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DANZIGER CHAPTER TWO PART I Political Theory and Ideology
This chapter attempts to: a- develop a classification about individuals’ orientations toward the political world. (Political orientation refers to political belief held by individuals. (Political behavior or Micropolitics) b- characterize the dominant forms of political behavior, and some fundamental systems of beliefs (political ideologies or Normative political knowledge)
3 Normative Political Theory (the fundamental ideas that can be the basis of an individual’s beliefs and actions) * How society should be organized? * Should an individual resist a governmental policy? Should questions are classified within the domain of normative knowledge claims. There are various perspectives for thinking about the core questions of normative political theory.
4 Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill are anmong the many important thinkers. These political thinkers offered profound, provocative, and influential ideas about these bacic normative questions. What were offered by Thomas Hobbes? An example of normative theory: Ideas of Thomas Hobbes on the relationship between people and government State of nature and social contract.
In his major work “Leviathan” Thomas Hobbes argued that: -- A powerful state should be established and should be obeyed. -- This argument of Hobbes is grounded on human nature and social life: a) although people are generally rational they were also influenced by their passions, fears and aggressive instincts. b) people are essentially selfish c) before there is government people live in a “state of nature” (explain “state of nature”) 5
-- How can the state of nature be overcome? -- the answer of T. Hobbes is as follows: a) a)everyone will agree that it is in their individual self interests to protect themselves from the nasty and violent behavior of others. b) b)To gain this protection everyone will give up certain individual freedom to a powerful authority (government) that all must obey c) c)This authority has the right to use whatever means to establish rules and laws d) d)The agreement to allow such a government to rule is social contract (explain social contract) 6
7 Political Ideology refers to a comprehensive set of beliefs about political world. Ideologies can include a description of political reality and an explanation about why something occurs as it does but they are primarily a normative expression of what ought to be. * A normative expression attempts to evaluate a situation. It is an answer to a “what ought to be” question.
8 Each major ideology has its own internal logic. (consistency) Each major ideology is based on assumptions and value judgments about the following issues; The human nature The relationship between the individual and society Equality among individuals.
9 1) Human nature The “nature versus nurture” (natural needs versus experience): There are two different perspectives on human nature: A= Individual action and behavior derives from natural processes. (nature) B= Individual behavior is learned. (nurture)
10 2) Individual and Society What is the proper relationship between society and individual? a) One view emphasizes the importance of individual freedom of action as the highest value. - This approach says that the individual freedom is the most important value.
11 b) But another view stresses that the collective good should be the highest value. - the individual freedom must be restricted to achieve that collective good.
12 3) Equality a) Legal equality = equality before law (equality of opportunity and equal political rights) b) Material equality= equality of conditions (political equality + economic equality) c) Natural inequality = people and situations are naturally unequal. It is neither possible nor desirable to establish any kind of equality.
14 CONSERVATISM Edmund Burke - It attempts to prevent or slow down the transition away from a society based on traditional values and social hierarchy. (it aims to protect traditional values and social hierarchy.) - The core element of conservatism is to conserve the many valued elements of the system that already exists. - Stability, Tradition, Loyalty to God and Country are the most important values for conservatives.
15 * The individual a) Individuals are not consistently rational. - In many situations people are emotional and are unable to reason clearly. - Thus, individual rationality is not usually a sound basis for decisions about appropriate social and political behavior. b) individuals are naturally unequal in skills, intelligence, and in status. - Some individuals/groups are superior to others. - Superior groups should be in power.
16 * Individual and Society -Individuals have a basic need for order and stability in society. -inequalities are natural. -Society is composed of many different groups which are unequal in power, status and material possessions. -Social harmony is maintained when these groups work cooperatively to maintain the social order. (explain the theory of organic society) - Traditional values and ethics provide the guidelines for group cooperation and individual behaviour.
17 - The family, church and the government are responsible to enforce these values. - no majority has the right to limit the rights of others. This means that there should be no constraints on the rights of superior groups. - “Noblesse Oblige”: superior groups (or nobility) have obligations and responsibility to protect the weak from ills and troubles. -Tradition and religion (not reason) are the most reliable sources for guiding society since they support stability and moderate change..
18 *Equality - it is foolish and even dangerous to seek equality because inequality is a natural aspect of society. - Forced equality is unwise because it disrupts the natural, cooperative hierarchy among groups, causes social conflicts. - Forced equality undermines individual liberty which is of greater importance than equality. -
19 Classical Liberalism (John Locke) - individual freedom is the highest value - the role of government should be quite limited. -classical liberalism emerged as a reaction to European feudal order which was hierarchical and static.
20 The individual - John Locke describes individuals in a ‘state of nature’. - In the state of nature each person enjoys natural rights (life, liberty, property) - each person is a rational and responsible individual who is the best judge to know what is in his/her self interests. (rationality) - There is no higher value than individual freedoms. - individual ought to be allowed to exercise freedom of action.
21 Individual and Society: - individual should not be limited by social order in which tradition and hierarchy are dominant. - No one is forced to accept the authority of government - “Minimal government” (consent to be governed + laizzes faire) - “Invisible hand” - no principle justifies the limitation of individual freedom. - A Laissez faire economy guided by enlightened self interest is a necessity.
22 Equality: - equality before law (equality of opportunity) - -government should not attempt to create material equality because government action can undermine individual initiative and independence. - -Even in situations of hardship the government action is undesirable.
23 Socialism It is an ideology that aims to provide high quality, equal conditions of life for everyone with an active state assisting in the achievement of this goal. - Socialism has a vision through which economic and political power could be directed to benefit all groups in society. The Individual - Individuals are not naturally selfish and aggressive. -Individuals are social and caring (helpful) by nature. - Environment determines individual’s behavior.
24 Individual and Society - the most important value is the common good of society. - The government must have a crucial role in providing good material living conditions and security for people. - All groups and institutions including national organizations and the family must encourage attitudes of cooperation and service to the common good. - The government must take extensive or important roles in such areas as education, health care, employment, and shelter (protection) against economic uncertainty.
25 Equality - Both the organic hierarchical world of conservatism and self-serving (individualistic) world of classical liberalism create huge inequalities in material conditions, status and power. - These inequalities cause unhappiness, deep alienation and deep conflicts in the society. - The power and policies of state should be used to increase the material as well as social and political equality of all members of society.
26 Variations of Socialism 1)Marxist-Leninist Socialism (communism, revolutionary socialism): (Karl Marx and V. I Lenin) Three assumptions in creating a good society based on equality and social justice. A- First, the old socio-economic order will resist change by every means available. So change will require violent overthrow of the old order. B- Second, the socialist government should be powerful in order to perform its functions. The most important task of government includes the restructuring of economic system with public ownership of the major resources.
27 C- Third, a small leadership group (the communist party) whose members are loyal to socialist ideals must be in power. When relative equality is achieved, both the small leadership group and the powerful government can be eliminated. They will be replaced by a decentralized, citizen-run politics and efficient administration. -‘from each according to his/her ability to each according to his/her needs.’
28 2- Democratic Socialism (Thomas Moore, Robert Owen, Fabian socialists) * This variant of socialism also treats egalitarianism as its primary goal. * But it assumes that the changes can be affected by a government that comes to power and rules by democratic means. *A government that comes to power and rules by democratic means, not by violence, can establish socialism. *This government takes its authority from the voluntary consent of people by election.
29 *Gradual change towards socialism with the protection of individual freedoms. *The government might own some of the major economic resources and it strongly regulates much of the economic system. *But the government does not attempt to plan and control all aspects of economic system.
* One vision of democratic socialism was articulated by the British economist Sir William Beveridge who argued that the government should act as awelfare state implementing policies to overcome the effects of classical liberalism: a. Disease: by free health care service including doctors, hospitals, treatment and medicines. b. Want: by public provision of sufficient money to raise people above poverty. c. Squalor: by public publicly owned and subsidized housing affordable to all. d. ignorance: by universal, free public education e. Idleness: by government policies that insure meaningful work for everyone. 30
31 Fascism: *Its variant is called Nazism in Germany *This ideology places fundamental importance on the unity and harmony of government and society. Fascism is: * ultra-nationalist - Anti socialist, because it opposes the egalitarian ethic. -Anti-democratic, because it opposes multi-party politics. Skinheads, Ku Klux Klan (USA), National Front in France, Freedom Party in Austria.
32 OTHER POLITICAL isms: Anarchism: a political ideology based on a moral- political ideal of society without organized government, hierarchy and formal organizations. Authoritarianism: A system of government in which the political rights and interests of individuals are subordinated, usually by coercion, to the interests of the state. Pasifism: The belief that the highest political and social value is peace and the absence of violence.
33 Capitalism: An economic system dominated by market economy in which economic actors are generally free from state contraints. Collectivism: A doctrine that the individual’s actions should benefit some kind of collective organization such as the state, a tribe or the like rather than the individual herself. Corporatism: A political economy in which there is extensive economic cooperation between an activist state and a few groups that represent such major economic actors as large industry, organised labor, and farmers.
34 Environmentalism: The ideal that supports the planned management of natural resources or of total environment of a particulqar ecosystem in order to prevent exploitation, pollution, destruction or deplition of valuable natural resources. Feminism: A diverse social movement promoting equal rights and opportunities for women and men in their personal lives, economic activities and politics. Libertarianism: an extreme version of liberalism which advocate the right of the individuals to act freely and unconstrained by the state as long as they do bnot harm other people.