Connecting Colonialism to Today

Democracy/Capitalism and Communism

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The battle of democracy/capitalism and communism underscores the strife between the ideas of freedom and liberty with those of oppression and dictatorship. The two forces are represented by the United States on one hand and the former Soviet Union on the other. As articulated by Harry Truman in his inauguration speech, the aspect of equality regarding civil rights is fundamental to the United States. Belief in democracy underpins the commitment of the US towards liberty and freedom of all people. Conversely, communism is the major opponent to the political ideology of the United States in the sense that it articulates oppression by painting a picture on a weak humanity incapable of governing itself (Truman, 1949). Therefore, under communism strong men through oppression and dictatorship must rule humanity.


The Two Concepts of Liberty

Truman’s sentiments during the inauguration are underscored by Berlin (1958) in “The two concepts of liberty” who articulates the duality of liberty. The author states that liberty can be considered as positive or negative depending on the ideological inclination of the same. The negative liberty underscores the limits of freedom regarding what is permissible for people to do without interference. On the other hand, positive liberty exemplifies the notion of the center of authority determining what is within a person’s autonomy to be free. As a result, freedom is a philosophical idea with great connotations because it can be abused or misused. It is possible to undermine a person’s freedom through restrictions, while it is possible to overstretch freedom to the extent of infringing that of others.

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Stages of Economic Growth

The evolution of political thought coincided with the economic evolution in the sense that there are several stages of economic growth. As typified by Rotow (1959), the stages accentuate the various epochs that have led to the current society. In fact, the current economic problems emerged as an aftermath of high consumption. As such, it brings into question the system of capitalism that has long been touted as the best economic system. High consumption is a typical sign of consumerism that has come to describe the current culture of the global economy. Several problems are associated with consumerism that is threatening modern capitalism. The question is whether capitalism is responsible for consumerism. In essence, the subprime mortgage crisis is an example of how consumerism has become a global economic problem. Worth noting is that the crisis was mainly created and catalyzed by greed.



The aspect of liberty is central to the American society in the sense that the country stands for equal rights for all the people. Harry Truman emphasized the significance of liberty as articulated by the founders of the American states. In defining what Truman’s regime was all about, he articulated the enemies of freedom by citing communism. Indeed, this brings into focus the duality of freedom or liberty as articulated by Berlin, where he states that freedom can be a difficult concept to understand. Although everybody wants to be free, it is not easy to determine if freedom is absolute or not. In addition, if freedom is absolute, it becomes hard to define it. The achievements made by the U.S as the custodian of the world’s heritage are anchored in the different stages of economic growth as exemplified by Rostow. In essence, it is worth noting that all the three readings offer a complementary account of political science regarding the globe, particularly the role of the ideas of communism and democracy/capitalism.

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