According to Ellen Grigsby, “One of the oldest questions of political theory is, ‘What purpose should the state serve?’”
(a) answer one (1) question from each section -for a total of 3.
(b) each answer should be 1-2 paragraphs in length
Section I: Grigsby chpt. 4, Some Fundamental Ethical Questions in Politics
1. According to Ellen Grigsby, “One of the oldest questions of political theory is, ‘What purpose should the state serve?’” Please provide two (2) theoretical responses to this question. In your answer, please provide references to specific political theories/thinkers.
2. In discussing the role of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in the development of political thought, Ellen Grigsby remarks: “It is not really about caves at all; it is about grappling with the questions we need to understand in order to become enlightened about the world.” After reflecting upon the allegory (do not retell in its entirety!!), please discuss two (2) specific current political issues (local, national or international) which you believe reflect Plato’s allegory.
Section II: Grigsby chpt. 5, Political Ideologies I, Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism
3. Compare and contrast the understandings of equality between classical liberalism and modern liberalism OR classical liberalism and traditional conservatism.
4. Identify and explain three (3) of the criticisms of capitalism offered by Marxism and/or Marxism-Leninism. How would a classical liberal OR traditional conservative respond to one (1) of the criticisms you discuss?
Section III: Grigsby chpt. 6, Political Ideologies II Fascism
5. According to Ellen Grigsby, “Fascists have sometimes embraced a strategy of explaining their ideology by describing what it is not…Specific arguments of fascism are delineated through a series of contrasts that highlight fascist alternatives to rival political perspectives.” Please identify and discuss one (1) such contrast from each of the following ‘rival perspectives’: classical liberalism, traditional conservatism, socialism. What is the ‘fascist alternative’ to each contrast?
6. According to Ellen Grigsby, “Italian fascists coined the word totalitarian to describe the proper boundaries of state authority. Any and all activities needed for the creation of a powerful nation should be directed by the state.” (italics in text)From among the thinkers or theories presented in chapters 4 & 5, which do you believe may have influenced the fascist conception of the totalitarian state?
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