POLITICAL THEORY – CONCEPTS AND DEBATES
BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q 1 Examine J.S. Mill’s notion of liberty
ANS: Mill opens On Liberty by explaining the nature of liberty versus authority. Traditionally, liberty was defined as “the protection against the tyranny of political rulers.”
To achieve liberty, limits on state authority ought to be imposed, which would eventually lead to those in power becoming more akin to tenants than perpetual rulers.
By Mill’s time, the old orders of monarchy and aristocracy were waning, and democratic republics began to predominate the European political landscape.
The world was moving towards greater equality, a trend Mill appreciated, although not without reservation. With the rise of democratic government came a new threat, what Alexis De Tocqueville described as the “tyranny of the majority.”
Mill believed that a new form of social tyranny was emerging, one that was in some ways worse than actual tyranny as it has “fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”
At best, this new tyranny could lead to conformity; at worst it stifled the originality and intellectual vigor needed for progress.BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Mill believes that all eras are either organic or critical. In organic periods people accept some form of positive creed. In critical ones, positive creeds lose their sway without other beliefs emerging to take their place.
During critical periods we yearn for new ideas, according to Mill, so we allow people to pursu their lives in “in innumerable and conflicting directions.”
This freedom to experiment with different ideas and ways of life allows for progress, both material and moral.
Mill explains that mankind can hardly be too often reminded, that there was once a man named Socrates.”
The ancient philosopher Socrates, famous for his Socratic method argument, was put to death by an Athenian jury on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth.
Similar to Socrates, Jesus Christ was also persecuted for his beliefs, which in Mill’s day were considered the moral backbone of English society. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
No person no matter how intelligent is wholly infallible and, for Mill, “All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” Therefore, no person has the right to silence others. We should all be keenly aware of our fallibility.
Even if the vast majority of people in any given society agree on some issues, it does not justify silencing dissenters.
Mill passionately explains that even if “all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person was of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
Mill laments that so many people have fallen into what he calls the “pleasant falsehood” of believing that “truth triumphs over persecution.”
Truth does not inherently triumph over falsehood. The annals of history repeat this lesson constantly, which is why we should always be hesitant to suppress dissenting or differing views, even on the most fundamental questions of life.
What about an opinion that is neither wholly true nor wholly false? Mill was a keen advocate of progress. He rightly believed that the era in which he lived was marked by unprecedented material and moral progress.BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
But Mill did not believe that progress consists of false beliefs being replaced with true beliefs. Instead, he viewed improvement as a cyclical process in which different elements of truth rise and fall.
In time, the rigorous challenging of mixed doctrines would allow future thinkers to separate the true parts from the false parts of any given ideology.
But what about wholly false opinions? In modern terms, why should flat earthers, holocaust deniers, and climate change deniers be allowed to express their opinions? For Mill, “however true [the received opinion] may be,
if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma,not a living truth.” Mill makes a distinction between what he calls true belief and knowledge.
True belief is holding correct beliefs; however, knowledge is holding beliefs because they are justified through rational argumentation.BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
If we simply hold onto our beliefs without passionately defending them, they will hold progressively less sway in our mind as they decay into a dead dogma.
False beliefs provide us with the opportunity to defend our most cherished beliefs, making sure that they remain a living truth rather than dead dogma.
By continually challenging our beliefs, we strengthen them further. Our beliefs are like muscles.
If we do not make use of them they will weaken; by consistently defending our opinions, we bolster them against falsities that would usurp their position in our minds.
Q 2 Discuss the neo-liberal view of liberty
ANS: Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism.
A significant factor in the rise of conservative and libertarian organizations, political parties, and think tanks, and predominately advocated by them, it is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization,
deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society;
however, the defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice have been the subject of substantial scholarly debate. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
The term has multiple, competing definitions, and a pejorative valence.
In policymaking, neoliberalism often refers to what was part of a paradigm shift that followed the alleged failure of the Keynesian consensus in economics to address the stagflation of the 1970s.
English speakers have used the term neoliberalism since the start of the 20th century with different meanings, but it became more prevalent in its current meaning in the 1970s and 1980s, used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences as well as by critics.
The term is rarely used by proponents of free-market policies. Some scholars have described the term as meaning different things to different people as neoliberalism has “mutated” into geopolitically distinct hybrids as it travelled around the world.
Neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including representative democracy. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
The definition and usage of the term have changed over time. As an economic philosophy, neoliberalism emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s as they attempted to revive and renew central ideas from classical liberalism as they saw these ideas diminish in popularity, overtaken by a desire to control markets,
following the Great Depression and manifested in policies designed to counter the
volatility of free markets, and mitigate their negative social consequences.
One impetus for the formulation of policies to mitigate free-market volatility was a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the carly 1930s, failures sometimes attributed principally to the economic policy of classical liberalism.
When the term entered into common use in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile,
it quickly took on negative connotations and was employed principally by critics of market reform and laissez-faire capitalism. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Scholars tended to associate it with the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and James M. Buchanan, along with politicians and policymakers such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan.
Once the new meaning of neoliberalism became established as a common usage among Spanish-speaking scholars, it diffused into the English-language study of political economy
 By 1994, with the passage of NAFTA and with the Zapatistas’ reaction to this development Chiapas, the term entered global circulation.
Scholarship on the phenomenon of neoliberalism has grown over the last few decades
Q 1 Write a note on the Alienation and similar concept.
ANS: Karl Marx first outlined his theory of alienation in The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844) and refers to a define set of social relationships that were first formed in feudal societies which then became disrupted by modern industrial society.
Marx himself said when discussing the topic of alienation, “The worker becomes poorer the more wealth he produces and the more his production increases in power an worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more goods he creates.
The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation to the increase in value of the world of things. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Labour does not only create goods; it also produces itself and the worker as a commodity, and indeed in the same proportion as it produces goods”.
Anomie however, is defined by Emile Durkheim as a change in “normalness” and a breakdown of social regulations
Durkheim became interested in the social condition characterised by a brcakdown of ‘norms’ governing social interactions.
“The state of anomie is impossible wherever organs solidly linked to one another are insufficient contact, and insufficiently lengthy contact.
Indeed, being adjacent to one another, they are easily alerted in every situation to the need for one another and consequently, they experience a keen, continuous feeling of their mutual dependence.” (Durkheim, E: 1893).
Durkheim went on to develop his interest of anomie further when he began his research into ‘Suicide’, BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
where he suggested that when a person’s ‘norms’ and rules that regulate their lifestyle become week, this can lead to a form of suicide which he called ‘Anomic Suicide’.
Marx believed that there were four degrees of alienation that break down the fundamental link that human beings have to their self defining qualities.
Firstly there is product alienation’ which Marx believed was alienating to the worker because the products that they produce do not reflect their creative energies and are merely objects produced by the command of the employer (Ransome, P: 2010).
Which he argues was present in industrialised society but not in feudal societies as a result of capitalism and its economic gain fuelled society.
(Morrison, K: 2006). Secondly, Marx said that alienation could come from ‘act of production’.
This, according to Marx is linked to product alienation’ as the product of labour is alienating then so is the act of production. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
So in capitalist societies people have no choice but to work and feel alienated to meet their basic needs.
Marx’s work stated that “The worker feels himself only when he is not working; when he is working he does not feel himself… his labour is therefore not voluntary but forced” (Marx, K: 1844).
Thirdly, Marx suggested that there was alienation due to ‘common purpose’.
Q 2 Examine the liberal justification of inequality.
ANS: Liberals reject sex, race, or class as the relevant criteria for treating people differently, but they do believe that it is just and fair if inequalities are earned and deserved by virtue of their different desert or merit.
Thus, liberal theory holds stubbornly that so long as inequality can be justified on the basis of rewards or desert for special qualities and abilities or special contribution to society, it is acceptable.BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
One cannot help note here that what is meritorious, special or a contribution to the society are all circumscribed by the specificities of the society in question.
Moreover, it is very difficult to isolate the worth of an individual’s contribution, and if one takes back after contributing, then is one really contributing anything at all?
This whole position seems to contradict the basic liberal position that all individuals have equal worth and respect and reduces people to a bundle of talents and abilities.
In recent times, however, modern liberals such as Rawls and Dworkin have rejected merit and desert as a criteria for justifying inequality.
Instead, they advocate an equality of consideration based on the equal moral worth of all individuals, irrespective of their differing individual talents or skills.
They base this equality on the idea that all human beings are equally endowed with the ability to make choices and formulate life plans.
Rawls, for instance, rejects as morally arbitrary the distribution of rewards according to ability or effort, for differences in abilities and skills he contends, are simply facts of nature and no one is to gain or suffer because of the presence or an absence of these skills or abilities. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Hence, he advocates the treatment of these natural abilities as a social asset so that the basic structure of society can be arranged so that these contingencies work to the good of the least fortunate’.
The so called Difference Principle that Rawls enunciates, is to his mind, the best principle for ensuring that natural assets do not lead to unfair advantages.
The Justice principle requires that social and economic inequalities should be so arranged that they are both a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged and b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.
This, thus, unlike the traditional liberal rights is a much wider understanding of equality. Unequal rewards are justified not on the basis of differing abilities, but as incentives so that they benefit the least advantaged.
Dworkin also expresses displeasure with the traditional liberal ideas on equality and accepts the need for some redistribution and welfare policies.
Macpherson has criticized Rawlsian equality on the grounds that it assumes the inevitability of institutionalized inequalities between classes. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
In doing this, Rawls ignores the fact that class based inequalities create unequal power relationships among individuals of different classes and would thus, impinge on other aspects of equality.
Write a note on equality in the Indian Constitution.
ANS: The Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution have been grouped under six heads as follows:
Right to Equality comprising Articles 14 to 18, of which Article 14 is the most important. Right to Freedom comprising Articles 19 to 22 which guarantee several freedoms, the most important of which is the freedom of speech.
Right to Freedom comprising Articles 19 to 22 which guarantee several freedoms, the most important of which is the freedom of speech.
Right against Exploitation consists of Articles 23 and 24.
Right to Freedom of Religion is guaranteed by Articles 25 to 28.
Cultural and Educational Rights are guaranteed by Articles 29 and 30.
Right to Constitutional Remedies is secured by Articles 32 to 35.
These Articles provide the remedies to enforce the Fundamental Rights, and of these the most important is Art. 32.
I. Article 14 BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Article 14 runs as follows: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
This provision corresponds to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which declares: “No State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
A. Equality before Law
This is a negative concept which ensures that there is no special privilege in favour of anyone, that all are cqually subject to the ordinary law of the land and that no person, whatever be his rank or condition, is above the law.
This is equivalent to the second corollary of the Dicean concept of the Rule of Law in Britain.
B. Equal protection of laws BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
The second concept, ‘equal protection of laws’, is positive in content.It does not mean that identically the same law should apply to all persons, or that every law must have a universal application within the country, irrespective of differences of circumstances.
II. ARTICLE 15 – Social Equality and Equal Access to Public Areas
The Right to Social Equality and Equal Access to Public Areas is clearly mentioned under Article 15 of the Constitution of India stating that no person shall be shown favouritism on the basis of race, religion, caste, sex and place of birth. Article 15 is an extension of Art. 14.
III. ARTICLE 16 – Equality in Matters of Public Employment Article 16 of the Constitution of India clearly mentions that the State shall treat everyone equally in matters of employment.
No citizen shall be discriminated on the basis of race, caste, religion, creed, descent or place of birth in respect of any employment or office under the State. Every citizen of India can apply for government jobs. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
IV. ARTICLE 17 – ABOLITION OF UNTOUCHABILITIES
The Constitution of India procured for nullifying of untouchables—a social shrewdness rehearsed in this nation from time immemorial. Article 17 provides that Untouchability be nullified and its practice in any form are strictly prohibited.
V. ARTICLE 18 – ABOLITION OF TITLES.
The framers of the Indian Constitution decided to abolish titles through the constitutional provisions and Article 18 under the chapter, fundamental rights,
Dimension of justice ANS: There are four dimensions of justice, legal, political, social and economic as discussed below. Legal justice pertains to justice based on law as propounded by Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham and John Austin.
This view believes that law is the command of the sovereign and the only source of justice. Here, the focus is on how the law is formulated, whether there is rule of law and whether it is fairly applied to all the individuals.
Legal justice has two interconnected elements, just laws and just administration of laws. Just laws mean that laws made by authorities must be in sync with social and moral values of society. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
Just administration of laws includes three things, rule of law, impartiality of judges and independence of judiciary.
Political justice means that politics should have representative character, ensure political participation, equal political rights and association of citizens in the decision making process.
Political justice exists when there is political equality through rights such as universal adult franchise, right to contest elections etc. It also ensures accountability by giving the final authority to the citizens who elect the government.
People’s participation is also ensured in the decision making process which can be direct or indirect through their elected representatives.
Social justice stands for reconciling individual interests with those of the society. Economic justice has been the basis of the socialist movement.
It pertains to just distribution of economic resources, benefits and opportunities to achieve a just economic order.
Q 2 Basis of Desert
ANS: The concept of desert (from the old French word deserte, meaning to deserve) refers to the actions of persons that result in special treatment either in the form of rewards or in the form of punishment. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
When desert claims are made there is an inherent understanding of the treatment expected out of it.
To be precise, what mode of treatment a person is expecting on the basis of desert claim. Feinberg cites following as the deserved modes of treatment-grades, wages, prizes, respect, honours and awards, rights, love and benefits.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Immanuel Kant would include happiness among the possible deserved modes of treatment. These are positive modes of treatment based on deserts.
3 Rights and Entitlements – how different?
ANS: Rights are God-given. Other people can take them away, and may also defend them for you, but they cannot give them to you.
Rights include the freedom to do as one pleases (within certain limitations) and the opportunity to excel, achieve, and succeed. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
They also consist of the freedom from being harmed by or unduly burdened
or inconvenienced by the government and others, as well as the privilege to serve or give in any way that one chooses.
Entitlements, one the other hand, are established by governments via elected representatives or direct votes by the people.
They include money, material items, services, and various forms of aid and assistance.
Entitlements can be initiated or revoked at any time. Entitlements can be fully or partially earned.
Examples of earned entitlements are Social Security and Medicare, for which the recipient generally contributes while he or she is working.
Q 4 Marxist theory of right
ANS: Marx and Engles have not allotted an exclusive place for the detailed analysis of rights, but they were quite conscious of the condition of various rights as it prevailed in bourgeois society. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
The liberal thinkers paid very little attention to the realisation of economic rights.
To them political rights were of prime importance and if citizens get the opportunity to enjoy all the political rights, absence of economic rights will not pose any problem on the way of political rights,
Moreover, non-realisation of economic rights may finally result in the growing economic inequalities and according to liberal theoreticians, it is a good sign of freedom.
But Marx and Engels denounced this approach to rights and they have stated in no uncertain terms that in the absence of economic rights there is practically no significance of political rights.
They have, of course, admitted that in a class society this is inevitable because economically powerful class will create an atmosphere in which the general public will not get any opportunity to have all sorts of rights.
Q 5 Human trafficking
ANS: Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts.BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological.
Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.
There is no single profile of a trafficking victim.
Victims of human trafficking can be anyone-regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level, or citizenship status.
Although there is no defining characteristic that all human trafficking victims share, traffickers around the world frequently prey on individuals who are poor, vulnerable, living in an unsafe or unstable situation, or are in search of a better life.
Trafficking victims are deceived by false promises of love, a good job, or a stable life and are lured or forced into situations where they are made to work under deplorable conditions with little or no pay. BPSC 103 Free Solved Assignment
In the United States, trafficking victims can be American or foreign citizens.
Some of the most vulnerable populations for trafficking in the United States include American Indian/Alaska Native communities, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender questioning individuals, individuals with disabilities, undocumented migrants, runaway and homeless youth, temporary guest-workers and low-income individuals.
BPSC 134 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
BPSC 133 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
BPSC 132 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022