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Liberalism Lecture notes on Liberalism, everything said in lecture is on here. I Type my notes so everything the professor says is written down.

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York University
Political Science
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

MAIN CONCLUSION OF LAST WEEK For marx and Angoles defining ideology • An interpretation of the movement of reality given by a particular social class • This interpretation justifies the interest of a particular social class Ideology • Ideologies will offer meaning and identity in a world where modern and social structures • Christianity structured social life during the middle ages • Once we got rid of religion in its objective structural function, beliefs become a choice and so ideologies will come in here and offere the same sort of comfort that religions will offer and ideologies will be seen as second religions This Week Risks of ideologies and ideology thinking 2 major risks 1. Ideologies will deform reality • We will have to perform critical analysis • critical analysis will attempt to look at the particular nature of an ideology • if we do not critically analyze ideologies we accept stupidly certain premises of these ideologies offer ready- made answers to the most basic questions • • ideologies offer us moral comfort and a sense of security in a complex world • because it offers us a sense of security and some understanding because of this ideologies can actually lull [to lull means to calm by deception] the human mind consequently if your mind is lulled by ideologies that means your mind is not • open, it doesn’t question your everyday assumptions and therefore ideological thinking can actually ruin critical thinking 2. ideologies are often times presented as the Truth • because of this they offer universal and necessary Truths if you are a sincere and true believer of an ideology you might actually feel • that this Truth should be imposed on others • [makes sense if you believe its the truth and they are universal and therefore they apply to all and if you believe it youll believe what's good for you is good for everyone else; ex. Neighbours] Ideologies have totalitarian tendencies [meaning ideologies have a tendency • to totalize our understanding of things] • Because they totalize and because they are the truth sometimes ideologies will have to be imposed and sometimes this position has to be done by violent needs [ sometimes we have to impose with violence if necessary this truth on others] • Ideologies can justify the most despicable of undertakes Liberalism Is the 1 of the major ideologies • • Because of this liberalism will actually set up or offer the basic elements that will inform the other ideologists • Ex. We can say that socialism is actually the legitimate offspring of liberal ideology • Liberalism was developed as an ideology as a substitute as a religious outlook of the christen middle ages • Liberals will also attack in the Renaissance • They will refuse the Christian middle ages and the return of ancient Greece and ancient rome • Middle ages is a time for religious mystification • And at teh same time we cant return to the Greeks • For liberals both the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans have Mores [a habit of the heart; values] • Citizens were actually citizen warriors • For liberal thinkers it is commerce that must replace Mores • Other words for liberals we won’t fight our neighbours we will train with them • Mores is a habit of the heart and this is considered natural whereas war isn’t natural • * disscuss this idea of war like Mores with congress mores • Liberalism will be the theoretical expression of a particular social class • The social class that will define liberalism is the merchant class or the bourgeois • The bourgeois will emerge historically in the late middle ages • Bourgeois will become the dominant social class of the middle ages • Liberalism is a complex ideology that cannot be reduced to one single dimension and for many reasons today people had a tendency to reduce them Fundamental principles of ideology 1. Nature [physical and human nature] • Nature is governed by laws of nature • Humans must obey these laws of nature; If they wish to develop, flourish, to be happy • In liberal thought nature is abundant/generous • Human happiness can be found in nature • More specifically happiness is found in the full use and consumption of physical nature • Happiness is also found by following the laws of nature • > sum it up by • Nature Physical [outside] both follow the laws; laws= Natural • Human [inside] 2. Reason is the fundamental manifestation of nature in human beings [this abstract nature has a concrete existence through reason] • Means that humans naturally impose of sufficient reason and enlightment to understand physical nature and the laws of nature • And so it is through reason that we can understand all this and allows us to understand this through physical nature and allows us to use nature/transform nature to maximize our well being • Reason can only manifest itself through an individual • Happiness is found in the full use and consumption of nature • This idea that justifies our full use and consumtion of nature, this ideas also called the mastry of nature and the mastry of nature is a fundamental component of the enlightment project which means that we are allowed to subjecate nature inorder to maximize our wellbeing • We can cut down as many trees as we wish • Progress and happiness of liberal thought will depend on rational knowledge [ rational knowledge= knowledge born by reason] • Ignorance is the root cause of unhappiness and underdevelopment • Reason why liberals will actually fight the extension of liberal thought • A direct consequence of this belief is that human beings should no longer be governed by external powers • By ourselves we can figure out our own happiness so we don’t need the state or society or church 3. Nature realizes itself within human beings [in the human struggle between the society it is the liberals that win out] • Individuals therefore naturally self sufficient • Society is secondary to the individual • Society is a natural phenomenon • The nature of society is not substantive • Society doesn’t have an auto monistic existence • Society is the subtotal of individuals that live in it • 1979 Margaret Thatcher argued that society did not exist • This is an idea that we can find in liberal thought that society is only the subtotal of the individuals living in it 4. Individuals are free and equal by nature [individuals are masters of their own destiny] • They are free and equal in terms of their capacity to attain happiness to their own needs • This entails that individuals have the exclusive responsibility for their own happiness • If their not happy they only have themselves to blame [not the parents, societies, professors fault] • Unhappiness cannot be the fault of an external factor and unhappiness cannot be corrected by an external factor • For liberals, individuals are masters of their own destiny 5. The destiny of individuals is necessarily realized through the appropriation of nature [property and the appropriation of property that ensures happiness] • When you appropriate nature you get property • Property is the result of the appropriation of nature • For liberals property can only be required through human ac
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