Political Philosophy, a very short introduction

Publish Date
Dec 29, 2021
Chapter 2. Political Authority
Hobbes argued that we choose to belong to the state because it is preferable to the state of nature where life, as we saw, is ‘nasty, brutish, and short’ and it does not matter how the state arises. Even if we submit to a conqueror at the point of a sword, we still consent to his authority, because we do so to escape a worse fate. But this stretches the idea of consent beyond recognition. What made the football club example compelling was the fact that I freely chose to join.
约翰 洛克 《政府论》
Later writers rejected Hobbes’s argument about obligation and consent, and tried to find something other than the mere fact of subjection to the state which could be used to indicate our consent to the law. John Locke, for example, pointed out in his Second Treatise of Government (1689) that we all accept benefits from the state, and our acceptance can be treated as a form of consent. In particular, since one of the chief functions of the state is to protect our property, when we acquire it by purchase or inheritance, say, we are also tacitly consenting to the state’s jurisdiction over that property, and therefore to its laws. This even applied, Locke thought, to someone who merely took lodgings for a week or travelled on the highway. However the problem again is that we really have little choice about accepting these benefits: we cannot live without property of some kind, even if it is only food and clothing; we cannot escape from the state without travelling the highway to the border. So it still seems to be stretching the idea of consent too far to say that anyone who enjoys state benefits is giving her consent, and obliging herself to obey the law.
Civil disobedience
Suppose for the moment that we are able to show that our society is sufficiently fair that its members do have an obligation to keep the law. Does this mean that they are never justified in breaking it? Or could political obligation be outweighed by other principles? Political philosophers, including Hobbes, have often argued that, without strict obedience to political authority, that authority will crumble into dust. But in practice it seems that states and other forms of political authority can survive and function effectively so long as people are generally (rather than universally) disposed to comply with them, and this opens the door to limited forms of disobedience, especially what has come to be called civil disobedience – illegal but non-violent forms of political protest whose purpose is to put pressure on government to change its policies. The argument for civil disobedience is that if a particular law is sufficiently unjust or oppressive, or if the state refuses to listen to the concerns of a minority when making its decisions, this can justify breaking the law if legal forms of protest prove to be ineffective. Political obligation, in other words, need not be binding on all occasions. We can have a general obligation to obey the law, and still be justified in acting illegally in extreme circumstances. What difference does democracy make here? A common view is that civil disobedience might be an acceptable way of protesting against an authoritarian regime, but in a democratic state, with free speech and the right to protest peacefully, it cannot be justified – political obligation is more stringent here. But this implies that there is something special about democratic political authority that distinguishes it from other forms of political rule. What this special feature might be is the subject of the next chapter.
Chapter 3. Democracy
Joseph Schumpeter 約瑟夫·阿洛伊斯·熊彼特(德語:Joseph Alois Schumpeter,或譯為熊彼德,1883年2月8日-1950年1月8日)[1]是奧地利一位有深遠影響的政治經濟學家。
重要學說主張 「经济循環」(Business cycle)-根據其說法,類似「景氣循環」的主張早在19世紀的1830年代就被英國經濟學家圖克(Thomas Tooke)採用其時代的經濟學術語提出過了,後來在重要的經濟學家著作中也都約略地提到過這個概念,比如在李嘉圖、馬歇爾、龐巴維克跟馬克思……等人的著作中。熊彼得認為自己只不過是將景氣循環的定義與作用給明確地展示出來之人而已。其中他对朱格拉周期、基钦周期和康德拉季耶夫周期进行了综合分折。 「創新」(Innovation)-將原始生產要素重新排列組合為新的生產方式,以求提高效率、降低成本的一個經濟過程。在熊彼得的經濟模型中,能夠成功「創新」的人便能夠擺脫利潤遞減的困境而生存下來,那些不能夠成功地重新組合生產要素之人會最先被市場淘汰。 「資本主義的創造性破壞」(The creative destruction of capitalism)-當景氣循環到谷底的同時,也是某些企業家不得不考慮退出市場或是另一些企業家必須要「創新」以求生存的時候。只要將多餘的競爭者篩除或是有一些成功的「創新」產生,便會使景氣提升、生產效率提高,但是當某一產業又重新是有利可圖的時候,它又會吸引新的競爭者投入,然後又是一次利潤遞減的過程,回到之前的狀態……所以說每一次的蕭條都包括著一次技術革新的可能,這句話也可以反過來陳述為:技術革新的結果便是可預期的下一次蕭條。在熊彼得看來,資本主義的創造性與毀滅性因此是同源的。但熊彼得並不認為資本主義的優越性便是由於其自己產生的動力將而不停地推動自身發展,他相信資本主義經濟最終將因為無法承受其快速膨脹帶來的能量而崩潰於其自身的規模。 「菁英民主理論」-民主程序論或稱為「菁英競爭式民主理論」。在其代表作《資本主義、社會主義與民主》一書中,熊彼德採用他那德國歷史學派的老成語調提出了他對於民主理論的觀察。他主張:西方兩百年間主要的民主理論皆建立在不真實的前提之上,比如說這些民主理論不經考察投票人是否具有對投票內容的專業認識便以為多數的意見優於少數的意見。他認為這樣的民主學說僅僅是空想,與事實完全脫節,更沒有真實地闡述政府權力的來源。熊彼得認為他的看法才是符合人類歷史經驗的:民主僅是產生治理者的一個過程,而且還不是一個必要過程,無論人民參與民主的程度有多少,政治權力始終都是在菁英階層當中轉讓。與其主張資本主義即將崩塌時一樣,這兩個主張都被認為是歷史主義者的悲觀論點。無論如何,熊彼得的「菁英競爭式民主理論」引起了政治學者的觀注,其中以反駁者居多,另外有人將熊彼得的學說與義大利社會學家巴烈圖的「菁英循環」說並列為菁英政治學說的兩大經典。
Chapter 4. Freedom and it’s limit
John Stuart Mill, 约翰·斯图尔特·密尔(John Stuart Mill,1806年5月20日-1873年5月8日),也译作约翰·史都華·穆勒,英國著名效益主義(utilitarian)、自由主義哲學家、政治經濟學家、英國國會議員。其哲學著作聞名於世,研究範圍包括政治哲學、政治經濟學、倫理學、邏輯學等,其著作《論自由》(On Liberty)是古典自由主義集大成之作,而在19世纪古典自由主義學派影響巨大。
militant atheism, 源自 League of Militant Atheists, 战斗无神论者同盟(俄語:Союз воинствующих безбожников) 是1925年至1947年间在苏联活动的无神论和反宗教组织,其组成主要是受苏联共产党意识形态和文化观点政策影响的工人和知识分子 。其成员主要为党员、共青团团员、无党派人士、工人、老兵等[3]。建立者是叶梅利扬·米哈伊洛维奇·雅罗斯拉夫斯基。
Mill 's principle of liberty: self-regarding activities sphere, a sphere of private activity whthin which people should have complete freedom to do as they liked. The inconvenience is one which society can afford to bear (for the outcomes of people s self-regarding activity), for the sake of the greater good of human freedom’.
Another way of restricting what the state may do in the name of individual freedom: "human rights" theory John Locke: life, liberty, property The human rights perspective does not involve asking whether certain human activities are potentially harmful to others. Instead it looks at the person herself and asks whether we can identify certain conditions without which no one can lead a decent human life. It tries to be neutral over the question what the best kind of life is for human beings – it does not say whether it is more valuable to be a religious believer, a political activist, an artist, a farmer, or a housewife – but it claims that all of these ways of living require conditions that human rights protect.
Chapter 5. Justice
安布罗乔·洛伦泽蒂(Ambrogio Lorenzetti;義大利語發音:[amˈbrɔːdʒo lorenˈtsetti]; 约1290 – 1348年6月9日)是一位意大利西恩納畫派的画家,活跃于1317-1348年。他最著名的作品是壁画《好政府与坏政府的寓言》(The Allegory of Good and Bad Government),位于锡耶纳(Siena)市政厅的九人大厅(Sala dei Nove)。他的哥哥彼得罗·洛伦泽蒂也是一位画家。 Distributive justice 结果正义,公平分配(rewards and costs). 相对于程序正义(just process) People should be treaded equally unless there are relevant differences between them. (constant and consistent) Principle of just distribution: equality. need desert Social justice: 20世纪兴起,通常涉及对 market economy 的某些人为扭曲。哈耶克反对。 Commutative justice John Rawls 约翰,罗尔斯,正义论 (A Theory of Justice) 3 principles * equal liberty * equality of opportunity * Difference principle. Inequalities of income and wealth are justified when they benefit all people / the worst people.
Chapter 6. Feminism and multiculturalism
密尔的 《妇女的屈从地位》(The Subjection of Women)否定了存在於男性和女性之間的區別是自然的這一观点,轉而證明兩性區別更多的是源於社會性的因素。 domestic justice : justice between men and women in family life. positive discrimination (affirmative action) Political philosophers ought to resist the temptation, common to politicians, to assume that the policy they favour involves no sacrifice of other values. Here we ought to conclude that positive discrimination is just only when it is a matter of ensuring real fairness between individuals – unearthing genuine merit. If it goes beyond that, and becomes a means of raising the general standing of one group in relation to others, then however desirable that may be in general, it is no longer a matter of justice.
Chapter 7. Nations, states and global justice
Benedict Anderson 本尼迪克特·理查德·奥格曼·安德森(英語:Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson,1936年8月26日-2015年12月13日),生於中國昆明,是美國著名的學者,專門研究民族主義和國際關係。為康乃爾大學榮休教授。著有《想像的共同體》(Imagined Communities),提出民族 and / or 国家(nation)是想像的共同體。 People had to learn to see themselves as French, or American, or Japanese, not just as family members or residents of a particular town. William Inge (6 June 1860 – 26 February 1954) was an English author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge, and dean of St Paul's Cathedral, which provided the appellation by which he was widely known, Dean Inge. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times: ‘a nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancesry and by a common hatred of its neighbours’. Nations also typically develop myths about themselves – about their unique moral or cultural qualities, about their past military or political (or sporting) achievements, and so forth. None the less national identity is not simply illusory and it serves good purposes as well as bad. The groups we call nations share, in nearly all cases, a common language, a history of living together over time, and cultural traits that are expressed not only in literary form but also in the physical environment – in the way towns and cities are built, in the pattern of the landscape, in monuments, religious buildings, and the ike. When new generations are brought up in those cultural and physical surroundings, they cannot help being shaped by this common heritage – even if they rebel against many aspects of it.