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Lecture 13

Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Bourgeoisie, Manufacturing Consent, Edmonton Journal

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Peter Fragiskatos

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Michael Doyle:
o“Liberal states are different. They are indeed peaceful. Yet, they are
also prone to make war”
o“Liberal states have created a separate peace, as Kant argued they
would, and have also discovered liberal reasons for aggression, as he
feared they might.”
Now, think back to Rousseau: says that all societies have “particular
o(ie, interests that express the needs, demands, concerns of particular
ind’s and groups)
But, societies also have common interests which Rousseau calls “the general
the common good. but also, specifically:
o“common preservation”, “well being”, “peace”, “unity”, “equality”
These common interests can be realized only when people put aside their
particular interests
And this is important: the general will is the glue that keeps society together
oRousseau: “if there were not some point in which all interests were
identical, no society could exist”
oWhy couldn’t a society exist? because without common interests,
society simply disintegrates into conflicting groups and individuals
and what’s fundamental to securing the general will? democracy
A different view comes from Marxists
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Marx: promoting democracy is a trick: this thinking simply represents the
interests of the dominant class (ie: the bourgeoisie who own the “productive
ogoods: land, factory, mines, oil,
oservices: hotels, restaurants, airplanes
and, because the state does the bidding of the dominant class (think election
funding), it’s incapable of promoting a national interest, even if it says it
all “democracy promotion” does is push capitalism as the dominant
economic system globally and opens markets up to be exploited by the
Another view comes from Machiavelli
in his most famous work, The Prince, Machiavelli sets of the doctrine of
raison d’etat or “reasons of state”
the idea here is that the survival of the state should be the main concern of
all rulers:
ofor Machiavelli, this is what the “national interest” is all about
survival can be achieved either by
opreparing (militarily) to defend from invasion
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olaunching an invasion to prevent being ruled over (get them before
they get you)
And....for “reasons of state” even immoral means should be used to prevent
any threat to the state’s preservation:
oThere is a separate morality for governing the state which didn’t apply
to private life
oMachiavelli: a ruler “should not deviate from what is good, if that is
possible, but he should know how to do evil”
oNote: this doesn’t mean rulers should act with outright cruelty, ie:
cruelty is a vice for Machiavelli because it’s immoral and leads
to desire for revenge among conq’d
and for those that believe in this idea, justification rests on the fact that
without the state:
ointernal peace, economic prosperity (by enforcing laws, upholding
property rights) isn’t possible...only disorder
here, Machiavelli shares a lot in common with the view of realism in IR
First, a realist perspective says because anarchy is what characterizes int’l
realm, states have to rely on themselves to ensure state survival (ie, their
Why is state survival important? as above: without the state, order and
morality can’t be preserved
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