“It’s a small phrase when you think about it: “the pursuit of happiness.” It’s somewhat over-shadowed in the Declaration of Independence by the weightier notions of “life” and “liberty.” In today’s mass culture, it even comes close to being banal. Who, after all, doesn’t want to pursue happiness? But in its own day, the statement was perhaps the most radical political statement ever delivered. And when we try and fathom why it is that the United States still elicits such extreme hatred in some parts of the world, this phrase is as good a place to start as any.Order now
” “What power four little words still have. And what carnage they must still endure to survive. ”
Andrew Sullivan’s article, “The Pursuit of Happiness – Four Revolutionary Words”, may have been the best or most intriguing story we have read thus far. But you didn’t ask us to summarize it, besides how could we do that in only two pages. Instead you asked us to historicize this powerful piece, which yet is still a hard task to complete. In the opening line the Declaration of independence and its meaning of life and Liberty are mentioned.
The Declaration came about on July 4, 1776, which recorded the proclamation of the 2nd American Continental Congress asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain (Webster’s Dictionary). Sullivan immediately follows into references of the chaotic conditions of the 18th century. One example is that there were rumors and belief of witches; inurn innocent people were being burned at the stake, (where were their “certain unalienable Rights” then). As Sullivan states countries were being torn apart because of imperfection (I thought that “That all men are created equal, and, that they are endowed by their Creator )(God).
are watching the freedom that they feel we have as expressed though American television and businesses. A fear of total anarchy has arisen in the hearts of their leaders, and many are holding on for dear life to their old customs and beliefs of control, while others such as China and Russia are hesitantly going with the flow. Sullivan is unsure of the effect this Pursuit of Happiness will have on the future; can any of us predict, we only know the past and the present.
“As I write I have no idea as to the conclusion of this new drama in world history except that it will have ramifications as large and as lasting as the Cold War.”
ANDREW SULLIVAN. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS – Four Revolutionary Words.
Forbes ASAP, “The Big Issue,” November 2001. Web. 29 June 2015.