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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?

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 Aristotle’s Politics, Book III

  • What do you think of Aristotle’s conjecture that “a city state is a sort of community, a community of citizens sharing a constitution, then, when the constitution changes its form and becomes different, it would seem that the city-state too cannot remain the same” (1276b)? How vital do you think a steady constitution is to the identity of the city-state?
  • Aristotle says in 1277b in lines 5-10 “one cannot rule well without having been ruled.” Do you think our rulers in our government embody this virtue? Would we better off if they did?
  • Why aren’t good citizens and good men the same? Is it better to be a good man or a good citizen?
  • If there is no common profit between the constitutions, which is the best constitution?