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Democratic Theory Lecture Notes.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 365
Jason Scott Ferrell

Democratic Theory Lecture Notes Jan. 9 What do we consider democracy to be?  People’s rule*  Elections- free and fair  Representation (not historically—who gets to participate?)  Rights, freedom, liberty (majority trumped individual rights historically)  Rule of law  Accountability and enforcement of that  Majority rule* (contentious because rights and majority rule not necessarily compatible)  Legislative assembly* Athenian Democracy -Quite different from what we associate with democracy in reality -* What historically was democracy? Democracy as a word: demos- many/people/masses kratia-rule -Rule of the many Monarchy: rule of the one Aristocracy: rule of the few Archy-arche: different connotation of rule than kratia; carries connotations of legitimacy; so have a right to rule whereas kratia has connotations of force, so it is coercive and threatening -Need to make democracy a form of legitimate government—vindicate the term -Still dramatically different from democracy today (us) Greek Government  Earliest form was a monarchy  King ruling in tandem with a council of nobles called the aeropagus, which was a hereditary nobility and had an advisory capacity for the monarch  Indicates deliberation and discussion still have a role in a monarchy— some limitations of the monarch  Role of monarch declined over time as the aeropagus expands and there is an assembly  Assembly during monarchy of some sort but not much known- some sort of citizen body  Aeropagus and assembly’s role increases  Who is allowed to participate? o Determined by wealth, which was determined by how much land you had  6 century BC, Solon institutes reforms that end up tilting authority away from monarchy/aeropagus and towards the assembly  Food shortage in 6 century, so a large proportion of the population wind up selling themselves into slavery to earn money and food  Solon reforms: o Stop the slavery to earn food and relieve debt o Limits on land that someone could own, which places a limit of how much wealth individuals were allowed to accumulate o Limits on how much could be spent on funerals and weddings (other symbols of status; ostentatious displays of wealth)  Status and honor are very important in their conceptions of politics (reading 1)  Solon trying to curb a practice that assaults the concept of honor in society o Forbade export of grain- limits on trade, which was adding to the problem of food shortages o Encouraged immigration of foreigners called metics  Way of expand or supplement work force  People living as a resident of a foreign place (resident aliens) had questionable status but was not looked favorably upon by all  More participation because more foreigners o Loosened restrictions on participating in aeropagus and the assembly  Changed to one of birth to one of wealth  Tried to change criteria so there would be greater participation  Weakened the aeropagus as it tilted importance toward the assembly o Established the council of 400, which was meant to bounce off the aeropagus; more popular; provide agenda setting function for the assembly  Cleisthenes: father of democracy o Reinvented tribal system that defined Athens and determined who was allowed to participate o City initially of 4 tribes determined by birth/patrilineal descent; potential source of problems in the city o Changed to 10 tribes and composition of tribe; now based on where your reside o Divides tribes into regions composed on urban, inland and costal component for each, so 3 different types of people in each region  Changed the sense of loyalty, social identity  Participation in politics ends up changing as well  Composition of military changed  Undercuts clan ties o Introduced council of 500: not sure if it is new or a revision of council on 400  Broadens  Same function as other: agenda setting for assembly o Aeropagus continues: serves as judiciary body and overseeing trials o Introduces ostracism/exile, where if a citizens becomes too ambitious then they can be exiled from the city for a period of 10 years  Better than alternative of enslavement or killing  Not deprived of citizenship, so at end of 10 years welcomed back and regained property  Trying to moderate ambition in assembly who wanted to be more dominant o Shows the egalitarian impulse of Athenian democracy as we see an extension of equally, but not acknowledged too much Institutions and Social Order  Citizens: males over 18  Number varies from 20-100,000 per year  Metics numbered 10,000  Slaves 100,000 o Important in democratic machinery: provided labor that freed up the citizen to participate in the assembly o Voting took place in assembly, so going and being present was important, so slaves were key in allowing citizens to take days off  No hard figures on how many women in Athens at this time  Segregated society: women stayed home and not allowed to participate in assembly; not citizens fully, but could not be enslaved or receive arbitrary punishment  Women performed important roles in society: in charge of religious rights in the house, and oversee burial and funeral operations (wealth factor)  Citizens, metics and Athenian women could not be enslaved or subject to arbitrary corporal punishment  Citizenship**: o To be able to participate in Athenian process o Initially determined by descent o Could not be gained by residency o To gain residency in case of metics there needed to be an Athenian who brought you in and could never gain citizenship o Registered as citizen at 18  Prerogatives of citizenship- no mention of equal rights, but actually that Athenian government based on fact that people have different status o Participate in cults, festivals and worship (very religious society)  Foster community and solidarity o Allowed to attend, speak and vote in the assembly  Isegoria: the equality of speaking o Equal protection of the law  Isonomia  Right to trial o Serve on a jury o Vote for magistrate o Own land—accumulate wealth  Metics can never own land, only earn money o Immune from corporal punishment o Could not be enslaved o Required military service  18-20 serve in military, then allowed to sit in assembly o Pay taxes  Sporadic indirect taxes  No real income taxes  Paying taxes considered honorable Institutions  Assembly first important in time of Solon  Theoretically comprised on whole body of citizens who have the right to speak and vote  Situated on hillside known as the pnyx, but measurably not everyone could fit in the assembly  Procedure: people discuss and debate and everyone votes on the issue; took vote by show of hands o Not very efficient or fair o People tended to gravitate to one side, so it was easy to estimate majority – works with a polar issue o Participation, deliberation are more important than efficiency and getting something done (gridlock good)  Assembly had final say on all matters: alliances, taxes, legislative initiatives  Councils:  Aeropagus: retired magistrates; dwindles to less responsibility  Council of 400/500 o Agenda setting o Preparation of issues to be considered in assembly prior to convening o Bureaucratic function o Foreign dignitaries met with council o Oversight of magistrates o Control finances, public property o Control of fleet and arsenals  Tribes: each one would run council for one month of the year o Head of a council serving of president o Chose one person by lottery that changed everyday of month  Importance of participation  Suggests everybody who is a citizen ahs the ability to serve as head of council; so everyone has skills to be political leaders  Everyone has the ability, so everyone should have a fair opportunity to do this  Courts: come from an annual panel of 6000 potential jurors; considered an honor; by lottery o Resided all types of cases, criminal and civil o Heard complaints against magistrates o Complaints of citizen who was deceiving the assembly o Determined whether a motion was determined constitutional  Punish individuals who were ambition o Vote on guilt and then vote on punishment o Court decisions final- no process of appeal o 30 year age qualification o Could potentially be disqualified if had debt o Jury size ranged from 201 to 501 jurors and deliberated for one day—inefficient and unfair? o 300 days of the year  Magistrates: charged with executing the law in some way; randomly assigned to offices; people who wanted to serve as magistrates nominated themselves o Served for 1 non-renewable year o Actions reviewed by court or council at end of that year  Limited discretion on part of magistrates on how to conduct office  Held accountable o 2 generals appointed by elections  All instruments of participation assume everyone has the ability to do this except for the military  Could be renewed  Generals supposed to come from different tribes Jan. 14 Pericles What are the preconditions for democratic institutions?  Important Habits tied to democracy- predisposed toward democracy: o Easy temperament o Natural perch (?) o Generosity o Sense of beauty o Feeling of honor o Versatility o Ability to participate in deliberation  Benefits of democracy o Commitment to equal justice before the law o Social standing is determined by accomplishment and capacity/ability and not by class o Opportunity for political success—poverty does not ―bar the way‖ o Dilution of envy (since there is opportunity) o Exposure of variety of customs and beliefs o Availability of luxury and leisure—necessary for mind to replenish itself (democracy provides ability to ―blow off steam‖) o Military discipline based upon habits of ease (not labor) o Naturally cultivated courage  Dig at Sparta o Opportunity to pursue private ventures Implications of these assumptions  Comparability? What is a democratic person currently? o Expose to many beliefs and customs: pluralistic o May point to individual rights- freedom and speech and association; some sense of deliberation o Voting—not mentioned by Pericles o Honor is a big difference—something we lack in current notions of democracy o Versatility: idea that we as citizens have to do many things  Internal tensions between social vs. individual desires o Individual ambitions vs. common good o Reconciled by communal ambition trumping individual ones o ―Society wins‖ o Fruits of democracy is a civic ideal- overrides propensity toward individual ambitions o Back to idea of merit of citizen  Citizen is the defining factor o People who do not participate in politics considered ―useless‖  Preconditions of democracy—so democracy does not travel; not for everybody  Tie between freedom and the law—obedience to the law is in some sense the source of freedom o How does this compare with our conceptions of freedom? o Depending on rights? Or come from obedience to your society and laws? Conclusion of assumptions  Significance of the city—trumps all else  Should not retreat on political obligations o Bring back to questionability of metics  Good life defined in terms of the city  Innate capacity for citizens to be able to participate o No presumption of intellectual or wealth to keep away from democracy  Obedience of law is a hallmark of democratic behavior o Freedom not a license/ability to do whatever you want; but is the ability to do what the law says ** no natural rights  Fundamental equality Would you want to go back and live in Athenian democracy? (midterm)  Idealization of democracy  What might be bad about it? Why not go back? o Tradition today of idealizing the Greeks o Difference conception of individual and citizenship  Racial component which allows them to distinguish between groups  Conflicts with our understanding of what it is to be a citizen o Democracy is compatible with a lot of the things we have problems with: slavery, sexism etc.  Very exclusive and narrow o No protection of expression Plato  427 BC born  From an established family  Critical of democracy o Taken to reflect socioeconomic status- wealth; hardships after the war o Personal reasons? o Criticisms recur today! Plato’s Political Vision  Republic: what is the nature of justice  Justice intrinsically and instrumentally valuable  Assumptions o Virtue of knowledge: whatever is good is something we can know as opposed to just an opinion o Truth is objective/universal: discover the truth regardless of context, conditions or culture  Moral truths as there are scientific truths o Truth is universal o If know what is good will do what is good  If truth and goodness has objective/universal status so then to go against it would be irrational  Would not deny 2+2=4 so would not deny what is good o Good of individual is that what is good for the city o Natural differences between individuals  Problems with these assumptions o Morality is not always objective or universal Republicanism  Justice understood as form of harmony  Harmony: analogy between soul and city- different classes/parts of soul and city o Philosophers, guardians and everyone else o Hierarchical arrangement  Denies versatility: everyone is suited for one thing determined by their rationality  Should act rationally, not emotionally  The source of these differences in reason  Differentiation: goes back to ability to reason/different by nature; intellect  Certain people should rule and certain should obey based on intellect— would be irrational any other way Is it wrong to distinguish between what people can do?  Something imperially valid about the assumption Criticism  Democratic conception of equality is mistaken, so to arrange society based on equality is irrational—institutions that treat people equally is irrationally and unjust  Degeneration comes from money and private property—linked to communism  When individual begins to love anything but search of truth and good, then fall away from justice Criticism repeated today  Highlights potentially violent basis of democracy o Kratia: sense of rulership that is coercive o Democracy established by violence or fear of violence  Conceptual claim of democracy as unjust; how it is defined  Empirically; establishment of democracy in modern starts with ―revolution‖  Defined by freedom, but a particular type of freedom (understood as obedience to the law)—difference from how Plato understands it— understood as license of licentiousness—people can do whatever they want  Equality of pleasure as part of basis of democracy, but does not make a distinction between difference types of pleasures; necessary vs. unnecessary vs. beneficial pleasures o Encouraged to pursue all desires o No moral compass o Insensitivity to moral differences o ** we do make distinctions but we make them differently from Plato  Plato makes it based on natural aptitude: promote pleasures that lift people up and help pursue objective truth  Encourages insolence  Encourages wastefulness  Encourages shamelessness—erodes moral consciousness  Treats vices as virtues  Preps the way for tyranny  Three classes in democracy: political ambitious, wealthy individuals, everyone else- ―the people‖ o First class, to succeed they pander to the third class—need support of the people by seizing and redistributing the property of the wealthy o Defaces and degrades people o Tyranny arises when politically ambitious impoverish the wealthy and enslave the people  Degenerate o Individual who chases whatever desires they have and cannot discriminate between pleasures o Fosters class antagonism which hurts everybody  Indiscriminate view of equality eradicated ability to make valid moral distinction o Entails twisted view of freedom o Democracy depends on moral and meta-physical assumptions which Plato finds problematic- goes against nature Jan. 16 Romans Republic: res: publica: public affairs; translated as common wealth, state, set of institutions which are associated with arrangement incorporating monarchy and democratic aspects-- legislative body, assembly and some executive figure distinct from these bodies  Many people confound republic and democracy  Republic is meant to highlight a more legitimate rule, as opposed to democracy which entails mob/mass rule  Both in some sense refer to a popular conception of rule: rule of people and rule of public o Popular sovereignty  Difference is perhaps not as meaningful, but there is still a distinction Institutional Structure of Roman Republic  Complicated: multiple assemblies! Which is something that distinguishes them from the Athenians  Main assemblies:  Curiate o Second oldest in Rome o Consisted of patricians/aristocratic land owners o Conducted most of political business in Rome—elected magistrate, imperium (governing authority) o Later, and over time, power was diluted and ultimately only had power of confirming election of magistrates as determined by centuriate o Small elitist decision making changed to more broad and expanded decision making  How does this relate to our experience of democracy?  Defining traits of democracy in west is the extension of suffrage—same thing here  Why?  Centuriate o All of citizens in Rome—all free males o Determine who magistrates were; executives who run things o Right to declare war o Different administrative distinctions within citizens  35 tribes  4 urban, 31 rural  Fewer people live outside the city, but they dominate the tribes  6 classes  5 dominated by wealthier in society (patricians)  1 class for the plebeians  193 centuries  98 for patricians  95 for plebeians  Votes determined in terms of tribes, centuries and classes  Dominated by minority of the population o Votes in terms of classes and centuries: classes represent centuries; representative voting and government that is weighted towards the wealthy  98 centuries determine the 5 classes (vote for representatives); go first in voting  Remaining 95 centuries then determine 1 class  In the end it does not matter what the plebeians do  Problem: inefficient and unnecessary; element of disenfranchisement o Eventually transition over to the tribal assembly o Plebeians become upset  Tribal; 35 tribes, 4 urban and 31 rural o Voting determined by tribal affiliation- 1 tribe 1 vote o Still disproportionate because most plebeians live in cities and are majority  Still disenfranchising plebeians o Vote on certain magistrates o Trials o Center of power gravitates to this as it is more efficient  Plebeian o Sub-set of tribal assembly—way for plebeians to deliberate their concerns; appointed some of their own magistrates only accountable to them o Arises to protect plebeian interest o Constituted only by plebeians (no patricians) o Over time the majority of decision making, law making gravitates to plebeian assembly  Driven by threat of civil war  Patricians willing to make concession to keep their status  Senate o Most powerful assembly o Composed primarily of patricians initially  Preserve patricians  Determined by family, inheritance, wealth o Also composed of those who had served as magistrates—over time becomes more inclusive as plebeians magistrates too o Foreign policy: sent and received ambassadors o Managed public lands: have power to distribute land gained from war  Land gives rights to citizenship and provides wealth o Voting proceeded according to seniority o Legislation proposed by magistrates and senate votes based on seniority  Speakers highlight why they are voting that way  Elder members of senate able to steer discussion to what they think is important—determined direction of deliberation  Younger member of senates mattered less  Deference more important than deliberation itself (different from Greeks where everyone voted all at once) o Magistrates can take issue to another assembly is the senate shot it down—plebeians gain power this way o During times of war the senate had the power  Magistrates: associated with different assemblies o Held military, political and some religious power (strong religious element in political life in Rome) o Ordinary: elected for one year; 2 elected: principle of collegiality based out of monarchy and aversion of one man holding power— institutionality of difference and separation of power  Both needed to agree  With disagreement the one who dissented was the one who won—disagreement means no initiative  Inherent conservative tendency o Extraordinary magistrates: 6 months hold all authority on certain issue; authority over ordinary magistrates o Consul  Head of government  Presided over assemblies  Initially things are set up is an aristocratic fashion: weighted towards the rich; but then they over time become more inclusive and other classes have greater and greater influence within politics  Institutionalization of division of power: all assemblies tasked with different things  Institutionalize socio-economic differences  Assemblies supposed to represent all of Rome, but in practice this is not what happened o Different assemblies represented different interests within society o Tension between idea of common good and particular interests within society o Important for Machiavelli: how do these institutions harness and manage these interests o Compare with Greeks who are more interested in harmony— Romans not necessarily interested in that (Machiavelli) o Element of disharmony  Romans give language of rights o Our conception of rights are of natural rights: adhere to us as individuals  Rights precede political institutions o For Romans, rights do not precede institutions  Rights: distinction between law/lex and rights/jus: what allowed to do within the context of law o Different types of rights: rights that adhere to the citizens, rights that adhere to noncitizens and rights of peoples and natural rights (later on) o Citizenship carries privileges not extended to all o Rights of citizen: vote in tribal assembly; make legal contracts and own property; lawful marriage with another Roman citizen; child born in marriage considered Roman citizen; stand for public office; sue in court; appeal decisions of magistrates (distinct from Greeks were there were only final decisions); free from torture or scourged as form of punishment o Rights of peoples: gentium; accorded to non-Roman societies; meant to protect commercial transactions; legal guarantee of property to non-Romans for purposes of trade; taken as basis of human rights o Latin Rights: conquered and colonized people; guarantees of property; extended political privileges but not citizenship; second- class citizenship that guarantees commercial property and some access to assemblies, freedom of movement; most of population in Roman world; made Roman rule more palatable o Slaves: no rights, no property, seen as property  Did sometimes free slaves, give some form of citizenship— Latin rights o Women: status varied over time; no full citizenship: no vote, no public office; distinct from Greek because women allowed to own property which means they did have access to courts; subject to authority of head of household; marriage as tool to further political interests; head of household could decide that marriage was not in best interest and in some sense divorce the family (distinct from other societies at this time) o Children had certain rights; inherit wealth and even more rights Conclusion- Importance  Rudimentary popular sovereignty  De facto practice of divided government  Institutionalization of class conflict/socio-economic difference  Rudimentary representative government and representational voting  Introduced language of rights Jan. 21 Roman Rights Continued  Citizenship: child born in legal marriage between two Roman citizens  Granted citizenship: Roman client states; Latin right: some sort of privileges over others; over time became form of naturalization  Freed slaves and children granted citizenship  Outstanding service awarded citizenship  Citizenship could be bought for a very high price Differences between Rome and Greece  Still genetic racial component like Athenians  Form of naturalization not present with Greeks o Needed military resources of client states  More fluid sense of citizenship in Rome Machiavelli Historical Context  16 century  Time of political upheaval in Italy  Italy divided in 5 major cities: Naples, Milan, Venice, Rome and Papal States  Proto-capitalism: small-scale manufacturing leading to trade between regions  Small modernization  Primitive bourgeoisie centralized on merchants and traders; want to press for political privilege  Rest of Europe: split between king, nobles and traders; alliance between kings and traders o Traders generating wealth, and the king needs money for military ventures o Traditionally, the king relied on nobles who taxed o Advent of trading class means the king can grant political rights in exchange for access to money—selling noble offices o Nobles circumvented leading to absolutist monarchy  Doesn’t happen in Italy!  Pope in Italy does not want traders to gain power  Pope interferes: blocks the influence of the emperor (king)  Play off monarchs against one another—continue the autonomous city states  Still a growing merchant class, but rather than having a tie with the king, they turned to history of Rome to try and argue on behalf of a republican government  Strife and turmoil resulting and no unification of Italy  Mercenary armies to keep off holy roman emperor invasion Machiavelli’s personal experience  Pro-republican in the discourses, as opposed to pro-monarchy  Started off as diplomat in republican form of government that was overthrown  Princely form of government set up, and Machiavelli in internal exile and write Discourses and The Prince  Prince written to pander to prince and get job back, then discourses because when prince overthrown he needs to reconcile his democratic self—rejected either way  Republican apologist  How does what he says respond to Plato’s criticisms?  How does it compare with Pericles?  Discourses tries to justify a republican rule Discourses  Necesitas: necessity o Times when certain actions are unavoidable o Not logical necessity o Political expedience o Achievement of certain goals requires particular actions/institutions irrespective of mortality  Fortuna: fortune o Idea of chance o Actions or events which seem to be arbitrary or unforeseen o These can undermine our actions o Does not think these are unintelligible—so they are explainable o Once explained we can try and anticipate how these may happen in the future—―learn to swim with the current‖  Virtu: virtue o Ability to determine our own behavior o Revolves around actions that are manly o Ideal of courage, military traits, audacious, civic spirit o Virtuosity as opposed to virtuousness o Highlights a certain set of skills that are used to deal with necessity and fortune o Only act virtuously in context of a community o Very different from Christian concepts of morality—different form of morality  Some things have to be done, some things happen apparently accidentally, and to overcome these issues you have to exhibit virtue  Virtue talked about previously: moral character part of politics  Machiavelli is distinct in that he links virtue directly with republican institutions o Republican institutions allow for cultivation of virtue  Defense of democratic values (compare to Pericles)  Polybius: Greek historian, lived during time of Roman empire o Most famous for theory of cycle of governance: anacyclosis o Every regime ultimately degenerates into their opposites  Monarchy: tyranny  Aristocracy: oligarchy o Historical process of degeneration of regime types o Element of determinism: it will happen  Concerns o How to you block this cycle? Can you stall the decay of a regime? o Major concern with stability o What are the conditions that allow for the perpetuation of a regime over time? o What leads to the decay and instability? What to do institutionally to respond to this? o Moral questions/normative  Problems with republican institutions o External: security concern and safety of community  If community is to pursue goals it must be able to ensure its own security  Problem in Machiavelli’s time-- Pope  Concern about way wars were being fought to achieve security  Rely on mercenaries—unstable  Do not fight as hard as should  Will eventually turn on you in offered more money o Internal: private violence  Private violence: community composed of variety of interests/classes/groups and each of these regards one another on suspicious and jealous terms; as a result each wants the advantage of the other  Deep divergence within society—limited common good  Internally, these two groups create constant agitation as they try to get supremacy over the other  Compare to Plato—democratic regimes unstable because of variety of pleasures that people pursue  Reponses to problems: o Republican institutions can provide external security and internal stability o External: argues that republican regime should make use of a citizens army  Citizens army has strongest interest in fighting for community  Because citizens fight for their own property  Citizens also trying to fight for their own liberty  Liberty connotation: understood as non-domination; Latin/Roman liberty; free person/not enslaved  Tie between imperialism and citizen-based army  Imperialism and popular government  Rome unlike Sparta was better suited for expansionism because of popular form of government  People do not feel secure in possessions unless acquiring more hence true security will involve expansionism  Expansionism is compatible with republicanism  Idea of human nature being paired up with republic rule (republicanism provides and answer for human nature) o Internal: stability problem stemming from class conflict  Certain ambitious individuals want to take advantage of others and increase their wealth—how do we harness this class conflict? (Not how to overcome and achieve harmony, but harness)  Plato: Disharmony reflects not know place in society, so create harmony by finding what you should do and do it  Machiavelli responds differently: class conflict stems from ambitious, greed, jealously, resentment, sense of injury from others and corruption of regime is tied to the conspiracies and intrigue that comes from this  Overcome by institutionalizing the class conflict  Properly channel conflict  First, provide ambitious individuals a way to satisfy ambitions; political offices to satisfy  Second, provide injured a mechanism to voice complaints  Third, provide institutional checks on abuse of power  Oversight of offices people assume  Collegiality: allow ambitious to keep an eye on one another  Fourth, educating individuals into public spiritedness; cultivate community  Fifth, religion to foster good habits that blunt effects of class conflict  Sixth, citizen army because this will promote a sense of civic duty and allow ambitious to satisfy themselves  Adopting these institutions will provide an outlet for things that lead to social strife—blunt the detrimental consequences o Indicates that social conflict that is properly institutionalized is the surest foundation for vigorous and healthy republic o Value liberty stemming from competition with others  Defense of the masses o Challenges argument against popular government that claims that people are morally worse than a monarch, incapable of ruling o Republic has a greater respect for the law than a monarch  Public more able to respect a constitutional order o Public opinion is often accurate in its prognostications o Public judgment is more sound when considering alternative positions  Deliberation better than one person determining o Public actions bolder than a monarch o Public decisions more consistently held  Public superior in sustaining what it has instituted o Seems to be a direct response to Plato  For a republic to function well, it has to be sensitive to issue of equality o Substantial inequalities will undercut a republic regime o What kind of equality is he talking about?  Greeks: procedural equality  Machiavelli says social equality: economic? Social classes and privileges? Conclusion  Defense of popular government—right of people to make decisions  Nature of institutions and how he vindicates them  Ties to the military and popular government  Tie over concern for stability and republicanism—necessary tie?  Religion and how this manages deep class divisions – religion to buttress the state  Does the achievement of stability require expansionism? o Republicanism and imperialism Jan. 23 Constant and Sartori Difference between traditional and modern democracy  Representation  Modern democracies are ―representative democracies‖  Different forms of representative government Representative Democracy Characteristics  Concern for individual liberty  Concern for commerce and economic activity  Attention to division of labor; economics as independent/private form of activity  Concern about diversity and dissent/ greater sensitivity to these  Concern about constitutionalism—stronger stress upon rule of law  Sensitivity to reasons for the state, distinct from that of society  Division of democracy contrasted with that of ancient Traits of Ancient Democracy  Communal liberty  Two ways of identifying liberty o Non-domination: free from subjugation by others o Political participation (Pericles): being active within state  Concern for primacy of political activity—all other forms subordinate to politics/not as valuable/lack intrinsic value o Hierarchy of activities  Social solidarity  Cohesion within society o Necessary to provide defense  Participation instead of procedure Constant and Sartori  Ancient form of democracy no longer valid ideal for modern societies o Shaping our institutions along these lines is mistaken o Theorists and philosophers who have made these arguments for a return to the ancients o Sartori more concerned with contemporary versions of authoritarianism (Soviet Union) and how non-democracies can legitimize/justify their societies based on democratic theory  Point to older/ancient Athens democratic values Context Constant 1767-1830  Swiss born  French politics  Pamphleteer during French Revolution—defending Revolution  National Assembly  Highly critical of Napoleon  Speech sought to salvage ideals of Revolution in wake of Napoleon o Napoleon uses language of Roman republic to justify what doing Sartori 1924  Florence and Columbia  Academic Individual Liberty  Both point out hallmark of contemporary democracy is a concern for individual liberty  Self determination or in terms of an ideal of individualism  Sartori: man is more than a citizen of the state  Modern conception of liberty evolves around fact that individuals have interest that are distinct from society, and these interests should not necessarily be subject to society  Liberty is equivalent to self determination—make up our own minds o Entails opportunity to do things without regard to others Commerce and Economic Activity  Constant indicates that tie exists between economic development and institutions of representative government o System of delegated authority facilitates economic development o Contrast from slave-based-societies where delegating slaves to work frees people up for participation o Delegate authority frees us up for economic affairs (opposite?)  Commerce emancipates individuals and checks government authority o Having property makes it so you do not need to depend on others  Commerce encourages peace instead of war o Mutual agreements allows us to achieve what we want instead of conquering others  Commerce is a type of activity that is distinct from politics o Partially the basis of liberalisms distinction of public and private spheres o Contingent tie or is it a necessary tie?  Private sphere—commercial activity in Constant’s time o More than that now: beliefs, opinions, conscious Diversity  Representative democracy allows for a sphere of private activity, by doing so also encourages toleration and diversity  Because distinction to be drawn individuals based on private pursuits, we have to make allowance for divergent beliefs and attitudes Constitutionalism  Individuals have to be protected from community or from others  Constitutions sets up rules that regulate behavior  Constant: governments do not have the right to exercise an arbitrary supremacy over individuals—law is the only thing that can do this  Sartori: institutions of popular sovereignty—law/legal framework that protects individuals from ―steamroller‖ of popular power ; protects so no longer threats to individual Ancient Democracy Communal Liberty  Individual’s personal good subordinated to good of society  Security dilemma: small ancient societies, vulnerable and insecure; thus needs of individual come in second to needs of individual  Liberty for ancients is simply understood as freedom from being conquered/non-domination  Individual beliefs heavily regulated  Religion to stabilize community  Ostracism is justified to uphold community  Hierarchical  Aim for communal security  Constant: surveillance in ancient democracies involving private actions o Ultimate consequence was that the individual was sovereign in public affairs, but not sovereign in private matters o Heavily regulated Primacy of Political Activity  Ancients placed great importance on public participation and deliberation  Sartori: real self-government required citizens devoting himself to complete public service Social Solidarity  Communal liberty—unified front of society to others  Do this to display strength  Regulation of personal behavior is a necessary part of achieving unity within a community  No distinction between public and private interest Participation instead of procedure  Tied to communal liberty  Politics geared toward good and survival of community  Participation itself becomes valuable  Exercise of participation and authority is what signifies freedom  Sartori: ancient exhibit preference for direct democracy Accurate?  More so Greek than Roman  Participation instead of procedure: o Participation important for Greeks o Procedure is a big concern for the Romans o Their discussion of lack of procedure is exaggerated o Procedure is focused on facilitating participation  Probably accurate about the rest  Tie between liberty as non-domination and security is not necessarily an ancient ideal Balance?  Constant believes they can be balanced  Sartori more demanding: only relevance of studying ancients is to clarify what is unique about ourselves o We don’t seem to we learning any lessons o Only to clarify our own values o Indicates no evolution of these things over time o Radical ruptures with the past Agree with Sartori, that older conceptions of democracy are in some sense irrelevant today? Direct links to the way Pericles practiced democracy? Should the times when the constitution was written define how it is now? Given the vast differences? Deficiency in discussion  Discussion of liberty but lack a discussion of equality  Not acknowledge the value of equality from ancient democracy  Equality define ancient democracy, and they do not address this so then what is their criticism based on?  ―We like liberty, they like equality—damn them‖ Participation in the exercise of power does not imply individual liberty  Correct to suggest?  Yes, one does not logically lead to the other Jan. 28 Levellers  Set of men who agitated on behalf of men from lower classes, specifically in terms of political and religious freedom  Vague concept of popular sovereignty  Regarded as predecessors of liberalism, but also of communism o Diggers are a varient of levelers who inspired communism  Version of populist democracy  Attempted to speak for average individual o Distinguished from those trying to defend King Charles: spokesmen of the crown o Distinguished from those wanting to defend parliament: spokesmen of parliament  Pamphleteers trying to pitch arguments to average person o Distinguished from Palto: republic for students o Machiavelli wrote to get his job back  Spontanteous  Broad arguments on behalf of the people  Far ahead of the time—anticipate many movements later on Historical Context  English civil war 1642-1651  3 stages  3 main groups: o King and supporters: Cavaliers  Charles I rules 1625-1649 executed  Justified right to rule upon idea of divine right of kings  Previously, arguments prior were from medieval and Reformation periods claiming the king was bound by law— could not rule any way he wanted; king could be checked by nobility who could hear complaints against the crown on behalf of popular—limitations of office  During wars of religion in 16 century, kings began to argue on behalf of right to rule—rule without constraint by others: king’s prerogative was all encompassing, and the source of the validity of the law  Grounded upon religion- god gave kings right to rule (analogy between paternal and political rule)  Not easily accepted by other groups; contested; bitterly opposed by aristocrats and by Catholic Church  James IV (Charles’ dad) put forward idea of divine right; so Charles takes up argument and this provokes Parliament  Most basic point of contention concerned taxation: Charles made claim he could tax as he wanted  Historically, parliament had conferred right to tax upon the king  Parliament would set amount king could tax for the entirety of reign  Problematic for kings waging war; need more funds!  War over taxation  Problem over religion: Charles tried to split parliament and play religious parts against each other  Puritans wanted Bishops away  Traditional Anglicans wanted to keep Bishops  Debate spills over into parliament  Charles tries to have Puritan leaders arrested in parliament—fails  War o Parliament  House of Lords and House of Commons  Contentious relationship with king, who was theoretically supposed to be source of law, and parliament was meant to be an advisory capacity  Changes over time, as parliament asserts their right to approve of certain acts of the king: consultation and consent  King initially agrees:  Parliamentary approval brings about legitimacy in eyes of public  Wars fought over time and king loses  Parliament begins to asserts idea of parliament supremacy, as king asserts divine right of kings  Fundamental constitution that governs society  Vague idea: according to English traditions there is a constitutional arrangements that arose to provide parliament certain rights; unwritten constitution
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