Politics

Politics

Overview
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions
Group decision making
Group decision making is a situation faced when individuals are brought together in a group to solve problems. According to the idea of synergy, decisions made collectively tend to be more effective than decisions made by a single individual...

. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

, academic
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

, and religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 segments of society. It consists of "social relations involving authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

 or power" and refers to the regulation of public affairs within a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

.

The word politics comes from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word Πολιτικά
Politics (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Politics is a work of political philosophy. The end of the Nicomachean Ethics declared that the inquiry into ethics necessarily follows into politics, and the two works are frequently considered to be parts of a larger treatise, or perhaps connected lectures, dealing with the...

 (politika), modeled on Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's "affairs of the city", the name of his book on governing and governments, which was rendered in English mid-15 century as Latinized "Polettiques".
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

La propriété, c'est le vol!

Translated: Property is theft!

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property? (1840), Ch. I: "Method Pursued in this Work. The Idea of a Revolution". Alternately translated as "Property is robbery!"

I consider myself a citizen of the world! ~ Charlie Chaplin (refers to Socrates [?])

As a woman I have no country. As a woman, I want no country.

If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.

Commonly attributed to Emma Goldman, apparently this is a paraphrase of ideas she expressed in Emma GoldmanLiving My Life (1931)|Living My Life, (1931), p. 56

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Patriotism is in political life what faith is in religion. ~ Lord Acton Dalberg in 'Nationality', in The Home and Foreign Review (July 1862)

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, s:Dwight Eisenhower's First Inaugural Address|First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

Republicans are nothing more than Democrats with poor judgment.

Jacob M. Appel, Arborophilia|Arborophilia
Encyclopedia
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions
Group decision making
Group decision making is a situation faced when individuals are brought together in a group to solve problems. According to the idea of synergy, decisions made collectively tend to be more effective than decisions made by a single individual...

. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

, academic
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

, and religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 segments of society. It consists of "social relations involving authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

 or power" and refers to the regulation of public affairs within a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

.

Etymology


The word politics comes from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word Πολιτικά
Politics (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Politics is a work of political philosophy. The end of the Nicomachean Ethics declared that the inquiry into ethics necessarily follows into politics, and the two works are frequently considered to be parts of a larger treatise, or perhaps connected lectures, dealing with the...

 (politika), modeled on Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's "affairs of the city", the name of his book on governing and governments, which was rendered in English mid-15 century as Latinized "Polettiques". Thus it became "politics" in Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

 c. 1520s (see the Concise Oxford Dictionary). The singular politic first attested in English 1430 and comes from Middle French
Middle French
Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from 1340 to 1611. It is a period of transition during which:...

 politique, in turn from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 politicus, which is the latinisation
Latinisation (literature)
Latinisation is the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style. It is commonly met with for historical personal names, with toponyms, or for the standard binomial nomenclature of the life sciences. It goes further than Romanisation, which is the writing of a word in the Latin alphabet...

 of the Greek πολιτικός (politikos), meaning amongst others "of, for, or relating to citizens", "civil", "civic", "belonging to the state", in turn from πολίτης (polites), "citizen" and that from πόλις (polis
Polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

), "city".

History


The history of politics is reflected in the origin and development, and economics of the institutions of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

.

Native Americans


Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis Henry Morgan was a pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist, a railroad lawyer and capitalist. He is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolution, and his ethnography of the Iroquois...

, author of Ancient Society
Ancient Society
Ancient Society is a book by the United States ethnologist Lewis H. Morgan and published in 1877. In this book, Morgan develops his theory of the three stages of human progress, i.e., from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization...

, considers the American Indians
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 to be the link between the primitive and patriarchal state of society.

Patriarchal societies



All patriarchal societies are known by certain characteristic features:
  1. Male kinship is prevalent. Men are counted as kin because they are descended from the same male ancestor.
  2. Marriage is permanent. It is not until one woman is married to one man that certainty of fatherhood appears in society but it is not a general rule of patriarchal society for polygamy does exist in the earlier stages of social development.
  3. Paternal authority is the ruling principle of the social order. In ancient Rome, the patria potestas extended to all descendants of one living male ancestor; it comprised control and punishment, not to mention questions of life and death.


These features of the development of the patriarchal state of society are as common among the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 as among the Arabs, among the Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

s as among the Dravidians and even among the Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 and Celtic peoples.

The patriarchal state of society consists of two stages, tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

 and clan
Clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

. The tribe is a large group of hundreds of members who descend from one common male ancestor, sometimes from a fictitious character satisfying the etiquette
Etiquette
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group...

 that descent from the male is the only basis of society. The clan, on the other hand, is a smaller group reaching back into the past for only four generations or so to a common well-known male ancestor. The clan always breaks down into smaller units when its limit is reached. According to the Scottish historian W. F. Skene in volume 3 of Celtic Scotland, the tribe or larger unit is the oldest. When the tribe breaks down, clans are formed. When the clan system breaks down, it leaves the households or families as independent units. Finally, with the withering away of patriarchal society, the family is dissolved and the individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

 comes into existence.

The state


The origin of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 is to be found in the development of the art of warfare. Historically speaking, all political communities of the modern type owe their existence to successful warfare. As a result the new states are forced to organize on military principles. The life of the new community is military allegiance. The military by nature is competitive.

Of the institutions by which the state is ruled, that of kingship stands foremost until the French Revolution put an end to the "divine right of kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

". (In China, similarly there was the mandate of heaven) Nevertheless, kingship is perhaps the most successful institution of politics. However, the first kings were not institutions but individuals. The earliest kings were successful militarily. They were men not only of great military genius but also great administrators. Kingship becomes an institution through heredity.

The king rules his kingdom with the aid of his Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

; without it he could not hold his territories. The Council is the king's master mind. The Council is the germ of constitutional government. Long before the council became a bulwark of democracy, it rendered invaluable aid to the institution of kingship by:
  1. Preserving the institution of kingship through heredity.
  2. Preserving the traditions of the social order.
  3. Being able to withstand criticism as an impersonal authority.
  4. Being able to manage a greater deal of knowledge and action than a single individual such as the king.


The greatest of the king's subordinates, the earls in England and Scotland, the dukes
Dukes
-Albums:-EPs:-Singles:...

 and counts in the Continent, always sat as a right on the Council. A conqueror wages war upon the vanquished for vengeance or for plunder but an established kingdom exacts tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

. One of the functions of the Council is to keep the coffers of the king full. Another is the satisfaction of military service
Military service
Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft . Some nations require a specific amount of military service from every citizen...

 and the establishment of lordships by the king to satisfy the task of collecting taxes and soldiers.

The state and property


Property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

 is the right vested on the individual or a group of people to enjoy the benefits of an object be it material or intellectual. A right is a power enforced by public trust. Sometimes it happens that the exercise of a right is opposed to public trust. Nevertheless, a right is really the creation of public trust, past, present or future. The growth of knowledge is the key to the history of property as an institution. The more man becomes knowledgeable of an object be it physical or intellectual, the more it is appropriated. The appearance of the State brought about the final stage in the evolution of property from wildlife to husbandry. In the presence of the State, man can hold landed property. The State began granting lordships and ended up conferring property and with it came inheritance
Inheritance
Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies...

. With landed property came rent and in the exchange of goods, profit, so that in modern times, the "lord of the land" of long ago becomes the landlord. If it is wrongly assumed that the value of land is always the same, then there is of course no evolution of property whatever. However, the price of land goes up with every increase in population benefitting the landlord. The landlordism of large land owners has been the most rewarded of all political services. In industry, the position of the landlord is less important but in towns which have grown out of an industry, the fortunate landlord has reaped an enormous profit. Towards the latter part of the Middle Ages in Europe, both the State - the State would use the instrument of confiscation
Confiscation
Confiscation, from the Latin confiscatio 'joining to the fiscus, i.e. transfer to the treasury' is a legal seizure without compensation by a government or other public authority...

 for the first time to satisfy a debt - and the Church - the Church succeeded in acquiring immense quantities of land - were allied against the village community to displace the small landlord and they were successful to the extent that today, the village has become the ideal of the individualist, a place in which every man "does what he wills with his own." The State has been the most important factor in the evolution of the institution of property be it public or private.

The state and the justice system


As a military institution, the State is concerned with the allegiance
Allegiance
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign.-Etymology:From Middle English ligeaunce . The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation"...

 of its subjects as disloyalty is a risk to its national security. Thus arises the law of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. Criminal acts in general, breaking the peace and treason make up the whole of criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

 enforced by the State as distinguished from the law enforced by private individuals. State justice has taken the place of clan, feudal, merchant and ecclesiastical justice due to its strength, skill and simplicity. One very striking evidence of the superiority of the royal courts over the feudal and popular courts in the matter of official skill is the fact that, until comparatively late in history, the royal courts alone kept written records of their proceedings. The trial by jury
Trial by Jury
Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London's Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its...

 was adopted by the Royal Courts, securing it's popularity and making it a bulwark of liberty. By the time of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, with the separation of Church and State, in the most progressive countries, the State succeeded in dealing with the business of administering justice.

The state


The making of laws was unknown to primitive societies.

That most persistent of all patriarchal societies, the Jewish, retains to a certain extent its tribal law in the Gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

 cities of the West. This tribal law is the rudimentary idea of law as it presented itself to people in the patriarchal stage of society, it was custom
Convention (norm)
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom....

 or observance sanctioned by the approval and practice of ancestors.

The state of affairs which existed in the 10th century, when every town had its own laws and nations like France, Germany, Spain and other countries had no national law until the end of the 18th century, was brought to an end by three great agencies that helped to create the modern system of law and legislation:
  1. Records: From the early Middle Ages in Europe there come what are called folk-laws and they appear exactly at the time when the patriarchal is becoming the State. They are due almost universally to one cause: the desire of the king to know the custom of his subjects. These are not legislation in the sense of law-making but statements or declarations of custom. They are drawn from a knowledge of the custom of the people. Unwritten custom changes imperceptibly but not the written. It is always possible to point to the exact text and show what it says. Nevertheless, the written text can change by addition with every new edition.
  2. Law Courts: By taking some general rule which seemed to be common to all the communities and ignoring the differences, English common law was modeled after such a practice so that the law became common in all the districts of the kingdom. The reason why in the rest of Europe, there was no common law till centuries later is because the State in those countries did not get hold of the administration of justice when England did. One of the shrewdest moves by which the English judges pushed their plan of making a common law was by limiting the verdict of the jury in every case to questions of fact. At first the jury used to give answers both on law and fact; and being a purely local body, they followed local custom. A famous division came to pass: the province of the judge and the province of the jury.
  3. Fictions: Records and Law Courts were valuable in helping the people adapt to law-making but like Fictions, they were slow and imperfect. Though slowly, Fictions work because it is a well known fact that people will accept a change in the form of a fiction while they would resist it to the end if the fact is out in the open.


Finally there is the enactment of laws or legislation. When progress and development is rapid, the faster method of political representation is adopted. This method does not originate in primitive society but in the State need for money and its use of an assembly to raise the same. From the town assembly, a national assembly and the progress of commerce sprang Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 all over Europe around the end of the 12th century but not entirely representative or homogeneous for the nobility and the clergy. The clergy had amassed a fortune in land, about one-fifth of all Christendom but at the time, in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Church was following a policy of isolation; they adopted the rule of celibacy
Celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

 and cut themselves from domestic life; they refused to plead in a secular court; they refused to pay taxes to the State on the grounds that they had already paid it to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. Since the main object of the king in holding a national assembly was to collect money, the Church could not be left out and so they came to Parliament. The Church did not like it but in most cases they had to come.

The medieval Parliament was complete when it represented all the states in the realm: nobles, clergy, peasants and craftsmen but it was not a popular institution mainly because it meant taxation. Only by the strongest pressure of the Crown were Parliaments maintained during the first century of their existence and the best proof of this assertion lies in the fact that in those countries where the Crown was weak, Parliament ceased to exist. The notion that parliaments were the result of a democratic movement cannot be supported by historical facts. Originally, the representative side of Parliament was solely concerned with money; representation in Parliament was a liability rather than a privilege. It is not uncommon that an institution created for one purpose begins to serve another. People who were asked to contribute with large sums of money began to petition
Petition
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

. Pretty soon, sessions in Parliament would turn into bargaining tables, the king granting petitions in exchange for money. However, there were two kinds of petitions, one private and the other public and it was from this last that laws were adopted or legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 originated. The king as head of State could give orders to preserve territorial integrity but not until these royal enactments were combined with public petition that successful legislation ever took place. Even to the present day, this has always been the basis of all successful legislation: public custom is adopted and enforced by the State.

In the early days of political representation, the majority
Majority
A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset may consist of less than half the group's population...

 did not necessarily carry the day and there was very little need for contested election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s but by the beginning of the 15th century, a seat in Parliament was something to be cherished. Historically speaking, the dogma of the equality of man is the result of the adoption of the purely practical machinery of the majority but the adoption of the majority principle is also responsible for another institution of modern times: the party system
Party system
A party system is a concept in comparative political science concerning the system of government by political parties in a democratic country. The idea is that political parties have basic similarities: they control the government, have a stable base of mass popular support, and create internal...

. The party system is an elaborate piece of machinery that pits at least two political candidates against each other for the vote of an electorate; its advantage being equal representation interesting a large number of people in politics; it provides effective criticism of the government in power and it affords an outlet for the ambition of a large number of wealthy and educated people guaranteeing a consistent policy in government.

These three institutions: political representation, majority rule and the party system are the basic components of modern political machinery; they are applicable to both central and local governments and are becoming by their adaptability ends in themselves rather than a machinery to achieve some purpose.

The state and the executive system


The administration is one of the most difficult aspects of government. In the enactment and enforcement of laws, the victory of the State is complete but not so in regards to administration the reason being that it is easy to see the advantage of the enactment and enforcement of laws but not the administration of domestic, religious and business affairs which should be kept to a minimum by government.

Originally, the state was a military organization. For many years, it was just a territory ruled by a king who was surrounded by a small elite group of warriors and court officials and it was basically rule by force over a larger mass of people. Slowly, however, the people gained political representation for none can really be said to be a member of the State without the right of having a voice in the direction of policy making. One of the basic functions of the State in regards to administration is maintaining peace and internal order; it has no other excuse for interfering in the lives of its citizens. To maintain law and order the State develops means of communication
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

. Historically, the "king's highway" was laid down and maintained for the convenience of the royal armies not as an incentive to commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

. In almost all countries, the State maintains the control of the means of communication and special freedoms such as those delineated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 are rather limited. The State's original function of maintaining law and order within its borders gave rise to police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 administration which is a branch of the dispensation of Justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

 but on its preventive side, police jurisdiction has a special character of its own, which distinguishes it from ordinary judicial work. In the curfew
Curfew
A curfew is an order specifying a time after which certain regulations apply. Examples:# An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time...

, the State shows early in history the importance of preventing disorder. In early days, next to maintaining law and order, the State was concerned with the raising of revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

. It was then useful to the State to establish a standard of weights and measures so that value could be generally accepted and finally the State acquired a monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 of coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

age. The regulation of labor by the State as one of its functions dates from the 15th century, when the Black Plague killed around half of the European population.

The invariable policy of the State has always being to break down all intermediate authorities and to deal directly with the individual. This was the policy until Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

's The Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith...

was published promoting a strong public reaction against State interference. By its own action, the State raised the issue of the poor or the State relief of the indigent. The State, of course, did not create poverty but by destroying the chief agencies which dealt with it such as the village, the church and the guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s, it practically assumed full responsibility for the poor without exercising any power over it. The Great Poor Law Report of 1834 showed that communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 ran rampant in the rural areas of England. In newly developed countries such as the colonies of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, the State has refused to take responsibility for the poor and the relief of poverty, although the poor classes lean heavily towards State socialism.

Recognizing the great power of the State, it is only natural that in times of great crisis such as an overwhelming calamity the people should invoke general State aid.

Political representation has helped to shape State administration. When the voice of the individual can be heard, the danger of arbitrary interference by the State is greatly reduced. To that extent is the increase of State activity popular. There are no hard and fast rules to limit State administration but it is a fallacy to believe that the State is the nation and what the State does is necessarily for the good of the nation. In the first place, even in modern times, the State and the nation are never identical. Even where "universal suffrage" prevails, the fact remains that an extension of State administration means an increased interference of some by others, limiting freedom of action. Even if it is admitted that State and nation are one and the same, it is sometimes difficult to admit that State administration is necessarily good. Finally, the modern indiscriminate advocacy of State administration conceals the fallacy that State officials must necessarily prove more effective in their action than private enterprise. Herein lies the basic difference between Public
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

 and Business Administration; the first deals with the public weal
Public weal
Public weal may refer to:*Commonwealth, a form of government without a monarch in which people have governmental influence*Common good, the notion of high quality of life for people in general-See also:...

 while the second deals basically in profit
Profit (accounting)
In accounting, profit can be considered to be the difference between the purchase price and the costs of bringing to market whatever it is that is accounted as an enterprise in terms of the component costs of delivered goods and/or services and any operating or other expenses.-Definition:There are...

 but both require a great deal of education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 and ethical conduct
Ethical code
An ethical code is adopted by an organization in an attempt to assist those in the organization called upon to make a decision understand the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and to apply this understanding to their decision...

 to avoid the mishaps inherent in the relationship not only of business and labor but also the State and the Administration.

The varieties of political experience


According to Aristotle, States are classified into monarchies, aristocracies
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

, timocracies
Timocracy
Constitutional theory defines a timocracy as either:# a state where only property owners may participate in government# a government in which love of honor is the ruling principle...

, democracies, oligarchies, and tyrannies. Due to an increase in knowledge of the history of politics, this classification has been abandoned. Generally speaking, no form of government could be considered the best if the best is considered to be the one that is most appropriate under the circumstances. All States are varieties of a single type, the sovereign State. All the Great Powers of the modern world rule on the principle of sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

. Sovereign power may be vested on an individual as in an autocratic government or it may be vested on a group as in a constitutional government. Constitutions are written documents that specify and limit the powers of the different branches of government. Although a Constitution is a written document, there is also an unwritten Constitution. The unwritten constitution is continually being written by the Legislative branch of government; this is just one of those cases in which the nature of the circumstances determines the form of government that is most appropriate. Nevertheless, the written constitution is essential. England did set the fashion of written constitutions during the Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 but after the Restoration abandoned them to be taken up later by the American Colonies after their emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 and then France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 after the Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the rest of Europe including the European colonies.

There are two forms of government, one a strong central government as in France and the other a local government such as the ancient divisions in England that is comparatively weaker but less bureaucratic. These two forms helped to shape the federal government
Federal government
The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and...

, first in Switzerland, then in the United States in 1776, in Canada in 1867 and in Germany in 1870 and in the 20th century, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. The Federal States introduced the new principle of agreement or contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

. Compared to a federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

, a confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

's singular weakness is that it lacks judicial power. In the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the contention of the Confederate States that a State could secede from the Union was untenable because of the power enjoyed by the Federal government in the executive, legislative and judiciary branches.

According to professor A. V. Dicey
A. V. Dicey
- References :...

 in An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, the essential features of a federal constitution are: a) A written supreme constitution in order to prevent disputes between the jurisdictions of the Federal and State authorities; b) A distribution of power between the Federal and State governments and c) A Supreme Court vested with the power to interpret the Constitution and enforce the law of the land remaining independent of both the executive and legislative branches.

Political party



A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to attain and maintain political power within government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, usually by participating in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 or vision bolstered by a written platform
Party platform
A party platform, or platform sometimes also referred to as a manifesto, is a list of the actions which a political party, individual candidate, or other organization supports in order to appeal to the general public for the purpose of having said peoples' candidates voted into political office or...

 with specific goals, forming a coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 among disparate interests.

As an academic discipline


Political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, the study of politics, examines the acquisition and application of power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

. Political scientist Harold Lasswell
Harold Lasswell
Harold Dwight Lasswell was a leading American political scientist and communications theorist. He was a member of the Chicago school of sociology and was a professor at Yale University in law. He was a President of the American Political Science Association and World Academy of Art and Science...

 defined politics as "who gets what, when, and how". Related areas of study include political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, which seeks a rationale for politics and an ethic of public behaviour, political economy
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

, which attempts to develop understandings of the relationships between politics and the economy and the governance of the two, and public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

, which examines the practices of governance. The philosopher Charles Blattberg
Charles Blattberg
Charles Blattberg is a professor of political philosophy at the Université de Montréal. Blattberg grew up in Toronto and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where he also served as president of its Students’ Administrative Council during the 1989–90 academic...

, who has defined politics as "responding to conflict with dialogue," offers an account which distinguishes political philosophies from political ideologies.

The first academic chair devoted to politics in the United States was the chair of history and political science at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, first occupied by Prussian émigré Francis Lieber
Francis Lieber
Francis Lieber , known as Franz Lieber in Germany, was a German-American jurist, gymnast and political philosopher. He edited an Encyclopaedia Americana...

 in 1857.

Left-right politics



Recently in history, political analysts and politicians divide politics into left wing and right wing politics, often also using the idea of center politics as a middle path of policy between the right and left. This classification is comparatively recent (it was not used by Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 or Hobbes, for instance), and dates from the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 era, when those members of the National Assembly
National Assembly
National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. The best known National Assembly, and the first legislature to be known by this title, was that established during the French Revolution in 1789, known as the Assemblée nationale...

 who supported the republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, the common people and a secular society sat on the left and supporters of the monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

, aristocratic
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

 privilege and the Church sat on the right.

The meanings behind the labels have become more complicated over the years. A particularly influential event was the publication of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Frederick Engels in 1848. The Manifesto suggested a course of action for a proletarian revolution to overthrow the bourgeois
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 society and abolish private property, in the belief that this would lead to a classless and stateless
Stateless communism
Stateless communism, also known as pure communism, is the post-capitalist stage of society which Karl Marx predicted would inevitably result from the development of the productive forces...

 society.

The meaning of left-wing and right-wing varies considerably between different countries and at different times, but generally speaking, it can be said that the right wing often values tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

 and social stratification
Social stratification
In sociology the social stratification is a concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."...

 while the left wing often values reform
Reform
Reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of color or removal of faults or abuses, beneficial change, more specifically, reversion to a pure original state, to repair, restore or to correct....

 and egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

, with the center seeking a balance between the two such as with social democracy
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 or regulated capitalism
Regulated market
A regulated market or controlled market, is the provision of goods or services that is regulated by a government appointed body. The regulation may cover the terms and conditions of supplying the goods and services and in particular the price allowed to be charged and/or to whom they are distributed...

.

According to Norberto Bobbio
Norberto Bobbio
Norberto Bobbio was an Italian philosopher of law and political sciences and a historian of political thought. He also wrote regularly for the Turin-based daily La Stampa....

, one of the major exponents of this distinction, the Left believes in attempting to eradicate social inequality, while the Right regards most social inequality as the result of ineradicable natural inequalities, and sees attempts to enforce social equality as utopian or authoritarian.

Some ideologies, notably Christian Democracy
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

, claim to combine left and right wing politics; according to Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood, "In terms of ideology, Christian Democracy has incorporated many of the views held by liberals, conservatives and socialists within a wider framework of moral and Christian principles." Movements which claim or formerly claimed to be above the left-right divide include Fascist Terza Posizione
Terza Posizione
The Terza Posizione was a far right group founded in Rome in 1978 . The TP rejected both capitalism and socialism, looking instead to found a political and economic Third Position, with its main influence being Julius Evola...

 economic politics in Italy, Gaullism
Gaullism
Gaullism is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Resistance leader then president Charles de Gaulle.-Foreign policy:...

 in France, Peronism
Peronism
Peronism , or Justicialism , is an Argentine political movement based on the programmes associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón...

 in Argentina, and National Action Politics in Mexico.

Authoritarian-libertarian politics


Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

 and libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 refer to the amount of individual freedom
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

 each person possesses in that society relative to the state. One author describes authoritarian political systems as those where "individual rights
Rights
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

 and goals are subjugated to group goals, expectations and conformities", while libertarians generally oppose the state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 and hold the individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

 and his property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

 as sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

. In their purest form, libertarians are anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

, who argue for the total abolition of the state, while the purest authoritarians are totalitarians
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 who support state control over all aspects of society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

.

For instance, classical liberalism
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

 (also known as laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 liberalism
, or, in much of the world, simply liberalism) is a doctrine stressing individual freedom and limited government
Limited government
Limited government is a government which anything more than minimal governmental intervention in personal liberties and the economy is generally disallowed by law, usually in a written constitution. It is written in the United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8...

. This includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

s, natural rights
Natural rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

, the protection of civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

, constitutional limitation of government, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

, Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

, David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

, David Ricardo
David Ricardo
David Ricardo was an English political economist, often credited with systematising economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill. He was also a member of Parliament, businessman, financier and speculator,...

, Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

, Montesquieu and others. According to the libertarian Institute for Humane Studies
Institute for Humane Studies
The Institute for Humane Studies is a classical liberal non-profit organization whose stated mission is “to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and in...

, "the libertarian, or 'classical liberal,' perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by 'as much liberty as possible' and 'as little government as necessary.'"

World politics



The 20th century witnessed the outcome of two world wars and not only the rise and fall of the Third Reich but also the rise and fall of communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. The development of the Atomic bomb gave the United States a more rapid end to its conflict in Japan in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Later, the development of the Hydrogen bomb became the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 has served as a forum for peace in a world threatened by nuclear war. "The invention of nuclear and space weapons has made war unacceptable as an instrument for achieving political ends." Although an all-out final nuclear holocaust is out of the question for man, "nuclear blackmail
Nuclear blackmail
Nuclear blackmail is a form of nuclear strategy in which an aggressor uses the threat of use of nuclear weapons to force an adversary to perform some action or make some concessions. It is a type of extortion, related to brinkmanship.-Effectiveness:...

" comes into question not only on the issue of world peace but also on the issue of national sovereignty. On a Sunday in 1962, the world stood still at the brink of nuclear war during the October Cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 from the implementation of U.S. vs U.S.S.R. nuclear blackmail policy.

Political corruption


Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression
Political repression
Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

 of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

, extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

, cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

, nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

, patronage
Patronage
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors...

, graft, and embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 such as drug trafficking, money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

, and trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

, it is not restricted to these activities.

The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions.

Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy
Kleptocracy
Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest...

, literally meaning "rule by thieves".

See also


  • Index of law articles
    Index of law articles
    This collection of lists of law topics collects the names of topics related to law. Everything related to law, even quite remotely, should be included on the alphabetical list, and on the appropriate topic lists. All links on topical lists should also appear in the main alphabetical listing...

  • Index of politics articles
    Index of politics articles
    This is a list of political topics, including political science terms, political philosophies, political issues, etc.Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, politics is observed in all human group...

     - alphabetical list of political subjects
  • List of years in politics
  • Outline of law
  • Outline of political science
    Outline of political science
    The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to politics:Politics – process by which groups of people make collective decisions...

     - structured list of political topics, arranged by subject area
  • Political lists
    Political lists
    This page is a list of political lists.List of annulled elections -List of anti-nuclear protests in the United States -List of basic political science topics -List of basic public affairs topics -List of civic and political organizations -...

     - lists of political topics
  • Politics of present-day states