Will Wright's The Wild West: The Mythical Cowboy and Social Theory PDF
By Will Wright
This e-book, written via the writer of the distinguished quantity Six weapons and Society, explains why the parable of the Wild West is well known around the globe. It exhibits how the cultural icon of the Wild West speaks to deep wishes of individualism and liberty and provides a imaginative and prescient of social agreement thought during which a unfastened and equivalent person (the cowboy) emerges from the kingdom of nature (the desolate tract) to construct a civil society (the frontier community). The metaphor of the Wild West retained a dedication to a couple constrained govt (law and order) yet rejected the concept of the totally codified nation as too oppressive (the corrupt sheriff). Compelling and magnificently suggestive, the ebook unpacks one of many middle icons of our time.
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Extra info for The Wild West: The Mythical Cowboy and Social Theory (Cultural Icons series)
Both Locke and Jefferson endorsed the possible necessity of violence against corrupt government. Government must always maintain a delicate balance between chaos (too little law) and oppression (corrupt ‘Natural’ Individuals 43 law), and this delicate balance, indeed, may never satisfy everyone. Criticism is a necessity of democracy – that’s what elections are about – and sometimes criticism must ‘take to the streets’ and defy the law outside the political process. In some cases in American history this defiance of the law is later seen as noble and just because the law was biased and corrupt.
In this version individualist freedom, the freedom of the open frontier, is no longer compatible with market relations. The market cannot be civil, according to the myth and the early individualists, in an urban context of class monopolies and structural inequality. The frontier cowboy hero must become the industrial ‘cowboy’ hero. The frontier hero can combine honor and violence, freedom and civility, but the industrial hero can only combine violence and freedom in a context of absolute corruption.
They defy established laws and rules – government, corporations, bureaucracy – to defend individual freedom. The cowboy is the individualist hero, the symbol of market freedom, and he often has to break the law to maintain a decent society, a society of freedom and equality. The cowboy must use violence to end the State of Nature (violent, vicious villains) or remove corrupt officials (the sheriff, the judge, the mayor). His violence, however, is always tempered by honor. The violence enables a decent market society, and honor must be part of any such society, honor in the sense of honesty, courtesy, morality.
The Wild West: The Mythical Cowboy and Social Theory (Cultural Icons series) by Will Wright