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21. Nov 21 -Socialism.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Nigmendra Narain
Semester
Fall

Description
Socialism Key Ideas  Many ideologies linked together by similar ideas drawn mainly from Karl Marx‘s critique of capitalism (like Mill‘s influence) (there is no communist ideology, economy, etc.—in communism, state disappears and people do what they please) o Marxism o Social Democracy o Socialism o Marxist-Leninism o Anarchism o Syndicalism o Stalinism o Maoism o Feminism o Reform liberalism o *Note: there is no communist ideology, economy, etc.!  Oppose capitalism because it is neither free nor just o Capitalism is an unjust, exploitative economic system, thus generating conflict and social & political institutions to deal with the conflicts it creates o Creates liberal democracy (which they disagree with) in which:  "freedom" and "equal of opportunity" are a mirage for many (most) working people =FAKE  "rights" do not equate to justice o Markets are not free – they lead to power concentrated in the hands of capitalists o Capitalism creates two classes in conflict: workers & capitalists  Common Ownership: o Society owns and/or controls property collectively o Society should operate those things it owns publicly in the interest of the whole society  EQUITY  No: underwear, toothbrush, couches  Maybe: housing, vehicles, computers  Definitely: factories, land, buildings of work o Society is > any individual  Individual rights or freedoms are secondary to the needs or decisions of the society as a whole  No individual has a natural right (God or otherwise) to property because all property is social =you own it because society let you (rules, convention, etc.)  All property results from social interaction and society‘s allowance to let you have it  Goal = equality (elimination of inequality) –more than just equity PS 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 1 of 8  Capitalism –two classes in conflict: workers and capitalists  Historical change is the result of class struggle between capitalist & workers o Capitalists: own the means of production & make profits through selling goods & services o Workers: sell their labour to capitalists & work to produce goods & services  Human nature is NOT self-interested, competitive, and greedy o People are the social and historical products of their societies o Can re-structure society to produce selfless & socially-minded people  Many, many thinkers due to diversity of paths socialism has taken BUT we‘re only touching on Marx & Lenin Socialism: The Tradition  Tradition of socialism for many centuries:  Plato's Republic (380 BC)  Thomas More (1478-1535) -- o Catholic Saint and martyr o Advocated communal ownership as an antidote to the sins of pride, envy, greed he saw flourishing o Argued that policies that encouraged competition for profits fueled these sins o Utopia: ―nowhere‖ –referring to heaven-like scenario; people would not have to be FORCED to do things (write essays, etc.)  Key turning point: Industrial Revolution: o Some reformers (reform liberals): improve working conditions, raise wages through laws and welfare opportunities o Others became radicals and revolutionaries (socialists): abolish the system that produced the inequalities and injustices  Two types of socialists emerged: o 1. Moralist – Robert Owen (1771-1857) & Charles Fourier (1772- 1837)  Capitalism created bad characteristics because it rewarded greed and selfishness  Need a new system of production: cooperative production for public profit – moral basis to production o 2. Scientific – Saint-Simon (1760-1825) & Marx  Argued human history "moves" and is divided into successive stages  Each society has a "base" of ideas and beliefs (ideology) which results in the prevailing economic, social & political system  As these beliefs & ideas lose credibility, so too does the social and economic system that rests upon them PS 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 2 of 8  CONTRADICTION: In capitalism, life is so complex that people start to realize that humans are really interconnected & interdependent (not relentlessly self-interested or competitive) – capitalism therefore contains the seeds of its own destruction 1. Capitalism therefore contains the seeds of its own destruction =brings workers together in oppressive factory system Socialism: Marx  German journalist (trained to be a prof but wasn‘t allowed because he was Jewish)  Impact on: o Major political revolutions of the 1900s o Major academics & intellectuals, especially social sciences & philosophy o Rivals Adam Smith as the most thorough/powerful theorist of capitalism as a system – from the opposition side  Key books o German Ideology o Capital, volumes 1-3 (planned to write 4-6) o Communist Manifesto (plan of action) o Wrote with his friend, Friedrich Engels (wealthy factory owner)  Key Ideas o Historical change:  From two sources:  Economic: change in the mode of production  Sociological: class struggle – workers vs. capitalists 1. Class struggle was the "motor of history", that is, the cause of all changes  Historical change was ‗scientific certainty‘: Hunters & Gatherers > Primitive Agriculture > Capitalism > Socialism > Communism (end)  (LENIN) argued that you had to go through each stage of history before getting to end (no skipping of stages) 1. Society must evolve in the same way as Darwin‘s theory of evolution o Base vs. Superstructure  Turned upside down Saint-Simon‘s analysis  Argues the economy creates ideology to support it  ―American Dream‖? ―Canadian Multiculturalism‖?  Organization of economy > creates the ideology to support it  Base = economic basis of society PS 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 3 of 8  Mode of production: organization of the economy and economic relationships which form the material base of society – how the society produces the goods it needs to survive (food, clothing, shelter, etc.)  Means of production: tools, technology, human labour, resources used to produce goods  Social relations of production: how people stand in relation to each other through production (created by means and mode of production)  Superstructure = political, social & legal institutions which help to perpetuate base & prevent workers from understanding (overthrowing) their oppression  IE. Universities, voting, RSP plans, WalMart  What‘s the point here?  Capitalism = private property --> means of production are individually/privately owned = privatized power
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