Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America by Frances Fox Piven PDF

By Frances Fox Piven

ISBN-10: 0742515354

ISBN-13: 9780742515352

Difficult Authority argues that normal humans workout remarkable political braveness and gear in American politics while, annoyed through politics as traditional, they get up in anger and wish and defy the gurus and the established order ideas that quite often govern their day-by-day lives. by way of doing so, they disrupt the workings of significant associations and develop into a strength in American politics. Drawing on severe episodes in American historical past, Frances Fox Piven indicates that it really is accurately at these seismic moments while humans act outdoor of self-restricting political norms that they develop into empowered to their complete democratic power.

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Wars are declared by elites, but they are fought by ordinary people. 37 This awareness must have been heightened during the revolutionary period because the people who took up arms, or those who otherwise suffered the real hardships of war, were gripped by the new passion for democracy. 39 And in 1780, THE MOB AND THE S TAT E | 47 the officers of the Sixth Company of Militia in the Third Regiment of Suffolk County wrote the Massachusetts governor in fury that a new constitution established a sixty-pound property qualification for the vote.

45 The new state constitutions written after the revolutionary war broke out reflected the egalitarian and libertarian ideas that were spreading up and down the eastern seaboard. The radical democrats of the period sought to guarantee popular liberty by creating constitutions that limited executive power, provided unicameral legislatures or at least powerful lower houses that did not privilege the propertied, specified short terms of office that would force elected officials to 48 | CHAPTER 3 confront the people who elected them frequently, and required open legislative deliberations by a local and accessible government.

Thus rules change over time, not only in response to new assertions of the power yielded by wealth and force, but also in response to mobilizations from below. 22 Only consider how regularly social movements go into battle charging that the actions or policies they are protesting are wrong because they violate the rules prescribed by law or custom. Nevertheless, a broad generalization emerges from these observations. Because cooperative social relations are institutionalized in ways that reflect reigning power inequalities, the actualization of interdependent power is often conditional on the ability of people to defy the rules and dominant interpretations governing social relations.

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Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America (Polemics) by Frances Fox Piven

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