Ideas to Actions

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  • James C. Scott
  • Ideas to Actions

    1. 1. Ideas to Actions  Andrew Levin, MS  2/16/12
    2. 2. IdeologiesIdeologies are not static or set instone. They respond to political events, as much as they affect political events.
    3. 3. History of modern ideologies Classical liberalism rose in the Enlightenment. Important thinkers:  John Locke  Adam Smith  de Montesquieu  Rousseau  The framers of the Declaration of Independence  and, later, John Stuart Mill The U.S. is a classical liberal democracy.
    4. 4. Ideologies, continued Conservative thought arose in response to the excesses of the French Revolution of 1789. Important thinker: Edmund Burke. In the U.S., conservative thought also blended with classical liberalism.
    5. 5. Ideologies, continued In the 19th century, socialism, communism and anarchism were responses to the economic distresses brought by industrial capitalism.
    6. 6. Ideologies, continued Fascism and its most extreme form, Nazism, developed in the early 20th century as a reaction against the perceived failings of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and communism.
    7. 7. Ideologies, continued New ideologies emerge in response to new needs. Developing out of (and in reaction to) liberalism in late 20th century were:  Environmentalism  Postmodernism  Feminism
    8. 8. Classical liberalism – key ideas Human beings are rational and equal Small & limited government is best Government rules with the consent of the governed Individual rights important:  tolerance of dissent & freedom of conscience  free marketplace  ideal of political equality & democratic process
    9. 9. Absolute despotism once had to be accepted Before classical liberalism, the dominant idea was that God created political society, not people. Monarchs ruled through divine right. If people suffered under a bad king, it was God’s will. Disobeying a bad king was a sin; killing a bad king was regicide. Therefore, people had a duty to accept and obey (view of Robert Filmer).
    10. 10. John Locke View of the state of nature (pre-civil society)2. Human beings are rational, free & equal. They are capable of running their own lives.3. They have rights to life, health, liberty and possessions that no one should harm.4. Yet there are no mechanisms (no police, no courts, etc.) to ensure that the strong do not prey upon the weak.
    11. 11. John Locke, continued To secure their rights, therefore, people give up some freedom and form government. The government’s purpose is to protect rights. It is a type of contract. The people retain their sovereignty, and the government is just a mechanism to help them. The individual is superior to the government.
    12. 12. John Locke, continued If government fails to protect those rights and becomes tyrannical, then the contract is null and void. The government loses its legitimacy, and people are free to make a new government. [The Second Treatise on Government] Called a “right of revolution.”
    13. 13. Adam SmithHis famous work, The Wealth of Nations,provides the theoretical basis for capitalism.What makes him liberal?
    14. 14. Adam Smith, continued The emphasis on rationality, the ability of individuals to make decisions to advance their own self-interest. The idea that government should leave people alone to make their own economic choices. In fact, individual selfish choices would serve the common good through the invisible hand of the market.
    15. 15. Locke & Smith on Equality Their view was that people in the state of nature are equal in their rights, but not in their talents or their wealth. Economic inequality is not necessarily unfair, since it is based on people’s free choices. Freedom to make choices is a higher value than equality.
    16. 16. Evolution of liberalism The result was laissez faire capitalism. Terrible economic & social conditions for workers, including children. Government powerless to act. Led to rethinking liberalism. A good society might need more than right procedures. It also needed certain outcomes.
    17. 17. Evolution, continued The philosophy of Utilitarianism emerged. Governments should pursue policies that create the greatest good (or utility) for the greatest number of people. This utility calculation would provide a rational guideline for government policy.
    18. 18. Further developments After utilitarianism (which never caught on in the U.S.), liberalism developed into Social Justice or Modern Liberalism. Modern liberalism is not fearful of government power. Instead, government power can be a force for good, limiting the worst conditions of poverty, illiteracy, racism, exploitation, etc. The basis of progressive or liberal politics in the U.S.
    19. 19. An activist view of government Jane Addams (1860-1935)  Founded Hull House to serve the poor in Chicago in 1889. Pushed for laws to improve working and living conditions for the poor. Promoted government action in education, better sanitation, & women’s right to vote.
    20. 20. Evolution to modern liberalism Key thinker:J.S. Mill(1806-1873)He worked also withhis wife &intellectual partnerHarriet Taylor Mill(1807-1858)
    21. 21. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty English political theorist Wrote this book in 1859 Also wrote a book in favor of women’s rights He is considered a bridge between classical liberalism and modern liberalism
    22. 22. John Stuart Mill “The most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century. His views are of continuing significance, and are generally recognized to be among the deepest and certainly the most effective defenses of … a liberal political view of society. The overall aim of his philosophy is to develop a positive view of the universe …which contributes to the progress of human knowledge, individual freedom and human well-being.” From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    23. 23. On Liberty Mill argues that diversity in ideas and in conduct is a good thing, one that society ought to encourage, not discourage. He especially defends freedom of thought and discussion. "We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion, and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."
    24. 24. The value of freedom of thought The opinion may be true. We are not infallible. The opinion may be partly true, and the truth can only emerge after free and full debate. The opinion may be false, but debate is still valuable because it keeps our views from becoming dead dogma or rigid biases.
    25. 25. From “On Liberty” “The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively... in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection."
    26. 26. From “On Liberty” Society can interfere, but for one reason only: to stop harm to others. Society may protect itself and other individuals. But society may NOT interfere in order to protect us from our own bad choices. So, does a behavior affect others? Or only ourselves?
    27. 27. Mill and Foreign Policy Would Mill have agreed with U.S. military intervention to throw out a dictator and help establish a democracy? Or as is being discussed with Syria, arming opposition militias with heavy weaponry?
    28. 28. Mill and Foreign Policy“I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. So long as the sufferers by the bad law do not invoke assistance from other communities, I cannot admit that persons entirely unconnected with them ought to step in...”So probably NO [depends on the meaning of “invoke assistance.”]
    29. 29. Which brings us to Non-Western IdeologiesLike the American colonists, many “wars of liberation” are routed in Locke’s concepts of individual freedoms. E.g. Latin America, Indonesia
    30. 30. Liberalism, ConsequencesLand ReformRemoval of ReligionIntroduction of welfare-state policies (positive liberalism)
    31. 31. Conservatism in the Developing WorldWorry about effects of equality on the “social fabric”Worry about pace of changeLike the status quo or the perceived past
    32. 32. Authoritarianism maybe an outgrowth of ConservatismThe textbook suggests that the Peruvian tradition of authoritarianism has been a tradition since pre-colonial times.Even under democratic elections, Nigeria is still controlled by arranged presidential “power shifts” by a small oliogarchy.Is this protecting the “social fabric”?
    33. 33. Authoritariansim, cont.In Peru, there may be a case for this. President Fujimori’s strong-hand stemmed terrorism and allowed Peruvians to better have freedoms. However, you better not get in Fujimori’s way even as a bystander!In Nigeria, it is about providing just enough stability to continue cronyism among oliogarchical elite.
    34. 34. Conservatism-ExtremismGovernments and organizations may be fundamentalist in nature (sometimes a transformation of anti-colonial, anti-West sentiment) E.g. Iran, Taliban in Afghanistan, evangelical Christians in Uganda
    35. 35. Tempering ExtremismAnti-terrorism, Direct Attack E.g. China strict control of ‘dissidents’Negotiations E.g. Aceh – Indonesia Peace TreatyActivism through Democracy http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12298018
    36. 36. Socialism in the Developing WorldVery popular model after colonial independence…Remember it was the Cold War!Class-based struggle (Proletariat and the Bourgeosie) transformed into colonists against the colonized E.g. Indonesia, Angola, Vietnam, China
    37. 37. Democratic SocialismSocialism with a social agenda of education and literacy (1970s Africa)National in scope, little care about international revolutionAnd they did not like the World Bank nor the International Monetary Fund
    38. 38. Ujamma (Brotherhood) Villages of Tanzania in the 1970sForced resettlement of pastoralists and very rural subsistence farmers (5 million)Created to distribute education, clinics, clean water, electricity, and access to better farming equipmentAlso, meant to prevent Peru-style landlessnessCan you think of a case study country that tried collectivization? Do you think this worked?
    39. 39. It failedJames C. Scott in “See like a State” explains:Mono-crop required expert adviceFarmers focused on their other private holdingsLike China’s “Great Leap Forward” local official exagerated crop yields & did not share power
    40. 40. FacismBeyond Nazism, facism is an ideology of division and hierarchy.Human Rights can be violated for those deemed inferior and liberties denied for all but the small authoritarian elite.
    41. 41. Facism PropagandaIntegral to regimes such as Pinochet’s in Chile
    42. 42. AnarchistsProponents of voluntary cooperation and free associationPuerto Rican Luisa Capetillo used this increase women’s role in labor unionsDo not like the World Trade Organization nor the G-20
    43. 43. Political Culture-Civic CultureParticipantSubjectParochialBy Gabriel Almond & Sidney Verba
    44. 44. IdentitiesPopulist Movements, concept of nationalism Why might this be very common in China, harder to accomplish in Nigeria?
    45. 45. Identities, continuedChina is generally ethnically/linguistically homogenous.Nigeria is very heterogenousSo in these places other cleavages are also very important, such as…
    46. 46. Other IdentititesGeographyReligion: Secular or Theocracy Founders of Islamism, or political Islam, were often New Elite. AKP in Turkey is more interested in stronger democracy than religion. Taliban is extreme Islamism
    47. 47. Liberation IdeologyStarted in Peru by Gustavo Gutierrez Social Praxis over Orthodoxy Collective Sin Poverty is caused by structures, not individual “laziness or bad luck” and we must all do our part to help alleviate it.
    48. 48. GenderFeminism challenges notions of “correct” female and male behaviorMexico has long been a feminist leaderMotherist Activism in Brazil http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ebkmo1Ygz8Can a veil a political symbol?
    49. 49. Other IdentitiesUnion membershipParty AffiliationYou! (College Students)
    50. 50. New MediaThe Internet has been a tool of proponents of all the ideologiesFrom Arab Spring (positive liberalism) to the “Great Fire Wall” (authoritarian socialism)
    51. 51. Focus on Weapons of the WeakMusic/Television Fela Kuti: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU-dV7LZ4jo Youssou N’Dour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU9x0PK9Re8& http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU9x0PK9Re8 Telenovelas have even been part Brazilian’s women’s efforts for reproductive rights (N.G.)
    52. 52. Weapons of the Weak, cont.Rumors Mandate of Heaven: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjqdq-GG-RQSelf-Mutilation/Suicide?Suicide-Gate, from a Chinese perspective:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWFsMlRyJ7Q

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