POL101notes - 22:00...

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22:00 Where does the government's legitimate power come from? Why are you obligated as a citizen to obey the law?  What are the purposes of government? Schools of thought in Western Political Philosophy Plato—Democracy is bad; a just political system has to match the natural order of  society  Not everyone is good at everything Want to be able to have people in power that are able to do the right thing for the public —pursue the public good; however, most people are self interested  Want only completely selfless, wise rulers in the system—make them the rulers whether  they want to be or not  The people must follow the law that those best equipped make Divine Right Theory—easy answers to all of the above questions Legitimate government power comes from god  Any ruler has become a ruler because of god, ie: king Never right to break the law because it is the will of god No right of revolution because you would be rebelling against god  Thomas Hobbes—Leviathan—Social Contract Theory  State of nature—everyone is trying to stay alive; nothing is right or wrong State of nature was before government—it was extremely unpleasant, everyone is  driven by greed and self-interest Beyond everything else everyone is driven by fear—worrying about the future Hobbes believed that to overcome the brutish mentality of men in the state of nature, an  absolute ruler should be chosen to protect the people
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Viewed the state of nature as fearful, nasty, brutish and short No matter what that ruler does, does not violate the social contract, and does not give  men the right to revolt Legitimacy of the government comes from the consent of the governed—because they  asked the sovereign to  Protection of the sovereign=obedience  "You promised"—social contract to follow the law; absolute Only time you can break the law is if the sovereign is no longer protecting you  Have no rights other than one the sovereign tells you what your rights are—no such  thing as a law that would violate a natural right to freedom  John Locke—Social Contract Theory—Second Treatise  Legitimate political power comes from the consent of the governed—people who are not  in a government system come together and voluntarily agree to form a political system  through an overt agreement  Prior to a democratic system, all men are created equal  People interact with people in a generally peaceful, good and pleasant way Law pre-exists government, at least fundamentally—Don't rely on government to tell  people what their fundamental rights are; regardless of if there is a government people 
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course POL 101 taught by Professor Haney during the Fall '10 term at Miami University.

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POL101notes - 22:00...

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