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Lecture 1

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

September-10-12 8:09 PM Democracy and war Question Is the world becoming more peaceful and democratic? Francis Fukuyama • Looked through the lens of Hegel for thought on the fall of the Berlin Wall during the summer of 1989 o Hegel • Witnessed moments in history, realized what he was witnessing • "chopping bench of history" • Clash of ideas sum up human history Human consciousness History of philosophy • Individuals have rarely ever come up with their own ideas, people have always been stealing from the past great philosophers • Industry, economy, religious practises = material manifestation of human ideas • Big and significant human consciousness ideas o Ancient societies • Plato and Aristotle o Medieval societies (kingships and serfs) • Thomas Aquinas and the Church o Liberal democracies • Hegel o Battle of Jena - saw what he believed was the birth of 'liberty, equality and fraternity' o History is the history of great ideas, of ideas surpassing each other • Should there be no new idea to challenge the new idea then history is over • Fukuyama o Hegel was correct in his thinking, but off in years o Instead of 1806, it was 1989 o Global war against Nazis (WWII) o Challengers to liberal democracy defeated in realm of ideas • Barely exist in the consciousness of western societies • Nazism, communism, fascism • World of peace, trade and democracy o No wars f big ideas hence liberalism has won o Threats to stability appear in big ideological challengers o A distinct lack of such challengers When no one is willing to sacrifice their life for an idea, that idea dies When no one is willing to sacrifice their life for an new idea, one other that the established one, history is over. Clash of Civilizations Huntinton's Argum
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