Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ETHICS, Anti-Theory


A Bibliographical Survey of Selected Introductory Philosophical
Literature on Anti-Theory
Biliographical essays are drawn from Lawrence M. Hinman, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory, 3rd Edition [Wadsworth, 2002] © 2002

The chapter, "Theories Against Theories: Recent Developments," has been omitted from the third edition of Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach. It is available free of charge on-line here.

Key Essays

One of the key essays to raise doubts about ethical theories as such was G. E. M. Anscombe's "Modern Moral Philosophy," originally published in 1958 and reprinted in her Ethics, Religion and Politics. In the next two years, Philippa Foot's "Moral Arguments" (1958) and "Moral Beliefs" (1959) continued this attack on traditional moral theory; these are reprinted in her Virtues and Vices (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978). More recently, Michael Stocker's "The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 73 (1976), pp. 453-66 has set the stage for the discussion of this issue, along with Bernard Williams' essays, especially his critique of utilitarianism in Utilitarianism: For and Against (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973); his essay on "Morality and the Emotions" in Problems of the Self (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973); and "Persons, Character, and Morality," "Moral Luck," and "Utilitarianism and Moral Self- Indulgence" in Moral Luck (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Stocker's most recent position on these issues is to be found in his Plural and Conflicting Values (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); Williams' most recent work is Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985). A rather different perspective on the impossibility of moral theory appears in the eloquent opening chapter of MacIntyre's After Virtue, 2nd edition (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984) as well as his introduction to Revisions, edited by Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983).

Stanley Clarke and Evan Simpson have edited a good anthology of recent work on this topic in Anti-Theory in Ethics and Moral Conservatism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989); it also contains a very good bibliographical essay.

Moral Contextuality
For an account of the ways in which different types of moral theories may be appropriate to different contexts, see Virginia Held, Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action. (New York: The Free Press, 1984), esp. Chapter 4: "Moral Theory and Moral Experience." Michael Walzer makes a similar suggestion in his Spheres of Justice (New York: Basic Books, 1983). Dorothy Emmet sketches out an account of the perspectival character of moral theories in The Moral Prism (New York: St. Martin's, 1979). Stephen Toulmin's The Place of Reason in Ethics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) argues against the universality of ethical principles and in favor of the case-by-case approach to moral problems that characterized the casuistical tradition.

Moral Theory and Moral Experience
For discussions of some general issues about the relation between moral theory and moral experience, which has come under intensive scrutiny in recent years, see, especially Edmund Pincoffs, "Quandary Ethics," Revisions, pp. 92-112, and his Quandaries and Virtues: Against Reductivism in Ethics (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1986), esp. Part I; Cora Diamond, "Anything but Argument?", Philosophical Investigations , Vol. 5 (January, 1982), 23-41; Annette Baier, "Theory and Reflective Practices," and "Doing Without Moral Theory," Postures of the Mind (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1985), pp. 207-45; J. B. Schneewind, "Moral Knowledge and Moral Principles," Revisions, edited by Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), pp. 113-26; Amélie Oksenberg Rorty, Mind in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Mind (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988) esp. Chap. 14, "Three Myths of Moral Theory." For a strong defense of moral theory in light of such criticisms, see Robert B. Louden, Morality and Moral Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

The importance of moral vision is stressed by Iris Murdoch, "The Idea of Perfection," The Sovereignty of Good (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970), esp. pp. 17 ff.; also see Murdoch's "Vision and Choice in Morality," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume XXX (1956), pp. 32-58. Among those deeply influenced by Murdoch, see especially the work of Lawrence Blum, including his "Iris Murdoch and the Domain of the Moral" Philosophical Studies, Vol. 50 (1986), pp. 343-67 and his "Moral Perception and Particularity." Working from a quite different background, Michael DePaul also makes a persuasive case for the role of perception in the moral life in his "Argument and Perception," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 10 (1988), pp. 552-65. This is also an important theme in the work of John Kekes; see especially Chapter Nine of his The Examined Life (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988), and his "Moral Imagination, Freedom, and the Humanities," American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 2 (April, 1991), pp. 101- 11. One of the major issues in the discussion of the nature of moral vision is that of moral realism; for an introductory discussion of the questions surrounding this issue, see David McNaughton's Moral Vision (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988).

The Notion of a Moral Agent
For illuminating comments on the general "thinness" of modern conceptions of the moral agent, see Alasdair MacIntyre, "How Moral Agents Became Ghosts," Synthese, Vol. 53 (1982), pp. 295-312.

Impartiality and Particularity

The issue of impartiality and particularity has received a lot of attention of late. As usual, much of it begins with the work of Bernard Williams; see especially his "Persons, Character, and Morality." Most recently, the Symposium on Impartiality and Ethical Theory in Ethics, Vol. 101, No 4 (July, 1991) includes excellent essays by Lawrence Blum on "Moral Perception and Particularity," by Adrian Piper on impartiality and compassion, by Marcia Baron on "Impartiality and Friendship," and by Marilynn Friedman on "The Practice of Partiality," which provides a helpful refinement of our notion of partiality itself; Barbara Herman provides a subtle and tightly-woven defense of Kantian impartiality. In addition to Herman, some of the most able defenders of impartiality include Stephen Darwall, whose Impartial Reason (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983) is one of the best articulations of a Kantian view of moral reasoning; Derek Parfit, who argues in Reasons and Persons (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) that ethics should be more impersonal; and, most recently, Shelly Kagan's The Limits of Morality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) offers a penetrating discussion of this issue. Robert Adams provides an excellent discussion of the issues surrounding Parfit's claims about impersonality in his review, "Should Ethics Be More Impersonal?" Philosophical Review, Vol. 98, No. 4 (October, 1989), pp. 439-84. Also see the work of Thomas Nagel, especially his The View from Nowhere (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) and Equality and Partiality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).

The emphasis on impartiality has led to a neglect of some traditional virtues. Loyality is one of the most interesting of these. On this issue, see Philip Pettit's The Paradox of Loyalty," American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2 (April, 1988), pp. 163-71, and especially George P. Fletcher, Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

Ethics and Literature
On the relationship between ethics and literature, see especially the following two symposia: "Symposium on Morality and Literature" in Ethics, Vol. 98, No. 2 (January, 1988); "Literature and/as Moral Philosophy" in New Literary History, Vol. XV, No. 1 (Autumn, 1983); on the moral power of stories, also see Robert Coles, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989); also see the wonderfully rich analyses in Martha Craven Nussbaum's The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) and the conceptual framework elaborated by Richard Wollheim in his The Thread of Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984). Wayne C. Booth's The Company We Keep. An Ethics of Fiction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) offers an exceptionally insightful discussion of the rhetoric of moral theories. Richard Eldridge traces the unfolding of Kantian moral themes in Conrad, Wordworth, Coleridge, and Jane Austen in his On Moral Personhood. Philosophy, Literature, Criticism, and Self-Understanding (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).

Emotions and Morality
Several philosophers have discussed the issue of the place of the emotions in the moral life. Bernard Williams's "Morality and the Emotions," Problems of the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), pp. 207-29 is an excellent starting-point. I have dealt with this issue in more depth in relation to Kant in "On the Purity of Our Moral Motives," The Monist, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April, 1983), pp. 251-67, as has Nancy Sherman more recently in "The Place of Emotions in Kantian Morality" in Identity, Character, and Morality, edited by Owen Flanagan and Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Cambridge: MIT press, 1990), pp. 149-71. Justin Oakley's Morality and the Emotions (London: Routledge, 1992) offers a strong defense of the positive role that the emotions play in the moral life. Among recent works that stress the cognitive dimension of emotions, see especially Ronald de Sousa, The Rationality of Emotion (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1987); Patricia S. Greenspan, Emotions and Reasons: An Inquiry into Emotional Justification (New York: Routledge, 1988); Jerome Neu, Emotion, Thought and Therapy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977); Gabriele Taylor, Pride, Guilt and Shame: Emotions of Self-Assessment (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985); and Martha Craven Nussbaum's forthcoming The Therapy of Desire. In Wise Choices, Apt Feelings (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), Alan Gibbard articulates a theory of normative judgment in which emotions play a highly significant role.

Moral Saints
The literature on moral saints is growing quickly. In addition to Susan Wolf's "Moral Saints" The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 79, No. 8 (August, 1982), pp. 419-39 and Robert Adams' rejoinder, "Saints," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 81, No. 7 (July, 1984), pp. 392-401, see Pincoffs' "A Defense of Perfectionism" and "Ideals of Virtue and Moral Obligation: Gandhi," both of which are in his Quandaries and Virtues (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1986) and Robert Louden's "Can We Be Too Moral?" Ethics, Vol. 98 (1988), pp. 361-78. For an excellent analysis of the issue of moral perfectibility in political theory, see Virginia Lewis Muller's The Idea of Perfectibility (Latham: University Press of America, 1985). Two recent philosophical works direct themselves to issues about the relationship between moral goodness and individuality: Owen Flanagan's Varieties of Moral Personality (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) and John Kekes' Facing Evil (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). Both Edith Wyschogrod's Saints and Postmodernism: Revisioning Moral Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990) and Robert Inchausti's The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991) contain detailed discussions of specific figures. Lawrence Blum's "Moral Exemplars," Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XIII (1988), pp. 196-221 contains excellent discussions of specific figures, including Schindler, and a penetrating consideration of the question of flawed exemplars. For an excellent biography of Oscar Schindler's life, see Thomas Keneally Schindler's List. (New York, 1983).

Metaphors of Discourse
Comparatively little work has been done on metaphors of discourse. See the excellent discussion of argument as war in George Lackoff and Mark Johnson's Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981) and the discussion by Janice Moulton of "A Paradigm for Philosophy: The Adversary Method" and her "Duelism in Philosophy;" Maryann Ayim's "Violence and Domination as Metaphors in Academic Discourse;" and Susan Peterson's "Are You Teaching Philosophy, or Playing the Dozens?" (unpublished essay)in Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, edited by Sandra Harding and Merrill B. Hintikka (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983), pp. 149-64.

The importance of dialogue is emphasized by Hans-Georg Gadamer in his Truth and Method (New York: Seabury, 1975); the idea of conversation, and the conditions necessary for genuine conversations, is developed by Jurgen Habermas, especially in his Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990) and in his exchanges with Gadamer. Some helpful essays on this theme are gathered together in Michael Kelly's anthology Hermeneutics and Critical Theory in Ethics and Politics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990). For a well-argued defense of dialogue that is couched in the language of contemporary Anglo- American philosophy, see Bruce Ackerman, "Why Dialogue?" The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 86, No. 1 (January, 1989), pp. 5-22

History behind the Equal Rights Amendment

The History Behind the Equal Rights Amendment

by Roberta W. Francis,
Chair, ERA Task Force
National Council of Women's Organizations


Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

As supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment between 1972 and 1982 lobbied, marched, rallied, petitioned, picketed, went on hunger strikes, and committed acts of civil disobedience, it is probable that many of them were not aware of their place in the long historical continuum of women’s struggle for constitutional equality in the United States. From the very beginning, the inequality of men and women under the Constitution has been an issue for advocacy.

In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John, "In the new code of laws, remember the ladies and do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands."1 John Adams replied, "I cannot but laugh. Depend upon it, we know better than to repeal our masculine systems."2

The new Constitution’s promised rights were fully enjoyed only by certain white males. Women were treated according to social tradition and English common law and were denied most legal rights. In general they could not vote, own property, keep their own wages, or even have custody of their children.

19th-Century Women’s Rights Struggles

The first visible public demand for equality came in 1848, at the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who had met as abolitionists working against slavery, convened a two-day meeting of 300 women and men to call for justice for women in a society where they were systematically barred from the rights and privileges of citizens. A Declaration of Sentiments and eleven other resolutions were adopted with ease, but the proposal for woman suffrage was passed only after impassioned speeches by Stanton and former slave Frederick Douglass, who called the vote the right by which all others could be secured. However, the country was far from ready to take the issue of women’s rights seriously, and the call for justice was the object of much ridicule.

After the Civil War, Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth fought in vain to have women included in new constitutional amendments giving rights to former slaves. The 14th Amendment defined citizens as "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" and guaranteed equal protection of the laws – but in referring to the electorate, it introduced the word "male" into the Constitution for the first time. The 15th Amendment declared that "the right of citizens . . . to vote shall not be denied or abridged . . . on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude" – but women of all races were still denied the ballot.

To Susan B. Anthony, the rejection of women’s claim to the vote was unacceptable. In 1872, she went to the polls in Rochester, NY, and cast a ballot in the presidential election, citing her citizenship under the 14th Amendment. She was arrested, tried, convicted, and fined $100, which she refused to pay. In 1875, the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett said that while women may be citizens, all citizens were not necessarily voters, and states were not required to allow women to vote.

Until the end of their long lives, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony campaigned for a constitutional amendment affirming that women had the right to vote, but they died in the first decade of the 20th century without ever casting a legal ballot.

Victory for Woman Suffrage

The new century saw a profound change in the lives of women, as they joined the workforce in increasing numbers, led the movement for progressive social reform, and finally generated enough mass power to win the vote. Carrie Chapman Catt and the National American Woman Suffrage Association were a mainstream lobbying force of millions at every level of government. Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party were a small, radical group that not only lobbied but conducted marches, political boycotts, picketing of the White House, and civil disobedience. As a result, they were attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and force-fed. But the country’s conscience was stirred, and support for woman suffrage grew.

The 19th Amendment affirming women’s right to vote steamrolled out of Congress in 1919, getting more than half the ratifications it needed in the first year. Then it ran into stiff opposition from states’-rights advocates, the liquor lobby, business interests against higher wages for women, and a number of women themselves, who believed claims that the amendment would threaten the family and require more of them than they felt their sex was capable of.

As the amendment approached the necessary ratification by three-quarters of the states, the threat of rescission surfaced. Finally the battle narrowed down to a six-week seesaw struggle in Tennessee. The fate of the 19th Amendment was decided by a single vote, that of 24-year-old legislator Harry Burn, who switched from "no" to "yes" in response to a letter from his mother saying, "Hurrah, and vote for suffrage!" The Secretary of State in Washington, DC issued the 19th Amendment’s proclamation immediately, before breakfast on August 26, 1920, in order to head off any final obstructionism.3

Thus mainstream and militant suffragists together finally won the first, and still the only, specific written guarantee of women’s equal rights in the Constitution – the 19th Amendment, which declared, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." It had been 72 years from Seneca Falls to victory, and ironically, the most controversial resolution had been written into law first. But many laws and practices in the workplace and in society still perpetuated men’s status as privileged and women’s status as second-class citizens.

The Equal Rights Amendment

Freedom from legal sex discrimination, Alice Paul believed, required an Equal Rights Amendment that affirmed the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens. In 1923, in Seneca Falls for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention, she introduced the "Lucretia Mott Amendment," which read: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in reworded form in 1972.

Although the National Woman’s Party and professional women such as Amelia Earhart supported the amendment, reformers who had worked for protective labor laws that treated women differently from men were afraid that the ERA would wipe out the progress they had made.

In the early 1940s, the Republican Party and then the Democratic Party added support of the Equal Rights Amendment to their platforms. Alice Paul rewrote the ERA in 1943 to what is now called the "Alice Paul Amendment," reflecting the 15th and the 19th Amendments: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." But the labor movement was still committed to protective workplace laws, and social conservatives considered equal rights for women a threat to the existing power structure.

In the 1960s, over a century after the fight to end slavery fostered the first wave of the women’s rights movement, the civil rights battles of the time provided an impetus for the second wave. Women organized to demand their birthright as citizens and persons, and the Equal Rights Amendment rather than the right to vote became the central symbol of the struggle.

Finally, organized labor and an increasingly large number of mainstream groups joined the call for the ERA, and politicians reacted to the power of organized women’s voices in a way they had not done since the battle for the vote.

The Equal Rights Amendment passed the U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives, and on March 22, 1972, the proposed 27th Amendment to the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification. But as it had done for every amendment since the 18th (Prohibition), with the exception of the 19th Amendment, Congress placed a seven-year deadline on the ratification process. This time limit was placed not in the words of the ERA itself, but in the proposing clause.

Like the 19th Amendment before it, the ERA barreled out of Congress, getting 22 of the necessary 38 state ratifications in the first year. But the pace slowed as opposition began to organize – only eight ratifications in 1973, three in 1974, one in 1975, and none in 1976.

Arguments by ERA opponents such as Phyllis Schlafly, right-wing leader of the Eagle Forum/STOP ERA, played on the same fears that had generated female opposition to woman suffrage. Anti-ERA organizers claimed that the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld. Opponents surfaced from other traditional sectors as well. States’-rights advocates said the ERA was a federal power grab, and business interests such as the insurance industry opposed a measure they believed would cost them money. Opposition to the ERA was also organized by fundamentalist religious groups.

Pro-ERA advocacy was led by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and ERAmerica, a coalition of nearly 80 other mainstream organizations. However, in 1977, Indiana became the 35th and so far the last state to ratify the ERA. That year also marked the death of Alice Paul, who, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony before her, never saw the Constitution amended to include the equality of rights she had worked for all her life.

Hopes for victory continued to dim as other states postponed consideration or defeated ratification bills. Illinois changed its rules to require a three-fifths majority to ratify an amendment, thereby ensuring that their repeated simple majority votes in favor of the ERA did not count. Other states proposed or passed rescission bills, despite legal precedent that states do not have the power to retract a ratification.

As the 1979 deadline approached, some pro-ERA groups, like the League of Women Voters, wanted to retain the eleventh-hour pressure as a political strategy. But many ERA advocates appealed to Congress for an indefinite extension of the time limit, and in July 1978, NOW coordinated a successful march of 100,000 supporters in Washington, DC. Bowing to public pressure, Congress granted an extension until June 30, 1982.

The political tide continued to turn more conservative. In 1980 the Republican Party removed ERA support from its platform, and Ronald Reagan was elected president. Although pro-ERA activities increased with massive lobbying, petitioning, countdown rallies, walkathons, fundraisers, and even the radical suffragist tactics of hunger strikes, White House picketing, and civil disobedience, ERA did not succeed in getting three more state ratifications before the deadline. The country was still unwilling to guarantee women constitutional rights equal to those of men.

The Equal Rights Amendment was reintroduced in Congress on July 14, 1982 and has been before every session of Congress since that time. In the 110th Congress (2007-2008), it has been introduced as S.J.Res. 10 (lead sponsor: Sen. Edward Kennedy, MA) and H.J.Res. 40 (lead sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, NY). These bills impose no deadline on the ERA ratification process. Success in putting the ERA into the Constitution via this process would require passage by a two-thirds in each house of Congress and ratification by 38 states.

An alternative strategy for ERA ratification has arisen from the "Madison Amendment," concerning changes in Congressional pay, which was passed by Congress in 1789 and finally ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. The acceptance of an amendment after a 203-year ratification period has led some ERA supporters to propose that Congress has the power to maintain the legal viability of the ERA’s existing 35 state ratifications. The legal analysis for this strategy is outlined in "The Equal Rights Amendment: Why the ERA Remains Legally Viable and Properly Before the States," an article by Allison Held, Sheryl Herndon, and Danielle Stager in the Spring 1997 issue of William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law.

Under this rationale, it is likely that Congress could choose to legislatively adjust or repeal the existing time limit constraint on the ERA, determine whether or not state ratifications after the expiration of a time limit in a proposing clause are valid, and promulgate the ERA after the 38th state ratifies.

The Congressional Research Service analyzed this legal argument in 19964 and concluded that acceptance of the Madison Amendment does have implications for the premise that approval of the ERA by three more states could allow Congress to declare ratification accomplished. As of 2007, ratification bills testing this three-state strategy have been introduced in one or more legislative sessions in eight states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Virginia), and supporters are seeking to move such bills in all 15 of the unratified states.5

In her remarks as she introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in Seneca Falls in 1923, Alice Paul sounded a call that has great poignancy and significance over 80 years later: "If we keep on this way they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are. . . . If we had not concentrated on the Federal Amendment we should be working today for suffrage. . . . We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government."


1 Letter, March 31, 1776 (in Alice S. Rossi, The Feminist Papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir, New York: Columbia University Press, 1973).

2 Letter, April 14, 1776 (ibid.)

3 Carol Lynn Yellin, "Countdown in Tennessee, 1920," American Heritage (December 1978).

4 David C. Huckabee, "Equal Rights Amendment: Ratification Issues," Memorandum, March 18, 1996 (Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, DC).

5Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.


House Moves to Protect Nation's Environment
Alphonce Shiundu
11 August 2010


Nairobi — Kenya's Parliament is asking the Government to enact green policies to protect the environment.

The unanimous decision came from the House on Wednesday morning as MPs approved a motion calling on the Government to develop emission standards, curb pollution and combat climate change.

Mr Chachu Ganya (North Horr, ODM) took the climate change battle to the House with a call on the government to put a "clean and secure environment" on the forefront, even as it trudges towards the country's development roadmap, the Kenya Vision 2030.

Mr Ganya said, the development envisioned in the next 20 years was "bound to generate high pollution and accumulation of toxic waste, and greenhouse gases contributing to climate change."

Dr Wilbur Otichillo (Emuhaya, ODM) and assistant minister Lee Kinyanjui backed the motion saying it was time the Government put the push for a "green economy" at the core of the development agenda.

Buoyed by his experience in Europe, Dr Otichillo proposed that the government can also build subways and introduce trams and electric trains as an alternative to the pollution from the exhaust fumes from vehicles.

"If you go to the Netherlands, most people go to work using bicycles. This reduces pollution. But here in Kenya, there's so much carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere due to the huge traffic jams in our city," he said. "The issue of pollution is causing a lot of health problems. Cases of respiratory illnesses are just too many and the main culprit is the transport sector. We have to act now."

Carbon Tax

The MP said the government can also introduce carbon tax so that "those whose vehicles and factories contribute most to pollution" are forced to pay for the dangers they are exposing the country to. He said the city has to be demarcated into "traffic zones" so that it is easier to manage pollution from vehicles. To enforce this, he said, car stickers will be essential.

The management of electronic waste - from computers, mobile phones, TV sets, radios and such -- also surfaced in the debate, with MPs saying it was important to look at how this are disposed of.

Relevant Links
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"We need to introduce a policy whereby people are forced to share cars, to pool cars," Dr Otichillo said. MPs also pushed for solar, biogas and wind energy as alternatives to the diesel and petrol engines used in factories and other manufacturing plants.

Ms Rachel Shebesh (nominated, ODM) said the government had to involve the people in the climate change debate. "So far, the debate has been technical and restricted to boardrooms and conferences. We need to enlighten our citizens," she said. "It is about time that the government clearly spells out the role of each ministry in climate change. The world is going green, there are green economies, we can't expect all data on climate change in one ministry. We need a central command to advise all ministries."

Mr Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti, PNU) said MPs ought to put the government on toes when it comes curbing the importation of old vehicles and nabbing unroadworthy vehicles.


The English Only movement is the organized effort to make English as the official language of the United States, led principally by a powerful right wing organization called U. S. English, whose founder is connected to anti-immigrant and population controlled organizations.

The premise of the movement is that the primacy of English language is endangered as more of more immigrants are moving into the United States who do not speak English and are coddled by bilingual services which have encouraged them not to learn English. The growing move to multilingualism, English Only advocates warned, will lead to disunity and separatism in the United States. The reality is that U.S. English and other English Only organizations are more concerned with the non-European and non-white characteristics of the recent immigrant population. Their xenophobia is shown by the anti-writings of its founders and the fact they are often associated with to anti-immigration organizations.

The goal of the English Only Movement is to make English as the official language of the federal government and the states, banning most interpreter services and limiting bilingual education. U.S. English has succeeded to lobby for the passage of English Only initiatives or legislation in 18 states since its founding in 1983 (There are presently 23 English Only states).


Who is Behind the English Only Movement?

The English Only movement is the organized effort to make English the official language of the United States. It's led principally by a well-funded multi-million dollar right wing organization called U.S. English, which boasts a membership of over 570,000. U. S. English has successfully lobbied for the passage of English Only laws in 18 states (out of 22 total English Only states) since its founding in 1983.

Although U.S. English's propaganda often suggests otherwise, the racism and anti-immigrant philosophies are readily evident when we examine some of U. S. English's roots. Dr. John Tanton, principal founder and architect of U.S. English, is also the founder and former chairman of the anti-immigration organization, FAIR ( Federaton for American Immigration Reform). FAIR is the leading national agency promoting the current wave of legislation and policy restricting immigration and denying benefits for immigrants. FAIR and U.S. English are on a list of anti-immigration and population-control organizations supported by Dr. Tanton's personal non-profit umbrella, U.S. Inc. Other organizations on that list include: the Center for Immigration Studies, Californians for Population Stabilization, and Americans for Border Control.

Dr. Tanton's racist views on immigrants, particularly regarding Latinos, were reflected in a 1986 memo that was leaked out - warning about the specter of an Hispanic take-over of the United States: " ... in a society where the majority rules... Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile... As Whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night?" As the result of the negative publicity related to the memo, Dr. Tanton was forced to resign as Chairman of U. S. English. However, U.S. English's propaganda machine has successfully deflected the Tanton controversy by reinventing some of its history. The late Senator S. I. Hayakawa of California, the former honorary chairman, is now described as the lone founder of U.S. English in all its literature.

Another questionable source of U.S. English's earlier funding was the Pioneer Fund, which supports eugenics research for racial betterment. Pioneer Fund was created in 1937 to support what it called "applied genetics in present day Germany", referring to Hitler's program of forced sterilization. In the 1970's, the Pioneer Fund also financed the research of William Shackle and Arthur Jenson on Blacks and lower IQ's.

The third principal funding source for U.S. English was Mellon heiress Cordelia Scaife May, who poured at least $5.8 to U.S. English, FAIR and other affiliated organization over the 1980's through her Laurel Foundation. May's Laurel Foundation sponsored the publication of The Camp of the Saints, a futuristic novel about the destruction of European civilization by third world immigrants.


Frequently Asked Questions About English-Only

Is the primacy of the English endangered?

Are recent immigrants resistant to learning English?

Would official English laws promote national unity?

Aren't "English Only" laws simply harmless symbolic acts?

1) Is the primacy of the English endangered?

No, the primacy of English is not endangered. It's already the de facto language of the United States. English is the de facto language of the United States. All public business, and most private business, is conducted in English. Foreign businesses who do business successfully in the United States require that their salespeople learn English. What we should support instead is the mastery of a second language or multiple languages. For American business to be competitive in our global market place, knowledge of other languages and cultures is crucial.

2) Are recent immigrants resistant to learning English?

No, newcomers recognize the primacy of English in our society and want to learn English. Over 95% of the people in the United States already speak English and over 85% are native speakers. Immigrants are experiencing a faster shift to English today than there was in prior generations. According to a 1985 Rand Corporation study, 95% of first generation Hispanic immigrants learn English; of their children, 100% speak English, and 50% speak only English. English Only legislation will not provide one penny towards the learning of English and will actually jeopardize the funding of bilingual education programs which help immigrants to learn English. There are thousands of people on waiting lists for English as Second Language classes around the country who want to learn English but cannot because classes are overfilled.

3) Would official English laws promote national unity?

No. Switzerland has three "official" languages and is a model of national unity, while Spain suffered three year bloody civil war when it had one "official" language. Social unity can only exist based on respect for people of different languages and cultures and not the repression of them. Language diversity does not cause social disunity. Similarly, monolingualism does not guarantee social unity.

4) Aren't "English Only" laws simply harmless symbolic acts?

"English Only" laws are not as innocuous as designating a state's official bird, song, or muffin. It is an attempt to limit access to governmental services for newly-arrived residents who may need language assistance in such crucial services as emergency medical help, child health immunization and public health and safety information, elderly and refugee services, employment and training information, etc.