Day Three: Chapter one (continued)

We appear in this data somewhere.

Why complacency? Why don't they vote?

obstacles to effective political participation.

factor #1 psychological. eg. cynicism.

Senate studies showed:
1964 ⅓ electorate was cynical.
1972 ½

They know we don't care.
What did they mean by cynicism?

not knowing or wanting to know ("anomie")
"lawlessness is anarchy" he says.

cynicism does not stop some from participation.


cynicism is common

most who "play the game" are just as cynical as we are

obstacles to effective political participation. (voting)

  1. Psychological factors cynicism

  2. "Pragmatic"(realistic) factors
    ex: size of the population
    --as the population grows, your vote shrinks in impact -- (influence)
    --could make you cynical

    do we vote as individuals? no. to vote for 99m voters -- must have 99 candidates which would make vote equally obsolete.

  3. structural factors ex: Iron Wall of Oligarchy (rule by a few)
    --applies all the time
    --Iron-clad (all organizations, all institutions all have iron law)
    [autocracy/monarchy/gerenocracy/theocracy/plutocracy, etc.]
    --any organization will inevitably or eventually:
    1. ruled by a few (oligarchy)
    2. attempt to perpetuate itself

    (elite theorists really beleive this)
    ones on the bottom (masses)
    do not make the decisions.


    oil<---cotton<---cattle perpetuate itself
    Fidel Castro ...... Baptista

    From Cuba to Latin America

  4. legal factors (obstacles)
    • Women-1919 (federal) (defeated in Texas Legislature in 1917)
    • military (national guard) 1931 -go back to post reconstruction era- former military could not hold office. resentment of union army.
    • white primary unconstitutional: 1944 since 1906
    • military (all) 1965- full suffrage
    • poll-tax 1966 (since 1902)
    • property requirements - 1969 (bond election)
    • property requirements- 1969 (tax election)
    • annual registration requirements - 1971
    • early registration requirements - 1971
    • long residency requirements- 1972
    • property requirements - all elections 1975
    courts do not make sweeping issues--only specific issues (law)

    govt policy to keep people from voting
    maybe they do not want you to
    select groups the poor..... women..... blacks.... etc.

    unit 1 unit 2 unit 3
        rich ↑v poor↑ (struggle)↑ (poll tax)
    ∟→ →↑
    old outputs become new inputs

    annual registration 1971
    (economically mobile) Texas uses early registration 1971 Long residency requirement 1972 property requirement all elections 1973 districting

    obstacles are only designed to
    stop those in texas who are
    economically mobile/ and others who
    are considered undesirable

    • districting 1991
      (one man, one vote)
    • no literacy test
      in iliteracy Texas ranks 4:50
      (4th in the US) too many iliterate are white.
    • court has always treated this as a political question
    • other southern states had literacy tests
    theyve tried everything to keep you from voting.... so maybe you should not.
  5. political factors
    • ex: diversion/distraction v. systemic analysis--diverted from it
      [competitive individualism] "don't look at society -- look at individuals."
      last things elites want to see is masses on the move.
      divide and conquer. individualism over collectivism.
    • ex: "co-optation"/ (not so subtle) (p.10 in workbook at bottom.) (glossary)
      (they buy you out) the system buys off and corrupts.
    • ex: "political socialization" -- how you learn your values (media, family)
      "repression" <---vicious, crude, not subtle

  6. comprehensive factors (socio-economic-politico-)
    (distribution of resources)
  7. wealth
  8. }
    (Unit I)
  9. income
  10. capital
  11. property
  12. information
    (info: not to be underestimated )
  13. education
  14. legal resources
  15. political resources
  16. etc.
  17. who gets what


(distribution of resources as obstacle to prevent political participation)
    look in data for:
  1. "stratification"
    (is inequality)... resources are stratified
    on the basis of the unequal stratification of (their unit of measure)
    --object being studied-- (income, authority, etc.)
    in unit I: money(unit of measure is class).
  2. used to govern
    --somebody will be governed
    --somebody needs to be governed
  3. concentration
  4. institutional rather than individual
    where the power is
    ...real game is being played
  5. "systemic" (workbook:p 10)
  6. socialization (ex: values)
*Jimmy Carter comes up alot as example*

Institutional Players of the Game


President/Directors =3,572 individuals
of the top 201 corporations (maority of all assets) occupy more than one institutional position -- at the same time --
almost incomprehensible amount of $$$$ "Revolving Door Phenomenon"
ex: "In and Outers" -- "Overlap" -- they are all the same people
*perpetuating the system
  backgrounds are all the same
same income, class,religious background



Kenneth M. Dolbeare and Murray J Edelman. American Politics: Policies, Power, and Change, 5th ed. 1985

What does it mean that the United States is a (stratified) capitalist society? (p. 8)

  1. It means that the productive resources of society are all owned by private individuals or corporations and operated so as to produce profits for their owners.
    services are also privately owned and operated for profit.
    Most people are not owners and must earn their livlihoods by working for those who are.
  2. the social structure is shaped by patterns of wealth/income distribution created by the economic system.
    relatively few people (owners, etc) receive a large share of wealth.
    a larger number of people receive a smaller proportion of income.
    Status and power are stratified in the same manner, creating a class system.
  3. values of society support economic system:individual self-seeking, materialism, work ethic, profit motive, respect for private property.

Cf. "benefits and burdens" (who should benefit and who should pay). (pp. 16-17)

Public policy have historically supported and encouraged national economy... benefits whoever happens to be favoured under current conditions. Who will benefit and who will pay is an insistent value question.

Cf. "Revolving Door" phenomenon. (p. 18)

Thomas R. Dye. Who's Running America? The Reagan Years. 1983:
These top positions taken collectively, control half of the nations industrial assets.... banking, insurance, investments networks, newspapers, law firms... occupy key government and military positions.

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