Ball and Dagger - Political Ideology and the Democratic Ideal Notes

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Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones

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- A sign of the French Revolution on the world is the creation of the political positions left, right, or center. These terms come from the seating arrangements in the National Assembly of the revolutionary period. o Left wing favoured change o Right wing resisted change - Modern revolutionaries aim to overthrow old order at the roots and replace the whole social order with something better – “radical” comes from Latin radix meaning root - Conservatives oppose the idea that human action can bring about great advances in society, politics, and the quality of life – pessimistic about the possibility of dramatic progress and significant improvement in the quality of human life - Enlightenment: The influential philosophical movement of the 18 century, especially in France, that proclaimed the triumph of reason and science over custom and superstition o First liberalism, and later all of the other political ideologies except conservatism, grew out of a conviction that human life and society can and should be dramatically changed o This conviction inspires people to lead or join movements to reshape and even revolutionize their societies – give rise to political ideologies Nationalism and Anarchism Nationalism: The belief that people fall into distinct groups, or nations, on the basis of a common heritage or birth Anarchism: A term from the Greed an archos, meaning “no rule.” Anarchists aim to abolish the state, replacing political relations with cooperative or voluntary ones. Nationalism - Nation: group of people who in some sense share a common birth, can be separate from citizenship - Ardent nationalist: nations and citizenship should not be separated - Nation-state: a sovereign, self-governing political unit that binds together and expresses the feelings and needs of a single nation Anarchism - Government in nature is immoral and evil - Governments force people to do things that they do not want to do – pay taxes, fight in wars, follow orders, etc. - State is not a necessary evil - Disagreements and differences among anarchists overwhelm the single point on which they agree o Some anarchists are capitalists and some are communists, some are violent and some are peaceful Chapter 3: Liberalism - Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. - Mill - Hallmark of liberalism has been the attempt to promote individual liberty - Two rival camps: “neoclassical” and “welfare” liberals - “Liberal” did not enter the vocabulary of politics until early in the nineteenth century Liberalism, Human Nature, and Freedom - In the case of liberalism, the emphasis on individual liberty rests on a conception of human beings as fundamentally rational individuals - Liberals acknowledge that people do have passions and desires, but they maintain that people also have the ability, through reason, to control and direct their desires. - Liberals agree that self-interest is the primary motive for most people - Liberals are inclined to regard competition as a natural and of the human condition - Agent: The Individual - Obstacles: Social and legal barriers to individual liberty, such as social customs, ties of feudal dependence, and religious conformity, poverty, racial and sexual prejudice, ignorance, illness, etc.
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