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CPS Notes Lecture 24

CPS Notes Lecture 24 - CPS Notes Lecture 24 I How do we...

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CPS Notes Lecture 24 I. How do we manage to live together in relative peace—build institutions, think about political ideas and make decisions as a group without coming to blows and questioning those very institutions that are a part of our system? a) We often think about politics in a very anti-political way---think about politics as getting along, bipartisanship, consensus b) But as politics is not that at all—it’s about disagreeing without resorting to physical violence i) So how do political systems deal with politics which is all about disagreement but prevent that from boiling over into conflict? (1) This is the key problem at the core of the course c) Aristotelian point of view; politics is about managing conflict, not resolving disagreement and conflict d) At different points in the course he’s tried to show the variety of ways that we can use to do this—sets of constitutional arrangements or institutions for managing conflict or the infinite ways groups can think about making decisions i) Aristotle is a model early social scientist (1) Thought there was something about the structure of the state that encourages or discourages human flourishing (2) Being anti-political for him is to deny one of the bases for human identity, since all men are political animals—we live in a world infused with politics, cannot get around it (a) Not just in the sense that politics is about power, but also because the study of politics is a master science, it is the thing that allows art to happen, allows religion to flourish, or civil society in general to flourish e) Modern thinkers in this tradition i) Crick (1) Underscored the ways in which it’s possible to be anti-political—to think that you solve problems by eliminating political competition, or having a mono-ethnic state, or having a despotic ruler who determines everything (2) These are ways of solving problems, this is true, but this is not a political solution (3) A political solution to a problem is facing head on the fact that communities are pluralities, that there is difference in society and finding ways to deal with that difference (4) That doesn’t mean that you have to be a pluralist system or democracy to deal with these problems politically (5) You can be authoritarian and still deal with politics, if it uses institutional ways to deal with difference instead of denying or eliminating it ii)
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