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POLSCI 3VV3 Lecture Notes - Joseph Schumpeter, Elitism, Oligarchy

Political Science
Course Code
James Ingram

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Political Science 3VV3
February 26, 2013
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Robert Michels (1876-1936)
Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950)
“Competitive Elitism”
Max Weber
Comparative institutionalism: most preferred way of studying why politics differs
in different countries and why politics is as it is
Weber’s main point: politics is defined by its means and its means are …
Politics uses force: you are allowed to use force, everyone recognizes it is okay
o State only thing allowed to deploy force state explicitly lets politicians
use force
Why do people accept these?
o People follow rules or do what other people tell them to do is for 1 of 3
1. Traditional its always been done that way
2. Legal Rational those are the rules (rules as a system make
sense) and these rules came out of a practice that makes sense
3. Charisma persuasiveness
2 forms of Ethics
1. Ethics of conviction
2. Ethics of responsibility prepared to bare the
Politics will ultimately be the business of leaders
Weber thinks that if everyone votes, different systems evolve, in order to out of
this of everyone voting, in order to select leaders
Basic thought: Competitive Elitism if you do democracy on a large scale you
end up in some form of selecting your rulers (nothing like the Athenian,
Rousseau-ian form
o Ability to select your own rulers
o Although superficially you may expect them to be similar (institutions
have evolved in different ways)
o So the way they generate or produce elites, end up being different
o Isn’t that obvious? you will always have leaders and followers, whether
it be a dictatorship, or democracy, or tyranny.
People have completely wrong expectations of nature
Held hates Competitive Elitism
It is the default way of thinking about politics and default way of thinking about
politics in news and commentary
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