As we know from the history books, England, Germany and France were the leading countries in Europe.
Moreover, after 1815, of course, we first look at France. It had gone through a bloody revolution and dictatorship and was busy getting its government in order.
This time, with the revolution still fresh in mind, it had to be a democratic government with a king as the icing on the cake.
A matter of some historical sense, I'd say. Democratic self-government by the people was a NO GO.
Perhaps it would have been workable in the Greek city-states, but it was impracticable in large nation-states.
This led to the argument that in the modern state freedom was not related to self-government by the people.
That supposed connection was not so much wrong, but just anachronistic, completely from another time.
Remains civil liberty, which we have already discussed in previous lectures. How do we secure it?
Rather than worrying about who is allowed to exercise sovereign power, citizens should first and foremost try to define the scope of that power,
or as one political philosopher put it: "It is the amount of power we should denounce, not the rulers themselves" (...)
"Let us, therefore, cross out the words 'oppress', and 'exterminate' and even remove them from the dictionary of government.
For thought, for education, for industry, the motto of the government must be: Laissez-faire et laissez-passer".(let be and let pass).
These were the words of the Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque, or simply Benjamin Constant (1767 - 1830), a Swiss-French political thinker, activist, and writer on political theory and religion.
Clearly a member of the European elite. Based on his preference for minimal government, he developed a new appreciation for individual rights.
We may not be allowed to say it out loud, but it is of course a logical move if you want to keep the people out of government and politics.
According to the Atlantean revolutionaries, individual rights, also called natural rights, were closely linked to the idea of rule by the people.
Liberals like Constant wanted to forget that idea. According to him, we should regard the rights as the demarcation of a private domain free from interference from the state.
Lists of rights he drafted include freedom of expression, right to property, right to a fair trial and the like,
but not the right to participate in government. Infringement of these rights was illegal, no matter how much democratic support the government might have.
If the law started interfering with those rights of human existence, then who cares what kind of government you have, was his idea.
And with that, you have the blueprint of the liberal (elitist) state: "Let be and let pass" goes for interfering with the common people as long as it obeys the law.
The underlying idea was in fact that the most important political theme, the state economy, in other words, the taxpayers' money, thus remained out of sight of the people,
but the rich upper class naturally wants to have an influence on it and after all that revolutions, it must also have a somewhat democratic form.
And with that, we get all those inventions, the traces of which are still clearly present in our current system.
In the 19st century the elite came to the conclusion that only they were really capable of voting and supplying representatives and then a two-chamber system was useful.
A Second Chamber for the lesser nobility and wealthy and a First Chamber for the real nobility, or something like that. A bit in line with the British parliamentary system at the time.
The universal principle: one man / one vote for every citizen in a country was unimaginable.
One famous consequence of this line of thinking is the Electoral College in the US, which was the target of Trump's Coup d'Etat in January 2022.
Thank you for your attention again....
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
TABLE OF CONTENT -----------------------------------------------------------------
1 - 100 Philosophers 9 May 2009 Start of
2 - 25+ Women Philosophers 10 May 2009 this blog
3 - 25 Adventures in Thinking 10 May 2009
4 - Modern Theories of Ethics 29 Oct 2009
5 - The Ideal State 24 Febr 2010 / 234
6 - The Mystery of the Brain 3 Sept 2010 / 266
7 - The Utopia of the Free Market 16 Febr 2012 / 383
8. - The Aftermath of Neo-liberalism 5 Sept 2012 / 413
9. - The Art Not to Be an Egoist 6 Nov 2012 / 426
10 - Non-Western Philosophy 29 May 2013 / 477
11 - Why Science is Right 2 Sept 2014 / 534
12 - A Philosopher looks at Atheism 1 Jan 2015 / 557
13 - EVIL, a philosophical investigation 17 Apr 2015 / 580
14 - Existentialism and Free Will 2 Sept 2015 / 586
15 - Spinoza 2 Sept 2016 / 615
16 - The Meaning of Life 13 Febr 2017 / 637
17 - In Search of my Self 6 Sept 2017 / 670
18 - The 20th Century Revisited 3 Apr 2018 / 706
19 - The Pessimist 11 Jan 2020 / 819
20 - The Optimist 9 Febr 2020 / 824
21 - Awakening from a Neoliberal Dream 8 Oct 2020 / 872
22 - A World Full of Patterns 1 Apr 2021 / 912
23 - The Concept of Freedom 8 Jan 2022 / 965
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman'
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ㋡
[13:20] herman Bergson: So if you look closely you see that a certain elite in Europe tries to construct a situation where they can control the state and the mob
[13:20] herman Bergson: voting rights only for nobility and wealthy....
[13:21] herman Bergson: Men only of course
[13:22] herman Bergson: A two chambers parlaiment where the Second Chamber is for the rich middle class, to keep them in peace
[13:22] herman Bergson: The mob may only work and pay taxes
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): nothing has changed
[13:23] herman Bergson: Even worse Beertje
[13:23] herman Bergson: in a next lecture I'll show you that in the US Republicans are returning to 19th century ideas....
[13:23] oola Neruda: grrrrrrrrrrrrr
[13:24] oola Neruda: sounds true
[13:24] herman Bergson: their new mantra is....The US is not a democracy, but a constitutional republic
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no voting for women anymore?
[13:24] herman Bergson: I'll get to that next time
[13:25] herman Bergson: Just compare this period around 1850 and voting rights with the current voting rights
[13:26] oola Neruda: gerrymandering etc
[13:26] herman Bergson: there still is from then still a long way to go
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed lot of things to do
[13:27] oola Neruda: new laws... plus intimidation when registering
[13:27] herman Bergson: from 1850 to 1950...
[13:28] herman Bergson: I think that till 1964 The Voting Rights Act in the US black people even didn't have voting rights at all, but I may be mistaken here
[13:28] herman Bergson: Voting rights for women...1923....
[13:28] oola Neruda: they had to jump through stupid hoops and then be told they did not do it right... so... can't vote
[13:28] oola Neruda: back then
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): really??
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eeeh
[13:29] oola Neruda: recite the constitution or things like that
[13:29] oola Neruda: or how many jellybeans are in this jar
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "EEE NO u have to do it like a porn star!"
[13:29] oola Neruda: unbelievable
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje...from 1850 there had to be a huge fight to come for voting rights
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)
[13:30] oola Neruda: KKK
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those also
[13:30] oola Neruda: Jim Crow
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes another weird story oola
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): these people are human beings laike you and me, hoe could they do that
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sorry typos
[13:31] oola Neruda: Jim Crow... was the name of the laws as well as the attitude
[13:31] herman Bergson: Well...compare it with our present situation.....
[13:31] oola Neruda: now they just gerrymander the district to the votes are low
[13:31] oola Neruda: district
[13:31] herman Bergson: today politics is not about voting rights.....getting political influence
[13:32] herman Bergson: things in those days were blocked by an old elite of nobility and the like....
[13:32] herman Bergson: But today this elite is the rich people...the top 1% in society
[13:32] oola Neruda: and the KKK
[13:32] herman Bergson: They do the same the old elite in 1850 did
[13:33] oola Neruda: in the US
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes oola....and they simply buy the seats in the Houses
[13:33] oola Neruda: yes
[13:33] herman Bergson: Just think of the Koch Brothers
[13:33] oola Neruda: the Kochs are awful
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Power and greed as usual
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nothing have changed
[13:34] oola Neruda: they even affect local elections... almost to the point of dogcatcher
[13:34] herman Bergson: They control politics oola
[13:34] herman Bergson: or take the present situation f Twitter.....
[13:34] oola Neruda: yes
[13:35] oola Neruda: follow the money... again i say it
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: ONE SINGLE MAN buys influence in it for more than 40 billion dollars....
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (ramps up LHC to full energy and prepares to blast the greeedy bastards with it)
[13:35] herman Bergson: and that INE man can disrupt US politics by one stroke of his pen by allowing Trump back on Twitter
[13:36] oola Neruda: and facebook... i was kicked off the instant... the instant... that i said that Trump lied about the vote
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there was some lady i saw challenging Trump
[13:36] oola Neruda: makes me think of BIG BROTHER
[13:36] herman Bergson: SO as Beertje said....nothing has changed......
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess at least for now
[13:37] herman Bergson: Was it the old nobility in 1850....today it is the money nobility that pulls the strings
[13:37] herman Bergson: sociologically it is the same structure
[13:38] herman Bergson: And keep in mind...that old nobility was the group that owned most of the land....that was wealth in those days
[13:38] herman Bergson: today you have to own shares and stocks
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the stock market rules the world now
[13:39] herman Bergson: owning land onlycosts money :-)
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:40] herman Bergson: It is an amazing perspective, I'd say :-)
[13:40] oola Neruda: IS TRUE
[13:40] herman Bergson: Leaves us with a few interesting issues...
[13:41] oola Neruda: tax dodges?
[13:41] herman Bergson: the first one is...how did voting rights develop through time since 1850
[13:42] oola Neruda: women fought for them
[13:42] oola Neruda: FOUGHT
[13:42] herman Bergson: a second may be this peculiar shift of power from land nobility to money "nobility" ( the Gateses and Muskses and Besoses)
[13:43] herman Bergson: and the third issue is...as we are where we are now.....what will it become in the (near) future
[13:43] oola Neruda: lobbyists in congress.. (bribes, really)
[13:44] herman Bergson: The Sienemas and Manchins, oola
[13:44] oola Neruda: yes... them too
[13:45] herman Bergson: Lots of interesting matters to look into in my opinion
[13:45] oola Neruda: teddie cruze ... don't forget him
[13:46] herman Bergson: oh dear...... no cursing in class please, oola ^_^
[13:46] oola Neruda: lolol sorry
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hhehe
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): &/&/"#&"/(!/"&7!!!!!!!!!!
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:46] oola Neruda: gasp
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ㋡
[13:47] herman Bergson: Well, I am ready for a next lecture
[13:47] herman Bergson: So...thank you all again....
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed .....
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:47] oola Neruda: thank YOU
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ㋡