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Lecture

lec. jan. 10


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL201Y1
Professor
Sophia Moreau

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POL201 LEC JAN 10
WAS DEMOCRACY JUST A MOMENT??
=by CAPLAIN
-point of the reading was it frames the relation between development and democracy. This
reading is a transition from first semi to send, to focus on the overarcing question of th erelaation
between these two concepts.
-in 1992, francis boukayama published a book called end of history and the last man.
-the book was written as the soviet union was collapsing, this was a time when people were
sqwitching to democracy.
-he argued that democracy signilled the endpoint of human progression, the final form of
govnerment.
-the universalization of western liberal democracy as final form of human govnerment.
-democracy is the highest achievement and highest form of human development.
-what does he mean by final form of human history?
We might think of history as a serioes of events, and not a connection between them.
-others take whats called a teleological theory of history
>>>>>>>>>teleology is the study of design and purpose, its goal
oriented, its one that holds all things to be designed for and directed toward a final result, the idea
that there is a final cause for all that exists, that history is building towards some particiiual point,
a culmination, one historical period produced the next historical period.
-the best known is Marxism, marx says that each phase of ecomomic phase contains within it
failure which would collapse and the next period would grow>>>capitalism would collapse over
surplus, and socialism will prevail, so for marx, the highest point of history is socializsm, it is the
teleological endpoint of history, communism, it is the highest achievement of mankind, thats
Marxist teleological account of history.
But francis says it is DEMOCRACY that is the end of history.
-he takes the framework that marx is fmous for, but he uses it to say democracy is the end of
history.
-what he means by this is that not that all events will stop happening.
-demoarcy is good, widespread, and here to stay.
-so now that I have outlined francis’ argument, now you have a sense that who it is that caplain is
arguemeing against, he is argueing against francis, he is argueing against the end of history type
of conception.
-if you contrast this argument with thea rguement that caplain makes, you can see that caplain is
saying the opposite.
-hes saying democracy is not necessarily good, real democracy is ahrdly widespread, and it is
becoming less deomcoractratic, and it is not here to stay.
-;ets unpack caplains argument a little more carefully.
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-the first controversial claim that he makes is that mdeoracyies are value neutral, what does he
mean?
-he says democroacy is a set of institions that translates the will of the majority to govnerment
and policy, if the will of the majority is good, then the outcome will be good, likewise if the will
is bad, the outcome is bad.
-the govnemrent doe snothing but transfer the will of the people into govnerenance.
-eg. Mousillini and hitler.
-caplain draws the connection between hitler and mousillini to democracy.
-he brings home the point that demoracy can lead to bad results.
When he says demoracy is value netural, he si saying demoracy produces whatever the people
want.
-the isntitinons themselves are value neutral, there is no guarantee that they will produce good or
bad outcomes.
-what is the definintion of democracy that caplain is talking about??
CAPLAINS DEF’N OF DEMOCRACY?? Thick def’n or thin def’’n??
-what caplains doing here is he is introducing a thin def’n. democracy is an electoral mechanism,
if democracy produces the will of the people then it iis a electoral mechanism.
-why does he use this def’n?
-he says that he uses this definitnion because this is tehe model that is being exported across the
globe by the US IMF and world bank.
-dmeoaracy is the abstract encompasses good things, but as a matter of public politicy t has come
to rest on public elections.
-it is then not democracy that is being exported, it is ONLY ELECTIONS
-a thin set of isntitons that will produce the will of the majority.
-dmeoracy cannot be exported, that only elections can be exported, but elections can, and when
they are they often lead to violence and chaos in countries that are not prepared for elecitons.
-the second main point is that dmeoracy emerges only as a capstone to other economic
achievement,s it is an organic outgrowth of development. He is making a modernization
argument. You get economic growth and then you get democracy.
-he goes on to say that democracy emerged in Europe because eropean society had reached a
level of complexiry and sohphisticatio that he finds lacking in china, Algeria, Uganda, etc.
-so besides complexity and sophistication, what are some of the other prerequirsites that caplain
mentions?
-if you do not have literacy and education you cannot have democracy.
The American founding fathers were scared of badly educatioed public. Sudan was hurt by
dmeoracy because only 27 percent can read, same with brazil.
-what are the reasons that literacy and education is a prerequisite to demoracy?
---the public should be informed, they should make informed decisions of which policies
are best. This is a common reasing, people should be educated in order to vote. Democracy
imposes certain obligations on its citizens and one of those is that citizens should be informed.
-
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