On The Nature of Politics
On The Nature of Politics
Big Themes of Class
•Make sense of the world we live in
•How do we make sense of it? –by simplifying -focus on what matters
Democracy and War
•Is the world becoming more democratic –peaceful?
•Summer 1989 –Communism crumbles.
•Hegel asked what is history? –History of human conscienceness –history of the way
•History of philosophy
•War –clash of ideas.
Ideas and the Organization of Human Society
•Big Ideas and those that organize: human society, ancient society, medieval society,
liberal democratic state.
Hegel and Liberal State
•Hegel and the battle of Jena –Victory of liberty, equality and fraternity
•What is the idea after this idea? –Nothing –this is a universal idea.
•History is history of ideas –if ideas ended then history ended
•CNN headlines –what would Hegel say? –no you don’t need to know most of this
•Attention focuses on narrow and irrelevant.
•Fukayama –global capitalism –Hegel was a bit off -1989 –dictatorshop overcome –
•Communism, fascism –loose –realm of ideas.
•Challenges of liberal democracy
•Maps of Fault Lines –Huntington –political science is outdated.
•Who are we? –we are not western liberal democrats.
•What makes up the stuff in our new chartogprahy –civilization
•Difference, interests, kinship ties (transitional linkages) –all conducive to conflict –a
lot of conflict fuelled by arrogance of west.
The West and the Rest
•Fukayama –sees western as having won. –liberal ideas triumph.
•Huntington –the west in perpetual conflict with rest of the world –Islam (enemy) –
Moral alternative to the secular liberal democratic order (contrast of western views).
•Huntington: fears other nations modernizing –non western modernity.
•Both Islam and rise of China rises fears of Samuel Huntington clash of west and
•Present important info
•3/5 top 5 Economies in the world are non western (Brazil, Russia, India, China) –
•West has one precisely in the moment that it has declined. Fukayama –End of
history. Huntington –end of western domination.
•North Korea, Cuba –communism still there but no one is willing to die for that idea –
not powerful idea.
•Christian, Jewish, Islamic fundamentalism –they are there but no universal
•Aimed at particular audiences
•If western countries barred –history still has ended because no new ideas.
What does that leave us?
•World of peace and democracy
•Yes we still have wars but they are not on the big ideas –if they are –liberalism wins.
•Social science looks for big ideological challenges
•But in that case history is over.
Clash of Civilization
•Victors are arrogant –movement of the triumph
•Nice to believe there is no alternative to world order –appealing that we won.
•Democratic countries don’t go to war with one another –interrelations.
Alternative World Order
•A Passive Rejoinder
•Book –the class of civilization –Remaking of world order. –Huntington