Circumventions and Subversions

The basic concerns of this book go well beyond detailing how the original goals of the civil rights movement have been shamelessly perverted by the courts and bureaucracy. The authors show in some detail how the courts and bureaucracy acting in tandem have endorsed quotas and set asides, policies that now make race and sex "determining factors" in private employment decisions, which is contrary to the plain language and legislative intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the lasting value of this work relates to its thesis that our civil rights policies involve enormous costs, not the least of which is the total abandonment of the fundamental values and practices of our Western liberal heritage. Viewed from a wider perspective, this book is a case study that points out concretely in the area of civil rights what many Americans sense only vaguely with regard to a wide range of policy concerns: the values of our Founding Fathers are being eroded through processes over which there are scarcely am democratic controls.

In detailing this abandonment, the authors rightly stress the centrality of "equality before the law" and the "democratic ideal" to the liberal tradition. With the emergence of "equality before the law," the individual was liberated from the constraints of "birth, privilege, and class" that determined his place and status in the feudal order. For its part, the "democratic...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here