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POSC365midtermreview - POLITICAL PHYSICS how to think...

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POLITICAL PHYSICS : how to think causally - human behavior is interactive, based in power interaction o humans are naturally power-oriented; all societies throughout history have been hierarchies - thus leaders react to the actions of others and their actions thus trigger reactions by their citizens and other leaders EQUIVALENCE : problem with comparing leaders, e.g. power of Hitler incongruous to power of an American president, b/c it is such a different kind of power LEGITIMACY: two types - - legitimacy of the system - that of the leader himself - example: Vietnam o Americans challenged the legitimacy of Johnson and Nixon, yet NOT the legitimacy of the system itself o Succeeded in convincing Johnson not to run again and Nixon to resign POWER : what makes a leader “legitimate;” two types – - naked power (force) - authority (power plus legitimacy) THEORY OF MARGINALITY : - when a person feels like he has been victimized by the previous societal structure and then seeks to obliterate it and replace it with a different societal structure which he believes to be better o can often account for a marginal person’s rise to charismatic leadership - projection : marginals tend to project their personal anger onto public institutions; leads to development of revolutionary tendencies which often result in rejection of public authority as a whole o examples: Machiavelli Hitler : poor, regular Austrian citizen, not particularly Aryan- looking Stalin : son of shoemaker Richard M Nixon : from “hickville” California others: Castro , Clinton , etc if u apply theory of marginality to Osama bin Laden , u find that he was not marginal socio-economically, but he WAS marginal psychologically , b/c of the isolation of his upbringing (and being one of over 20 children) - Definition of mainstream is dependent on the political, social, economic and even racial and cultural context (ex: bin Laden’s mainstream is different that Bush’s mainstream)
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o ex: if ur a German of Jewish descent, u are still a marginal person to the German public regardless of gender or socio-economic standing CLASS TRAITOR: one who forgets or betrays their roots once they gain power - examples: o FDR came from Hudson River Valley aristocracy, true blue blood, yet he fought for the welfare of lower class citizens – the upper class could then call him a class traitor for not looking out for the interests of the upper classes o Nixon : came from lower classes, but works for the interest of the upper classes o Gandhi DETERMINANTS OF POWER : factors that determine the level of a leader’s power at a given time, e.g: - personality - environment (state of society when he rises to power, i.e. crisis or stable) ex: o Teddy Roosevelt had the personality and wanted to exercise more power, but there was no crisis so he didn’t get the opportunity - experience - staffing o example: Karl Rove advisor to Bush, chief strategist (some would say he’s the mastermind behind Bush’s regime) - information/communication (ability to obtain and utilize information) -
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