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Social and Political Issues, Oct. 10

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Diane Enns

October 10 Overview: Thoreau, Rousseau, Marx & Engels, Lenin. – the shared emancipatory view. - Human equality and freedom must be protected at all costs, o Which may include disobeying the law or the government and punished for it. o A right and a duty to struggle for freedom and equality when they have been taken from us  They are fundamental and essential, even though everywhere we are enslaved o But also, advocates of violent revolution. o Capacity for greed, exploitation, which is equaled by our potential for compassion and care. o It is suffering that motivates us to struggle against injustice. - Inequality and injustice is a direct result of one group of people having power over another. o Property ownership, capitalism, economic inequality main causes of inequality (Thoreau). o Also, the bourgeoisie, private ownership (Engels & Marx). o Socialization, perfectability, property ownership causes of inequality (Rousseau). - They all share a suspicion of political institution – of law, of government, of institutions. o Negative view of the state – Thoreau o State of nature is ultimate – Rousseau (if a government reigned fairly and well, we wouldn’t need one) o He state is only there to reinforce class inequalities – Marx and Engels  Blamed for corruption and exploitation, and the division between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. - Authors all share a confrontational/antagonistic view of political action. o (with the exception of Thorea
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