Thoughts of T.H. Marshall (Civil, Political and Social)

In chapter 4, one of the people that is mentioned is Thomas Humphrey Marshall (T.H. Marshall). The chapter describes an essay that was written by Marshall in the 1950 entitled “Citizenship and the Social Class.” Marshall’s essay focused on analyzing the development of citizenship in three aspect of rights that we have as citizens: civil rights, political rights, and social rights. These three different aspects of citizenship, as described by Marshall, were applied to the liberal state of the eighteenth century, the liberal-democratic state of the nineteenth century and the social democratic welfare state of the twentieth century. Despite the fact that Marshall’s theory couldn’t be seen as a complete account of the relationship between states and their citizens, it did help to clarify the differences in the dimensions that citizenship can involve.

The first dimension of rights that is discussed in this section of the chapter is civil rights. The book describes it as being “closely linked to the liberal doctrine of the protection of the freedom of the individual. Today, this type of right is being highly scrutinized. When I read this part of the chapter, the first thought that came to mind which was also an idea that was mentioned in the reading was my right to freedom of speech. The reason I thought of this was due to my line of work. I work for the Youth Opportunity Center and the one problem that many of the residents have in common is the use of profanity While it may not be the most important issue that these residents have occurring in their lives, it is one that we try to change. Whether the residents are agitated or they just have a colorful vocabulary is irrelevant. The point is that they do have a right to converse in any way that they deem fit and we try to take that right from them. This is just the beginning. Everyday people are being criticized for the language that they chose to use whether through their music, speeches or every day conversations and then are expected to apologize for using that language. I’m sorry but that is bull s**t. If you noticed, I just did it there. I used profane language and then apologized for it. Profane words are nothing more than just letters on a page or letters coming out of someone’s mouth in a complete idea. We are defying our civil right if we continue to try and instruct people about the way they converse with others.

The second dimension that is discussed is political rights. The meaning that the book gives behind this idea is that it “involves the right to participate in the government of society, whether directly, through some form of ‘participate democracy,’ or indirectly through the elections of representatives. Voting comes to mind when I think about this idea. The problem with this idea however is that we still discriminate against certain people by not giving them this opportunity. An example that the book describes is the exclusion of Deaf people, in the UK in the early twenty-first century, to exercise their rights because they lacked the linguistic ability to participate in the dominant oral-based hearing society. While this was a problem at one point, solutions have been made to accommodate these individuals by setting up clubs so that these individuals can participate in the debating practices that come with voting as well as the voting process. I thought we had stopped with the discrimination of people that are different but apparently that is load of shit (Sorry for the language; Still not exercising my civil right here). Let’s be real here, no matter what kind of person you are, you are still a human being and should be allowed the same opportunities as someone else. It’s no different than a blind person serving on a jury where viewing evidence is a key factor in the trial. A judge would probably say that “Due to your disability sir/ma’am, you are excused from this hearing.” Why is that? Because the person can’t see? That’s ridiculous. Just because a person can’t see doesn’t mean that he/she shouldn’t be provided with the same rights as a “normal” person.

The third dimension that is discussed in this chapter is social rights. The meaning of this idea is described as “the recognition by the states that citizens have a right to a certain standard of economic and social well-being, which has involved the establishment of welfare and educational services of various kinds within a “welfare state.” First of all, our welfare system sucks ass (I’m not even going to apologize because you know why I won’t). It’s good that we provide help and assistance to those that actually need it but it’s ridiculous to think that that same system also helps those that are plenty able to provide for themselves and make a choice to get assistance when they don’t need it. On top of that, yes we provide educational services by giving out loans for students to be able to go to school, but making professors take attendance to ensure that those students borrowing money are actually using the money that they borrowed wisely is stupid. If a student choses to borrow money from the government and then doesn’t go to class, then it would be no different scenario than the student that does go to class. Are both students still going to have to repay the government the money that they borrowed? The correct answer is YES! My right to educational services and welfare services is slightly misconstrued and complicated but it’s impossible to make this process simple because if we do, then we are depriving people of the social rights.

T.H. Marshall, your ideas about rights and citizenship suck b***s!!! (Should I apologize? I think I’ve made my point).

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2 Responses to Thoughts of T.H. Marshall (Civil, Political and Social)

  1. Jake says:

    Your point is fair, relatively justified, and I don’t disagree on any personal/moral levels. However, among those conscientious enough to think before speaking and being thus capable of adapting their vocabulary to meet contextual appropriateness, there’s still something to be said for respecting the values of others. I say that thinking of my old Mennonite grandmother though, and she’s not reading this.

    [golf applause]

  2. bmwagner2014 says:

    To a point I agree with you. Respecting the values of others should be thought of, however, by thinking about what others may think or how they may feel in regards to someone’s word use, I feel that we tend to filter a lot of our thoughts and feelings because we are afraid of hurting or offending someone. I mean yes, depending on how the word is used it can come across as offensive but it is that person’s personal opinion and telling someone they can’t think that way or say those things is a little absurd.

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