2.3.10_to_2.8.10 - 2/8/2010 Announcements Review session...

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2/8/2010 Announcements Review session for midterm exam, Monday February 15 right after class. TA review session from 4-5 on Tuesday, 2/16, room TBA In class midterm exam, Wednesday, February 17 o 34 multiple choice questions, 2 points each o 4-5 short essay/ID, 8 points each o exam questions come from lectures and readings Textbook on reserve at College Library In the News More on the budget. Can’t eliminate the deficit by eliminating waste or just cutting spending. Has to be a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Health care summit proposed by Obama to try to break logjam. Democracy in the United States How Democratic is America? Defining democracy Anarchy (too many “rulers”) Democracy (many); pure democracy vs. a republican democracy Aristocracy (few) Monarchy/dictatorship (one) Theories of Democracy Protective democracy Only a democratic form of government could protect the people from oppression by a government Developmental Democracy Belief that democratic society could be a means to individual improvement Procedural democracy (or anti-populist) Democracy is only a mechanism for choosing and authorizing governments. Joseph Schumpeter. Reaction against fascism. Limited role for voters Choose between competing elites, rather than policies. This was based on concern that people didn’t know much about politics or believe in democracy. Thus, apathy is good—promotes stability. Let elites run the show Sidney Hook falls into this category Pluralist variation on this type Same analysis of the problem, but different prescription. Role of interest groups is central (main vehicle in participating in politics)
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Groups of like minded people that care about an issue and join interest group and lobby around to change the policy. People who care most about policy, and form competition for the policy. Theories of Democracy, cont. Participatory Democracy (populist) Voting is not enough (Zinn agrees) o Need more participation The democratic process does not ensure good outcomes because resources and power are not equally distributed and because minority rights may be ignored. Opportunity isn’t enough If you have unequal outcomes and unequal amount of participation because of your salary, then we don’t really have equal acesss to participate. o Danger of majority tyranny Determine the general public interest through participation o Issues people that are more inclined to participate in Role of civil disobedience (positive) o Zinn sees this as a vital part of democracy and can be seen as a component of measuring democracy Recent efforts: protests against world economic
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2.3.10_to_2.8.10 - 2/8/2010 Announcements Review session...

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