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Democracy and Capitalism.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 1100
Professor
M.Cameron
Semester
Fall

Description
Democracy and Capitalism There is a fundamental tension between democracy and capitalism Why does market capitalism favor democracy? Societies that have market capitalism are the societies that have polyarchical democracy Certain features of market capitalism is what makes it favorable to democracy: such as private ownership that are fundamentally separate from state control. Market capitalism seems to have generally social and political consequences that are favorable to 
 polyarchical democracy. Market-capitalism has typically led to economic growth; and economic growth is favorable to democracy. (Cutting poverty and improving living standards, economic growth helps to reduce social and political conflicts) When economic conflicts do arise, growth provides more resources that are available for a mutually satisfactory settlement in which each side gains something. Growth also provides individuals, groups and governments with surplus resources to support education, and thus to foster a literate and educated citizenry. 4. Dahl says that while market capitalism “greatly favors the development of democracy up to the level of polyarchical democracy” it is not favorable to a deepening of “democracy beyond the level of polyarchy” (p. 178). Explain Dahl’s point, and explain the ways in which Gaventa’s analysis of power supports this point. In his 1989 book, Democracy and its critics, Dahl gives the following characteristics of a polyarchy (p. 233): . Control over governmental decisions about policy is constitutionally vested in elected officials. . Elected officials are chosen and peacefully removed in relatively frequent, fair and free elections in which coercion is quite limited. . Practically all adults have the right to vote in these elections. . Most adults also have the right to run for the public offices for which candidates run in these elections. . Citizens have an effectively enforced right to freedom of expression, particularly political expression, including criticism of the offic
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