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TEST SERIES 2017
TEST 1: WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT(I)

ALL QUESTIONS ARE COMPULSORY


MAX MARKS: 120 MAX TIME: 1.5 hours

1) "The fundamental issue of Republic is the discovery of nature


and habitation of justice." Discuss this statement and examine
Plato's conception of justice.

2) "It is inequality, as we have seen that is everywhere the cause


of revolution." Explain this with reference to Aristotle's principle
of distributive justice.

3) "Machiavelli has been called the first realist in politics." Explain


with particular reference to his concept of relationship between
ethics and politics.

4) "These dictators of reason men use to call by the name of laws


but improperly for they are but conclusions or theorems
concerning conduct to the conservation and defence of
themselves." Comment.

5) "The measure of property nature has well set, by the extent of


men's labour and the conveniency of life." Comment.

6) "From this liberty of each individual follows the liberty within


the same limits of combination among individuals; freedom to
write for any purposes not involving harm to others." (J S
Mill)Comment.

7) Write short note on


a)Greatest happiness of greatest number of Bentham.
b)General will of Rousseau.

8) Write short note on


a) Real is rational and rational is real.
b) Will not force is the basis of state.

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1. “The fundamental issue of the Republic is the discovery of Nature and
habitation of Justice.” Discuss this statement and examine Plato’s
Conception of Justice.

Answer:

• Republic is the idea of Justice start by explaining the importance of


Justice:

Justice has been described as the first virtue of a society, by Rawls. It is the most
fundamental basis on which is the edifice of the every state is built. A State can
continue so long as people consider it just.

• Give the importance of theory of Justice in Plato’s work.

The importance of theory of justice in Plato’s work can be seen as even the
subtitle of the masterpiece. ‘The Republic’ is ‘Concerning Justice’. Justice is the
main ideal that Plato aspires for, because it signifies stability and has external
character, and goes about incorporating it in his Republic.

• Show how Plato gives his theory of justice and his concern behind it.

The main concern of Plato was to create Athens as an ideal State. For Plato, the
State was the ideal, of which justice was the reality.

The methodology used by Plato to arrive at this was dialectics. Through his book
Republic written in the form of a dialogue. Plato arrived at some observations.
Justice was not simply doing your duty, but also a source of virtue. Moreover, it
was better to be just than to be unjust. Plato believed that it was important to
understand. God’s idea of justice to arrive at the perfect idea of justice. He
explained through the myth of souls, in which reason was the most important, as
how to structure the society and generate a just order. This would distribute
functions in society so that each individual contributes his own part to making a
just society.

Moreover, since state is individual writ large. The principle of justice would also
be embodied by the State.

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Thus, just a State, for Plato, was based on division of labour and functional
specialization. It exhibited non-interference and regarded temperance as a virtue.
Such a state would not only create excellence but also lead to harmony.

• As question is raised that Justice is the most important of Plato’s


principle, we have to conclude in the following way :

The republic is a book of encyclopedic nature with theory of education,


Communism, philosopher King, etc. However, the most important idea which
remains the underlying factor is Justice.

2. “It is inequality, that we have seen that is everywhere the cause of


revolution. “ Explain with the reference to Aristotle’s principles of the
distributive Justice.

Answer:

• You must start by giving the introduction of Aristotle.

Aristotle being the greatest disciple of Plato has also dwelled on the idea of
Justice. Both Plato and Aristotle believed that the primary task of the state was to
ensure justice.

• You should then give Aristotle’s theory of distributive Justice.

Aristotle has distinguished between distributive and rectificatory justice.


Rectificatory justice comes under the domain of law and courts. But the main
concern of political philosophers has been distributive justice that determines the
allocations of values in a state and deals with policies of who gets ‘What, When
and How.’

Distributive Justice, as per Aristotle, meant that offices and wealth, rewards and
dues were distributed among different social classes according to their
contributions based on merit, defined in accordance with the spirit of the
Constitution. It meant proportional inequality and was linked to a theory of just
rewards or equal shares according to the merit of the recipients and one’s just
deserts.

• Link all three: His theory of Justice, Equality & revolution together.

Aristotle regarded equality as crucial to Social Justice, and Justice as central to


equality. Inequality for Aristotle arose when equals were treated unequally and
unequal equally.

Application of this theory can also be seen in the theory of slavery. It would be
unjust if treat the masters having reason and courage and slaves lacking it, as
equals.
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However, according to Aristotle, any disturbance in proportionate equality causes


revolt. Aristotle has done an exhaustive study of revolutions and found that the
commonest cause is feeling of inequality. According to him, Inequality is generally
at the bottom of internal warfare in states.

• You must finally state why Aristotle raises this question.

Aristotle being a functionalist is concerned about the stability of the political


system. It is in the context that he stresses on his idea distributive justice to
prevent the feeling of inequality breeding in the society which further leads to
resentment against the state and ultimately causes revolution.

3. “Machiavelli has been called the first realist in politics.” Explain with
particular reference to his concept of relationship between ethics and
politics.

Answer :

• You must start the answer by explaining the concept of Realism.

Realism is the power view of politics. For Realists, power is an end and power
is a means. Realism attempts to look at things as they are, rather than as they
ought to be.

• Introduce Machiavelli as Realist.

With Machiavelli begins a new age in political thinking as the rejected


idealization and insisted on the needs to grasp the realities of politics. For
this, Machiavelli is known as the father of Realism. He is the first person to
have established an autonomous sphere of politics and was bold enough to
suggest politics is not ethics.

His main concern was that Italy was vulnerable to internal and external threats.
He wanted to Italy emerged as a strong nation State. Survival and preservation
of the State was his fundamental concern. Machiavelli’s book “The Prince” was
written to achieve this end, and considered as the best book in the field of
statecraft. It contains a set of advices to the Prince, which project Machiavelli
as a Realist.

• Give arguments to support Machiavelli as a Realist.

According to him, Politics was ultimately and finally, a constant struggle for
power and domination, which had to be judged by its own rules and norms so
that States survived. Machiavelli sanctioned the use of deception, cruelty,
force, violence, and the like for achieving the desired political ends. Thus, the
basic principle was, ends justifies the means, which is the essence of Realism.

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The term Machiavellianism signifies this very separation of ethics and politics
as he projects politics as uninspiring.

Machiavelli also advice the Prince to look at things as they are, rather than as
they ought to be. One who sacrifices “is” for “ought” is bound to ruin himself
and bring destruction of his people.

Moreover, he invented the concept of Dual Morality and separated private from
public sphere of morality. The State or Prince had a morality of its own the
morality of the success of State, different from that of common man.

• Prove that Machiavelli was the first Realist.

No one before Machiavelli could, in the straight forward manner, talk about
politics. Plato was known as father of Idealism and his Philosopher King was
only concerned about what ought to be. Some realism came to Aristotle in the
theory of Revolution. But only with Machiavelli could talk about politics in an
unapologetic manner. It is the pardon that Machiavelli is criticized most for his
views, yet he is practiced more in sphere of politics.

4. “These dictators of reason men use to call by the name of laws but
improperly for they are but conclusions or theorems concerning
conduct to the conservation and defence of themselves.” Comment.

Answer :

• Give the theory of Law

Laws condition human behaviour that is primary in building smooth


functioning of society. There are two schools of Laws- Natural Law and Positive
Law. Natural Laws theorists believe that human laws are defined by morality
and reason, and not by an authority figure. Whereas positive laws say that it is
enforcement mechanism with the ability to punish deviation that makes laws
effective.

• Give Hobbes theory of Law and his opinion on Natural Law.

Hobbes belongs to the school of Legal Positivism. He is satirical of natural laws


and believes in law only as the command of the sovereign.

He recognized the existence of natural law in the state of nature. Natural Law
can result in piece if followed. However, since passion dominates over reason
in man, natural exists merely as ‘counsels of prudence’ or ‘ articles of piece’.

Moreover, in the absence of Leviathan, natural law lacks enforcing mechanism,


and in thus, unable to secure peace and preservation of life. As per Hobbes,
covenants without swords are nothing but words.
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“Law” in true sense, as per Hobbes is one which originates from a definite
common authority and comes with power of enforcement. Thus, the law made
by the state is sovereign as it has police power, making fear as a motivation for
obedience. Through this theory of Law, Hobbes justifies absolute authority of
the state to ensure peace.

• You can conclude the answer by relating it to contemporary issue.

Hobbes, take on law, has, henceforth, inspired the realist view on international
politics. It believes that even though international law exists, but in the
absence of a law enforcement agency, it is difficult to enforce. Thus, in
international politics power remains the end and power remains the means.

5. “The measure of property nature well set, by the extent of men’s labour
and the conveniency of life.”Comment.

Answer :

• The statement is on Lock’s Theory of Property. Explain the theory :


giving Locke’s introduction.

Locke is known as Father of Liberalism. He has given the theory of property in


the Secong Treatise of Civil Government and was regarded as the cornerstone
of classical liberalism.

In Locke’s political theory, the term property has a special meaning. He uses it
in two senses- in the broad sense it includes right to life, liberty and estate. In
the narrow sense, it is used only for the right to possess and retain one’s
estate.

• Mention why he is called as a scholar of Possessive Individualism.

Locke is called by Macpherson as a scholar of possessive individualism, as he


has given justification for absolute right to property. According to Locke, man
enjoyed absolute ownership over property even in the state of nature, and
continues to enjoy it even after the social contract and the formation of
government.

Hence, State does not have any right to limit man’s control over property. It is
necessary of man’s well being.

• You must then mention the restrictions on property by Locke.

However, Locke does put certain restrictions. According to him, only that
property justified which is a product of man’s labour, horse and the product of
his slave. Thus, he gives the labour limitations and spoilage limitations, should
not deprive others.
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• You must mention his similarities with Nozick.

Locke’s theory of property finds similarities with Nozick’s entitlement theory


where he considers that role of state is only to ensure ‘just acquisition’ and
‘just transfer of property’. According to him, compulsory taxation is bounded
labour. Thus, the importance of the private property to the capitalist class can
be seen across ages, in classical liberalism as well as with the revival of neo-
liberalism.

6. “From this liberty to each individual follows the liberty within the same
limits of combination among individuals; freedom to write for any
purposes not involving harm to others.” (J.S.Mill) Comment.

Answer :

• The question is on Mill’s theory of Liberty. Give the introduction of the


Mill with respect to this theory.

It is said that if anyone is liberal, in true sense, it is Mill. His Essay on Liberty
is one of the finest discourses on the definition of freedom where he has given
the detailed view of his Theory of Liberty. Even Locke has talked about Liberty,
but no other scholar before Mill had given such a detailed view.

• Give the context.

Mill belongs to the age of transition. The period is witnessing a transition from
classical liberalism to welfare state. Thus, there is inconsistency in his
thoughts as even though he wants maximum liberty, he fails to justify absolute
liberty.

• Give Mill’s theory of Liberty.

The inconsistency is also reflected in Mill’s Theory of Liberty. According to him,


“All restraint is an evil.” He says only man has sovereignty over himself. But he is
not comfortable with absolute liberty.
• Give Mill’s harm principle.
Mill gives the harm principle. He goes to the extent saying that any
interference with individual’s liberty of action is not justified except to prevent
him from doing harm to others.
Mill divides individual’s actions into two categories :
Self regarding and Other regarding actions. In the sphere of self regarding
actions of individuals, they should be left totally free. However, society should
interfere only in other regarding actions that produce positive, demonstrable
harm to others.

• You must then mention the criticism of this theory.

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This theory ultimately also brought criticism. BARKER calls him a “prophet of
empty liberty”. Mill makes an artificial and non scientific separation in human
actions. In this process, he creates a lot of scope for state’s intervention.

• You can finally conclude the significance.

Despite that, we cannot overlook the huge contribution made by Mill. He is the
one of the great champions of freedom of speech and expression. Mill’s idea of
liberty has also influenced the Indian Constitution.

7. Write the short note on

(a) Greatest happiness of greatest number of Bentham.

Answer :

• Give an introduction of Bentham and Utilitarianism.

Bentham is father of Utilitarianism. The theory of Utilitarianism is based on the


psychological and hedonistic theory of “Pleasure and Pain”. According to
Bentham, nature has placed mankind under to sovereign masters- pleasures
and pain. It is for them alone to point out we ought to do as well as to
determine what we shall do.

• You should then explain the purpose of the statement.

The key note to Bentham’s theory of utility is that state is useful only so long
as it caters to the “greatest happiness to the greatest number”. He considers it
as a yardstick for the state policy. As SABINE has put it, “This principle the
utilitarian held to be the only rational guide, both to private morals, and to
public policy.”

• You must then give the criticism by Socialists.

Socialists criticised this principle as it gave primacy to happiness over number.


It also allows for less state intervention in the economy, as utilitarian believe
that gives more scope for happiness. Socialists criticised it as it provides the
justification for the capitalists exploiting workers for the sake of their pleasure
or profit.

It has resulted into justification of exploit and has been extremely


individualistic and materialistic. Socialists believes that everyone’s happiness
should not be counted separately. State is organic whole.

(b) General will of Rousseau

Answer :

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• You should give the introduction of Rousseau as per the requirement


of the question :

Rousseau is known as the Intellectual Father of the French revolution, and also
of popular sovereignty. He has given the theory of General will in his famous
book “The Social Contract”. According to him, state represents the General Will.

• Give the Context of hid theory

With the works of Rousseau, emerges the idea of positive liberty. Liberty is a
very significant concern for Rousseau and his main purpose was how to
reconcile authority with liberty. He achieved this through an institutional
innovation called General Will.

• Give the components of his theory real & actual will

Rousseau suggests that man has two types of will- real will, which is motivated
by his ultimate collective interest; and actual will- which is shaped by social
circumstances and immediate self interest.

General will is the sum of all the real will of the people. It is a collectively held
will that aims at common good.

Since General Will is represented in state, state laws are made in the interest of
all. But he also puts the condition that people should be participants in the
process, as only then will it represent popular sovereignty.

• You must then give the criticism of Rousseau’s General Will

Rousseau as a thinker is full of paradoxes. His language is paradoxical.


Rousseau also says that we are free in true sense only if we obey General Will
and therefore, man must be forced to be free. On one hand, it leads to direct
democracy and on the other hand it can lead to justification of a totalitarian
state. It is said that Rousseau’s General Will is Hobbes Leviathan with its head
chopped off.

That is why Mac Intyre clarifies that general Will is not will of the state but will
of the people for the state.

8. Write a short note on

(a) Real is rational and rational is real.

Answer :

• You should give introduction of the Hegel

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Hegel was a famous German philosopher and an important figure of German


idealism.

• You must give Hegel’s perspective & purposes.

Hegel was an idealist thinker, like Plato. He believed that idea is the ultimate
reality and wanted to establish state as the supreme institution. He also
wanted to establish the superiority of the German race.

• You should then explain the statement.

The statement is about Hegel’s conception of reality. The first part of the
statement represents his epistipomology which is the theory of knowledge.
According to him, reality is what we understand by the use of the reason what
is the ultimate reality cannot be understood by mere empirical observations.

The second part of the statement tells his political purpose that is Hegel’s
ontology what is understood by the use of the reason is real. State is a march
of God on Earth can be understood by only when one applies reason.

Hegel represents state as ideal. He is one of the strongest exponent of


idealism and statism. There is similarity between Hegel and Plato as both strive
to establish an ideal state and believe in idea as the ultimate reality.

• You can then give the criticism of Hegel’s theory.

However, this may end up in justification of absolute state. This idea of Hegel
was utilized by many philosophies and people like Hitler and Mussolini which
led to the creation of totalitarian state, as threat to world peace.

(b) Will not force is the basis of State.

Answer :

• You must give introduction of T.H.Green and mention the name of the
book from which the statement was taken.

The above statement comes from Green’s theory of principle of political


obligation. T.H.Green is known as the father of Concept of Positive Liberty
ehich led to the creation of the welfare state.

• You should then give the context of the statement

T.H.Green suggest that the reason for the continuation of the state.

The basis of state’s legitimacy has been a matter of debate among various
political philosophers. T.H.Green suggests that the reason for continuation of
the state is the will of the people. According to him, State is continuing and

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there has been no revolution (western world) against state because people do
not consider it as an instrument of force.

• You must then show how T.H.Green explains the statement.

State draws its legitimacy out of the beneficial functions that state performs.
State also enhances liberty and rights by its welfare functions.

According to him, State hinders the hindrances. It is because state performs


these useful functions that sate continues.

• You can conclude by T.H.Green’s views on the counter - views of State

Thus, it is wrong to consider force as the basis of the State as mentioned by


Hobbes and Machiavelli. This is how he counters the Marxist claim that State is
an instrument of force and a measure of coercion.

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