Almond_and_Berger - ALMOND, "CAPITALISM AND...

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A LMOND , “C APITALISM AND D EMOCRACY A. Introduction: 1. Argues that the economy and the polity – the political system – are the main problem solving mechanisms of human society. 2. Each has its own distinctive means and methods of problem solving, and each has its own ends. 3. They unavoidably interact with each other, and transform each other in the process. 4. p.467: “Democracy in particular generates goals and programs. You cannot give people the suffrage [the right to vote], and let them for organizations, run for office, and the like, without their developing all kinds of ideas as to how to improve things. And sometimes some of these ideas are adopted, implemented and are productive, and improve our lives, although many economists are reluctant to concede this much to the state.” 5. p.468: “The relationship between capitalism and democracy dominates political theory of the last two centuries.” a) There are those who say that capitalism supports democracy, and those who say that capitalism subverts democracy. And there are those who say that democracy subverts capitalism, and those who say that it supports it.” b) “All logically possible points of view are represented in a rich literature.” B. Capitalism supports democracy 1. General argument here: a) Capitalism is positively linked with democracy b) Capitalism shares democracy’s values and culture c) Capitalism facilitates the development of democracy d) But there have been very different views of capitalism and democracy over the past 250 years. (1) Some views are that capitalism – commerce – has a “gentling,” civilizing effect on behavior and interpersonal relations.
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(2) Later views, from both conservatives and radicals, that the culture of capitalism was crassly materialistic, destructively competitive, corrosive of morality, and hence self-destructive. (3) These changes in perception partly reflected the changes in the nature of capitalism itself: from the early commerce and small-scale production to the smoke- blackened industrial districts, exploitive entrepreneurs, and exploited laboring masses of the late 1800s. e) Argument by Schumpeter, in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: p.468: “History clearly confirms…[that]…modern democracy rose along with capitalism, and in causal connection with it…modern democracy is a product of the capitalist process.” f) Robert Dahl, in After the Revolution: “It is an historical fact that modern democratic institutions…have existed only in countries with predominantly privately owned, market-oriented economies, or capitalism if you prefer that name. It is also a fact that all “socialist” countries with predominantly state-owned centrally directed economic orders – command economies – have not enjoyed democratic governments, but have in fact been ruled by authoritarian dictatorships. It is also an historical fact that some “capitalist” countries have also been, and are, ruled by authoritarian dictatorships. “To put it more formally, it looks to be the case that market-
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course ISS 225 taught by Professor Williams during the Spring '07 term at Michigan State University.

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Almond_and_Berger - ALMOND, "CAPITALISM AND...

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