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INTS 4806: Global Justice: Marx and Rawls

Winter Quarter, 2004

Alan Gilbert Thursday 2-5

January 8 and 15: the American empire Deepa Narayan, ed., Voices of the Poor, chs. 1-2 Chalmers Johnson, Blowback Alan Gilbert, New Institutions for Democracy and Peace, to be published in The Seeds of True Peace: Responding to the Discontents of a Global Community by the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice and Peace on the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize Optional: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire Topics: 1. What is blowback? In what ways does Johnson depict an American empire? How does his argument raise the for international relations theory unusual question: what is the impact of foreign policy affect ordinary citizens? 2. Why, in a democracy, should government activities abroad be below the radar of public attention? Is bipartisanship in foreign policy a democratic practice? 3. Consider the new participatory evaluation of poverty offered by the World Bank: to what extent does the moral impetus of these voices indict the policies of the Bank? (you may want to look at Walden Bello, Dark Victory)? Consider World Bank/IMF policies in Indonesia during the recent crisis as described by Johnson. 4. Why have mass demonstrations emerged against the WTO, World Bank, IMF and so forth? Against the War in Iraq (the greatest global movement before a War ever to exist)? To what extent do such demonstrations illustrate democratic internationalism? January 22: Citizenship and Foreign Policy Readings: Alan Gilbert, Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?, introduction, chs. 1-2, 3, 5 Topics: 5. What is anti-democratic feedback? How does Gilberts conception relate to Johnsons notion of blowback? 6. What institutional suggestions does Gilbert make about making American foreign policy more peace and common good oriented? To achieve democracy at home? 7. What is Marxs conception of internationalism? How does it relate to what Gilbert calls democratic internationalism? To demonstrations from Seattle to Genoa to Miami?

8. What economic/social theoretical argument might explain the phenomena of increasing inequality, empire and lack of democracy in the United States? Is a Marx-like account of the economy [Marxs, with the aim of finding refinements that would make it applicable today] a likely inference to the best explanation? How might a refined radical argument explain the new Bush wars to fight terrorism and seize control of the Middle East? 9. To what extent is a radical (including Marxian) critique of realism a democratic or moral (referring to a common good) critique? Need the seeming anti-moralism of most versions of realism and neo-realism leave the entire territory of democracy and liberal theory to radicals? 10. How does international political rivalry affect the capitalist competition that Marx describes? Optional: Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning January 29: commodity fetishism and surplus value Readings: Marx, Capital, introductions, chs. 1-10 Lukacs, "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat" and What is Orthodox Marxism in History and Class Consciousness Marx, Letter to Meyer and Vogt, from Marx, The First International & After, ed. David Fernbach, pp. 167-71 (on web) Optional: Gilbert, Marxs Politics, conclusion Lenin, "On the Question of Dialectics" in Collected Works, vol. 38 Mao Tse-t'ung, "On Practice," "On Contradiction" Louis Althusser, "Contradiction and Overdetermination" in Althusser, For Marx Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, preface. Topics: 11-12. In what sense does Marx's theory "dwell in the negative"? What role do the change and death of social organisms and of individuals play in his conceptions? What characteristics make the critique of a philosophical argument dialectical? (two people should prepare together and discuss) 13. What is commodity fetishism? How does Marx's theory influence Lukacs's notion of reification? [for those who know Max Weber, how does Weber's conception of rationalization influence Lukacs? see Gilbert, Democratic Individuality, ch. 9] 14. Why is circulation the realm of "freedom, equality, property and Bentham"?(Fowkes translation, p. 280) Why do participants in the process of production present different

visages? How might this explain todays combination of formal democracy the right to vote, and so forth and oligarchy? 15. About the political impact of slavery, Marx argues, "labor in a white skin cannot emancipate itself where it is branded in a black skin."(p. 414) How is the death of slavery linked to the struggle for an eight hour working day? How are anti-racism and internationalism central to a Marxian conception? (consider also Marxs letter to Meyer and Vogt on Ireland) 16. Does Marx's theory of surplus value justify a union and party-based struggle for reforms? In what sense is the theory of surplus value a radical or revolutionary theory? February 5: the Political Trajectory of Capitalism Readings: Capital, chs. 10-25 Gilbert, "The Storming of Heaven: Capital and Marx's Politics" in J. Roland Pennock, ed., Nomos, Marxism Today, 1986 (a revised version a draft chapter in a manuscript - on web) Marx, The First International and After, pp. 73-113, 269-72 (on web) Topics: 17. What is the difference, for Marx. between a subjective and an objective division of labor, manufacture and large-scale industry? What is the political role of technological change in a capitalist system? 18. What is the general law of capitalist accumulation? How does this theory strengthen internationalism (in what ways is Marxs account of English devastation in Ireland related to todays globalization)? How does this conception help to deepen the revolutionary side of Marx's account? 19. How do Marxs arguments figure in resolutions of and reports to the International Working Mens Association? Whats the relation between theory and practice in Marx? 20. Althusser and others have denied that Marx's theory in Capital employs notions of alienation. To what extent does Marx's political account of capitalism invoke alienation? Is this invocation reasonable given Marx's social theory? [you may want to look at Louis Althusser, For Marx, particularly the essays on "Contradiction and Overdetermination" and "Marxism and Humanism"; also, Gilbert, Democratic Individuality, ch. 7) February 12: Ideas and Social Transformation Readings: Capital, chs. 26- , and appendix Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Gilbert, Democratic Individuality, ch. 9; reread Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?, ch. 3

Topics: 21-22. According to Marx, capitalism's early motto is "Accumulate! Accumulate! That is Moses and all the prophets.!" a. What are the main differences between Marx's and Weber's account of the rise of capitalism? b. In what sense is Marx's argument dialectical? (for both) Can these accounts be combined? 23. In advocating communism, need Lukacs (consider again his arguments on reification) reject Weber's depiction of capitalism in The Protestant Ethic? If not, why was Weber's argument interpreted as a leading antidote to Marxian accounts? 24. What is the role of internationalism in Marxs theory? Are there analogues between Marxs conception and political events today (for instance, demonstrations in Seattle, Millau, Washington, Prague, Quebec, Davos, Porto Alegre, Genoa and Miami; or the unprecedentedly large movement against the Iraq war)? 25. To what extent are Gilberts vision of a radical democracy and Marxs consistent? What are the leading differences? February 19: Decent Hierarchy, Democracy and Human Rights Readings: John Rawls, The Law of Peoples Gilbert, Democratic Individuality, ch. 5 (Review Narayan, Voices of the Poor, chs. 1-2) Topics: 26. How might a Marxian read Rawls argument on social theory and the defects of American democracy? To what extent is that regime, on Rawls account, oligarchical? What effect would a realistic analysis of the functioning of the American regime have on Rawls argument about democratic and outlaw states? 27. Rawls sketches an international law of peoples which contrasts with the aggression and expansion of power-state rivalry (pp. 46-9). Does he, in effect, pose an ethical view - a merely utopian one - against a social theoretical (and empirical) one? Responding to my argument, he notices the debilities of actually existing democracies, for example the predatoriness of the American overthrow of elected regimes in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil, and the like during the Cold War and Haiti afterwards (p. 53 and n. 69). As he puts it, indeed a liberal society cannot justly require its citizens to fight in order to gain economic wealth or acquire natural resources, much less to win power and empire. When a society pursues these interests, it no longer honors the Law of Peoples, and it becomes an outlaw state.(p 91) But does he identify any political interests which might help to realize the law of peoples? 28. Rawls suggests that mutual respect undergirds a law of peoples, affirmed by liberal regimes for decent consultation hierarchies and other hierarchical regimes which embody some aspects of a common good. He notes that several interpretations of his argument on

international justice begin from free and equal citizens in an original position, not from representatives of peoples in an original position for a society of peoples. From the former, these authors mistakenly conclude that Rawls must argue only for liberal democracies (p. 82 and n. 28). But imposing a liberal point of view, Rawls contends, overlooks the great importance of maintaining mutual respect between peoples and of each people maintaining its self-respect, not lapsing into contempt for the other, on one side, and bitterness and resentment, on the other. (p. 122) To curb crusading for democracy or socialism, realists also warn of the harmful effects of attempting to oppose regimes on others (as does Engels). Do these perspectives, one seemingly moral, the other social theoretical, disagree about this central issue? Could Rawls have invoked a realist (or Marxian) conception to undergird his law of peoples? 29. In a conception which so values human rights, is anything lost by substituting an international original position of representatives of peoples for an international one of each person, deliberating as an, ideally, free and equal participant? February 26: Equal Liberty, the Difference Principle and Oligarchy Readings: Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edition), prefaces, Part One: Theory, pp. xi-168 Topics: 30. What is Rawls argument for the priority of equal liberty? Does this priority rule out inequalities, justified by the difference principle, which would enable the rich to dominate the government and create oligarchy? (see also Political Liberalism, pp. 357-58) 31. How does Rawls view clash with that of the U.S. Supreme Court? (See Political Liberalism, p. 360-61) 32. What are Rawls arguments for the difference principle? Why does he call it a cooperative or democratic principle? 33. What is the original position? How does it model, and improve upon, earlier contract conceptions? Is the notion of an original contract a democratic device in moral theory? March 3: Civil Disobedience and Democracy Readings: Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edition), Part Two. Institutions, pp. 171-343 Optional, A Theory of Justice, Part Three: Ends 34. How for Rawls is civil disobedience resistance to an unjust law within an overall context of fidelity to law? How would Rawls assess the new, mainly nonviolent resistance to the practices of international capitalist regimes (see Gilbert, New Institutions for

Democracy and Peace and Starhawk, How We Really Shut Down the WTO in Kevin Danaher, ed., Globalize this! ) 35. Compare Rawls and Gilbert (Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?, ch. 5) on the justification of selective conscientious refusal. March 10: Is the (International) Difference Principle Democratic? Readings: Rawls, Political Liberalism, introduction, Lecture 1, 4-6, 8 Topics: 36. What is an overlapping consensus? How does it embody mutual regard among persons of differing comprehensive views? 37. Why, on Rawls account, does this democratic consensus uphold equal liberties but threaten the difference principle (pp. 229-30)? 38. What, on Rawls new theory, is the difference between a political account of justice as fairness and his initial comprehensive view? Requirements: 1) Class participation. The more questions and arguments each participant brings to the seminar, the richer the seminar becomes. 2) Preparation of 10-15 minute presentations on 2 topics. The presenter should prepare a handout for the seminar, including the leading arguments she wants to consider and striking citations from the readings. [if more than one person wishes to present on a topic, this is fine. See also the note on study groups below] 3) A 10-15 page final paper. For those who have time, I strongly recommend study group meetings outside of seminar to prepare the topics for the week and argue about (or with) them.