John Stuart Smith, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith and John Locke are some of the early philosophers who advanced several ideas that apply to the current American system. If the contemporary social and political activists in the U.S got their hands on the writings of these philosophies, they could use some of them to justify their actions. Their philosophies form the foundations of the socio-political and economic situations in the current world. This paper explains various arguments of these Dutch revolutionaries which can apply to the contemporary social and political activities in United States of America.
Analysis of the philosophies in American context
In his book, the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith shed light on how the society can create wealth in the context of their environment. The concepts provided by Adam Smith apply to the free market system in the United States. The free market system available in the current American environment provides a quick flow of information that provides an avenue for wealth creation (Smith 700). According to Smith, the natural resources provide the needed materials for wealth creation. In the current American environment, there are several natural resources that can be used for wealth creation purposes. However, Adam Smith argues that the availability of the natural resources alone cannot make the country rich. The natural resources alone cannot provide wealth for a country in their static form, and they must be harnessed for human use. Therefore, Smith argues that trade is responsible for wealth creation. The Obama administration and the local authorities should encourage more trade between states and countries to encourage more wealth creation in the concept advanced by Adam Smith. The Obama administration needs to create a healthy atmosphere for voluntary buying and selling of goods and services so that both sides involved in the trade can benefit. As long as the government has provided the free market system, the invisible hand will automatically tune the people to operate in a manner that benefits their wants and needs. The invisible hand of the free market will ensure that the customers get their best since the businesses will tend to produce high-quality goods and services in their attempts to satisfy the unique needs of their customers. Therefore, the Obama administration should continue to support free market system in the year 2016 as part of their attempts to provide quality goods and services for the American citizens. Within the free market system, the Americans will be in the position of using their natural resources and skills in the manner that supports their overall economy. According to Smith, the free market allows people to choose whatever suits their lifestyle and ensure that the resources and talents are used maximally.
In his book, Smith reiterates that the government plays an important role in developing its economy to the benefit of its citizens. Through its bureaucratic channels, the government can control the millions of the free players in the free market to the benefit of its economy. Since the government allows the people to make their decisions on the matters of trade, the decision-making process is faster to the benefit of the American citizens. In such a case, the role of the government is limited to providing the enabling environment for people to use their skills and carry out a trade. Smith is on the view that too much power on the government may derail the economic activities and the decision-making process. Therefore, the American government should borrow from Smith by providing the legal framework and the necessary infrastructure and then allow the people to make their decisions on matters related to trade. By doing this, the American government would protect the businesses from exploitation and provide the enabling environment for businesses to exist. Such would enable the businesses to run their operations smoothly and make maximum profits with minimal destruction.
The story of the Dutch revolt provides the human attempts to secure religious freedom for each and every citizen. It illustrates the struggles for liberties and privileges about religious beliefs of a diverse population. Given its diverse size and racial mixture, the current America needs to borrow from the Dutch revolt to safeguard the religious rights and freedoms. To unite the different race and religious beliefs, the Obama administration and the local authorities needs to advocate for the religious freedom to unify everyone in America (Martin 123). Since the American constitution is founded on liberty, any form of religious oppression should be avoided at all costs. From the Dutch revolt, it is evident that lack of religious freedom could instigate religious conflicts as witnessed in France. For the Americans to live in harmony, people should be free to exercise their divergent religious beliefs. The unity of the diverse religious beliefs also helps in the stabilization of the current state of governance due to fewer conflicts. From the Dutch conflicts, it is evident that the religious conflicts are a threat to civic unity, public order, and the liberty of the citizens. Therefore, the American administration should advocate and protect the religious privileges and freedoms by forming good constitutional framework. Currently, the American should continue to support their constitutional framework that there is no state religion. This would allow everyone to excise their religious faiths in accordance to their beliefs and values. In this response, peace and liberty will prevail within the American borders in the year 2016 and beyond.
John Locke argues that political power like that of a magistrate could be compared to that of a father over his children. He also compared it to the powers of a person over his servant as well as that of a husband over his wife. Locke explained political power as the right of mankind laws with the penalties of death whenever the right thing is not installed in place. He also explained that political power entailed the use of force in making sure that the community executes the set rules and laws of their country (Locke 105). All these different relations that John Locke explained concerning power have been used as good examples to distinguish powers one from another in the current 2016 United States. The ideas advanced by Locke is applicable in the United States in that the country needs to be headed by one person (the president), who acts as the overall head of the affair of the country.
Locke argues that state of nature encouraged equality of all the human being in a certain locality. In such a situation, no one is greater than the other whereby this becomes an obligation to mutual love amongst men to do all that is required of them. Currently, the American nation acts as the epitome of equality by upholding the human rights and freedoms. In the current American state, everyone is respected regardless of their religion, race, gender or background (Locke 114).
On the other hand, John Stuart Mill also advances the philosophy of liberty of thought and discussion. John Stuart Mill argues of liberty of thought and discussion is evident in permitting a legislature or an executive and not regarding prescribing opinions to people. The United States government is at one with the people and no power of coercion that can be exerted unless the government is in agreement with its subjects. Being in the agreement is very crucial and makes government activities to be conducted in a rightful manner. Among the countries in the world, the United States tend to uphold the philosophy of John Stuart Mill by advancing the freedom of thought and communication across the country (Mill 18). There are very many communication channels that have been given the freedom to distribute information accordingly.
Similarly, John Stuart Mill also advances the philosophy of individuality as an element of well-being. Mill argues that humans ought to be free to the making of opinions and express them with no any form of reserve whatsoever. He explains that the opinion of oneself counts a lot and is key in bringing better changes in governance. The human being ought not to use their liberty in making himself the nuisance to other people around. The Obama administration of 2016 has encouraged the element of well-being and individuality to all the United States citizens. The circumstances under which opinions are also given matter a lot as some mischievous act accompanying the opinion given might render the opinion useless no matter how good it was (Mill 52).
Edmund Burke is also another philosopher who is known for advancing the philosophy of constitution society. Burke argues that a person has the honour to belong to more than one club where the constitution of such a kingdom together with the desired principles is held to higher positions. The person has the obligation of upholding the country’ constitution to utmost purity and vigour to ensure that he does no offense which can make him be in conflict with the law. In 2016, the Obamas administration believes that the persons who cultivate the memory of the United States revolution together with those who are attached to the constitution of the country will be bound to take good care of the American Constitutionalism (Burke 42).
On the other hand, Edmund Burke explains liberty to be the ability of a person not praising or even blaming anything that relates to human concerns as well as human actions. Liberty is related to all nakedness together with what is termed as the solitude of metaphysical abstractions. Liberty ensures that it gives reality to every political principle of a given country through distinguishing colour and all discrimination effect, which are evident in the country. These liberal actions render any political scheme of a country to either be noxious or even beneficial to humanity (Burke 45). The Obama administration in the United States in current 2016 is very liberal and encourages the liberty spirit as held in the American constitution.
Burke also talks on humbleness and lowly petition which are used by any devoted leader to ensure that pestilence is kept off accordingly. Any good that tat came from the past devoted leaders ought to be emulated in making all activities work as required. Obama administration in the United States is devoted to doing what is right for humankind. This act can be linked to Burke’s philosophy that a leader needs to be humble and respect the constitution at all times. Obama Administration in the United States is working to ensure that all the greedy actions are well dealt with to encourage a smoother working and attainment of better results (Burke 72). His administration is more determined in making sure that the privileges of the United States are not destroyed in anyway neither any oppression of liberty takes place.
In conclusion, the values of the notable authors such as John Locke, Adam Smith, and Edmund Burke can also be seen in the context of the current society or the history of the United States. The values instilled in the American constitution bring remarkable ideas and values on democracies that are still being observed to date. The values envisaged in the American constitution advocate for democratic values of liberty, equality, and justice. Such values support the long-held notion that the orderly society can be achieved by preserving the peace of the individuals living in such society. These philosophies give one person the authority to rule over the other persons in a free and fair manner through the establishment of an order. In the current American society, there is the establishment of the rule of law and governance by the majority will. The current Obama administration exists due to democratic elections held about four years ago. The Obama administration exists as a result of the majority rule and the general will by the Americans to be governed.
John Locke. Two Treatises of Government. Rod Hay for the McMaster University Archive of the History of EconomicThought.1823
John Stuart Mill. On Liberty. Batoche Books. 1859
Martin Van Gelderen. The Dutch revolt. A defence and True declarations. Cambridge University Press. 2002
Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations (Bantam Classics). William Strahan, Thomas Cadell. 1776
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