The Moral Authority of Government: Essays to Commemorate the Centennial of the National Institute of Social Sciences

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Moorhead Kennedy, Ralph Gordon Hoxie, Brenda Repland
Transaction Publishers - Political Science - 300 pages

These new essays prepared to commemorate the centennial of the National Institute of Social Sciences have been carefully crafted to deal with an overriding concern of our time--those elements in political rule that go beyond legal rights and responsibilities into the moral requirements of effective governance. The principal theme of this book is presidential leadership. The presidency personifies government authority, including moral authority.

In the first part of this book most of the essays argue that the moral authority of leaders depends on high personal standards as well as policy outcomes. The second segment on the rule of law and character raises considerations not limited to the presidency. Character and the authority that derives from it are demonstrated most effectively not by what someone does in his or her personal life, but in the moral values of the causes espoused and effectiveness in pursuing them. In the realm of international affairs, governmental leadership must wrestle with the moral and constitutional guidelines known as "reasons of state." Under what circumstances is it morally acceptable for a leader or government to practice deception upon the citizenry, to overthrow other governments, to bomb civilians?

Many contributors raise the issue of what permits a government to take actions that would be immoral or illegal in individuals or groups. The final segment expands and deepens this theme by exploring the work and role of non-governmental agencies that influence both leaders and citizens in the public arena. In short, at a period that brings to a close a period in which the presidency has become more visible as well as more prominent, this collective effort sheds new light on classic themes. It will be an invaluable guide as we enter the new century.

The contributors include an illustrious galaxy of public officials and political scientists, including Madeleine K. Albright, Judith A. Best, Betty Glad, C. Lowell Harriss, Travis Beal Jacobs, Ruth P. Morgan, Stanley A. Renshon, Donald L. Robinson and William vanden Heuvel.

Moorhead Kennedy is author of several works on terrorism and recipient of the Medal of Valor from the Department of State.

R. Gordon Hoxie is founding president of C.W. Post College, chancellor of Long Island University, and founding president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency. He is author and editor of many books, and founding editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly. Brenda Repland studied at the University of Oregon and Harvard Business School. She was formerly corporate account manager at Digital Equipment Corporation, and current president and managing partner of the Moorhead Kennedy Group.

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Contents

Moral Action and Presidential Leadership
7
The Presidency and Moral Leadership
13
The Moral Talk of American Presidents
19
The Moral Dimension of the Presidency
24
The Presidency Legitimate Authority and Governance
30
Principled Courageous Leadership The Lost Core of American Politics
37
Polling and Pandering The End of the Presidencys Moral Authority?
45
A Gender Analysis of the Moral Legitimacy of the Presidency
51
Is Government an Authority on Morality?
167
The Once and Future ? Consensus
173
The Paradox of Governmental Power
183
On Telling the Truth
189
Deception in Government
195
American Politics 1999 Style Congestion in the Middle of the Political Spectrum
200
Moral Authority of Government
207
The Moral Authority of Government A Religious Perspective
210

How Bully is the Pulpit? Moral Authority of the American Presidents in the TwentyFirst Century
56
When Governments Are Good
63
Eisenhower and the Moral Authority of Government
69
The Authority of Presidents Personal Morality and Political Effectiveness
75
THE RULE OF LAW Moral Authority and the Rule of Law
83
The Rule of Law
89
The Rule of Law at the Millennium
96
Civil Disobedience the Rule of Law and the Moral Authority of Government Tension between Two Strains of American Thought?
100
Constitutional Authority and Public Morality
108
The Moral Authority of Government
113
The Concept of Government Historical and Comparative Observations
118
The Moral Authority of Government
124
The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action
131
Antitrust A Codification of American Morality
137
CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY Moral Authority through Character and Integrity
149
Moral Authority of Government
155
Character in the First PostModern Presidency
160
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Moral Authority in International Affairs
215
The Moral Authority of Government
219
The United States and the United Nations The Moral Authority to Preserve Peace
222
The United Nations and the Moral Authority of Government
227
The Moral Authority of Government
231
Moral Authority in Government
235
The Moral Authority of Government
240
PHILANTHROPY AND SCIENCE Moral Authority as Exercised through Philanthropy and Science
245
The Moral Authority of Government The Role of Foundations and Philanthropy
249
The Moral Authority of Government
254
Conservation Beyond Preservation
257
Altruism An American Characteristic?
264
Breaking the Genetic Code
267
Scientists and Their Moral Authority in Government
270
NOTES
275
INDEX
297
Copyright

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Page 111 - It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
Page 100 - If all mankind, minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
Page 94 - The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty ; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor ; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor.
Page 105 - A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.
Page 92 - They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.
Page 106 - Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
Page 184 - If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Page 107 - A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen : but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.
Page 105 - I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all.
Page 130 - I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.

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