Michael Ignatieff's Argumentative Analysis

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Recognition is a way to explore and discover one’s authentic self. Expanding on this idea, recognition can also be viewed as a way to understand a nation’s identity. Michael Ignatieff, historian, and Charles Taylor, philosopher, broadened the idea of recognition through their writings. Both believe that human individuals need to have their identities recognized and that the protection of our rights is necessary for that recognition. Taylor thoroughly explained the contribution of individualism to the idea of recognition. He had no doubt that recognition does not just emphasize the freedom of the individual but also proposes models of society. At the same time, Ignatieff explored the idea of recognition in the scope of politics. He believed…show more content…
By recognizing people’s identities, equal rights that are passed by the government can satisfy their needs as well. He further built up his argument by explaining Aboriginal people’s circumstances. In 1763, an imperial proclamation recognized Aboriginals’ treaty rights and their identity as a separate nation (Ignatieff 58). The Indian Act exempted the aboriginals from paying taxes, however they remained to have the status of minority. The government denied their right to present themselves for who they are (Ignatieff 59). Throughout history, we learned to accept their differences and grant their rights as free people. Aboriginal people earned recognition from the nation by providing them equal rights as citizens of Canada. By learning to identify their authentic self, they were able to fight for what is rightfully theirs. As Michael Ignatieff stated, “For any people, aboriginal or not, the right to be the member of a nation is a vital condition for personal respect, honour and dignity.” (Ignatieff 60) The same issue applies with Quebec. Minorities that spoke another language had dominated the Quebecois. In 1969, former Prime Minister, Trudeau, decided to grant all Canadians with the right to bilingual services in French and English in all federal institutions (Ignatieff 63). Ignatieff indicated, “There is no possibility of maintaining a national community of any kind unless every individual within it, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or national origin, can count on an equality of rights.” (Ignatieff 65) Equality can stand accomplished with the participation of each individual in

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