POLS200Notes - 1 a Power vs Rights It is not uncommon(but...

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1. a. Power vs. Rights It is not uncommon (but it is incorrect) to hear these terms used interchangeably. Power : 1. There has never been a political system, and there is not one now, where one cannot see an element of political power. Notions that political systems can exist without power are nonsensical. Why? Because political systems and power are connected because political systems imply large-scale human organization. I. This large-scale organization is a system in which resources are finite. II. Resources are finite because people have infinite desires. Power is not a thing . Power is a psychological relationship related to the notion of cost-benefit analysis. People make cost-benefit analyses of other people, and decide to give in or not based on costs and/or benefits. The ability to cost or benefit is power. “nice” political systems operate much more upon rewards than threats. Philosophers believed that all people are equal in the fact that everyone’s worst fear is to die a violent, painful death. People will go to any length to avoid this: this is human nature. Bravery is directly proportional to the amount of distance from danger. Rights : A right is essentially a zone in which power cannot intrude, especially in an arbitrary way. No right is absolute, but the more civilized a society is, the harder it is for political power to intrude on rights. The government does not have any rights . The government has power. I. b. Authority and Legitimacy Authority is the ability to enforce rules. c. Government: Structural-Functional model A structure functioning with the assumption that anything “that acts like a government is a government”. Every government has a relatively unique structure. However, their functions are the same. All government perform the same basic functions: 1. All governments maintain the territorial integrity of their country and through this manage relationships with other countries. 2. Governments impose law and order within the country. 3. Governments create stable economic zones within their country. 4. Governments provide public goods. Public Goods : Goods that the public wants/needs but the private sector cannot, will not or should not produce. Cannot : The private sector does not see a profit in producing it. Will not : Production is too complex for the relative return gained from the good. Should not : Society makes a collective decision that it is not right for the private sector to produce said good. There are public goods that are non-material such as: an army, a water system, security, etc. There is a difference between security and justice. If a government cannot continue to provide the public goods, other groups (mostly countries) will step in and do it.
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d. Democracy: a. Three definitions: All three definitions are connected by the notion that democracy allows public participation. Classical: The aggregation of the wisdom and power of individuals will determine the best government. The problem with this theory is
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POLS200Notes - 1 a Power vs Rights It is not uncommon(but...

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