Living And Dying By The Sword (Or) The Autonomy And Responsibility Of Paranoia

3731 words - 15 pages

Living and Dying by the Sword (or) The Autonomy and Responsibility of Paranoia

Introduction

The question is a common one. "Does an individual have the right to yell, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater?" The implications are not as simple. If one answers, "no," then one is, in effect saying that the constitutional right to free speech is not entirely correct. If one answers, "yes," then one is saying that is perfectly O.K. to an individual to be delegated the power to create mass hysteria. However, there is another side to this question. If an individual is permitted to yell fire, as perhaps one would be in a Lockian state of nature, one is as likely to be trampled in the ensuing hysteria as everyone else is.

This situation, while quaint and hypothetical, does have its counterparts in history. The question of how much power ought an individual be allowed has been one that has been addressed by governments throughout the ages. The result of this power being abused has also been addressed throughout history, but not by governments, by the fates of those individuals who have abused that power. One result of power being abused is the creation of a kind of hysteria in a society that revolves around that individual who has created it. That hysteria also has the potential to turn on its progenitor and crush him in the ensuing stampede.

Historically, this is the case of Maximilien Robespierre and Joseph McCarthy. Both men, in their own rights, created a sort of social hysteria, a hysteria that for each resulted in a social stampede. These stampedes ended up crushing these men who created them in the chaos and confusion that ensued. The question of these two men faced is not one of, did they overstep their bounds of power with regards to their social responsibility. Their question is, did they get their just desserts in falling n the midst of the social climate they created.

The Rise to Power, or, Taking a Seat in the Theater

Maximilien Robespierre came from a family of moderate nobility and wealth who hailed from the small town of Arras, France. His education kept to that of a young man of his position, the political philosophies of Rousseau, the general studies of the philosophes, and the tactics of politics in a monarchical government such as France. By the time the first winds of revolution began to waft over the seas from the Americas, Robespierre was at Versailles. By the time the Estates General was to be called, the man was in a position to be appointed to it. Robespierre seemed to stay quiet, in the background; but his gradual involvement in the Estates slowly earned him greater and greater influence. Thus, by the time the revolution was out in full force, Maximilien Robespierre was recognized as an influential orator and a man of great potential. (1.)

Whereas Robespierre took a more subtle, almost "background player" approach to gaining influence...

Find Another Essay On Living and Dying by the Sword (or) The Autonomy and Responsibility of Paranoia

The Unnecessary Paranoia of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

1100 words - 4 pages The Unnecessary Paranoia of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake The novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood provides a dystopic vision of the outcome of unregulated pursuit of knowledge and control over nature. It is unlikely that the scenario portrayed in the novel would ever occur beyond fiction. The reason being the United States and many other countries already have regulating agencies and oversight commissions that would prevent

The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord

1070 words - 4 pages The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord What does the word "terrorist" bring to mind? Without even seeing the accused, most people in this country automatically assume this person is Middle-Eastern and Muslim. Although Stern's Terror in the Name of God focuses mainly on Islamic terrorists, it begins by addressing terrorist acts of a more homegrown variety. Stern interviews American terrorists here in the United States. The

Autonomy and Responsibility The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bombs on Japan

1320 words - 5 pages Autonomy and Responsibility The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bombs on Japan Along with being a world superpower comes a long list of resposiblilities. One such responsibility is the decision of how to deal with other nations when they get out of line. People will always point fingers at who they think is at fault when a nation has to go to war with another. One such example of this is when the United States was brought into the Second World

Nineteenth Century Europe: Autonomy and Responsibility

1533 words - 6 pages Nineteenth Century Europe: Autonomy and Responsibility In the nineteenth century, many changes were occurring throughout Europe. Many of these changes focused on the individual, which was an important aspect of European society. However, many changes also focused on the individuals responsibility to the nation. During this time, many individuals demonstrated their right to self-government through political systems such as liberalism

Autonomy and Responsibility in Nazi Germany

1530 words - 6 pages in society, and therefore based the rest of their beliefs on a person's place in the society on the idea of preserving the pure Volk. The rights a person obtained were based on achieving this goal of preserving the Volk as well. The Nazi view of autonomy and responsibility of the individuals in Germany at this time can be seen by looking at how an individual in Germany was defined, how they reacted to those not considered Germans, and how they

John Brown The Sword and the Word

1617 words - 6 pages John Brown The Sword and the Word “I act from a principle,” and “I say, break the law” are not only the names of two out of the five parts in this book, but the words by which John Brown lived so passionately everyday. At earlier times in his life he lived by his sword as well. The Sword and the Word illustrates John Brown’s own ideas and intentions and how he lived by them. A main issue of this book is that truly a man of his word who

Patient-Physician Relationship: The Effects of Autonomy and Paternalism

2390 words - 10 pages the practice of medicine. This ‘patient’s right’ to accept or refuse medical care changed the balance of power in the patient-physician relationship and engaged the patient more in ownership of care plans and it is viewed by patient and physician, essential for honoring the individual and his or her dignity. (4) The effect of autonomy & paternalism:- Both autonomy and paternalism and their effect on patient –physician relationship evolved

Hamlet: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

696 words - 3 pages Hamlet: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword             It is commonly said that if you play too close with the fire, you are going to get burned.  This generally means that if you live a dangerous lifestyle, then you will eventually falter and suffer the consequences.  In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are many cases where characters are killed because they lived a murderous

Tones of Intensity, Paranoia and Desperation Used in Crane's The Red Badge of Courage

1777 words - 7 pages afraid and confused, leading to an overall tone of apprehension and paranoia. Crane’s allusion to gods accentuates the feeling of displacement that is evident within Henry’s mind. The regiment is ordered to move towards the battlefield where the impending battle looms ahead of them. As he looks upon the enemy, Henry is startled, not only by the size of the army, but at the sheer magnitude of the battle they are about to partake in. Crane uses

Creole Culture and the Idea of Autonomy in Martinique

2054 words - 8 pages additional for its property value or touristic possible, since the tax structure favours these aspects. Indeed, improvement in the French West Indies took place when the "old" French colonies (French Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the West Indies and Reunion in the Indian Ocean) became overseas departments of France, most important the transform from a cultivated area financial system towards a expenditure economy enthused by public expenses

Standoff Rocket Program: The Power of Autonomy and Learning

1984 words - 8 pages program's administration reasoning is that the Agency has exceptionally constrained overhead and no labs or offices. Once more, the thought is to minimize any institutional diversions that may divert the Agency from its basic for development (Pasaribu, 2011) Actions Taken by Terry to Foster Performance Transformational initiative is a kind of administration style that can rouse positive changes in the individuals who accompany. Transformational

Similar Essays

Autonomy And Political Responsibility After The Cold War

2676 words - 11 pages position in the defense of democratic states threatened by Soviet control, "governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the US."8 During the Cold War Era, there were several revolutions by Eastern European countries to demand their autonomy from the USSR. In October 1956 the Polish people went on a general strike and

Terrorism: Paranoia And The Internet Essay

1214 words - 5 pages Terrorism: Paranoia and the Internet My third edition American Heritage dictionary defines paranoia as "a psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution or grandeur." Having looked that up, I'm not sure paranoia is the right label for what I'm about to write about; or at least, it is not the only label. I think, specifically regarding terrorism (by maybe more generally as well), the idea of paranoia blurs and blends at its

Stalin: Paranoia And The Purges Essay

2826 words - 11 pages by the government. In this way, informing became a way of life in Soviet society, and not out of police pressure and fear alone, as citizens regularly informed on one another out of honest conviction.The terror of the purges was a nightmarish phenomenon that nevertheless did occur and, like all nightmares, its reasons and meanings are difficult to interpret. For millions of its victims, it meant imprisonment, torture, execution, or the living in

The Responsibility Of Redemption Essay Discusses The Angst And Emotion Of Seeking Redemption, Or Helping Others To Find Redemption, Specific To Characters In Two Recently Read Books, A Lesson Before...

1246 words - 5 pages Shain I.C. ShainMs. ClarkEnglishJune, 4, 2010The Responsibility of RedemptionIn Gaines' book A Lesson before Dying we are introduced to the story of Jefferson, a young black man, and his heart-wrenching journey of finding dignity as a man before he is put to death for a crime he did not commit. Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower, is about his struggle between choosing to forgive a dying Nazi officer, or leaving him to die with the burden of his