Unformatted text preview: Some Introductory Some Introductory Concepts
Rationalism—The theory that all humans are utility maximizers
The collective action problem (private gain vs. public good)
Free Riders Communitarianism vs. Individualism
Communitarianism vs. Individualism Communitarianism: Systems that emphasize the interest of communities and societies over those of the individual. Philosophical communitarianism considers classical liberalism to be incoherent. Unlike classical liberalism, which construes communities as originating from the voluntary acts of precommunity individuals, it emphasizes the role of the community in defining and shaping individuals. Communitarians believe that the value of community is not sufficiently recognized in liberal theories of justice. Communitarianism vs. Individualism
Communitarianism vs. Individualism Ideological communitarianism is characterized as a radical centrist ideology that is sometimes marked by leftism on economic issues and conservatism on social issues. Note that communitarianism is not to be confused with communism, a political philosophy based on the use of force to confiscate and redistribute resources. Individualism: A term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual selfreliance and liberty. Individualists promote the exercise of individual goals and desires. They oppose most external interference with an individual's choices whether by society, the state, or any other group or institution. This concept is the direct result of the impact of “Liberalism” as a political ideology. Political Models
Political Models Authoritarian: a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state or organization, often maintaining and enforcing control through the use of oppressive measures. Authoritarian regimes are strongly hierarchical. Totalitarian: modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. Oligarchy: is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). Political Models
Political Models Aristocracy: a form of government where power is held by a small number of individuals from an elite or from noble families. Only this elite is allowed to compete for power and to hold the most powerful positions in state. The transmission of power is often hereditary. Monarchy: a form of government in which a monarch, usually a single person, is the head of state. Democracy: Direct Democracy: Literally, ”Rule by the People”. a political system where the citizens participate the decision making personally, contrary to relying on intermediaries or representatives. The supporters of direct democracy argue that democracy is more than merely a procedural issue (i.e. voting). Political Models
Representative Democracy: the selection of government officials by the people being represented. The most common mechanisms involve election of the candidate with a majority or a plurality of the votes. Representatives may be elected by a particular district (or constituency), or represent the entire electorate proportionally proportional systems, with some using a combination of the two. Some representative democracies also incorporate elements of direct democracy, such as referendums. A characteristic of representative democracy is that while the representatives are elected by the people to act in their interest, they retain the freedom to exercise their own judgment as how best to do so. Political Models
Liberal Democracy: a representative democracy along with the protection of minorities, the rule of law, separation of powers, and protection of liberties (thus the name liberal) of speech, assembly, religion, and property. Conversely, an illiberal democracy is one where the protections that form a liberal democracy are either nonexistent, or not enforced. Historical Background to Hobbes & Historical Background to Hobbes & Locke
Roman Republicanism: Plebians vs. Patricians
The Senate of Rome The Council of Plebians The Emergence of the Imperium The Conversion of the Empire to Christianity
The effect upon the Western Barbarian Kingdoms
The “Divine Right of Kings to Rule” Historical Background, Cont.
Historical Background, Cont.
The Medieval Period: Christendom Feudalism Taxation Restricted social mobility Limited academic thought The Renaissance: The explosion of scientific/artistic inquiry The emerge of the merchant class The development of paper money & checking systems The accumulation of capital ($$) Historical Background, Cont.
Historical Background, Cont.
The Emergence of the Modern State The Protestant Reformation and the demise of “Christendom”
The Religious Wars & the Treaty of Westphalia
The idea of state vs. nation
Who should rule the state?
The rise of absolute monarchies The challenge of the merchant class Historical Background, Cont.
Historical Background, Cont.
Classical Liberalism: Because of the powerful economic and social
Forces unleashed by the Renaissance, the merchant class demanded: Natural Rights: Individual Autonomy Social Mobility Less Government; government exists only to ensure natural rights Lower taxes Meritocracy: Advancement through hard work Save money Invest wisely Personal control over finances/profits Republicanism: Consent of the Governed via representative institutions Maps
Leviathan Thomas Hobbes
(Classical) Liberalism Thomas Hobbes (15881679) Leviathan (1651) State of Nature: Humans live in a perfect state of liberty Humans live in a perfect state of equality Humans are essentially selfinterested Humans, therefore, are born into a natural state of war with one another…..chaos and conflict The only law of nature is that of survival of the fittest, each person striving after that which will maximize his/her own chances at survival The only real public good that can be conceived of is order…. and so individuals will give their consent to be governed by a force with ultimate and sovereign power: an absolute monarch ...
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- Fall '05
- Classical Liberalism