PSCI 2014 Structure & Moral Economy
PSCI 2014 Structure & Moral Economy PSCI 2014
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by windwalkerr on Saturday April 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 2014 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Rohan Kalyan in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
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Date Created: 04/09/16
On Structure 4.5.16 Moral Economy 4.7.16 Political structures are invisible in a lot of ways. Although we don’t see them, they still shape us in many ways. Governments Markets Culture Civil society Individual Liberty (John Stuart Mill) Two Maxims of Liberty o No impingement on liberty unless it negatively affects others o Only those actions that negatively affect others can be subject to regulation On Liberty The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. Freedom as Utilitarian He regards utility as ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in largest sense, grounded on permanent interests of man as a progressive being Tyranny of the Majority If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person was of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind On Free Speech Can free speech ever become harmful to others? “no one pretends that actions should be as free as opinions. On the contrary, even opinions lose their immunity when the circumstances in which they are expressed as such as to constitute their expression a positive instigation to some mischievous act… liberty of the individual must be thus far limited: he must not make himself a nuisance to other people” Truth as a market of ideas Examples of Liberty Prohibition of alcohol o Social rights vs individual rights Polygamy among Mormons Adam Smith Division of Labor Three results (direct) On Structure 4.5.16 Moral Economy 4.7.16 o Increase of dexterity of every worker o Saving of time which is commonly lost when moving from one species of work to another o Invention of machines which facilitate & abridge labor & enable one man to do the work of many Rising standards of living (more & cheaper goods) > abundance leads to savings & investment Markets & Commodities Labor value vs exchange value “the actual price at which any commodity is commonly sold is called its market price. It may either be above or below or exactly the same w/ its natural price” On Monopolies Role of gov’t Providing for common defense from outside aggressors Adjudicating disputes w/in society Public works that go beyond private interest/gain Culture (Harrison) DP Moynihan: “the central conservative myth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture & save it from itself” Marx vs Weber o Economic vs cultural forces in shaping society/history (progress) o Weber: important of protestant ethic Why protestant countries grew faster than catholic ones Why western nations grew faster than nonwestern ones How to explain success of certain nonwestern nations? Democratic capitalism It does a better job of promoting human progress & wellbeing than other systems But as experience of most third world countries in recent decades shows, building of durable democratic capitalist institutions can be dauntingly difficult Four cultural forces 1. Radius of trust: social empathy/community 2. Rigor of ethical system: good life 3. Exercising of authority: impersonal, responsible selfgovernance 4. Positive attitudes towards work: rationality, education, delayed gratification Civil society (Putnam) How to explain disappearance of social capital & civic engagement in America? o Not just civic but community engagement On Structure 4.5.16 Moral Economy 4.7.16 The problem Time spent on informal socializing & visiting is down since 1965: PTAs, church attendance, etc o Increased isolation Possible explanations Busyness & time pressure Economic hard times or rising affluence Residential mobility Suburbanization Movement of women into work place & twocareer families Disruption of marriage & family ties Disillusion w/ public life due to cultural revolt against authority & visible corruption Growth of welfare state Civil rights revolution Television & telecommunications revolution Television As opposed to newspapers, TV is a low social capital activity (encourages disengagement rather than engagement) TV viewers are isolated, distrustful of others, pessimistic about politics & society, passive Moral Economy 4.7.16 Brief history of capitalism 1. Rise of industrial capitalism, transition from feudal mercantile capitalism 2. Rationalization of economic science, disembedding of market/economy from society at large 3. Planned/centralized national economies (Keynesianism) 4. Deregulated economies (Neoliberalism), rise of financial capitalism, dominance over industrial capitalism 5. Crisis economics (post2008), rise of populist economics? Moral Economy (Sayer) “moral economy embodies norms & sentiments regarding responsibilities and rights of individuals & institutions w/ respect to others” “these norms & sentiments go beyond matters of justice & equality to conceptions of the good; for example, regarding needs & ends of economic activity/ they may also be extended further to include treatment of the environment” He wants to use the term “moral economy” to refer to the study of the ways in which economic activities are influenced by moralpolitical norms & sentiments o Also how those norms are comprised by economic forces So much so that in some cases norms represent little more than legitimations entrenched power relations” Grappling w/ the market On Structure 4.5.16 Moral Economy 4.7.16 Market comes into being as soon as abstract people replace abstract activities w/ people that we do know What is gained & what is lost in transition to market society? o Gained: spatial & social mobility, questioning of status quo, creativity, entrepreneurship, individualism, critical attitude o Lost” traditional communities, social solidarity & identity, prejudice & provincial bias, social roles (gender, class, ethnic) These transformations are not isomorphic (don’t follow same pattern) * simultaneous, but rather piecemeal, uneven, & fragmented. Some things change while others remain the same, become more rigid, etc Early moral economists What sayer says about them: o “looking back at work of Scottish Enlightenment authors such as Hume, Ferguson & Smith, one cannot help but be struck by extent to which they saw moral sentiments, involving sympathy as cement of society” o Along w/ increase in market relations comes fragmentation/extension of society o “But Hume & Smith were also well aware of extent to which such moral sentiments tended to decline w/ distance’ From here the shift occurs From moral to market economy As growth of trade increased proportion of economic relations w/ others, they adapted their theories accordingly, giving increasing emphasis to more abstract, reason based notions of justice rather than moral sentiments o In case of Smith, to selfinterest as regulator of economic activity Even smith retains his social conception of morality. He only comes to defend pursuit of individual selfinterest on grounds that it increased collective welfare of society at large Continued Are moral economies precapitalist? Is economics amoral? o Meaning, without moral? Detached from questions of morality? Is there hidden morality in contemporary economics that conceals fundamental political orientation? What is gained/lost from demoralization of economics? How economics was demoralized Construction of “national economy” (methodological nationalism_ o In what ways is such an economy fundamentally deterritorialized? Individuals as rational economic agents (methodological individualism) o Utility maximizers (pursue selfinterest) > eliminates moral question bc utilitarianism harmonizes egoistic behavior w/ general good/social welfare o To what extent is ability to be selfish universal? On Structure 4.5.16 Moral Economy 4.7.16 Are markets really ‘free”? (Chang) We are told by economists that markets need to be kept free of gov’t interference in order to operate efficiently “free market doesn’t exist. Every market has rules & boundaries that restrict freedom of choice. Market looks free only bc we unconditionally accept underlying restrictions that we fail to see them” o “how ‘free’ a market is cannot be defined. It is a political definition. Gov’t is always involved & those freemarketers are as politically motivated as anyone else. Overcoming myth that there is such a thing as an objectively defined “free market” is the first step towards understanding capitalism” Example of child labor laws o Before their enactment “many people judged child labor regulation to be against principles of free market” o Their argument: the children need and want to work, & factory owners want to employ them so what is the problem” Freedom of a market is in the eyes of the beholder o Should there be a freemarket in wage labor? o Wages in rich countries are determined more by immigration control than anything else, including any minimum wage legislation.
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