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Philosophy of Power
Transcript of Philosophy of Power
The Principles of Power
(Putnam, New York, 1942)
St. Augustine (De Civitate Dei, Liber IV):
the story of Alexander the Great and the pirate
"Quia ego exiguo navigio facio, latro vocor; quia tu magna classe, imperator"
square of oppositions
axiological square (valorization)
The governmental process (1951)
updates Bentley's theory
MAIN STRATEGIES IN
monopoly of the
I have no voice today
(have been coughing for a week)
instead of canceling the lesson,
we may try
You play, and
at the end we try to draw some insight
(that had to be my lesson of today
How do you see it?
Are you willing to try?
I DIDN'T HEAR YOU!
Ok, let's begin.
Google Kahoot and
enter the website
(controversial topics are political issues where
public opinion is split)
Examples can be:
gay marriage, PRISM (government surveillance program), a military intervention abroad, climate change,
Create two teams, according to the basic opinion you have on the issue
I want you to be in the team that supports the OTHER point of view
As Machiavelli taught us,
we must be ready to change our point of view when needed.
Furthermore, it's about being able to persuade, manipulate, increase power. You should be able to do this with ANY point of view
Now you (the two teams) have 15 minutes, where you have to design a campaign in order to advocate for your point of view
Try to find all the arguments, the rationales, the ways to support your cause. Try also to anticipate your opponent's moves
Step 4 is a debate between the two teams,
where you alternatively have one minute to convince the "public opinion" (us) that you are right and they are wrong
Those of you who don't have a particular opinion about it will form a "special team" with me.
Opening statements first (two minutes per team).
Then each team has one minute (alternatively) to engage in the debate, advancing your view or contrasting the opponent's one
You choose who speaks every time. It can be a "team champion" or someone different every time. Totally up to you.
After ten minutes of debate (so 5 statements for each side), each team has an additional minute for a concluding statement.
Use it wisely.
If you want you can also use computers, or class computer.
Time limits will be strictly respected in any case.
At the end, each member of the public opinion group will give a vote
(1 to 10) to each team.
The sum of all the points will determine the winning team
And the winner is...
let's try to understand what different kinds of arguments can be used,
and which one is more or less effective
(even if it always depends, of course)
in the next episode...
... but I definitely need my voice for that.
Thank you all!
circulation of the élites
iron law of oligarchy
Community Power Structure
The Power Elite
(1956): United States
Who Governs?: Democracy and Power in an American City
(1961): New Haven, CT
legal authority, money, prestige, skill, knowledge, charisma, legitimacy,
free time, experience, etc.
rate of interaction
State of readiness
A lesson from Economics
Let's choose a controversial topic
The process of government
Thích Quang Ðuc
1. covers all EU Member States
2. in-depth analysis of each country
3. relies on privileged witnesses
degree of development of the lobbying industry
Masters, university courses, etc.
associations of lobbyists
codes of conduct
perception from public opinion
lack of a well defined conceptualization of theoretical boundaries
A person designated by an interest group to facilitate influencing public policy
in that group’s favor by performing one or more of the following for the group:
(1) directly contacting public officials;
(2) monitoring political and
(3) advising on political strategies and tactics; and
(4) developing and orchestrating the group’s lobbying effort.
(Thomas and Hrebenar 2009)
WHO IS A LOBBYIST?
Saves 200 lives
33% chance saving all 600 people
66% possibility of saving no one
400 people die
33% chance that no people will die
66% probability that all 600 will die