Walter Lippmann's The Public Philosophy


Length: 444 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Walter Lippmann's The Public Philosophy

     Walter Lippmann begins his The Public Philosophy by expressing his concern for the state of the Western Liberal Democracies. The West, he writes, suffers from "a disorder from within." This disorder has its roots in the long peace between 1812 and 1914, and was further exascurbated by the great population increase of that era and the coinciding industrial revolution. The latter changed the nature of armed struggle, which in turn intensified the "democratic malady." The situation Lippmann describes is the "paralysis of governments," the inability of the state to make difficult and unpopular decisions.

     This paralysis is the product of both the long peace and the great war. The period extending from Waterloo to 1914 lulled the West into believing that the age of Man's aggression had passed. Because the "hard decisions" of taxation, prohibition, and war were not often faced in these years, the Jacobin concept of the desirability of weak government was instilled in the West. When the first world war did come about, the West was unable to deal effectively with its costs. The new technologies spawned by the industrial revolution, as well as the greater populations involved, had made war infinitely more costly than in the past. Consequently, the executive aspects of Western governments were forced to "democratize" the appropriation of men and money by handing their power to the representative assemblies. The assemblies too were forced to cede their power to "the People," who channeled them to media powers and party leaders. The result was "Disastrous and revolutionary. The democracies became incapacitated to wage war for rational ends or to make a peace which would be enforced."

     Lippmann holds that the major malfunction of the West is this acquisition of executive and representative powers by the masses. This is a fundamental distortion of the rights of the governed. Lippmann contends that the People have but two natural rights: to decide whether or not to by governed, and to choose who shall govern them. "This breakdown of the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and the catastrophic decline of Western society."

     Why then, cannot a mass govern effectively?

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Walter Lippmann's The Public Philosophy." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=74758>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Using Human Intelligence to Solve Public's Problems in the Public and Its Problems by John Dewey - In The Public and Its Problems, a book on social and political philosophy, John Dewey displays his beliefs of the potential of human intelligence to solve the public's problems. From his own perspective, Dewey makes clear the meaning and implications of such concepts as "the public," "the state," "government," and "political democracy." Dewey’s explains all of this by showing differences between the "state," which is represented by selected lawmakers, and the "public," the diffuse, a body of citizens who generally choose the people for the state....   [tags: political democracy, public, state]
:: 1 Works Cited
653 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Walter Lippmann's Views on Presidential Ability to Make U.S. Foreign Policy - Walter Lippmann's Views on Presidential Ability to Make U.S. Foreign Policy In his book entitled Public Opinion Walter Lippmann presents some very profound arguments on how public opinion is formed and how mach value it has. He describes in great detail the decision making process and how our own stereotypes affect our perception of events. Lippmann expresses his disillusionment with mass democracy, his concerns about propaganda and how the press could not be trusted to provide unbiased information....   [tags: Papers] 1450 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparative Summary: Lippmann, Chomsky, Lewis Essay - Mass media is a means of public communication for reaching a large audience. Walter Lippmann and Herman and Chomsky state their views on the role of the mass media and how this role fits into the principles of a democratic government. However, Lippmann's view in Public Opinion, and Herman and Chomsky's view in °A Propaganda Model" have sharply distinct ideas. While, Lippmann supports a more ideal use and role of the mass media to balance with the public's life conditions through control of the media, on the contrary Herman and Chomsky condemn the misuse of the media from control....   [tags: Mass Media Compare Contrast] 1266 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Fantasy in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Essay - Fantasies are what people go through on a daily basis. People love talking themselves away from reality and putting themselves into a world of their own with no limitations to where they could go. People get so into their fantasies that sometimes it may help build confidence or even cause them to lose track on what they were supposed to do or time. Fantasies become a love—hate relationship because at one point, you’re in love with the fact that you’re doing something out of your character and for your own pleasure, but it’s a hate relationship because you know that it will most likely not happen or come to an end soon enough....   [tags: walter is married, canterbury] 1405 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Character of Walter Mitty in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Essay - The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty - Character Study of Walter Mitty        In the short story, "The secret life of Walter Mitty," a man by the name of Walter Mitty goes into town with his wife to get some things done. Throughout this story Walter Mitty shows that he is very forgetful and a really stubborn man with a vivid imagination.  He is constantly being distracted, and starts to day dream often.        There are a few hints in this story that show Walter Mitty is very forgetful.  Most of this is probably caused by his constant day dreaming throughout this trip into town and not concentrating too hard on what he's doing.  Once Walter Mitty had dropped of...   [tags: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty] 458 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about A Deconstruction of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - A Deconstruction of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty     In the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” we see the main character as a rejected misfit in society.  He is often unaware of the world around him and reacts in what others would call a negative way to those situations he actually responds to.  However, close examination of the text used by James Thurber to portray him prompts a need to deconstruct the character Walter Mitty.  In doing so, we find that, far from being a misfit, he is actually the one member of society that is truly sound....   [tags: Secret Life of Walter Mitty Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
807 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Essays - James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty In James Thurber's wonderful short story, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", I get the feeling that he may be a victim of Attention Deficit Disorder, rather than just being a daydreamer. Throughout the story, Walter changes personae several times. He flips back and forth between reality and fantasy so much he may have a problem with his attention span. Walter needs Mrs. Mitty to keep him on track. By being a daydreamer, his head is in the clouds and this irritates her....   [tags: Secret Life Walter Mitty Essays] 519 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Walter Dean Myers Essay - In this research paper I will be talking about Walter Dean Myers. I will be talking about his life from when he was born, until his life in the present day. This paper will inform you alot on Walter Dean Myers. Walter Milton Myers was born August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but he was raised in Harlem. His father's name was Geoorge Ambrose and his birth mother's name was Mary Myers. Walter Myers was an only child. He didn't really know his family.Walters mother died when he was very young, about 3 years old....   [tags: Writer Author Walter Dean Myers Biography] 1222 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Bertrand Russell on Analytical Philsophy Essay - "The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it" - Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism. Bertrand Russell was born in 1872 in Wales, England as a member of a famous British family. He received a degree from Trinity Cambridge College with honors in Mathematics and Moral Sciences. His most famous works included the subjects of logic and philosophy, which were deeply rooted in his mathematics background....   [tags: Philosophy] 1132 words
(3.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Philiosophy - Philiosophy Philosophy is an all-important aspect of our lives. It is philosophy that we turn to when have the need to seek out a guiding principle for our lives. Therefore, philosophy holds a prominent place in society and in the world. Basically, everyone is a philosopher, but it takes the creative genius and reasoning of brilliant thinkers to bring about world-shattering concepts. Nevertheless, the common man also ruminates about his life and his unique existence to try to find the meaning of his life....   [tags: Papers] 506 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Lippmann holds that a large group of people is intrinsically unable to keep up with changing events. More dangerous, says the author, is the ease with which the media can sway public opinion. Because the masses have neither the political experience nor the time required to form informed opinions, they are subject to oversimplified and volatile opinions. This has a severe effect on the kinds of leaders elected in a popular democracy. Because the statesmen in this situation must appease the public opinion, successful politicians


Return to 123HelpMe.com