cooperative individualism - lesson 3 - left-right paradigm - narrated

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This lesson explores the conflict over ideology and power between those who held power in the 19th century and those who sought reforms or to overthrow societal hierarchy.

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Cooperative Individualism: The Third Way to the Just Society LESSON 3 Evolving Left-Right Paradigms

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Peter F. Drucker

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“Far from being a revolt against the old tyranny of feudalism, the American Revolution was a conservative counterrevolution in the name of freedom against the new tyranny of rationalist liberalism and Enlightened Despotism. …[T]he American Revolution succeeded in building not only a functioning, but a free, society.”

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“[T]he American Revolution … defeated the rationalist liberals and their pupils, the Enlightened Despots, who had seemingly been irresistible and within an inch of complete and final victory. …[It] brought victory and power to a group which in Europe had been almost completely defeated and which was apparently dying out rapidly: the anticentralist, antitotalitarian conservatives with their hostility to absolute and centralized government and their distrust of any ruler claiming perfection.”

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“True, there were no serfs in England as there were on the Continent. But there was an army of dispossessed: victims of the Enclosures, victims of early industrialization, victims of rack-renting and of urban poverty. No where on the Continent was there anything comparable to the misery and squalor of the London slums with their Gin Alleys, or to the horror of child labor in Manchester.”

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William Pitt (the Younger)

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William Cobbett

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Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours -- Delaware estate

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Thomas Jefferson

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“When this government was first established, it was possible to have set it going on two principles, but the contracted-English half-lettered ideas of Hamilton destroyed that hope in the bud. We can pay off his debt in fifteen years but we can never get rid of his financial system. It mortifies me to be strengthened by principles which I deem radically vicious, but this vice is entailed on us by a just error. …”

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“In other parts of our government I hope we shall be able by degrees to introduce sound principles and make them habitual. What is practicable must often control what is pure theory, and the habits of the governed determine in a great degree what is practicable. Hence the same original principles, modified in practice according to the different habits of different nations, present governments of very different aspects. …”

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“The same principles reduced to forms of practice accommodated to our habits, and put into forms accommodated to the habits of the French nation would present governments very unlike each other. …”

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“I have no doubt that a great man, thoroughly knowing the habits of France, might so accommodate to them the principles of free governments, as to enable them to live free. But in the hands of those who have not this coup d'oeil many unsuccessful experiments I fear are yet to be tried before they will settle down in freedom and tranquillity. I applaud therefore your determination to remain here, … and will, I doubt not, be happier here than they could have been in Europe, under any circumstances.”

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Robert Owen

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Pierre Joseph Proudhon

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“Far from utterly condemning property, he believed that possession of a house to live in, a plot of land to grow food on and the tools of his trade, were the minimum requirement for man’s liberty. What, on the other hand, no man had a shadow of right to was the accumulated capital which enabled him to exploit other men.”

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“[L]abor gives birth to private possession; the right in a thing -- jus in re . But in what thing? Evidently in the product , not in the soil . ... The inequality which results from the pretended right of the first occupant seems to them to be based on no principle of justice; and when all the land falls into the hands of a certain number of inhabitants, there results a monopoly in their favor against the rest of the nation, to which they do not wish to submit."

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Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte

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“Radical socialist reformers sought justice for the 'disinherited' classes, the peasants and the factory workers, while more moderate political reformers were concerned with protecting and increasing the influence of the middle classes, the bourgeoisie and the professional groups. The radicals in general favoured a republican form of government while many moderates were prepared to accept constitutional monarchy as a satisfactory substitute. ...”

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“Many of the revolutionaries, especially in the Germanies and Italy, wanted to transform their homeland into a strong and united country, but their aims contradicted the nationalist aspirations of minority groups.”

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“I have produced a lot of ideas, done some good, conscientious work: all thrown away. Mankind wants to be ruled; ruled it will be. I am ashamed of my species.”

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Ferdinand Lassalle

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Social Democratic Reichstag Caucus (1889) August Bebel

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END of Lesson Three

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