Change and Individualism In American Society

By October 3rd, 2013

Change and Individualism in Our American Democracy; Years Since Last Amendment to U.S. Constitution and Historical Frequency of Amendments to U.S. Constitution

by Mack W. Borgen

THE RELEVANCE OF REASON

The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current Americas

Vol 2 – SOCIETY AND CULTURE  (438 pp)

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Change and Individualism In American Society

Democracy by its very nature is built upon the concept of almost routine change. Change is not just a campaign slogan or a politician’s promise. Wholly apart from the change which has resulted from societal, demographic, economic, or industrial forces, such as demographic shifts and technological advancements, change is institutionalized by some of the very precepts of democracy. Change is inherent in the nature of representative bodies, by the scheduled recurrence of our periodic elections, by our federalism and the reserved powers of our states to implement different approaches to even our common problems, by the powerful rights of constitutional amendment and, more recently, by the use of various forms of “direct democracy” powers such as impeachment, recall, initiatives and referenda.

Since its inception America’s democracy have gone even further by its explicit recognition, encouragement, and enshrining of our people’s individualism. However, for some Americans even that is not quite enough, which is why the American brand of individualism is so commonly referred to as our people’s “rugged” individualism. This individualism, so distant from feudal arrangements and class or caste distinctions, allows many (but not yet all) Americans to select their own courses of study, to pursue their own interests and careers, to start their own businesses, to marry whom they wish and live as and where they choose, to travel and relocate themselves and their families, to reach and express their own conclusions, and to “change”– or, if seeking to make a slightly more dramatic, Hollywood statement, to even “reinvent’ oneself.”

The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, (2013), pp. 13-14.

The Fact of the Day

Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

– Number of Years Since Last Amendment and Average Number of Years Between Amendments –

There are now appr. 7,200 words in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution includes 27 amendments, including the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments). The last two amendments were adopted, respectively, in 1992 (the 27th Amendment, which was as originally 200 years earlier in 1789 with the initial Bill of Rights, provides that no law changing the compensation of Senators or Representatives shall take effect “until an election of Representatives shall have intervened”) and 1971 (the 26th Amendment granting 18-year-olds the right to vote). Excluding the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights and which were adopted together in 1791, on average, an amendment has been added to the Constitution approximately once every 13 years. One could argue that another amendment was due in 2008 — possibly that neither the Congress nor the President shall allow the federal government to be shutdown!!

By way of reference and frightening comparison, in the last decade there have been 4,428 changes to the Federal Tax Code — “or more than one per day.”

The Relevance of Reason- Business and Politics (2013), pp. 230-231 and 274, citing The Week, April 27, 2012 and Reason.com.

 

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 11:07 am and is filed under U.S. Constitution, U.S. Democracy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

to “Change and Individualism In American Society”

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  2. Mack W. Borgen Says:

    thank you very much for your comments and encouragement. please consider getting/ordering my The Relevance of Reason books. my best regards, mack w. borgen

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