On The Nature of Politics

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12 Mar 2011
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On The Nature of Politics
Big Themes of Class
Social Science
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?
Francis Fukeyama
Summer 1989 Communism crumbles.
Hegel asked what is history? History of human conscienceness –history of the way
we think?
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 dont 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
Civilization Failing
Maps of Fault Lines Huntington –political science is outdated.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
Why Clash?
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
Huntington/ Fukayama
Present important info
3/5 top 5 Economies in the world are non western (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
transitional movement
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.
Ex. Russia
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 dont go to war with one another interrelations.
Alternative World Order
A Passive Rejoinder
Book the class of civilization Remaking of world order. Huntington