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Modern American History - Essay Example

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Modern American History

Thus, the advent of nuclear weapons has created profound difficulties to the very spirit of liberal democracy; and the tension between nuclear weapons secrecy and the values of liberal democracy is not new now. During the Cold War, the U.S. intelligence community had maintained maddening level of secrecy, especially on matters of defense and to question it was to run the risk of being accused of lack of patriotism, which became the defense mechanism of the McCarthy era. Is it any different now Can we anymore defend our human rights without appearing to be being "for" the terrorists
The answer lies somewhere else. Since Machiavelli, secrecy has been seen as a way of the Republic, which must exercise bureaucratic power by governing through such means that must not be concealed. Such intrigue is the first step towards attaining a stronghold into affairs that is free of public scrutiny and thus becomes rigid, canonical and powerful. The present state has become a panopticon who must gaze into the public and private affairs of its people with distinct "mistrust" and hence raise an air of constant alarm. Woodrow Wilson's Woodrow anti-secrecy assertion during the 1912-election campaign held the view that "Government ought to be all outside and no inside," he said, and "there ought to be no place where anything can be done that everybody does not know aboutcorruption thrives in secret places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety."1 However, what actually tilted the balance beam towards governmental secrecy were the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and the National Security Act of 1947 just during the Cold War era, which established this determined requirement for secrecy beyond the public's eye and beyond their acquiescence. Political theorist Robert Dahl observes this phenomenon of a sudden urge for nuclear secrecy and comments that such requirements are "a tragic paradox" since "these decisions have largely escaped the control of democratic process."2

Secrecy and its norms have largely become effectively dogmatic after September 11. The whole world has really changed forever but not for good. The government terms this as moral obligation to protect secret and balance it constantly against the public's right to access in a culture of openness. Thus is the question is not secrecy oppressive On the contrary, even in the face of such turbulence one can draw the example of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Rights of people, as per ECHR (European Convention of Human Rights) are put above the rights of states out of a realization, borne out of harsh reality, that states acted in self-interest to the detriment of humanity throughout history. From time immemorial, the concept of States always shares a sense of being threatened (especially superpowers like us Americans): a cause and effect relation of dominating and trying to offer resistance. It is generally believed that though there are peaceful and controlled environments existing within states, the international arena is anarchical and prone to uncontrollable violence. What these motifs do is put the focus of national security on the protection of one's territorial boundaries and sovereignty. Power comes to be measured through military capability, where everybody starts sharing a sense of being marginalized. The world begins to have an absurd dynamism and begins to operate on a zero-sum game in which, according to ...Show more

Summary

Guarded secrets by the modern government, who ideally should seek to be democratic in nature, violate the first commandment of liberalism: right to information. With the heightened alert on terrorism, the government has come too close to violating all rules cherished by the Human Rights activists and believers…
Author : laila44
Modern American History essay example
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