Are We Democratic? National American Government April 20, 2000 In the first essay written by Howard Zinn he tries to answer the question of “How Democratic Is America?”. He seems to know what he is talking a great deal about government but it seems like anybody can just talk about how our government works and to say that that is the definition of democracy. The only thing he did differently was using an increase in vocabulary and try to talk about the same thing over and over again. Where Zinn could have said that democracy not only requires formal system of government equality to all Americans. But Americans are not the only ones who deserve this kind of treatment. Everybody from all walks of life deserves equality.
Instead of summing all that in two lines he goes on and on about the same subject. For instance, Zinn’s ten criteria that need to followed that is what Americans follow in order to have democracy. All he needed to say there was that everybody needs freedom, liberty, and equal opportunity to succeed no matter what your background. Zinn goes on to describe democracy. First he says that democracy should be based on the same way America fought for their own government during the American Revolution. Next he goes on to describe democracy by saying what it has become today in the way of its development.
It is not the same as it once was fifty years or more. Another thing, Zinn says democracy is something they do not have in other countries. Their government will never equal ours because theirs has so many defaults and we do not have as many. Zinn goes on and on to define what he thinks democracy is but he still gets nowhere in trying to prove what he is trying to say. Zinn does not understand his own definition of democracy. He thinks it is the way government works and the way people live because of the government by which they live under at the same time.
Zinn has some interesting things to say and he makes some good points but for the most part I find his essay completely ineffective in what he wants the reader to believe with him. The second essay by Sidney Hook is a critical of Howard Zinn’s essay. Hook is a much better writer than Zinn. Hook is able to point out all of Zinn’s faults with his essay. Hook does show where Zinn messed up when he was saying what was the definition of democracy. Zinn’s fault was that he tries to define democracy but uses to different forms of the word in his essay. Hook also shows another error in Zinn’s essay where Zinn says that democracy can be measured by comparing it to an “ideal”.
The problem with this is that Zinn never gives us what the ideal is to compare how strong is democracy. Zinn wants equality to all men and women in his democratic society when in fact to truly get equality some people like the sick, elderly, and children need more power. In Hook’s eyes we could never reach the kind of equality that Zinn is looking for even if our society was that of classless. Hook says the only true way of determining how democratic is a nation is by comparison. Society must look at the past and determine if they are giving more equality than before and how they can have more equality for the future. In this essay by Hook he comes across as a better writer.
It is harder to criticize one person’s work and state proof and details to back up your statement than it is to just make up your own opinions and constantly just spitting out statements that help to support your idea. To 5 me Hook seems to be the one with more insight on this topic. He counters every point made by Zinn by showing in Zinn’s own writing where he contradicts himself and Hook also makes some strong statements and opinions of his own that help persuade me to believe in what Hook has to say. I believe that if you use Zinn’s definition of democracy one which that is modeled after the way our founding fathers have set up our nations government of course we are democratic. In reality that is not the way we should view our democracy.
It is system of government that attempts to run the people with the power that they are given as equally to all people. That includes the minorities and the majorities, the campaign supporters, the voters and the non-voters. Our government should try to be equal as they possibly be to all of these people and more. They need to be democratic to be as equal as possible to of the people that decions will effect. Granted this may never happen because we do not live in a Utopian society like what Zinn is looking for but our best move would be an attempt to reach the most equality possible like what Hook attempts to say by giving relative facts and statements and contradicting Zinn.
In effect our government is trying to be the most democratic it can be even though there may be a few glitches in the system, they will be worked out. The government will never be able to please everyone by the decision it makes but it can not allow that. Imagine what a wreck this world would be in now if the government allow everyone to do as they pleased. Without some people suffering and some people gaining this country would never function as a whole. Government Essays.