Thomas Paine’s characterization of America in his book Rights of Man describes American society which is different from today. While he effectively captured the diversity of America, he failed to describe how diversity separates citizens rather than bringing unity between them all.
Ceaseless collectivism is not something that can be forced upon a community. Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem conveys this through the writings of Equality 7-2125, a man willing to stand up to the collectivism of the society he is confined to. Anthem not only shows how dull and lifeless a society can be with a lack of individuality in its people, but also reveals how one person can significantly impact a community. This novel displays the importance of individualism through Equality’s thoughts and actions. This includes when he reinvents electricity in the tunnel, falls in love with Liberty, and when he completely separates himself from society.
Thomas Paine’s characterization of America from his book, Rights of Man, does not completely hold true in today’s American society. His description of social class relationships as well as just government is currently not a reality for Americans. However, his description of diversity is something that we do have in America today.
America by far is the most diverse country on the face of the earth. America today is known for freedom, equality, democracy, and a defender against tyranny. The foundation of American values lay in a belief of independence, nationalism, capitalism, and religion. However, many conflicts have arisen over these values in the past. Capitalism and other characteristics have made America great, but they have brought about their own set of inequalities. Those inequalities have deep roots in race, culture, gender, and wealth. In the 1800s two of the biggest conflict lies with the issue of slavery and women’s rights.
As a US Citizen we conform to regulate and maintain the foundation that connects us as a whole. The whole is made up of multiple people who share the same values, and is necessary in a long term successfully running society like the USA. But in times of change, we must stand out as individuals and refrain from the collective unit in order to redirect the long-term path of society. Time and time again displayed throughout history, men and women have departed from the collective whole in order to change their surroundings. Often it’s these type of individuals, such as Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, and Bill Gates; who revolutionize the world they live in.
When we think about American culture today, we usually think about the 4th of July, barbecuing, Donald Trump and football.We have centered our culture around ourselves and have not given much thought about the good of our country like our founders did when they wanted to avoid a tyrannical leader. In United States history, we have changed our culture due to given circumstances and becoming the “World’s Leading Power”, that we did not have to face the struggles that the colonists had to go through. Those struggles in the 1700’s had shaped American cultures and what they valued.
In today’s society, the variation of social, cultural, political, and economic life mirrors our Founding Fathers dreams. Since then, America has learned to adjust and accept every citizen's differences with the help of The Bill of Rights, US Constitution, Northwest Ordinance, and the Declaration of Independence. As these documents represent the development of America then, books like the Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore reflect the variations of social, cultural, political, and economic life today. Over time, the definition of being an American has evolved and molded with society to make what the United States citizens know now.
In Charles Murray’s journals he examines the changing American landscape and how it evolves from 1960 to 2010. He looks at marriage, honesty, industriousness, religion, and crime. The first journal to examines is titled “Belmont and Fishtown— On diverging classes in the United States”. He begins the journal talking about American exceptionalism and many different qualities that make up Americans. American exceptionalism is the idea that americans are exceptional. More specifically it is the idea that the way of American life is exceptional when compared to others around the world. He describes Americans has a group of hard working people always striving for something better. He talks about American neighborliness. He talks about how generosity
Willa Cather's "Paul's Case," displays the conflict between conformity and individuality through the main character, Paul. On a number of occasions, Paul is forced to lie and steal to escape the conformists who wish to control him and stifle his unique imagination. However, his lying, stealing, and attempts to escape the conformists, only force Paul into isolation, depression, and feeling a sense of shame for his individuality. Throughout the story one might see Cather's constant contrast of individuality versus conformity, as well as Paul's lying and stealing. Cather seems to draw the conclusion that extreme individuals, much like Paul are simply misunderstood, and not offered the acceptance they desire
Philosophers Sigmund Freud and Eric Hobsbawm present two explanations of the origins of civilization in their books Civilization and its Discontent and Nations and Nationalism since 1780, respectively. In doing so, each philosopher establish a distinct, and somewhat similar, definition of civilization. According to Freud, “’civilization’ describes the whole sum of the achievements and the regulations which distinguish our lives from those of our animal ancestors.” (Freud, 63) There are distinct features of a civilization, such as beauty, the “encouragement of man’s higher mental activities – his intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements” (Freud, 69) and the social relations between men. While Freud refers to this union of a group
Community is built of two main elements. First, community requires communal caring. Members need to put themselves in positions where they are able to relate to other members and does everything “within reasonable limits of self-sacrifice” (65). The second is communal reciprocity. Individuals will serve other members of the community, not for exchange of goods, but to provide generosity and support. These elements of community appear in the lives of all individuals, even the most capitalist ones. Humans are entirely capable of these.
The famous philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” The world is full of people who are conformists as well as people who stand for themselves and follow their own values. Emerson explains that by being yourself you are already part of something great. However, the question still lingers: Which is the real cause of genuine happiness? There have been many claims argued by various sources, such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ursula Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk titled “Connected, but alone?”. All have come to a consensus
This essay will examine the rise of “modern America”, there were economic, religious, and aspect of life changes took place and it was greatly changed the Americans society’s perceptions, specifically, the north and the south. The rise of “modern America” was greatly motivated immigrants to come to the United States for economic opportunity, industrialization in the North after the civil war created new businesses and job regulations, and the demand for social changes; all of these factors shaped America socially, politically, and economically.
The question was whether this community of different individuals could be brought together as a unified and connected whole or whether they would deteriorate into a disruptive and chaotic mob. Ultimately, the pressing social problem was how to attach the individual back to the community without restraining personal liberties. In its early formative years, America struggled to solve this problem of effectively combining individual rights with the overall good of the democratic community.
A community is established when more than two people share the same values and through time this personal connection evolves into a fellowship governed by rituals, traditions, and a particular form of communication that when taken together makes a group of individuals whether living in a specific geographical area or connected by ideals so distinct that their distinguishing marks allow them to stand out from among the crowd. They do not just believe in something like an organization but they need each other to survive and thrive. A good example is the Old Order Amish Mennonite community wherein the community serves as source of identity, strength and provides the reason why they should sustain the community’s way of life.