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POLS 110 Lecture Notes - Responsible Government, Hypertrophy, Alexis De Tocqueville

Political Studies
Course Code
POLS 110
Jonathan W Rose

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Concepts for the term: power, legitimacy, ideologies
Mechanics electoral systems
o Presidential vs. parliamentary
o Responsible government
o Separation of powers
Systems differences
o Federal government in Canada vs. USA
o Divide governments not horizontally but vertically
o No provincial governments in Britian (U.K. not a federal state)
Prospects for democracy
o What causes what?
Charles Taylor
o Problems with liberalism
Problems with individualism
1. Doing things collectively alone
2. Primacy of instrumental reason because we can do something we should
do something
a. Faith in technology over humanity
b. Means over ends
3. Alienation first used by Marx
a. “Soft despotism” Tocqueville
b. “Enclosed in their own hearts” means no participation in
4. Hypertrophy problems in advanced democracies
a. Too much of a good thing
b. Too much freedom, too much democracy, too much cheap food
c. Just because we can, should we?
d. Do we have too much of a good thing?
e. Post materialism never exposed to scarcity
Liberalism human beings are perfectible
Problems in advanced democracies
o Loss of meaning (fading of moral horizons)
o Eclipse of ends
o Loss of freedom
Different political and economic beliefs
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