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Lecture 9

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SOC203: Lecture 9 March 11/2013 ‘Politics as a Vocation’: True or False? According to Weber: 1. The state is an association that claims sovereignty over a territory. (p 78) 2. Authority is legitimate domination (p 78-79) 3. Charisma is the authority of ‘the eternal yesterday’ (p 78-79) 4. In domination by virtue of legality, obedience is expected by virtue of devotion and personal confidence in revelation, heroism, or other qualities of individual leadership (p 79) 5. Organized domination calls for control of a staff and of material means of administration (p 80) 6. States vary depending on whether those who govern own the administrative means (p 81) 7. The feudal vassal paid out of his own pocket for the administration of his fiefdom (p81) 8. The development of the modern state involves the expropriation of the autonomous and ‘private’ bearers of power (p 82) Society can be ruled besides a monarch (i.e. think from last lecture, parliament in the middle and part of the public realm/state and private realm/civil society)  Civil society as a realm for ideological struggle Marx and Gramsci on Ideology A. Marx on ideas  dismissive about the importance of revolutionary, to struggle combat ideas 1. Two examples:  Religion o Why do they exist? Because the oppressed balm for their souls o Marx religion is the symptom of exploitation o They’re trying to fuse themselves with religious beliefs o The task of a revolutionary was to get at the cause of religious belief (to get at the cause of exploitation) so to deal with social classes (into a classless society) o Once a classless society is achieved, the motivation for religious beliefs will evaporate o Religious beliefs (found in civil society) are a problem but he also believed that it was misplaced to attack religious beliefs through contrasting ideas and the task of the revolutionary was to get at he root cause of religious belief.  The State o The state is an epiphenomenon (unwanted by product of class exploitation  the belief and authority is epiphenomenon. The state exists to uphold the system of exploitation into which the bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat) o The task of a revolutionary then is not so much to topple the state but to do away the system of inequality to usher in a classless society; the need for the state disappears of its own accord o Marx criticizes religion (anti religious ideas by doing away the conditions to do away with religion so exploitation) same sort of logic for state. Because he sees it as an instrument of class domination 2. Ideology= inverted ideas  Inverted ideas  to function, to conceal the class divisions of society (i.e. smoke which blurs the true intent and what’s really going on)  Ideology  represents distorted thinking (ex. Religion, the laws issued by the state) distorted thinking = state because we are persuaded by state because the laws are there for all when the domination of one class is always in place.  The class which exploits proletariat also has the means of throwing smoke/sand in the eyes of proletariat 3. An overlooked part of The German Ideology  The best known strands of Marxist thought (the previous examples)  In revolutionary processes not always one class overturning another class. Rather than being one subordinate class overturning another class, there is an alliance of classes. What does one do with such an idea? Marx says that when one looks at those ideas of subordinate classes and looks at the relationships between them, what one sees is that there is a dominant element in that subordinate alliance which is able to present its own interest as the interests of everyone in alliance  Ex. French Revolution conducted by members of bourgeoisie in alliance with intellectual, peasants, students, etc. In other words, there are many elements in the French society to overthrow old regime. This does not mean that there is free play of ideas between subordinate elements. But there is a dominance element and that is that of the bourgeoisie. In the sense that they were able to make their own interest seem like it was the interest of all the others (the intellectuals, the urban poor, the proletariats)  Quote 1 (p 80) “each new class.. represent its interests as…”  Marx provided some insight on authoritative ideas present among subordinate classes  there’s only one element that has more authority than other elements. But his insights stop there.  leads to Gramsci  B. Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) (From Sardina? Island near Italy; very agriculture society. He takes the boat to Tourane for university); sympathetic to plights of peasant 1. Italian context:  Late unification  North-south economic differences o Industry was concentrated in North of Italy o South was primarily agricultural  The Church o Wouldn’t use the word totalitarianism to Italy (implies one party state, and which that one party state has the significant ability to get rid of all sorts of countering influences in society) But the Italian Church did not disappear because of that o Controlled the education system o Had strong local/neighbourhood presence o The Church urged Catholics at the end of 1800s to not engage in politics 2. Gramsci’s life  Lived stark contrast of agricultural Italy and Industrial Italy  By 1913, was a member of socialist party (left wing working class party)  Started writing for socialist newspapers  How can socialist revolution be achieved in Italy? How can we achieve classless society  In 1921, he was one of the co-founders of Italian Communist Party  1922  takeover by Mussolini  1926 Communist sentenced him to 20 years (a lot of his work in jail)  1937 died in jail 3. Making revolution: Russia vs. Italy  1917 Russian revolution  Gramsci travels to Russia as rep for communist party after revolution  Does the Russian revolution provide a model for how revolutionary should be encouraged for us in our own countries  Should we go back to our home countries (France, Italy, Germany) and try to implement the same kind of strategy which worked in case of Russia (to overthrow state and communist regime)  Gramsci conclusion  can’t implement same strategy in Italy that it worked in Russian. Because the relationship between state, capitalism and civil society. They different fundamentally from Russia and Italy  In Russia State existed separately from civil society, the economy, beliefs from Church  This meant that communists nearly had to attack state (and once toppled), can be sure that they can control rest of society  In Italy  state has stronger relations between state and civil society and economy  What if Canada?  The Churches might be against it, the military might not follow, people won’t follow. Outside the State, can find all sorts of other supporters for status quo. This contrasts the situation in Russia where capitalism was not well developed (there were no backers), the Church was not a strong backer of state, the elements of society weren’t (esp peasants) Gramsci Italy was like Canada  If these fundamental differences between Russia and West exist, there are strategic differences. TI would be foolish for a Russian communist to try and change Italy, too different, must have a different strategy.  Gramsci believes hegemony 4. Hegemony= leadership (involves consent, not coercion)  Revolutionary forces  in the case of Italy that the working class had to provide an alliance with the peasantry  The fact that he came from Italy (socioeconomic condition), realistically, there has to be n alliance between peasantry and working class  An alliance in that working class will take charge and represents its own interests as the interests of others this might involve compromises (the working class had to negotiate and renegotiate in order to maintain hegemony)  The ultimate goal would be to contest the hegemony over society of bourgeoisie  Gramsci believed that Italy  bourgeoisie successfully represented hegemony and presented itself as the leaders of society (those who looked out for society as a whole); Unlike Marx, believed that civil society should be a train for ideological struggle  Consent not coercion  contrast that comes up in reading by Weber  Starts off with question ‘Why do men obey’ and he says sometimes they obey because domination takes place. (pure coercion); obey not because of rightness of rule but because of fear (for their life or property( then coercion in play o If they feel that those who issue those commands have the right to issue commands o Coercion  does not involve consent, involves domination o In the Soviet Union, revolutionists didn’t have to win over hearts and souls; they can win by applying violence. But in Italy, to do this, it won’t have an effect  Gramsci did not forget applying violence. He was a close student of the means of violence and he himself argued that if the terrain needed to be prepared through ideas, violence may be necessary  Gramsci and developments later in 20 Century: o In Europe, the idea that civil society should be a terrain of revolutionary conflict was extremely powerful in Russia, Italy, Spain (members of communist parties had a strong belief) stood in the way. o The whole wave of rebellion against materialism (colonism); Boost in birth rate because states achieved independence (through revolution, sometimes not) o Building on reading for Marx for last week (Segway into Gramsci) and implications: subsequent history of 20 C rather in Eur
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