Political science – lecture September 27, 2012
- through the course of the 19 and 20 century, there are rapidly different
positions within that tradition.
Ways liberal thinking guides liberal practice
o individual interactions
o it stands to reason that regardless of how everything is set up, that
structure must be erected under consent of the government
o government only exists at the leisure of the society of individuals
in our society there is a direct way to express what we think, through voting. Voting
is where most of us engage in consent or lack there of. Are we too passive?
Every 4 years, give or take.
What we have in front of us is a very good example of normative thinking, liberalism
like all theoritcal perspectives, on one hand it’s a structure/knowledge tool to help
you understand and interpret all those seemingly random events, helps you
understand why governments act the way they do, blends itself to understanding.
You are more than a mirror observer of the world, not just how they happen but
why they happen is what you understand. It’s a normative framework, not just
trying to understand the world but laying out the vision of what the ideal world
Radical Alternatives to Liberalism
1. Whats wrong with being radical?
- the idea of radical is very often taken as bad, its not happy and people don’t
like it. To call yourself a radical or to be radical is to a certain extent to
marginalize yourself, to put yourself in that category, in relation to liberal
thinking, its dominant, radical activity and thought is shunned as none
democratic, without meaningful consent. Extreme and of the minority.
- How do you approach this topic to take it seriously?
a) marginal or critical?
- anything by critical nature is marginalized, its dominant, but because theyre
marginalized doesn’t make them any less substantial, no less substance in
these position simply because they don’t make up a power relation, they
don’t sit comfortably in contemporary ways. Critical view points whether you
accept them or not, is the best way to expand your horizons, they don’t take
on the assumed way of things, “that society is this way or that way naturally”
. we can place these perspectives of the left side of the political spectrum,
they are dissatisfied with the stat quo. They all have the direct plea or
indirect toward social change. The reason for this is because with the
suggestion that theres a lot of shit political aspects, change can’t always come about. Critics of the left, its better to try to understand than to try and
- Marx is about political economy critique, suppose to inspire. More general
2. Marxism, or historical materialism
- Marx wrote the first serious critique of serious liberalism
a) the material part
- about social (class) relationships
- Marxism thinking is materialist and follows materialist ideas
because it follows concrete materialist ideas.
- formed by sociality
- emphasis the interaction between social classes, not a function of
natural liberty, hard pressed to find marx talking about anything natural.
- what is class? To marx it was groups of people who share common
ideas, materials, relationships between classes.
- common consciousness between their old relationships and new
one, simply political relationships, in rough terms economical relationships. How we
labour shows a great deal of who we are and where we fall in society.
- the focus is not on the individual but the individual is not the motor
or society or politics, the power exercise of these relations is one class to another,
and its those things that are significant to society. Fundamentally, how does it come
to be that one class and dominate another class? How do we come to those
relations? The power exercises are between groups. Capit