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Slide 2 WestCal Political Science 1 - US Government 2015-2016


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American Leadership Policy Studies (ALPS) is a for-college credit certificate program that teaches the fundamentals of American government. ALPS includes a custom tailored Political Science 1 – US Government course taught in partnership with accredited colleges to assure students receive college credit. The class is taught from the perspective of industry professionals who work in local/state/federal bureaucracies and/or political/union campaigns. This course program may operate at the site of a partnering college or instructor of record who licenses ALPS course materials from WestCal Academy or at WestCal Academy’s main campus in partnership with an accredited college. WestCal Academy

This slide covers the following:
1.The Irony Of Democracy
2. Elites and Masses
3. Democracy and the Survival of Democracy
4. Elitism Being The Most Realistic
5. Elite Theory Supporting Upward Mobility
6. Defining The Elite Consensus
7. Elitism And Public Policy
8. Mass Behavior And Mass Threats
9. Pluralism In A Democracy
10. Elitism Versus Pluralism

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Slide 2 WestCal Political Science 1 - US Government 2015-2016

  1. 1. West Coast American Leadership Academy Political Science 1 – US Government Fall 2015 / Spring 2016 – Power Point 2
  2. 2. Course Lecture Topics 1. The Irony Of Democracy 2. Elites and Masses 3. Democracy and the Survival of Democracy 4. Elitism Being The Most Realistic 5. Elite Theory Supporting Upward Mobility 6. Defining The Elite Consensus 7. Elitism And Public Policy 8. Mass Behavior And Mass Threats 9. Pluralism In A Democracy 10.Elitism Versus Pluralism
  3. 3. Elitism 1. Elitism does not promote elite rule 2. The rules of a society obstruct social progress of masses 3. Elites are needed due mass ignorance and apathy 4. Elites have two main goals: • Preserve and enhance their positions of power 5. Masses open to demagogues • When the economy is doing poorly • The country is fighting a war that it is losing 6. Demagogues come from the far left or far right 7. The Founding Fathers were against national referenda
  4. 4. Elitism Summarized (1) 1. 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
  5. 5. Elitism Summarized – 2 1. 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.
  6. 6. Elitism Summarized – 3
  7. 7. Elite 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.
  8. 8. Elite Information Flow – 2
  9. 9. Manipulation Example How can we protect ourselves against the threats of germs and toxins? Cold War America gears up to fend off threats from unconventional bioweapons. This is another example of how propaganda is utilized to foster fear within society.
  10. 10. Mirror Myth 1. News media outlets “decide what will be decided.” 2. Bias is exhibited throughout the mainstream and nontraditional news sources. 3. The news media stress that they are nonbiased since they only reflect reality. 4. Their choice of news subjects proves their bias.
  11. 11. Cinemocracy Various forms of propaganda have been utilized to drum up mass support to better assure elite legitimacy. Cinemocracy, the relationship between motion pictures and government is one way governmental elites sell their agenda. Enjoy this classic cartoon where “Popeye The Sailor Man” battles the Nazis.
  12. 12. Propaganda – Citizen Based Technological advancements have empowered common citizens with creative minds to produce their own propaganda. “The War On Terror” sparked a great deal of media distributed via the Internet. Elites no longer maintain total control over distribution. Many citizens may deem these video as offensive. Keep in mind that propaganda is meant to produce an “Us” versus “Them” mindset. Does this video have any impact over your belief system?
  13. 13. 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.
  14. 14. Pluralism & Spheres (2)
  15. 15. Pluralism Summarized (1) 1. 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.
  16. 16. Pluralism Summarized (2) 3. 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.
  17. 17. Pluralism Summarized (3) 5. 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.
  18. 18. Pluralism Summarized (4) 7. 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.
  19. 19. Elitism Versus Pluralism (1) 1. 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.
  20. 20. Elitism Versus Pluralism (2) 4. 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.
  21. 21. Cinemocracy “Hemp For Victory” is a classic example of Cinemocracy. This government propaganda film made during WWII touted the virtues of hemp. The film was aimed at farmers at a time when the military was facing a shortage of hemp. It shows how hemp is grown and processed into rope and other products. Why do you think hemp was later vilified?
  22. 22. Spheres Of Influence 1. Competing spheres of influence protect minority rights against majority factions. 2. Alliances will form among once competing spheres in order to “check” another sphere or individual elite base that acquires too much power. 3. Individual spheres of influence are always on the alert for one of their peers assuming too much power.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. Transitional Effects (1) 1. Competition produces great returns for humanity. 2. The result has been America progressing from a predominantly agricultural society to an industrial, nuclear, and information based society. 3. Innovation has led to advancements that have greatly influenced every aspect of society. 4. Society has benefited from constant advancements in energy harvesting, computers, communication, water purification, medicine, etc.
  25. 25. 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 for greater efficiency was it adopted as a societal norm. Those not willing to adapt became obsolete.
  26. 26. Stabilization 1. Sudden instability is the greatest threat to humanity. • It threatens to cause irreparable harm to the individual. 2. Elimination of one’s sustenance throws the individual into a state of war, because their survival is now threatened. 3. Nation-states consist of multiple spheres of interest in turn consisting of individual units consisting of people. 4. 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.
  27. 27. Spheres Of Influence 1. Spheres consist of individuals who share a common set of interests and/or belief systems. 2. 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
  28. 28. Elite Stages • Elites are the true minority. – True for all societies • Elites possess large capacities of power. • The example shows maximum education.
  29. 29. Pluralism Alliances 1. Alliances will form among once competing spheres in order to “check” another sphere or individual elite base that acquires too much power. 2. Certain situations may also call for spheres realize they share a common agenda with one or more of their respective peers. Individual Interdependent Spheres Government Business
  30. 30. Power Theory (1) 1. To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves • This is defined simply as “capacity of power.” 2. Achieving higher positions is dependent on various factors that may include: education; wealth; profession; charisma and other talents either developed or engrained from birth. 3. This “capacity of power” is not determined according to a single resource, ability or possession. 4. It is a combination of different variables that serve to make up the individual. 5. 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.
  31. 31. Power Theory (2) 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.
  32. 32. Power Theory (3) Power equals resources (capacity of power) times compliance squared, divided by force. Every accounting of power theory is taken into consideration in the construction of this formula. We have explored the contention that the pursuit of self-interest encourages man to engage in political behavior. This serves as the foundation for rational choice theory, which in turn has led us to power theory. One may argue that the pursuit of power maintains the never ending cycle of political: conflict; compromise; alliances; and wars.
  33. 33. Power Theory (4) Many have countered this argument with a direct assault on the statement that “there is no morality in politics”. These critics are both right and wrong. It is true that morality has no direct correlation with political science if the pursuit of self-interests and power resources maintains utmost priority. On the other hand they may be correct if one party sells their pursuit as a moral cause in order to achieve their agenda. For example, one may argue that good may come from conflict even if it leads to the destruction of a nation-state and the slaughtering of thousands or millions of people if the seed of democracy is planted and nurtured to maturity.
  34. 34. Transparency (1) America has grown from the days of a colony to major power, superpower, and hegemon, to its present empire status. American power is felt throughout the international community. Playing poker requires one to adopt what is commonly known as a “poker face”. Players will hide their true emotions, even faking their true intentions to catch other players off guard. Some have even taken to wearing sunglasses. The exact opposite tactic that the United States has adopted is “Transparency”. This involves disclosing all routes the nation- state will undertake with regards to all forms of public policy pertaining to its political, economic and military strategies.
  35. 35. Transparency (2) Alexander Hamilton initiated this policy as the chief financial philosopher of the United States even if he did not coin the term. Hamilton is regarded as the chief architect of our economic policy, which in turn was developed in order to win the confidence of domestic US business and financial elites as well as gaining the confidence of international business.
  36. 36. American Democracy – 1 Elitism in the United States is government by the few. Elites and the Masses in American Political Life. 1. Elites have power to decide who gets what, when, and how. 2. The lives of the masses are shaped by elite decisions. Democracy and the Survival of Democracy 1. Democracy is government by the people. 2. The survival of democracy is in the hands of elites. Evidence About Political Life Supporting Elite Theory 1. The Irony of Democracy explains American political life using elite theory. 2. American political history and contemporary political science provide evidence of life in a democracy shaped by elites.
  37. 37. Government Of The Few Italian political scientist Gaetano Mosca expressed the meaning of elitism. 1. In all societies there is a small ruling class and a more numerous ruled class. 2. French political scientist Roberto Michels stated the iron law of oligarchy. 3. American political scientist Harold Lasswell expressed that government is always by the few. 4. Elites are of society’s upper classes that control resources and societal institutions.
  38. 38. Fear Of Pure Democracy 1. The Founders feared that government by majority rule would threaten the freedom and property of minorities and individuals. 2. President Abraham Lincoln expressed the impracticality of mass government. 3. Representative democracy inevitably leads to elite government. 4. In Western democracies, elites have multiple institutional bases of power.
  39. 39. American Elite Consensus THE ELITE CONSENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES: 1. Liberty 2. Respect For Private Property 3. Limited Government NOTE: Elites argue over the “MEANS” and not the “ENDS” NOTE: Respect for private property does not necessarily mean safeguarding one’s home or personal possessions like a car. It really means providing adequate security to safeguard a person.
  40. 40. Elite Repression – 1 Elites primarily concern themselves with maintaining and/or enhancing their positions of power. This requires protecting the power system in which they dominate. Stability of the system is an issue of great concern. If the system is not stable then the mass class may no longer view elites as “legitimate. Mass activism inspires elite repression. Elites respond by limiting freedom and strengthening security, banning demonstrations, curtailing speech, etc. One can argue that sexual harassment laws may be a form of elite repression. Why is this so?
  41. 41. Elite Repression – 2 The majority of the mass class may actually favor elite repression to some degree, especially during times of national conflict (war). Shortly after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the internment of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast, which the Supreme Court upheld. Could it happen to another group of citizens again?
  42. 42. Political Messages Technology allows the common individual to cheaply create and distribute propaganda worldwide. Cartoons have a tendency to make light such terrible subjects that include warfare. “Little Saddam & Bush” and “Saddam On The Run” were produced and distributed prior to Persian Gulf War II. The intent was to increase mass support for a US led invasion of Iraq. Do these cartoons influence your personal opinion one way or the other? Would they have impact over political leaders? Why or why not?
  43. 43. Political Messages Technology allows the common individual to cheaply create and distribute propaganda worldwide. Cartoons have a tendency to make light such terrible subjects that include warfare. “Little Saddam & Bush” and “Saddam On The Run” were produced and distributed prior to Persian Gulf War II. The intent was to increase mass support for a US led invasion of Iraq. Do these cartoons influence your personal opinion one way or the other? Would they have impact over political leaders? Why or why not?
  44. 44. The First Elite Class – 1 The Founding Fathers were a truly exceptional elite 1. The Founding Fathers were wealthy, educated, talented, and resourceful. 2. The Founding Fathers established a survivable and stable federal government. 3. The Founding Fathers established a constitutional government not based on heredity.
  45. 45. The First Elite Class – 2 1. The elites were merchants, planters, lawyers, and bankers. 2. A small middle class was composed of successful farmers, shopkeepers, and independent artisans. 3. The great mass of White Americans was small farmers and workers in fishing, lumbering, and commerce. 4. The bottom of the white social structure consisted of indentured servants and tenant farmers. 5. Black slaves were an important component of the American economy considered property in the new democratic nation.
  46. 46. Priorities Of The Founders The Founding Fathers’ preferences for constitution forming were government, the economy, and nationalism. 1. The fundamental role of a republican form of government was to protect liberty and property and to suppress threats against dominant economic elites. 2. The strong central government was to open western land to speculation, protect shipping and manufacturing, and ensure the return of runaway slaves. 3. The politically and economically strong central government was to play a respectable role in the international community and exercise power in world affairs.
  47. 47. Formative Constitutional Elements The formative elements of a national elite were evident at the Annapolis Convention and the Constitutional Convention. 1. The prestige of George Washington qualified him to preside over the Constitutional Convention. 2. The Founding Fathers had extensive governing experience. 3. The Founding Fathers had attained high educational achievements and were legally trained political decision- makers. 4. The Founding Fathers formed a major part of the nation’s wealthy business and financial leadership. 5. The Founding Fathers viewed political, economic, and military issues from a nationalist perspective, looking beyond their state loyalties.
  48. 48. Government Consensus 1. Delegates agreed that the fundamental end of government is the protection of liberty and property. 2. Delegates believed that there was a contractual relationship between the people and their government, and that the ultimate legitimacy of government is popular sovereignty. 3. Delegates believed that a republican government was a representative, responsible, and nonhereditary government. 4. Delegates believed that dividing government power among separate branches capable of checking each other was the greatest assurance against tyranny. 5. Delegates believed that only a strong national government could exercise its will directly on the people.
  49. 49. Conciliation & Compromises The Connecticut compromise was that representation in the House of Representatives would be based on population and representation in the United States Senate would be equal with two senators from each state. 1. The compromises on slavery were that three-fifths of the slaves of each state would be counted for the purpose of representation and taxation, and that the slave trade would not end before 1808. 2. The compromise on tariffs was that exported articles should not be taxed and only the national government could tax imported articles. 3. The delegates agreed that there would be state, not national, qualifications on voting according to property holdings.
  50. 50. Elite Constitution The Constitution was an elitist document. 1. Elites enjoyed constitutional benefits from congressional levy of taxes, regulation of commerce, protection of money and property, creation of the military, protection against revolution, protection of slavery, limitation of states in monetary and business affairs. 2. The elite’s support for a strong national government was realized by constitutional arrangements such as national supremacy, republicanism, separation of powers and checks and balances, and judicial review. 3. Elites skillfully used an extraordinary procedure, limited participation, and a Bill of Rights to achieve constitutional ratification.