Posted by: newperspectives85 | November 19, 2011

What is Politics

1.      What are ‘Politics
–Anything that involve political power; the power of causing people to behave in a way that conforms to one’s will
–It is our capacity to be political—to cooperate, bargain, and compromise
–It allows us to reach more exalted heights than we could ever achieve alone
—-Examples:  dedication of a new public library, dismantling of the Berlin Wall, establishment of democratic elections in Iraq
Famous definition from Harold Lasswell for politics:  “who gets what when and how”
–Who gets power and resources in society and how to get them
What is power?  The ability to get other people to do what you want them to do.
–Resources in question?  Governmental jobs, tax revenues, laws that help you get your way, or public policies that work to your advantage
Politics is the process through which we try to arrange our collective lives in some kind of social order so that we can live without crashing into one another at every turn, and to provide ourselves with goods and services we could not obtain alone.
It is also about getting your own way.  It may be a noble goal for society or pure self-interest, but the struggle you engage in is a political one
Politics is about power and scarce resources.  There will always be winners and losers in politics
For everyone to get his or her own way, there would be no politics.
To get your way all the time—no politics

–no resolution or compromise between conflicting interests

–no agreements struck, bargains made, or alliances formed

–Example:  the desire to change an AP class into an honors class

—–there has to be bargaining and compromise with those who want the class to stay AP.

–Example 2:  needing to get something during class and rules are to take care of business before class

—-could bargain and compromise something:  i.e. let the person go during class; give them a certain number of chances to do this until he or she runs out of  opportunities (ie during a 9 week period)

Without bargaining or compromise – what would happen?

–life would be constant conflict as Thomas Hobbes said – “war of all against all”

—-Individuals unable to cooperate with one another (because cooperation is essentially political), would have no option but to resort to brute force to settle disputes.

That is why we have politics

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