Mo’ Money, Mo’ Democracy.

Left: Professor                             Center: Student                              Right: Gadfly

  1. Grand structural transformations throughout history,
  2.    Did occur when autocracies morphed into democracies.
  3. Structural conditions of a capitalist economy,
  4.   May convert an autocracy to a democracy.
  5. For example, a large and stable middle class,
  6.    Keeps radicals from slaying democratic establishments.
  7. Apply mathematical modeling, like Iversen; and find,
  8.    The middle class does shape the main incentives,
  9.        For legislative compromise.[i]
  10. Professor, I have a good quote:
  11. In Chapter 33, Iversen writes a piece,
  12. Called Capitalism and Democracy.
  13. The student clears his throat:
  14. “Yet the welfare state has not collapsed,
  15. Democracy is spreading,
  16. And globalization has not resulted,
  17. In convergence around laissez-faire capitalism.”[ii]
  18. Let’s start at the beginning and work our way back to that present.
  19. Lipset (1959) investigates the conditions legitimately,
  20.    Associated with the existence and stability,
  21.       Of democratic society.[iii]
  22. Now, what are the principle characteristics to identify,
  23.    Stable democracies through time?
  24. Lipset sees economic development; denotation:
  25. Industrialization, wealth, urbanization, and education.
  26. Lipset sees legitimacy; applied:
  27. The degree to which institutions are valued outright,
  28. And determined to be proper and upright.
  29. Legitimacy corresponds to the effectiveness of the system,
  30.    This is mostly dependent on economic development.
  31. Cleavages in society may be disruptive to democracy,
  32.    Thus hopefully many are cross-cutting; to facilitate,
  33.        The reduction of conflict to manageable intensities.
  34. Lipset truly throttles towards issue settlement when he articulates…
  35.    “…democracy is related to the state of economic development.
  36.     Concretely, this means that the more well-to-do a nation,
  37.      The greater the chances that it will sustain democracy.”[iv]
  38. In each case, save Germany during the 1930s,
  39.    The average wealth, degree of industrialization,
  40.    The degree of urbanization and of education,
  41.         Is clearly much higher in democratic countries.
  42. In surveys, education is the most important single factor,
  43.    In determining who favors democracy.
  44. The higher the education, the more democracy provided,
  45.    The answer.
  46. One felt obliged to convey:
  47. According to Lipset’s political science:
  48. Higher education increases tolerance and broad-mindedness.
  49. It restrains extremism and monistic doctrines.
  50. It increases the capacity for individuals to make rational decisions.
  51. Evidence thus supports education as a necessary condition,
  52. For democracy to flourish.
  53. Yes. Lipset uses literacy and enrollment per 1000 persons,
  54.    In primary, post primary and higher education.
  55. For wealth, he uses per capita income, and;
  56.    The number of persons per motor vehicle and physicians, and,
  57.    The number of radios, phones and newspapers per/1000 persons.
  58. For Industrialization, he uses the percentage of,
  59.    Employed males in agriculture,[v]
  60.    And the per capita commercially produced energy,
  61.       Digested by the country—measured by tons of coal.
  62. Both of the former indices show equally a bias for democracy.
  63.    The working in agriculture data [and related occupations],
  64.        Was 21 in the more democratic [European] countries,
  65.        It was 41 in the less democratic ones,
  66.        It was 52 in the less dictatorial nations,
  67.        And ‘twas 67 in the more dictatorial lands.
  68. Observe, Lipset studied metro areas because;
  69.    Education creates and sustains belief in democratic norms.
  70.    The places of economic development foster greater income.
  71.    Greater income cultivates security for the lower classes.
  72.       All this increases time horizons,
  73.           For complex and gradualist political visions.
  74.    Lower classes are hence integrated into material culture.
  75.    Lower classes, here, have something to lose,
  76.       In a revolt against the governing structure.
  77. Imagine, thus, under robust economic development,
  78.    A society changes.
  79. The professor draws on the board:
  80. Now a majority of denizens compose the middle class.
  81.    There is much less people in poverty, as a percentage.
  82. Hence, the middle class moderates conflict in the polity,
  83.    Because it chooses to reward moderate parties,
  84.        And to keep radicals from rising.
  85. Rich people at once began to understand the value of,
  86.    The middle class woman and man, because,
  87.         The middle class would protect their interests.
  88. Power is then shared through moderate demands,
  89.    As economic development is necessary,
  90.         For profits to compound and protect,
  91.             The working middle class.
  92.    Together, the rich and the middle class select,
  93.         Democracy to be the form of government.
  94. Intermediary organizations and institutions,
  95.    Often act as a countervailing power.
  96. They are able to engage political participators,
  97.    And sour revolutionary potential,
  98.        Along with dictatorial control.
  99. That sums up economic development.
  100. Let’s explore the legitimacy of government.
  101. Any definitions you’d like to share?
  102. A redhead read:
  103. “Legitimacy involves the capacity,
  104. Of a political system to engender and maintain the belief,
  105. That existing political institutions are,
  106. The most appropriate or proper ones for the society.”[vi]
  107. And there is effectiveness: The actual performance,
  108.    Of the political system.
  109. There is a degree to which the government achieves utility,
  110.    As defined by the expectations of [middle class] society,
  111.          Along with the powerful groups aligning,
  112.             The bureaucracy and decision-making policy.
  113. Once new social institutions are emerging,
  114.    During transitional periods in governing,
  115.        Legitimacy lies in the continuity,
  116.            Of conservative and integrative institutional capacity.
  117. Certainly, during transitions, it is extremely important,
  118.    That all groups may access the political system,
  119.        Thus all are able to make political demands,
  120.             To influence the political environment.
  121. If major groups of people are denied access to politics,
  122.    Then eventually the legitimacy of the system,
  123.        Will be seriously called into question.
  124. Breakdown in effectiveness has been shown,
  125.    To endanger the stability known.
  126. Professor, would you please highlight,
  127. The box diagram applied?
  128. The professor draws on the board:
  129. According to the social requisites;
  130.    Box A predicts stable political systems,
  131.       Which satisfy the denizens’ political preferences.
  132.       There are efficient bureaucracies, and,
  133.           Good political decision-making administrations.
  134.                E.g., Unites States, Great Britain, and Sweden.
  135.    Box D predicts instability and breakdown; but for,
  136.         Maintenance via force to sustain order.
  137.    Shifts from A to B predict weakening democracy.
  138.    Shifts from B to C predict a breakdown, in reality.
  139. Thus by the evidence, the probability of a stable democracy,
  140.    Increases as the social strata of individuals and groups,
  141.       Are many cross cutting, politically significant, affiliations.
  142.    Increases whence all groups hold an interest in reducing,
  143.       The intensity of political conflict.
  144.    And find is necessary to offer minorities protection.
  145. Thus political cosmopolitanism may be maximized,
  146.     Among the electorate.
  147. The indicators are the growth of urbanization, education,
  148.     Communications media, and increased wealth.
  149. Yet, socialists are moderates.
  150. And conservatives wouldn’t dare,
  151. Shut down the welfare state,
  152. The constituents’ share.
  153. And federalism?
  154. Federalism strengthens democracy,
  155. By increasing cleavage opportunities.
  156. Federalism enables multiple interests,
  157. Recall the 50 labs of democracy quip.
  158. Interests and values may vary from states and classes,
  159. Religion and ethnicity then cross-cut the social structure.
  160. Well done.
  161. Break ‘till 6.
  162. Then it’s back to structure,
  163. In comparative politics.

[i] Iversen. 2006. “Capitalism and Democracy.” In The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy, eds. Weingast and Wittman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[ii] Ibid. page 602.

[iii] This begins an analysis of: Lipset. 1959. “Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy,” American Political Science Review, 53: 69-105.

[iv] Page 75.

[v] Lipset does say males. Today, political scientists generally use percent of the population contributing to agriculture.

[vi] Page 86.


One thought on “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Democracy.

  1. Pingback: Learn Comparative Politics–Week 2 Reading « Political Pipeline

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