lecture notes

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3 Feb 2011

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January 18th
POL214 – Lecture 2:
Good question for test based on last week’s class?
-The material well being of Canadian, quality of life Canadians have?
-Socio economic Canadians? What groups are well of/ what groups are not?
How equal are Canadians?
What makes for inequality?
What is ideology?
What do we mean by left wing + right wing?
What do we mean by:
o-Conservatism (a lot of what we call conservatism now is classical
-Contemporary + Classical
oIs ever present all around
oWe have ideological beliefs whether we know it or not
oAcknowledge it or not
oDominant ideology is so prevalent u don’t even recognize its an ideology.
oFew concepts in politics that get as much attention as ideology.
oIdeology affects the role of ideas in political life.
oThe idea of ideology comes form a liberal resolution. 1795 a group calling
itself the ideologist form- commited to the study/ history of ideas, the were
rationalists believed in reason, liberals( saw freedom of though, expression
as the main accomplishments of the French revolution).
oThey thought they needed to develop a science of ideas- a true
understanding and knowledge of human nature that would help us dcide
how to organzize society so that it operates harmoniously.
oWhat is ideology? A body of ideas that reflects the social needs and
aspirations of a social group, individual or culture.
o-ideology expresses the most fundamental ideas about the nature of the
individual , the nature of society and the nature of the relationship of
individual and society.
o(that is a liberal defination of ideology because it makes a distinction of
the individual on the one hand and society on the one hand. For a liberal
individual is prime. Conservatives can’t see an individual separate from
the society as a whole.
oIdeologies offer interprtations of political relations in society, vision of
how society and govt is organzized and ought to be organized, deals with
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underlying philosophical thought
oPolitical paties and leaders use ideologies to formulate their platforms and
reason their policies.
oIdeology is a way of interpreting reality
oHow scoeiety works and how it should
oMost common categorization of ideas is left wing, right wing and
centerists(they reflect the main stream ideas of society , they accet the
pervasice wisdom of that society, if it’s a capitalist society that means
being a capitalists.
o-left/right – conflicting ideological beliefs of how the economy is and
should be organized, how politics operate how govt works or should work.
oHow to determine whether person is more left/right wing?
o-for more welfare state you are left wing but who created the welfare
state? a rightist
o-nationalization- left winger but who nationalized Ontario hydro? Right
oincrease minimum wages- left wing
omaybe a better way of looking at these, rather than looking at policy looka
the rationale. Which sector of society does the policy affect?
oWho is this policy intended to help?
oLeft wingers associate themselves with the interests of the downtrodden
poor workers labour minority and victimized groups
oRight wing- establishments, property, privedged, those who own capital,
managers rather than workers, bankers rather than bank tellers. Matter of
looking at haves and have-nots.
o-right refers to individualist belief systems, left collectivist belef systems
o-rightists have more faith in individual efforts and achievements than govt
achievements and interests
oleftists in contrast , have greater faith in govt. and less faith in markets that
markets will promote the common good
o-this doesn’t mean that rightists are against govt but they want a small
govt. it is a nec evil but expensive and intrusive so keep it small
oleftists want to use govt to promote collectivist objectives
oleftist looks at society that it ought to be seen as a bee-hive
orightists see society more as a market, people pursuing their own interests-
selfishly trying to get the most for themsleevs.
oButt here are diff. among rightists and leftisits.
oOn the right we have libertarians and social conservatists. Libertarians not
opposed to plygamy and gay marriage, pornography, prostitution abortion,
drug use role of women suicide-
o-social democrats believe socialism is a function of agency , product of
people ideas and power- we can make it happen
osome socialists believe about cetalizing power int eh state and other
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