Author Archives: acavender

Additional discussion questions

  • Marx talks a lot about the bourgeoisie oppressing the proletariat. Do you think if he was alive today, Marx would have some strong opinions about the race issue going on in our country today? Do you believe that this comparisons is a fair one to make, a white class taking advantage of a black class like we have been seeing in the news?
  • If the ten rules Marx lays out were in place today in our society and it became the norm, which ones do you believe people would speak out the most against? Or do you think if it was already the norm, that no one would mind his ten rules and it would stay that way?
  • How does Marx see the social classes being affected by industrialization? (What social classes arise? How does Marx characterize them?)
  • If the general will is determined by majority opinion, even just a 51:49 vote, why does Rousseau talk about the super majority?

The rest of this week, plus next Monday

As promised, here’s the roadmap for where we’re headed the next few days.

  • Wednesday, April 22: Introduction to Václav Havel.
  • Friday, April 24: We won’t meet as a class. However, everyone is to submit at least one question about Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless.” Use the same link you’ve used to submit discussion questions. The form will demand two questions, even though you only need to submit one; just enter random text into the second question box to keep the form happy. Please be sure you submit your question by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 24.
  • Monday, April 27: Discussion of Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless.”

Questions for Boyer article

  • What were the primary economic, social and/or political problems in the city of Manchester, England in the 1840s?
  • What did Marx and Engels believe would happen in England because of the Industrial Revolution’s impact on man and how were they wrong?
  • Why is it necessary for Communists to call for a worker’s revolution, if they believe that such a revolution is inevitable?
  • What do Marx and Engels mean by abolition of private property and how do they answer the various refutations of this program?

Questions for Schwartzberg article

  • How do you feel about the majority rule and unanimous vote? Which one is more fair to a large group of people as opposed to a smaller group of people?
  • Do you think that when majority rule is used that the minority are considering the general will or individual humility? Do you think that as a group gets smaller individual humility increases/decreases and vote based on the general will increases/decreases?

A Note About Friday

As you’ll recall from reading the course calendar, we will not meet on Friday because I will be at a conference.

I strongly encourage you to use the time to do one of the following for this course:

  • Work on the essay that is due on April 17.
  • Work on the annotated bibliography entry or article review (whichever one you haven’t already done) that is due on April 24.
  • Engage in conversation in the comments section of one of our discussion question posts.

I’ll look forward to seeing you on Monday, when we’ll discuss the Schwartzberg article.

Rebuilding Together

This Saturday, April 11, members of the Saint Mary’s community will be participating in Rebuilding Together. It’s a good opportunity to help neighbors in the South Bend area who need some assistance with painting, gardening, and cleaning. Volunteers will leave campus at 7:30 am and return by 3:30 pm.

The date is coming up fast, but it’s not too late to sign up! Look for the signup table in the Student Center lobby between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on April 8 and 9.