Leadership and Civil Liberties: Discursive Essay

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The author of the source believes in an ideal society with elements of collectivism and authoritarianism. They are critical of some of the elements of democracies, however, the system of democracy is still put into use in the source and within that some of the liberal ideas. Because of that, we can infer that the source isn’t desiring a revolutionary change. The author of the source believes that within that, the implementation of a strong leader taking charge can best work towards the common good of society as a whole. With a strong leader, they can effectively run the state and bring order and stability, as opposed to letting irrational individuals organize themselves. An individual who would agree with this idea is Thomas Hobbes, who believed that we should give our obedience to a strong leader, and that may include giving up our civil liberties. Otherwise, we will be in a “state of nature” which closely resembles civil war, a situation of universal insecurity. He believed in the idea of security over freedom. The source explains this idea by arguing that the protecting of civil liberties puts the stability of the state at risk. The idea of collectivism and working toward the common good of society is an idea shown by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He believed that the end goal of any state is the realization of the common good and the pursuit of it then enables the state to act as a moral community. Therefore, individuals must not serve in their own self-interest, but in the interest of society as a whole. Both of these philosophers somewhat go against liberal beliefs by focusing on the collective, more than the ideas involved in individualism such as the pursuit of self-interest and civil liberties. The author of the source and individuals who agrees with the author’s perspective would also most likely agree with the ideas of J.J Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes, thinking that the implementation of a strong leader will bring many benefits to the state. They would follow a more collective standpoint, believing that a strong leader will help achieve this collective good, and provide efficiency and stability in the government. People who would oppose this point of view would support the ideas of liberalism and would strongly support liberal principles, such as personal rights and freedoms. They would argue the fact that the perspective of the source goes against the ideas of democracy as it represents liberal thought but the idea of the over-excessive importance of civil liberties goes against that. Another argument that may be presented is that the need to protect civil liberties does not result in undermining the stability of the state, but actually enhance it by providing a sense of accountability from the government. Based on my analysis of the source, I believe that the perspective of the source should not be embraced, and argue that the need and protection of civil liberties do ultimately bring stability to our society.

A lot of the time, the idea of a strong leader is connected with authoritarian regimes, as opposed to liberal democracy. The idea of a “strong leader” in general explains how they are passionate about the higher purpose of everything they do, and how each target fulfills their big mission. The danger in that is that it can go in two very opposite directions. An individual who has a very strong set of belief systems being elected in a democratic state may lead to the overthrowing of that government; those strong beliefs lead to strong leadership. And within that, disaster can unfold, as we saw in Germany under Hitler’s rule. Before he came to power, the country was practicing a democratic form of government in the Reichstag. However, during the Great Depression and the Stock Market Crash, Hitler used that economic crisis to his advantage. The economic crisis created stagnation and panic in Germany, it inevitably added to political instability. Because the current government was fairly ineffective and corrupt, there was a rise in contrasting ideologies such as Hitler’s and the Nazi party. That rise of support occurred as a result of Hitler using people’s vulnerable state and making it seem as if he had the “answer” to all of the problems their nation was facing. He demonstrated a strong presence in a time of weakness, and as a result of that, he had a following who saw him as the best choice to solve their problems. Thus, the people of Germany elected him into the Reichstag. Later on, in the early part of his now leadership, Hitler did help reestablish Germany’s economy to a much better state and things were finally looking better in Germany; until the Holocaust. The negative connotation of a “strong leader” took over. Hitler inappropriately used his power and strong leadership skills to lead to the mass murder of not only 141,500 Jews in Germany; but 5,860,129 Jews around the world. It all began with the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler those excessive dictatorial powers, going completely against all liberal practices and beliefs present in a democracy. The idea of democracy was completely thrown out the window. After that, this “strong leader” began his mission of exterminating the entire population of Jews. Hitler was an excellent motivator and public speaker, and he twisted people’s minds into thinking that it was their goal to get rid of the Jews, not his own personal one. He wanted to strike that collective interest, that they were working towards a common good, they were all in it together. This continued on into World War II, which once again lead Germany into ruins. The danger of electing a strong leader, especially in a liberal democracy, is that their overall personality and leadership skills can lead to overambition, and them wanting to do what they want to do, and achieve what they want to achieve; rather than focusing on the common good of their society. Hitler suspended the civil liberties of people in Germany and did not provide stability, in fact it lead to the exact opposite, ruining their country once more. If those rights and freedoms weren’t taken away, German citizens could have had the ability to express dissent towards Hitler and his actions, and if they were well enough protected in the first place Jews wouldn’t have faced these atrocities at all. That is why in democracies, it is important to protect civil liberties in order to ensure the stability of the state.

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Leadership and Civil Liberties: Discursive Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-and-civil-liberties-discursive-essay/
“Leadership and Civil Liberties: Discursive Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-and-civil-liberties-discursive-essay/
Leadership and Civil Liberties: Discursive Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-and-civil-liberties-discursive-essay/> [Accessed 12 Jun. 2024].
Leadership and Civil Liberties: Discursive Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2024 Jun 12]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/leadership-and-civil-liberties-discursive-essay/
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