Occupational thoughts

Covering life on the home front.

What is politics?

with one comment

First off I’d like to say that this is a really really annoying essay 1-page explanation to write, why? Well because politics broadly crosses so many other fields: Philosophy and Economics are the main ones but it spills over into numerous other areas as well.

It reminds me of an Arabian folk tale in which a crafty bread thief asks the wise judges to define “What is bread?”; the wise men each come up with contrasting definitions and the clever thief walks free. And I apologise, but I do not have a link to that story.

The most obvious place to start is to look at other people’s definitions, Wikipedia defines politics as:

A process by which groups of people make decisions.

That’s the most broad yet concise a definition I’ve found so far. In fact instead of writing all this I could easily just leave it with that definition there.

Dictionary.com defines politics as:

The science or art of political government.

Fair enough, although not as clear as Wikipedia.
And then it goes on to state that politics can also be used as a verb, used often (incorrectly) by Christine when describing the people at Blenheim palace:

French: Ils font de la politique
English translation: They do politics

Which loosely follows the definition given by Dictionary.com, that to ‘do’ politics is:

To deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement.

So, I’m splitting up the definition of politics to mean both ‘the practice of good government’ and ‘the practice of gaining power’. These terms overlap when a politician who is good at the power-grabbing aspect of politics uses their skill to maneuver themselves into a position where they can govern. A good example of this is a member of the executive board of a company doing politics to become Chief Executive Officer. People become disillusioned in politics because they fail to see the ideological battle behind much of the scrambling for power.

Such people may even claim to be apolitical. This is false as although they may not identify with any strain of political thought, they are in fact supporting the prevailing ideas of the society that they exist in.
Politics is sometimes presented as a two dimensional tug-of-war between the left and the right. This view is also false because politics also encompasses issues other than the class struggle for example: the environment, civil liberties, the peace movement, the abolishment of copyright, ect… The way those issues are dealt with defines your government.

That’s my slightly disjointed definition, although feel free to browse the mind-map I drew on the subject:

politics mmap

Written by Pierre

September 5, 2009 at 09:28

Posted in politick, school

One Response

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  1. Well done pierre I likey!


    September 5, 2009 at 16:55

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