Classification of political ideasPresentation Transcript
Classification of Political Ideas
The study of Politics is the study of: Politics Power – the capacity to coerce Authority – legitimate leadership based upon consent
Classification of Political Ideas Left and right wing Human nature Origins and role of state Power
Left and right wing
Left and Right Wing Background First used in the political sense during the French revolution in 1789. Parliamentary deputies seated in a semi-circle, from the most pro-monarchy, backward looking and reactionary on the right to the most republican (anti-monarchy), forward-looking and radical on the left.
Left and Right Wing ‘ Right wing’ applies to those who support and defend the existing (the status quo) ‘ Left wing’ applies to those who challenge the existing system and seek progressive changes. WHAT DO LEFT AND RIGHT MEAN?
Reactionary and Revolutionary A shift to the right is called reactionary . A shift to the left is called reformist, radical or revolutionary , depending on the degree and speed of change. WHAT DO REACTIONARY AND REVOLUTIONARY MEAN?
Nationalism and Feminism Many political doctrines, such as nationalism and feminism, cannot be categorised on the left/ right spectrum because they attach themselves to the wider political ideologies.
Left and Right Wing Communism and left-wing anarchism Socialism Liberalism Traditional conservatism Fascism and Nazism Right-wing anarchism Left wing Public economic ownership and equality Right wing Private economic ownership and hierarchy
Human nature Most, but not all, political theories can be classified as either pessimistic or optimistic about human nature and people’s innate capacity to reason and act cooperatively. WHAT ARE THE 2 WORDS WE OFTEN ASSOCIATE WITH VIEWS OF HUMAN NATURE?
Pessimistic and Optimistic views of Human nature Pessimistic views of human nature believe in a strong state and government to control irrational individuals. Optimistic views of human nature believe that man has the capacity to control himself, and therefore advocate limited or no state and government.
Left-wing, collectivist theories
Humans have a social core
Humans work better as cooperative groups
Humans are essentially generous
But that human nature is influenced strongly by the environment.
Humans are rational, but in a selfish way.
Right-wing, organic theories Have profound doubts about human rationality and human goodness.
Views of Human Nature Left-wing anarchism Communism/Socialism Liberalism Neo-liberalism Right-wing anarchism Traditional conservatism Neo-conservatism Fascism and Nazism CAN YOU MATCH VIEWS TO IDEAS?
Origins and role of the state
The state and government The state is the formal, abstract, permanent, sovereign political power over a given territory. It usually is made up of a legislature, executive and judiciary. The government is the temporary agent of the state. It is the political authority and personnel responsible for implementing the aims and functions of the state. It is made up of institutions such as the civil service, armed forces, courts, police as well as politicians. WHAT ARE THEY?
The organic theory Likens the state to a living organism, such as a tree. Each part has its different place and function and is dependant on every other part. The organic theory believes there is a natural, harmonious hierarchy within the state i.e. inequality is inevitable and desirable.
The mechanistic theory Likens the state to a machine, devised by humans to serve themselves, with its parts equal and interchangeable. The individual is more important than the group or state, and the state exists to serve the individual.
The political and the social A distinction is often made between the political and the social realms; that is between the state as a sovereign power and society as the community of people within and under the state.
Power Who should govern? Democracy Autocracy Oligarchy
WHAT DO AUTOCRACY, OLIGARCHY AND DEMOCRACY MEAN?
Rule by the few: oligarchy Aristocracy - rule by the ‘best’. Could be noble or most wealthy. Plutocracy – rule by the wealthy. Meritocracy – rule by the most skilled, trained and able. Timocracy – rule by property holders. Technocracy – rule by technical experts, scientists and engineers. Gerontocracy – rule by the aged, experienced and wise. Bureaucracy – rule by professional administrators.
Organic theories Organic theories and those with a pessimistic view of human nature, advocate elitist power structures. WHO and WHY?
Egalitarian theories Egalitarian theories and those with an optimistic view of human nature, advocate rule by the many. WHO and WHY?
Mechanistic theories Mechanistic theories are ambivalent about democracy. WHO and WHY?
The Graph Model
The graph model The left/right classification is economic – it separates egalitarians from elitists. WHAT DOES IT NOT SHOW?
The graph model The graph model with a strong state/weak state axis is useful therefore, because it produces a more complex and sophisticated model of political ideas that the one-dimensional left/right classification.
Authoritarian (strong/total state) Libertarian (weak/no state) Right (private economic ownership and hierarchy ) Left (public economic ownership and equality )
Authoritarian (strong/total state) Libertarian (weak/no state) Right (private economic ownership and hierarchy ) Left (public economic ownership and equality ) Stalinism Democratic socialism Fascism/Nazism Neo-conservatism Traditional conservatism Marxist theory Left-wing anarchism Social democracy Liberalism Neo-liberalism Right-wing anarchism