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Lecture 11

SOCB42H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Soft Despotism, Horology, Sugary Drink Tax

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Dan Silver

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SOCB42 [Lec. 11]- Dec. 1, 2016: Centralization (Toc) & Comte
Nature of sciences
Tocqueville & Centralization
- Widespread revolution unlikely to occur
- Major problem is stagnation is the bigger problem
- Problem of centralization
o Increasing concentration of power, decision making, and authority in a single
etal go’t.
o More people in society willing to allow the state to control more and more of
their lives
o Tendency toward giving up important decisions in life to central governing body
- Democracy built on equality as central principle. Favours idea of sameness, uniform
sameness. Tendency to form one set of universal rules that will apply to everybody.
- Tendency to reduce number of secondary institutions between individuals and go’t.
- Democracy favours direct access= less layers in between.
- Individuals in dem. society cant get much done on their own. Takes a large group of
people operating together.
- Sie e a’t get athig doe o ou o, a to get thigs doe is though entral
- Chuhes, eighous, et eake opaed to etal go’t.
- Cuiulu deteied  etal od i the go’t. stadadized uiulu.
- Go’t otol/itude o itiate thigs like soda ta, igaettes, deisios that ou
- Central banks- set interest rates
- Not just centralized institutions
o Even feelings. Care more about yourself, less about public affairs and common
concerns. Leave it to somebody else
Soeod else is the go’t.
- Do’t at iheetl supeio people
o People like to see the go’t oe ad take otol reaffirms that no one is
exempt or above that
- New form of despotism
o Dem society turn toward soft despotism.
o Thik of go’t as paet figue ho takes ae of ou. Does’t oppess, ut oe
like parents.
o Thinking for you on how life should go.
o But, parents want you to grow up and become own person.
o But soft despotis does’t at that. ats ou happ ad satisfied eough ou
o’t uestio it
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o Tries to keep us dependent on it
o Ex: post 9/11- ppl wanted to help. Pres said go shopping to help economy.
Let the go’t take ae of it
- Tendency toward giving up important decisions in life to central governing body
- 1800
- lived in tumultuous times in Europe
- old aristocratic order that had been stable had disappeared. What would replace it?
let to chaos
- wanted to figure out new way to figure out order after all these revolutionary changes
- thought that society is grounded on an idea diff. from Marx who thought ideas were
- if thee’s goig to e e order, it needs a great idea that can hold it together; everyone
can commit to.
o but problem is what would it be
Charles Fourier
- idea that to make new society, need to reorganize society around love.
- Only do jobs that they love. Only married to people they love.
- Channel personality types into jobs and people that fit their personality type.
Saint- Simon
- Focal point of modern society is science and industry
- Needs to be led by captain of society and industry
- Order and progress founding ideas of many countries
o i.e. Brazil and Turkey. Nations founded on Comte
Nature of Sciences
- science of human social relations (sociology)
- two axis:
X: general to more specific
Y: simple to more complex
- math physics chemistry biology sociology.
- Math is most general & simple: no internal complexity.
o E.g. society has individuals within it that can do something different than rest of
- As you move up, parts have more autonomy relative to the whole
- As ou oe up the highe oe a’t e edued to the loe one
- Goal is to get a good handle on sociology the same way we did on the other things
- Good handle on laws that govern physical and chemical systems. Lets get same
understanding on laws that govern human relations. Laws of physics: tell us limits on
how we can change the physical world (e.g. gravity).
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