POLC73 - Final Exam Review

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Political Science
Margaret Kohn

Final Exam Study Guide: POLC73 Short Answers/ Questions/ Identifications. On the exam you will be asked to answer 10 out of 11 (for quotes, please identify the author and explain the significance of the quote). - “We are resolved to keep an established church, an established monarchy, an established aristocracy, and an established democracy…” o Author: Edmund Burke (Reflections of the French Revolution) o Significance: Breaking up the bod politic would destroy a neat, definable order and disrupt the essential balance of society. Democracy on its own was not to be recommended as the Greeks had correctly advised that democracy has many resemblances to tyranny. France was pursuing an inappropriate path and would be better off to import British political practices than to export a revolutionary tendency. Burke says “I wish my countrymen rather to recommend to our neighbors, the example of the British constitution, than to take models from them for the improvement of our own” - “The state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco or some other such low concern…” o Author: Edmund Burke (Reflections on the French Revolution) o Significance: Burke thinks that the contract that binds us to the state is a “partnership in every virtue and all perfection” across many generations; it cannot be considered a course of human unity. “Social contract” is a partnership between the living, the dead and the yet to be born. It is not merely a political contract; it legitimized no particular social order, but denies legitimacy to any order that disregards its specific place in the continuum that links it with it its origin. - What is Burke’s view of Natural rights? o Burke‟s says that Natural Rights are “Metaphysic” and did not necessarily believe in them o He believes that Natural Rights are “pretended rights” and “extremes” that are morally and politically false o Against the doctrine of “natural rights” -- what Burke also refers to as “the rights of man” -- “there can be no prescription; against these no agreement is binding; these admit no temperament, and no compromise; anything withheld from their full demand is so much fraud and injustice.” - What is Metaphysical Abstraction? (502) Why does Burke object to it? o Metaphysical Abstraction is that idea that freedom and equality is not good in reality. He is against this because he worries about the practical application of these activities. o If you are looking at freedom as an abstract, then you‟d have to look at releasing prisoners from prison or mental people from asylums. o Burke objects to it because he thinks we should view things in context, not in theory - What is the main difference between the liberty of the ancients and the liberty of the moderns, according to Constant? o The main difference between the liberty of the Ancients and the Moderns is their role in political participation. o Ancients were not as focused on personal independence like the Moderns were, they did not put large importance on expression of opinion, economic activity or religion o Ancient Liberty includes:  Active political participation  Examples of Ancient Liberty: deliberation, participation in decision making o Modern Liberty includes:  Freedom from government interference  Separation of state and society  Examples of Modern Liberty: free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of movement, freedom to own property, freedom to influence government - Why does Constant think that “Commerce inspires in men a keen love of individual independence”? o Constant thinks this because commerce is a way for men to make their own money and not have to work for someone else or rely on someone else to get things done. In a sense they are their own individual „bosses‟, who are only occupied with their own investments and the rewards that from these investments (561) o Commerce allows men to see to their own individual needs instead of having to rely on someone else (when outsiders get involved it is not in the investors best interest) o When they are doing it for themselves they are doing it in the best way possible for their own personal gain, in the most cost efficient way because it directly affects them. When the government gets involved and does business for people they are not necessarily the priority, or directly affected so the job is not as well done. o Men realize that the individual route is better and thus develop a “keen love” for the independence as opposed to the government interference - The Harm Principle o J.S Mill introduces the Harm Principle in “On Liberty” o It is the belief that the only time when an individual‟s freedom may be limited is when that person harms or is at risk of harming others o “That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others” - Name one of the hard cases that Mill discusses in On Liberty and explain how he resolves it. What do we learn about the harm principle? 1) If a person wants to cross a bridge which is unsafe, he can only be warned, since he chooses what he wants to do. He could be turned back if there was no chance to warn that person and Mill argues that liberty consists of doing what one desires, and one would not desire to fall in the river. Exception include children, delirious persons, or someone who is unable to use their full faculty 2) Mill also discusses a poison sale and if it is legal. It is legal to sell poison/ drugs and it is legal to ban people from buying it. People, however, should be warned of the possible consequences. To avoid the use of poison/drugs harming others, Mill proposes to use the legal system to record the data of the person buy it and the purpose that he is buying it for, including the date and time it was purchased. Presence of a third party is possible. o Both of these cases demonstrate Mills focus on individualism, which stems from the harm principle. In the case of the bridge, a person is not stopped since he has a right to act the way he wants and he does not harm anyone else by doing so. In the case of the poison/drugs, Mill suggests a legal action of recording data in order to avoid the use of the poison being used to harm others. - Rule Utilitarianism o Utilitarian‟s believe that actions are right when they promote happiness (pleasure and the absence of pain). Actions are measured by the level of pleasure they stimulate. o J.S Mill believed that not all pleasures were the same. They are higher and lower qualities, and long term and short term pleasures. o Rule Utilitarianism: “If everyone acted this way, how would the world turn out?” - What are Mill’s three main arguments in favor of free speech? 1) Mill argues that there is a chance that people might be wrong, so it is important to listen to every opinion 2) Even if the majority is right, it is still important to listen to the less popular arguments and debate. The more the argument is debated the more people will understand whether or not it is true. Mill encourages questioning everything to find the truth (even tradition) 3) Mill believes that if true opinion is left unquestioned and not debated it loses its validity and meaning. He states that religion/ Christianity faces a similar challenge when the issues are not debated and left unresolved. - List two of the objections to freedom of speech/press that Mill discusses. How does Mill respond to them? 1) Criticism of his argument for free speech is that the government/authority may pick one argument or belief over the others for the good of the people. However, Mill argues that there is still a change that the opinion might be wrong and therefore new opinions should still be voiced 2) Another criticism is that the truth can be persecuted, since it will not survive anyways. Truth always wins by facing persecutions. Mill replies that people cannot persecute those who told truth for the good of mankind. He also adds that truth does not necessarily win a false argument or idea and should not be oppressed - What is the purpose of government according to Mill? o According to Mill, the purpose of government is to educate people and itself. o The government is responsible for the education of the population to achieve a better society as well as educate itself to achieve a better government o A good government encourages people not only to lean but to also participate, rather than passively obey orders like the despotism - Why is representative government the best form of government? o Mill believes that representative government is the best form of government because a citizen must be engaged in the decision making process to be interested in government and to trust and love his country. o When one person rules the country, the people become passive because they do not have a voice, but this does not necessarily mean that the representative government is good for all states. It is only good for those where the circumstances demand it. - Why is liberty a good thing for Mill? o Liberty is good because it helps to promote progress and avoid stagnation o Liberty gives people freedom of speech, which ensures that different opinions will be expressed in society. The more opinions expressed and the more debates held on different topics the better society educates itself and understands oral values, traditions and decisions. o He talks of the infallibility principle, which states that no one, including the government can be right one hundred percent of the time, and therefore every opinion should be listened to o Freedom of actions is also important and helps people to express themselves and improve. - Barbarism o By using the world “barbarous”, Mill is referring to uncivilized or “backwards/inexperienced” people. - Civilization o Mill means developed people and countries when he uses the word “civilized” o “No other community has the right to force another to be civilized” - Four Stages Theory o Theory introduced by Adam Smith o Hunting Herding Agriculture Commerce o The four stage tracked manners/ habits becoming less and less violent o Aristocrats found this theory to be controversial because it suggested that commerce equaled civilization - What is the relationship between liberty and historical development, according to Mill? o Liberty is the key to development and progress. When people are free they are able to express their individuality through freedom of expression, freedom to assemble, freedom to own property etc. o Through these liberties, individual opinions are formed about their own experience/life and ideas may be developed and built upon to make advancements and progress. o “The only unfailing and permanent source of improvement is liberty, since by it there are many possible independent centres of improvement then there are individuals” (628) - Does Mill think that colonists are usually able to govern their colonies well? Why or why not? o No, Mill does not believe that colonists are able to properly govern their colonies o He recognizes that despotic government by a foreigner could lead to injustice and economic exploitation. o These abuses, if unchecked could undermine the legitimacy and efficiency of the imperial project. o In Considerations on Representative Government Mill identifies four reasons why foreigner (ie: Europeans) are not suitable to govern colonies: 1) Foreign politicians are unlikely to have the knowledge of local conditions that is necessary to solve public policy problems (and those who would offer to help them become accustomed are likely NOT the type of people who should be trusted) 2) Due to cultural, linguistic or religious differences, the imperialists are unlikely to sympathize with the natives and may act tyrannically 3) Even if the imperialists try to treat the natives fairly, their natural tendency to side with those most like themselves (ie: other foreign imperialists or merchants) would lead to distorted judgment in the case of conflict 4) According to Mill, imperialists and merchants go abroad in order to acquire wealth with little effort or risk, which means the their economic activity often exploits the colonized country rather than develop it - What are Thoreau’s main criticisms of democracy? 1) Governments are typically more harmful than helpful, they therefore cannot be justified. Democracy is not a cure for this, as the majorities do not gain the virtues of wisdom and justice.  “All governments are sometimes inexpedient”. They become “abused” and “perverted” as the people act through it. 2) The government, according to Thoreau, is not just a little corrupt or unjust in the course of doing its otherwise important work, but the fact that the government is primarily an agent of corruption and injustice.  Because of this, it is “not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize” - “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.” o Author: Henry Thoreau (Civil Disobedience) o Significance: The context of the quote is a response to his imprisonment for not paying taxes. He acknowledges that there cannot be a complete abolishment of government but there can be a way to improve/ fix it and make it better. - In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau responds to an argument in favor of submission to governmental authority. What is this argument? (If you aren‟t sure, what do you think would be the strongest argument in favor of submission)? o - Utopian Socialism o Socialist aspiration prior to the development of industrial capitalism o Refers to the desire for an egalitarian society, but without the scientific analysis of social evolution that modern scientific socialism brings o A pre-capitalist vision of a socialist future - Enclosure Movement o The division of communal land in Western Europe into individually owned farm plots of modern times o Before enclosure, farmland was under the control of individual cultivators only during the growing season. After harvest and before the next growing season the land was used by the community for the grazing of livestock and other purposes th o The movement began in the 12 century and was virtually complete by the end of the 19 .h - Theory of Alienation o The development of capitalism proved irresistible and it brought alienation on a scale that was previously unimaginable o Marx identified four specific ways in which alienation pervades capitalist society: 1) Nature (basic materials of daily life) 2) Society (selling before creating bonds, capitalism ruins this) 3) Product (you don‟t control your product, no pride over it) 4) Man (we lose our creativity, we do not see the full product, products belong to someone else who benefits from it. We do not control it) - Species-being o Refers to a concept of human nature and (a concept as an abstraction) - Class in-itself/Class for-itself o The dominant ideology of every society is the idea that the dominant class has control of the means of production in society (church, schools, mass media etc) and uses these for its own interests o The exploited class will tend to form the first phases of the class struggle. - Bourgeoisie and Proletariat o Marx argued that the capitalist bourgeoisie exploited the proletariat o He recognized that the world carried out by the proletariat created great wealth for the capitalists. o The products created in the factory (the material outcome of the workers' labor) were sold for more than the value of the labour itself o Marx believed that ventually the proletariat would lead a revolution against the bourgeoisie. The final struggle would lead to the overthrow of capitalism and its supporters. o Marx wrote that modern bourgeois society 'is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.' o Following the proletariats' defeat of capitalism, a new classless society would emerge based on the idea: 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs'. In such a society, land, industry, labour and wealth would be shared between all people. - Base-Superstructure Model o Base means the economic foundation of a society o Superstructure means the social, political and legal relations which are said to be built upon the base o Within Marx‟s account of history if the idea that a given individuals social being is determined by larger political and economic forces. o The social class into which a person is born into determines his outlook and views o Marx expands this concept of determination into one of the central concepts of Marxism – that of base and superstructure  The base is the economic system on which the superstructure rests  Cultural activities such as philosophy or literature belong in the super structure o To Marxist critics, a society‟s economic base determines the interests and styles of its literature. It is this relationship between determining base and determined superstructure that is the main point of interest for Marxist critics - Forces of Production, Relations of Production - False Consciousness o Marxist theory that material and institutional processes in capitalist society are misleading to the proletarian and to other classes o These processes betray the true relations of forces between those classes and the real state of affairs regarding the development of pre-socialist society o False consciousness is essentially a result of ideological control which the proletarian either does not know they are under or which they disregard with a view to their own possibility of upward mobility. - Economic Determinism o In Marxism, this is the belief that economical laws determine the course of history. o The law of economic determinism attributed to Marx‟s historical materialism is simple: self-preservation is the supreme instinct in man and therefore the whole pattern of human conduct must always have been governed by the fundamental laws governing survival o Significance: Many Marxists claim that Marx and Engels viewed this law of „economic determinism‟ as the creative force in human progress. Engels stated “The final causes of all social changes and political revolution are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in man's insight into internal truth and justice... but in the economies of each epoch." Thus, Engels advocated a change in economic structures as the only valid way of improving society and refining intellectual makeup of humanity (against capitalism) - Hegemony o Hegemony is unavoidable in Marxism o It is either a strong reinforcement of Marx‟s theories or a contradiction of them o Marx wrote: “The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness”. This is the classic statement of historical materialism. - Dialectical Materialism o Characterized by the thesis that history is the product of class struggles and follows the general Hegelian principle of philosophy of history o Materialism asserts the primacy of the material world: in s[5]t, matter precedes thought. Materialism is a realist philosophy of science, which holds that the world is material; that all phenomena in the universe consist of "matter in motion, o Marx endorsed this materialist philosophy against Hegel's idealism; he "turned Hegel's dialectics upside down." However, Marx also criticized classical materialism as another idealist philosophy due to its trans historical understanding of material contexts - Labor Theory of Value o For Marx, labour is value. o Value is nothing but that fragment of the total labour potential in a given society in a certain period (ie: a year or a month) which is used for the output of a given commodity, at the average social productivity of labour then and there, divided by the total number of these commodities produced in hours, days, weeks or months of labour. o Value is therefore essentially a social, objective and historically relative category. It is social because it is determined by the overall result of the fluctuating efforts of each individual producer. It is objective because it is given, once the production of a given commodity is finished, and is thus independent from personal (or collective) valuations of customers on the market place; and it is historically relative because it changes with each important change (progress or regression) of the average productivity of labour in a given branch of output, including in agriculture and transportation - Use Value o The utility of consuming a good; the want-satisfying power of a good or service in a classical political economy o In Marx‟s critique of political economy, any labour product has value and a use- value and if it traded as a commodity in markets it has an additional exchange value. - Exchange Value o Refers to one of four major attributes of a commodity. Ie: an item or service produced for and sold on the market. The other three attributes are use-value, value and price. - Surplus Value o The origin of a profit. o It is the difference of value of labour as a commodity and the amounted value produced by that person - Commodity Fetishism o A commodity is an object that can be traded on the market; fetish is the worship of an object o Commodity fetishism is the worship of material things - Orientalism o Imitation of depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists o Refers to the way in which “The Orient” was and is constructed by the West as a means to claim authority and exercise control over Eastern cultures o The concept of Oriental despotism allowed early modern Europeans to distinguish themselves from the most powerful and impressive non-European civilizations of the Ottoman Middle East, Persia, India, and China on grounds that were neither fundamentally religious nor linked to sheer scientific and technological progress but were rather political and moral - Dependency Theory o A body of social science theories predicated on the notion that resources flow from a “periphery” of poor and underdeveloped sta
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