POLI 100

POLI 100 - 01/12/10 3/18/10 2:38 PM Politics • Various...

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Unformatted text preview: 01/12/10 3/18/10 2:38 PM Politics • Various definitions o Who gets what, when and how? A competition over resources, where’s mine? A way for an individual to get more out of the system than anyone else – to gain, maybe at the expense of others o The right ordering of society The making of society that is just for everyone. Traditionally, revolves around theology – make peoples lives revolve around God’s will. Use government to enforce morals and values that help us to live a better life. Government = manifestation of just society o The battle over the terms of cooperation We are all better off if we figure out how to cooperate. Minimally, want a set of laws to prevent us from the disquiet while living together (war, etc.) Figure out how to set and enforce rules so that we can all live in this world together • Fundamental character lies in nexus of self and society o Human life is interesting combination of individual and social existence People are self-interested, although altruism does exist – notion of doing things for others. But cannot run society that way and assume that Must devise a society that works with the reality of human nature – self-interested • An example of collective action: “Filling the Hall” o When you come into a lecture, how does the room fill up? Goals Sit near front to hear lecture, but Don’t sit at front row So end up with Back of the room fills up first No one would be worse off if everyone moved forward – preto improvement, no one is worse off, so everyone is better off. • Collective action - “Tragedy of the Commons” Garrett Hardin o imagine a small nineteenth century farming village everyone is a dairy farmer there is no village government by custom, farmers may graze their cows in the village common area. Farmers in the this anarchic community must maintain the commons o Independent individual action goes haywire Consider the different “public” and “private” interests Public interest of the community • Maintain the commons. Prevent destruction by overgrazing Private interest of each individual farmer • Maximize profit – graze own cows on the commons o The Failure of self restraint First, take the position of one individual – Farmer Brown Farmer Brown – two possibilities about self-restraint (to keep things simple) What if everyone else practices self-restraint • Then, brown ads his cows to the commons because o He gets benefit (saves own land) o A few extra cows (by themselves) won’t overgraze the commons...
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2010 for the course POLI 100 taught by Professor Rabinowitz during the Spring '07 term at UNC.

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POLI 100 - 01/12/10 3/18/10 2:38 PM Politics • Various...

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