Essay On American Government

Decent Essays
American Government Essay
The ultimate goal of our constitutional order is not merely to produce democratic procedures but a democratic culture; a culture in which all citizens can participate and feel they have a stake, a culture in which unjust social privileges and status hierarchies have been disestablished. Democracy is more than a matter of fair legal process. It is a feature of social organization, of social structure. Democracy inheres not only in procedural mechanisms like universal suffrage but in cultural modes like dress, language, manners and behavior. Political egalitarianism must be nourished by cultural egalitarianism. A culture of democracy must include both legal rights and institutions as well as cultural predicates for the
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People must have a genuine chance to participate in all of the institutions of society that affect their lives; these institutions include not only governments but the market and the larger culture as well. The social movements that followed the American Revolution have always had this dual character, they have sought not only change in forms of state governance, but also changes in the structure of society. They understood the important connections between political freedom, social status and economic independence. When the Jacksonians protested special economic privileges for the wealthy, they identified this with "class legislation" that created a new class of economic nobility. The populists of the 1890's were deeply concerned with the concentration of economic power in private hands that occurred in the second half of the 19th century. The labor movement and the New Dealers understood that legal rules that preserved economic impoverishment and dependence were necessarily linked with lack of political and social status. The women's movement has always been concerned not only with equal legal rights for women, but with the economic status and social position of women in the workplace and in the family. The civil rights movement sought not only equal opportunity for blacks but also a dismantling of…show more content…
We must challenge all of the forms of status enforcing state action, not merely those that overtly preserve status hierarchy through direct classification. And we must resist all attempts by law to reproduce unjust status
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