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Liberty in the United States during the late 19th century - Essay Example

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Liberty in the United States during the late 19th century

Great philosophical liberal thinkers like John Locke fought for the rule of law, and that individuals had a basic right to life and liberty. Patriotism from a contemporary point of view makes citizens of a nation to neglect their self-worthiness, become irrelevant by their own acceptance and be compliant to governments and their country (Emma Goldman 145). The thesis of this paper therefore is that American patriotism has downplayed the American liberty, abandoning principles and beliefs on which the country had been founded in the 19th century.
Patriotism; a great menace to liberty. Several theories and arguments have been advanced by various scholars to unravel patriotism, “…….it is more like superstition, one not quite far from inhuman acts and brutal.” Leo Tolstoy defines patriotism “…..as principle that tends to justify the making of a whole nation of murderers.” In justifying these statements, Goldman (1917) argues that patriotism is a created artificial force that is maintained through host of lies; it is a system that tends to rob citizens of their dignity while promoting their level of ignorance. This is a complete opposite of what the revolutionary liberty. (Emma Goldman)
Law, Denial to liberty. As a formal court proceeding put it in 1927, “……Law performs all that is required when it can do all that it can…..”(Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200). This was by then the classical argument advanced in the Supreme Court in Virginia at a determination case when a court order was given for the operation concerning salpingectomy. Giving such a ruling, the court emphasized that it was potentially probable that the offspring would have been afflicted and thus a case detrimental to her own health and that of general society, thus sterilization considered as an option. This is a case of law being applied to determine the lives of individuals, perhaps one would ask if liberty holds the same principles for people.
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Summary

Liberty from a contemporary point of view can be defined as feeling of equal rights and as such, liberals advance philosophical arguments as democracy, human rights, freedom to choice to religion, capitalism, and constitutionalism. Liberalism become evident around 18th Century…
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