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POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

Topic 1 - POLITICAL THINKERS y y Plato's ideas on the construction and governance of a State. Aristotle's theories of systems of government.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE GREEKS y y y Pre-Greek political thought was based on a mixture of legend, myth, theology and allegory. Greek inventiveness lay in the discovery of the scientific study of politics. The taming of man and nature is through reason.

PLATO 427 -347 B.C. y y y Famous work The Republic. It applied systematic reasoning and critical inquiry to political ideas and institutions. A main assumption of The Republic was that the right kind of government and politics could be the legitimate object of rigorous, rational analysis, rather than the product of fear, faith, indolence and improvisation.

THE ROLE OF THE SOCRATES y Socrates was Platos first teacher and he is the chief figure in The Republic. Socrates trained Plato to endlessly search, through argument, for the reason that lies behind accepted ideas and institutions. Implicit in Plato and Socrates rationalism is the assumption, incompatible with the cult of violence that philosophical inquiry can lead to the good life.

y

PLATOS DIVISION OF THE SOUL y y y y Platos threefold division of the soul influenced his theory about the threefold division of society. The rational, the spirited and the appetitive were the three divisions. Rational was the highest, Spirited had the capacity to follow and assert the claims of reason, Appetitive harbored desires and emotions and was lowest.

POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

PLATOS DIVISION OF SOCIETY y y A numerically small aristocracy of rulers in command of a well-trained body of soldiers and administrators governing a third class or producers. The main difference between the ruler-philosophers and the producers was the difference between political wisdom and technical knowledge.

THE PHILOSOPHER-KING y y y y Plato was an able exponent of aristocratic theory and opposed democracy. The capacity to govern was possessed by a small class and can be transmitted by selective breeding. Prolonged education was reserved for this hereditary aristocratic ruling class only. Preparation of rulers was based on the pairing of the parents to ensure the highest physical and mental qualities of the offspring.

ARISTOTLE 384 322 B.C. y y y Aristotle was a student of Plato. One of Aristotles famous works was The Politics. Aristotle opens The Politics with two key ideas : (i) (ii) The state is a community; It is the highest of all communities.

ARISTOTLES VIEW OF THE STATE y y y He conceived of the State as natural in two ways. The evolution of social institutions from the family through the village to the State. The State was prior to the family and the village as the whole is prior to the part.

THE STATE AS THE HIGHEST FORM OF COMMUNITY y y y In the family, mankind is reproduced. In the village, elementary wants of human companionship are satisfied. In the State alone, people realize their entire selves and the highest part of themselves.

POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

ARISTOTLES FORMS OF GOVERNMENT Of true governments, Aristotle distinguishes three: (a) Monarchy (b) Aristocracy (c) Constitutional Government. Each form had its perversion, namely (a) Tyranny (b) Oligarchy (c) Democracy DEFINITIONS OF ARISTOTLES FORMS OF GOVERNMENT a) Monarchy - the best form with all virtue centered in one pre-eminent person. b) Aristocracy - government formed of the best men absolutely. c) Constitutional Government - the State that the citizens at large administer for the common interest. DEFINITIONS OF ARISTOTLES PERVERSIONS OF GOVERNMENT a) Tyranny - government by the ruler for the sole personal benefit of the ruler. b) Oligarchy - government by the wealthy few for their own class benefit. c) Democracy - government by the poor for the poor only. ARISTOTLES PREFERENCES y y y Like Plato, Aristotle put virtue of the rulers above consent of the ruled. Aristotle spoke of monarchy and aristocracy as the perfect state with monarchy, being better than aristocracy. In monarchy, virtue is centered, while in aristocracy it is diffused. Democracy was the best perversion.

THE RULE OF LAW y y y y y Plato searched for perfect justice. Aristotle conceded that man-made law could never attain perfect justice. Aristotle felt that the rule of law was preferable to that of any individual. In modern times, the rule of law is regarded as a pillar of democratic systems.

POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

Topic 2 THEORIES OF THE STATETHOMAS HOBBES, JOHN LOCKE, JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU

SCOPE OF LECTURE: a) Hobbes Leviathan b) Lockes Fiduciary Trust c) Rousseau General Will 1. THOMAS HOBBES (1588 1679) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. His most famous work The Leviathan (1651) Hobbes argues that all people are naturally equal in mind and body. This basic equality is the principal source of trouble and misery. People, in general, have equal faculties and they cherish similar hopes and desires. If two people cherish the same thing, which they both cannot have, they will become enemies and seek to destroy each other.

THE STATE OF NATURE y y y y y Hobbes view of the state of nature was philosophical and not historical. One had to envisage what life would be like in the state of nature. In the state of nature, there is no government and no law enforcement. In the state of nature, people are in a condition of war every man against every man. In such a condition, life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

TRANSITION TO THE CIVIL STATE y y y Hobbes pessimism about mankind in the state of nature is overcome by his belief that the fear of death will lead mankind out of the state of nature and into the civil state. The fear of death is the passion that inclines man to peace.The moderation created by the fear of death will not overcome the innate desire of people for power and glory, even in the civil state.

THE LEVITHAN y y y There must be a restraining power strong enough to keep mankind to its promise to maintain the peace in the civil state. Covenants without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all. If people were peaceable enough to observe covenants without a superior authority for their enforcement, there would be no need for government in the first place, because there would be peace without compulsion.

POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

THE SOCIAL CONTRACT y y y y y The social contract of Hobbes is made between subjects and subjects, not between subjects and sovereign. All power is transferred from subjects to Hobbes sovereign authority the Leviathan. Government is set up by a covenant that transfers all power and authority to the sovereign. Hobbes assigns to the State the task of maintaining order and security for the benefit of the citizens. Hobbes sovereign is a supreme administrator and lawgiver.

2. JOHN LOCKE (1632 1704) y y y y In Lockes Two Treatises of Government (1689), he starts out with the concept of the state of nature. Before government, people in their natural state were free and equal, because God did not give anyone superiority over anyone else. People are free in not being subject to another. People are not born into submission, except unto God.

THE STATE OF NATURE y y y y y Life in the state of nature was governed by natural laws. People are given the gift of reason by God at birth. Peoples possession of reason enables them to understand natural laws. Freedom is due to rationality and completely unreasonable behavior is not free, but is nonhuman. People are free in the state of nature, because of natural laws.

TRANSITION TO THE CIVIL STATE y y The law of nature, through the instrument of reason, defines what is right and wrong. However, it has three main disadvantages, which impel mankind to replace it. o It is unwritten and not sufficiently clear and could be ignored. o The absence of impartial judges could lead to everyone being a judge in their own cases. o The injured party is not always strong enough to execute the just sentence of the law. THE CIVIL STATE 1. The inconveniences of the state of nature place the natural rights of mankind in a vulnerable position. 2. The need for government arises to provide those things which nature lacks, in order to protect those things which nature gives.

POLITICS II GOVT 1001

MAUKESH BASDEO

SAT 10am 1pm

3. The need for government is not what makes it legitimate, but rather the mark of a civil society is the consent with which each individual resigns their own right to judge and execute the laws of nature and gives it to a political authority - the State. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT y y y y The social contract that people make with each other to form a civil society is born of both fear of injustice and the need to preserve the existence of morality in the affairs of mankind. Lockes social contract is meant to remove obstacles to the realization of the natural sociability of mankind and mutual respect for each others rights. Lockes social contract establishes a servant, rather than a master to do this the State. The creation of government is, therefore, a trust, which benefits the community and not the rulers.

3. JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712 1778) y y y y Rousseaus most famous work was The Social Contract (1762). The main concern of this work was the issue of political obligation. At the beginning of this work, he states, Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.Like his predecessors, he uses the concept of the state of nature and the social contract that puts an end to it.

THE STATE OF NATURE y y y