Thursday, 6 May 2010
Final exam: 11 June; time: tba; written; 2h max. 3 topics given, choose 2 to write about; 1 narrow, 1 synthesis.
Critique of the Liberal and Democratic outlook at the end of 19th C, beginning of the 20th
• During the 19th C, liberalism, democracy, emerged as tangible political goals. Several societies started being built with liberal institutions and values, techniques/methods.
• The liberal state is strong (in spite of minimal government) because it is based on strong Constitutions, it acknowledges its own limits. It has a particular set of technologies of government, and the capacity to include the powerful interests of society.
• Marx considered it a fraud, a tool of the bourgeoisie to manipulate the classes. For him, the state was mean to disappear, it was useless ( capitalists need the whole apparatus in order to maintain power. Communism is a class-less society; conflicts disappear.
• Carl Schmitt – German theorist of the beginning 20th C – main intellectuals with similar importance in political debates as Weber. One of the most important critiques of the Weimar Republic ( unique, major experiment in parliamentary democracy.
o Does not believe in the possibility of a liberal, democratic parliamentary regime. Schmitt will joined the Nazi party, and thus ostracised.
... after being liberally educated) He deems liberal education in society today as having had become too broad ... did for others. Cronon writes of liberal education in modern society and what it means him. He ... tries to condense liberal education down for the reader, as he thinks that society has let it ... of "protecting" them from some evil within society. The idea of having children read several versions ...
o Works: Political Theology, Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, Concept of the Political, Study on Dictatorship. (
o Liberalism is unable to be the philosophy of a modern state. Most of the 1800s, liberalism is the pol regime that European states adopt, but that it’s impossible for contemporaries to survive with this ideology. Main issue: it rests on constitutionalism, which is a limit for the state itself. For Schmitt, constitutional theory is a limit, and is impossible to evolve.
o This is stupid, because the state has to be able to handle crisis situations, and this cannot happen without a genuine capacity to act.
o Liberalism proposes consensus and compromise; it’s too procedural. Thus it is impossible to intimidate various actors. Consensual politics is not ok. ( politics is about conflict. The states that adopt liberalism are in existential danger, because of their limit to act.
• Institutional Dictatorship vs. Tyrant – tyrant is the one that rules by the use of force, without law, by his own will. He looked at the example of Rome, which did not manage to keep itself as a Republic.
• The Dictator is supposed to have this specific role in which , when a crisis emerges, he can mobilise all the resources and power of the republic in order to act. But to do so without the long procedural processes.
• For Schmitt, the failure of the Weimar Republic was expected. The Parliament is an anachronic institution. There are no more valid parliaments, because deliberation is no longer possible, just temporary compromises between temporary interests.
• Bureaucracies pose definite problems. Bureaucracy is a body that replaces direct contact between population and authority. An interface and regulatory apparatus of the state.
• Bureaucracy should be impartial and formal. Weber – bureaucracy can be impartial, but there is the risk that politicians become dependent on the apparatus, and bureaucracy is not easily controlled by the popular will. Bureaucracy increases itself.
• Schmitt – bureaucracy takes away from politicians – we end up governed by bureaucracy.
• Mass democracy makes it impossible to have liberal regime.
... institutional strength in the form of bureaucracy which defined the identity of liberalism in the Indian state. The bureaucracy played an important role in ... . Liberal critics have characterised India as a liberal state with strong institutions of the Parliament, independent judiciary, executive, along with fundamental rights ...
• “We are a political community not because we are the same social class, but because we are the same race”. Same about religion, etc ( all alternatives to liberalism.
• Rational interest cannot be what holds us together – it atomises societies in this way, it disintegrates public spheres.
• Parliamentary debates (the original missions of parliaments) are no longer possible with party politics (modern parliaments)