Politics, Power and Authority
What is Politics?
some examples include elections, demonstrations (9/11), policy decisions(government policy and health care), and law
Decisions that affect you
Laws assign rights and duties
Decisions are enforced
Haiti and the Dominican Republic - same land mass
Different environmental conditions
Consequences of Political Decisions
Both are poor countries but Haiti is far worse
Formal government activity
Dishonestly seeking personal gain
Noble pursuit of the public good - Nelson Mandela
"Who gets What, When, and How?"
A biological order that includes humans, apes monkeys.....
Humans are the most cruel
"Who gets What, When and How"
Competitive, Power, Conflict
Dominance strategies and Alliances
Winners and losers
Peaceful, Gentle and Loving
Erotic and Egalitarian
Sensitive to others
The Elements of Politics
Social, Process, Conflict, Binding Decisions, Enforced
Social activity, involving more than one person where something happens that is characterized by
conflict with conflicting views and interests. In Politics decisions are binding on all of us and are
Between Love and War
Pure Conflict = War - war is a continuation of politics
Pure Cooperation = True Love
Politics = Conflict and cooperation Where is Politics?
Family, Economy and the State
International, National and within towns (municipals)
Everywhere- problem solving
Aspects of Politics
Conflict and Cooperation
Enforced against the disobedient
According to the preferred definition of politics from the last lecture, politics...
Is a way of dealing with conflict
Government and the State
What is Government?
The activity of government or ruling
Exercising authority over others
Coordinating Collective Decisions
Aristotle 384 - 322 BC
Inventor of Politics
Had two questions:
One, few, many...
In whose interests?
In the ruler's interests or for those who they govern?
Aristotle's 6 Forms of Government-
Tyranny/Monarchy - one
Oligarchy/Aristocracy - few
Democracy/Polity - many
What is the State?
Centralized Governing Authority
Sovereignty, Including Monopoly of Legitimate Violence
What is Power?
The Ability to Produce Results
Influencing Others' Behaviour
Power can take several forms
Forms of Power
Coercion: Military, police...
Influence: get people to go along with what they wouldn't usually do (vote for)
Manipulation: shaping other peoples believes for their own interests without letting them know you're
doing it Hard Power
o Force and Coercion
o Military and Police
o Economic Inducement
o Bribes and Sanctions
Getting Others to want what you want
Institutions, Values and Policies
What is Authority?
The right to command
The right to punish those who disobey
Is State Authority Justified?
Hobbes's State of Nature
The Road to War
Equality - each of us is capable of killing
Uncertainty - trust?
Three Reasons to Attack
Lack of Trust: Safety - best defence is a good offence - attack first
Is Hobbes too Pessimistic?
"Read Thy Self" - what motivates you?
What do we think of other people?
Actions speak louder than words - what you do and what you say are two different things
Evidence: Locking Doors and Chests - by what you do you show suspicion of others
Morality in the State of Nature
Naturally Right - the right and freedom that each of us have....
No Injustice - you need laws to break them
Laws of Nature - rules of prudence and nature preservation
"Reasons Suggesteth Convenient Articles of Peace" - reference to the laws of nature Laws of Nature
Fundamental Law: Seek Peace, If You can get it
Second Law: Lay down your natural right, if others do too
Third Law: Perform Your Covenants (promise)
All the laws of nature can be put in one law:
Don't to things to others that you don't want done to you
Individual and Collective Rationality
It is Rational for Individuals to attack others
Smart for one, dumb for all
It is Rational for the Collective to Seek Peace
Let's Break a deal
Collectively rational outcome is unstable
Individuals have an incentive to defect
State Provides Assurance That Laws of Nature Will be followed
The State of Nature
Why do we need a state?
Life without the State and Political Power
Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679)
Most famous book was "Leviathan" (1651) - sea monster from the Bible
Believed it is our nature not to live in states
Life without state is war
With no state, human nature generates a war of all against all
Attack for gain, safety and reputation
Fear - born in 1588 prematurely - said him and fear were born together (Spanish... Mom in early
War - the war against all
Peace - philosopher of peace - to seek peace
Worst possible scenario: no state protection
A Powerful State is needed to avoid disastrous Interpersonal conflict
Main Premises: Human Nature
Which of the following is NOT a feature of Hobbes human beings?
a. Predominant self interest
b. Concern about reputation
c. Avoidance of one's own death
d. Fundamental in equality
e. Power seeking