Friday, October 28, 2011

What is politics?: A Brief Introduction Into the World of Politics

     A quick search on retrieved two definitions of politics:

1) The science of government; that part of ethics which has to do with the regulation and government of a nation or state, the preservation of its safety, peace, and prosperity, the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals.

2) The management of a political party; the conduct and contests of parties with reference to political measures or the administration of public affairs; the advancement of candidates to office; in a bad sense, artful or dishonest management to secure the success of political candidates or parties; political trickery.

     These are the definitions of politics which are commonly offered in traditional political science courses (and rightfully so since the study of political science is usually the study of government actors). Although these are two fairly good definitions of what politics is, I offer a much simpler and even more encompassing definition of politics. That is, the science of politics is the analysis of who is the friend and who is the foe and the interaction between the two (or more forces) that interact with one another. The primary difference between the definition of politics which I offer and the two others is that this definition extends politics from simply the government sector into the everyday lives of people (here, the phrase "the personal is political" comes to mind).
      For instance, let us take into consideration an everyday setting for many Americans, the traditional family home. The ideal American house- hold has a wife and husband whom together have 2.5 children (yeah, I don't know how someone has half of a child either... but at any rate....) According to feminist theory this relation to the world as both wife and care giver can be defined as inferior since in a traditional household it is not a democracy. Rather, it is a dictatorship ruled by the husband- figure of the household. As a result, this interaction is transferred into the political. The end result being the subjugation of women in a hierarchical society.
     Taking in politics and recognizing it in everyday life is an important part of participating in a democracy like the United States. Such participation becomes a personal investment into each individual's interests. Political participation can include (but is certainly not limited to voting, protests, joining a local political party as well as donating to a political campaign. Hell, the even blogging, or tweeting (or what ever the cool kids do these days) has an impact of the political realm at some micro- cosmic level. The great thing about blogging is the phenomena of the amount that "the public square" (which is the metaphoric and physical symbol of where people go to have an open discussion on politics) grew at an infinite rate. So people can now say essentially what they want, when they want, and (in the United States anyways) there isn't much that can be said about it.
     The ultimate point of this blog is to get people interested in the Real Politik. That is, what politics really is from the eyes of someone studying political science as both an art and a science. It is my hope that this blog can help inspire readers to become participatory members of a democracy that so many have perished in order to sustain.


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