Revision Notes for A2 Government and Politics - Political Ideologies (Unit 3B)

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Revision Notes
Core Values of Liberalism
o Political/Revolutionary Liberty
No longer central to liberal thought
o Individual Liberty
Over-powerful gov'ts enemies of liberty; gov't too paternalistic
Utilitarianism ­ Bentham
Absence of constraint ­ J.S. Mill
o Negative vs. Positive Liberty
Negative: Absence of constraints
Positive: Individual freedom, equality of opportunity
T.G. Green ­ society as organic, made of self-interested individuals
o Locke: "Every man may enjoy the same rights that are granted to others"
o Modern ­ sympathetic to influence of social/economic circumstances
o Equal Rights
Bentham and Mill reject natural rights
Humans born unequal
o Equality of Opportunity
Classical liberals ­ society free of restraints (negative)
Booth's cycle of deprivation
o Gov't by Consent
Continuous consent
Free elections
o Limited Gov't
Consent not sufficient safeguard
o Constitutionalism
Arbitrary power
Democracy = tyranny of majority
Power concentrated
o Liberal Constitution
Defines limits to jurisdiction of gov't and rights of citizens
Distributes power
Includes arrangements for amendments
o Legal justice ­ equal application
o Social justice ­ requires intervention of state
Unit 3 ­ Introducing Political IdeologiesPage 1

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
o Inequality natural; free society ­ social outcomes just
Issues in Liberalism
o Rousseau ­ diff.…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Human Nature
o Pessimistic ­ original six
o Justifies paternalism; people are untrustworthy and self-seeking
Order and Authority
o Hobbes: "nasty, brutish and short"
Tradition and Preservation
o Burke: "partnership between those who are living, those who are dead and those
who are yet to be born"
o Modern: economic monetarism, privatisation over tradition
o Creates competition and dynamism
Organic Society
o Pragmatic/gradualism
o Upper levels take care of lower ­ noblesse oblige ­ Big Society
o…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
State only intervene to control currency and public finances (monetarism)
o Populism
Centred on potential of individual success
o Right-wing Nationalism
Pragmatic: faced with globalisation and European integration
o Neo-conservatism
Stressed importance of good order ­ paternalistic view of role of state
Contemporary US conservatism
o Religious/moralistic attitude to social issues
o Opposition to socially progressive ideas
o Deep suspicion of centralised state power
o Attachment to pluralist, decentralised democracy
o Classic liberal economic views
o Desire to spread US…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Core Values
o Equal rights ­ birth right
o Equality of opportunity
o Fundamentalists: Equality of outcome
o Ultimate goal of Marxists: Absolute equality
o Equality of welfare ­ all entitled to minimum standard of living
Class Conflict
o Revolutionary: conflict unsolvable under capitalism
o Non-revolutionary: form governments operating in interests of working-class
o Democratic: modify capitalism ­ excessive controls/state intervention
o Social democracy: state works in national interests
Social Justice
o Marxists: capitalism cannot create just distribution…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Based on individual self-interest, draining human creativity
o Development of capitalism
Capitalism becomes highly productive
Surplus generated = more productive
Working class grown = polarisation
Capitalism overproduces, economic slumps occur
Socialist consciousness grows amongst working class
Rivalry between capitalist countries intensifies = war
Class consciousness becomes revolutionary = end of capitalism
o Revolution
Lack of Marxist Revolution:
Popper: analysis flawed; no fixed laws of historical development
Marcuse: exploited class now manipulated consumers
Gramsci: capitalism learnt flaws = controlled it development…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Capitalism and Socialism
o Early: offered alternatives to capitalism
o Marxists/Fundamentalists: fundamentally exploitative ­ destroy capitalism
o 1959 ­ German Social Democratic Party ­ no longer need to destroy it
Marxism in Practice
Russian Revolution
The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
o Problems: underdeveloped proletariat and surrounded by hostile nations
o Soviet Union failed to deliver economic prosperity
o Soviet people subject to new ruling classes: party bureaucracy and state security
o China was nearly completely agrarian: farms became…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
o Libertarians: property acceptable as long as justly obtained
Critique of capitalism
o Libertarians : free-market
o Contemporary anarchists: international capitalism exploiting poor nations
Types of Anarchism
o Dissolve state voluntary, self-governing communities
Direct democracy
o Stirner: Humankind driven by egoism
o Cooperative capitalism
No state
Freedom from law
Exchange on labour value
o Capitalism entrenched, must be adapted
o Dispute settled by private arbitrators
o Accept self-interested nature of mankind
o Bridges gap…read more

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A2 Government & Politics Revision
Anarchism, Socialism and Marxism
On what grounds do socialists and anarchists differ?
o Oppose private property
o Individuals can achieve self-realisation through collective action
o Strong sense of equality
Is anarchism merely unscientific socialism?
o Lack of theory of history
o Lack of coherent view of humankind
o Incoherent conception of class
Unit 3 ­ Introducing Political IdeologiesPage 9…read more


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