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Political Science
Joseph Wong

S toThe End of History Francis Fukuymas Hegelian View On the Nature of Politics - Man is by nature is a political animal - Man enjoys being in self-governing. - You cannot avoid politics. You may not like politics, but it likes you. - If you do not engage in politics, others will do it for you. Big Themes of Class - Democracy, Dictatorship, War & Peace - Point of social science = make sense of the world we live in. How DO we make sense of it? - Simplifying , focusing on what matters and shutting out what doesent. It takes SKILL to simplify. A more understandable world .less scary! Democracy & War - Is the world becoming more democratic and peaceful? - Big thinkers on the matter = Francis Fukuyama, watched Communist USSR collapsing in Summer 1989 believed it was WORLD CHANGING (Hegel)History of Human Consciousness - History of the world = the history of philosophy - Not kings, queens, presidents , prime ministers or celebrities. They STEAL ideas, big ideas -When you see a war, you SEE people dying. But whats really happening is a clash of IDEAS -Industry, economy, religious practice are material manifestation, but whats Really going on is the ideas that inform those practices. Ideas, Organization of Human Society - Really big ideas are those that organize human society - Look @ Ancient Society Hegel and Liberal State - Hegel and the Battle of Jena: victory of liberty, equality, and fraternity - Argues that THIS was the end of history, since it was the best idea that would ever happen. - No new ideas coming could challenge the BIG idea. Too often the unyielding attention on the narrow, the irrelevant the vapid is the preoccupation of the human mind. It is theory alone that helps us transcend this poverty of the human condition. Hegel No, Whats essential? THE REALLY BIG IDEAS Fukuyama: Hegel was right, but he was a bit off. - Not 1806-1989 - The big ideas challenging liberal democracy had been defeated in the real realm. (Fascism and Communism) Challengers - Communism still there. BUT, nobody willing to die for it or betray their country for it. A Powerless idea! Christian, Jewish & Islamic fundamentalism: yes they are there but they are not universal and therefore not a real challenge. Where does that leave us? - World of peace, trade & democracy - Yes, we still have wars but they are not wars of big ideas. - We should look for big ideological challengers. CLASH OF CIVILIZTIONS? (Huntington) End of history idea not shared with much of the world. - Also seen as arrogant. Fukuyama is writing at the end of communism, a victorious moment for the western world. - The arc of history is inevitably moving towards liberal democracy. - Huntington presents a much more pessimistic view. Alternative World Order? -Fukuyama = a narrow reading of world history - For Huntington, what Fukuyama describes is the end of history in the WEST. - General rule that democracies do not fight other democracies. - Examples Fukuyama uses are Liberal ideas, assuming they are universal - Liberal peace and prosperity are illusory - Inequality - Contested Citizenship - Exclusion There is no universal power. Not going to fight about ideas, but for our very essence as human beings. Civilization is the cultural grouping of people, and cultural identity, which distinguishes humans from other species. According what it means to be American is dissenting anglo-protestanism Why should we expect there to be greater clashes? - So as long there are differences, there will always be conflict. -So as long there are contending interests = conflict - Kinship = conflict The West & The Rest - For Fukuyama Berlin Wall coming down was the signal of the victory of the West over the rest - For Huntington, it signaled the West VERSUS the rest. Huntington worries about the rise of a moral alternative. - Islam - Rise of Asian countries Essentially the rise of a Western dominance 3 of the 5 worlds top economies are NON-Western nations. Monday September 19 th Constant and the Rise of Liberalism -Constant articulates a view many of us are brought up with, making it easy to accept. BENJAMIN CONSTANT -Swiss born, French intellectual, and politician -Fervent liberal -Context: French Revolution and its aftermath -Question, how should free People govern themselves? - Freedom FROM, not Freedom to. (Leave me alone!) The Model The Moderns Rejected -Liberty of the ancients: Participatory = you wanted to be a part of the greater republic. Direct = did not have people representing you. Public, not private liberty = freedom of the collective, not to be dominated. Freedom of the community = self government freedom is collective In this ancient sense, Canada is not free - Foreign rule (Monarchy) - Dominated by American policy Ancient freedom dependent upon a class of people who didnt engage in commerce or even work. -Big decisions were on war. | Liberty of Moderns The fundamental sense of freedom is freedom is from chains, from imprisonment, from enslavements by others. The rest is extension of this sense, or else metaphor Be very war of any decree claiming to achieve the reconciliation of liberty and equality. It is either a lie or tyranny (comment essentially on socialism) - Not so much freedom to as freedom from (Isaiah Berlin) - Legal protections - Limited government - Freedom is individual rather than communal - All driven by commerce and private property instead of war. - Liberalism conceptually separate from democracy. Contradictions of Constant - Moderns liberty is better both than ancient liberty and pre-modern despotism - Moderns care more about freedom from - We prefer representative to direct government that just leaves us alone to be happy and get rich. - Liberty of ancients creeps back in through modern notions of citizenship and - virtue! But all great thinkers are contradictory! Ancient Liberty & Plato - Plato , in his last dialogue, Laws, offers a (grim) prophesy to which Constant and perhaps all moderns seems liable. - He wrote Impulse for the rule of many (rep gov) rears and unbridled pursuits in satisfying lower-orders desires [what today we may call modern consumerism]..temperance suffers, only to give rise to a conflicted soul , seeking what is noble that once existed but now seems blatantly lost. - Ancient freedom can be equated with sovereignty. Traditional Society They were beaten at all points and altogether, all that they suffered was great; they were destroyed as the saying is with a total destruction, their fleet, their army, everything was destroyed, and a few out of many returned home, with all citizens of Athens in tears. Such were the events in Sicily [BK VII] - Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War - Deep and abiding scarcity. Never accumulated more than what they needed. - Non market societies - Family life = extended families (think Russian addressing older men as Grandfather) - Affective orientation = emotion was on the table more than our society. - Ascriptive roles. (versus achievement) = born into roles.
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