Sumner and Godman

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Date Submitted: 09/11/2013 09:13 PM

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Compare and contrast Sumner and Goldman on government. Be specific, detailed and as clear as possible.

Government is always a huge issue of debate and some believe that it would be best if government would just stay out or disappear. One such believer is William Graham Sumner who wrote that the government was getting too involved with saving the weak and he believed that people should be left to fail or succeed without involvement of the government in his book “ What social classes owe to Each other.” Another anti-government writer who wrote about the role of government and thought that it would be best if we reduce the government's power and influence, he was Emma Goldman in her writing “Anarchism: What it Really Stands For.” Both of these writers though similar in their visions of government were different in that they had different views on what the government should and should not be able to do. These forms of Government had many differences, and similarities.

The survival of the fittest, thought a rough and harsh world, promotes that only the worthy survive. Sumner a social Darwinist, thought that the way to promote such an idea was by less involvement by the government. He was against programs like welfare and believed that the lower class was the lower class because of their lack of motivation to do something with their lives. He thought that by stopping the government involvement in assisting these people, the ones who were worthy to live would find a way to survive and those who were unfit for the world would parish. “The consequence is that those who have gone astray, being relieved from Nature’s fierce discipline, go on to worse, and that there is a constantly heavier burden for the others to bear.” (Sumner 104). His view of the world puts a lot of pressure on the lower class even though they already struggle the most for survival. Goldman’s view of government differs from Sumner’s because she values everyone’s life as important and she...