750-1000 words; use your own words; provide pointers to where you got any information that is not your direct personal experience or "common knowledge"; due Friday October 30 at 5 PM.
At the start of the twentieth century the basic issues of political, social, and economic organization were wide open. Was a good society one in which the leders told the people what to do, or one in which the leaders were really much more like the people you hire to rent out your great aunt's cottage in Miami Beach when she isn't there? Was a good society one in which people could change lives and roles from generation to generation--or year to year--or one in which people had places and knew them? Was a good economy one of rational planning or of individual action? Were good policies decided by popular referenda or by technocrats meeting in rooms paneled with green silk?
Today, after the history of the twentieth century, the space of admissable argument about what a good political, social, and economic order for a good society would be seems to be much less wide open. Briefly, tell the story of how in your view the history of the twentieth century and its lessons have narrowed that space--have created what Francis Fukuyama once rashly called the "end of history" (and what Daniel Bell had earlier rashly called the "end of ideology).
Write 750-1000 words. Submissions of less than 750 words will receive grouchy readings. Submissions of more than 1000 words will receive grouchy readings. There is a symmetry here.