November 17, 2009 - November 17 Civil Society and the...

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November 17 Civil Society and the Ideologies that Divide us. The term test is up until today. Format of test: Essay to write and multiple choice. **readings**Prof hasn’t been lecturing on the readings. Exam booklets and scantron. Formal versus substantive features of liberal democracy Liberal democracy not just about institutional design but also about substantive ends of people in society. If liberal democracy is freedom, we mean it’s a system by which ideally, it’s able to translate your life plans into practice. Not speaking in utopian terms. People want different things. Deep connections among family or social group; a liberal democracy ideally encompasses all of this. Promoting and preserving different ends and values. These ends and values are defined as: What is the good life? what do we want? How should you live? How should you spend your life? Your answer: largely dictates the kind of politics you wants, what the substantive end to those politics are. Subject within liberal democracy with the deep disagreements we have. Freedom vs. Equality vs Republic virtue. What is more important, freedom or equality or republican virtue? Freedom: freedom from, nobody is there within reason, as long as you don’t step on other’s freedoms, you’re free to do whatever you want without interference from a state of others. Sometimes freedom to do what you want to do is restricted by your access to resources; you need the basics. You need shelter, food, education. The way we gear society either favours equality or freedom. Equality: Republican Virtue: taken from Plato, argued that the purpose of politcs/statecraft, is soul craft. The purpose of politics is to help you live within a context that makes you a better person. While freedom may be the freedom from, this concept argues that we are all as citizens, we ideally should live within an order that makes us the best possible people we can be. That for example gives us time, or some of us time to live the contemplative life. The deeper life. Society that maximizes individual choice, may not emphasis republican virtue. The Isms debate: Issue is power its continued existence within liberal democracy. If liberal democracy is about the three aforementioned, how do you deal with the problem of power? Some people have more of it than others. What is power? Each critique has its own definition of power. Socialism: So distribututionally unfair that it ignores the economic and resource base of power. It inhibits both freedom(the freedom from) rather meaningless. And it makes the pursuit of republican virtue non existant. Socialists are not against this, they just see it as a product of (superstructure) distributional justice. Liberal democracy with a capitalist economy regualarly produces an outcome of uneven power.
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Most socialists argue that liberal democracy is not unsalvagable. You can acheive the ‘good society’ within liberal democracy. (Not a good argument) Throughout western world, you have democratic socialist parties(social democracy)
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November 17, 2009 - November 17 Civil Society and the...

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