Equality

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  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 04-05-20 10:04

Civil Liberty

Kant 

  • Thinking for yourself will improve the character of freedom and people will become better at managing freedom
  • The age of Enlightenment was the Age of Frederick "the first servant of the state"
  • Defended monarchical government by saying it was either the best or the worst form of government depending on how it was distributed. It was good if they rule in your interest but bad if they don't 
  • As long as people have freedom of opinion then there should be peace; everyone should have civil rights 

Locke

  • Challenged the opinion that civil freedom was the most important thing
  • We need political freedom for civil freedom to have any meaning 
  • Absolute power is illegitimate by definition, and legitimate rule is rule which originates from the will of the people and by the consent of the governed 
  • Lock challenges basis of monarchial sovereignty 
    • Humans are naturally in a state of perfect freedom and perfect equality; they have the same rights and are subject to the same law 
    • You are free when you can live in common law that you helped creating and upholding
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Civil Liberty

Locke

    • You can be subject to laws so long as they are made by a government that you have consented to ruling
    • Digressionary power is illegitimate and unfree, it is slavery 
    • In the state of nature, no one is subject to the arbitrary will of another, we are subject to the laws of nature and nothing else
    • Through the Law of Nature, we can work our through our reason that we shouldn't interfere with the life, liberty and nature of one another 
    • Government is a human artefact, the origin of government comes from human agreement to give up some of their rights in order for the government to rule on our behalf 
    • Community is self-policing 
  • However, we need a government people there is fundamental unreasoning when it comes to human nature in a rage
  • We appoint an impartial "umpire" that judges in every case, therefore the common court is the first type of government
  • The preservation of property is fundamentally what the government is for but the government cannot take property unless they have the consent of the people
  • If the government violates our rights, it means we have the right to resist because the government has declared war on us
  • People only have the right to rebel if the government has turned the country to a state of law - very influential on the USA
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Consent

Locke

  • Consent must come through those who are governed 
  • By living in a country and having benefitted from its consumptions, then you are consenting to the government 
  • You don't have a government unless everyone gives consent of who is going to govern
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The origin of property

Locke

  • There are property rights in the state of nature because we have ownership of ourselves, our person and our labour
  • You are born with property, you have ownership of yourself and your power to labour; neither can be alienated from us and if you are coerced to labour, they are violating your property rights
  • Once we join our labour to another object, the labour-object combination becomes ours 
  • Our needs impose a limit on what we can appropriate; we can't own what we can't use
    • With the invention of money, there is no limit on appropriation, so inequality will develop 
    • Only with the motivation of money there is motivation to harvest more than you could consume because you earn more from harvesting more goods 
    • The 'Lockean Proviso' suggests you have the right to harvest as much as you want, so long as you leave as much and as good for everyone else 
  • In principle, we should be able to live peacefully without government: if we were rational, we would abide by rules regulating property 
  • There is property and a law, discoverable by reason, that governs it and before this law we are all equal 
  • People are not always rational, so there needs to be a government as an impartial 'umpire'
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The origin of property

Rousseau 

  • Property rights are not natural rights
  • The social contract by which we form the government is not natural. It is a bogus legitimation of inequality and oppression.
  • Human beings developed from liberty and equality of the state of nature to the slavery and oppression of modern social life
  • Thinks the war develops gradually, however, thinks there is a peace settlement which is where are political institutions come from 
  • Once you have taste and leisure, you start wanting extra things to start filling your time. The more you have, the more you need and want
  • It is a terrible trap because not having things is unpleasant by having luxury goods is unpleasant because you just want more things and having the things doesn't bring you any real happiness 
  • In the state of nature, we were more independent, but once needs start to spiral then people become dependent on each other as you cannot make all the needs yourself.
  • Property is introduced when other needs exceed basic needs 
  • Thus you only get property when you get inequality 
  • When you start to have property, your claim to this property comes through labour, but if you own property you usually don't make it 
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Natural Inequality and scarcity

Rousseau 

  • Natural inequality unfolds itself by the different circumstance between men and begins to have an influence over a lot of individuals 
  • Money plays a crucial role 
    • When every piece of land is taken, you have to take it from somebody else, so you have to amass wealth in order to take it from someone else 
    • Once all the land is owned, you need to sell your labour to someone else or steal 
    • Those who are poor and can't have access to natural goods have to approach landowners and ask what they have to do to be fed 
    • The rich then become corrupted as they have the power of life and death. The power goes to their heads which introduces class war
  • The wealthy always design the law, therefore the social contract is not on everyone, just the rich 
  • The social contract made inequality and slavery permanent by making it legal through the protection of the rich's property and peace for the poor 
  • Everyone runs into ******* through the law
    • The poor are enchanted by their poverty and the legalisation of inequality 
    • The rich are enchanted by their wealth and the artificial needs it creates 
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Natural Inequality and scarcity

Rousseau 

  • Being rich isn't the best condition because your needs are always in excess of what you can satisfy 
  • The poor suffer the most through the social contract because political and economic inequality are aligned and they do not have the same rights as the rich in any aspect of life 
  • There was nothing inevitable about the enslaving the many to the few: human nature by itself is not sufficient to explain the current state of mankind 
  • The birth of every child was, in principle, an opportunity to start again and create independence rather than dependence because this is not natural so if you educate to not support this class conflict then things will start to change
  • Thought another political order was conceivable - a society of equality and liberty 
  • It did not require a radical transformation of human nature, you just had to go back to the start of the discourse to construct very different politics 
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Social Contract

Rousseau 

  • "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains"
  • Political authority has its origins in a contract, but the contract might be something other than a legitimation of inequality and oppression 
  • Republicanism does not depend on the 'virtue' of citizens 
  • Laws can be changed, people cannot 
  • In politics, human beings should be considered to be wholly self-interested 
  • People need protection, but they need to remain just as free. In a perfect republic, you give up none of your liberty
  • The solution to this is perfect equality 
  • If everyone is equal, then there would be no need to have someone to decide which rights are respected, so people don't subject themselves to any particular person's will, but to the will of the whole community - the general will
  • The community that is formed by the contract offers equal protection to every associate: and this is a much stronger form of protection than any individual can give himself - this is the protection of civil liberty
  • Property rights do not predate the contract, but are created by it 
  • The community decide what property is and how much everyone gets 
  • The social contract cannot serve to legitimate pre-existing inequality of property: it is the moment when it is decided how much property each person can be said to have a right to.
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Social Contract

Rousseau 

  • The social contract creates a people out of individuals: it turns humans into citizens 
  • The general will is sovereign, therefore it is the whole source of the legitimacy of law and political institutions 
  • Citizens are created through their sovereignty and this sovereignty cannot be ‘alienated’ and cannot be ‘represented’: the essence of a people is to make law for itself: a people preserve itself as a people by continuously asserting its will in the making and reaffirmation of law.
  • Against representative government, because the people commit suicide as soon as it delegates lawmaking power to representatives 
  • Because the general will is an expression of shared interests: it is the will of everyone and in the formation of the general will, everyone's interests count equally
  • As a member of the people, everyone must vote as an individual, out of their own sense of their interests 
  • So long as we vote as individuals, everyone's vote will count equally 
  • The key to equality is every individual thinking of himself only as a member of the people; if people vote as members of interest groups or religions or social classes, politics becomes a struggle for power among factions 
  • Education to essential to republican politics to enable individuals to recognise that self-interest and the interests of the people coincide, or to enable individuals to think of themselves as citizens, not as a certain group
  • However, the individual is not only a citizen and is not expected to live his whole life in the service of the state
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Social Contract

Rousseau 

  • But, the limits of politics are not defined by rights to civil liberties 
  • RIghts are conferred on individuals by the sovereign people: and the people, being sovereign, could in principle take those rights away. In particular, individuals hold not inviolable property rights against the people 
  • He argues that those who obey laws they did not vote for remain bound by a will that is their own since the democratic process has enabled them to discover the content of a general will in which that they share
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