Political System, Final Version
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political System, Final Version
Politics and Government in Global
• Politics Power and Authority
• Political Systems in Global Perspective
• Perspectives on Power and Political Systems
• The U.S. Political System
• Government Bureaucracy
• The Military and Militarism
• Terrorism and War
• Politics and Government in the Future
Sharpening Your Focus
• What are the major political systems around
• How does the center of power differ in the
pluralist and the elite models of the U.S.
• How is government shaped by political parties
and political attitudes?
• Examines the nature and consequences of
power within or between societies, as well as
the social and political conflicts that lead to
changes in the allocation of power.
Politics, Power and Authority
• Politics is the social institution through which power
is acquired and exercised.
• Government has the legal and political authority to
regulate relationships among members of a society
and between the society and those outside its
• The state possesses a legitimate monopoly over the
use of force within its territory to achieve its goals.
Sharpening Your Focus
• Why are government bureaucracies so
• What is the place of democracy in the future?
Political Systems in Global Perspective
• Political institutions emerged when agrarian
societies acquired surpluses and developed
• When cities developed, the city-state became
the center of political power.
• Nation-states emerged as countries acquired
the ability to defend their borders.
• Approximately 190 nation-states currently
exist throughout the world.
• Today, everyone is born, lives, and dies under
the auspices of a nation-state
• Four types of political systems are found in
nation-states: monarchy, authoritarianism,
totalitarianism, and democracy.
Types of Political Systems
• A monarchy is a political system in which
power resides in one person or family and is
passed from generation to generation through
lines of inheritance.
• Authoritarianism - A political system
controlled by rulers who deny popular
participation in government.
Types of Political Systems
• Totalitarianism - A political system in which
the state seeks to regulate all aspects of
• Democracy - A political system in which the
people hold the ruling power directly or
through elected representatives.
STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONAL PERSPECTIVE
OF THE POLITICAL INSTITUTION
1993 Kendall, 2008
• social control • maintain law & order
• establish societal • plan & direct society
• meet social needs
economic • handle international
Tischler, 1993.(4 Edition) Introduction to Sociology. The Harcourt Press. ISBN 0-03-076681-8
Recently, some analysts have suggested that the U.S political
system is evolving into a democratic socialistic form of
government. Along these same lines, the United States is seen
to be assuming…” many of the characteristics of a welfare
state (a state that uses extensive government action to provide
support and services to its citizens” (Kendall, pg. 430). A
consequence of this is that our country’s constitutional fabric
pertaining to our inalienable rights, (i.e., referenced in the Bill
of Rights, Declaration of Independence and United States
Constitution) is being unwoven. In other words, many of our
constitutional rights and freedoms are being sacrificed along
the way; related to how we become a member of and function
within each of the five primary social institutions (i.e.,
marriage and family, economic institution, political system,
education and religious institution).
Identify and discuss 2 constitutional related
principles, rights and/or freedoms related to each
of the 5 social institutions that either are being
undermined, are in the process of being
relinquished and/or have been virtually
discarded for the sake of promoting a stronger
U.S. political system; a government that is
being called upon to offer ever-increasingly
expansive services and financial support for its
growingly “needy” constituency.
A Balance of Rights
Classical republicanism refers to the idea that individuals
should put the needs of the community before self-
interest. In natural rights philosophy (modern liberalism),
the purpose of government is to protect individual rights.
The ideal government achieves and maintains a balance
between the two ideas. The key word here is balance,
there was no either/or intended when the framers wrote
the United States Constitution. It was suggested by one of
the speakers that we need to cultivate the capacity to hold
contradictory ideas simultaneously and that we cannot
become terrorized by dichotomies
“James Madison introduced 12 amendments to the
First Congress in 1789. Ten of these would go on
to become what we now consider to be the Bill of
Rights. One was never passed, while another
dealing with Congressional salaries was not
ratified until 1992, when it became the 27th
Amendment. Based on the Virginia Declaration of
Rights, the English Bill of Rights, the writings of
the Enlightenment, and the rights defined in the
Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights contains
rights that many today consider to be
fundamental to America.”
How Much Do You Know About the
True or False?
• Most journalists identify themselves as
• Forty-four percent of journalists identify
themselves as Democrats, 16.3 percent as
Republicans, and 34 percent as
Summary: Far from protecting man's rights, the
nation's highest Court has been instrumental in
multiple violations of rights over the last two
centuries. As long as the Supreme Court persists in
practicing the contradiction between inalienable
rights and the altruist-collectivist ethics, it is man's
rights that will lose out.
The Supreme Court's violation of rights can be traced all
the way back to the eighteenth century. In one of its very
first decisions, Calder v. Bull (1798), the court ruled that
"the right of property is conferred by society," "private
rights must yield to public exigencies," and "if the
owners should refuse voluntarily to accommodate the
public, they must be constrained, as far as the public
necessities require." The altruist-collectivist ethics is
clearly manifested in Calder v. Bull, which does not
view property rights as inalienable, but as concessions
from society, a profoundly collectivist notion.
Two chilling rulings during that period demonstrated that even
the most explicit constitutional guarantees had become dead
letters in the eyes of the Court. The first one upheld the military
draft in the Selective Draft Law Cases of 1918. In response to the
claim that such power violated the Thirteenth Amendment's
prohibition of involuntary servitude, the Supreme Court ruled
that the exaction by the government from the citizen of the
performance of his "supreme and noble duty" of defending the
country in a war declared by "the great representative body of the
people" did not constitute servitude. This language clearly
reflects the Court's sentiment that altruist-collectivist ethics
override individual rights, which makes it proper for the
government to compel individuals to sacrifice their liberty and
their life if this is required to fulfill their duty to the collective
When the case reached the Supreme Court (1919), its
unanimous ruling was that in time of war "many things
that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to
its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as
men fight." Thus the protection of free speech fell victim
to the altruist-collectivist ethics, with the alleged guardians
of the Constitution ruling that the freedom of speech ought
to be brushed aside in the presence on an overriding social
Principle of Representative
Government in the U.S. ?
• Decisions are made on
behalf of the people by
• Competition among
leadership groups makes
abuse of power difficult.
• Power is dispersed, and
people influence policy by
• Public policy reflects a
balance among interest
Purpose of a Political Party
• Develop and articulate policy positions.
• Educate voters about issues and simplify the
choices for them.
• Recruit candidates, help them win office and
hold them responsible for implementing the
Running for Office
• Running for political
office takes large sums of
• Arnold Schwarzenegger,
shown with his wife,
contributed large sums to
his campaign for
governor of California
and received large
contributions because of
his name recognition.
Special Interest Groups
• Advocates may run for
public office and gain a
wider voice in the
• Former U.S. Senator Ben
Nighthorse Campbell of
Colorado, a Cheyenne
chief, is shown after
participating in a
ceremony for the
National Museum of the
Special Interest Groups
• Special interest groups are political coalitions
made up of individuals or groups that share a
specific interest they wish to protect or
advance with the help of the political system.
Costs of Campaigning
• The cost of mounting a
campaign for president of
the United States has
grown dramatically with
each passing decade.
• Prior to celebrating
President Bush’s second-
term victory at the 2005
inaugural gala, his
campaign raised more than
Funding by Party
Attorney Vital Statistics
There are over ONE
MILLION lawyers in the
United States today.
About forty thousand new
lawyers graduate and begin to
practice law every year.
Ten percent of all lawyers practice for the legal system of
"Here are some vital statistics about attorneys and
in the United States." some level
Annually, Americans spend more than 150 billion dollars on
40% of all lawyers actually do not
practice law. Some of these are law-related
(teaching law, serving as judges or arbitrators.)
Others leave the law profession and engage in
activities that have little to do with the legal
The U.S. Congress has long been dominated by
lawyer-politicians. "From 1780 to 1930, two thirds of
the senators and about half of the House of
Representatives were lawyers; the percentage seems
to have stayed fairly stable" (Friedman 1985: 647). . .
. at the beginning of the 101st Congress in 1989, 184
members (42%) of the U.S. House of Representatives
were lawyers (47% of the Democrats and 35 % of the
Republicans). Sixty-three senators were lawyers,
roughly equally distributed between the two parties
(Ornstein, Mann, and Malbin 1990: 20-21, 26-27). At
the beginning of the 102nd Congress in January,
1991, 244 of the 535 members of both houses (46%)
claimed attorney as their profession
(Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report 1/12/91:
The biggest problem with the large number of lawyers in
elective office today is that, disregarding everything else,
they increasingly control all branches of our government:
The Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. This in
contravention of what the founders of our nation were
trying to avoid when they divided our government into
three branches so as to provide “checks and balances” and a
“separation of powers”.
Though James Madison author of the U. S. Constitution
realized that this checking of each branch on the other made
for a far less efficient government, he realized, as he wrote
in Federalist 47, that the sacrifice was worth it to prevent
tyranny by a government “in the same hands”:
Today 46% of our government branches are in
the same hands of lawyers. Who, although as
lawyers constitute a very sizeable number, still
make up only ½% of our population.
Lawyers make up 38% of our Legislative
branch, 100% of our Judicial branch and 100%
of our Executive Branch
Irrespective of one's political party this is
untenable if one wishes to prevent government
"in the same hands". The same hands of
Multiple professional and business benefits accrue to the lawyer
who is elected to an office:
He obtains in effect free advertising for his practice by using campaign
funds to tout himself and at the same time by default—his practice.
He makes contacts with various special interests to whom the cost of
his services as an occasional lawyer is peanuts compared to the benefits
that those special interests can receive if he is in the legislature.
When he passes legislative bills which become our laws he can make
them to such a degree of complexity that he is the only one who really
understands the bills and therefore he would need to be hired to
administer them. And in a more general way the fact that he is a lawyer
will cause all laws to be written to a greater degree of complexity than
necessary and as a result more lawyers will need to be hired to implement
And in Texas a lawyer as a member of the legislature is allowed to
suspend the progress of any case while the legislature is in session
. If a client wishes to delay a case in this way he must hire a lawyer
in the legislature. Thus increasing the member’s value in the market.
.. .too many lawyers cause the law not to be made in
a commonsense way but in a legalistic way. Process
is worshiped over result because the lawyers get
paid more for the process than the result. What
could be more enjoyable to a lawyer than arguing
the law after making the law which to be argued—
as a legislator.
Because lawyers control all legal rulemaking an
increase in the number of lawyers does not cause a
reduction in their individual activity. It simply
increases their percentage take of the American
Conflict Perspectives: Elite Models
• Power in political systems is in the hands of a small
group of elites and the masses are relatively
• Decisions are made by the elites, who agree on the
basic values and goals of society.
• The needs and concerns of the masses are not given
full consideration by the elite.
• Decisions are made by a
small group of elite people.
• Consensus exists on the
basic values and goals of
• Power is concentrated at
the top of a pyramid
shaped social hierarchy.
• Public policy reflects the
values of the elite.
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS
DAILY | Posted Thursday,
December 18, 2008 4:20
Suit-happy attorneys have also helped weaken patient
safety. To shield themselves, doctors often order
unnecessary imaging tests that increase radiation exposure
and can cause severe allergic reactions to contrast dye, and
perform or arrange surgeries, such as Caesarean sections,
when textbook care indicates they're not needed.
Some doctors, particularly specialists, have done just the
opposite, by closing their practices or refusing to see high-
risk patients. An annual physician study found that over the
last five years, an average of 44% to 48% of Massachusetts
doctors reported they're changing or limiting their practice
due to fear of lawsuits.
The Massachusetts Medical Society surveyed 900 doctors in
eight specialties — including family, emergency and internal
medicine — and found the cost of practicing defensive
medicine was $1.4 billion a year in that state
Legal Reform: A physicians' group has found that the practice of defensive
more than a billion dollars a year in Massachusetts alone.
Trial lawyers should be ashamed of what they've done to health care.
Nine of 10 doctors practice defensive medicine — ordering unneeded
laboratory and diagnostic tests, referring patients to consultations they
don't need, performing procedures that aren't called for, sending
patients to hospitals without cause — to avoid being sued, not to
benefit their clientele.
Doctors are a favorite prey of trial lawyers, whose litigation against the
profession has forced malpractice insurance to unaffordable heights in
some cases, driven doctors out of their chosen vocation and sent
medical care costs far higher than they should be.
The trial bar has also effectively made it harder for seriously ill patients
to be properly diagnosed and treated as doctors clog facilities with
patients who are in need of neither.
But in reality, the amount is higher, because some measures of defensive medicine were not
included in the survey, the medical group says, "and the fact that less than half of the state's
doctors were represented in the survey." The actual cost of defensive medicine, the group
said, is "significantly higher" than its own estimate.
Nationally, the cost is roughly $210 billion a year (likely due to costs being higher in some
states because it is easier to sue in those states). That's close to 10% of total yearly health
care spending in this country, a percentage that can't be easily dismissed as insignificant or a
We're confident there's no family or employer out there that wouldn't be happy to cut health
care expenses by 10%.
None of this is to say that physicians are perfect or that medical errors don't happen.
Sometimes doctors miss the mark. But real negligence is rare. Physicians are human,
practicing an imperfect profession that hasn't caught up to every malady and condition.
Trial lawyers sometimes fail, as well. Their record, however, is worse than doctors',
particularly in malpractice litigation.
The New England Journal of Medicine found in nearly 40% of all
medical malpractice cases, no medical error was committed. In
other words, in four in 10 cases, there was nothing to sue for.
Similarly, some studies have found that as many as 80% of all
medical litigation verdicts are wrong, unjustified by science.
So that doctors can practice the healing arts without resorting to
defensive medicine and setting in motion its ill effects, our civil
justice system needs to be reformed in a way that discourages both
abusive malpractice suits and absurdly high jury awards.
One solution would be to cap damages. Another would be to set up
special medical courts, where health care experts, not a jury of
truck drivers, accountants, teachers and salesmen settle injury
disputes based on actual medical science.
Make no mistake: Sometimes patients need lawyers. Sometimes
doctors need them. But what we all need is a system that protects
both from the voracious appetites of a few attorneys who know no
bounds in their quest for riches, and make us all poorer and less
healthy as a result.
The Sixth Amendment assures the right to a speedy
trial by a jury of one's peers, to be informed of the
crimes with which they are charged, and to confront
the witnesses brought by the government. The
amendment also provides the accused the right to
compel testimony from witnesses, and to legal
The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail,
excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever
any Form of Government becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on
such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that
Governments long established should not be changed for
light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience
hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while
evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing
the forms to which they are accustomed.
• 10% of the voting-age population participates
at a level higher than voting.
• Over the past 40 years, less than half the
voting-age population has voted in
• In many other Western nations, the average
turnout is 80 to 90% of all eligible voters.
Why Voters Don’t Vote
• People are satisfied with the status quo, are
uninformed and lack an understanding of
• People feel alienated from politics due to
corruption and influence peddling by special
interests and large corporations.
The Federal Bureaucracy
• Massive government buildings filled with
“faceless bureaucrats” is a negative image
people have of the U.S. government.
Power and Authority
• Power is the ability of persons or groups to
achieve their goals despite opposition from
• Authority is power that people accept as
legitimate rather than coercive.
The Iron Triangle of Power
The Military And Militarism
• U.S. government expenditures for weapons and
fighter jets such as the one shown here have
contributed to the expansion of the military—
Explanations for Militarism
1. The economy.
2. The role of the nation and its inclination
toward coercion in response to perceived
3. Patriarchy and the relationship between
militarism and masculinity.