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Western Political Theory II


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Machiavelli on How Not to Be Good
Princes must be willing to set aside ethics of justice, honesty, and kindness in order to maintain the stability of the state.
Machiavelli on Emphasis of Appearances
It is ideal that Princes appear good but not actually be good because ethics / morals are liabilities.
Machiavellli on the Emphasis on Art of War
Princes must learn and must emphasize the art of war.
Machiavelli's Models: Analogous (analogy) and Exemplary (example)
Analogous Model - Be both the lion (powerful) and the fox (clever / sly).
TBD
Bentham on Natural Law, the Social Contract, Common Law, and Tradition
Machiavelli on Power
Politics does not require ethic and moral theory thus power is the exercise of what is most useful. The entire work of the Prince is on the physics of power; how to acquire, exercise, and maintain it.
Machiavelli's Advice to Princes
It is much safer to be feared than loved.
Machiavelli on Tyrants
Interpreted to be both an advocate of tyrants (Cesare Borgia) and an advocate of republicanism.
Machiavelli's Si Guarda Al Fini
The ends justify the means or judge by the outcome.
Machiavelli on Cincinattus, Caesar, and Cesare Borgia
Praises Cincinattus (Roman statesman and Dictator of Rome) in the Discourses.
Machiavelli on Christianity
Interpreted to be both anti-Christian and to have biblical themes throughout his messages. Most likely to be hostile towards the Christianity of his time.
Machiavelli on Rome
Machiavelli greatly admired Rome because of its mixed regime governed by the Rule of Law. Good army and good laws.
Machiavelli on Mixed Regimes and Republics on the People
Machiavelli's ideal regime is the Republic of Rome; a mixed regime governed by the Rule of Law.
Machiavelli on Virtu
Ingenuity, skills, excellence, stronger, bold, grand spirit; Neither virtues nor vices should be pursued for their own sake. Virtues and vices should be means to an end.
Machiavelli on Fortuna
Machiavelli tries to access how much the success of a Prince is attributed to fortune. Concludes fortune controls half of human action and free will controls the other half. Also argues that by lookin…
Cardinal Bellarmine on the Papacy and Secular Power
Advocated the indirect power of the pope. The secular power of the prince was not a gift from God, but transferred by the community. But the king ruled under God. Therefore, the pope can deter…
Harrington on the Relationship Between Power and Property
Recognized there was a relation between wealth and political power so he urged an agrarian law to limit the amount of land a subject might possess.
Harrington on Agrarian Law
Agrarian (cultivation of land) Law was first introduced by God himself.
Harrington on Constitutionalism and Reforms
Government is an empire of laws and not of men.
Mariana on the Right of Resistance and Obligations of Those Who Hold Political Power
A prince who seizes the state with force ofarms absent legal right or public assent is a public enemy and may be killed.
Suarez on Human Nature and Sovereignty
Mani is by his nature free and subject to no one, save only to the Creator, so that human sovereignty is contrary to the order of nature and involves tyranny.
Suarez on the Relationship Between Pope and King
The Pope is able to coerce and punish those princes who disobey his just commandments.
Luther on the Need for Law and Government
Function of civil authority was to promote the conditions suitable for the true Christian life (by force).
Luther on Authority and Obedience
Rebellion is a breach of God's commandments. No exceptions or reconstructing of society. State responsible of its charges.
Luther on the Economic Dimension of Society
Inequality is natural; wrong to advocate the abolition of serfdom (Christ had freed everyone); private property inevitable.
Luther on Human Nature
Every one [is] sinful and evil.
Calvin on Authority and Obedience
Church and state united as one in Geneva (closely resembled theocracy).
Calvin - God's Scourge
Cruel, greedy, lazy, and sinful Princes are subject to God's scourge (His whip).
Calvin and the Emergence of Capitalism
Unlike Luther, recognized the value of production and trade. Profit-making. Introduced manufacture of cloth and watches in Geneva. Foundations of modern industry.
Hotman on Sovereignty, Division of Authority, and the Common Good
The kingdom is superior to the king whose powers are based on popular consent. Representatives of the people to check the king.
Hotman on the Welfare of the People
The welfare of the people is sovereign.
James I on Divine Right
Believed that the king, who came to his position by heredity, controlled the whole land, that the coronation oath he took was to God alone, and that there were no limits to his powers over his subjects.
Hobbes on the Importance of Body, Motion, and Sense-Experience
All knowledge is traced back to sense experience (like the Epicureans).
Two kinds of voluntary motion:
Good and Evil in a State of Nature
Hobbes on Human Nature and the State of Nature
Humans have restless desires that are insatiable; self-interested; desire for power; live in fear; by nature are all enemies of each other; all have reason.
Hobbes on the General Rule of Reason
To endeavor peace. If necessary, resort to war. No reasoning without speech.
Hobbes on Equality and Liberty (In Nature and Society)
By nature all men are equal and free.
Right of Nature (jus naturale) - liberty that man has to preserve his nature.
Hobbes on the Right of Nature (jus naturale) and the Law of Nature (lex naturale)
Rights Retained - life and liberty (in part).
Hobbes on Natural Rights Retained, Transferred, and Granted by the Sovereign
Hobbes on the Transference of Right and the Generation of "the Great Leviathan"
The leviathan is the composition of the person and the state (artificial to man).
Hobbes on Sovereignty (Matter and Form)
The sovereign is absolute and above the law. Only God can limit the sovereign. It is unlimited.
Three forms of government:
Hobbes's Preferred Regime
Hobbes on the Rights and Obligations of Sovereign and Subjects
People have an obligation to maintain the social contract and accept the principle laws instituted by a sovereign; whose duty is to protect society and secure peace.
Hobbes: Absolute or Conditional?
Hobbes seem absolutist but he does justify rebellion against the sovereign when our lives are threatened.
Locke on Natural Liberty and Equality
No one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.
Locke on Human Nature and the State of Nature
Agrees with Hobbes we are free and equal (because equally vulnerable and insecure - weakest can kill the strongest), self-interested, and rational.
Locke and the Influence of the "Judicious (Richard) Hooker"
This equality of men by nature, the judicious Hooker looks upon as so evident in itself, and beyond all question, that he makes it the foundation of that obligation to mutual love amongst men…
Locke on the Social Contract - Compared to Hobbes
For Locke, the social contract is formed in order for the sovereign to preserve and enforce the laws of nature. The purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of man. The social cont…
Opposite to Hobbes:
Locke on the Law of Nature and Natural Rights
Locke on the Importance of the Natural Right to Property
Property rights are rights over our own body. We own our own person: labors (origin) and limited by use. In the state of nature, the industrious person can have only so much property.
Rights Retained - life, liberty, property / estates, fortunes.
Locke on Natural Right Retained, Transferred, and Granted by the Sovereign
Locke on the Nature of Sovereignty
The purpose of the Government and law is to uphold and protect the natural rights of men. So long as the Government fulfills this purpose, the laws given by it are valid and binding …
Locke on Legislative Supremacy
The legislative function of government is the supreme power of the commonwealth. It must be separate from the executive function. Deals with domestic affairs.
Legislative limited:
Locke on the Fiduciary Nature of Sovereignty in the Legislative Body
- Right to Revolution
Right to rebel arbitrary (despotic) government. The government is in rebellion when it deprives people of their rights (St. Thomas Aquinas had the same idea).
Locke Compared to Sir Robert Filmer
Filmer justifies his beliefs on biblical scripture and states that the sovereign is absolute (as Hobbes does). Governments create laws for convenience.
Locke - Sir Robert Filmer's Definition of Liberty
Filmer's definition of liberty is "to do as we list." Hobbes held the same view. Locke rejects this because we are all morally bound by the law of nature.
Locke Compared to Richard Hooker and St. Thomas Aquinas
Locke drew his ideas on law and his view of government as a delegated power responsible to the whole community
Montesquieu on the Nature of Power
Power should be a check to power. - checks and balances.
Montesquieu on the Liberty under Law
Liberty involves living under laws that protect us from harm while leaving us free to do as much as possible, and that enable us to feel the greatest possible confidence that if we obey t…
Montesquieu on the Separation of Powers
To secure our liberty, there must be a system of checks and balances. Power must be a check to power. Executive, legislative, and judiciary branches.
Hume on the Importance of Passion
Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of our [calmer] passions.
Hume on Social Contracts
Governments are not founded on social contracts but instead on conquests. Government found on habits, customs, and disposition (tend to obey laws that don't abuse us) which gives it its legitimacy.
Hume on Mixed Regimes
Mixed regimes are able to avoid the problems of pure ones.
Hume on Faction
Problem of faction (internal division). Detrimental to the unity of a republic.
State of Nature:
Rousseau's Purposes / Radical Approach
Rousseau on Comparison
Population increases means increased contact with others. This leads to making comparisons with others a priority when it is actually trivial.
Rousseau on Reason and Passion
the activity of passions leads to the perfection of our reason
Rousseau on What Makes Us Distinctively Human
We feel impulses of nature but we can chose whether or not to act on them.
Rousseau on Natural Virtue and Social Corruption
Society is corrupt where inequality takes place, in a state of innocence because society is corrupted, we have ourselves.
Rousseau on the Flight Into Our Chains
We are born free but everywhere in chains because of comparisons with others and property (not natural).
Rousseau on Property
Property is not natural. "Where there is no property, there is no injury."
Rousseau on Society as a Blessing and a Curse
Social order is a sacred right. But in the Discourse he says society is a curse.
- Nature and Purpose of the Contract
The subjects (as individuals) = the sovereign (as a collective). The subjects as a collective commissions the government in order to exercise executive power over the subjects as individuals.
Rousseau on Sovereignty and Government
The people are the sovereign. We control the government, not the other way around. We are both ruled and rule; we are the source of law. We surrender our power to the government but never surrender out legislative power.
Rousseau on Law
Law is the expression of will. Law must be general, "come from all, made for all."
Rousseau on the Typology of Regimes
Rousseau's ideal government is a democracy. There are four requisites:
Rousseau on Republics
Every state ruled by laws is a Republic (regardless of the type); every legitimate government is a Republic.
Rousseau - obedience to self-prescribed law
Compared to Locke, Hobbes, and Filmer
Rousseau on Religion
Christianity and politics do not mix; advocates filtering religion by force.
Rousseau: Democrat or Authoritarian?
Interpreted either way. Due to his views on religion and people against the general will, he seems authoritative ("forced to be free.") However, he does seem to be a champion of democracy due to pop…
Rousseau on the General Will
The general will is 100% (not even 99%).
- Relationship Between Them
Practical reason - is independent of our inclinations; primacy (of First Importance); should guide our beliefs as well as our actions.
Kant on the Transcendental Subject
A person without particular interests or external motivations.
Kant on the Kingdom (Realm) of Ends
an ideal where laws serve the purpose of people as Ends and not merely means.
Kant on Republican Government and International Law
Kant advocates Republicanism and believes in the social contract. the solution to Natural conflict is to create a more sophisticated commerce (trade) system and a Free enterprise economy.
Kant on Reason, Dignity, and Freedom
Reason - practical reason is of first importance to Kant (see flashcard Kant on Practical Reason...)
Rawls - the "Unencumbered Self" as Explained by Prof. Sandel
Professor Sandel criticizes Rawls because his political theory is based on metaphysics of the self without senses to guide actions and make choices. Rawls' theory is based on Kantian ethics so it's an attack on Kant's theory as well.
Rawls on the Social Contract "Taken to a Higher Level of Abstraction"
Rawls aims at creating a conception of justice that highers the abstraction of the social contract theories presented by Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. Principles of justice that free and rational persons with a degre…
Justice = fairness
Rawls on Justice as Fairness and the Distribution of Social Goods
Rawls on the Original Position and the Veil of Ignorance
the original Position is equality; Rational actor not influenced by self-interest.
Rawls on Liberty and Equality
Rawls is a strong advocate of liberal principles of equality for all and liberty that pertains to opportunity.
Smith on Self-Interest
The individual (acting in self-interest) unconsciously promoted the good of the whole society.
Smith on "Butchers, Bakers, and Brewers"
People do not act or give us something because of benevolence (kindness) but rather on self-interest. It's like you give me what I want and I'll give you what you want. Trading proves our mutual dependence on one another.
Smith on the "Invisible Hand"
The marketplace is self-regulating and individuals can make profit and maximize it without the need for government intervention. By pursuing his self-interest, man promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.
Smith on the Proper Role of Government
Function of government is limited: they provide maintenance of security, support, and equality. Individuals ought to be able to act without restriction to a free market, free trade, and free competition. CAPITALISM
Smith and the Utilitarians
Smith was a utilitarian because he sought a system that was free and equal for everybody based on opportunity. A critic could call him idealistic. Marx used Smith's theory of capitalism as a basis of why capitalism is bad.
Level 13