THE NEW PAPER - Matthew O'Donnell American Political...

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Matthew O’Donnell American Political Thought Friday, November 30, 2007 Radicalism Traditionally in American Politics there are liberals and conservatives, but there is also a third label, radicals. These radicals are similar to liberals but advocate for complete political or economic reform. Liberals tend to not be as drastic; they usually are looking to change a current system. Conservatism is the philosophy of preserving current political beliefs and they tend to stick to tradition. These four political thinkers ought to have the label of radical: Eugene V Debs, Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Long, and Milton Friedman. These four speakers all outlined different types of government, or they outlined new ways for economically prosperity. Carmichael argued for equality in the United States by proposing a government that was by the people for the day-to-day intention. Debs argued for a socialist reform that would limit the growth of capitalism and benefit the workers. Long had a similar reform alike Debs, but thought that there should be a cap on wealth and anyone who made more than a couple million should be taxed so that the government could “spread the wealth.” Milton Friedman was not as radical as the others, but just explained that corporations should have social responsibilities. These radicals cannot be defined as liberal because they’re goal is reform, not change. They idea of reform is a key principle of radicalism. Radicalism is the idea of the present system is not working and that it must be completely changed for the good of the people. These writers were active during the revival of conservatism in American politics. Conservatism and Radicalism are polar opposites in theory so it would make sense that radicalism would be attacking the government during an era of conservatism. During this era the gap between the high and lower class grew, the wealth was being dispensed unequally. In a sense, the poor got poorer, and the rich got richer. Due to
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the time, I believe that Huey Long would be labeled as the most radical of the individuals. Radicalism is the idea of complete reform of a certain aspect of the government, economic or
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POLISCI 150 taught by Professor Deanrobinson during the Fall '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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THE NEW PAPER - Matthew O'Donnell American Political...

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