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Ch 2 MOS notes

Ch 2 MOS notes - Chapter Two Country Differences in...

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Chapter Two – Country Differences in Political Economy Political Economy – the political, economic, and legal systems of a country Political Systems Political system – the system of a government in a nation, can be assessed according to two related dimensions: 1) the degree to which they emphasize collectivism as opposed to individualism 2) the degree to which hey are democratic or totalitarian These dimensions are interrelated: systems that emphasize collectivism tend toward totalitarian, while systems that place a high value on individualism tend to be democratic Collectivism and Individualism Collectivism – refers to a political system that stresses the primacy of collective goals over individual goals The whole society is viewed as more important than individual freedoms Socialism Karl Marx – argued that few benefit at the expense of the many in a capitalist society where individual freedoms are not restricted; argued that if the state owned the means to production, the state could ensure that workers were fully compensated for their labour Communists – believed that socialism could be achieved only through violent revolution and totalitarian dictatorship Social Democrats – committed themselves to achieving socialism by democratic means and turned their backs on violent revolution and dictatorship Up until 1970;s majority of world’s population lived in communist states Protected from significant competition by their monopoly position and guaranteed government financial support, many state-owned companies became increasingly inefficient Individualism Individualism – refers to a philosophy that an individual should have freedom in his or her economic and political pursuits; individualism stresses that the interests of the individual should take precedence over the interests of the state Two central tenets: 1) emphasis on the importance of guaranteeing individual freedom and self-expression 2) the welfare of society is best served by letting people pursue their own economic self-interest, as opposed to some collective body (such as government) dictating what is in society’s best interest Democracy and Totalitarianism Democracy – a political system in which government is by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives Totalitarianism – a form of government in which on person or political party exercises absolute control over all spheres of human life and opposing political parties are prohibited Democracy
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Representative democracy – citizens periodically elect individuals to represent them, main function is to make decisions based on the electorate (most modern democracies) Totalitarianism Political repression is widespread, many rights and freedoms are denied to the citizens Communist totalitarianism – a version of collectivism that advocates that socialism can be achieved only through totalitarian dictatorship (most has
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