99 terms

Poli 107 Burdett Exam 3


Terms in this set (...)

Machiavelli's Significance to PT
political theory must be derived from reality rather than ideals and principal beliefs, purpose is NOT to make people good or to help them overcome weakness
Rulers who operate under the assumption that goodness will be returned delude themselves and jeopardize their states
Morality of Statesmen Machiavelli
the end justifies the means
Rejects Christian Morality, religion is just a tool to control or inspire his people
Machiavelli's Political Science
biased according to his desired ends, they reflect assumptions derived from common sense than scientific positivism. highly selective, unsystematic
Machiavelli's Basic Reasoning
rulers are compelled to act a certain way because of the nature of politics, which reflects human nature. Human nature is self-interested and egoistic
Human nature
constant, cannot be changed and states should not try to fix it
Legitimacy of the state/ruler
the ability to coerce citizenry, the ability to ward off threats from other states
Civic Virtue Machiavelli
rulers should instill this in their people, which will direct their energies to supporting the state. the law is a key tool in cultivating this
Skillful Rulers
use economy of violence, just enough coercion to ensure compliance
Ethic of Prudence and Restraint
guides the ruler toward the most expedient and least costly action to achieve one's objective. must act with this because they could otherwise do whatever they wish
people are a vital foundation for the power of the state: they contribute blood and treasure, and drive the economy
legitimate tool to shape citizen's minds
without the sword are but ideas, and they have a limited shelf-life
Hobbes' Aim
legitimize absolute monarchy
start with simple questions and then build only on what has been proven
physical world is a mechanical system that operates according to geometrical precision; the movements of bodies relative to each other determine the shape and order of things
Desire and aversion
sensations, people move on the basis of these feelings
Self-Preservation Hobbes'
body is programmed to preserve itself, natural right, universal, pervasive, and never-ending
the body compels us to pursue our self interests
Egoism Hobbes
shapes social interactions because all humans seek is to preserve themselves and acquire things they want: social life is dangerous and competitive
State of Nature
humans are constantly competing with each other, natural equality makes it difficult to create order, promotes warlike competition for things we want due to natural scarcity and fear
state of war, war is the dominant state of social relations in nature, only rational option. we must use our higher faculties to survive rather than better our lives
Human Nature
characterized by desire and reason
Reason Hobbes
helps regulate our actions and find better ways to obtain the things we desire
Self-preservation is best achieved under?
conditions of peace, which can only be ensured by civil society
Laws of Nature Hobbes
promote peace as the optimal condition for survival
Hobbes' view of Human Tendencies
peace requires mutual confidence in each other, but our absolute freedom in the state of nature makes this unlikely, people must realize this and voluntarily surrender their absolute freedom so that everyone may feel safe
passions tend to overwhelm reason
when people cannot trust one another, the solution is to take the power to decide outcomes away from them and give it to to this, who has the power to enforce and coerce
What transfers powers to the Leviathan?
social contract, may surrender a great deal of freedom to govern our affairs but gain greater opportunities to pursue interests that do not conflict with others
Can represent any form of government that secures peace and restores the laws of nature
Importance of force and fear
any social contract is useless without the capacity to punish those who transgress, fear of punishment makes men sociable and obedient
Hobbes and the Church
motive forces of human action are physical; religion is a reflection of fear when we cannot explain the causes of things
Look at the world through a purely rational lens: absolute freedom in the state of nature is a suboptimal state of existence
Hobbes' Advice
happiness, prosperity, even life require peace. peace requires Leviathan
Morality in the state of nature
our natural desires prime us for conflict, it is not solely the fault of the state of nature
Political Theory Inspired Locke's views
Moral and political significance, moral limits on the exercise of power, responsibilities of the ruler to the ruled, primary of law over government
Critical questions for Contract Theory
Why is a government necessary? Why sacrifice freedom? What form best addresses the problem of the state of nature?
Contract Theory
government power is limited and aims at the common good. all people are free and equal in the state of nature. reasonable people will live peacefully together
contract theory
Factor behind a state of war
war is not due to an innate aggressive instinct, though we do possess a right to self-preservation
In the state of nature we are each: executors of the laws of nature, the ultimate interpreters of our rights, and legitimate punishers of those who violate the laws of nature
factor behind a state of war
Causes of War
those who abandon reason and violate the laws of nature must be punished, when the right to self-preservation leads people to cross the line as judges, confused by passions and revenge
Locke was skeptical of what?
ability to exercise reason under any and all circumstances, especially when self-preservation is involved
When no authority exists, what does Locke believe is more likely?
war is not automatic whenever interests conflict, but when this is missing war becomes more likely
greater concentration of reasonable people, the less likely the state of war will emerge
Locke Government
people struggle with executing the laws of nature from bias, human interaction is troubled by inconveniences that diminish the enjoyment of our natural rights and make it harder to get along, serves our egoist desire to enjoy our natural rights
Locke Property
property is part of the natural order, promotes self-preservation and enjoyment of our rights, manifestation of our exceptional human traits
Potential Source of Conflict
individuals impede the efforts of others to acquire property, there is no rational limit on the accumulation of property; only a natural limit because things will spoil, creating waste
Importance of money
circumvents spoiling and enables further accumulation of property, though it also leads to inequality and relative poverty among people
Economy based on money unleashes human industriousness and enhances our ability to enjoy our rights and preserve ourselves
Flaw of State of Nature
no regulative or coercive power to ensure that natural duties and obligations are upheld
Civil Authority
acts on behalf of the individual to promote the preservation of all and punish transgressors
Original Compact
transfer of sovereignty from the individual to the civil authority, binds all who agree
Right to Resist
when a government fails, the people may invoke this, which is a natural right derived from self-preservation
government exercise powers beyond what was originally granted due to special circumstances
Vital Moral Locke
reasonable people and passionate people tend to prefer government over the state of nature, once the government is established, reasonable people and passionate people tend to want it to endure
Criticizing Locke
no empirical evidence offered to back up his argument, relies on common sense and sentimentality, never resolves tension between egoist impulse and naturally-derived impulse for the common good
Theory of Limited Government
The power of the government is limited to what it must do to protect our natural rights
theory of limited government
Objections to Enlightenment
left a legacy of potent social criticism, argued that science and the arts have not ushered in progress, leading us instead down a road of moral decrepitude
society has corrupted our innate goodness
Modern Human Condition
defined by alienation, which begets conflict, disappointment, and misery
Modern Hero
will seek true enlightenment through faith, sentiment, and will
War Against Natural law and egoism
society needs a genuine, sentimental bond between its members, bond is a product of shared language, history, and interest, not natural law
Egoism reflects social values, it does not exist in nature
War Against State of Nature and Natural Man
only support a writer's conclusions, no independent validity, imaginary
Main Thesis of Discourse on Inequality
self interest is not the driving motive of human action, and reason is not the natural faculty guiding social relations
people tend to reply on this when interacting with others
Noble Savage
rugged, independent, and moved by spontaneous urges rather than reason, simple needs and desires that are easily met by acting alone
Social Relations and Noble Savage
does not need much from other people, relationships are simplified. nothing pulling it into communities, no need to alter its condition because it is happy
state of nature is a state of war because people are fearful for their survival, fear is an incentive to submit to government
disagrees with hobbes, people are naturally compassionate, so there is no fear of each other - no need for Leviathan
has not secured human fulfillment or perfection through reason, science, and society. leaving the state of nature has not enhanced the enjoyment of our lives or made us better people
We are better off relying upon instinct and sentiment over reason
Rousseau's Attack
liberal theory ignores economic inequality, and liberal government maintains/increases gaps between classes
Liberal human is an unequal human
Social Contract: Role of Government
must guarantee freedom and equality through law, as well as the redistribution of wealth and civic education
Applying the General Will
it is possible for virtuous citizens to suppress their particular, selfish interests for the sake of duty and harmony. if not, then the government may step in to coerce conformity with this
Obstacles to Implementation
society is generally resistant to change
must be intimately aware of the character of a people yet above the problems that plague them, outsiders who must still convince the people to follow advice, uncommon
Pity makes the conditions of the state of nature hospitable even if there are no laws, morals, or virtues
society was compromised of a shifting balance between opposing forces that produce change through tension and conflict between them. history was not a random collection of events, and moved through a system of logic
Marx Revision
struggle between economic classes is the chief driver of history and society, material factors promote change - materialist conception of history
Historical Science
uncovering the pathways along which history moves and the factors that determine social change
identify the factors that shape society and determine society's main characteristics
Cause Society
forces of production, relations of production, political forms, ideas
mechanism sherbet thesis confront antithesis leading to synthesis
depict the existing social order as a force beyond human control, explains how the existing order benefits everyone, depicts the existing order as beneficial in a certain way
Ideology serves to obscure how society and history really work in order to maintain the existing order to the disadvantage of the under class
Abstract Level
help explain broad patterns in history
Practice Level
work reveals illusions, deprivation and oppression
capital owners and dominant classes. Power is unprecedented, leading to simplified social roles into a system of economic and political exploitation
workers and underclass. unlike any other underclass in history: they will not become oppressors once they overturn the system
Goals of Proletariats
abolish private property, the foundation of the modern capitalist system; rid property of its class character. doing this, will also rid society of the wage-laborer, exorcising dehumanizing nature of labor in the capitalist system
Trends of the Industrial Age
people are increasingly unsatisfied even as productive capacity grows, capitalist system is now global, increasing centralization and rationalization to feed to productive machine, increase productive output has not lead to greater human satisfaction we are only constantly perpetuating our own dissatisfaction with what we have
Communist Party
safeguard the movement's identity and ideology, represents the most advanced and resolute section of the working class
Modern Capitalist System is guilty of?
alienation, creates unnatural relationships between humans that deprive them of fulfillment and happiness