Political Science 2237E Lecture Notes - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Rove, Government Simulation Game

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2237E
Professor
Page:
of 2
September 11, 2012
Political Science 2237E
Lecture #1
Politics is about constructing a system of authorized power
Communication/language is key to politics
Sets of words that create realities
Which then give meanings to the world and everything they create
Does language matter? YES
In politics vocabulary creates reality (e.g. US Republicans changing view of
Canada from Soviet Canukistan to libertarian haven)
Whoever controls the political game, controls the political vocabulary (e.g.
Lenin; Karl Rove; Harper on the War of 1812)
Try on understanding a political theory as a “toolkit” for constructing political truth
or reality Ludwig Wittgenstein
Neitzsche/Foucalt:
Politics is the endless struggle for the power to define truth. Truth and reality are
political products.
Book 1:
Socrates is trying to defeat this guy by showing truth rules all
- however may have lost because power defines rules and truth
Mostly people try to make their kind of talk powerful by claiming its “the truth”
“reality”: Invoking the authority of:
1. Science
2. Religion
3. Philosophy
4. Nature/Culture
a. Standard of what is true, just and right
b. Rest theory of politics on theory of human nature
5. Ideology
Plato said Philosophy means love of wisdom
- Believe that thinkers, whose thought process of reflecting on unchanging
truth, only hope is truth, balance
- Can be the basis of ultimate unchanging political truth
Since about 1960, politics is more than talk
- It is imagery, vodeos, photo opps, optics
What happened in 1960?
- JFK defeated Nixon in the first big TV debate
- Listeners thought Nixon was right/won
- JFK won
o Appearance and reality so mixed up don’t know what your choosing
Every comprehensive political theory is a narrative (story) embodying a vision
(“leviathan,” “the social contract,” “Pure Communism”)
Political Triangle:
Government/State
Theories in science and in politics do two fundamental things:
1. Describe, reinforce and justify an existing, dominant reality
2. Push the envelope: introduce ideas, issues, language that does not fit
These are the normalizing and radical, revolutionary, subversive or transgressive
roles of theory

Document Summary

Politics is about constructing a system of authorized power. Which then give meanings to the world and everything they create. In politics vocabulary creates reality (e. g. us republicans changing view of. Canada from soviet canukistan to libertarian haven) Whoever controls the political game, controls the political vocabulary (e. g. lenin; karl rove; harper on the war of 1812) Try on understanding a political theory as a toolkit for constructing political truth or reality ludwig wittgenstein. Politics is the endless struggle for the power to define truth. Socrates is trying to defeat this guy by showing truth rules all. However may have lost because power defines rules and truth. Mostly people try to make their kind of talk powerful by claiming its the truth . Reality : invoking the authority of: science, religion, philosophy, nature/culture, standard of what is true, just and right, rest theory of politics on theory of human nature, ideology.