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Political Science
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

RECAP  Manent will argue that equality is the cement that holds contemporary societies together  If we were to ask what is the nature of social bond one of the answers Manent says is equality  Modern democracy can be defined by organization of separation o These separations are what guarantees our freedom and because of this each one is an imperative - each has to exist, must exist.  Division of powers o Montesquieu says power is dangerous and we should be very careful about how we deal with power o In the Spirit of Laws he says "it is an eternal experience that any man that has power, tends to abuse it." o The idea for Montesquieu because power can corrupt, what should we do to avoid tyranny? o The answer he gives us is that you must build a political community within which there is a separation of powers o This separation will make it structurally impossible for anyone to capture power  3 powers: executive, legislative, judiciary o He tells us that each of these powers must be confrontational - you must arrange things so they come into conflict o In order to none of them to dominate, they will have to be of an equal strength o They are forced to seek a compromise o This is a problem because what would happen if these equal and confrontational powers end up at stalemate? o It could lead to a permanent war o Montesquieu argued that necessity would be sovereign o Necessity would force these competing powers into getting along - a decision would have to be made o because the community is divided, individual citizens will be unable to do much harm to other citizens o Political power becomes neutralized and in this realm a certain freedom emerges  Manent says political power becomes impotent and the impotence of power becomes the basis for modern liberty  Modern liberty has to do with the fact that in the context of the division of power, citizens turn away from political life, away from the realm of organized impotence  Citizens today when they wish to affirm their individuality, their greatness, they will turn to economics and culture because they can be assertive whereas in the political realm, such power is no longer available  Ancient liberty disappears from modern life o The dominant form of liberty in modern times is a freedom from politics whereas in ancient times it was freedom within politics o Recall the term idiotes Greek word for idiot meant to be preoccupied by one's own  The main argument of this reading of modernity, is that we live under the organization of separation. The best way to deal with issues and problems is to separate them, to acknowledge the fact we can never agree on the common good, and therefore we must push the common good into private realms.  But living in a society that thrives on separation, represents a danger because divided and separated societies can implode  This idea that we can implode under the weight of our separations was obvious to all of the adversaries of the organization of separation o They said it would lead to chaos, disunity, disorder, mayhem  In the case of conservative adversaries, they are in favour of the natural institutions of society (family, church, monarchy or the king) o Argued that getting rid of the king meant there would no longer be a unifying principle holding this society together o No longer be a higher principle of unity o The separation of society would lead to paralysis or even anarchy  Have our regimes of separation of power lead to disorder or anarchy? o Historically, our regimes are stable and formed lasting forms of government o More politically harmonious than many other societies despite being organized by separation  We should ask ourselves how our societies managed to remain united despite being organized by separation o What keeps us united
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