The American (Totalitarian) Democratic System?

2016 Words9 Pages
“The American dream, collectively thought to be the ability to advance one’s status in life through hard work and determination, is the central part of American culture and class definition,” theorizes economics professor and journalist Paul Krugman in an article in which he later attacked this mantra (Krugman par. 15). Whether or not his sentiments hold true to the people with the United States as a whole is difficult to measure, but more and more evidence has come forth within the past few decades that support an adjacent viewpoint. As much as this country “wants” to believe in the ability to someday achieve self-actualization fewer individuals are able to break past the barriers provided by their social class, such as education level (or the lack thereof) and occupation, restrictions that are often the works of the individuals elected to represent the people on a national scale. The United States no longer solely resembles a democratic republic, but is increasing taking on the likeness of a totalitarian or aristocratic democracy. It appears even the social classes are eroding to be replaced with a caste that has traded religious authority for economic and political influence. Democracy, in its simplest terms, means driven by the rule of its people (Macionis 354). To define a democratic government is much more difficult, since its definition differentiates between opposing political groups and parties. Intrinsically, a democratic government can be described rather than defined; a contract between elected governors and constituents within a controlled territory. Within that contract, it is the responsibility of the elected officials to represent the interests of the citizens on a federal basis and to vote on presented bills, act... ... middle of paper ... ...distinguishable especially when pertaining to finances and incomes. And since the persons in power positions tend not only to come from the upper classes but rotate from position to position when their time in office expire, there seems to be no genuine hope of a retrograde revolution to return America to its roots as a representative democracy in the present future. Works Cited Macionis, John J. Society the Basics. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Print. Browne, Ken. An Introduction to Sociology. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005. Print. Krugman, Paul. "Upward Mobility Becoming a Myth in America." The Nation 5 Jan. 2004: n. pag. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Jan. 2011. Bernstein, Aaron. "Waking Up From the American Dream." BusinessWeek 1 Dec. 2003: n. pag. BusinessWeek. Web. 23 Jan. 2011.

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