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History of Political Ideas 3rd lecture Ideas of Early Modern Age and Enlightenment.

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1 History of Political Ideas 3rd lecture Ideas of Early Modern Age and Enlightenment

2 Political Thinking on Way to a Secular Society The Church remained an important social power for centuries after the twilight of the Medieval Ages. However from the 14th Century AD the central, mundane, secular power of the king became ever stronger. The Church remained an important social power for centuries after the twilight of the Medieval Ages. However from the 14th Century AD the central, mundane, secular power of the king became ever stronger. In the late medieval society, in the early, matured and late Renaissance, and in the early modern society (16-17th Century AD) the basic questions of political thinking became: what makes the central political power legitimate (independently from the Church)? What (secular, non-ecclesiastic) goals must the monarch or the governor must strive after? What factors and institutes are necessary (if any) in order to control the central power and defend the people from a possible tyrant? In the late medieval society, in the early, matured and late Renaissance, and in the early modern society (16-17th Century AD) the basic questions of political thinking became: what makes the central political power legitimate (independently from the Church)? What (secular, non-ecclesiastic) goals must the monarch or the governor must strive after? What factors and institutes are necessary (if any) in order to control the central power and defend the people from a possible tyrant? These thinkers raised the question of source and nature of political power in a secular manner. These thinkers raised the question of source and nature of political power in a secular manner.

3 Late Medieval Political Theory. Marsilius da Padua An important predecessor of modern political thinking was Marsilius da Padua ( ) of Italy. He wrote an important book: „Defensor Pacem”, „The Protector of the Peace”. We could treat him as a forerunner of modern political thought, because the secular motifs were emphatic in his book. An important predecessor of modern political thinking was Marsilius da Padua ( ) of Italy. He wrote an important book: „Defensor Pacem”, „The Protector of the Peace”. We could treat him as a forerunner of modern political thought, because the secular motifs were emphatic in his book. According to Marsilius: citizens are living in a political society not due to their nature but due to the recognition of the benefits of living together in a state. Creating a state is not a natural event but a voluntary act of a community. According to Marsilius: citizens are living in a political society not due to their nature but due to the recognition of the benefits of living together in a state. Creating a state is not a natural event but a voluntary act of a community. It is the community who creates the laws and rules of the particular society. What makes a political order and a system of law legitimate? According to Marsilius: if the will of the majority of society serves as the basis for a social and legal system, then the latter is legitimate. If it is not legitimated by the will of the majority of citizens, then this social order is illegitimate. It is the community who creates the laws and rules of the particular society. What makes a political order and a system of law legitimate? According to Marsilius: if the will of the majority of society serves as the basis for a social and legal system, then the latter is legitimate. If it is not legitimated by the will of the majority of citizens, then this social order is illegitimate. Only the will of majority could be the source of the legitimacy of political and social order. Only the will of majority could be the source of the legitimacy of political and social order.

4 Niccolo Machiavelli ( ) Father of modern political theory. First and foremost aim of governance of the society: is success. He tried to articulate a realistic theory of political power in his book „The Prince”, (Il Principo). He said we must treat the norms and techniques of successful political action and strategy independent from the prescriptions of the moral. „That who seeks moral, should rather remain inside private life. It is result what is important in business and political life ”. Father of modern political theory. First and foremost aim of governance of the society: is success. He tried to articulate a realistic theory of political power in his book „The Prince”, (Il Principo). He said we must treat the norms and techniques of successful political action and strategy independent from the prescriptions of the moral. „That who seeks moral, should rather remain inside private life. It is result what is important in business and political life ”. He delineated a highly individualistic picture of society and social sphere. He praised the individualistic virtues and eminence of a person. Result and achievement what really matters in his opinion. He delineated a highly individualistic picture of society and social sphere. He praised the individualistic virtues and eminence of a person. Result and achievement what really matters in his opinion. He did not say that „Goal sanctifies the means” – a phrase which is often attributed to him, but he did say: „If you want a certain goal, then you must also want the means which lead to this goal”. He did not say that „Goal sanctifies the means” – a phrase which is often attributed to him, but he did say: „If you want a certain goal, then you must also want the means which lead to this goal”. He despised the Church and religion in general as a form of superstition and ignorance, and regarded religion as a mean to rule and manipulate people, who are less educated. His works were on the Index of forbidden literature of the Catholic Church for centuries. He despised the Church and religion in general as a form of superstition and ignorance, and regarded religion as a mean to rule and manipulate people, who are less educated. His works were on the Index of forbidden literature of the Catholic Church for centuries.

5 What shall a prince do? Should he make himself loved or rather feared? What is the best strategy to rule and control a people? Should the people love the prince or should they rather fear him? What is the best strategy to rule and control a people? Should the people love the prince or should they rather fear him? Machiavelli told: if he could manage the both it would be the best, but if it is not possible to be loved and feared in the same time, it is better to be feared than to be loved. Because people are usually unreliable: they offer their blood, honor and loyalty when there is no danger and need at all, and when the prince needs their loyalty in real, they betray him if they do not fear him enough. Machiavelli told: if he could manage the both it would be the best, but if it is not possible to be loved and feared in the same time, it is better to be feared than to be loved. Because people are usually unreliable: they offer their blood, honor and loyalty when there is no danger and need at all, and when the prince needs their loyalty in real, they betray him if they do not fear him enough. If it is unavoidable to shed blood, the prince shall do better if he trust someone to take the role of the butcher, and to kill everyone who is actually or potentially a danger, or simply to set a bloody example. After the bloodshed the prince could throw this butcher or hangman to the anger of people, saying, that this man went too far, ignoring his personal orders. If it is unavoidable to shed blood, the prince shall do better if he trust someone to take the role of the butcher, and to kill everyone who is actually or potentially a danger, or simply to set a bloody example. After the bloodshed the prince could throw this butcher or hangman to the anger of people, saying, that this man went too far, ignoring his personal orders. The prince shall use the means of „sword and intrigue”, of bare (military, political) power and of deceive, of manipulating the people and his opponents. The prince shall use the means of „sword and intrigue”, of bare (military, political) power and of deceive, of manipulating the people and his opponents.

6 The limits of using the power What are the taboos, the borders of useing and abusing the political power? The prince must know that the citizens are the most sensible concerning their honour or reputation, and their private property. Accordingly: the prince must respect the women and private property of the citizens under any condition. He could shed blood if it is necessary, but he cannot loot, otherwise he will be a subject of despise of the citizens. What are the taboos, the borders of useing and abusing the political power? The prince must know that the citizens are the most sensible concerning their honour or reputation, and their private property. Accordingly: the prince must respect the women and private property of the citizens under any condition. He could shed blood if it is necessary, but he cannot loot, otherwise he will be a subject of despise of the citizens.

7 Contract-theory Early and matured Modern Age is a period of economic upswing. Consequently: economic life influenced very deeply the intellectual life also. Thus the most popular theory of interpreting the source of political legitimacy was in the Modern Age the social contract theory of political power. Early and matured Modern Age is a period of economic upswing. Consequently: economic life influenced very deeply the intellectual life also. Thus the most popular theory of interpreting the source of political legitimacy was in the Modern Age the social contract theory of political power. According to social contract theory the people, who are not yet citizens, give up some of their rights, in order to create a central political power with a monopoly of violence. The legitimacy of central political power rests on the implicit or explicit agreement of the citizens (who first became citizens as members of a state), on an explicit or implicit social contract – between the members of society and between these members and the central power. According to social contract theory the people, who are not yet citizens, give up some of their rights, in order to create a central political power with a monopoly of violence. The legitimacy of central political power rests on the implicit or explicit agreement of the citizens (who first became citizens as members of a state), on an explicit or implicit social contract – between the members of society and between these members and the central power.

8 Thomas Hobbes ( ). „Leviathan” According to Hobbes one could find two basic sorts of entities in the world: natural and artificial. Amongst the artificial things the greatest and most important is the state. State is a huge machine that the people created to make their life easier, safer and happier. According to Hobbes one could find two basic sorts of entities in the world: natural and artificial. Amongst the artificial things the greatest and most important is the state. State is a huge machine that the people created to make their life easier, safer and happier. Before creating the state, that is to say: before political state the people lived in the natural state. In this natural state of life „life was cruel, miserable, brutish and short”. No one could feel himself or herself in safety, one could have been robbed or killed at any moment. Before creating the state, that is to say: before political state the people lived in the natural state. In this natural state of life „life was cruel, miserable, brutish and short”. No one could feel himself or herself in safety, one could have been robbed or killed at any moment.

9 The Monarch in Hobbes Therefore people recognized that their mutual interest is to create a central power, to which they cede some of their rights, and which in its turn defends the life and property of its citizens. Therefore people recognized that their mutual interest is to create a central power, to which they cede some of their rights, and which in its turn defends the life and property of its citizens. The utmost function of a state: to defend the life and property of citizens. This state is according to Hobbes the „Leviathan”, the Great Monster, created by the people to their own defense. In Hobbes’ interpretation the head of Leviathan must be one single person. Otherwise the governance of the state would fell prey of meaningless debates The utmost function of a state: to defend the life and property of citizens. This state is according to Hobbes the „Leviathan”, the Great Monster, created by the people to their own defense. In Hobbes’ interpretation the head of Leviathan must be one single person. Otherwise the governance of the state would fell prey of meaningless debates The Monarch, the governor of the Leviathan, has an absolute power by force of the social contract, and nobody has the right to question his decisions or to resist him. The Monarch, the governor of the Leviathan, has an absolute power by force of the social contract, and nobody has the right to question his decisions or to resist him.

10 John Locke ( ). The problem with the Absolute Sovereign John Locke accepted Hobbes’ idea of the social contract theory of political legitimacy – but he differed at the point whether the members of the society does not have any right to oppose the governor and to question his decisions. John Locke accepted Hobbes’ idea of the social contract theory of political legitimacy – but he differed at the point whether the members of the society does not have any right to oppose the governor and to question his decisions. He said that in Hobbes’ view it looks like as if people, because of troubles foxes and polecats causing them, happily surrender to a bloodthirsty lion. There must be a much more rational solution to the problem of natural state of man. He said that in Hobbes’ view it looks like as if people, because of troubles foxes and polecats causing them, happily surrender to a bloodthirsty lion. There must be a much more rational solution to the problem of natural state of man.

11 Locke. The Idea of Liberal State According to Locke: the ultimate source of property right is work or labor. According to Locke: the ultimate source of property right is work or labor. The power of the Sovereign or of central political institution is not unconditional – it has a clause of resistance. According to this clause of resistance people should not obey to tyrannic power. They have the resist even with power, with weapons, in a military way, to a tyrannical central power. The power of the Sovereign or of central political institution is not unconditional – it has a clause of resistance. According to this clause of resistance people should not obey to tyrannic power. They have the resist even with power, with weapons, in a military way, to a tyrannical central power. The central power must serve the prosperity of the members of society, it must serve the goal to defend the life and property of people. The government is responsible to the people. It is the idea of the responsible state. The central power must serve the prosperity of the members of society, it must serve the goal to defend the life and property of people. The government is responsible to the people. It is the idea of the responsible state. Absolute freedom of conscience, of science and of religion. With one exception: according to Locke the atheist do not deserve to follow and propagate their ideas, because in the case of atheist there is no transcendent guarantee of their word – so one cannot trust someone who declares himself/herself to be an atheist. Absolute freedom of conscience, of science and of religion. With one exception: according to Locke the atheist do not deserve to follow and propagate their ideas, because in the case of atheist there is no transcendent guarantee of their word – so one cannot trust someone who declares himself/herself to be an atheist.

12 Enlightenment. The Age of Reason We call Enlightenment (Aufklärung, Lumi è re) the intellectual and cultural movement in Europe in the 18th Century AD. We call Enlightenment (Aufklärung, Lumi è re) the intellectual and cultural movement in Europe in the 18th Century AD. It was an age of advanced secularism, at least amongst intellectuals of the age. It was an age of advanced secularism, at least amongst intellectuals of the age. Representatives of Enlightenment regarded the religion as superstition, something that hides the true nature of things from the eye of people, and something which is a mere mean of manipulation. Ignorance and manipulation – most thinkers of Enlightenment described religion with these two word. Representatives of Enlightenment regarded the religion as superstition, something that hides the true nature of things from the eye of people, and something which is a mere mean of manipulation. Ignorance and manipulation – most thinkers of Enlightenment described religion with these two word. „Crush the monstrous!” – said Voltaire, an intellectual leader of the age, where „monstrous” was the Church itself. „Crush the monstrous!” – said Voltaire, an intellectual leader of the age, where „monstrous” was the Church itself. The thinkers of Enlightenment thought that the main source of troubles in the world is ignorance. If they spread the knowledge amongst the entire society, and if they unfold the laws of nature (and of society) as deeply as possible, then they will be able to solve all problems in the world, and they will be able to build a completely harmonious, happy society. The thinkers of Enlightenment thought that the main source of troubles in the world is ignorance. If they spread the knowledge amongst the entire society, and if they unfold the laws of nature (and of society) as deeply as possible, then they will be able to solve all problems in the world, and they will be able to build a completely harmonious, happy society.

13 Montesquieu. The Spirit of Laws According to Montesquieu ( ) the source and basis of just governance is the division of powers. He elaborated this idea in his book „The Spirit of Laws”, („L’espirit des lois”). According to Montesquieu ( ) the source and basis of just governance is the division of powers. He elaborated this idea in his book „The Spirit of Laws”, („L’espirit des lois”). In Montesquieu’s opinion there are three basic governmental forms: monarchic, republic and tyrannical. In monarchic one person owns and exerts power under the reign of laws, in the republic the entire people exerts power under the reign of laws again, while in a tyrannical system only one person owns the power, who does not care at all with the laws, nor the prosperity of people. In Montesquieu’s opinion there are three basic governmental forms: monarchic, republic and tyrannical. In monarchic one person owns and exerts power under the reign of laws, in the republic the entire people exerts power under the reign of laws again, while in a tyrannical system only one person owns the power, who does not care at all with the laws, nor the prosperity of people. In his view a basic condition of a just governance is the division of power. There three main branches of political power: juridical, executive and legislative power. When all three powers are centered in hand, and they are not functioning separately, then that system is – at least potentially – a tyrannical one: because the utmost owner of power could charge and convict whomever he wants on trumped.-up charges. In his view a basic condition of a just governance is the division of power. There three main branches of political power: juridical, executive and legislative power. When all three powers are centered in hand, and they are not functioning separately, then that system is – at least potentially – a tyrannical one: because the utmost owner of power could charge and convict whomever he wants on trumped.-up charges.

14 Rousseau and the Social Contract A leading figure of French Englightenment was Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ). He followed the idea of social contract, but he emphasized the thought that every power and sovereignty belong to the people itself. He emphasized the thought of Sovereignty of People. A leading figure of French Englightenment was Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ). He followed the idea of social contract, but he emphasized the thought that every power and sovereignty belong to the people itself. He emphasized the thought of Sovereignty of People. His main work is „Social Contract”, (Contract Social, 1762). „The man was born as a free being, notwithstanding he wears chains everywhere. Some thinks that they are masters of others, though they are slaves even more than the latter. How this change could have taken place? I don’t know. What could do this rightful? This question, I suppose, I am able to answer”. His main work is „Social Contract”, (Contract Social, 1762). „The man was born as a free being, notwithstanding he wears chains everywhere. Some thinks that they are masters of others, though they are slaves even more than the latter. How this change could have taken place? I don’t know. What could do this rightful? This question, I suppose, I am able to answer”. The social contract is the source of every political right and legitimacy. The subject of social contract is the people itself. When the people feels that the basic aims of this contract are violated, then it has the right to revolt against the violation of the natural rights of its members. The social contract is the source of every political right and legitimacy. The subject of social contract is the people itself. When the people feels that the basic aims of this contract are violated, then it has the right to revolt against the violation of the natural rights of its members.

15 The will of the all and general will Rousseau rejected Montesquieu’s idea of division of powers. He thought that divising of the powers of people would be just the same of cuting into pieces a human body. The branches of political power must form a unified, organic body in his opinion. Rousseau rejected Montesquieu’s idea of division of powers. He thought that divising of the powers of people would be just the same of cuting into pieces a human body. The branches of political power must form a unified, organic body in his opinion. Rousseau made a difference between the will of the all (volonté de tous) and the general will (volonté générale). The will of all is everybody’s will, that is to say: the will of every single person, the will of the individuals. This form of will could be wrong. The people, Rousseau thinks, often do not know what is their real interest and need. Rousseau made a difference between the will of the all (volonté de tous) and the general will (volonté générale). The will of all is everybody’s will, that is to say: the will of every single person, the will of the individuals. This form of will could be wrong. The people, Rousseau thinks, often do not know what is their real interest and need. In opposition to this the general will cannot be wrong, it intuitively knows always what are the true needs and interests of the people. The general will is represented by a central political institute of the society, which has the function represent the entire society. In opposition to this the general will cannot be wrong, it intuitively knows always what are the true needs and interests of the people. The general will is represented by a central political institute of the society, which has the function represent the entire society. In Rousseau’s interpretation there is no fixed borders between private and public sphere in the ideal society of people sovereignty. The people live amongst glass walls. It is a collectivistic society. In Rousseau’s interpretation there is no fixed borders between private and public sphere in the ideal society of people sovereignty. The people live amongst glass walls. It is a collectivistic society.

16 David Hume. „Custom is the great leader of life” Eminent representative of Scottish and Brittish Enlightenment. David Hume ( ) was a founding father of modern conservative political theory – alongside with the Irish Edmund Burke, who criticized harshly the French Revolution and Enlightenment. Eminent representative of Scottish and Brittish Enlightenment. David Hume ( ) was a founding father of modern conservative political theory – alongside with the Irish Edmund Burke, who criticized harshly the French Revolution and Enlightenment. According to Hume every working institution of present society passed the test of time, and thus deserves preservation and maintenance. We should be very careful when we want to alter the actual society, when we want to transform its institutions, because we cannot foresee how these changes will influence the entire society, and we should rather not make experiments with society. According to Hume every working institution of present society passed the test of time, and thus deserves preservation and maintenance. We should be very careful when we want to alter the actual society, when we want to transform its institutions, because we cannot foresee how these changes will influence the entire society, and we should rather not make experiments with society. The universal link and bondage between people is custom and habit. The people do not make any social contract or whatsoever – but they are „polished together”. The custom helps the individual to find her/his way in the life, and custom holds together the society as a whole. The universal link and bondage between people is custom and habit. The people do not make any social contract or whatsoever – but they are „polished together”. The custom helps the individual to find her/his way in the life, and custom holds together the society as a whole.

17 Immanuel Kant ( ). „What is Enlightenment?” „What is Enlightenment” raised the question in his essay Kant, the leading figure of German Enlightenment, („Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?”, 1784). „What is Enlightenment” raised the question in his essay Kant, the leading figure of German Enlightenment, („Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?”, 1784). Enlightenment, said Kant, „is man’s …” Enlightenment, said Kant, „is man’s …” Kant made a difference between the public and private usage of reason. He thought that in private sphere, when one fulfils his or her official obligations, when one does one’s work, one must always follow the instructions of his superior or the official administrative norms and instructions of his vocation. Otherwise the life of a society cannot go on properly. So the private usage of private is limited. Kant made a difference between the public and private usage of reason. He thought that in private sphere, when one fulfils his or her official obligations, when one does one’s work, one must always follow the instructions of his superior or the official administrative norms and instructions of his vocation. Otherwise the life of a society cannot go on properly. So the private usage of private is limited. But the public usage of reason cannot be limited in such a way, or the society cannot develop in a normal way. Everybody has the right to express his or her opinion, his or her critique concerning the matters and institutions of society. But the public usage of reason cannot be limited in such a way, or the society cannot develop in a normal way. Everybody has the right to express his or her opinion, his or her critique concerning the matters and institutions of society.

18 The Perpetual Peace In Kant’s view the history leads to a globalized community, where there are no wars anymore, and every local and global conflict is treated by one harmonized legal system. It is the world of the universal civil legal order. It is the world of Perpetual Peace, with an overal, completely rationally organized society, (or a global network of completely rational civil societies). In Kant’s view the history leads to a globalized community, where there are no wars anymore, and every local and global conflict is treated by one harmonized legal system. It is the world of the universal civil legal order. It is the world of Perpetual Peace, with an overal, completely rationally organized society, (or a global network of completely rational civil societies).

19 Hegel and the Civil Society as End of History Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel ( ) was another important figure of German Enlightenment. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel ( ) was another important figure of German Enlightenment. He rejected very emphatically the idea of social contract theory. He thought that it is an abstract approach of society. Society, Hegel said, is never a bunch of atomic individuals, but an organic whole with its own history. He rejected very emphatically the idea of social contract theory. He thought that it is an abstract approach of society. Society, Hegel said, is never a bunch of atomic individuals, but an organic whole with its own history. Hegel followed the organicistic model of society – which he took over (amongst others) from Aristotle, with whom he sympathized very much. Hegel followed the organicistic model of society – which he took over (amongst others) from Aristotle, with whom he sympathized very much. The source of political legitimacy is the traditions and customs of particular peoples. The source of political legitimacy is the traditions and customs of particular peoples. The Civil Society with its rational laws means the end of history, in Hegel’s interpretation, but there will be no such a happy end of history about which Kant was talking. The nations will be separated forever (in Hegel’s view), and each develops that form of civil society which is characteristic to their own, internal, inherent nature. The Civil Society with its rational laws means the end of history, in Hegel’s interpretation, but there will be no such a happy end of history about which Kant was talking. The nations will be separated forever (in Hegel’s view), and each develops that form of civil society which is characteristic to their own, internal, inherent nature.


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