How to understand the essentials of politics?

November 5, 2009 2:16pm CST
My major is in English Literature&linguistics, Minor in International relations. I'm facing somehow a difficulty in my minor because it's all about politics which is always a vague thing to me no matter how i understand it ! the thing that I'm trying my best to understand politics but somehow it's difficult like noddles you cannot eat all with one spoon at a time. so what do you think Guys?
4 responses
@ZephyrSun (7387)
• United States
6 Nov 09
I think that politics on an international level can be very difficult to understand since everything is so different. I am American and we call our leader a president and Iran calls their leader a president but, I don't think he is like the supreme leader of the country and here the president is the supreme leader. It's all so very confusing and I try to stay away from international politics because it is a weakness for me.
• Qatar
6 Nov 09
actually I'm studying International relation and it's some how difficult for me but when I focus and read to much about it I feel it's easy . the thing that about politics is when you grab one line that takes you to the main reason of things gone in politics you be astonished that there are other different lines.This sometimes drives me banana.
@evanslf (485)
7 Nov 09
I believe that you cannot begin to understand politics until you grasp the concept of political parties. Not all people who get involved in politics are crooks - many when they start off do have ideals and a conscience. That said, once ambition gets into play, and the higher up you go, then those ideals get lost within the maze of 'realpolitik'. But political parties lead, in my view, to corruption of the soul in most cases. The problem here is that throughout the world, where there are elected governments, political parties have to be formed in order to gain a majority and govern effectively (a group of 'independents' would have difficulty agreeing a common set of policies to form a coherent government, however attractive they may be). The downside however is that political parties have 'whips' and 'lines' that members of that party must follow - political parties thus impose on their members / parliamentarians / ministers common policies and views, often imposed from above and woe betide any member who dares disagree with the whips. Thus, bit by bit, the conscience and independence of mind of new members / representatives / etc is eroded as they are forced to toe the party line. This leads to the corruption of the soul that I have mentioned as they are forced to defend policies that they do not believe - this leads to 'lying' and they then get hooked on this habit. And the further up you go, this combined with ambition, leads to even more toxic forms of corruption - monetary, venal, power-hungry, machiavelian, etc. Political parties, by their very nature, also close down debate (ie one common view must be shared by members). This also means that any views from other parties tend to be instantly rejected, leading to the tribalism and puerile faux political shouting matches that we see. Thus parties lead to the atrophy of thought. They lead to polarisation and division. The problem is however, that in a democracy, there seems little alternative as you can't simply elected a bunch of independents as you woulnd't know what is their policy platform - and if they have a policy platform, then they are no longer independents but effectively have formed a new political party! One possible alternative might be to follow the Ancient Greek model where parliamentarians were not elected, but lots were drawn and those chosen had to serve for a certain period. People are picked at random when selected for jury service, perhaps such a system could be devised for filling lower and upper chambers every 4 years, though I can't ever see the political class ever agreeing to such a change as this would kill off their power at a stroke!
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
6 Nov 09
I paid a visit to your profile, we come from two very different cultures so our politics are going to be two completely different animals. But, there are some things that are universal. There are "politicians" and there are "public servants" Our system of government was establish to be made up of "public servants", these are people who go in to government to serve us, the people to do sho honestly and to for our good. they aren't in it for the money, the power or prestige, they only wish to serve the people who elected them. Then came the "politicians". Politicians are there to grow their own power, the power of government and their own wallets. they have no opinion other than what makes them look like a hero, what will get them more money and what will get them more power and re elected. Politicians engage in theater to manipulate the public to gain all of this. they do this often by creating fales divides among the populace, in my nation, it is usualy in terms of right vs left, all the while we are fighting amongast our selves, they are growing our government, expanding it's control and their own power....and wallets. Our nation was founded on principals of minimal government and well dsistributed powers, the bulk of which was to lay with the people. If we had a governjment full of "public servants", this would the scenario we would have preserved. "politicians" have completely broken away fom that system of restraints and we the "sheeple" as I term it ahve happily allowed them to do this.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
5 Nov 09
There is one essential element in almost all of politics and that is power. There are very few people who go into politics for any other reason than to gain power. The secondary reason is money. This why there is so much graft in government; it is all about power and money for themselves.