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Old Wednesday, February 18, 2009
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Default Political Philosphy (Will be Updated)

You may find here a look into every aspect of these political philosphers but details may ruin the very purpose of this thread which is intended to give hints about most of the aspects of these philospher. Details are found everywhere, in books & over the Internet but I've come up with the idea to make hints for all those who want to remember the key points of what they have learnt from other resources. Thanking you in anticipation.


POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY



Plato (427-347)



The Ideal is the Real.

World of Being static while the world of becoming dynamic.
Reality belongs to state which prior to human beings.
Close relation between politics and ethics.
Idealistic & based on analogy.
Works: The Republic, Statesman & The laws.

The republic.

In ideal state virtue reign supreme.
State as an magnified individual.
State is an imitation of the best and noblest life.
To promote virtue one must have knowledge of what is right and connection of politics with philosophy.
Plato ideal state was possible, so, he was ideast rather than idealist.
Virtue is teachable and therefore promotable.
To promote virtue, a man must not only bear good will but must have the knowledge of what is right.
Is a thing right because it gives pleasure? Plato answer was certainly not.
Ideal state based on the analogy of state and individual, reason, spirit and appetite.
He meant the state to be the state, a type for all time and climes.
State out to be the one in which an individual finds his best self.
Feminist and same education for them.
Abolition of family, specialization of functions, rule of philosophy.
Philosophy = reason in action.

Criticism:

a). False analogy between individual and stage.
b). State is totalitarian.
c). Communism impracticable.
d). Failed to denounce slavery.
e). Ignored working classes.
f). Ignored the evils of functional specialization.
g). Failed to provide a regular constitution.

Platonic Conception of Justice:

Man and classes must be confined to their own specific duties to the state and their selfishness must give place to utter devotion to the state which could only be done if justice reigned supreme in the state.

Earlier:
Cephalous:

Giving every man what is due to him.
Socrates: justice is the interest of the weaker mean the governed.
Glaucon: It is good to be unjust than to suffer injustice.
To Plato: The will to concentrate on one owns sphere of duty and not to meddle with the sphere of others which will lead to functional specialization.
The state is the reality of which justice is the idea.
His justice is against individualism.
Justice is a principle of non-interference.

Criticism:

1). Ignores the evil of functional specialiaztion.
2). Stunts the growth fo the individual.
3). Impossible for the ruling class not to interfere.
4). Against functional not regulative interference.
5). In moral terms rather than legal terms.
6). Duties not rights for individual.
7). Does not provide for the clash of individual and class interests.
8). Monoploy of Philospher rulers.
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Old Thursday, February 19, 2009
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Default Plato system of education:

Plato system of education:


1). State regulated, disciplinarian and feminist.
2). Not just storing knowledge but the eye must be turned to light.
3).State to promote justice and right action by proper system of education.
4). Most important function of state, systemic, progressive.
5).

a). Childhood; cultivation of certain attitudes.
b). Youth; Physical and Intellectual
c). Adult: General and vocational.

Up to 20 general in physical and music, 20-30, systemic, scientific, dialectics, 30-35; mathematics + astronomy+ logic+ dialectics & >35 Philosophy.
Calculated to harmonious development of individual and society.
Both for body and soul and Idealism and realism.
Calculated to create the ruling class which = state.

Criticism:

1). only for guardian class and ignore the lower classes.
2). Stroke at the roots of democracy.
3). Emphasis on Mathematics and ignore the role of arts.
4). He gives us the economic theory of the state which is the highest manifestation of virtue.
5). Urge to preserve and expand and not only economic needs.
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Old Monday, February 23, 2009
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Default Plato on communism & Women

Plato on communism:

1. Communism of wives: emancipation of women and reform of marriage.
2. The individual was neither allowed opportunities nor incentive to do nothing besides serving the state.
3. Would develop a self that is integral & useful part of the society.
4. Comparison with modern communism:

Similarities:

1. Both ignore individuality and believe on the supremacy of the state = totalitarian
2. Both impracticable eliminate unregulated economic competition if applied on vast scale, to promote political unity and social harmony.

Differences:

1. Plato: equal abnegation while Modern equal division
2. For ruling classes only. ` Affects all
3. To prevent concentration of eco & pol Modern POL to economic class.
4. Abolition of family + Property Only property
5. Doesn’t touch the lower class for the labor class
6. Aristocratic: not by the people `
7. In case of property Common renunciation in case of children common ownership.

Plato the First Feminist:

1. Women must be taken out and rescued from her ignorant servitude and given intellectual independence.
2. Equality between man and woman in guardian class.
3. No fundamental difference between man and woman, of degree not of kind because they can administrate, guard in both civil and military capacity.
4. Assigned special functions to regulate marriages and rear children.
5. He discourage polygamy and one must be heavily fined if remain single after 35.
6. He was against excessive drinking. His concern for women was more for their duties than rights.

Criticism of Platonic Communism:

1. Ignore human nature and the importance of the property.
2. Half communism (only for the guardian classes) would kill diversity.
3. May lead to indolence and he failed to establish a correlation b/w Politics and economics.
4. He ignores the healthy influence of familial life and the principle of unity in diversity rather than dual uniformity with the help of proper system of education.
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Old Tuesday, February 24, 2009
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Default Plato on decline of Ideal state, Democracy, Govt:, Marxism & Fascism

Plato on decline of Ideal state:

When Reason declines and gives place to spirit followed by appetite getting the upper hand by over powering both reason and spirit.

Classification of Government:

1. Regal (Rule of One), the Ambitious (rule of few), the oligarchic (rule of few), the democratic (rule of many) & tyranny (rule of One & the worst form)
2. Monarchy (Timocracy if perverted) is the best form of the government to Plato

Plato on Democracy:

He identified democracy with individualism and social dissolution and denounced it because he believed in the rule of trained intellect.

Plato and Marxism:

Marx reversed the aristocracy of intellect with dictatorship of proletariat.


Plato and fascism:

Similarities:

Both against Democracy, Totalitarian, Minority rule, eugenic, repudiate human equality, against unregulated liberty, for devotion to state, try to coordinate all form and aspect of life, stand for supremacy of law & both denies participation to non-free(Plato) and non-fascist.

Differences:

1. Plato against imperialism, for Idealism, Rationalism, subordinates politics to ethics, advocates communism, stands for harmony while
2. Fascism stand for imperialism, realism, Pragmatism, subordinates ethics to politics, very much the antithesis of communism and for struggles for power.
3. Note: Differences are of more fundamental nature than similarities.
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  #5  
Old Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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Default Plato and Individualim, Idea of Good, Classification of Govt:

Plato and Individualism:

Was against atomistic individualism and stood for social individuality and sane individualism.
Demanded sacrifices from rulers not the ruled only guardian class to merge in state.
Devised Specialization of functions which enhance personality
Said Individual is part of the whole and emphasized natural inequality but conceded equality of opportunity to all through his system of Education.
His later works (Statesman and The laws) are more individualistic than republic.

Plato on the Idea of Good:

The idea of the good is the source of all truth, of knowledge, beauty and of moral goodness.

Plato’s STATESMAN:

Classification of government on the basis of law

If the ruler is philosopher the law is useless but since this is rare so, law is necessary.

Government Direct by law.......................................Government not Direct by law.

1). Rule of one- monarchy..........................................Rule of one tyranny
2). Rule of few-Aristocracy.........................................Rule of few-oligarchy
3).Rule many- moderate democracy..............................Rule of many-extreme democracy.
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Default Plato in His book, the LAWS, Plato on Wealth & Power & on ADM machinary.

Plato in His book, the LAWS

Education far less strict and the women were not entirely free from domestic duties.
Both property and family was allowed but under strict state supervision.

Plato on wealth and political power:

Sate to limit land in possession of individuals and the greater the difference in wealth the lesser would be the harmony of interest between rich and poor.

Plato on Administrative machinery:

5040 head of families> ADM council of 360 appointed to execute orders of >Board of 37, elected b/w age of 50 & 70.
Jury system & both sexes are allowed to serve.

Estimate of Plato:

He was First systemic thinker and father of political radicalism.
Utopian and hated democracy, Justice, communism, functional specialization, feminist and eugenicist

The End:
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Default

ARISTOTLE 383-322, The Phiospher of Realism


Aristotle (384-322)

Aristotle and Plato:

1. The former was conservative, inductive (in method, realist) and moved from particular to universal while and the latter was radical, deductive (Idealist) and moved from universal to particular.
2. Plato subordinated politics to ethics while Aristotle gave the pride to politics.

Influences on Aristotle:

From Plato: Superiority of Greeks over the barbarian, active role of citizen, usefulness of slavery and pupil ship of Plato.

Aristotle on natural origin of the State:


1. Man is political animal> a household (elements of fellowship, organization and justice originates here) which has moral and social use>Village when urge to seek a fuller life>City or State which is big enough to be self sufficing.

2. The economic needs of man may be met within family but his fuller development both moral and rational, is possible only within the state.

Aristotle on Nature of the State:

1. The highest of all communities which aims at the highest good and it is the creation of nature because man is by nature a political animal.
2. State covers all individuals and associations and they have meaning and life only within the state.
3. Sate has organic growth and performs moral functions and man is a man, he is better than a brute, only if he lives in a state.

To Aristotle, Ends of the State:

1. Man is essentially good and state performs both positive and negative functions.
2. State is not merely a punishing agency, it is spiritual association in a moral life and must have the virtues like individual of courage, self control and justice.

Aristotle on Slavery:

1. Slavery is natural to him and therefore moral because there is a natural inequality between men and so, therefore, there is natural rule of the superior over the inferior.
2. The intellectual must control and rule the physical (Slaves).
3. Slavery is Not only necessary but expedient because they provide the leisure to the intellectuals to concentrate on their allotted duties and in the process the slaves get the virtues of their master.
4. He was against slave exploitation but did not believe in the racial, sexual and human equality.
5. Distinction between slave by law (prisoner of war) and slave by nature but believed that the son of a natural salve may not always be a slave.
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Default Aristotle’s Realism, Criticism on his Slaves Theory & His views on Citizenship!

Aristotle’s Realism:

He justified slavery to secure the necessary leisure to the free born Greeks for participation in public life.

Criticism on Aristotle Theory of Slavery:

1. There is a difficulty in recognizing who is and who is not a natural slave?
2. How it could be that some are born to rule while others to serve.
3. Slave had little initiative of his own and would reduce domestic servants and even women in backward countries to the position of slaves.
4. Can not a man who can comprehend another man’s reason develop his own rational potentialities if given proper facilities and environment?
5. This goes against his conception of a man to be a moral being with a free and rational will and undemocratic.

Aristotle on citizenship:

1. He viewed stage is assemblage of citizens means only citizens are the important part.
2. The essential attribute of a citizen is only the performance of civic function, participation in public affairs, not for limited period but unlimited period.
3. This concept can only be applied to democracy and the virtues of citizens are different in different forms of government.
Qualifications of citizenship:
1. The prime qualification is the capacity to rule and be ruled in turn.
2. Laborers are out of consideration because they depend on others and freedom from economic worries is essential for citizens.
3. Another qualification is holding of property to ensure leisure (as against Plato).
4. The equality of opportunity to rule was to be restricted to the citizens only. (Coexistence with Plato’s Guardian Class).

Criticism on Aristotle’s Idea of citizenship:

1. Extremely aristocratic and can be applied only to city state with direct democracy.
2. Citizen is both juror and legislator but there may be a system which may not be providing for a jury system.
3. He failed to realize the possibilities of representative democracy.
4. Political privileges only to citizen and failed to realize the educative value of democracy.
5. Not consistent with the idea of greatest good of the greatest number because large citizen participation is necessary for the implementation of this idea.
6. Identification of interests of the ruling class with the public interest on the part of the ruling class
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Default Aristotle on Law, Justice, Education & Govt:

Aristotle on Law and justice:

1. Law is not conventional but natural because it is moral and therefore universal.
2. Natural Law is general principle of conduct which is ascertained by reason.
3. Natural laws were to be implemented only by the legislator.
4. He believed in natural law but not in natural rights.
5. He said a bad constitution means bad laws and rule by law was better than personal rule because law had an impersonal quality which the ruler lacks.

Justice:

Like Plato virtue in action and complete justice is the whole of moral virtue in social relationship.
Distributive justice & Corrective justice:
1. The latter is concerned mainly with voluntary transactions while the former consists in proper allocation to each person according to his worth so; each type of political organization has its own standard of worth and therefore distributive justice.
2. Man’s rights and awards must correspond to his social performance and contributions.
3. Many, collectively, make an important contribution to the state and must be proportionally rewarded but this concept can not be applied to big nation states today.

Aristotle on Education:

1. The end of the state is good life of the individual for which education is the best instrument which has both political and intellectual aim.
2. Education must be adopted to the constitution of the state and calculated to train man in certain type of character suitable to the state.
3. Building of particular type of character is more important than imparting knowledge and therefore, it should be state regulated.

Aristotle’s distinction between State and Governments

Government tangible, changeable, while the state is intangible idea and permanent but he did not believe in the sovereignty of the state, it belonged to the de-facto government.

Aristotle on Government:

1. ON the basis of Birth (Monarchy degenerated into Tyranny) Wealth (Aristocracy degenerated into Oligarchy) and number (Polity degenerated into Democracy)
2. He was in favor of a vague sort of democracy.
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Default Aristotle on Govt; Best Constitution and Elements of State

Aristotle on economic basis of Govt:

He observed there are four elements always struggle for power namely; Birth, Virtue, WEALTH & Liberty.

Aristotle best Constitution:
  1. Polity which is based on moderation and points out the rule of mean and stability is the best attainable constitution.
  2. Polity is best because it is a mixed, more balanced and stable constitution.
  3. Polity is characterized by constitutionalism and to avoid revolution.
  4. He mixes idealism with practicality and devised a constitution which is based on golden mean

Aristotle on Elements of the state:

Population: minimum to self sufficient and maximum enough but not difficult to govern.

Size: Neither too large nor too small. He disliked foreign trade.

Character of the people: Spirit, courage and intelligence.

Classes in the state: Agriculturists, artisans (in the sate but not of the state) & warriors and well to do people, priests and administrators. Citizens; would fight when young, administrative work when older and priest when they are very old.

1. Education: Uniform, compulsory and public education for the leisured classes.
2. He disfranchises women and his society is hereditary unlike Plato’s which is functional.
3. Three functions of the government are: popular assembly (all citizens), system of magistracy and a system of judiciary. Citizen must posses a minimum of property and there must be a reasonable equality of property-ownership.
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