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Lecture 10

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Classical Soc – November 23 – Lecture 10 AGENDA - Individualism - Social Relations - The Future of Democracy o Revolution o Centralization - Why do people in society tend to become more individualistic? o In an aristocracy, what I do now affects my family in 100 years. I think about sacrificing myself for something bigger than myself.  You live life in a hierarchy. There’s always a lord above you, and so you always feel like you’re at the call of that individual. If there’s someone below you, you feel like you owe them something.  Meeting occurs in public, on the battlefield. o In a democracy, everyone is equal and no one accepts that someone is higher than you. You think about what YOU THINK. Not what future generations think.  Owe a duty to humanity as a whole, but that’s a very weak observation. How do you ever talk to humanity? You can’t call them because it doesn’t exist. The idea that you’re supposed to care about something that isn’t real weakens the argument. o Individualism is not the same thing as selfishness. It means that the meaning in my life comes from the realization of the meaning of my life. The meaning of my life has to do with my private sphere (ie. Family)  Creates indifference  When you focus your attention on you, you just stop caring about what goes on beyond yourself and your family. o These people are easy to control by an outside authority.  Melancholy (around page 512-513)  Anxiety, boredom,  You're never really sure if you’re on the right or wrong path of life.  In an aristocracy, everything’s planned for you.  Materialism  In an aristocracy, if you're rich, you’re generally stuck in your position.  In a democracy, you’re trying to figure out how to protect/keep your wealth. - How to control individualism o Public involvement o Civil Association  Any group that you’re involved in gets you involved  490, maintaining an involvement in clubs,  There’s often various administrative were involved in things, You have to have practice  Necessary o The doctrine of self-interest well understood  There’s some idea or some concept that you can cause you to infrt ….  Nothing is really good unless it’s good for me (aristocratic)  Democracy – whatever is done for yourself ought to be good for other people also  You want to get someone to go to the military, you better give them a university degree  Also exists in religion: • Pascal • either God exists or doesn’t exist • if God does exist then you act against him your going to hell • if God doesn’t exist, then doesn’t matter • self interest for believing in God  You should do this because it’s going to work out making things better for you. That’s the incent - Social Relations - How are social relationships expected to change from aristocratic to democratic societies? o Centralization of power in an aristocratic society and according to Tocqueville, that is beneficial. Aristocracy Democracy Sympathy- how is it to see - HIGH IN CLASS - GENERALIZED for all of someone else’s misfortune; - Everyone in the each humanity conditions in which it matters to class has a very similar - We’re all in one giant you and doesn’t matter to you. background and life, and class, and so it’s very so the sympathy is easy for us to imagine prevalent. everyone else’s - LOW OUTSIDE CLASS circumstance. - Everyone outside of your - LESS FOR PARTICULAR class is foreign and alien; PEOPLE you have no connection - There’s not much to them. personal loyalty. You - Doesn’t mean that give money for humanity people don’t help each relief across the world, other across classes. but you don’t know your They do, but not out of neighbors name. sympathy, instead out of - WWII – Germans could generosity and loyalty. at least have sympathy It’s part of your being. for the captured Germans brutal to the Russians. How is that the same people are barbaric and inhumane for one and not the other? Sympathy isn’t just its nice to help people. Its your ability to connect someone else’s life to yourself Reserve – the idea of feeling - Of birth- RARE/LOW; - LOW disconnected with the other The only way you can be More people are similar people rich is to be born rich. to one another; the idea You’re stuck pretty much of equality if you’re not like that WEALTH/HIGH You’re reserved because you don’t want to admit that there’s a negative differentiation with the other people; Tocqueville – silent war in society, top keep people who aren’t down, and you got people who are at the bottom trying to go up Service – relationships between - You can be born into - Everyone’s always trying servants and masters servitude (if your father to move up. Your role is was a butler, you’ll be a not prescribed to you at butler), and even within birth. There’s no the trade there are separate class of distinctions (butler is servants, which means higher than a cook who that there’s no special is higher than a maid). servant personality - Being a servant is a class. types. Thus, there is a servant - The deeper change is honor: being a high-level that servants become servant. They live their equal to their masters. life through the lives of - You always think that those superior to them. you might be the master - HEREDITARY; SERVANT later (you’ll progress). NOBILITY - Why do you listen to the - INTIMACY BETWEEN master? Because you MASTERS AND made a deal; you had a SERVANTS contract (for these two hours, I clean your house, and if you want me to clean something specific, I’ll do that). However, doing what you say does not define me. Outside of the contract, we’re just two people and neither of us is superior to one another. - Their relationship is CONTRACTUAL, colder, and distance. - Minimizes warmth; do not develop that bond and life long sense Parent/Child – How does power - COLD, FORMAL; BASED - Each of us, as exercise in a society? ON OBEDIENCE AND individuals, speak or COMMAND; BASED ON have a direct TRADITION AND relationship to social DEFERENCE TO authorities. These AUTHORITY powers speak to each of - Powerful people don’t us individually. speak directly to the - The position of the entire population. father as the point of - The father would be the political entry is head of the family, and weakened. He ends up the face of the family to being like everyone else the political world. If the in the family, but just most important people older and richer. in society want to tell - Moreover, the past families something, they doesn’t have the same tell the father, who tells type of authority everyone else, more because things are specifically their sons. always changing. The Father commands, sons past is merely obey. It’s a cold, distant, information. and severe relationship - The relationship
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