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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Political Science 1020E th September 10 2009 Professor Nigmendra Narain: 519-860-3290 The Relevance of Politics - CNN Video Presidential Scholars 1. Human Rights and torture – Politics is about power, not the preservation of human rights. Difficult decisions must be made in difficult circumstances. Politics is about protecting individuals, there is a controversy over whether or not people have human rights. 2. Democratic Accountability – one side is to trust our elected officials completely. The other is that we are the state, and we must hold our representatives accountable for their actions. 3. Political Decisions have Consequences - consequences for the victims of torture, and implications for the population and government who support the acts of tortures. Bad reputations are created and P.R. is decreased. Two Central Questions of Politics 1. Who gets What? Economic inequalities, can it be justified? 2. Who gets to Decide? War  Dresden 1945 – 35000 people killed by allied bombing  Hiroshima 1945 – over 100 000 people killed  Vietnam 1962 – 1975 – over 150 000 American Soldiers Killed  Iraq 1991 (first Gulf war) Two Main Themes 1. Political Ideas 2. Political Ideologies Five Big Issues 1. Political Authority – Who should have the right to decide? The Right to make and enforce the rules. Imagine no laws and no punishment. 2. Political Obligation – Why should I obey the law? Is there a moral duty to obey the state? 3. Democracy – What is Democracy? Should the people rule? Is democracy a bad form of rule? 4. Liberty – Is liberty (or freedom) valuable? How much freedom should I have? Is it okay to offend other people? Eg) Driving and Cell Phones – How free should we be? Is it the State’s Business? Is it Dangerous? Balancing freedom and authority 5. Distributive Justice – Who should get what? Why should some have more property than others? Why should my freedom be restricted? Political Ideologies How do I fit into the world? How does the world work? What should be done? Politics, Power, Authority th September 15 2009 What is Politics? Examples of Politics: Elections, Demonstrations, Policy Decisions ( eg, Environment, Health Care, Education), Law-Making Politics Matters: The Decisions made within the government affect each individual, Laws assign rights and duties for each individual, and these governmental decisions are enforced. Examples, Haiti and the Dominican Republic Different Environmental Conditions, both are poor, but Haiti is the poorest nation in the world outside of Africa. They are this way due to the Consequences of political decisions. Decisions made by specific individuals have created the circumstances within each country. Some Meanings of ‘Politics’: Formal Government activity, Dishonestly seeking personal gain, Noble pursuit of the public good, “Who Gets what, When, and How?” Politics outside of the human race, A biological Order that includes humans, apes and monkeys. Who gets what, when, how? Chimpanzee Politics: Competition, Power, Conflict. They assert Dominance Strategies and Alliances. There are winners and Losers, It is essentially male power politics, and they’re territorial and aggressive. Bonobo Politics: Peaceful, Gentle and Loving, Erotic and Egalitarian New Study: Current Biology 2008 – Not so Nice They hunt and eat other monkeys Humans Exhibit both Chimpanzee and Bonobo Politics. Politics Definition: Social Activity or process that involves conflict or the potential for conflict, or conflicting views or conflict over territory or resources, where binding decisions are then made, if someone does not play their part the laws are then enforced. Politics is somewhere between Love and War: Pure Conflict = War Pure Cooperation = True Love Politics = Conflict and Cooperation Where is Politics? – Family, Economy, State International? It is controversial to whether or not that the goings on between states are politics, often referred to as international relations Everywhere? Aspects of Politics Collective Action, Conflict and cooperation, authoritative decisions, enforced against the disobedient Government and the State What is Government? -The activity of governing or ruling -Exercising the authority over others -Coordinating collective decisions Aristotle’s Two Questions: 1. Who Rules? One, Few, or Many 2. In Whose Interests do they rule? In the rulers’ interests OR In the interests of the Governed Aristotle’s Forms of Government By the individual: Tyranny (rules for their own interests) /Monarchy (King or Queen, rules for the state) By The Few: Oligarchy(Ruled By the rich)/Aristocracy (Ruled by the best) By The Many: Democracy(Power to the people or the many)/Polity What is the State? The State is a Territorial Community, with a more or less Centralized Governing Authority. It possesses Sovereignty, including monopoly of legitimate violence. **If one does not distinguish between nation and state then one cannot understand the many conflicts within the world. What is Power? The ability to produce results, Influencing Others’ Behaviour, Power can take several forms, The Forms of Power: Coercion (Threatening an individual in order to make them do what is wanted of them), Influence (Making others do as they would not have done otherwise), Manipulation (One can use others and shape their beliefs in order to exert power over those being manipulated) Hard Power: - The Stick: Force and Coercion (Military and Police) - The Carrot: Economic Inducement (Bribes and Sanctions) Soft Power: - Attraction - Agenda Setting - Getting others to WANT what you want - Institutions, Values, Policies - Propaganda is a clear form of soft power The World as a Three-Level Chess Match - Military (USA most Powerful country in the world) - Economic (Much more international cooperation is needed) - Soft Power (trans-national issues such as: Climate change, terrorism, global H1N1 Pandemic. Each require soft power) What is Authority? The Right to Command The right to punish those who disobey Is State authority Justified? MIDTERM OCTOBER 31 ST According to the preferred definition of politics from the last lecture, politics a. Necessarily involves violence b. Requires strong leaders c. Is a way of dealing with conflict The State of Nature Why do we need a State? Thought Experiment Life without the state and political power Aristotle – believed People are naturally political Hobbes – believed People are by convention political Hobbesian Themes Fear – is a central theme in his philosophies War – not in the sense of armies and fighting, but of conflict, the state is used to avoid conflict Peace – his fundamental rule that all people should follow is to seek peace What Hobbes Claims Worst Scenario: NO state Protection Powerful State is needed to avoid disastrous interpersonal conflict Main Premises: Human Nature Hobbes on Human Nature Introspection – ask yourself how you would really respond to these circumstances Materialistic – humans are just machines, relying on motion to live, we are bodies in constant motion Felicity – means continual success in getting what you want, to be happy your desires are satisfied. Human beings seek Felicity. Power – the power of an individual human being, One’s present means to satisfy their present desires. Power aids to obtain Felicity. To be alive it to desire, to cease to desire is death Hobbes on Human Nature Predominantly Self-Regarding – do things that make you feel better ie) charity makes the giver feel better Seek to Enhance Reputation – we care what other people think, we’re fundamentally social. Averse to our own death – generally people try to avoid death Equally Vulnerable, Equally Able - some are stronger some are smarter, however everyone becomes vulnerable. September 22nd 2009 A Beautiful Mind – John Nash vs. Adam Smith Smith: Individual ambition serves the common good Nash: The best result comes from everyone doing what’s best for himself... and the group Which of the Following is NOT a feature of Hobbes’s human Being Are fundamentally unequal - he stated that ALL human’s are equal Hobbes: The Story So Far... 
 Need the state to avoid a war of all against all Basic Claims about Human Nature 
 The Road to War Equality – No One is invulnerable, regardless of physical stature or intelligence Scarcity – no point in producing goods as they will inevitably be taken Uncertainty – Everyone has the reason to be suspicious of others, and strike pre-emptively 
 Three Reasons to Attack Competition: Gain – in order to obtain your wants you can take from others Lack of Trust: Safety – you do not know who you can trust, therefore attack first to preserve your own safety Glory: Reputation – attack others to gain reputation as the strongest NOT FUN – “...continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty brutish, and short” – Thomas Hobbes ‘Leviathan’ **The state of War is not continual fighting, but the constant anticipation of fighting. Is Hobbes too Pessimistic? “Read Thyself” What do we think of Others? Actions speak louder than words Evidence: Locking Doors and Chests against neighbours and family members Morality in the State of Nature Natural Right of Liberty – Use your own judgment in order to do what is necessary to preserve one’s self. No Injustice – No State= No Law= No Law Breakers= No Justice Laws of Nature – If you follow these laws you’re more likely to stay alive and live a relatively normal length life “Reason Suggesteth Convenient Articles of Peace” Laws of Nature _- exam Fundamental Law: Seek Peace, if you can get it Second Law: Lay Down Natural Right, if Others do too Third Law: Perform your Covenants – Keep your promises Negative form of the Golden Rule *Don’t do to others what you would not want done to you* Individual and Collective Rationality It is Rational for Individuals to Attack Others - Smart for one, Dumb for all It is Rational for the collective to seek pace and co-operate Let’s Break a Deal!  Collectively Rational Outcome is Unstable  Individuals Have an Incentive to Defect  State Provides Assurance that Laws of Nature will be followed  Hobbes Says that “in the state of nature what is my obligation to follow the laws of nature? “ these are the rules that we wish could be enforced, but if others are not don’t be a sucker and try to do it alone. John Locke 1632-1704 Locke’s State of Nature  A State of Peace  A State of Equality (no one has the divine right to lead)  Law of Nature (not the same as Hobbes, the law of nature is gods law and the law of reason)  Natural Liberty (liberty is not license, to be free is to not be able to do whatever you want – ie. Not free to kill another person) Locke vs. Hobbes Equality Law of Nature – Hobbes- follow these rules in order to preserve yourself. Locke- God’s law or moral law Natural Liberty- Hobbes- can do whatever you wish, Locke- are free to act within the moral law Enforcing the Law of Nature Not in Vain, so need enforcer Executive power of law of nature EPLN includes the right to punish, each one of us has the capacity to enforce laws and punish others for violating the natural laws Scarcity or Abundance? Hobbes: Natural scarcity and Conflict Locke: Natural Abundance of Land, Cultivate your own land Why do we need a state: inconveniences Problem: Administration of Justice Conflict about the law of nature Some lack power to enforce the law of nature Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778 Rousseau on Human Nature Desire for self-preservation (natural savage is good for Rousseau) They also have the ability to exhibit pity or compassion for the suffering of others Social Man and Natural Savage Hobbes & Locke describe civilized man Civilization has corrupted us Savage is unaware of morality – simple rules ie. Commandments. Self-Preservation vs. Compassion Scarcity creates a problem Self-preservation trumps pity which leads to conflict SO, war seems inevitable The Natural Savage (What Rousseau Thinks people are like…) Solitary, No language, fears only pain and hunger Desires only Food, sex, and sleep Saugeen-Maitland Theory September 24, 2009 Justifying the Sate In Locke’s state of nature, the executive power of the law of nature is possessed by: A. Each person B. God C. The Sovereign D. The Police E. The guy with the biggest weapon Rousseau on the State of Nature  Self-preservation & Compassion  Savage is uncorrupted by Civilization  Savage is unaware of morality The Savage is a solitary figure, with no language and fears only pain and hunger How Change happens in the state of nature (1) Free will and (2) the capacity for self-improvement In Response to scarcity people become innovative and create tools and cooperation, and people learn to love and affection between individuals. Leisure, Luxury Goods become available, and needs are corrupted as you desire things that are not necessary for survival. Further Developments in the State of Nature  Language and Comparison of Talents, which breeds a system of status.  Agriculture, Metallurgy, Property, Rules of injustice and inequality  Leads to the state of war due to jealousy and desires  The rich devise a brilliant plan- the creation of the state to enforce the rules of property, it benefits those who possess more than those who possess little  Rousseau believes that the creation of the state was a scheme created by the rich. Anarchism  An + Archos = without rulers  We would be better off without government  Cooperation is possible without coercion. Hobbe’s reply to Anarchism  Fear, Suspicion and competition will overwhelm cooperation, due to himan rationality and the conditions of the world without a state.  A few bad apples can ruin everything  One ‘Bogart’ can ruin the party Two more anarchist responses  Humans are naturally good  Social Cooperation without coercion  Options: Conflict or the State Options: Conflict or the State Negative and Positive Justifications of the State  Negative Argument: the state is the only alternative to the state of nature  Is there a positive argument for a moral duty to obey the state? Why Political Authority is Morally Problematic  People are naturally free, equal, and independent  Legitimate Power is created by us  Authority requires my consent Key Features of the State  Claims a monopoly of Legitimate Violence  In Return, it is responsible for protecting us  If the state cannot protect its citizens (ie. hurricane Katrina) then it is not doing it’s job Universal Political Obligations  Justifying the State = showing that there are universal political obligations  Should we obey the law just because it is the law?  Universal means “applies to everyone” The Parent Analogy  State-Citizen Relation is like the parent-child relation (Plato’s Crito)  Life and benefits general gratitude ad the duty to obey  Problem: Unreasonable orders and laws  If the law layed down by the state is unreasonable then we have no moral obligation to obey. Voluntarism and the Social Contract  Voluntarism: State’s political authority depends on my consent  Social Contract: Political obligation based on contract or agreement  Does everyone agree to obey? Was there an original contract?  Original contract = actual, historical, deal to consent to the state  No evidence for it  Highly Improbable Main Problem with Original Content  A contract among Them, Back then, Couldn’t obligate Us, Now Express Consent  Has every individual actually consent to the state?  Only a minority explicitly consent What counts as Consent? Does voting Count as consent?  First objection: I didn’t vote for them- My vote still consents to the system in general  Second Objection: Abstainers can’t be counted as consenters – Australia – fined if not voting – everyone now votes September 29, 2009 The Social Contract – (continued) Wolff says that political obligation is: A special problem for democracies Not really a problem at all A state’s obligation to make treaties with other states Answer: The obligation to obey the law because it is the law Easier to justify after consuming a bag of weed Are there universal political obligations? Voluntarism: State’s political authority depends on my consent We consider three kinds of consent… (1) Express (2) Tacit (3) Hypothetical Tacit Consent  Tacit = implicit or understood, you do/understand something not by words but with your actions.  Do we tacitly or implicitly consent to the state’s authority over us?  Is there something that is morally equivalent to consenting?  Does residence count as consent?  Staying is morally equivalent to consenting, because dissatisfied people can leave  Obstacles to leaving; poverty, culture, language, other states Therefore, staying is not morally equivalent to consenting Hypothetical Consent: 1  Rational individuals would consent if they were in the state of nature  Objection: Hypothetical consent is not actually consent  Non-Voluntarism: Worthy of consent Hypothetical Consent: 2  Voluntarism: HC gets us to realize what we already consent to  First Objection: Not really consent  Second Objection: Some still might refuse to consent Anarchism Revisited  I didn’t- and I wouldn’t - consent, so that state is illegitimate  Correct to reject blind obedience  But, People disagree about the justice of laws Locke’s Point Two options available:  A publicly agreed, shared set of laws  Defer to private judgments about the content of laws Locke’s Conclusion Better to have shared laws that everyone agrees to other than continued disagreement The “Inconveniences” of the state of nature defeat anarchism Utilitarianism – Jeremy Bentham A moral theory that combines to families of ideas the good and the right families. The right refers not to the states of affairs but to principals that can be right or wrong or legitimate or illegitimate. While the good focus more on the happiness and the well being of others. The right action is the one that maximizes utility Utility = happiness, well being Obey the law IF AND ONLY IF doing so will produce greater happiness than disobeying Three parts to Utilitarianism… 1. Theory of the good (happiness) 2. Commitment to equal concern –not just my happiness, everyone to count for one and no one for more than one. Everyone counts equally. Collective happiness 3. Requirement of maximization Why Utilitarianism?  Human happiness  Impartial Concern  Consequentialism Is happiness the only thing that matters?  The Pleasure Machine  Would you plug in?  The experience machine Other accounts of welfare  Preference satisfaction  Informed preference satisfaction Utilitarianism and Political obligation  Obey the law IF AND ONLY IF doing so will produce greater happiness than disobeying  Objection: This is a law-breaker’s charter Indirect Utilitarianism  Don’t justify particular actions by appeal to utility-promotion  Well-Being is maximized by each of us obeying the laws Objections to Utilitarianism  Too demanding: asks too much  Too permissive: allows too much Is Utilitarianism Too Demanding?  Direct Utilitarianism: Yes  Indirect utilitarianism: Not necessarily Is Utilitarianism Too Permissive?  Can require injustice (torture, slavery, conviction of the innocent)  Reply (1) Hard-Headed (ie. If it turned out that enslaving a portion of the population created more general happiness than it would be permitted)  Reply (2) Appeasement- it would never generate happiness by enslaving a portion of the population A general objection to Utilitarianism  It fails to explain why actions are morally right or wrong  It can get the right answer, but not for the right reason. October 1, 2009 Continuing from last time; Political Obligation The Principle of Fairness  Where I receive benefits from the state, fairness requires that I take in my share of the burden  This burden includes restrictions on my freedom, including obeying the law Benefits and Burdens  Benefits: Peace, order and security provided by a functioning legal system  Burdens: Obeying the law  It would be unfair to disregard the burdens,, so don’t ‘free ride’ Receiving and Accepting Benefits  If others force benefits on me, am I obligated to reciprocate?  I have a duty of fairness to do my part ONLY IF I accept the benefits  Problem: How can we NOT accept the benefits the state provides?  So the fairness principle is flawed What is Democracy Political Power  The power to issue and enforce binding commands  How should this power be distributed?  Who should rule?  What sort of government is best?  Rule by whom?  Monarchy/tyranny (The one) Aristocracy/Oligarch (the few) Polity/Democracy(the many) Who should rule?  Everyone  Political Power should be distributed equally  Every citizen should have the right to an equal say What is Democracy?  Rule (Kratos) by the Many (Demos)  Collective Self-Rule  Government of, for, and by the people  Historically unpopular view Origins of Democracy  Ancient Athens 508-322 BC  Decisions made by majority vote in an assembly of all citizens  Open debate and subsidized participation Features of Athenian Democracy  Direct  Exclusionary  Intolerant  Culturally Homogeneous How democratic was Athenian democracy  More democratic than ours (Direct vs. Representative)  AND less democratic (Exclusionary- excluding women, slaves) Key features of representative democracy  Universal rights to vote & stand for office  Elected representatives make decisions  Elections are free, frequent, and fair  Freedom of speech; independent media  Freedom of Association  Independent Judges Participation in Representative Democracies  Is more participation desirable?  Is direct democracy possible in large nation-states? Plato 427-347 BC  Democracy is rule by the many  The many are selfish, ignorant and unpredictable  Therefore, the many are unqualified to rule The Craft Analogy  Consider jobs requiring lots of skill; Pilots, architects, medical doctors  Health of the body & state Philosophers Should Rule  Philosophy = love of wisdom  Political Decision-makers should have judgement, skill and knowledge  Ruling is a skill attainable only by the few Philosopher Rulers:  Philosophical training: acquiring knowledge of the human good  Philosophers don’t want power  But they realize that the alternative is unacceptable Are there political experts?  Is there expert knowledge applicable to ruling?  Even so, how does a rulers know what is in the peoples interests  Ask the people what they want Benevolent Dictatorship  Should Any group be given Absolute Power?  Problem of Trust Plato Against Corruption  Educate rulers to be concerned for the common good  Rulers possess no private property  Rulers are denied family ties  Are there likely to be many volunteers? October 6, 2009 Information Lectures up to and including October 22 Required readings for lectures and tutorials (including week of October 26) Question: Principle of Fairness: (you should share the burden) Answer: condemns free riding Questions: Plato’s ship analogy The art of navigation, he believes that democracy is similar to the crew running a ship rather than the true captain. He believes that if the masses were in control it would be nothing but a drunken pleasure cruise. -The crew door does not believe in the art of navigation -The true navigation- the average person would see this as, a star-gazer, however the true navigator possesses knowledge, skills, and concerns for the good of everyone Democracy, Part Two Why democracy?- Two types of reasons for valuing democracy Intrinsic Reasons- is a reason to think it is valuable in itself apart from any consequences that may be produced Instrumental Reasons- is a reason to think it is valuable because of the consequences it produces First Intrinsic Reason: Self-Rule Democracy embodies a commitment to freedom or self-rule Democracy = individuals ruling themselves Autonomy- giving laws to oneself Rousseau  We can be coerced and free  Coercion: we are forced to comply with laws  Freedom: in a democracy, laws are self-imposed  So coercion is compatible with freedom  Rousseau opposed democratic government because he thinks executive power should be held by the few  Rousseau supports democratic legislation because he thinks the people should make their own laws Objection: Democracy is not a form of freedom  Those on the losing side are subject to laws they do not give themselves  Majority Rule means the minority are not self-ruling. Therefore those in the minority are not free Reply to objection Democracy provides more autonomy than any other decision procedure Democracy gives every citizen the opportunity to participate in law making Second Intrinsic Reason Equality  Democracy embodies a commitment to treating all as moral equals  Democracy = equal entitlement to participate Against subordination and exclusion  No natural subordination  Inclusion of all adults equally in reaching collective decisions  Need education and resources to participate effectively Rousseau’s General Will  Citizens motivated by impartial concern for the public good  You should ask yourself; ‘what’s best for the community?’  Economic classes must be removed so that people are not voting in favour of their particular economic class Instrumental Reasons  First instrumental reason: Better Decisions  Democracy produces better results than its alternatives  No famine in a democracy with a free press  The democratic peace hypothesis- democratic have never gone to war with one another (very controversial statement) Accountability and Interest Protection  Dictators need not take the people’s interests into account  Accountability to citizens constrains democratic leaders  Problem: Unpopular but necessary policies won’t be adopted Two models of democratic input  What goes into the process shapes what comes out  Market model: giving people what they want  Forum model: deliberation, discussion, cooperative debate Market Model of Democracy: 1  Parties offer a menu of options  Citizens choose what they prefer: they vote for the decision makers  Equal influence= equal voting power Market Model of Democracy: 2  Elections are competitions in which parties market themselves to citizens  Result: Impoverished debate and citizen incompetence  Schumpeter: Citizens choose experts Forum Model of Democracy  Emphasizes deliberation  Equal influence = equal opportunity to participate in discussion  Voting reflects wants after they have been changed by reasoning Our democracy is not a forum  Powerful private interests dominate our discussions  Political market in which money generates unequal influence  Formal Political equality combines with large economic inequalities Second instruments reason: Better Citizens  Formal Model Only  Active citizen engagement  Develop citizens’ skills in making judgements Why better citizens?  Participation is an education in itself  Incentive to seek widespread support for ones views  Less selfish, more cooperative, better informed October 8th 2009 Rousseau’s ‘General Will’ is: The will of the highest ranking General The sum of all particular wills The view of democratic representatives The common good Liberty and Freedom John Stuart Mill (1806-183) – most prominent utilitarian thinker What On Liberty is about – “The nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercized by society over the individual.” (Chapter 1, Paragraph 1)  The Need to restrict both state and society (public opinion) in their ability to shape conduct. He wants people to be able to live freely, as they choose without constriction by the state, as long as they do not harm others Stages of Liberty  History of Relations between individuals and authority  Throughout this History, the meanings of Liberty and Tyranny. The terms have altered their meanings depending what stage of development society is in First Stage  Contest between subjects and the government  Liberty means protection of society against tyranny of political rulers  Political rights, constitutional checks ie) the Magna Carta  Pre-democratic and pre-liberalist to protect people from tyranny Second Stage  Development of democratic government  Liberty means Popular Self-Rule  Rulers ARE the Ruled, so (it was thought) there is no need to limit Government Power  Rulers need not be checked because they are also the Ruled, because one will not exert tyranny over oneself. Third Stage  Recognition that the political Majority can be tyrannical over the minority  Liberty is Democratic government with protection for minorities (protection for those who lose out on the vote ie) 51% ruling over 49%  Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada) Bill of Rights (U.S.A) Fourth Stage  Threat of social tyranny: the tyranny of prevailing opinion and feeling  Oppressive, soul-enslaving customs and prejudices  Liberty is individual spontaneity – deciding for yourself how to live, not by imitating the actions of the majority, find what makes you happiest and live by it  Mill’s Question: When is it legitimate (for the state or others) to interfere in people’s lives?  Mill rejects appeals to custom, tradition, or popular morality ie) religion  Mill states that these ideas are not invalid but must be justified in another way that does not involve popular opinion.  He seeks a Principled answer The Liberty Principle “ The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” Mill’s Radical Principle  A person’s freedom to act may be limited ONLY IF she or he threatens to harm another person  But Liberty is Valuable only for civilized societies, capable of moral progress Pierre Elliot Trudeau (1919-2000) “The view we take here is that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” – Pierre Trudeau, Justice Minister of Canada, 1968 Against Patneralism  Paternalism: Coercing people to change their behaviour FOR THEIR OWN GOOD  Paternalists want to protect individuals from themselves ie) Seat-Belt Legislation  Mill rejects Paternalism, as people should be able to chose their own path, unless it harms others  Mill defends experiments in living, try living in different groups of people in different social arrangements despite possible ridicule from others. Against Censorship  Mill defends complete freedom of thought and discussion  It is never justifiable to silence the expression of an opinion, whether it is true or false, because both can benefit society  Can’t we suppress Harmful, False Views?  But, how can we know they’re false?  Many Certainties have turned out to be false  To censor without testing is to assume infallibility Can’t we suppress Harmful, False Views?  But how can we know if they are false?  Many certainties have turned out to be false  To censor without testing is to assume infallibility  Is it Always better to know the truth?  Knowledge can be harmful (for example, Nuclear weapons)  Knowledge can lead to the dissolution of Society (Atheism) – society will fall apart id the belief in an after-life is dissolved, therefore, “if there is no God everything is permitted.”  Distoevsky: Necessary illusions – people need to believe in false ideas to preserve society Can’t we suppress opinions that aren’t useful?  How can we know whether an opinion is harmful/useful  Do we KNOW that atheism will destroy society?  The only wat to know is to test opinions is open discussion Another reason not to censor false views  False views can function as a challenge (eg. Creationism)  Dead dogma versus living truth  Enables believers of the truth to defend themselves When expression of a view may be limited Its always wrong to censor a view But its legitimate to restrict its expression if its likely to directly instigate harm to others Example: Corn dealers- “ I should be able to publish a story that says that the corn dealers are responsible for starving the poor, but one cannot assemble a violent mob in front of the corn dealers home and decree for all to hear that the corn dealer is responsible for starving the poor October 13 , 2009 Liberty, Part Two John Stewart Mill Why does Mill mean by Harm?  Distinction between offensive actions and actions that cause harm  To harm someone is to damage their interests True or False? According to John Stuart Mill, harming another’s interests is sufficient to justify constraint? False – Harming others’ interests not sufficient to justify constraint  It’s sometimes legitimate to allow people to harm others’ interests  Examples: Competitive exam, job competition  Why is this okay? (Mills’ is utilitarian) Why limit individual liberty?  The action in question harms interests that ought to be considered as rights  Not all interests should be considered as rights  Which rights do we have? Why do we have rights? Three prominent answers: 1. Self Evident (ie. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, Locke’s innate rights) 2. Custom and Convention (ie. Individuals have certain rights) 3. Recognizing them maximizes utility (ie. Obeying the law makes the largest amount of happiness for all individuals [utilitarianism]) Indirect Utilitarianism Revisited  Choose the system of rights that maximizes utility or happiness  Can justify a set of rights to liberty, security, and property  Example: Free thought, truth, utility Does the Liberty Principle really maximize utility?  Couldn’t we sometimes produce more happiness by intervening for a person’s own good?  A utilitarian theory or rights need not be a liberal theory The permanent interests of a man as a progressive being This idea is crucial for understanding Mills’ view:  Human beings are capable of progress: they can benefit from experience Why Liberty, on balance, promotes happiness 1. Individuals generally know best what makes them happy 2. Making choices exercises our distinctively human capacities 3. ‘Experiments of Living’ as examples to be followed Individuality Form our thought and character freely and reflectively Make our plan of life our own Why is liberty valuable?  Maybe liberty is intrinsically valuable: comparable to enjoyment  But many people dread freedom  For Mill, Liberty is necessary for individual self-realization- Liberty is a part of happiness (Mill) Problems with Liberalism Mill on Public indecency  Sex in public is offensive, but not necessarily harmful to others  These acts may be restricted because they are offences against decency  But why, then, does Mill not restrict public pork-eating that disgusts muslims? Communitarianism  Liberals wrongly see individuals as isolated atoms  Communitarianists believe that liberals have a misconception about human nature  Liberals wrongly think we can detach ourselves from current social practices Liberal reply to Communitarianism  We are not isolated atoms: our sense of ourselves comes from society  But we can question received views, even if we can’t question all of them at the same time Mill on Liberty  Only harm to others and offences against decency limit liberty  Basis: Utility of progressive beings  Individualism and Independence, not Atomism or Egoism Citizenship  Common set of rights and duties  Civil, political (ie. vote, run for office), and economic (ie. health care, EI, etc.)  Expansion of the class of citizens Multiculturalism: 1  Cultural diversity of modern societies  Challenge the idea of the “normal” citizen  Reject exclusion, assimilation, marginalization, silencing Multiculturalism: 2  Exclusion: keeping minorities out  Assimilation: Forcing compliance with majority norms and practices  Marginalization: Forcing indigenous peoples onto reserves  Silencing: institutionalizing the disabled Multiculturalism: 3  Demand for a more inclusive understanding of citizenship  Recognize plurality of identities  Accommodate differences October 15, 2009 Distribution of Property Question: John Stuart Mill believes that human beings are: Answer: Capable of Progress Karl Marx 1818-1883  Money Changes Everything  Money transforms human relations- money commodifies our relations with each other (commodity – something we need)  Money is the “universal whore” – everything has its price, including acts of love, looking after children  Money talk debases our language- it distorts the way we think about human interaction, instead of basing our values of others on moral standing, we judge them on their wealth The true foundation of private property “In actual history, it is a notorious fact that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, in short, force, play the greatest part.” –Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1 The problem of Distributive Justice  Who should get what?  What should be distributive? ie. Happiness? Can you distribute happiness?  Money? Opportunities? Rights? What are property rights?  Owners of resources have (limited) rights to determine what to do with them  Objects, lane, buildings, factories  Cluster of rights: possess (exclude others), use, sell, give away, destroy What justifies a system of property rights?  Utility?  Natural Rights?- Locke- individuals posses natural human rights to life liberty and property  Freedom? Freedom to what? Freedom of what?  Equality? Equal worth of persons, may justify property rights Utilitarianism  Choose the distribution that maximizes well-being  Impartiality: Equal Concern ie. What would benefit the most amount of people, concern for each person  Diminishing Marginal Utility: Equality  The way to maximize happiness is to equally distribute money  Incentives: Inequality –unequal incomes (ie. Doctor) can cause people to be determined to obtain a career that will benefit others, therefore inequalities may benefit society. Nozick’s Libertarianism  Basic rights include the right to private property  Entails free-market capitalism with a minimal state  Forced redistribution is illegitimate (unjust) Rawls’ Liberal Egalitarianism  Unrestricted free markets generate unacceptable inequalities  Commitment to freedom means equal freedoms for all  Redistribution can equalize freedoms (ie. Wealth, duties) The Income Parade How is income distributed? Income Translated into Height From negative height to 50 miles The wealth parade: More inequality Inequality: Some statistics  Wealth Inequality in Canada 46 billionaires = bottom 14 million  USA Collective Net worth of richest 1% (1.5 Trillion) is larger than Canada’s GDP  Richest 5% = one third of global income  Poorest 80% = one third of global income  1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day Rousseau on Private Property  The true founder of civil society  Fruits of the earth belong to us all- whatever we can create out of nature belongs to us  The earth itself belongs to nobody Rights to Private Property Nozick: three parts of a theory 1. Initial Acquisition 2. Transfer 3. Rectification What Justifies excluding others? Locke: How ownership Originates – How did the system of private property rights come into existence, how might they have been justified The Argument from survival Fundamental Law of Nature – People should be preserved, keep ones self alive. Property in whatever we need to survive: Fruits and Nuts First Proviso: Non-Wastage Second Proviso: Enough and as good Problems with the survival argument 1. Doesn’t generate property rights in land, machinery, capital 2. Doesn’t explain how we come to own things The Labour-Mixing Argument  Individuals own themselves and their labour  Property arises through mixing what you own with what you don’t own Problems with Labour-Mixing Argument 1. Seems unfair to those unable to work 2. Mixing doesn’t automatically generate ownership: Nozick’s can of tomato juice October 20 , 2009 Distribution of Property Next time: 168-176 Question: For utilitarians, the idea of diminishing marginal utility suggests that income should be distributed: Answer: Relatively equally The Value-Added Argument  Labour adds value to nature  Adding value generates ownership rights  Objection: doesn’t justify property in what was already there The argument From Desert  Those who work productively deserve to enjoy the the fruits of their labour  Problem: Again, seems unfair to those who can’t work, and (At best) justifies only value added Upshot of Locke’s Arguments  Difficult to justify an account of initial acquisition of property  So, let’s focus on the market system in which private property plays a crucial role The Market A Pure Capitalist free market 1. Who owns what? – in a pure capitalist free market, individuals and firms own everything, ie. Lands raw materials, factories, technology machines 2. Why do people produce? -people produce for profit (money) 3. How are goods distributed? –goods are distributed by voluntary exchange (laws of supply and demand) 4. What determines the goods that get produced? – free competition – ie. You can produce anything for sale, and see who will buy it. A Modified Free market 1. Some state-owned enterprises- this is what we have in Canada 2. Some voluntary Distribution (Charity) 3. Sale of some goods prohibited- you can’t legal buy drugs ie. Crack 4. Some state-enforced monopolies A planned economy 1. State owns all majority property 2. Production for needs, not for profits 3. Distribution by central allocation 4. State controls what gets produced An Important Question Aren’t Markets Irrational? Friedrich Hayek 1899-1992 Hayek on Market Efficiency  Markets convey information  Prices signal shortage and surplus  Profit Provides incentives to produce  Therefore, markets satisfy people’s want Market Failure  Markets, by themselves, don’t always function efficiently.  Some goods have externalities (things outside of the market that greatly affect it)  Therefore, the cost of producing these goods is externalized Note: Externalities are things that people don’t ask for in the market but receive anyways Negative Externalities Cost nothing to consumer, who would rather not have them (ie. Pollution) Free markets oversupply them (there is too much pollution in a free market society) It is cheaper to make others pay costs Positive Externalities Cost nothing to consumer, who wants them (ie. Streetlights) Public goods: if provided, benefit all Free markets undersupply them Incentive to free ride Improving on the Free Market Internalize the externalities Make it illegal to produce some goods with negative externalities (ie. Put laws into place to reduce pollution, ie. You don’t ask for cancer, but you may get it due to negative externalities) State provides public goods and taxes citizens to pay for them Rawls on Justice, Part One John Rawls 1921-2002 Principles for What?  Set of principles that show one how goods should be distributed  Principles for the basic structure of society – the main social political and economical institutions that govern our everyday activities ie. The state, the economy, the educational institutions etc. Why the basic structure? Hypothetical Social Contract  Initial hypothetical choice situation  The original position (OP) models equality of concern (we show equal concern for everyone and then decide what choice will govern society)  What principles of distributive justice would be chosen there? POP’s must be impartial  Veil of ignorance rules out bias  Can’t benefit myself at the expense of others  Don’t know my intelligence, economic class, talents, sex, race, social status Next time read Ball and Dagger – 1-17 Saugeen-Maitland Thursday October 29 Main Lounge- 7:00-9:00 Question: Markets Answer: Neither oversupply goods with positive externalities or undersupply goods with negative externalities Markets actually undersupply goods with positive externalities and oversupply goods with negative externalities Rawls: The story so far  Choosing principles of Justice  Basic structure of society  Original position and veil of ignorance  Impartially: “justice as fairness” What POP’s know (POP’S = people in original position)  They are
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