Chapter One Notes
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PLS 101: Chapter One Dilemmas of Democracy The Globalization of American Government: Globalization the increasing interdependence of citizens and nations across the world. Government the legitimate use of force to control human behavior; also, the organization or agency authorized to exercise that force. o This includes firearms, imprisonment, and execution. o Within specified geographical boundaries. o Term is also used to refer to the body authorized to exercise that power. Peace of Westphalia (1648) ended Thirty Years’ War in Europe. o Since this, international relations and diplomacy have been based on the principle of national sovereignty. o National Sovereignty a political entity’s externally recognized right to exercise final authority over its affairs. Each national government has the right to govern its people as it wishes, without interference from other nations. League of Nations and United Nations were supposed to introduce supranational order into the world, but they respected national sovereignty as the guiding principle of international relations. U.N. Charter, Article 2.1, states, “The Organization is based on the principle of sovereign equality of all its Members.” National Sovereignty is threatened under globalization. o Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s military repression of political protests in 2011. His actions prompted NATO to intervene and establish a no-fly zone over Libya. Ignoring Gadhafi’s claims that NATO violated Libya’s sovereignty, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi and other Libyan officials for crimes against humanity. Gadhafi was killed within weeks, and the rebels took over the government. Global forces generate pressure for international law. o Our government is worried about the trend of holding nations accountable to international law. o In 2002, the U.S. “annulled” its signature to the 1998 treaty to create International Criminal Court that would define and try crimes against humanity. It opposed international court because: U.S. soldiers stationed abroad might be arrested and tried in court. The death penalty, practiced in most of the U.S. but abolished by more than half the countries in the world and all countries in the European Union. o There is a concerted campaign across Europe to force the sovereign U.S. to terminate capital punishment. The Purposes of Government: All governments require their citizens to surrender some freedom as part of being governed. Government has served two major purposes: o Maintaining order preserving life and protecting property Oldest objective in government. Order established ways of social behavior. Establishing the rule of law to preserve life and protect property. th Thomas Hobbs (17 century English philosopher) preserving life was the most important function of government. Without rules, people would live like predators do, stealing and killing for their personal benefit. Somalia 1991, the government and warlords feuded over territory. Today, the government controls only a portion of the capital, Mogadishu, and Somali pirates seize ships off its short with impunity. John Locke (English Philosopher) Two Treatises on Government: wrote that the protection of life, liberty, and property was the basic objective of government. His thinking strongly influences the Declaration of Independence which identifies “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as “unalienable Rights” of citizens under government. Not everybody believes that the protection of private property is a valid objective of government. Karl Marx (German Philosopher) rejected the private ownership of property used in the production of goods or services. These ideas form the basis of communism. Communism a political system in which, in theory, ownership of all land and productive facilities is in the hands of the people and all goods are equally shared; the production and distribution of goods are controlled by and authoritarian government. o Gives the ownership of all land and productive facilities to the people – in effect, to the government. o Providing public goods Governments can tax citizens to raise funds to spend on public goods. Public Goods benefits and services, such as education, parks, and sanitation that benefit all citizens but are not likely to be produced voluntarily by individuals. Benefit all citizens but are not likely to be produced by the voluntary acts of individuals. (Road building) Many Americans believe public goods and services should be provided by private business operating for profit. o Some have pursued a third and more controversial purpose: promoting equality. Gained prominence in the 20 century. European governments pioneered extensive programs to improve life of the poor. Key here is the government’s role in redistributing income: taking from wealthy and giving to the poor. (Marx) Charity is high in Western religions; using the power of state to support the poor, does not. Minimum wage: congress increased it to $7.25 only because the Democrats made a deal on funding the war in Iraq. A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Government: Concept generalized idea of a class of items or thoughts. Five Concepts that figure prominently in political analysis: o Concepts that identify the values pursued by government: Freedom Order Equality o Concepts that describe models of democratic government: Majoritarian democracy Pluralist democracy The Concepts of Freedom, Order, and Equality. o Freedom and equality has a positive connotation. o Order has a negative connotation. o Freedom: Franklin D. Roosevelt used these in a speech before WWII. Freedom Of an absence of constrains on behavior, as in freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Freedom to do something. Freedom is synonymous with liberty. Freedom From immunity, as in freedom from something undesirable or negative, such as freedom from fear or freedom from want. o Order: When order is viewed as the narrow sense of preserving life and protecting property, most citizens would concede in the importance of maintaining order. When order is viewed in the broader sense of preserving the social order, people are more likely to argue that maintaining order is not a legitimate function of government. Social Order refers to established patterns of authority in society and to traditional modes of behavior. Social order can change: bathing suits now vs. a century ago. Police Power the authority of government to maintain order and safeguard citizens’ safety, health, welfare, and morals. State governments use this to protect established order. The national government only has powers granted by the Constitution and lacks a general police power. However, the national government can act on individuals if the action can be traced to a constitutionally delegated power. o 1932, Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act, allowing the FBI to apprehend kidnappers. This law was based on the constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, given that kidnappers usually demand ransom by mail or telephone (instruments of interstate commerce) and might cross state boundaries. After September 11 , congressed passed new laws increasing government’s power to investigate suspicious activities by foreign nationals in order to deter terrorism. Full body scanners after underwear bomber in 2009. Most governments are inherently conservative tend to resist social change. Some governments aim to radically restructure the social order. o Equality: Political Equality equality in political decision making: one vote per person, with all votes counted equally. Through occupation or wealth, some citizens are more able than others to influence political decisions. Social Equality equality in wealth, education, and status. Promoting Social Equality: Providing Equal Opportunities o Equality of Opportunity the idea that each person is guaranteed the same chance to succeed in life. U.S. Constitution prohibits titles of nobility, and owning property is not a requirement for holding public office. Ensuring Equal Outcomes. o Equality of Outcome the concept that society must ensure that people are equal and governments must design policies to redistribute wealth and status to achieve economic and social equality. o Some link equality of outcome with the concept of government-supported rights. Rights the benefits of government to which every citizen is entitled. The government should guarantee its citizens adequate (if not equal) housing, employment, medical care, and income. Two Dilemmas of Government. o Stem from maintaining order and promoting equality. o Government cannot pursue either without sacrificing individual freedom. o Clash between freedom and equality forms the modern dilemma of government. o The Original Dilemma: Freedom vs. Order Originates in the very meaning of government as the legitimate use of force to control human behavior. The original purpose of government was to protect life and property, to make citizens safe from violence. 40 % of people are afraid to walk alone at night. U.S chooses freedom over order while communist governments choose order over freedom. o The Modern Dilemma: Freedom vs. Equality These two values clash when governments enact policies to promote social equality. During the 1970s, the courts ordered the busing of schoolchildren to achieve equal proportions of blacks and whites in public schools. Increased educational equality, but impaired freedom of choice. During the 1980s, some states passed legislation that went beyond giving men and women equal pay for equal work to the more radical notion of pay equity. During the 1990s, Congress prohibited the discrimination in employment, public services, and public accommodations on the basis of physical or mental disabilities. Businesses with 20+ employees could not pass otherwise qualified disabled person in employment or promotion. 2000-2010, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Signed by President Bush in 2008, it prohibited companies from discriminating in hiring based on an individual’s genetic tests, genetic tests of a family member, and family medical history. Ideology and the Scope of Government o Political Ideology a consistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government. How far should the government go to maintain order? o Totalitarianism a political philosophy that advocates unlimited power for the government to enable it to control all sectors of society. The belief that government should have unlimited power. Controls all sectors of society: business, labor, education, religion, sports, the arts, and others. o Socialism a form of rule in which the central government plays a strong role in regulating existing private industry and directing the economy, although it does allow some private ownership of productive capacity. Pertains the government’s role in the economy. Scope of government extends to ownership or control of the basic industries that produce goods and services. Democratic Socialism a socialist form of government that guarentees civil liberties such as freedom of speech and religion. Citizens determine the extent of government activity through free elections and competitive political parties. o Capitalism the system of government that favors free enterprise (privately owned business operating without government regulation). Supports free enterprise – private business operating without government regulations. The U.S. is decidedly a capitalist country, more so than most Western nations. o Libertarianism a political ideology that is opposed to all government action except as necessary to protect life and property. Believe that social programs that provide food, clothing, and shelter are outside the proper scope of government. Oppose any government intervention in the economy. Laissez Faire an economic doctrine that opposes any form of government intervention in business. “Let people do as they please.” o Anarchism a political philosophy that opposes government in any form. Values absolute freedom above all else. o Liberals those who are willing to use government to promote equality but not order. Favor more government Favor generous government support for education, wildlife protection, public transportation, and a whole range of social programs. o Conservatives those who are willing to use government to promote order but not equality. Prefer less government. Want smaller government budgets and fewer government programs. Support free enterprise and argue against government job programs, regulation of business, and legislation of working conditions and wage rates. A Two-Dimensional Classification of Ideologies Equalit Liberals Communitarians y •Favo :rGovernment activities tha •Favo:rGovernment activities that promote equality, such as promote equality, such as affirmative action programs to affirmative action programs to employ minorities and increased employ minorities and increased spending on public housing spending on publich housing. •Oppos :eGovernment actions tha tFavo:rGovernment actions that restrict individual liberties, sucimpose social order, such as as banning sexually explicit banning secually explicit movies movies or mandatory testing for or mandatory testing for AIDS. AIDS. Libertarians Conservatives •Oppos :eGovernment activities •Oppos :eGoverment activities that that interfere with the market, interfere with the market, such as such as affirmative action affirmative action programs to programs to employ minorities employ minorities and increased and increased spending on publs ipending on public housing. housing. •Favo:rGovernment actions that •Oppos :eGovernment actions thatimpose social order, such as restrict individual liberties, sucbanning sexually explicit movies as banning sexually explicit or mandatory testing for AIDS. Freedomovies or mandatory testing for m AIDS. o Libertarians those who are opposed to using government to promote either order or equality. Value freedom over equality and order. Want minimal government intervention in both the economic and social spheres. o Communitarians those who are willing to use government to promote both order and equality. The American Government Process: Majoritarian or Pluralist? Occupy Wall Street protestors (September 2011) believed that the political and economic system was rigged in favor of the very rich. 2010 Election Republican favored. Congress would not allow a change in financial equality. Is this a majoritarian democracy? Theory of Democratic Government o Demos common people o Kratos power o Democracy a system of government in which, in theory, the people rule, either directly or indirectly. o The Procedural View of Democracy Procedural Democratic Theory a view of democracy as being embodied in a decision making process that involves universal participation, political equality, majority rule, and responsiveness. Universal Participation The concept that everyone in a democracy should participate in governmental decision making. Majority Rule the principle – basic to procedural democratic theory – that the decision of a group must reflect the preference of more than half of those participating a simple majority. o A Complication: Direct vs. Indirect Democracy Participatory Democracy a system of government where rank-and- file citizens rule themselves rather than electing representatives to govern on their behalf. Very rare. Everyone cannot gather in one place to discuss. Representative Democracy a decision-making principle, necessitated by representative government, which implies that elected representatives should do what the majority of people want. Responsiveness a decision-making principle, necessitated by representative government, which implies that elected representatives should do what the majority of people want. Four Principles of Procedural Democracy: Universal participation Political equality Majority rule Government responsiveness to public opinion o A Substantive View of Democracy What about minorities? Substantive Democratic Theory the view that democracy is embodied in the substance of government policies rather than in the policy-making procedure. o Procedural Democracy vs. Substantive Democracy Minority Rights the benefits of government that cannot be denied to any citizens by majority decisions. Institutional Models of Democracy o The Majoritarian Model of Democracy Majoritarian Model of Democracy the classical theory of democracy in which government by the people is interpreted as government by the majority of the people. What is seen as fair. Citizens are expected to control their representatives’ behavior by choosing wisely in the first place and by reelecting or voting out public officials according to their performance. Referendum an election on a policy issue. Initiative circulating petitions and gathering a required number of signatures. Recall a means of forcing a special election for an up-or-down vote on a sitting governor or state judge. o An Alternative Model: Pluralist Democracy Only half of the adult population votes, government by some people. Pluralism the concept that modern society consists of innumerable groups that share economic, religious, ethnic, or cultural interests. Interest Group an organized group of individuals that seeks to influence public policy; also called a lobby. They often spend a lot of time and money trying to influence government policy. Pluralist Model of Democracy an interpretation of democracy in which government by the people is taken to mean government by people operating through competing interest groups. They place their interests on the government and even challenge it. A way to allow minorities to rule. o An Undemocratic Model: Elite Theory Elite Theory the view that a small group of people actually makes most of the important government decisions. Oligarchy a system of government in which power is concentrated in the hands of a few people. o Elite Theory vs. Pluralist Theory Democracy and Globalization Democratization a process of transition as a country attempts to move from an authoritarian form of government to a democratic one. o Often becomes a problem with ethnic and religious views. American Democracy: More Pluralist than Majoritarian o It is more pluralist due the lack of involvement of adults Americans. It is not entirely pluralist though in the same sense. Just more pluralist than majoritarian.
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