POL101Y1 Words, Definitions and Important Terms Compilation
This document has most of the terms covered throughout the course of POL101. The terms have
their according definitions and I compiled it for everyone in hopes that it will help them on their
exams. Unfortunately I didn’t think of putting it in alphabetical order because I’m a dumbass.
LOL . Just use the “find” function for the word(s) that you’re looking for.
- Fascism: A form of government where the interests of the government is obtained
through the means of the people. This ideology forces ideas and norms out if they are
deemed unfit, and forces everyone under one belief and one rule. Lead by one person
who is seen as supreme
- Socialism: Economic viewpoint, where everything is commonly owned. Not to be
confused with Communism
- Communism: Ideology where a classless society would exist and sustain itself,
politically, economically, and socially. There would be no dominant class and everything
would be shared equally amongst all citizens, and there would be a central plan to
everything. Distribution would be based on need and not desire. Communism was Karl
Marx’s ideal society. Every citizen would work and be productive, thus removing the
capitalist market from play.
- Capitalism: An economic system where people have the right to privately own and run
means of production and make their own profit.
- Totalitarianism: form of government where government exercises total control and sees
no limit to its authority and controls all public and private spheres.
- Democracy: form of government where the right to vote is given to each individual
- Ostracism: Procedure from Athenian democracy where any citizen could be expelled
from Athens for 10 years
- Feudalism/Feudal Society: Lower class depended on higher class. The higher class
would own land, and the lower class would work and give a share of their production to
the upper class as payment for “rent” and protection.
- Feudal Socialist: A viewpoint that opposed the Bourgeoisie society. These French and
English aristocrats believed that the Bourgeoisie were indirectly creating a revolutionary
proletariat. This proletariat would end up uprooting and distorting the old order of
society. They did not like what the modern Bourgeois were doing.
- Petty/Petite Bourgeoisie: Those in the middle class of Marx’s society. He believed that
this middle class would disappear and become either Bourgeois or Proletariat.
- Conservative/Bourgeois Socialism: Bourgeoisie wanted to fix social disorders in order
to ensure the continued existence of the Bourgeois. However, they wish for a Bourgeoisie
with a Proletariat.
- Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism: Wanted to “free” the proletariat.
Proletariat wanted to thrive on their own, but did not possess the skills to do so.
- Differences between presidential and parliamentary government - Parliamentary government: A form of government where leader of the dominant
political party is leader of the state. Executive branch is very close with legislative
branch. Ex. Canada
- Presidential government: A form of government where the Leader of the state is
elected, but the parliament may consist of a higher number of members from opposing
parties. Executive branch is separate from the legislative branch. Ex. United States of
- Authoritarianism: A form of government where the state is led by one figure or limited
to a small, privileged group.
- Bourgeoisie and Proletariat: Karl Marx’s names given to the describe the upper class or
those who owned property (Bourgeoisie), and the lower class, wage-labourers and those
who worked for the Bourgeois (Proletariat)
- Constant’s Theory on Liberalism of the Ancients and the Moderns: Constant saw that
there were big differences between what the ancients saw as liberty, and what the
moderns saw as liberty. Moderns saw liberty as individual freedom, to express opinions
freely and only be subjected by law. Their influence on the government would be through
the votes. Ancients saw liberty as everyone participating in politics with public
discussions and the forming of alliances. The ancients believed that public politics was
vital for liberty, but private actions were strictly monitored.
- 5 Virtues of Democracy. Pluralism, Liberty, Equality, Rule of Law, Institutionalized
- Pluralism: multiple interest, democracy must find a compromise.
- Liberalism: freedom of the people. Freedom to do what we want and say.
- Equality: Political equality. We are all equal, regardless of age, gender, race, social
- Rule of Law: Rules that the government and the people MUST follow. Democratic
- Institutionalized Uncertainty: The ability to vote the government out.
Marx’s Historical Materialism, Base, Superstructure, Alienation
- Historical Materialism: Marx’s theory saying that material conditions ultimately
constitute a man’s consciousness. This means that the production of materials makes man
who they are, and also creates society. Humans must create materials in order for
- Base: The working class relationships, the laborious jobs, relation of production.
- Superstructure: The tools that serve the dominant class. The dominant class is defined
as those who own the modes and means of production. By tools, it is not meant as literal,
tangible tools, but rather factors such as values, ideologies, laws that allow the dominant
class to have control and power over the lower class. - Alienation: Marx said that man does not have an immediate connection with his physical
needs, unlike ani