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POL 208 Y1 Lecture 1 What is politics o Easton and the liberal tradition: politics as allocation- who gets what

t when and how Means of allocation: custom exchange and command Custom o Think of medieval era o Born to a knight, will be a knight o Functions on the basis of consensus Exchange o Equality o Contract o Markets o A sort of consensus Command o Most important, best definition of politics o Inequality o Must have force and coercion Political commands apply to an entire society and will be enforced Politics as such, is an ugly game No one likes to be forced It has to do with power Question rises: is politics necessary? o Easton says no Politics is necessary Against libertarians: uses Durkheim Exchange is a contract Sanctity of a contract Will need someone to enforce said contract So we are back to politics Views politics to take place in legislatures Not a complete definition o Karl Schmitt politics as Us v. the Other Argued politics, unlike other fields of investigation lacked a basic dichotomy Ex: philosophy= vice v. virtue Schmitts political dichotomy= Us v. the other Or, friend v. foe To him, the most important decision, the core of politics for any state is that they have to decide which other collectivities they can live with peacefully and the ones that they cant Thus politics is existential o What happens politically defines what you are Social control-keeping control and peace of state in the constant threat of enemies Presupposes the possibility of armed conflict o Always about emergency/crisis o There is no legal norm so important, morality so absolute no social project so compelling as to justify men killing each other. War, the fighters will to kill or be killed makes sense not because of some

program but in the encounter with an actual foe War is not the be all and end all or content of politics, but a condition that it always presupposes Origin of the 2 approaches o Easton Anglo/American tradition: Locke, Hobbes, Rawls They are exceptional in that they have never been seriously threatened by an enemy The only real threats have been from within o Civil war Most civil wars when solely having to deal with the country (not based on exterior forces-Syria) have to deal with citizens being upset and a general feeling of inequality o Of course then, the most important issue would be distribution o Schmitt Continental tradition: Machiavelli, Sun Zu German historical experience Largest ethnic diversity in his time Centered country Surrounded on all sides Feuding countries Whats interesting about this is that these two views would create very different ideal states o Easton Liberal tradition Liberal democracy Government is only viewed as legitimate if it protects the right of its citizens How do you create this kind of government? Governments violate the rights of citizens, not people In other words, the state must be restrained o How? Make it accountable Democracy Not enough, need to create checks and balances Separation of powers Prevents powerful majorities from overpowering weak minorities Need to essentially make government inefficient That way everyones interests are protected o At least their vital ones Dont want government to intervene in life o Schmitt Most important aspect is efficiency Authoritarian o Dictatorship Compare and Contrast o Differences arent as stark as they appear o Most thinkers realize that there is another side that they dont acknowledge Before liberty can be protected at home, we must first be safe enemies abroad (Locke) For Schmitt, in order to decide who is friend or foe, we need see how they allocate their resources?

Cold War o USSR posed a military threat, so we need to act Wasnt actually the case o What was true, they allocated their resources differently Communism o Why was this a threat? The 99% of America might rise up against the 1% once they realized that spread of wealth in the USSR Might want that more than the capitalist marketplace