Political Science 1 - Introduction To Political Science - Power Point #1
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 1 US Government – Spring 2013 Power Point Presentation #1
COURSE LECTURE TOPICS• Defining Political Science• Theory Defined• Rational Choice• Elitism & Pluralism• Spheres of Influence• Manipulation• Interdependency Theory• Power Theory• Transparency
WELCOME TO CLASS!New semesters bring varioushiccups for everyone. This also goesfor your instructor. We are alladjusting to new situations, courseschedule conflicts and otheradjustments. This course utilizesvarious methods to deliverinformation. Many of our materialsare media driven. You will find manyto be humorous, thought provoking ,or even interesting. This first clip ispresented merely for fun. It is titled“Welcome To School”.
POLITICAL MESSAGEAll citizens are allowed toauthor campaign rhetoric inorder to influence public policy.Here is an example fromCampchaos.com. The purposemay be solely comical withoutany political purpose. However,we must remember that allindividual actors are part of thesystem. All actions influence“The System”.
WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE? - 1• Political science is a branch of the social sciences • Just like Sociology• Each branch is interested in individual and group behavior • Fundamental difference is the foundational theory• Sociologists are biased towards elitism• Political scientists are biased towards pluralism • Elite theory is still utilized in the political sciences • In contrast with pluralism• Political scientists examine influences of political behavior • Result of competing interests • End result of conflict and compromise• Sociologists looks at individual behavior • According to elite influence in general
ROLE OF THEORY - 1• Everyone uses theory • Whether they know it or not• Many of us devise our own theories • Through childhood socializations • Up to adulthood• Disagreements over basic theories• Foundation of social sciences • Elitism / Pluralism / Rational Choice Theory also helps researches to classify certain variables. It may be thought of as
ROLE OF THEORY - 2• Foundation of political science • Pluralism / Rational Choice Theory• Think of theory as a pair of sunglasses • Filtering unwanted information • Helps us “see” the truth
EXAMPLE OF THEORY - REALISM• Human nature is the predominant factor • In a nation-state’s foreign policy • These policies are focused upon self-interest • The inherent motive for man is survival • Applied policies are determined according to political determinations• Considered to be a synonym for power politics • Construed as pragmatic and wrought with simplicity • Abrupt philosophy focused on the inherent evils of mankind The following clip is from the movie “Failsafe”. Walter Matthau plays the role of NationalSecurity Advisor who applies rational choice and realist theory to explain why striking at the Soviet Union is necessary to survive.
RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY - 1• What is the primary goal of the individual? • The answer may be summed up in one word: Survival. • The foundation for all action • Individual parties make decisions based on rationality • Assuming that individuals base all decisions on self-interest• Requirements to make a rational choice • Perfect information • Balancing our emotions• Rational choice in one sentence: • “Decisions are based on self-interest…as we define our self-interest to be.”
RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY - 2 Who Is Acting Rationally In This Example?We have a nun and a real-estate mogul. The nun gives up allher worldly possessions and dedicates herself to helpingthose in poverty. Her justification may be great rewards in theafterlife. The real-estate mogul does not believe in an afterlife,but does believe in making as much money as , spending it allon an overly extravagant and abusive lifestyle. Who is actingrationally? Both individuals are for they are fulfilling their self-interest…as they define their self-interest to be.
ELITISM• Elitism does not promote elite rule• The rules of a society obstruct social progress of masses• Elites are needed due mass ignorance and apathy• Elites have two main goals • Preserve and enhance their positions of power• Masses open to demagogues • When the economy is doing poorly • The country is fighting a war that it is losing• Demagogues come from the far left or far right• The Founding Fathers were against national referenda
ELITISM SUMMARIZED - 11. Society is divided between the powerful few and the majority weak.2. Governing few are not typical of the governed masses. Elites are not drawn mostly from the upper class socioeconomic section of society.3. Non-elites have to be given the opportunity to rise up to elite positions. The masses have to believe that the process is continuous or revolution may occur. Barriers prevent finite elite positions from being overtaken by unqualified individuals. This is a rat and cheese scenario. Sufficient Cheese Sufficient Cheese Lack Of Cheese
ELITISM SUMMARIZED - 21. Elites share a common belief on the basic values of the elite. Any change of public policy will be incrementally slow rather than revolutionary.2. Elites may base their actions either on narrow, self- serving motives and risk undermining mass support, or they may initiate reforms, curb abuse, and undertake public-regarding programs to preserve the system.3. Active elites are not typically influenced from apathetic masses. Elites influence masses more than the masses influence elites.
ELITISM / INFORMATION FLOW - 1• Information flows from opinion elites down to opinion leaders who are looked to the public for information• News is first “created” by opinion elites and then sent to opinion leaders to help disseminate the information• Those at the very top of the elite network decide what information is deemed as necessary to offer society• These elites may be news makers themselves or in charge of large media corporations• Opinion leaders may be thought of as journalists, news anchors, expert pundits or even celebrities who possess legitimacy among those in society.
MANIPULATION EXAMPLEGovernmental elites find itnecessary to manipulate themasses if doing so serves avested interest. Here is a greatexample of how a safety videocan serve as a tool formanipulating the masses fromchildhood. Who does themonkey represent?
MIRROR MYTH – 1• News media outlets “decide what will be decided”• Bias is exhibited throughout the mainstream and nontraditional news sources• The news media stress that they are nonbiased since they only reflect reality
MIRROR MYTH – 2• Their choice of news subjects proves their bias• All news is biased
WHAT WE CALL THE NEWS - 1Securing market share is vital,for without it, the major mediawould lose advertisingrevenue. It is really our faultthat the major news networkswillfully focus on sex, violenceand various negative pieces.Enjoy this video, “What WeCall The News.”
PLURALISM & SPHERES – 1• Pluralism insures that groups are restricted from single handedly influencing public policy• cross-cutting cleavages would form, as groups seek compromise with others to build coalitions that would succeed in affecting change• Minorities are protected from an overwhelming majority• Majority power-holders are essentially “checked” • Cross-cutting cleavages balance against overwhelming forces
PLURALISM & SPHERES – 2• Pluralism insures that groups are restricted from single handedly influencing public policy• cross-cutting cleavages would form, as groups seek compromise with others to build coalitions that would succeed in affecting change• Minorities are protected from an overwhelming majority• Majority power-holders are essentially “checked” • Cross-cutting cleavages balance against overwhelming forces
PROPAGANDA – CITIZEN BASED“The War On Terror” sparked agreat deal of media distributed viathe Internet. Elites no longermaintain total control overdistribution. These videos aremeant to produce an “Us” versus“Them” mindset.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED – 11. Society is divided into numerous groups with all making demands on government while none of the participants are able to dominate all decision-making.2. Citizens do not directly participate in decision-making, but they are able to vote for leaders to make decisions through a process of bargaining, accommodation, and compromise.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED – 23. Competition among leadership groups helps protect individuals’ interests. Countervailing centers of power – for example, competition among business leaders, labor leaders and government leaders – can check one another and keep each interest from abusing its power and oppressing the individual. Each of these individual “spheres of influence” allies themselves with other spheres that possess similar goals. See “Spheres Of Influence”.4. Individuals may not participate directly in decision-making, but they can exert influence through active participation in organized groups, political parties and elections.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED – 35. Leadership groups are open; new groups can form and gain access to the political system.6. Political influence in society is unequally distributed, but power is widely dispersed. Access to decision making is often determined by how much interest people have in a particular decision. Because leadership is fluid and mobile, power depends on one’s interest in public affairs, skills in leadership, information about issues, knowledge of democratic processes, and skill in organization and public relations.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED – 47. Multiple leadership groups operate within society. Those who exercise power in one kind of decision do not necessarily exercise power in others. No single elite dominates decision making in all issues.8. Public policy does not necessarily reflect majority preference, but is an equilibrium of interest interaction – competing interest group influences are more or less balanced, and the resulting policy is therefore a reasonable approximation of society’s preferences.
ELITISM VERSUS PLURALISM – 11. Elitism asserts that the most important division in society is between elites and masses.2. Elitism emphasizes the importance to leaders to maintain their position of power – Pluralism emphasizes this devotion to their group interests.3. Elitism asserts that mass membership of organizations rarely exercises influence on elite leadership. That these organizations have no democratic processes and are controlled by leaders who operate for their own self-interest. Pluralists offer no evidence that the giant organizations represent the interests of their individual members.
ELITISM VERSUS PLURALISM – 24. Elitism takes into account of all power holders – private and public. Pluralism focuses on governmental leaders and those who interact directly with them.5. Elitism emphasizes shared characteristics of leaders on top of their interest in preserving the social diversity among leaders, differences in backgrounds, ideologies, and viewpoints. Pluralism also argues that decisions made by leaders are a product of their role perception, institutional constraints, interest group pressure, public opinion, etc. Elitism focuses on leadership consensus – Pluralism focuses on elite conflict.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE• Competing spheres of influence protect minority rights against majority factions• Alliances will form among once competing spheres in order to “check” another sphere or individual elite base that acquires too much power• Individual spheres of influence are always on the alert for one of their peers assuming too much power.
COMPETING SPHERES• Competing Spheres of Influence essentially check each other within the political system• This is essential for the protection of minority rights especially as it pertains to majority factions• Elites are those who hold positions of power in society• Our Founding Fathers considered the protection of minority rights as those few individuals who retained control over society
TRANSITIONAL EFFECTS – 1• Competition produces great returns for humanity• The result has been America progressing from a predominantly agricultural society to an industrial, nuclear, and information based society• Innovation has led to advancements that have greatly influenced every aspect of society.• Society has benefited from constant advancements in energy harvesting, computers, communication, water purification, medicine, etc.
TRANSITIONAL EFFECTS – 2 SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT Every significant discovery has in turn greatly influenced societal norms of behavior Masses today view internet communications as a vital necessity. It is nearly impossible to operate in a complex society without easy access to the web. The majority of masses did not have this belief fifteen years ago. Only society determining that the internet allowed forgreater efficiency was it adopted as a societal norm. Those not willing to adapt became obsolete.
STABILIZATION• Sudden instability is the greatest threat to humanity • It threatens to cause irreparable harm to the individual• Elimination of one’s sustenance throws the individual into a state of war, because their survival is now threatened• Nation-states consist of multiple spheres of interest in turn consisting of individual units consisting of people• Survival is the primary goal of man and nation-states • The primary concern is that of stability • This philosophy has prevented a major war for over 70 years • Instability is the primary cause of all conflict
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE• Spheres consist of individuals who share a common set of interests and/or belief systems• Individual participants are the absolute micro-level • Family, work, school, political parties, religion, etc. • The individual member serves as the conduit between spheres • Various social interactions influence individual behavior
ELITE STAGES• Elites are the true minority • True for all societies• Elites possess large capacities of power• The example shows maximum education
PLURALISM ALLIANCES Interdependent Spheres• Alliances will form among once competing spheres in order to Government Business “check” another sphere or individual elite base that acquires too much power• Certain situations may also call for Individual spheres realize they share a common agenda with one or more of their respective peers
POLITICAL MESSAGEThose activists who work withboth major parties are eithermuch more liberal orconservative than the averagetypical voter. Democraticactivists are more liberal andRepublican activists are moreconservative.
POWER THEORY – 1• To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves • This is defined simply as “capacity of power”• Achieving higher positions is dependent on various factors that may include: education; wealth; profession; charisma and other talents either developed or engrained from birth• This “capacity of power” is not determined according to a single resource, ability or possession• It is a combination of different variables that serve to make up the individual• This is just like a battery consisting of energy resources drawn upon when it comes time to draw power in order to achieve a set objective.
POWER THEORY – 2• To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves • This is defined simply as “capacity of power”• Achieving higher positions is dependent on various factors that may include: education; wealth; profession; charisma and other talents either developed or engrained from birth• This “capacity of power” is not determined according to a single resource, ability or possession• It is a combination of different variables that serve to make up the individual• This is just like a battery consisting of energy resources drawn upon when it comes time to draw power in order to achieve a set objective.
POWER THEORY – 3 Like a battery powering a flashlight so does one’s individual “capacity of power”serve to assist one in achieving a set goal or in this case influencing or affecting political behavior to maintain, expand or protect one’s standing in order to survive in society.
POWER THEORY – 4Power equals resources (capacity of power) times compliancesquared, divided by force. Every accounting of power theory istaken into consideration in the construction of this formula. Wehave explored the contention that the pursuit of self-interestencourages man to engage in political behavior. This serves asthe foundation for rational choice theory, which in turn has led usto power theory. One may argue that the pursuit of powermaintains the never ending cycle of political: conflict; compromise;alliances; and wars.
POWER THEORY – 5Many have countered this argument with a direct assault on thestatement that “there is no morality in politics”. These critics areboth right and wrong. It is true that morality has no directcorrelation with political science if the pursuit of self-interests andpower resources maintains utmost priority. On the other handthey may be correct if one party sells their pursuit as a moralcause in order to achieve their agenda. For example, one mayargue that good may come from conflict even if it leads to thedestruction of a nation-state and the slaughtering of thousands ormillions of people if the seed of democracy is planted andnurtured to maturity.
TRANSPARENCY – 1America has grown from the days of a colony to major power,superpower, and hegemon, to its present empire status. Americanpower is felt throughout the international community. Playingpoker requires one to adopt what is commonly known as a “pokerface”. Players will hide their true emotions, even faking their trueintentions to catch other players off guard. Some have even takento wearing sunglasses. The exact opposite tactic that the UnitedStates has adopted is “Transparency”. This involves disclosing allroutes the nation-state will undertake with regards to all forms ofpublic policy pertaining to its political, economic and militarystrategies.
TRANSPARENCY – 2Alexander Hamilton initiated thispolicy as the chief financialphilosopher of the United Stateseven if he did not coin the term.Hamilton is regarded as the chiefarchitect of our economic policy,which in turn was developed in orderto win the confidence of domesticUS business and financial elites aswell as gaining the confidence ofinternational business.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE – 1America possesses the mosttechnologically advancedmilitary hardware. This videodemonstrates one of the firstdeployable force fields forlight armored vehicles(LAVs). Welcome to the 21stCentury.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE – 2America is not the only nationthat utilizes Transparency. Thisvideo shows the Israeli DefenseForce demonstrating a new typeof gun that can shoot aroundcorners. A brief interview with theinventor of this amazing weaponfollows the demonstration.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE – 3Some forms of transparency areboth political and military innature. The military sponsoredthe development of the MassiveOrdinance Aerial Burst (MOAB). Itis commonly referred to as “TheMother Of All Bombs”. It is thelargest conventional bomb in ourarsenal. There is a psychologicalcomponent to this bomb. Amushroom cloud forms followingsuccessful detonation. It lookssomewhat like a nuclear devicebeing detonated.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE – 4Javelin is a fire-and-forget missilewith lock-on before launch andautomatic self-guidance. Thesystem takes a top-attack flightprofile against armored vehicles(attacking the top armor which isgenerally thinner) but can alsotake a direct-attack mode for useagainst buildings or fortifications.This missile also has the ability toengage helicopters. Javelin issupplied by Raytheon/LockheedMartins JAVELIN Joint Venture.