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Lecture Notes for Exam Review-Chap 17 Politics and Government

Democracy and Freedom:

U.S Capitalism: The people have the right to act in their own-self interest to get their hands on what they can ~ Results in an inequality of wealth. Socialism: Meet everyone's basic needs for housing, schooling, work and medical care Authoritarianism: A political system that denies popular participation in government. Lacks the legal means to remove a leader from government.

Totalitarianism:Most controlling of political systems, regulating people’s lives. Vietnamese government for example closely monitors the activities of its citizens as well as visitors to the country. Also Nazi Germany and North Korea to name a couple..

Politics- a social institution that distributes power, sets a

society’s agenda, and makes decisions.

Power : Max Weber--ability to achieve desired ends despite

resistance.

Government:Formal organization that directs the political life

of a society. The business of government is to exercise Power.

Authority: a power that people perceive as legitimate

rather than coercive. How is power transformed into stable

coercive? There are 3 ways:

1.Traditional Authority: Weber explains it as: “Power legitimized through respect for long-established cultural patterns” which is woven into a society to the point that is almost sacred.

2.Rational-Legal Authority:(bureaucratic authority) Weber: “A power legitimized by legally enacting rules and regulations. Such as the power used by teachers, Deans, police officers.

The political spectrum in the U.S.

Right

Left

.

Slightly conservative 15.5.%

Extremely conservative 3.2%

Extremely liberal 2.%

Slightly liberal 11.5.%

Liberal 10.4.%

Middle of the road 36.02%

Conservative 15.8.%

3.Charismatic Authority: Weber states “Power legitimized through extraordinary personal abilities that inspire devotion and obedience. Example: Mel Gibson in the movie “Braveheart” Reutilization of Charisma: Weber: “the transformation of charismatic authority into some combination of traditional and bureaucratic authority.” For example: Christianity began as a cult driven by the “Charisma” of Jesus and then after his death followers institutionalized his teachings in a church.

Today’s welfare state is a result of F. D. Roosevelt - New Deal

Size of government has greatly increased.

1789 total federal budget = $4.5million ($1.50 per capita)

1997 total federal budget = $1.5trillion ($5600 per capita)

1789 One Gov. employee for every 1800 citizens

1997 One Gov. employee for every 13 citizens

Total of 20 million Gov. employees Advantages of Welfare

State Government programs to help all classes of people e.g.,

Medicare; Social Security; Prenatal nutrition programs. The

majority of people in the U.S. depend on the Gov. for at least

part of their income.

Politics in Global Perspective

Democracy: a political system in which power is exercised by the people as a whole

Totalitarianism: extensively regulates people's lives

Special-interest group:A political alliance of people interested

in some economic or social issue.Special-interest groups thrive

in the U.S. due to week political alliance, e.g., National Rifle

Association (NRA); Sierra Club; and Political action committees

(PACs):Organizations formed by a special interest group,

independent or political parties, to pursue political aims

by raising and spending money.Basically PACs attempt to gain

political influence by purchasing it.

Monarchy:a political system in which a single family rules from generation to generation

Authoritarianism: a political system that denies popular participation in government.

Power beyond the Rules

Revolution: How and when does it occur?1.Rising expectations 2.Unresponsive government 3. Radical leadership by intellectuals 4.Establishing a new legitimacy

Terrorism: Random acts of violence or the threat of such violence employed by an individual or a group as a political strategy. State Terrorism: is the use of violence without the support of law, by government officials.

War:Organized, armed conflict among the people of various societies. The cause of war:

1.Perceived threats 2.Social problems 3.Political objectives

4. Moral objectives 5.The absence of alternatives

The Pursuit of Peace: 1.Deterrence 2. High-technology defense

3. Diplomacy and disarmament 4. Resolving underlying conflict

Political Culture in U.S. is based on Individualism

Bill of Rights-guarantees freedom from undue government interference.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The government that governs best is the

government that governs least.”

Today it is recognized by the majority that government is necessary

to maintain national defense, highway systems, schools, and law and

order. The U.S government has grown into a Welfare State.

The differences between Liberals & Conservatives

Economic Issues:

Liberals (mainly Democrats) support big government in society,

including Gov. regulation of the economy. Conservatives (mainly

Republicans) seek to trim the size and scope of government

Social Issues:

Liberals tend to support equal rights, tend to be pro choice, and oppose

the death penalty. Conservatives on the other hand tend to oppose

political acceptance of gay families, tend to be pro life, and are all

for the death penalty.

How is power distributed

Is U.S. democratic?

Why is voter apathy?

Summary :Theoretical Analysis of Power in society through -3 Models of U.S Politics

Pluralist Model

Highly dispersed

Yes, because voting offers everyone a voice, and no onegroup or organization dominates society

Apathy is indifference;poor people can organize for a greater voice if they wish

Power-Elite Model

Concentrated

No, because a small share of the people dominate the economy, government, and military

Apathy is understandable, given how difficult it is for ordinary people to oppose the rich and powerful

Marxist Model

Concentrated

No, because the bias of the capitalist system is to concentrate both wealth and power.

Apathy is alienation generated by s system that will always leave most people powerless

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Review: Chap 16 Politics and Government

Differences between Politics, Power and Authority

Politics:a social institution that distributes power, sets a society’s agenda, and makes decisions.

Power: Max Weber – “ability to achieve desired ends despite resistance.”

Authority: a power that people perceive as legitimate rather than coercive.

Rational-Legal Authority

Traditional Authority

Charismatic Authority

3 ways to transform power into stable Authority

Politics in Global Perspective

Authoritarianism

4 Major Forms of Political System

Monarchy

Democracy

Totalitarianism

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Politics in the U.S.

-The political spectrum

Left

Right

Extremely liberal

2.%

Middle of

the road 36.02%

Conservative 15.8.%

Liberal

10.4.%

Slightly conservative 15.5.%

Extremely conservative 3.2%

Slightly

liberal

11.5.%

“Society… is a blessing, but government … is a necessary evil.”-- Thomas Paine

“The government that governs best is the government that governs least.”-Ralph W.Emerson

Political Culture in U.S. is based on Individualism

Bill of Rights-guarantees freedom from undue government interference.

Today it is recognized by the majority that government is necessary to maintain national defense, highway systems, schools, and law and order. The U.S government has grown into a Welfare State.

The differences between Liberals & Conservatives

Basic Differences between Liberals and Conservatives

On Social Issues:

Liberals (mainly Democrats) tend to support equal rights, tend to be pro choice, and oppose the death penalty. Conservatives (mainly Republicans) on the other hand, tend to oppose political acceptance of gay families, tend to be pro life, and are all

for the death penalty.

On Economic Issues:

Liberals support big government in society,

including Gov. regulation of the economy.Conservatives seek to trim the size and scope of government

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Political Party Identification

in the U.S., 1998

Party Identification Proportion of Respondents

Democrat 46.5%

Strong Democrat 3.1

Not very strong Democrat 21.1

Independent, close to Democrat 12.3

Republican 34.1

Strong Republican 8.4

Not very strong Republican 17.1

Independent, close to Republican 8.6

Independent 16.8

Other Parties, NO response 2.5

General Social Survey, 1972-1998.

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Summary :Theoretical Analysis of Power in society through -3 Models of U.S Politics

How power is distributed?

Pluralist Model

Highly dispersed

Is U.S democratic:

Yes, because voting offers everyone a voice, and no onegroup or organization dominates society

How should we understand Voter Apathy?

Apathy is indifference;poor people can organize for a greater voice if they wish

How power is distributed?

Power-Elite Model

Concentrated

Is U.S democratic

No, because a small share of the people dominate the economy,government, and military

How should we understand Voter Apathy?

Apathy is understandable, given how difficult it is for ordinary people to oppose the rich and powerful

How power is distributed?

Marxist Model

Concentrated

Is U.S democratic

No, because the bias of the capitalist system is to concentrate both wealth and power.

How should we understand Voter Apathy?

Apathy is alienation generated by s system that will always leave most people powerless

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The cost and causes of militarism

The cost of armed conflict extends far beyond battlefield casualties.

The world’s nations spend some $1 trillion annually = $160 for every person on the planet for military purposes.

The political wisdom to redirect military spending could greatly reduce global poverty.

Defense has been the second largest expenditure in the U.S. government accounting for 16 % of all federal spending, or $277 billion in 1999, and $450 billion in 2002.

Even though the collapse of the Soviet Union, military expenditures remain high. The power elite theory says the the U.S is dominated by a military-industrial complex ( the close association of the federal government, the military, and defense industries.) The roots of militarism, then lie not just in eternal threats to our security but also within the instructional structure of our won society.

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Power Beyond the Rules

Revolution – How and when Revolution Occur:

1. Rising expectation

2. Unresponsive Government

3. Radical Leadership by Intellectuals

4. Establishing a new legitimacy

Terrorism – Random acts of violence or the threat of such violence employed by an individual or a group as a political strategy. State Terrorism: is the use of violence without the support of law, by government officials.

The Pursuit of Peace1. Deterrence 2. High-technology defense

3. Diplomacy and disarmament 4. Resolving underlying conflict

(nationalism, ethnic differences, class inequality fueling regional conflicts)

War – Organized, armed conflict among the people of various societies. The cause of war:

1. Perceived threats2. Social problems 3. Political objectives

4. Moral objectives 5. The absence of alternatives