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PSCI 2014 Justice & Ranciere

by: windwalkerr

PSCI 2014 Justice & Ranciere PSCI 2014

Virginia Tech

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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures on justice and on political theorist Jacques Ranciere from 4.26.16 and 4.28.16
Introduction to Political Theory
Rohan Kalyan
Class Notes
PSCI, political, Science, politicaltheory
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by windwalkerr on Friday April 29, 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 17 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: 04/29/16
Justice 4.26.16 Ranciere 4.28.16 Rawls, A theory of justice  Justice as fairness  o “in justice as fairness men agree to share one another’s fate”  o “well ordered society is effectively regulated by public conception of justice”  o “well ordered society has not attained social harmony in all things, if indeed that would  be desirable; but it has achieved large measure of justice & established basis for civic  friendship, which makes people’s secure association together possible  Original position   Functions similarly to state of nature (secular)  Original position: conception of justice suitable for well­ordered society is one that would be  agreed to in hypothetical situation that is fair btw individuals conceived as free & equal moral  persons  o Assumptions about human nature: neither wholly selfish nor altruistic, but “mutually  disinterested  Want to maximize their gain w/o harming others  o Veil of ignorance: “knowledge of our social position, our peculiar desires & interests, or  of various outcomes & configurations of natural & historical accident are excluded”  Basic structure   Justice as regulative ideal ­> justice requires basic structure that is itself just   “first problem of justice is to determine principles to regulate inequalities & to adjust profound &  long­lasting effects of social, natural, & historical contingencies, particularly since these  contingencies combined w/ inequalities generate tendencies that, when left to themselves, are  sharply at odds w/ freedom & equality appropriate for well­ordered society”  Two principles of justice 1. Each person has equal right to most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible w/  similar scheme of liberties for all (political equality)  2. Social & economic inequalities are to meet 2 conditions:  a. To greatest expected benefit of least advantaged  b. Attached to offices & positions open to all under conditions of fair opportunity  Difference principle: “taking equality as basis of comparison those who have gained more must do so on  terms that are justifiable to those who have gained the least”  Least advantaged  Born in unfavorable social position   Inferior natural ability   Bad luck  Rawlsian case for welfare state  Argues for state that provides legal right to access at least some resources for all citizens, while at same time permitting private property, market system, & some degree of inequality  Justice 4.26.16 Ranciere 4.28.16  Welfare state mitigates contingency/luck: “natural distribution of inherited traits is neither just  nor unjust; nor it is unjust that men are born into society at some particular position. These are  simply natural facts. What is just or unjust is the way that institutions deal w/ these facts. The  social system is not an unchangeable order beyond human control APSA­ Task force on American democracy   American society has become both more & less egalitarian in recent decades  o Gains: civil rights, gender equality, immigration  o Losses: growing income & wealth gaps; segregation, rise of super rich  Causes of inequality  Developments in technology   Transformation in family life    Market forces that promote global integration   Financialization of economy   Decline of welfare state  Financialization  Rawlsian Americans  “Americans accept economic inequalities only when they are sure that everyone has equal chance to get ahead. Research shows that upward mobility remains an avenue of advancement for some  Americans. But number of Americans who are able to enjoy fruits of upward mobility doesn’t  come close to offsetting rise in economic disparities among the many” Political participation  Rich vs poor  For a welfare state Dangers of inequality   Negative spiral can prompt Americans to become increasingly discouraged about effectiveness of democratic governance, spreading cynicism & withdrawal from elections & other arenas of  public life  Irving Kristol, “Capitalist conception of justice”   Capitalism has its own conception of justice: equality of opportunity, acceptance of contingency,  reliance on human sympathy/goodwill to help vulnerable, weak   Differs from Rawls/APSA in that he would be highly skeptical of welfare state’s ability to reduce  economic & social inequality w/o also reducing economic opportunities for everyone  Capitalist justice  Capitalism says that equal opportunity will result in everyone’s bettering his or her condition \  If some get more than others, reason is to be found in their differential contributions to economy  Justice 4.26.16 Ranciere 4.28.16  Determination of these rewards is by public preferences & public tastes as expressed in market  Adam Smith vs utilitarians  What do rich do w/ their money? o Reinvestment & charity   Capitalism goes w/ humanitarianism, middle class reformist movements  (abolition, women’s equality, animal rights, etc) th  In 19  century, economics of capitalism became dismal science  o Became overly Darwinian about capitalism’s working class/poor   This gave capitalism bad name by 20  century  o Fuels rise of socialism & communism around the world  Against social justice  Cannot attach social to justice w/o it being anti­capital  Social justice is incompatible w/ capitalism  Term “social” prefixed to word justice has purpose & effect which is to abolish distinction btw  public & private… to identify those issues about which gov’t should get active   “assumption that gov’t is able to make such decisions wisely, & therefore that gov’t should make  such decisions, violates premises of liberal community. Liberal community exists on premise that there is no such authority. If there were indeed an authority which knew what everyone merited & could allocate it fairly, why would we need freedom?  Social justice can be achieved only if gov’t imposes consensus on people   Notion of just society existing is a fantasy, a utopian fantasy  Ranciere  Politics beyond the state (inherently conservative)   Politics of aesthetics in ordinary life   Distribution of the sensible  Police order o Enforces consensus in liberal societies (sensus communis, common sense, exclusion)   Dissensus vs consensus  o Consensus is always exclusionary  o Dissensus: when something not seen as common sense emerges in political system   Politics as dissensus  Reserving Platonism (instead of ideal over sensory realm, sensory realm disrupts & reorganizes  ideal realm)  City & the City by China Mieville   “crosshatched streets”  “alterity”  “local buildings vs the others”   Twin cities: beszel & Ul Qoma  Perceptual training  Disciplining of the senses  Justice 4.26.16 Ranciere 4.28.16  Cities are divided aesthetically rather than merely topologically   “total” vs “crosshatched” vs “alter   Topolgangers  Deep prediscursive instinct   Breach o Policies aesthetic/sensory borders btw 2 cities and their citizens   Two cities divided by sensory perception rather than by geography  Policing of sensory perception through Breach   Urban gentrification (San Francisco)   Apartheid cities: Jerusalem, berlin, south Africa   Using dissensus to disrupt sensory partitions/policing that divides citizens  Hatred of democracy (ranciere)   Liberalism hides its hatred of democracy behind idea of consensus; which he calls rule of  experts/guardians   “democracy is a term invented by its opponents, by all those who were qualified to govern bc of  seniority, birth, virtue, wealth, & knowledge. Using it as term of derision, they articulated an  unprecedented reversal of order of things: power of demos means that those who rule are those  who have no specificity in common, apart from their having no qualification for governing   The one who speaks when they are not to speak, the one who part takes in what they have no part, that person belongs to the demos Politics and dissensus  Politics exists as deviation from this normal order of things  Essence of politics is the manifestation of dissensus as presence of two worlds in one  Dissensus as politics   Essence of politics is dissensus. It isn’t the confrontation btw interests or opinions. It is the  manifestation of a distance of the sensible from itself. Politics makes visible that which had no  reason to be seen, it lodges 


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