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The Two Faces of American Freedom: A Reply Essay Sample

The Two Faces of American Freedom: A Reply Pages
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1) Authors main arguments
The author Aziz Rana pose different key arguments in this article, however the arguments are split up to the three main concerns brought up by commentators on her book titled The Two Faces of American freedom. The three main concern or challenges that arose from the book is firstly the worry about historical persuasiveness and completeness. In simpler terms the idea that her historical information was rather bias and uncompleted. Secondly was the concern that her interpretation of the new deal loses the nuance of her preceding discussions and presents a too one-sided critique of the modern administrative state. In other word that her interpretation of things seems to be once again one sided and apparently should be stopped. Finally was the question of where her account leaves the possibility for agency and transformative change in contemporary politics. In each of this concerns she poses an argument for example in the concern of historical interpretation, she argues that just as faith has played a profound role in the American political identity, so did millennialism during the colonial period.

It helped to generate and maintain a radicalized account of republican freedom in North America, which combined political, economic and spiritual independence. The second argument can be found in the second concern which is the state of the ambivalent legacy of the new deal. She argues that such a dependence in the legacy of new deal constitutionalism simple reinforces how in each era, modes of liberty and hierarchy are connected albeit in different configurations and similarly, how in each era social improvement requires unshackling the two. Lastly is the concern of political agency then and now. She brings up another point, she argues that today given the retreat of the civil rights and labor movements, the communities whose interests are most consistent with both a critique of American practices abroad and economic hierarchies at home are new immigrants. She says Ezukuse 2 these groups come from parts of the world long deemed ethnically “unfit” for U.S. membership, and face circumstances that tie together legal discrimination, economic dependence, and harsh face of American power. 2) Evidence supporting arguments

Firstly one of the evidence to support the argument made with the first concern is that of the settlers. Settlers in Massachusetts and elsewhere, “by claiming land and harnessing raw nature to serve human industry…paved the way for the millennium and displayed their own religious fervor. In other words, ideas of productive labor and liberty became inextricably intertwined with practices of worship”. Faith was ideologically important in justifying both territorial expansion and the emphases on the centrality for republican freedom. Evidence found backing up this argument is in the capacity of protestant millennial ideal- The belief that God would one day rule on earth and create a permanent time of peace so as to remain a constant theme of moral life, after both the retreat of puritan ideas and even the fall of settler’s framework.

The evidence supporting the second argument is the facts that individuals such as Thomas Skidmore and Thadeus Stevens all envisioned an alternative identity for the country, which would revise dramatically the uses of external power and thus create a new, universal, and non-imperial American policy. In other words, the new deal expresses the possibility that the state could become a central instrument of collective action, alleviating the burden of necessity and creating the conditions for wide-spread economic independence. Lastly the evidence found backing up the third argument would be that of Tom Watson who had difficulty maintaining a commitment to interracial solidarity, and in the context of political defeat, fell back on old settler assumptions.

Ezukuse 3
3) Socio-legal method
The socio-legal method used in this article is that of narratology, which means the branch of knowledge or criticism that deals with the structure and function of narrative and its themes, conventions, and symbols. In simpler term its basically who is telling the story? And from what perspective is the person coming from. We are able to this effective through =out the entire article as she interprets historical events to what they mean to her. For example she applies narratology in the statement about the United states according to her “ the idea of the united states as a standing crossroad” also “ that farmers and townspeople came to see government authority, as employed by commercial and political elites as a threat to what remained of the popular autonomy”. She had readers complain about this one of the reason being the way she interprets her things because to them they seem a bit bias and incomplete. Also the fact that she is able to manipulate her way around historical events, she is able to take them and twist history in a conniving manner that suits her point. 4) Its relationship to law and society

First of the question is what is law and society? One of the defining characteristics of socio-legal studies is to locate law in context. While the nature and extent of that context varies, and such variation itself generates debate about the preferred direction of socio-legal studies (Lacey, 1998; Hillyard, 2002; Erlanger, 2005), this concern with context has often admitted a range of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law. Now in the terms of socio-legal studies could relate to the article the answer is quite simple. What Aziz Rana has done in this article is to simply put her understanding of the law and historical events that may have occurred and Ezukuse 4 compared it to the reaction of the settlers of the society at that particular point in time. In simpler terms what she has done is to go back to past historical events and write down the laws and the effects they had on people trying to settle down in America, in the process of using this she is able to also relate it to our modern society and how only some elite few make and control the laws. For example she says “that justice give legal imprimatur to a political consensus that emerged in settler life”. This demonstrates how the law run the society and what our idea as justice is in our modern society.

In conclusion Aziz Rana is able to defend her opinion on the three concerns brought up which was firstly the worry about historical persuasiveness and completeness. In simpler terms the idea that her historical information was rather bias and uncompleted. Secondly was the concern that her interpretation of the new deal loses the nuance of her preceding discussions and presents a too one-sided critique of the modern administrative state. In other word that her interpretation of things seems to be once again one sided and apparently should be stopped. Finally was the question of where her account leaves the possibility for agency and transformative change in contemporary politics. Therefore in answering this concerns with the arguments brought up by her she is able to redeem herself of the critiques.

Works Cited

“Definition of narratology.” Oxford Dictionaries Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/narratology>. “Oxford Law :: Socio-legal Studies.” Faculty of Law : Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/theme/socio>.

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