Croly’s opinion, while not revolutionary, was still regarded with suspension by many people in 1909 (the year Croly’s essay was published). People who were wary of a nationalistic government and a unified frame of mind had a good argument against Croly’s essay. Much of this essay focuses on this argument against Croly’s presuppositions regarding the “progressive” outcome of nationalization.
First off, Croly bases everything in his argument on the claim that the “national interest” is predicated on democratic principles (as cited in Eisenach, p19). This is why people should have nothing to fear from a nationalistic government: i...
... middle of paper ...
...al level (Eisenach, viii).
I do not buy the argument that consolidating more power into the national government invariably leads to progress. At the same time, Croly‘s argument against nostalgic dogma is well founded and enlightened. Indeed, there are several interesting points Croly makes about the ramifications of inaction and indifference regarding amending the constitution. However, it was evident to me after reading the essay that his call for progressivism had, at best, several logical flaws and, at worst, paralleled fascism to an alarming degree.
Croly, H. (1909). The American Democracy and Its National Principle.
(as cited in Eisenach, p#)
References to the introduction section are in roman numeralsEisenach. (2006). The Social and Political Thought of American Progressivism. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
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