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Critique of coercive theories of social order. Hobbes cannot explain social order Why should rational egoists in the state of nature ever be able to lay down their arms and surrender their liberty to a coercive ruler?

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Critique of coercive theories of social order

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critique of coercive theories of social order
Critique of coercive theories of social order
  • Hobbes cannot explain social order
    • Why should rational egoists in the state of nature ever be able to lay down their arms and surrender their liberty to a coercive ruler?
    • The free-rider problem: how can rational egoists pursue the public good without a private reward?
critique of hobbes cont d
Critique of Hobbes, cont’d
  • Hobbes’ solution to the problem of order stretches the conception of rationality beyond its scope in the rest of the theory, to a point where the actors come to be concerned about the social interest rather than their individual interests (Parsons 1937)
    • In the absence of normative limits on the use of force and fraud there will be an unlimited struggle for power
  • But there are no normative elements in Hobbes (nor are these central in Marx-Engels)
  • Without norms, coercion too expensive to provide social order
    • Need a cop on every corner
      • A telescreen in every room (1984)
  • Ethical objections
      • Proudhon’s list of the ‘domestic inconveniences of the state’ (pp. 162-63)
weber s contributions
Weber’s contributions
  • 1. The concept of legitimacy
  • 2. Three types of social order
  • In every social order, commands will be obeyed by a given group of individuals
  • To ensure this, there must be some voluntary compliance
      • people must have an interest in obeying the rules/laws
  • Thus, every type of social order cultivates the belief in its legitimacy
legitimacy implicitly recognized in marxism
Legitimacy implicitly recognized in Marxism
  • To forestall class conflict, ruling class attains intellectual hegemony by supporting
    • (State) churches – religion = ‘the opiate of the people’
    • Schools
    • The mass media
  • In capitalism, political, military, religious, media institutions are dependent on the ruling class
    • Serve the interests of the ruling class
    • Justify exploitation of the working class
  • The Orwellian conclusion
    • In 1984, ruling class molds thinking, through its control over media, language, etc.
weber on legitimate orders
Weber on legitimate orders
  • Attain compliance in different ways
  • Require administrative staff to rule large numbers of people
    • Staff = a specialized group normally trusted to execute policy
    • Every system of order
      • Has a way to bind the staff to the ruler
      • Has a way to bind the ruled to the ruler
how are these types arrived at
How are these types arrived at?
  • By assuming what instrumental, self-interested actors would do, if they found themselves in the given social conditions
      • Weber imagines how rational egoists would behave in these conditions
three ideal types of social order
Three ‘ideal types’ of social order
  • Abstract models of social conditions
  • Patrimonial (‘Traditional order’)
    • Rests on the belief in the sanctity of traditions, and the legitimacy of the rulers selected thereby
  • Bureaucratic (‘Legal order’)
    • Rests on the belief in the legality of enacted rules, and the right of those elevated in authority under such rules to issue commands
  • Charismatic
    • Rests on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person
charismatic order
Charismatic order
  • There are no fixed rules
    • Leaders make their own rules (said to come from a higher power)
      • Gandhi
  • Order does not depend on a continuous source of income
    • Wealth not pursued in a methodical manner
      • Regards as undignified all rational economic conduct
      • Master and disciples must be free of ordinary worldly attachments
charismatic order cont d
Charismatic order, (cont’d)
  • Followers are not materially compensated
    • They often share in the goods the leader receives as donations
    • Ability of leader to provide goods sets a limit on charismatic authority
      • Leader’s mission must prove itself by fulfilling the values of faithful followers (and providing some subsistence to them)
patrimonial order
Patrimonial order
  • Rests on the sanctity of age-old rules and powers
    • Masters chosen according to these rules, obeyed because of their traditional status
  • Motivational basis
    • Personal loyalty
      • When exercising power, the master must consider how far he can go without inciting resistance.
      • when resistance occurs, directed against the master personally, not against the system as such.
recruitment to staff
Recruitment to staff
  • People are recruited to a patrimonial staff either via
    • Traditional ties of loyalty
      • Kinsmen, slaves, dependents, clients, etc
        • Example: Saddam Hussein recruits from Tikrit
    • Voluntarily
      • People who willingly enter into a relation of loyalty to the leader
        • (Tom Hagen, the consigliere to the Corleone family)
factors absent from patrimonial orders
Factors absent from patrimonial orders
  • Clearly defined spheres of competence subject to impersonal rules
  • Rationally established hierarchies
  • An orderly promotion system
  • Technical training as a requirement
  • Fixed monetary salaries
how are patrimonial staff compensated
How are patrimonial staff compensated?
  • By living from the lord’s table
  • By allowances in kind
  • By rights of land use in exchange for services
  • By the appropriation of property income, fees, or taxes
  • By fiefs
a contemporary example
A contemporary example
  • Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather, Part I
the bureaucratic order
The bureaucratic order
  • Based on the rule of law
        • Abstract rules established intentionally
        • Law applies these general rules to specific cases, so as to rationally pursue the organization’s interests
        • Office holders themselves subject to an impersonal order
  • Members owe obedience to superiors not as individuals, but only to the impersonal order
        • Incumbents obliged to obey only within the scope of their job description
        • Members owe obedience to superiors not as individuals, but only to the impersonal order.
fundamental characteristics of bureaucracy
Fundamental characteristics of bureaucracy
  • Official business conducted according to formal rules
    • Hierarchy
      • Each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one
    • Each office has a distinct sphere of competence
    • Candidates for office selected according to technical qualifications
      • tested by exams, guaranteed by diplomas
    • Incumbents cannot buy their offices
      • Instead, staff are paid by fixed money salaries, usually with pensions
bureaucracy cont d
Bureaucracy, cont’d
  • The office regarded as the primary occupation of the incumbent
      • It constitutes a career, with a system of promotion based on seniority, merit or both
  • Officials accountable to superiors for their conduct in office
  • Administrative acts, decisions and rules formulated and recorded in writing
      • Meetings with minutes
bureaucracy cont d20
Bureaucracy, cont’d
  • Rights of individuals are protected
    • This prevents the arbitrary use of power by superiors in the service of extra-organizational goals
      • Procedural justice
        • The right to appeal decisions and statements of grievances
types of bureaucratic organizations
Types of bureaucratic organizations
  • Governments
  • Armies
  • Profit-making firms
    • Including professional sports teams
  • Universities
  • Charitable organizations
the rationale of bureaucracy
The rationale of bureaucracy
  • It is the most efficient form of administration
    • It is the most stable and disciplined
    • Its activities are the most predictable
    • It can be used to accomplish a variety of tasks.
bureaucracy the modern system of authority
Bureaucracy = the modern system of authority
  • Modern organizations are types of bureaucracies
  • Bureaucracy -- by far the most efficient means of administration
the advantages of bureaucracy
The advantages of bureaucracy

Takes advantage of the divisionof labor

    • Based on technical knowledge
      • greater precision, speed and objectivity in administrative organization
    • Ensures that the best people are selected for each position
      • Recruitment according to expertise
  • Provides a basis for individual accountability
      • Superiors grade performance of their subordinates
      • Promotion in the career contingent on good performance
advantages cont d
Advantages, cont’d
  • Contributes to social levelling
    • Meritocratic rather than particularistic recruitment
      • Affinities with democracy
  • High stability
    • Sometimes, too stable: bureaucratic inertia
      • Democratic decision-making can be inefficient
some disadvantages of bureaucracy
Some disadvantages of bureaucracy
  • Concentrates power in the hands of a small number of people
    • Those at the top of the various hierarchies
  • Slow to adapt to environmental changes
    • Akin to turning around a large oil tanker
  • Discourages individualism, creativity, and risk-taking
    • An ‘iron cage’
a key question
A key question
  • Bureaucracy is a modern invention; dates from the late 18th century, at the earliest.
    • Yet if it is such an efficient system of administration, then why isn’t it found everywhere in space and time?
  • Answer: bureaucracy has certain preconditions that were not able to met until modern times
why patrimonialism
Why patrimonialism?
  • What does an instrumentally rational leader do in the absence of modern technology of communication and exchange?
  • The 3 essential tasks of administration
    • Recruiting an effective staff
    • Motivating the staff
    • Monitoring its compliance
  • If bureaucracy is the most efficient system of administration, why isn’t it found in the Mafia?
willis learning to labour
Willis, Learning to Labour
  • Consequence of the counter-school culture: poor achievement  placement in working-class jobs
  • The emergence of a ‘counter-school culture’
    • ‘lads’ vs. ‘ear’ oles’
      • Conflict over dress and personal attractiveness – about the legitimacy of the school as an institution
        • ‘having a laff’
lessons from willis
Lessons from Willis
  • Legitimacy needed for cooperation, but not predictability
      • The order in the working-class school is not legitimate, yet students behave in a predictable way
      • They commit ‘everyday acts of resistance’
  • Consequence: reproduction of the existing class structure