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POLS250 Exam Review – Weeks 7 – 12.docx

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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 250
Andrew D Lister

POLS250 Exam Review – Weeks 7 – 12 Syllabus:  Week 7 Rousseau I (Feb. 25) Reading: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part I Week 8 Rousseau II (Mar. 4) Reading: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part II; Social Contract: Book I, Ch. 1-9 (i.e. all of Book I) Week 9 Rousseau III (Mar. 11) Reading: Social Contract: Book II, Ch. 1-7, 11-12; Book III, Ch. 1-4, 12-16; Book IV, Ch.1-2, 8 Week 10 Constant, Madison (Mar. 18) Reading: Constant, “On the Liberty of the Moderns Compared with that of theAncients”; Madison, Federalist #10 Week 11 Marx, Goldman (Mar. 25) Reading: Marx,Communist Manifesto, Parts I and II; Goldmann, "Anarchism: What Does It Stand For?" and "Marriage and Love" Week 7/ Half of Week 8 –Rousseau 1 – Discourses on the Origin of Inequality Lecture Notes: Rousseau - desirable to get back to a primitive life (though it is impossible) What is the alternative? - we see in the social contract is public society, first genuine society (in respect to men) - - What is life like in the state of nature - are people moral in the state of nature?- His colleagues sought for an enlightened progressive monarch, cause reform for aristocracy (he didn’t share this stance, signed his work Rousseau a citizen of Geneva) - - his discourse on arts and sciences aimed to reverse the valuation/understanding of progress of European socialization (aristocratic society coming down from middle ages war like based on honour [masculine virtues, strength, valour in combat] where as new society was commercial based on trade [feminine virtues, civilization, soft commerce]) - - second discourse- what was the origin on inequality and was it in accordance with natural law (was it legitimate) - is Rousseau against society? - • There are hints that he is - • Sections where he seems to celebrate primitive or savage life “nature never lies”, attacks corruption of civilization - • 181 says that if nature destined man to be healthy.. a state of reflection.. is a state contrary to nature and a thinking man is depraved (nature is good, civilized man who thinks is depraved) - • go back to natural state - says he wants to show man is naturally good and its through institutions alone that men become bad - seems like he's positioning himself against society, anarchist asking for a return to nature - however there are 2/3 points that speak against this interpretation - (pg 176) on bottom the final page he says.. an agent which the individual would wish to stop […] you would like your whole species to stand still… its not about going back all the way to the state of nature (pg 214) first form of social life (small village state of social life)- no PP yet, no state, no political society, but people are living together in households, people gather to socialize, starting to care about the opinions of others, point of which “amore ??” starts to develop… - thought men have become less patient and their natural compassion (important in human nature) suffered sum diminution, this period, keeping a balance between the indolence of the primitive state and the petulant activity of our egoism, must’ve been the happiest and most stable (least subject to revolution and the very best man could experience), advancement of individuals is the decrepitude of the species - ideal state is social life before private property and modern state***, after the development of “amore **” - - doesn’t think we can abolish private property and the state, therefore can’t go back to that state, therefore the feasible alternative is a democratic society/republic as he will call it - - where does inequality come from (q on 174) - • 2 kinds: natural (physical, mental- some people are stronger, smarter healthier) and social/moral/political (convention and consent of men, customs, social norms, consists in privileges which some people enjoy to the prejudice of others like wealth, power, ability to compel obedience) - - how is there so much inequality disconnected from any natural inequality? Rousseau’s method - - natural state in the state of nature - - state of nature is state we were in prior to the influence of culture of any social institutions - check page 169 and 175 - - what is original and artificial in the nature of man - What is Rousseaus view of Human Nature?- physically human beings are weak (compared to animals) - - we have ability to reason and form society, and together in society we are stronger and smarter than animals - - Rousseau thinks our technology has dulled our senses and weakened our muscles - - He accounts for human psychology “moral aspect of human nature” • 171-172, 184 contrast between “amore de soi [self-respect]” and “compassion” - • interested in our own welfare and preservation - • don’t want other in our species to suffer pain or death - • yes everyone wants to survive and flourish, but we have an aversion to the suffering of others (in Rousseau’s state of nature- progression of society dulls this natural compassion) - • Amore de soi 184- animal is ingenious machine that guards itself to specific degree to another that tries to disorder or destroy it, same as humans but they aren’t purple instinctual and have free will and can reason - • Compassion 197?- Impetuosity of egoism (not self-respect) and desire for self preservation tempers the ardor which he pursues his own goals The social contract (sketch of ideal rebpuclic) - not too big - - equality before the law - democratic - emphasis on civic virtue (commitment to public good) - - sexism (against women) Healthy type ofAP - - could there be an egalitarian form of self-esteem based on equal respect? Rousseau doesn’t talk about it in the discourse on the origin of equality How can the best state for a human being haveAP? Life in the State of Nature and what happens after that? Respecting yourself is about having a good opinion of yourself - - Amore de soi- is natural, self preservation (not self-respect) - - Amore proper- (egotism- competitive self esteem disconnected from real excellence) - - Free will- to deviate from instinct Perfectibility - - depends upon reason and language, inherit ability of learning which slowly changes human nature over time - Compassion- not to think or reason, but to suffer, compassion is aversion to seeing others suffer including animals Is R in favour of reason or against it? - Cant have free will without reason but free will undermines pitie (compassion).. this is a contradiction- Hard to figure out how language develops- - Sexual attraction brings men and women together? People start to cluster in family and villages- Starts the development ofAmore propre (no authority or power) - Pg 226- voluntary establishment of slavery “liberty is the noblest faculty of man and its not our very nature to reduce ourselves to the level of the brutes who are mere slaves of instance to renounce the most precious of gods gifts and bow to necessity of committing all kinds of crimes to a cruel master” voluntary enslavement? - Its wrong because liberty is noblest faculty- which means act according to reasons (morality) not instinct - - if you voluntary enslave yourself you commit yourself to committing crimes for your master with is inconsistent with your status as a rational agent and your morality - - Not slaves of instinct, heavily dependent on instinct - - Range of choices of how to live your life, who to be, what to do- Only at this point does autonomy become possible - - There is no morality in the state of nature - - People don’t have an idea of morality in the state of nature, - its because their basic impulses (i.e., self preservation and compassion) means there’s no scarcity - Amore de soi (limited wants) + whatever conflict there is (tempered by compassion) = no real need for justice and morality Natural and instinctive morality (instinct NOT sense of duty)- Major downfall will be the invention of private property Rousseau Summary: Origin of Inequality • It attempts to trace the psychological and political effects of modern society on human nature, and to show how these effects were produced. In order to do this, Rousseau demonstrates that human evolution and the development of inequality between men are closely related. • Discourse on Inequality to the republic of Geneva, not merely because he was born a Genevan citizen, but because the city represents, to his mind, the most perfect combination of the two kinds of inequality—natural and artificial—which will be the focus of his essay ▯ praises the city referring to the advantages of its size, freedom of war, and good relationship between people and magistrates Preface • If we are uncertain about what the terms nature and law mean ▯ how can we define the natural law that is supposed to authorize inequality? - return to the real nature of man • To be a law it has to be agreed to rationally, and to be natural it must “speak with the voice of nature” • Claims there is two basic principles that exist “prior to reason” – that is before ma is deformed by society and rationality – They are Self-preservation & pity • The duty not to harm others is based on sentience, the state of being able to feel ▯ solves the age old question of whether animals participate in natural law - they are not natural, so they do not have natural law, but as sentient beings they take part in natural right, that is, they feel and are the subjects of pity. – should not be mistreated by man • Key Point: natural rights and laws mean nothing if we do not understand the nature of man • The desire to preserve one owns life is a standard of natural right theories, but pity is a new concept – while one principle pulls man towards others, the other directs him towards himself Exordium • Two types of inequality: natural (physical) and moral ▯ natural inequality stems from differences in age, health, or other physical characteristics ▯moral inequality is established by convention or the consent of men –useless to understand the source of these • Rousseau offers an account of the various mistakes of others’ writing ▯all of them took ideas from society and transplanted them into a state of nature, speaking of savage man, but really depicted civil man – no writer doubts the state of nature even though it doesn’t appear in the state of nature • Deals with more hypothetical and conditional reasoning • Rejects biblical “facts • Modern society and inequality are bad things Part One: • If you strip man of artificial faculties, you see an animal that is less strong and agile than other wild animals, but the most advantageously organized of all ▯ savage men live among beasts and raise themselves to the level of animal instinct • Natural man’s only tool is his body, savage man would beat civil man • Illness in state of nature? – no need for doctors, few sources of illness • Savage man sleeps much and thinks little – needs robust senses for self preservation • Animals choose by instinct, man chooses by freedom – man is therefore more adaptable than man • Key distinction between man and beast is the faculty of perfectibility – sources of all mans miseries ▯ draws him out of his original condition and causes his englightenment, vices and virtues develop • Savage man begins with simple mental operations – he can will or not will to do something – can desire or fear something – seek to know only because we desire or fear something – passions result from needs • Savage man has no needs ▯ only food, and sex • Great gulf between sensations and knowledge – Examples of agriculture and fire • How could agriculture exist without the idea of property or possessions? – even if savage man were highly intelligent what use would it be if he cant communicate? – language is essential – Rousseau ignores the origins of language – questions whether society or language came first • No reason why men in the natural state would need each other, few savages want to commit suicide – instinct alone, savage has all needs • Savages are not wicked because they do not know what it is to be good • Pity softens the desire for self preservation – pity is evident in all animals • Pity is a natural sentiment that, by moderating self love, contributes to the mutual self preservation of the species – state of nature, pity takes the place of laws • Sexual lust is the strongest of the passions • Two types of love: physical and moral – physical love is mere sexual desire, whereas moral love is romantic attachment, designed to make women dominant over men - quarrels and disorders come from romantic love • Rousseau feels the need to show that in the genuine state of nature, inequality has less influence than writers claim • It would be hard to make a savage man understand domination of to make him obey you – ties and servitude are formed solely by men’s mutual dependence and the reciprocal needs that unite them Part Two  The first man to hold a piece of ground and said “this is mine” and then found gullible people to believe him was the first creator of society  Man hunted animals – beginning of pride itself, pre-eminiting another being  Tools was the first revolution which led to the establishment of families and property – conjugal love resulted from families living together – each family has a small society  Women became sedentary individuals , men enjoyed great deal of leisure in the new state  Mankind became more settled, nations began to form  Jealously developed with love  Beginning of inequality and vice – villages comparing eachother  Early society was the happiest – representing a middle way between the indolence of the state of nature and the activity of amour propre – best time for man, least revolutions  THE MOMENT WHEN ONE MAN NEEDED the help of another, and one man wanted what was enough for two, equality disappeared, work became necessary nd  2 Revolution: caused by metallurgy and agriculture – division of land followed its cultivation, from property came the first rules of justice  Labor gives a right to land, which is transformed into property – things could have remained equal in this state if talents and the use of resources had been equal  Domination becomes the pleasure of the rich  Origin of society – it irreversibly destroyed natural freedom, fixed the laws of inequality and property, and turn usurpation into right  Free societies – paternal authority derives from civil society  The collective will – creates laws – laws regulate the selection of power- if laws were destroyed – the magistrates would lose their power – the people would have no obligation to obey them – state would dissolve – people revert to natural freedom – God acts as guarantor, endowing the sovereign authority with an inviolable sacred power – religion must be praised, because it saved so much blood shed  Progress of inequality ▯ find the establishment of law and property was the first stage, the institution of monarchy the second, the conversion of legitimate to arbitrary power the last. last. The first stage authorizes the state of rich and poor; the second, the state of powerful and weak; and the last, the relationship of master and slave.  Political distinctions bring about civil distinctions, and psychological changes. Leaders could not oppress people who really wanted to be free. You cannot subjugate someone whose only desire is to be free.  Now we have honor without virtue, reason without wisdom, and pleasure without happiness. This is clearly not man's natural state. The growth of inequality is due to the development of the human mind, and becomes legitimate through the establishment of property and human laws Important Terms Amour propre: Essentially, the opposite of self-preservation (amour de soi).Amour propre is an acute awareness of, and regard for, oneself in relation to others. Whilst the savage person cares only for his survival, civilized man also cares deeply about what others think about him. This is a deeply harmful psychological deformation, linked to the development of human reason and political societies.At its root is a difference between being and appearing. Savage man can only "be", and has no concept of pretence: civil man is forced to compare himself to others, and to lie to himself. Rousseau traces the development of amour propre back to the first village festivals, in which competition to dance and sing well increases the villagers' awareness of each other's talents and abilities. Amour propre is best expressed in a society in which wealth dominates; there, all are compared on an insubstantial and harmful basis. Amour de soi: (self preservation): the ability to perserce oneself is the only thing that can drive one sentient (pain feeling) being to harm another, but only in extreme circumstances Enlightenment: means the development of language, human reasoning, and mental capacities towards their highest limit.Addresses questions of human progress and development, and roles of reason, amongst other things. Moral Inequality: (Political Inequality) based upon unnatural foundations, created by convention or agreement between consenting men. Differences in wealth, power and status or class are moral inequalities; they involve one person benefitting at the expense of the other Natural Law: Set of laws laid down by God or Nature for man’s preservation. These laws ordain what is right, and what must be. Duties that apply to all. Rousseau asks how we can have a law of nature if we do not understand the real nature of man. In doing this, he question the common idea that only rational beings can take part in natural law and obtain natural rights Natural Right: Rousseau argues that other thinkers emphasize the role of reason, which may be a recent development. Rousseau founds his ideas of natural right on principles of pity and self preservation (which existed before reason) ▯ shows that an idea of natural right was possible before man became social and created political institutions- state of nature was not as terrible as others think Perfectibility: mans inexhaustible ability to improve himself, to shape and be shaped by his environment – what distinguishes him from other animals – for man to perfect himselfit for his physical and mental capacities to be remolded – draws man out of his original condition, and is responbile for his extraordinary adaptability but also his miseries – creates enlightenment virtues/ but also vices Summary of PhilosphicalArguments & Themes:  Rousseau argues we need to investigate natural man in the correct way because the idea of nature is used to justify harmful and depraved inequality  Rousseau considers what is natural in man – includes none of the qualities that many would think of as central to human existence, such as reason and language - nor does it imply structure such as property, law, and moral equality – only done in imaginary way – no way to return to state of nature  Corruption is linked to nature – feels like he has to strip corruption off the real nature of the man  “man has nothing more than a deceiving and frivolous exterior, honor without virtue, reason without wisdom, and pleasure without happiness”  Corruption is also a political phenomenon – political society is corrupt because it is based on a lie, which is used to exploit those who believed that it would protect their freedom  The system of needs that enslave modern man the operation of “amour proper” make him inauthentic, or untrue, both to himself and to others. – cannot behave in an authentic way towards fellow citizens because he is continually thinking about how to deceive and dominate them  Whoever founded society and first created property deceived others  Modern man is controlled by ridiculous passions that he is no longer himself – factitious passion – his very nature is inauthentic  Savage man is true to himself and to others – limited needs and no need to dominate others . Modern man is supposed to “be” and appear” , savage just “bes”  Need – the key driving force behind modern society – result from passions, which make men desire an object or activity – needs control men and make them slave to others  Like human nature, need is a concept that changes and becomes corrupt as man develops – slave to imaginary needs  Freedom – the only purpose of the state is to secure the freedom of the citizens and the worst system of government is that in which the most people are not free – Discourse describes a situation in which no one really be free  The domination of one person over another reduces that persons freedom to act  Does not rely on political institution and laws alone, includes an idea of psychological freedom – modern man isn’t free because others dominate/exploit them  Savage man is free in both senses of the term, because he does not depend on others and cannot be dominated Week 8: Rousseau – The Social Contract: Book 1 Terms Social Contract: he agreement with which a person enters into civil society. The contract essentially binds people into a community that exists for mutual preservation. In entering into civil society, people sacrifice the physical freedom of being able to do whatever they please, but they gain the civil freedom of being able to think and act rationally and morally. Rousseau believes that only by entering into the social contract can we become fully human. Sovereign: Strictly defined, a sovereign is the voice of the law and the absolute authority within a given state. In Rousseau's time, the sovereign was usually an absolute monarch. In The Social Contract, however, this word is given a new meaning. In a healthy republic, Rousseau defines the sovereign as all the citizens acting collectively. Together, they voice the general will and the laws of the state. The sovereign cannot be represented, divided, or broken up in any way: only all the people speaking collectively can be sovereign. Government: This is the executive power of a state, which takes care of particular matters and day-to-day business. There are as many different kinds of government as there are states, though they can be roughly divided into democracy (the rule of the many), aristocracy (the rule of the few), and monarchy (the rule of a single individual). The government represents the people: it is not sovereign, and it cannot speak for the general will. It has its own corporate will that is often at odds with the general will. For this reason, there is often friction between the government and the sovereign that can bring about the downfall of the state. General Will: The will of the sovereign that aims at the common good. Each individual has his own particular will that expresses what is best for him. The general will expresses what is best for the state as a whole. Will of All: The sum total of each individual's particular will. In a healthy state, the will of all is the same thing as the general will, since each citizen wills the common good. However, in a state where people value their personal interests over the interests of the state, the will of all may differ significantly from the general will. Common Good: The common good is what is in the best interests of society as a whole. This is what the social contract is meant to achieve, and it is what the general will aims at. Book 1: Chapter 1 – 5  “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” – these chains are the constraints placed on the freedom of citizens in modern states  rejects the idea that legitimate political authority is found in nature  Power of ruler over subjects similar to father over son ▯ natural superiority of ruers over the ruled – perpetuated by force, not by nature, so political authority has no basis in nature  People do whatever is within their power  Legitimate political authority rests on a covenant (social contract) forged between the members of society  Impossible to surrender ones freedom in a fair exchange – by surrounding their freedom to their ruler, people surrender all their rights and are no longer in any position to ask something in return  Links freedom with moral significance: our actions can only be moral if those actions were done freely  Prisoners of war could become slaves through an even exchange, where the conqueror spares the life of the vanquished in exchange for that persons freedom  Wars are conducted between states because of property  When an enemy surrender, he ceases to be an enemy, and becomes simply a man  People in an absolute monarchy are slaves and slaves have no freedom and no right.Apeople only become a people if they have the freedom to deliberate amongst themselves and agree about what is best Book 1: Chapter 6-9  There reaches a point in nature when people need to combine forces to survive  Problem resolved by social contract is how people can bind themselves to one another and still preserve their freedom – each individual must surrender themselves unconditionally to the whole  Three definitions: 1) Because the conditions of the social contract are the same for everyone, everyone will want to make the social contract as easy as possible for all.  (2) Because people surrender themselves unconditionally, the individual has no rights that can stand in opposition to the state. (  3) Because no one is set above anyone else, people don't lose their natural freedom by entering into the social contract.  Distinct and unified entity with a life and will of its own – called a “city” or polis”  Because the sovereign is a distinct and unified whole, Rousseau treats it in many respects as if it were an individual. Since no individual can be bound by a contract made with himself, the social contract cannot impose any binding regulations on the sovereign. By contrast, subjects of the sovereign are doubly bound: as individuals they are bound to the sovereign, and as members of the sovereign they are bound to other individuals.  Sovereign cannot do anything that would violate the social contract – in hurting its subjects it would be hurting itself  Individuals need the incentive of law to remain loyal to the sovereign – self interested individuals might try to enjoy all the benefits of citizenship without obeying any of the duties of the subject  While we lose the physical liberty of being able to follow our instincts freely and do whatever we want, we gain the civil liberty that places the limits of reason and the general will on our behavior- making us moral  Property: ownership of land is only legitimate if no one else claims that land, if the owner occupies no more land than he needs, and if he cultivates that land for his subsistence.  In the social contract, each individual surrenders all his property along with himself to the sovereign and the general will – he doesn’t give up his property and he is also subject of the so
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