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Poli Sci 3Y03 MARCH 4-7, 2014.docx

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McMaster University
Political Science
Nibaldo Galleguillos

Started on: 3/7/14 21:15 a3/p3 C LASS N OTES FOR : P OLI S CI 3Y03 McMaster University, Winter 2014 T UESDAY , MARCH 4, Y Previous class - democratic transitions and reference to non-democratic countries as well their movements to democratic regimes. - Waves of democracy - Ongoing continuous waves of countries - Spanish civil work - Canadians joined the working classes of Spain and went to fight Franco; - As many of the Mediterranean countries followed by the end of Latin American dictatorships, etc. began to join the democratic ways. - Countries joining the “Western” democracy o We define democracies not by what they are, but what they are not. o When countries that had not been previously democratic, joined democratic countries without asking questions about democracy and human rights that have been discussed previously. - “What is democracy”? o Has become a common place term o Everyone wants democracy, but do not know what these are o (1) What are the conditions, possibilities of democracy possible? o (2) What do we need to have in place? - (3) What is more important? Civil and political rights or social / economic / cultural and indigenous rights on the other hand o Why do we have priorities? - (4) What is the relationship between democracy and equality? o Looking at the developing world, where the inequality not only might lead to poverty, but it is compounded by the fact that out of inequality comes poverty and out of poverty comes polarization. - What we had today is better than what we had previously… - Pervasiveness of globalization and the neoliberal economic model and the collapse of the communist alternative, it is common sense to assume that there are no alternatives to capitalist democracy. Once communism collapsed, democracy and as such capitalism has prevailed*** - People live with the auspice that they live in democracy because they have competitive elections, held regularly every four years, etc. o Since Russia, Nigeria and Bolivia have regular elections, we can say that they are “democracies” - Condition and possibility of democracy - Relationship between democracy and equality o The frequency of economic crisis that has affected the entire world over the last 20-30 years. o As economic crisis occurs, we witness something else, a significant process of social exclusion, that translates into the disarticulation of the Angie © McMaster University 1 Winter 2014 Started on: 3/7/14 21:15 a3/p3 identities and solidarities that used to characterize the working class, and make possible the welfare state. o What does it have to do with the discussion of democracy o Liberal democracy is the outcome of the working class struggles in the th mid 19 century, in which workers moved from being led by economic interest to demand political participation. o The working of globalization as such that one of the fundamental weaknesses and flaws of globalization process, is the inability to create JOBS. The welfare state and workers were premised on the past on full employment, and now the increasing technological development by the capitalist forces of production are such that capitalist need fewer and fewer workers now a days. The dream of capitalist person is to produce items without workers! Producing machinery that is constantly replacing people. As technology replaces the need for workers, we have a situation characterized that there are 1.4 billion people in the world referred to as marginalized groups. A marginal person is one who can expect to never have a regularly paid job, as it will not exist since its been taken over by machinery and equipment. Informal sector! o If you live in this marginal situation, and all of the time is consumed to survive, you have no time to ask yourself what is democracy or let alone participate in substantive political activities! o Even those who might have jobs are now concerned with keeping their current job. If asked to work 68 hours a week instead of 54, and as such have less time to spend in politics, and less time to participate, etc. o Less solidarity amongst workers. - We are living in an environment in which we have no time to ask philosophical questions - One reason why we do not ask about the conditions of democracy, and the linkages between social and political, economic, etc. rights, has to do with the retrenchment in terms of intellectual thinking. “Leftist intellectuals” - It is not only a problem of physical poverty, but also intellectual poverty. Not produced the kind of intellectual that could help us understand the relationship between gov’t and society. British  American model. Adopting the Anglo-Saxon model. We’ve adopted the model that has been put forward, by Schumpeter. Joseph Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (1942) Born in 1883, same year that Marx died. John Keynes was also born this same yr; Welfare state, gov’t intervention etc. • PREMISE 1. Contention that socialism will replace capitalism; opposite of Marx, socialism will replace capitalism because of the “success” of capitalism, which will make it possible on day to have socialism replace it? Success of capitalism depends on technological progress, new inventions, etc. also part of a 2 Started on: 3/7/14 21:15 a3/p3 competitive environment in which capitalists have to be at competition with one another and do so with innovation. • DEMOCRACY constantly relishes on the construction of new things. Only the paranoids can succeed within the framework of capitalist competition. Destructive creation, destroy what is in order to bring something more advanced! • Capitalism is successful because of its own irrationality. • There will be a need for a central planning organization for it to be established. But it has not happened yet, would this be at the domestic or international level? • Period of the 1940s goes on a descending fall? • When no one expected that there could be great number of democracy, it is remarkable that Schumpeter would be writing about democracy, to the point that it still influences political democratic freedoms. • The rationalization of Democracy as the “government of the politicians” o Article 1-21 (Gov’t of the politicians) o Article 22 + (Gov’t of the people) o Two different but related conceptualizations of democracy o Looks at democracy as methodology. • Main question: are democracy and socialism compatible? • Democracy as a “political method”, a procedure, and not as an end in itself. o It is an instrument, methodology. o Democracy might bring about human rights, economic development, food, etc. Democracy is a methodology. • What does this method consist of: leaders and elections o It is traditionally understood that in a democracy, like CANADA, it is the people; it is the electorate who first determine what they important issues of the date are! o We ‘live’ in a democracy as if we are the democracy / gov’t of the people o But Schumpeter disagrees! o In a real democracy, all of these terms are inverted. o First the People elect their leaders and the politicians determine what the important issues are for the day, as well as to define the issues needed. • Democracy’s resemblance to the market • What about the “general will”? The will of the people is the product and not the motivating power of the political process. • The elector as a “subnormal” person. The typical citizen drops down to a lower level of mental performance as soon as s/he enters the realm of politics. • If the voter is “subnormal” how to explain s/he electing the leaders? It requires a lesser degree of rationality to choose leaders than to participate in decision- making processes. • Democracy “means only that the people have the opportunity of accepting or refusing those who are to rule them” • The Democratic Method is “an institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote”. Angie © McMaster University 3 Winter 2014 Started on: 3/7/14 21:15 a3/p3 • Democracy is the government not of the people but of the politicians. Politicians are professionals who not only live for politics, but also live of politics. SCHUMPETER - Political model we have in place here, even though we may not relate to Schumpeter, much of what happens as liberal democratic regimes follows on the footsteps and methodologies put forward by Schumpeter. - We are beginning to undertake discussions on so called democratic transitions - Democratic transitions and democratization is a reference to all of these countries that have recently joined the ‘democratic’ family. - Includes the most recent democratic transitions that take place in the Arab world - What regarding these n
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