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Mestizo Democracy

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  1. Introduction
  2. Burke's Ideas
  3. The Extended Republic
  4. Egalitarian Ideologies
  5. Summary of the Data
  6. Conclusion


John Francis Burke (2004) in his text Mestizo Democracy argues that as the diversity of the United States increases, changes will occur in the context of democracy. In particular, this author contends that as cultural diversity increases in the United States, the rise of a mestizo democracy will occur. Although the term mestizo means ?mixture? Burke does not see the assimilation of cultures; rather what Burke envisions is a democracy in which the cultural identities of each group are brought together in a symbiotic manner that works toward the development of the greater good. While Burke's conceptualization of the mestizo democracy appears to provide a novel approach to the development of democracy, it is evident that the key elements of mestizo democracy that Burke identifies appear to be commensurate with the idealistic conceptualizations of democracy developed by many of the Founding Fathers. As such, the development of a mestizo democracy in many respects represents the culmination of the republic that the Founding Fathers saw as essential for maintaining equitable social discourse.
With the realization that Burke's mestizo democracy has many elements that represent the idealistic intentions of the Founding Fathers, it is important to consider what Burke writes in the context of the basic ideologies of the Founding Fathers

[...] When examined in this context, it is evident that while Burke's argument for the development of a mestizo democracy does indeed have a clearly theoretical basis, it is not clear as to whether or not efforts to create this type of democracy would indeed bear fruit. With respect to the paradigm of the extended democracy, it is evident that even though Madison saw this method of expanding democracy as the most viable means to ensure equality, this process has not occurred, even despite notable increases in the number of immigrants to the United States. [...]

[...] When Madison's idea of an extended republic is placed in the context of what Burke notes about the development of a multicultural government, it is evident that the mestizo democracy envisioned by Burke is one that holds true to Madison's general idea of the extended republic. Burke believes that when the mestizo democracy is formed, it will not attempt to assimilate different cultural values and ideas. Rather, by the sheer virtue of the multicultural diversity that exists in the country, elected representatives will have no choice but to place specific cultural preferences aside and develop policies that are beneficial to all mankind. [...]

[...] Egalitarian Ideologies Overall, Burke seems to support an egalitarian view in his ideas for a mestizo democracy. In particular, Burke's analysis of the mestizaje he emphasizes capacity for synthesizing both Christian and non-Christian outlooks as well as African, European, and indigenous perspectives? (Burke, 111). In this context, it becomes clear that the mestizaje seeks to create a system in which access to social, economic and political capital is equal for all individuals. This egalitarian ideal is one that is essential to the Founding Fathers and their efforts to create a fair an equitable democracy under the Constitution. [...]

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