The One Against the Many
Arthur M. Schlesinger. Jr.
Group discussion

  1. If you were given the topic “the one against the many”, what could/would you talk about ?
  2. In the text, what or who is the one and what or who is the many?
  3. Work out an outline of the text
Structure and organization

  1. (P
  1) opening: raising the issue ? the development of the United States
  2. (P2-
  6) factors of American rapid development
  1) the deep faith in education
  2) the commitment to self-government and representative institutions
  3) the national rejection of dogmatic preconceptions about the nature of the social and economic order.
  3. (P7-
  10) the definition of ideology. America is pragmatic (an example?the American Revolution)
  4. (P11-
  12) the distinct between ideals and ideology (an example: Thomas Jefferson) ideals: the long-run goals of a nation and the spirit in which these goals are pursued Ideology: more systematic, detailed, comprehensive, dogmatic

  5. (P13-
  14) What is wrong with faith in ideology? The ideologist confuses his own tidy models with the untidy reality.
  6. (P15-
  19) differences between the ideologist and pragmatist
  1) in view of history: ideologist ?the one -- a closed universe ? a single abstract system of interpretation pragmatist?the many ? an unfinished universe
  2) in approach to issue of public policy
  7. (P20-
  22) conclusion: summing up the conflict of our times the one: single the many: diverse ideologists free men
Period, epoch, era, age
Period is the general term for any portion of historical time Epoch and era are often used interchangeably, but in strict discrimination, epoch applies to the beginning of a new period marked by radical changes, new developments, etc. And era, to the entire period. E.g.: The steam engine marked a new epoch in transportation. / The 20th century was an era of war and revolution. Age is applied to a long period identified with some dominant personality or distinctive characteristic. E.g.: the Stone Age/ the Victorian Age
The first settlers
The first settlers generally referred to were the founders of Jamestown (Virginia) in 1607 and /or the 102 passengers who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 to plant the first colony at Plymouth in what is today southeastern Massachusetts.
Educational resources existed from the earliest days of the American colonies
The Harvard College was founded in 1636, William and Mary in 1693 and the Yale College in 17
  01. A public school system was set up in Massachusetts in 1647 so that Satan could not keep people “from knowledge of the Scripture”, “…the Puritan tradition involved a respect for learning which led to the establishment of schools and universities on a scale that surpassed England. The opportunities for learning thus created, and the pressures for widespread education that equalitarian values implied, led to a wide distribution of literacy.”
It arose originally form a philosophical rather than an economic commitment… (para.
Example: Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1816, “if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Education was seen as the means to enable the public to make “right choices” (those consistent with democratic values) and maintain stability within the republic.
Another factor in the process of American development has been the commitment to self-government and representative institutions. (para.
  5) Self-government is the principle that the people are the ultimate source of governing authority and that their general welfare is the only legitimate purpose of government. Recent policies in China such as “nothing is trivial when it concerns the interests of the people”, “to govern for the people”, and “to represent the greatest interest of the largest number of people” has the same spirit of selfgovernment Representative institutions: a system of government institutions that give citizens the opportunity to vote for representatives who will work on their behalf.
Cooperative activity, public as well as voluntary
Public cooperative activity is compulsory, presumably organized by the government. Voluntary activity is widespread in the U.S. Community service and community spirit is a case in point. Voluntary organizations
…has been the national rejection of dogmatic preconceptions about the nature of the social and economic order. (para.
As a nation, America has refused to cling to certain rigid principles concerning social and economic development. America has been adaptable and flexible. Americans, in general, are not dogmatic. They do not cling to theories. They believe experience and are not afraid of mistakes. Trials and errors are natural in experiments. “Practice is the ultimate test of truth.”
America has had the good fortune not to be an ideological society.
It is lucky that Americans are not keen on following a body of rigid ideas or theories in their social ,economic or political activities. But in American history, there have been times of aberration. McCarthyism is the example. However, this kind of aberration did not last long because it was incompatible with American concept of pragmatism. How about China?
Definition of ideology
Two elements: one is a group of doctrines (beliefs) which are precise and not flexible and which form a system; the other is the use of these doctrines to understand, preserve or transform the world.
Hedgehogs and foxes
.hedgehog: 豪猪, 刺猬, 难交朋友的人, 防卫森严 的阵地 The one big thing is when hedgehogs encounter danger, they will invariably curl themselves up into balls with the sharp spines sticking out as defense. This is the only way they know to protect themselves. The hedgehog is here being compared to the ideologist who only follows the dogma he believes in. Fox: the foxes do not stick to one way of protecting themselves. They use many different ways to deceive their chasers.
Calvinist theology
Calvin encouraged Christian self-consciousness. He believes in his mercy God has chosen to save a few people. To discover if one was among the few requires constant attention to one’s inner motivation and attentive reading of the Bible. Calvinism promoted literacy but also material success as means of indirectly conforming an individual’s salvation. Calvinism’s influence was greater in the most economically developed part of Europe and then in New England. Calvinism inspired people to seek profit and worldly success as a probable foretaste of God’s grace and eternal salvation. Work is no longer tied simply to material needs, but to spiritual uncertainties, a potentially limitless motivation. A mind influenced by Calvinist theology would certainly find it somewhat difficult to resist other ideological temptation.
verb FORMAL construe sth as sth to understand the meaning, especially of other people's actions and statements, in a particular way: Any change in plan would be construed as indecision. Construction. noun [C] I don't want them to put the wrong construction on my actions Why do you construe my silence as a sign of disapproval? You may construe the statement of the government spokesman in a number of different ways.
Our national faith has been not in propositions but in process. (para.
Americans believe in continuous development, in ways toward better life or better society rather than in fixed ultimate goals.
so to speak: this is one way to say it (= in other words)
Mary is, so to speak, a hardworking student.
The new procedures have been officially christened, so to speak.
A: Do you make a lot of money, so to speak (=in general)?
B: That's none of your business.
A: My friend is an actress, so to speak (= kind of).
我朋友好象是个女演员。 B: What does that mean? Does she act or...? 那是什么意思?她到底演不演还是怎么?
The skepticism about ideology has been a primary source of the social inventiveness which has marked so much of development. The most vital American social thought has been empirical, practical, pragmatic. ..innovation and experiment.
Flexibility: in economy policy, the US in the 20th century moved from laissez-faire to Keynesianism to supply-side economics. Innovation and experiment: The US has the largest number of Nobel Prize winners in science and economics. Between 1950 and 1990, there were 249 Nobel Prize winners in the world, of whom 138 were Americans. In the year 1994, 8 in the world were awarded Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Economics; 6 were Americans. America has been known as the world’s testing ground of many religious and social reform plans.
devoid: adj. completely lacking e.g. This is a novel devoid of wit and inventiveness.这是一部缺乏创意和情趣 的小说. A well devoid of water is useless.无水的 井没有用途。
The American Revolution was a pragmatic effort conducted in terms of certain general values. ….British ideals of civil freedom and representative government; …..(para.
The author mentioned the American Revolution to show that the colonists used the ideals expounded by the British as reasons for their fight for independence. The origin of the ideas embodied in the Declaration of Independence can be traced to the two Treatises on Civil Government published by British political philosopher John Locke in 16
John Locke’s civil government
The Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society. Locke begins by describing the state of nature, a picture much more stable than Thomas Hobbes' state of "war of every man against every man," and argues that all men are created equal in the state of nature by God. From this, he goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, in the process explaining that the only legitimate governments are those which have the consent of the people. Thus, any government that rules without the consent of the people can, in theory, be overthrown.
Declaration of independence
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
verb [I or T] FORMAL to give a detailed explanation of something: He's always expounding on what's wrong with the world. She uses her newspaper column to expound her views on environmental issues. 详述(理论), 陈述; 为...辩护[解释] 解释(圣典)
adjective A fertile mind or imagination is active and produces a lot of interesting and unusual ideas.
As an ideologist, however, Jefferson is today remote a figure not of present concern but of historical curiosity. (para.
As a man following a fixed set of beliefs, he is only an interesting historical figure. His beliefs are out of date and irrelevant to present-day reality.
noun [C] 不动产的永久业权,所有权legal ownership and control of a building or piece of land for an unlimited time: Who owns the freehold of/on the property? adjective Are those flats freehold or leasehold? Leasehold: the legal right to live in or use a building, piece of land, etc. for an agreed period of time: 按契约而持有业权;租赁土地 His family held the leasehold/had the property on leasehold.

  7. basis; base;
Basis: foundation, fundamental part (used figuratively) Base: foundation, fundamental part (used literally) e.g. We camped at the base of the mountain.
我们在山脚下扎营。 我们在山脚下扎营。
Our company's base is in New York , but we have extended many branches all around the world.
我们公司的总部设在纽约,但是分公司遍及全世界。 你的意见的根据是什么? 你的意见的根据是什么?
What's the basis of your opinion?
We are willing to develop economic relations with all countries on the basis of mutual benefits.
我们愿意在互利互惠的原则下同各国发展经济关系。 我们愿意在互利互惠的原则下同各国发展经济关系。
According to the author, Jefferson held that agriculture should be the basis of the United States and farmers constituted the best citizens of a democratic state. He opposed the development of commerce and industry, the establishment of national bank, urbanization and a strong, federal government.
This was Jefferson’s ideology, and had the United States responded to it, we would be today a feeble and impotent nation. By responding to his ideas…become a strong modern state. (para.
According to Jefferson’s ideology, he was opposed to industrialization, hence modernization. So if the United States had accepted his ideology and put it into practice, there would not be a strong modern America. Think about the Chinese history
… who said that one generation co


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