Analysis Of Daniel J. Boorstin's The Decline Of Radicalism

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In the excerpt The Decline of Radicalism Daniel J. Boorstin discusses the distinction between dissent and disagreement. Boorstin makes the broad claim that there is a significant difference separating the two: dissent is a poison to our society while disagreement is good. While it’s true disagreement is good it is false to claim that dissension is the “Problem of America today.” Both disagreement and dissent contribute to the functioning of a democracy as proven throughout history. The author, Boorstin, said “Disagreement is the lifeblood of democracy, dissension is it’s cancer.” This statement is not entirely true. Yes, Disagreement is healthy and should be encouraged because it's supported by our First Amendment, which is basically our “lifeblood” in America, but dissent is too…show more content…
“Disagreement produces debate, but dissent produces dissension.” Dissent, most of the times involves more emotion than disagreement, which might make it seem like “a cause of all others,” but it is not. During a disagreement where there are two people arguing dissent has to be in the opposition for there to be even a real argument. For example, if two people: one a volleyball fan and another a basketball fan, who both disagree on what sport is better than there's gonna be some sorta dissent involved. Though eventually an agreement can be made, there must have been some dissent present because if either person actually considered the other, there would be no argument. Therefore a society doesn't just “thrive on disagreement and get killed by dissent,” it thrives on both. In conclusion, disagreement is good but dissension is not the “Problem of America today.” In fact, it is actually the reason why we have a functioning democracy. Dissension and Disagreement combined make us a society that can be a democracy that can grow and
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