Modernization theory is essentially an academic, and pseudoscientific, transfer of the dominant, and ideologically significant, paradigm employed in research on the American political system. The still dominant paradigm, despite increasing criticism and revisionism is, of course, the pragmatic-pluralist conception of political process, associated with a form of liberalism which links democratic legitimacy with high levels of participation and with egalitarian distributive outcomes. While this paradigm has been criticized as either scientifically inadequate or normatively skewed (toward freedom, against order), its vigor as a legitimating explanation is largely undiminished. This pluralist legitimation of the American political system is based upon a relatively simple conception of political structure, which is understood as producing an appearance of a formal contradiction which is, in turn, resolved by means of the concept of time (or process). Just as Martin Heidegger used the idea of temporality to resolve the apparent contradiction between Being and existence, so the temporality of the pragmatic-pluralist political process resolves the apparent contradiction between the structured inequality of the American system at any given time and the legitimating ideal of equality. Temporality justifies inequality by subordinating it to the freedom to restructure the system through unfettered, self-motivated mobility. In other words, since freedom justifies order, according to this doctrine, an alternative scientific justification of either freedom or order has obvious political drawbacks.