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SOC203 test 2 notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Charles Jones

February 27 Tocqueville SOC203 February 27, 2012 AUTHORITY Different forms of authority: political (control of the state), religious/moral (control over defining right/wrong), intellectual (control over public opinion ie ideology) Anecdote of Iraq: st March 2003 US attacked Iraq, on May 1 Bush announced major combat invasions were over in Iraq The significance: decency has not returned to Iraq, after the end of the war there were 109 terror rd bombings, in the 3 year there were over 1000 terror bombings Indiscriminate killing and torture continued to occur Two sect in Islam: suni and shiats After Saadam Hussein Clearly there was authority in Iraq before the US, which was Hussein Several mistakes: the second one was that the 2 week after intruding the US gave orders of the full removal of all people of the back parties? That means that thousands of people lost their jobs; the administrators etc. Smart and helpful people Third mistake: the US did not want to rely on former soldiers or police officers which created over 300 000 unemployed officerswho will take over once the US leaves? This generated more anger towards the US Positive law approach: laws are socially constructed; no under riding consistent rules of what is right or wrong Opposite of it is natural law position: fundamental rights and justices and injustices that transcend all societiessetting aside specificities of differences in cultures there are universal laws Alexis de Tocqueville what sort of despotism democratic nations have to fear 1 . Democracy as value 2. democracy as system of rule 3. Social contract theories: - Hobbes - Rousseau 4. Tocqueville on the authority of public opinion in the US To understand Tocqueville properly, we need to bracket our emotions towards democracy, and understand that democracy is not some pure good that has been implicated by our education Democracy is a system of rule and as a system of rule it can be analyzed and criticized Other paths: aristocracy (rule by the best), oligarchy (rule by a few), tyranny (rule by one in his own interest), despotism (tyranny without the rule of law), monarchy (rule by one), democracy (rule by the people) 3. Social contract theories: relationships between forms of rule, forms of authority, and forms of freedom Hobbes: He wrote at a time of civil war in England, in a time of chaos and conflict, loss of life and destruction He tried to assess whether the British were ahead to overthrow the monarch in civil war The anarchy did not justify the overthrow of the monarch (what he thought) Came up with a social contract theory that gave a philosophical defence of monarch ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY (justification for the absolute authority)- he argued that the absolute authority of a monarch is far better than the insecurity and anarchy when there is no strong rule in a city If absence of central power then, human beings would live in a state of relative equality but ALSO hunger for power These are unchallenged assumptions in his theory- humans are naturally power hungry a situation in which life is nasty poor brutish and short; Under these circumstances, says the theory, it is necessary to surrender their freedom to a monarch Thats the contract- surrender to a monarch and get protection of life and property; far better to live in this state of affairs then in a state of when life is short brutish nasty etc He is not arguing that monarchy came about because people were living in equal state affairs with competition This idea of states of nature is a fiction; he is arguing that a polity without an absolute monarch will revert to the state of nature which is an UNDESIRABLE state of affairs He is presenting a warning to his fellow people; if we resort to not having a monarch then we will revert ourselves to horrible conditions Rousseau His concept of state of nature can be contrasted with Hobbes For Hobbes people are on a plane of equality but in competition Rousseau says human beings are quite different from one another but nonetheless they come together for mutual benefit and surrender only SOME OF THEIR FREEDOM in a social contract (hobbes says they surrender all their freedom) Instead the sovereign for Rousseau it is the people (not absolute monarch) According to different theories different degrees of freedom are surrendered for different reasons (what he is saying by giving these two examples of hobbes and roussea) 4. De Tocqueville He is not a thinker who has faith in the people His supreme value is freedom If you were to read outside of democracy in America, the text Toc. Wrote on Algeria you will find there is inconsistencies in his treatment of freedom In democracy in America Tocqueville is concerned with HOW FREEDOM CAN BE PROTECTED He knows that in France the revolution was carried out in the name of freedom, revolution against the king He asks, does this revolution truly advance the freedom of the people? Democracy is rule by the people thus the citizens are surrounded by the sovereign Power in a monarchy is concentrated in the hands of a civil ruler The important difference is the distance between the subject and the ruler In a monarchy the ruler is at a distance and therefore not very capable of monitoring the actions and thoughts of the subjects In a democracy the subjects are surrounded by the sovereign and is very aware of what the subjects says and does He argues that paradoxically, in societies in which the people are sovereign is a society which also monitors much more closely the thoughts and opinions of its citizens so that the citizens who thought they would be gaining greater freedom by rising against the monarchy would be putting place the greater pressure of surveillance/ monitoring because the people are the sovereign in democracy Tocqueville then claims that DEMOCRACY IS MORE TYRANNICAL THAN A MONARCHY WE find people of servants who are not wise in the choice of leaders To go back to point one, the values we think of so highly are not as great as we think they are We praise democracy because of freedom of opinion In fact, however, we are much more conformist in our thoughts than we would be in a monarchy The moral of the story is that rejection of traditional authority results in an appreciable loss of freedom according to Tocqueville Authority in a democracy is much more prevalent March 5 Marx (more on Weber though) Weber: Next weeks reading: politics of vocation In the course package the excerpt starts with the beginning of the speech and then truncates it You are responsible for the text until the last words of the second paragraph "political power"; then stop there It is a speech that Weber gave in 1918 at the university of Munich There is much political disorientation during thsi time because Germany was involved in WW1 and then was defeated Much sadness, loss of life, property, damage to their prestige etc. Also Germany which was disoriented culturally People were looking to Weber at this time for how to go ahead politically and how the country could engage politically themselves (the people) 1918 is the year after russian revolution, communism was strong within Germany; there was mutinies in the German navy on the part of sailors who thought German's should be communist as well Vocation= beruf Beruf has a quasi relation: it means duty in the eyes of God; a way of attaining salvation Weber is addressing an audience who may believe that politics may be part of a higher calling, a way to save themselves and their country Although this is strongly idealistic, Weber is very down to earth when he is addressing these questions and he surprises his audience by not addressing this lofty question but preceding to answer very down to earth questions First thing he does it define the state pg 578 Paradoxically he borrows his definition of the state on a definition which Trotsky provided as a definition; thus Weber is just agreeing with him 1. State is defined in terms of the specific means particular to it. Not what it can do, but how it can do it. Every state is founded on force. state is a human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. MEMORIZE THIS DEFINITION* - it is still used today, and will turn up on the test Raises a plain question but is loaded: why do men obey? Pg 78/79 He uses three things to answer this- this is the most important material for us in the materials for next week Name the 3 forms of authority and distinguish between them! WILL SHOW UP ON TEST He is not a left winger-- who values equality in and of himself; however we just said that when he describes the state he agrees with a Russian revolutionary He does the same sort of thing when he talks about bureaucracy Bureaucrats are government officials who are the tools of the politicians- they administrate the polity to carry out the will of the ruler Around pg 81 he will contrast rule "yesterday and today" Yesterday refers to the feudal age and there the ruler is a powerful person who excelled in warfare, controlled the court, had control over "sidekicks" i.e. Nobles and lords who help him He contrasts this system with our modern system: in the modern system the ruler is
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