Democracy • A type of gov’t which allows citizens to elect their leaders. • Other characteristics associated with democracy: • freedom of the press • freedom of religion • innocent until proven guilty
Liberalism • Simply put, most democracies offer a range of political choices between liberal on the left of the political spectrum and conservative on the right. Liberals generally believe: • people are mostly good by nature • hence we should enjoy intellectual, religious and economic freedom • Liberals opposed the idea of “Divine Right of kings” during the French Revolution
Conservatism • Conservative philosophy comes from the Latin term “conservare” which means to save traditions and established government & religious institutions. Edmund Burke was one of the original conservative philosophers.
Totalitarianism • A type of government which demands total obedience of its citizens. The gov’t controls every aspect of life in the country. (ie: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s USSR).
Capitalism • an economic system in which all citizens are free to own their own property and equipment for production. • Competition between businesses and industries keeps prices fair and drives the economy. • Usually goes hand in hand with democracy (USA, England, France, Canada...)
Socialism • aims for economic equality and individual freedom • believes the community, not wealthy individuals should own the means of production in Canada • the NDP has traditionally been our socialist party-it has forced the mainline parties (Liberal & Conservative) to implement socialism
Socialism for Canadians • For Canadians this translates into a high level of government intervention with (taxes are steep to pay for) • Old age & disability pensions • Employment insurance • Health care • Social Assistance
Communism • An economic system created by Karl Marx in his “Communist Manifesto.” There is no private property. It is taken from the wealthy class (bourgeoisie) by the working class (proletariat) in a revolution. • All means of production are henceforth owned by the state (public) • IE: farms, factories and equipment
Fascism • Fascism is born out of a crisis in a country • A “father figure” declares that he has solutions • Italy’s Benito Mussolini 1922 - 1945 • Germany’s Adolf Hitler 1933 - 1945
Fascism looks like • Extreme nationalism • parades, rallies, banners and flag displays • In Germany - belief in a superior race • a belief that the state has been cheated and is in need of international justice • Minorities can be mistreated if they do not match the template set by dictator
Examples of such “castaways” in Nazi Germany: • JewsHandicapped • Intellectual “weaklings” • Political opponents • It wasn’t safe to talk politics
Fascism • Fascism can lead to militarism • Italy took over Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935 • Germany invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland... • A dictator takes over and democracy is tossed out - along with many personal freedoms • Fascists are opposed to communism
Review Of the Political Spectrum • Totalitarianism = total dictatorship • Totalitarianism tends to live at both (extreme) ends of the spectrum.
Canada’s Political Spectrum • Conservatism - a tad to the right of centre • Liberalism - a tad to the left of centre • Socialism (NDP) - stretches a little more to left.
Civil Disobedience • The act of intentionally breaking the law to protest the laws one considers unjust (bad) • Three principles: • Does not involve violence • Should only be used against laws that are seriously harmful • Requires taking responsibility for one’s actions. Must face punishment to show the strength of one’s beliefs.
Famous Examples • Mohandas Gandhi used non-violent civil disobedience to protest taxing of the poor and discrimination of women and the under privileged • Nelson Mandela used non-violent civil disobedience to protest apartheid in South Africa • Martin Luther King Jr. used it to fight against segregation in the USA
Clayoquot Sound: a Canadian Example • Provincial government wanted to log the forest in Clayoquot Sound • Protesters organized a “sit-down” where they sat in the middle of the road to block trucks and workers • Police had to arrest the protesters • 750 people were arrested • Caused the government to rethink logging practices and change their policy