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Lecture 2

POL201Y1 Lecture 2: Democracy

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Abbas Gnamo

Pol201 – Lecture 2 • Democracy is the final and ultimate form of government • Democracy is the highest achievement, the final form of government • We might think of history as things that happened in the past • Theological is philosophical study of design and purpose (from the Greek telos: end of purpose) • Marxism: each phase of economic production would give birth to the next phase of economic production • Capitalism would produce too much surplus and would lead to socialism • Leads to communism and that is the best known example of a theological theory of economic protection • History has achieved its goal [democracy] • Fukuyama’s argument: • Democracy is good, widespread, and here to stay • Kaplan’s argument: democracy is not necessarily good • Real democracy is hardly widespread • And It’s becoming less democratic, it’s not here to stay • Democracies are value neutral • His point is democracy is a set of institutions, so if will of majority is good or right then the outcome will be good and vice versa • A democratic he says does nothing but transfer the so called will transfer people into leaders example, Hitler • This example he is using is a very thin definition • It’s not democracy is being exported to other countries, it’s just elections and democracy cannot be exported, elections can and it leads to chaos that are not prepared for them • Democracy is an organic outgrowth of development • Complexity and sophistication • Literacy and education: Sudan he says was unprepared for democracy because only 27% of the population could read • A democratic public should be informed, people who are going to be voters should understand the policy and make decisions for which they prefer • With right, the right to vote comes obligation, which is to be involved, engaged and know where the issues are so you make good informed judgments • Being informed is being literate • Literacy and education has been use to limit the franchise • There’s this anti-democratic edge like democracy depends on education • It’s not entirely clear that literate people who make great decision • Organization and low birth rate are prerequisites • He makes a claim that you have to be Westernize to be democratic because those are the countries that have good democratic systems • Middle class: Russia for example • He said middle class creates social stability • And its content with a status quo • They benefit from the way things are • They have family, houses, children, they are not looking for revolution only mortgages • The point is about having a stake in society th • A Western Enlightenment tradition: took place mainly in the 18 century • Precondition for “rule by the people”: • Reason instead of tradition and belief • Science instead of superstitions • Critique of tradition and hereditary rule • Universal human rights • Reliable bureaucratic institutions: dem
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