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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Enlightenment Voices, Revolutionary Visions and Contested Boundaries, National Visions

Enlightenment Voices, Revolutionary Visions

There was a conflict as to what should be written and publicized more: Human Nature or Moral Instructions. Human nature became an important aspect which lead to national freedom. Human nature writers like Thomas Hobbes, author of Levation believed in exploration. Roussean gave the idea of Social concept theory which states that man is born free though he is always bound by chains/ limitations. Supporting him is John Loche, who believes that men are not born with a memory; they are a clean slate and he disagrees with the concept of Original Sin. “Humans by nature are harmonious”, was the main idea.

“In philosophical terms, the contradictory ideas expressed during the revolutionary era seem to have risen from conflicting opinions about human nature and the extend to which mankind could progress.”

Moral instructions have its roots in the 17th century; it talks about God’s desire. Paine said that, in struggle, America cannot be with England (moral instructions) but she has to break away from them (Human Nature). It talks about the struggle between science (progressive), which is supported by Thomas Jefferson and religion (limitations) which was supported by John Adams.

Enlightenment refers to the philosophical outlook of Europe in the 1700’s upto the 18th century. It states that men, not God is the center of everything. This concept has its base from the Roussean theory, which believed that men are the epicenter of action; there is shift from the ancient traditions which believed that God is above everything. It is romantic in nature, i.e it is about the ordinary people, the common man. Enlightenment believes that justice is not about punishing but listening to people, giving a fair chance to everyone.

Revolutionary visions also contain the same idea as that of Roussean. It began in 1700’s with the idea that all mankind should be given equal respect. Roussean believed that, “Social betterment might result from individual freedom, in both inquiry and action”. It is said that the American past was ‘great’, as there was equal representation of people irrespective of their caste, race, status and colour. That was enlightenment. The notion of believing that a king is a father figure, a representation of God was held during the revolution era.

“They considered that in ancient Brittany, the people freely choose to constitute themselves into one body for their own better protection and governance. The officials of the commonwealth represented the body of the people and determined the laws and enacted statues for the whole. Yet more recent kings, they instated took away the colonists rights as citizens, forcing them in subjection without offering a suitable of representation in the English common body.”

Contested Boundaries, National Visions

Contested boundaries refer to ‘challenging’ limitations. This dispute was rampant during late 1700’s when America talked about a free nation country. There was a lot of gender inequality going on at that period, and many writers challenged it. “In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”

Afro American and Native American women started to write from the period of 1776. They openly confronted the boundaries set for them by the white elite class of men whose visions of what they considered ‘just’ and ‘good.

One of the aAfro American women writer, Lameul Haynes said tha,t English men in America often complain that they are ill-treated by England, while they themselves ill-treat the negro’s (refers to slavery). Though the Afro American learned how to read and write, the white elite class people did not allow their writings (mostly which criticized the white’s) to go into print.

“In fact the whites were generally deaf to the subtle complexity of black oral expression permitted Afro American culture to maintain a resilience, integrity and subversive thrust that played an important role in the spiritual survival of the slaves”. That is, the white’s did not recognize the subtle interaction within the Afro American community though their writing, which helped them to fire up their spirit and keep the spiritual movement going.

Mark Weber once said, “Voice of the oppressor is minus the voice of the oppressed; while the voice of the oppressed has the voice of the oppressor.”

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