Political Science 5 – Western Political Thought - Power Point #7
Western Political Thought Dr. John Paul Tabakian Political Science 5 Fall 2012 – Power Point #7
Course Lecture: Week #7Today’s Lecture Covers The Following:• Meridel Le Sueuer• Agee & Evans• Franklin Delano Roosevelt• Post World War II America• Betty Friedan• William Whyte• J.C. Holmes
MERIDEL LE SUEUERMeridel Le Sueur was the daughter of socialist feminist parents,Marion Wharton and Alfred Le Sueur. She was raised in theMidwestern U.S. surrounded by radical farmers, populists and theIWW. Wanting to pursue her literary talents she moved to the EastCoast where lived with Emma Goldman and was friendly withliterary figures like John Reed and Edna St. Vincent Millay. LeSueuers first article was published in 1927. She continued to writewidely-acclaimed journalism and experimental fiction into her 90s.She incorporated political themes into her poetry and fictionalwritings as well as reportage on labor struggles, the plight ofIndians, farm and rural people, the poor during the Depression, andwomens issues. A member of the Communist Party, during theMcCarthy-era 1950s, she was blacklisted but wrote prolifically,stashing work in her home.
AGEE & EVANS – LET US NOW PRAISEFAMOUS MEN & WOMEN (1)•This book is a Depression-era classic of famous photographsand text that examines the live of the rural poor. Poverty in therural areas is as devastating as poverty in the city.•Sharecroppers are also known as “tenant farmers”. Oneshould be aware of the special conditions that result fromseasonal patterns of work and production in an agrarian(peasant) society; also, the workers’ dependency on analmost feudal economic system.
AGEE & EVANS – LET US NOW PRAISEFAMOUS MEN & WOMEN (2) Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations giving counsel by their understanding, andproclaiming prophecies;leaders of the people in their deliberations and in understanding of learning for the people, wise in their words of instruction; those who composed musical tunes, and set forth verses in writing; rich men furnished with resources, living peaceably in their habitations -- all these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.. The LORD apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, andwere men renowned for their power, There are some of them who have left a name, so that men declare their praise. And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived; they have become as though they had not beenborn, and so have their children after them. Ecclesiasticus 44:1-9
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT“THE FOUR FREEDOMS”• Before entering the War, FDR urged support for countries that had come under attack by the Axis military. Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed Americans to extend loans of “military supplies” to any country that was threatened by aggression and whose national defense could be interpreted as “vital to the defense of the United States.”• The “Four Freedoms” were part of the President’s annual address to Congress.• An expression of fundamental human and political rights, perhaps indicative of what would arise in the form of a United Nations document after the war. It is also indicative of an ongoing international movement that promotes an understanding of “universal” human rights.
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT“I HATE WAR SPEECH”On October 6, 1937 in Chicago, President FranklinDelano Roosevelt warns of a steadily-increasingdanger of armed conflict menacing the UnitedStates. Without naming any nation as responsible,the Chief Executive finds a threat in present attacksfrom the air on civilians, and ships attacked and sunkby submarines in time of peace and without cause ornotice. Gravely, the President asserts that if suchthings can happen in other parts of the world,America cannot feel secure for long. UniversalNewsreel presents the Presidents speech as ahistoric document, and gives with it a dramatic viewof incidents of aggression which called forth Mr.Roosevelts impassioned warning." scenes of paradeoutdoors, sound of FDR speaking outdoors undertent, silent scenes of war inserted into FDRsspeech, FDR says, “I Hate War”.
POST WORLD WAR II AMERICA (1)•America after the War was “victorious,” not only as a militarypower. It had come away from WW II with its economybolstered by war production, unlike its European allies whohad suffered destruction of their infrastructures.•An “American era” that reflected a certain degree ofchauvinism that had come with victory and infected theAmerican mentality; but America’s role and success in the waralso reflected the definite reality of the U.S. as having becomethe “preeminent military and economic power in the world”(T&S, 1376).•By 1955 the U.S. was producing half of the world’s goods.America had entered an era of prosperity.
POST WORLD WAR II AMERICA (2)•The “cold war” had begun immediately after the War withthe emergence of two great Communist powers: the SovietUnion and The Peoples Republic of China who wouldchallenge America’s hegemony as a world leader. Anideological battle ensued between the forces of democraticcapitalism and totalitarian communism. This led to a certain“cold war mentality” among Americans that led to the “witchhunts” of Joe McCarthy and the Un-American ActivitiesCommittee.•When General Eisenhower was elected to the presidency in1952, the nation returned to an era of conservativerepublicanism.
BETTY FRIEDAN – THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE DISCUSSION: What do you gather from Friedan’s conclusion? If I am right, the problem that has no name stirring in the minds of so many American women today is not a matter of loss of femininity or too much education, or the demands ofdomesticity. It is far more important than anyone recognizes. It is the key to these other new and old problems which have been torturing women and their husbands and children, and puzzling their doctors and educators for years. It may well be the key to our future as a nation and a culture. We can no longer ignore that voice within women that says: "I want something more than my husband and my children and my home."
W.H. WHYTE, JR. - THE ORGANIZATION MAN•“By the mid-1950s, white-collar (salaried) workers outnumbered blue-collar (hourly-wage) workers for the first time in American history” (T&S,1439). Before 1929: 31% vs. the 1950s: 60%.•This parallels the rise of large corporations that displaced or acquiredthrough mergers smaller enterprises. “The traditional notion of thehardworking, strong-minded individual advancing by dint of competitiveability and creative initiative gave way to the concept of a newmanagerial personality and an ethic of corporate cooperation andachievement (T&S, 1440).”•Whyte’s book examined the rise of the “organization man” as itcountered the old Protestant work ethic and the rugged individualism ofearlier American centuries (Turner’s “frontier thesis”). It was replaced bya groupthink type of individual who shunned individualism as tended toconform to the status quo. Refer also to De Toqueville.
J.C. HOLMES – NOTHING MORE TO DECLARE•The Beat Generation is the name given to a group of artists, writersand social bohemians who rebelled against the conformity of thepost-War years and chose to live an open and free existence thatwas anti-materialistic and which sought mystical enlightenment.•The Beats were part of a general rebellion at the time that was alsoreflected in other forms of rebellion in response to the alienation ofyouth.•In many respects they hark back to the Transcendentalists of the1830s in their attention to eastern mysticism and spirituality,individualism, romantic inclinations.•I’ve included by own review of a series of books about the Beatgeneration that offers its own perspective as the Beats continued toinfluence a new generation of 1960s youth.