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Lecture Notes - First class

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Political Science
Kenichi Ariga

Comparison between Liberty ofAncients and Moderns Benjamin Constant Major Theory: The social organization of the ancients led them to want a diff. kind of freedom from what rep. gov. grant us today Why is this distinction necessary? 1. Failure to distinguish between the two = forced people to enjoy benefits they did not want + deprive them of benefits they did 2. Benefits of representative government was unknown, although some argues it was experienced by a. Sparta: but it was rep. gov. but monastic aristocracy = power of king limited, but only limited by magistrates who themselves enjoys power rather than be barrier between king and people b. Gauls: but they had theocracy (law of God) c. Rome: but they had an oligarchy (small group of people control all of nation) Comparison in Definition of “Liberty” Modern Definition • the right to be subjected only to the laws, and not to be arrested, imprisoned, put to death or maltreated in any way by decision of one or more individuals • the right of each person to express his opinion, choose a profession and practice it, dispose of his own property and even to misuse it; • the right to come and go without permission, + without explaining what one is doing or why; • the right of each person to associate with other individuals • Each person’s right to have some influence on the administration of the government, by electing officials / Demanding the authorities Ancient Definition • Function carried out collectively but directly: o discuss and make decisions about war and peace o form alliances with foreign governments; o vote on new laws; pronounce judgments; o examine the accounts, acts, and stewardship of the magistrates; o call the magistrates to appear in front of the assembled people; o Accuse the magistrates and then condemn or acquit them • No liberties that are present in modern definition because of great censorship, control, and fear on part of citizens Area of Ancient Modern Difference • Favoured collective freedom •Favoured individual freedom • Individual is sovereign in public affairs:•Individual is sovereign in appearance: has deciding on peace/war, or dismissing rights but is limited and restricted magistrates •Thus, no satisfaction in participating in the • Thus, individual made sacrifices to decision making process protect this right + took great pride in Collective vs. making difference •Individual is independent in private life Individual Freedom • Individual is a slave in private affairs (every move is monitored, and his own title can be stripped by the choice of whole) • Republics were small •Countries are large, therefore able to protect themselves in case of war • Warlike – neighbours either attacked other for more land/ resources or were attacked by others • War = security, existence, independence Geography • War = necessity of slaves since countries needed manual labour • Isolated families = many enemies • War precedes commerce – why? •Commerce precedes war – why? • Perception that war = showing off •Commerce is more surer way of gaining strength while commerce = weakness wealth while war is costly and risky •War = land and wealth for victor •Focus on commerce = end to slavery since War and everybody wasted to participate in making $ Commerce •men, exclusively concerned with •individuals are absorbed in the enjoyment of securing their share of social power, private independence might surrender too Dangers of might under-value individual rights and easily right to share in political power Liberty
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