The intent of this paper is to examine individualistic and communitarian cultural ideologies within two distinctly different political environments. The first challenge in comparing two nations is deciding which approach is most appropriate. There are several approaches in political science that have proven most beneficial when making comparisons. This study will use a comparative government approach to examine the political institutions, processes, constitutions, and functions of government within each of the two countries selected. The countries that have been chosen for this study are United States and Norway, respectively.
Gregory Scott believes that the fundamental aspects of human interaction in society are the need for community (unity) and the need for individuality. The argument is that the entire history of politics is largely the story of how communities and nations resolved the inherent conflict between the universal needs for community and individuality. With that, the topic that this paper tends to address has emerged, within the study of politics in this class and others, as the single most dynamic in scope and in implication. Freedom, equality, and justice combine to build a substantial argument for the individualistic ideology. Authority, order, and democracy are all building blocks for the argument of the communitarian. Scott notes that much of what motivates individualist is a strong desire for freedom. This author also argues that we are all interdependent and authority is justified by the need to bring order to societies competing values and thoughts.
In studying the history of humanity, the battleground that has been formed between the need for individuality and unity is undeniable. A person’s view of the nature of humanity is fundamental to their view of government, and its scope. If people are seen as dangerous, then a government to protect people from that danger is most appropriate. If people are viewed as capable of fulfilling their own creative potential, you may want a government that protects individual liberties (Scott, 47). These are all examples of core values for the entire foundation of government and of politics. This argument, for the use and scope of government, is divided into many different arguments that address basic issues o...
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...hild benefit scheme, and the increase of taxes in electricity and heating oil consumption.
v Official Name: The Kingdom of Norway
v Population: 4,504,000 as of Jan. 2001
v System of Government: Constitutional Monarchy
v Geographical Area: 385,155 sq. km.
v Monetary Unit: Norwegian kroner, NOK
v Coastline Length: 21,192 km.
v Economic Indicators: Inflation rate (2000) 3.1%; Gross Domestic Product (1999) 1,192,826 million NOK; Gross Domestic Product per capital (1999) 267,328
United States of America
According to political scientists, the United States is considered and “individualistic” society. A society that is quite capable in operating on its own, and not really relying on others to instruct them in ascertaining the very essentials of having a functional, independent, way of living.
To fully understand the depths of the United States’ individuality, several ideas must be explained. First, one must understand the role of government in the United States. Secondly, there has to be an understanding of the evolution of the United States as a society, and the formation of its political structure and ideologies. Next, an
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