Structure of Answers of the TEST SERIES – PAPER I – POLITICAL THEORY.
Section – A
1.(a) Radical Humanism
a. Concept by M.N.Roy
b. Believed that Communism had degenerated into nationalism and authoritarianism after WW II
c. Pleaded for new humanism based upon natural reason and secular conscience
d. Gave primacy to humans over states. Radical in thought as MN Roy’s ideology streams through all other existing institutions like Family,Community, Society and State.
e. Believed that individual freedom needs to be protected against totalitarianism.
f. He proposed revolution by consent guided by a philosophy with universal appeal
g. Radical Humanism was a failed ideology mainly due to Gandhian ideology prevalent at that time and also because of politics being degenerated with time
1. (b) Mandala Theory
a. Mandala Theory of State – Kautilya’s Arthashastra
b. Can be considered as the first treatise on foreign policy, balance of power concept
c. In good state, only good laws, administration, welfare and happiness doesn’t suffice, there has to be good relations with states too
d. Mandala theory is about how to keep good relations with other states through friendship and diplomacy
e. Six Fold (Guna) Policy – Peace, War, Neutrality, Marching, Alliance and Double Policy & Territorial Relations
f. To pursue foreign policy, foreign rulers were considered of four kinds – Ari (Enemy), Mitra(Friend), Madhyama(Mediator), Udasin (Neutral).
g. The doctrine of mandala means circles of states.
h. According to Kautilya, there are four basic circle of states – Conqueror’s (Vijigishu) circle of state, Enemy’s (Ari) circle of states, Mediator’s (Madhyama) circle of states and Neutral’s (Udasin) circle of states
i. The king has to preserve and expand his territory. For this he needs to embark on one of the six policies or gunas. If king is weaker, he should maintain peace. If king is superior, he should wage war. If both kings are on equal footing, there should be neutrality. If king is well endowed, he should dwell on marching (preparedness for war). If the king is weaker he should form alliance and if need arises to crush an enemy with the assistance of some other powerful king, he should follow Double policy.
j. Kautilya, thus, envisages a brilliant theory of inter-state relations and lays focus on the external geographical factors for maintenance of peace and territorial consolidation.
1. (c) Ashramas and Purusharthas
Ashramas are the four stages of life according to Manusmriti
Life is very systematically and orderly arranged in Sanatana Dharma.
There are four Asramas or stages in life, viz., Brahmacharya or the period of studentship, Grihastha or the stage of the householder, Vanaprastha or the stage of the forest-dweller or hermit, and Sannyasa or the life of renunciation or asceticism. Each stage has its own duties. These stages help the evolution of man. The four Asramas take man to perfection by successive stages. The practice of the four Asramas regulates the life from the beginning to the end. The first two Asramas pertain to Pravritti Marga or the path of work and the two later stages—the life of Vanaprastha and that of Sannyasa—are the stages of withdrawal from the world. They pertain to Nivritti Marga or the path of renunciation.
The two concepts of Ashramas and Purusharthas are inexplicably linked to each other
The Ashrama system is believed to be adhered to lead a fulfillment of the four aims of life that is Purasharths – Dharma, Artha, Kaam, Moksha
(1) Artha: The Sanskrit word artha means ‘that which one seeks.’ Whatever activity and physical material a man needs to support life can be considered as artha. Artha, in a broad sense, covers man’s professional activities, job, business, wealth, property and all such earthly material helpful in maintaining his life.
(2) Kama: Man seeks pleasure in various activities and material objects. Pursuit of happiness and pleasure is a basic, natural instinct in man. Man derives pleasures from relationships and material objects like food, drink etc. This is kama. Man largely accumulates artha for kama. But artha and kama should be closely linked with the dharma. They should be directed towards dharma.
(3) Dharma: ‘That which sustains’ is dharma. The word dharma stems from the Sanskrit root ‘dhr’ meaning ‘to sustain’ or ‘to support’. Dharma sustains or maintains life. Dharma supports the society. Man lives in the society with fellow-men and various life forms. Dharma lays down duties and obligations expected of man. An individual and the society, for their conduct and actions, get guidance from dharma. Man has obligation to his own self, to the fellow-men and to the society, in fact, to the whole environment of the world. All the mutual obligations of these inter-relationships are spelt out by dharma.
(4) Moksha: Moksha means liberation or total freedom. The Sanskrit word moksha is derived from the root ‘muk’. This root means ‘to emancipate’ or ‘to release’ or ‘to free’. Indian tradition considers moksha as the ultimate goal of life. The sufferings of man are due to avidya, his original ignorance about self. He has been oblivious of his true identity. He attaches himself to worldly objects. Tempted and pressed by everlasting lust and insurmountable desires, he remains bonded to the mundane objects. When knowledge (vidya) dawns on him, he overcomes the dualities of the world and identifies himself as the infinite, eternal Being. Having been completely free from all attachments, expectations and desires, the liberated soul attains moksha.
1. (d) Gandhi on Satyagraha
a. Important concept of Gandhi’s theory of spiritual politics
b. Related to social, cultural, political, economic and psychological conditions of Gandhi’s life
c. Believed supreme law governing societies is love and non-violence.
d. Truth and non-violence was the supreme power. For Gandhi Satyagraha means urge for truth. It means holding on to truth, hence truth-force.
e. For Gandhi force is of two types – physical and spiritual. We are acquainted with physical force but it consist of violence and weapon of brutes. The spiritual force is an invisible one. It is also called soul force.
f. Satyagraha term was coined by Gandhi in South Africa. It was developed as a weapon of the strong and excluded any violence.
g. It is a method of direct action. It is also a weapon of social control based on ahimsa and moral persuasion.
h. The aim of satyagraha is destruction of the evil and not the evil doer; sin and not the sinner. It leads to self-purification. Can be utilized by anyone to reach one’s goal through non-violent means.
i. Hence for Gandhi, satyagraha was also self-sacrifice. A satyagrahi can attain moral strength to fight any injustice.
j. Gandhi employed Satyagraha technique in South Africa and in India to fight against the injustices of the British Empire.
k. Satyagraha is also different from passive resistance as in the latter, if circumstances so demand one may resort to violence but satyagraha is totally wedded to non-violence and truth. Satyagraha aims to bring about the change in heart of the sinner but killing the sin and not the evil doer or sinner.
l. Satyagraha, for Gandhi, was the ultimate weapon of the strong and not of the weak. It was a philosophy for a new way of life to attain religious and moral objectives through truth and non-violence.
1. (e) Overdeveloped State
a. Concept given by Marxist thinker Hamza Alavi after study of states like Pakistan & Bangladesh.
b. Developed the concept to describe the nature of state in post-colonial societies.
c. The colonial experience in these states brings about a structural change in form of developing a military –bureaucratic oligarchy.
d. These post-colonial states were not a part of the development history of its own society but had been imposed from outside in form of the structural changes.
e. The original goal of the overdeveloped state was to further the economic and political goals of metropolitan country.
f. The military-bureaucratic apparatus controlled and subordinated the indigenous social class in support of the dominant indigenous class.
g. Inherited state structures from the colonial powers merely continue the essence of the strategy of the metropolitan power.
h. The political state becomes overdeveloped in comparison to the socio-economic state. State plays a commanding role in economy. The state gives an impression that it is working in the interest of the people.
i. Three economic classes – metropolitan bourgeoisie, indigenous & feudal lords, tries to compete with each other for resources.
2 (a) Gramsci Notion of War of Position and War of Manoeuvre , its effect on National Movement
War of manoeuvre:
• Frontal attack;
• The main goal is winning quickly;
• Especially recommended for societies with a centralised and dominant state power that have failed in developing a strong hegemony within the civil society (i.e. Bolshevik revolution, 1917).
War of position:
• Long struggle;
• Primarily, across institutions of civil society;
• Secondly, the socialist forces gain control through cultural and ideological struggle, instead of only political and economic contest;
• Especially suggested for the liberal-democratic societies of Western capitalism with weaker states but stronger hegemonies (i.e.: Italy);
• These countries have more extensive and intricate civil societies that deserve a longer and more complex strategy.
According to Bipan Chandra in his book India’s Struggle for Independence, Gramscian notion of War of Position and War of Manoeuvre provides an ideological tool to understand the emergence of nationalist movement and the strategy adopted by the leaders to fight the alien powers.
Excerpts from Bipan Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence where he discusses the Gramscian Theory explaining Indian National Movement is as follows –
The Indian national movement, in fact, provides the only actual historical example of a semi-democratic or democratic type of political structure being successfully replaced or transformed. It is the only movement where the broadly Gramscian theoretical perspective of a war of position was successfully practiced; where state power was not seized in a single historical moment of revolution, but through prolonged popular struggle on a moral, political and ideological level; where reserves of counter-hegemony were built up over the years through progressive stages; where the phases of struggle alternated with ‘passive’ phases.
The Indian national movement is also an example of how the constitutional space offered by the existing structure could be used without getting co-opted by it. It did not completely reject this space, as such rejection in democratic societies entails heavy costs in terms of hegemonic influence and often leads to isolation — but entered it and used it effectively in combination with non-constitutional struggle to overthrow the existing structure.
The Indian national movement is perhaps one of the best examples of the creation of an extremely wide movement with a common aim in which diverse political and ideological currents could coexist and work — and simultaneously continue to contend for overall ideological and political hegemony over it. While intense debate on all basic issues was allowed, the diversity and tension did not weaken the cohesion and striking power of the movement; on the contrary, this diversity and atmosphere of freedom and debate became a major source of its strength.
Today, over forty years after independence, we are still close enough to the freedom struggle to feel its warmth and yet far enough to be able to analyse it coolly, and with the advantage of hindsight.
Analyse it we must, for our past, present and future are inextricably linked to it. Men and women in every age and society make their own history, but they do not make it in a historical vacuum, de novo.
Their efforts, however innovative, at finding solutions to their problems in the present and charting out their future, are guided and circumscribed, moulded and conditioned, by their respective histories, their inherited economic, political and ideological structures. To make myself clearer, the path that India has followed since 1947 has deep roots in the struggle for independence. The political and ideological features, which have had a decisive impact on post-independence development, are largely a legacy of the freedom struggle. It is a legacy that belongs to all the Indian people, regardless of which party or group they belong to now, for the ‘party’ which led this struggle from 1885 to 1947 was not then a party but a movement — all political trends from the Right to the Left were incorporated in it.
2 (b) Behavioural Revolution
a. An approach in study of Political Science which believed that social theories should be constructed on the basis of observable behavior providing quantifiable data for research.
b. Early to mid 20th Century
c. Roots may be traced to General Systems Theory
d. In Political Science, roots of Behaviouralism can be traced in writings of Graham Wallace, Arthur Bentley, Merriam, Catlin and Lasswell.
e. Originated as dissatisfaction with the traditional approaches which were too much value based and value laden.
f. It criticized the normativism of the traditional approach relying too much on “what ought to be” rather than “what is”. Political Scientists were not contributing to the global affairs like Environment, Disarmament, gender issues etc. hence making Political Science irrelevant as a discipline.
g. The APSA gave a call to break free from the traditional approaches and indulge in empirical research. It lay emphasis on scientific methodologies as done by other social sciences.
h. According to Robert Dahl Behavioralism is a protest movement.
i. Focused on acts, attitudes, preferences and political behavior of man in the political context. Laid emphasis on collection and examination of facts. Rejects the political institutions as basis of study as relied on the actual political behavior of man.
j. David Easton stressed on the mutual interdependence of theory and research. He laid the intellectual foundation for the behavioral movement in Political Science on basis on the eight points – Regularities, Verification, Technique, Quantification, Values, Systemization of Research, Pure Science and Integration.
k. It widened the approach to the study of Political Science and accorded it importance among the social sciences. However, later criticized that it had constrained the study of the subject and limited it to too much of empiricism and facts, preventing it from going beyond what is obvious.
l. Political Scientists became obsessed with mere quantifiable data threatening to overlook the rich heritage of normative study of traditional approached and its significance. It was criticized as mindless empiricism.
2(c) Power as a capacity to act in concert
a. This concept emanate s from the philosophy of Hannah Arendt and her views on Power and Civic Republicism
b. She distinguished between violence and power and arrived at a constructive view of power.
c. In her view, there is a difference in “power on” and “power to”. For her power is not the property of an individual. Power is not just to act but to act in concert.
d. Hence she emphasized on the group dynamics of power.
e. For her legitimacy of power is derived from initial getting together of people and is reaffirmed when individuals act in concert through the medium of speech and persuasion.
f. Hence the capacity to yield power in only when individuals act in concert and not individually as singular acts of violence. Power relations are essentially cooperative. It belongs to a group and it remains so long as group is together. So acting in concert is what gives capacity to act in power.
3 (a) Was fascism merely a product of specific historical circumstances of inter-war period? Is fascism dead?
a. Fascism can be described as political opportunism manifestation of pure power politics with complete disregard for ethics.
b. The term is used in generic sense to describe social and political system established in inter war period in Europe under Mussolini in Italy
c. It is against rationalism and the foundation of Fascist politics is not in reason of man but in passions.
d. To a greater extent fascism can be said to be a product of specific historical circumstances of inter war period.
e. Fascism which emerged in the post WW I period used the existing crisis to further its goals.
f. Mussolini and Hitler were alike in their hatred against the allies and for this reason Italy was denied its principal territorial claims at Paris Conference in 1919 and Germany was declared guilty of war and therefore made victim of severe indemnification which included loss of overseas colonies, cessation of its bordering territories to France, Poland, Denmark and Belgium, huge war bills was to be paid to the allies coupled with national humiliation.
g. The economy of both the country’s were shattered and political and social conditions were in a bad shape
h. The youth were jobless and disillusioned and all strata of society were at the receiving end.
i. This led to the rise of demagogue leaders like Mussolini and Hitler who based their politics on sheer populism. They appealed to the people on a promise to redeem the lost pride and prestige. They promised the people to capture what was not given to them and take back what was taken away through Treaty of Versailles.
j. The Falangists in Spain in 1930s, Salazars right wing authoritarian government in Portugal in 1930s, the Austrian Nazi’s around 1944 and the Vichie regime in France during WW II are other examples of Fascism which emerged due to the social and political conditions prevailing at that time.
k. Fascism as an ideology breeds upon crisis and insecurity among people
l. Sense of relative deprivation also leads to the rise of demogogues.
m. In contemporary world fascism exist in form of religious fundamentalism, can be understood in terms of identity politics. Sense of identity crisis felt when there is an attack on what Amartya Sen calls stress on singular identity, helps a demagogue to consolidate his power.
n. No, fascism isn’t dead. There is a whole ideology called neo-fascism, and all they do is implement Fascistic policies in modern governments. Discuss Iran, North Korea egs to highlight neo-fascism and gives opinions accordingly.
3 (b) Do you think power is essentially contested concept?
m. For Bertrand Russel power is “the production of intended effects” and for Robert Dahl power is a kind of influence
n. Different scholars have defined power in different ways
o. Important perspectives on power –
I. Class perspective – Karl Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemberg, Mao and other Marxists
II. Neo-Marxists like Antonia Gramsci define power in terms of Hegemony
III. Elitist school – Pareto, Mosca, Michels, Max Weber, C. Wright mills
IV. Gender perspective
V. Group Perspective – Alexis de Tocqueville, Robert Dahl, Charles Lindblom
VI. Constructive View of power – Hannah Arendt, C B Macpherson
VII. Post Modernists – Foucault
3 (c) How the concept of hegemony complicates the concept of legitimacy?
a. In political science, legitimacy is the popular acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a régime.
b. Gramsci used the term Hegemony to describe how the domination of one class over others is achieved by a combination of political and ideological means
c. Against the political force which is coercion, to maintain domination Gramsci proposed the concept of hegemony.
d. According to him, ideology plays an important role in winning the consent of dominated class
e. Hegemony for Gramsci was a form of control exercised by dominant class when a class succeeds in persuading the other classes of society to accept its own moral cultural value
f. The notion of hegemony thus complicates the very idea of legitimacy
g. For Gramsci hegemony is a form of control exercised primarily through the society’s superstructure as opposed to its base or social relations of production of a predominantly economic character.
h. For Gramsci civil society which includes church, trade unions, schools etc. helps in perpetuating the dominance through hegemony
i. Through the concept of hegemony the very idea of legitimacy is challenged as the “consent” which is the base of legitimacy is questioned.
4 (a) Power is everywhere: Foucault
a. Michel Foucault, the French postmodernist, has been hugely influential in shaping understandings of power. He belongs to post modernists tradition that believes that truth is always contested.
b. Foucault to a great extent re-conceptualized the notion of power. For him power is not obstructionist rather is a productive notion.
c. He contest the idea of single origin of power rather treats power as capillary flowing throughout the system.
d. Foucault moved away from the analysis of actors who use power as an instrument of coercion, and even away from the discreet structures in which those actors operate, toward the idea that ‘power is everywhere’, diffused and embodied in discourse, knowledge and ‘regimes of truth’
e. Power for Foucault is what makes us what we are, operating on a quite different level from other theories:
f. ‘His work marks a radical departure from previous modes of conceiving power and cannot be easily integrated with previous ideas, as power is diffuse rather than concentrated, embodied and enacted rather than possessed, discursive rather than purely coercive, and constitutes agents rather than being deployed by.
g. Foucault challenges the idea that power is wielded by people or groups by way of ‘episodic’ or ‘sovereign’ acts of domination or coercion, seeing it instead as dispersed and pervasive. ‘Power is everywhere’ and ‘comes from everywhere’ so in this sense is neither an agency nor a structure. Instead it is a kind of ‘metapower’ or ‘regime of truth’ that pervades society, and which is in constant flux and negotiation. Foucault uses the term ‘power/knowledge’ to signify that power is constituted through accepted forms of knowledge, scientific understanding and ‘truth’:
h. Foucault is one of the few writers on power who recognise that power is not just a negative, coercive or repressive thing that forces us to do things against our wishes, but can also be a
i. Power is also a major source of social discipline and conformity. In shifting attention away from the ‘sovereign’ and ‘episodic’ exercise of power, traditionally centred in feudal states to coerce their subjects, Foucault pointed to a new kind of ‘disciplinary power’ that could be observed in the administrative systems and social services that were created in 18th century Europe, such as prisons, schools and mental hospitals. Their systems of surveillance and assessment no longer required force or violence, as people learned to discipline themselves and behave in expected ways.
j. A key point about Foucault’s approach to power is that it transcends politics and sees power as an everyday, socialised and embodied phenomenon. This is why state-centric power struggles, including revolutions, do not always lead to change in the social order.
4 (b) Man is embedded self – Charles Taylor
a. Charles Taylor belongs to the communitarian school.
b. Against the atomistic notion of individual put forward by the liberals, communitarians advance the concept of ‘situated self’. It means the individual is constituted by his social roles practices and situations
c. For them, individual is identified through his social context
d. Taylor supported the views of another champion of communitarian view MacIntyre who rejected the liberal notion of individual as atomized creatures.
e. Taylor argued that atomistic type of individualism promised freedom for human actors but ultimately failed to realize the human beings constantly reflect on their life in order to find its meaning.
f. Communitarians insist that each of us as an individual develops an identity, talents and pursuits in life only as member of the community and by sharing
4 (c) One is not born, rather becomes a woman
a. Simon de Beauvoir made this observation I her work “The Second Sex”
b. She belonged to the Radical school of feminism and made a clear demarcation between gender and sex
c. While sex is a biological category, gender is a social construct
d. Beauvoir challenged the Sigmund Freud’s famous dictum Anatomy is Destiny by ascertaining that “a women is not born but made”.
e. She argued that the dependent, derivative status of women as “the other of man” was the product of her upbringing in society.
f. She exhorted women to strive to transform their status and life style across all social and cultural reference points
g. According to this school, when we use the term sex, its scope is limited to biological differences such as reproductive function and secondary biological characteristics but the term gender refers to cultural ideas that construct images and expectations of both females and males.
Section – B
5. (a) Dialectic Materialism
a. Dialectics is a process of enquiry used by different political and social philosophers.
b. However in the works of Hegel and Marx the theory assumes political dimensions. According to them, a new idea emerges after the contradiction between thesis and anti-thesis, which is termed as synthesis.
c. Philosophy of Marxism that provides the scientific and comprehensive world outlook.
d. Basis this philosophy, Karl Marx explained the gradual movement of history.
e. Karl Marx starts with Hegelian Dialectics but commented that he made dialectics stand on his head. He, therefore, rejected Hegel’s idealism and considered matter as the ultimate driving force of societies.
f. Social institutions were the manifestation of changing material conditions
g. Three laws of dialectic materialism are – Law of quantity into quality, law of unity of opposites, and law of negation of negation.
h. For Marx, everything in existence is a unity of opposites; every phenomenon, the thesis, gives birth to its anti-thesis – there is thus the law of negation of negation; these opposites must interpenetrate with each other and then begins the law of transformation from quantity to quality, the new mode of production is the synthesis which, with the passage of time, becomes thesis in relation of production. Thus, the process of social development keeps marching ahead.
5 (b) Multicultural Citizenship
a. Against the traditional concept of citizenship which ignores the cultural and social differences, multicultural citizenship takes note of it and attempts to address the concerns related to it.
b. Liberal notion of citizenship is criticized to be colour blind as it ignores the cultural differences.
c. Contemporary debates on citizenship and rights have questioned the idea that citizens can enjoy the rights independent of the context they belong
d. Main proponents – Will Kymlicka, Bikhu Parekh
e. According to Kymlicka cultures are valuable and distinct and provide a context in which individuals are provided with meaning, orientation, identity and belonging. He identifies three kinds of minority rights – self-government rights, poly-ethnic rights and special representation rights
f. Bhikhu Parekh argues for a pluralist perspective on cultural diversity. Writing from both within the liberal tradition and outside of it as a critic, he challenges what he calls the “moral monism” of much of traditional moral philosophy, including contemporary liberalism.He defends his pluralist perspective both at the level of theory and in subtle nuanced analyses of recent controversies. Thus, he offers careful and clear accounts of why cultural differences should be respected and publicly affirmed.
g. He argues for a dialogic interplay between human commonalities and cultural differences. This will allow, Parekh argues, genuinely balanced and thoughtful compromises on even the most controversial cultural issues in the new multicultural world in which we live.
5 (c) Decline of Political Theory
j. David Easton and American political scientists in 1953 asserted that political theory was based on mere speculation and was devoid of acute observation of political reality. Easton argued that traditional political theory was the product of turmoil that characterized the past ages and had no relevance in contemporary society. He appealed in building up a behavioral political science closer to other social science to take its due place in decision making process. He urged political scientists to focus on building causal theory to explain political behaviors. However in 1969, he changed his views and launched post-behavioural revolution.
k. Stress on scientific investigation to enable the contemporary societies to solve the prevailing crisis
l. Renewed concern for values which was ignored in behavioural approach.
m. Alfed Cobban in 1953 argued that political theory has lost its significance in capitalist as well as communist systems. According to him, capitalist system was characterized by overwhelming role of bureaucracy and creation of huge military machinery and political theory had practically to play more roles in sustaining the system. Even in communist system new forms of party organization and rule of small oligarchy has been established leave no role for political theory.
n. S.M. Lipset argued that values of contemporary society have already been decided and political theory has no role to play.
o. However, political theorists like Leo Strauss denied the irrelevance of political theory and attributed too much focus on positivist approach for the decline of political theory.
p. Political theory got a new lease of life in the works of Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, John Rawls, C.B. Macpherson, Herbert Marcuse, Robert Nozick etc. they all revived the grand tradition of political philosophy by dwelling into normative issues and not just focusing on making political theory a natural science.
5 (d) Iron Law of Oligarchy
a. Robert Michels an important proponent of elitist theory propounded the important concept of iron law of oligarchy.
b. In his theory he stated that every organization, whatever its original aim, is eventually reduced to oligarchy i.e. Rule of the chosen few who tend to use their authority in self-interest. He held that majority of human beings are apathetic, indolent and slavish. They are permanently incapable of self-government so they have to bank upon their leaders for pursuing social objectives. Trade unions, political parties and other organizations are the vehicles of such leadership
c. Michels point out that an organization may be set up with democratic aims but as organization grows in size and complexity its management is left to professional experts. These experts or leaders become indispensable for organization , very difficult to replace them,
d. In exercising their undisputed power they set aside the original aim of organization
e. Iron law of oligarchy rules out the concept of circulation of elites as envisaged by Pareto and Mosca.
5(e) Equality of Capabilities
a. According to the proponents of equality of capability, like Amartya Sen and Martha Nassbaum, equality of resources, as proposed by positive liberals is not a sufficient condition to ensure equality and justice. According to the supporters of equality of capabilities, equality of resource is not sufficient as it is an external means. State should also ensure internal abilities to people. State should help to develop capabilities of man.
b. Means to ensure this is to invest in promoting literacy for all, universal healthcare, education, food etc. which is essential for human development.
c. According to the supporters of this thought, in the absence of capabilities the presence of opportunities will not be a enough to ensure real equality.
d. Amartya Sen develops this concept in his book “Development as Freedom”.
6 (a) Would you say that liberal society affirms moral and cultural diversity but desires shared political values.
a. The question needs to be discussed in the context that liberal societies affirms certain political values like political equality, democracy, liberty and requires its universal application
b. When it comes to appreciating cultural and moral diversity like religious practices, lifestyle etc. it is more accommodative. However, when it comes to certain political values it desires them to be shared universally
c. Example, most of the liberal societies are accommodative enough to provide space to its citizens to practice their sexual preferences (recognition of LGBT rights).
d. However, when it comes to political rights like equality of opportunity the same countries are not that accommodative. Example, US while recognizing LGBT rights rolled back its policies promoting affirmative action.
6 (b) Can affirmative action be defended on the grounds that it will promote a more just society in future
e. Affirmative action is one of the most effective tools for redressing the injustices caused by our nation’s historic discrimination against people, and for leveling what has long been an uneven playing field.
f. Arguments in favour of affirmative action
1. Past historical indiscrimination had severely limited access to educational opportunities and job experiences.
2. To ensure a just society mere equality of opportunity will not help rather equality of capability will also be required
g. Justification of Affirmative action can be found in Rawls theory of justice in his deference principle where he states that any departure from quality should be only made when it is in the benefit of the least advantage sections of society.
h. Its support can also be found in Gandhian thought in form of Gandhi’s Talisman. “I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melt away.”
i. Treating unequal as equals will not lead to a just society hence affirmative action is required .
6 (c) Ideology is false consciousness – Karl Marx
a. Karl Marx in German Ideology and A Contribution to Critique of Political Economy dwelled in the nature of ideology
b. According to him, ideology is the manifestation of false consciousness
c. According to Marx, in the process of social development material needs of people advance but their social consciousness lags behind.
d. This distorted consciousness or false consciousness is reflected in their ideology
e. Dominant class at any stage of social development make use of ideology to maintain its authority
f. For eg. Makers of the French revolution raised the slogan of equality, liberty and fraternity to enlist support of the masses but settled for liberty which served their interest that is the interest of the new entrepreneurial class of those days.
g. Marx held that ideology is an instrument for protecting the interest of dominant class. This bourgeoisie class needs ideology to maintain itself in power.
7 (a) Do you think it is liberating to believe that gender, both masculine and feminine is product of particular social cultural and economic formations. Explain.
The answer needs to be conceptualized and discussed in the context of the points mentioned in Ans 4 (c). Further how masculinity and feminity is defined is understood to have certain social context. What is defined as feminity in a particular social set up might not be the same in another. For example, how masculinity ids defined in a rural set up would be different from what it might be construed in an urban social setup.
7(b) Some men by nature are free others slave. Comment.
a. The study of slavery constitutes a very important part of Aristotle approach to state.
b. He dwelled in to the relevance and use of slavery both from the point of view of slave and master.
c. According to Aristotle, the institution of slavery is a necessary condition of a civilized life and of a civilized social order because there are some men so inferior to their fellows as to be naturally servile
d. Aristotle distinguished between natural slave and conventional slave. Natural slave according to him lacked reason and had to be under permanent subordination of master.
e. Aristotle justified slavery on four grounds i.e. natural inequality, aristocratic rule racial superiority and special functions.
f. According to him, those persons who are endowed with higher degree of reason and capacity for virtue must command and direct those who possess little or no such capacity. The former are by nature masters, and the latter slaves.
g. Another basis of justifying slavery is its functional utility as masters are relived of menial jobs and can focus on intellectual pursuits and slaves can share the virtuous and good life of master and in course of time gain wisdom.
h. Aristotle also put forward psychological argument that when several parts combine to form a whole the inferior must be subordinated to the superior for the attainment of a particular end.
7 (c) Justice is the first virtue of social institutions as truth is of system of thought.
John Rawls one of the important proponents of the notion of justice held that Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. According to Rawls A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For that reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others.
Thus the role of justice according to Rawls is to provide a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of society and they define the appropriate distribution of the benefits and burdens of social cooperation. (TJ, 2) – social justice – equality of resources.
Rawls argues that self-interested rational persons behind the veil of ignorance would choose two general principles of justice to structure society in the real world:
1) Principle of Equal Liberty: Each person has an equal right to the most extensive liberties compatible with similar liberties for all. (Democratic.)
2) Difference Principle: Social and economic inequalities should be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged persons, and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of equality of opportunity.
Important points in Rawls theory of justice that needs to be remembered
What basic liberties is he talking about?
The Priority of Liberty
The principles of justice are to be ranked in lexical order and therefore liberty can be restricted only for the sake of liberty. There are two cases:
(a) a less extensive liberty must strengthen the total system of liberty shared by all;
(b) a less than equal liberty must be acceptable to those with the lesser liberty.
The Priority of Justice over Efficiency and Welfare
The second principle of justice is lexically prior to the principle of efficiency and to that of maximizing the sum of advantages; and fair opportunity is prior to the difference principle. There are two cases:
(a) an inequality of opportunity must enhance the opportunities of those with the lesser opportunity;
(b) an excessive rate of saving must on balance mitigate the burden of those bearing this hardship.
Rawls specifies what he regards as basic liberties: “freedom of thought and liberty of conscience; freedom of association; and the freedom defined by the liberty and integrity of the person as well as by the rule of law; and finally the political liberties” (Rawls 1982, 162), which is not meant to be a complete list.
What is the ordering of the principles like? What does it mean to say that there is a ‘lexical’ order between them?
Rawls himself suggests a division of labour between economics and political philosophy when he proposes a lexical order between the two principles as stated in the first priority rule. The role of economics is strictly within the constraints of the system of basic liberties.
Note that the first principle of justice, which is lexically prior to the second, is about the distribution of liberties while the second principle is about opportunities, income and wealth. Thus, we may well say that the primary goods are hierarchically ordered, liberties being in the top category.
What are primary goods? What role do they play in Rawls’ theory?
According to Rawls liberties are primary goods and a comparison of goods is assumed to be unproblematic. Primary goods are what “every rational man is presumed to want. These goods normally have a use whatever a person’s rational plan of life.” (Rawls 1971, 62)
Primary goods fall in different categories. The basic types of primary goods are “liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the bases of self-respect” (Rawls 1971, 62). Note that the first principle of justice, which is lexically prior to the second, is about the distribution of liberties while the second principle is about opportunities, income and wealth. Thus, we may well say that the primary goods are hierarchically ordered, liberties being in the top category.
What is the principle of efficiency? What are efficient distributions like? What is the problem with the principle?
The principle of efficiency comes from economics and primarily it was meant to evaluate the efficiency of a production (nevertheless in can be applied to distribution too). Essentially, the principle says that a change is allowed only if it makes somebody better off without making somebody worse off, i.e. if it leads to a more efficient state.
The principle of efficiency used by Rawls holds that a distribution is optimally efficient if no other distribution exists which will improve the situation of one or more persons without worsening the position of at least one other person. The principle of efficiency is applied to the basic structure of society.
What does the system of natural liberty add to the principle of efficiency?
The principle of efficiency is realized when it is impossible to make one person better off without making another person worse off. Many different distributions, however, may be efficient. So the principle of efficiency must be supplemented by some other principles. In the system of natural liberty, the principle of efficiency works against a background of equal liberty and “careers open to talents.” This means formal equality of opportunity: everyone has legal access.
8 (a) How is it possible for the idea of human rights to encompass both the values of cultural diversity and imposition of universal standards.
a. The existence of pluralistic society poses a serious challenge towards the imposition of universal standards in context of human rights.
b. Multiculturalists have questioned the relevance and value of universal rights in multicultural societies
c. The challenge before the nation states is to ensure political equality while keeping socio-cultural differences in mind.
d. According to multiculturalists the difference is the essence of true equality. They stress on accommodating cultural differences and providing group specific rights.
e. If special rights are granted to specific groups it hinders the enforcement of universal rights common to everyone.
f. The conflict between ensuring equality and accommodating differences can be resolved within the framework of liberal multiculturalism
g. The solution can be found in the works of multiculturalists like Will Kymlicka and Bhikhu Parekh.
8 (b) What are the flaws in the end of ideology thesis? Why post modernists proclaim the death of meta narratives?
a. In 1960s, in western liberal democracies, it was declared that age of ideology has come to an end. These countries looked as ideologies as a tool of totalitarianism which had no place in open societies
b. End of ideology implied that at the advanced stage of industrial development a country’s socio-economic organization is determined by the level of its development and not by its political ideology. IT means that capitalist and communist countries were bound to evolve similar characteristics irrespective of their ideological differences.
c. Daniel Bell in his book “The End of Ideology” asserted that post-industrial societies are prone to similar development irrespective of their ideological differences.
d. According to him, all the post-industrial societies there will be lesser proportion of workers in industry than in services. At the advance stage of development in any country the service sector expands at faster rate than the manufacturing sector. It will also be characterized by the increasing dominance of technical elites. Further, S.M. Lipset in “Political Man” observes that in western democracies the difference between the left and right are not profound, the only issues before politics are concerned will marginal increase in wages, marginal rise in prices and other social welfare benefits.
e. End of ideology thesis itself is an ideology
f. C. Wright Mills said that upholders of this thesis are advocates of status quo. It is criticized as an ideology of political complacency as it denies the relevance of human and political ideas
g. Another point of criticism is that proponents of the end of ideology debate appear to have confused the decline of Marxism, radicalism, and revolutionary politics with decline of the end of ideology.
h. Post modernists criticize and proclaim death of meta narratives for its totalizing tendencies
i. Attempt to construct grand theories tend to ignore the existing differences, chaos and disorder.
j. According to some post modernists thinkers meta narratives are created and reinforced by power structures and are considered untrustworthy.
8 (c) Discuss Socialism after Karl Marx.
a. Following schools of socialism have to be discussed:
i. Evolutionary socialism of Eduard Bernstein – who suggests parliamentary road to socialism.
ii. Syndicalism – which visualizes social order under the working classes.
iii. Guild socialism of GDH Cole – who talks about economic and political parliament and democracy in industry.
iv. Fabianism or democratic socialism of Sidney web graham wallas which aims to bring socialism through consent.
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