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Who Would Be On Your Mount Rushmore Of Polsci 101?

April 16, 2011

The presidents that we see on Mount Rushmore are there because they have proven to be influential in the founding and ideas of our nation. I want to ask you, however, who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Political Science 101? Which political theorists have caught your attention and influenced the way you think after studying about them and why?


My Mount ‘PolsciMore” would include, first and foremost, Socrates. Of course Socrates would be my number one because of the way in which he made me consider what I value. Socrates died for what he believed in and proved that he really thought that the only life worth living was the examined one. I think if more people today did not allow outside influence to sway their decisions, the world would be a much better place. Socrates showed us that keeping to your values at any cost is the only way to live your life.

Seated next to Socrates would be Martin Luther King Jr. MLK affected many people that did not even realize it. You don’t have to be African American to appreciate MLK’s use of the tools the constitution gave people to peacefully and assertively fight against injustice. MLK showed that violence was not necessary to get a point across and I have the utmost respect for him for keeping cool while fighting for rights that should not have been excluded to minorities.

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Next would appear the face of John Locke. The reason I would make a place for Locke is because of his thoughts that the purpose of the government is to allow people to pursue their own goals. I find this important because it has some foundation to the “American Dream” in the sense that it protects what we work for and assures us that the government will be there to protect what we have earned. I also liked Locke’s idea of the social contract in which both the government and the people are accountable and can violate it. As opposed to Hobbes’s contract, I feel that Locke’s keeps the government’s actions closer to the people’s needs.

Rounding off the list would be John Stuart Mill. Mill helped me see the importance in listening to everybody, even if they are wrong. By listening to other opinions, we can better define ourselves and understand why we believe the way we do. Also, Mill’s desire for policies that were for the greatest benefit for the greatest number while still ensuring the freedoms of the individual appear to be fair. Here we see some balance between the good for all and the good for the individual, where some other political theorists only favored one.

So who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Polsci 101?

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Picture Sources:

J.S. Mill

John Locke

MLK

Socrates

Mount Rushmore

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