Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Social & Political Philosophy: Review for the Final Exam

Hegel & Revolution
Teen during French Revolution, reason as revolution, Marx inverting theism to materialism, historical process & explanations, dialectic as back & forth, positive-negative-synthesis, dogmatism vs. skepticism, understanding vs. reason, history as Orientals-Greeks-Germans/Europeans, master/slave dialectic, judgment as one-sided acid, oppositions as everything, being is non-being as becoming, freedom is necessity as one, Marx points to final stage of workers vs. owners, business class as latest stage, reason as critique of Rousseau’s romantic will

Socialism
Along with Capitalism and industrialization comes problems, inequality & criticism, equality vs. freedom, social use vs. individual interest, redistribution of wealth, social welfare, planned vs. free economies, most are mixed economies, gradual vs. radical revolution, democratic vs. tyrannical businesses, unions, co-ops, communes, Mazdak the Zoroastrian/Socialist, Saint-Simon’s Socialisme & meritocracy with “thieves” removed from above and below, co-operation vs. competition as productive, hand of greed vs. invisible hand, voting for workers, Marcuse the “father of the new left”, Frankfurt School & Critical Theory, attack on positivism, critique of corporate capitalism, consumerism & marketing, criticism of communism, compared both to fascism, One Dimensional Man, consumer’s fear of revolution, the Establishment, revolutionizing the “obscene”

Communism
Radical socialism & nationalization, capitalism as anarchism, the new French Revolution vs. the capitalists, Saint-Simon’s “each according to contribution” eventually “each according to need”, assumes surplus allows for this, imposing dictatorship evolving toward democracy, Lenin vs. Trotsky’s theory of continuous revolution, problem with failure of reluctant dictatorship, post-Marxists, problem of top-down and bottom-up viewpoints, internationalism, Communist Manifesto, all history is class struggle, problem of the necessary but revolutionary middle class, modern individuality made impossible, abolition of the family & nationality, Lenin & vanguard party dictatorship, Stalin’s socialism in one country, Gramsci & society as more complex than workers vs. owners, hegemony & hegemonic discourse, “counter-revolutionary” as mask of complex problems, Mao & paying attention to farmers vs. industrial city, Zizek and new struggle of first vs. third world

Anarchism
Radical bottom-up vs. previous top-down systems, feasibility of anarchy given technological society, government and power as inherently abusive, problem of central vs. decentralized power (private armies), Proudhon first to call himself an anarchist, “property is theft”, “anarchy is order”, anarchy symbol, free association of co-ops & communes, no need for nationalization, possession through mutual & voluntary use, Bakunin & break with Marx, the propaganda of the deed, criticism of communist dictatorship as self-perpetuating like fascism, Spanish Civil War, Franco, fascist & capitalist support, Squatter’s rights, Free Love & Women’s rights, Emma Goldman, Chomsky vs. Foucault, oppression as monstrous vs. all too human, true human nature vs. fluid human nature, Chomsky argues authority must continuously justify its existence, Foucault argues that institutions create binary dichotomies to maintain power, knowledge always serves power, criticism of psychiatry

Fascism
Fasces as bundle of sticks with ax, fascism as industrialization, nationalism & traditionalism, left & right wing elements, religious & anti-religious elements, anti-communism & anti-anarchism triangle, Mussolini in Italy, hoped for African empire, great depression and rising tides of communism, paramilitary resistance protecting family, religion & nationalism, vicious pacification of Africa, blaming own people in failure, Hitler in Germany, scientific legitimacy, Western ideal origins of Athens, Sparta & Rome, Heidegger and use of Nietzsche & existentialism hoping for radical new beginning, anti-technology & anti-modernity, romantic phenomenology vs. Husserl’s psychological phenomenology, intentionality, thrownness, technology boxing up the miraculous, with and against the “them” as an “I”, every revealing is a concealing, time as horizon of being, all thought as denial of death & meaninglessness, freedom is transparency of becoming, Heidegger as Nazi Trotsky, Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, antisemetic view of both capitalism & communism, social-Darwinism even in local Nazi leadership, Reichstag Fire & emergency powers, “job creation” through anti-Semitism,  admiration of UK & US

Postcolonialism
Islam as last contiguous empire & height of civilization, Europe gets wealth & gains colonial empire, today we live in post-colonial empire, Fanon as existentialist & Marxist, fighting for French & bleaching of his unit, colonialism destructive to oppressed body & mind, debate with Sartre over independence of the black community, gaze of the other as marginalization, interiorized racism, racism as key to class struggle, getting beyond Manichean categorical dualisms of black/white & irrational/rational, some revolutions (US) violence is justified, Said argues Orientalism is how “West” views the Other/Orient, argues against the “Clash of Civilizations”

Feminism
Myths vs. Realities of gender difference, seeking power through isolation vs. socialization, women as conscious of being watched, potential objectification, early civilization & growth of size as source of sexism, cultures offer women’s rights yet maintain oppression, 66% of work & 1% of property, first wave & Susan B. Anthony voting rights & consensual sex, second wave 60s anti-establishment, Simon de Beauvoir argues women Hegelian Other w/ master/slave dialectic, Friedan argues women need individual identity beyond the home, third wave criticisms, bell hooks criticism of white upper/middle class college movement marginalizing racism & poverty, Judith Butler argues gender is a social construct, gender as performance, issue of display of women’s sexuality as oppressive or liberating

Short Answer Concepts
Problem of Equality vs. Freedom, Problem of Cooperation vs. Competition,
Problem of Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down Viewpoints, Problem of the Middle Class,
Problem of Gradual vs. Radical Revolution, Gramsci’s Cultural Hegemony,
Trotsky’s Continuous Revolution, Foucault/Fanon’s Binary Dichotomies Supporting Power,
Fanon’s Institutionalized/Internalized Racism, bell hooks’ Criticism of Second Wave Feminism

Short Essay Topics
1) Hegel and Marx each argued that history is reaching its final form.  Is this true?

2) Saint-Simon argues that technology allows for social revolution, while Marcuse argues that it has made the consumer afraid of social revolution.  Do technology and industrialization enable revolution and democracy or hold it back?

3) Saint-Simon argued that society should give to each according to contribution, while Marx & Engels argue that eventually each should receive according to need.  Is either possible?  Which works best?

4) Chomsky argues that social oppression is monstrous, while Foucault argues that it is unfortunately all-too-human.  Who do you support, and what does this mean for social change?

5) Heidegger argues that transparency is authenticity.  What does his involvement with the Nazi regime say about his philosophy?

6) Against his friend Sartre, Fanon argues that the black community must maintain its own independent identity.  Can cultural identity and universal equality be mutually supportive, and how?