included in his writings, were actually two fence forces, each working to subjugate the other. Democracy will not work in a nation of rugged individualists. The very foundation of democracy is built on cooperation among a wide variety of individuals.

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This is very conducive to the insane asylum of conformity and very antithetical to individualism.

There are forces at work right away that are far stronger then those at work in early America which forces and rewards conformity. While the American public sames to think of themselves as rugged individualists we are actually a nation of Baa Baas sheep following the ram of government. The idea that we are actually a nation of conformists is actually very incongruous to most individuals. As a society grows more interwoven it grows proportionally more interdependent. Unless we have a cataclysmic instance such as a meteor, nuclear war, or impingement of aliens we will continue on this road to conformity no matter what our original founders intended.

You can see this unintended equivocalness of Jeffersons in almost all of his political writing. nonetheless in the Declaration of Independence when he speaks of the unwarrantable legal power over us. by a monarch he does not realize that this will be replaced by the unwarrantable legal power of the masses also known as the majority. In his earn to John Adams, 10-28-18 13, the setting up of a system of schools is the concept of one of the strongest forces of conformity. If you have a system of nationwide like tending(p) schools you have created a method of bending a majority of minds in the same direction thence not only creating conformity but also insuring its continuance on a grand scale. Further he proposes further culture of those who conform to the schools ideals of a good student thus insuring the creation of a legion of future leaders and controllers who would be of the conformist ilk. His idea here of a creation of like minded wards would enable the state to act in mass, thus creating up to now further conformity across this land.

None of these ideas should be considered to be a slam against Jefferson, a man I have respected since youth. They are just the unintended creation of fence triggers in his writing. Being read by such a huge segment of the population in early America led to these triggers being inserted into the formation process of America and thus having a strong effect on the way our chip in culture evolved.

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