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Lecture 4. Political power and democracy. Democracy: A Social Power Analysis.
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Lecture 4 Political power and democracy
Democracy: A Social Power Analysis • Democracy and freedom are the central values of modern society. But they've come to mean so many different things that they're almost meaningless. We find them being used to support the most anti-democratic policies…
… • As mere propaganda slogans, they're utilized by individuals and pressure groups to lend a halo of "Americanism" to their own private conquest of an ever larger share of the people's power.
A new social theory The most important function of a new social theory is to provide a rationale and intellectual and moral sanction to what people are already doing - or what they want to do yet don't quite know how because it is at variance with traditional theories and institutions…
… • This social power analysis is intended to serve that purpose for people who are concerned about the concentration and irresponsibility of power in our society. • They will find it provides a framework of ideas within which they can create solutions consistent with democratic institutions and ideals.
SOCIAL POWER • Social power is the basic, common element in politics, economics, and all other social relationships. It is possessed by all individuals and social groups and arises out of their connections to each other. Robinson Crusoe, marooned on a desert island, didn't have to deal with it until he met Friday…
Social power has two aspects: • The ability to influence others so as to further our own interests or desires. 2) The ability to resist the activities of others.
Signs of totalitarianism • The power belongs to the same political force • The state controls all spheres of public life • Citizens do not have any rights • repression
Signs of authoritarianism • The power belongs to one person or group of persons • The government controls almost all spheres of public life • Citizens have only limited economic and spiritual rights • Police surveillance, repression
Signs of democracy • Power belongs to the elected bodies, the division into three branches, political pluralism • The state controls all spheres of public life, allowed private ownership • The constitutional protection of citizens' rights • Freedom of choice, speech, press, assembly
Political Ideology– a set of ideas, values, attitudes, principles, based on which society develops, the state
The liberal ideology: freedom, free from spiritual values, individualism, private property
The nationalist ideology: the priority of the national government, economy, culture
Types of political power : • Traditional • Rational • charismatic
Traditional Authority: • Transmitted by tradition • Hereditary power: from parents - the children and grandchildren ...As a rule, it is a monarchy (principalities, kingdoms…)
The rational power : • Head of state chosen for his professionalism, his apparent when the abilities and skills of political and administrative activity
charismatic authority : • Ruler chosen for his charisma ("charisma" is Greek for the extraordinary gift of the grace of God, a special spiritual power of the individual). • People support the charismatic leaders for their courage, innovative thinking, actions consistent with the interests of the whole society. • Charismatic personality made the revolution, reform, positive change in the life of mankind