Politics is the process by which groups of individuals come together to make collective decisions regarding how they want to be taxed, secured and helped by what is called government. Government is the regulation of public affairs. The result of collective decision making within politics is informed by what are political philosophies formed within worldviews. While the term politics is usually used to refer to civil participation in a system of government it can also be applied to religious, scientific and corporate life and institutions.
A political party is the coalescing of individuals with a common political philosophy so that they become a vehicle from which coherent governmental policies may form. Political parties like the Republican or Democrat party of the United States are organizations that maintain political power through protest action or electorate support. Each party claims to be girded by political philosophies or principles that guide domestic and foreign policy which enables a platform from which they attempt to hear the people and institute laws and regulations (or a type of government) in accordance.
Generally throughout the worlds developed nations there are two extremes of political philosophies of governance which are conservatism or classic liberalism and contemporary new progressive liberalism. Elected politicians adopt stances to varying degrees that end up forming a type of government that represents the people. A new liberal is to classic liberalism as a neoconservative is to conservatism. In other words contemporary or new liberalism and neoconservatism share, at their foundation, collectivism thus redistributive approaches towards economics.
- Main Article: Conservatism
Conservatism is a political philosophy recognizing civil authority of political and cultural institutions that support the Constitution and Declaration of Independence ideals of individual liberty. Individual participation in civil institutions by community support like education and religion instill within the community and nation as a whole self-discipline and create the tangible notion of something bigger then ourselves. The reliance on institutions help control the inherent selfishness of peoples unrestricted passions. Edmund Burke (January 1729 to July 1797) defines these institutions as, "a sufficient restraint upon their passions." Manifestations of civil social order is a vital component to conservatism that is seen as a method to focus the best characteristics of an individual and thus the community. Skepticism of the ability to form an effective relationship between the federal or national government and the individual becomes a healthy element as well within a robust conservative philosophy. Conservatives conclude that less intrusion into the individual lives of people the better while celebrating historically moral and civil institutions. The federal government is seen as irrelevant to the everyday live of the individual citizen. Government above the state or local level is an abstract concept unnecessary until a specific and transparent, incremental and representative action is required for the whole of a nation state.
- Main Article: Liberalism
A liberal is someone who agrees with and votes in support for the political philosophy, and by extension type of government that will represent their favored view. Liberalism has a spectrum of definitions that help break down the many approaches of thought towards governance seen throughout history that regulates the activities, mainly economic, of the people. Liberty is the result of interaction between the government and the individual to whatever degree is allowed by the representation the people put into power. Liberty in the religious context is the spiritual and moral outcome that constitutes Christianity.
- Main Article: Communism
Communism is a type of social hierarchy based on support for only two real classes, the proletariat and bourgeoisie, or workers and employers. It is a political and social theory of class struggle popularized as a natural expression of socialism and made into doctrine largely by Karl Marx with help from Friedrich Engels, which both compiled this ideology into a book called the Communist Manifesto during the middle period of the 19th century. The doctrine further states that in order for this unavoidable process to continue revolution is a necessity. Revolution in its correct path manifests communism. A common approach to life as federated communities, rather then a society based on individuals which is conservatism or the control of core agents of industrial wealth production within communism which is socialism.
- Main Article: Libertarianism
Libertarianism is a political philosophy stating that government should be as small as possible, or that there should not be a government at all. Libertarians are considered right-wing on economic issues, and typically left-wing on social issues. It is the opposite of authoritarianism, which includes totalitarian ideologies such as communism.
Types of Government
How to guide and how much the scope should be within policy specifics of types of government emerge out of politicians political philosophies or what are sometimes called governing philosophies. The two extremes are the democratic republic and totalitarian forms. Respectively one celebrates individual liberty through private property while the other pursues direct and radical government regulation and thus strict control of private property limiting individual liberty.
A democratic republic is also referred to as a constitutional republic. It is the most honest type of government manifested by, of and for the people that inhabit a specific region of which there is defined borders, language and culture. Individuals who control almost all facets of government on any level whether local, state or federal, pursue and attain positions of power by the electorate (people who vote). The peoples representation, or what is the act of vesting power to a degree, into very few people comparatively, is to maintain law and order by predetermined and superior frameworks of agreed terms like the United States Constitution.
Logically if the society of a democratic republic remains educated, engaged and honest (or what is civic republicanism) with their politics it becomes the inevitable outward application if the more philosophical thought of classic liberalism is followed.
- Main Article: Capitalism
A democratic republic practicing capitalism consists of relying on the many personal decisions regarding levels of supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments of privately produced and owned materials and services. This democracy/capitalism model is seen as the most consistent way to govern in support for individual liberty. In defiance of a progressively burdensome and over planned economy that new liberals tend to agree with, capitalism allows individual empowerment or freedom from the local, state and federal government through accumulation of private property which develops a private sector of the economy. Classic liberalism compliments capitalism, both revering limited and representative federal regulation upon the voluntary trade within free markets that is necessary for honest operation.
Totalitarianism or sometimes referred to as centralized authoritarianism is the most brutal form of government which amounts to a dictatorship of all rule vested into one person. This person is usually not elected by the people, or if elected usurps powers of the local and state governments while violating individual rights through destroying historic, legal and just components of the established government, such as a Constitution. The process of usurping power of the peoples representation into one position and person or perhaps into one branch of government is called a tyranny, encroaching with a soft or hard line approach. In its purest form, or when in the midst of a hard tyranny, totalitarianism becomes a command and control government dictating all aspects of life, especially economic, rather then intervene only when requested and required by the people. The dictator acts for the people without consent or limit in a repressive fashion fundamentally reshaping the traditional society of its past for complete control in the present and future.
Centralized totalitarianism is a type of government that is the inevitable outward application if the philosophical thought of new, progressive liberalism in the extreme is followed.
- Main Article: Socialism
Very few countries today claim or implement communism as a way of life, let alone socialist economic policies to their fullest extent. Largely because of the types of social unrest and anarchism inherent in the systems. It is based in a totalitarian type government favoring State commanded and thus planned economics. The grouping of citizens by Communism and socialism inherently rejects individuality when interacting with the government. Ultimately when in full effect, representative and especially economic power is lost through taxation. Taxation inherently limits individual power by limiting the ability to keep more of what was earned and thus what can be invested into property. In order to redistribute economic power to others socialism is embodied and executed from within the State apparatus as it deals with this tax revenue.
Essentially understood as political geography, geopolitics as a term was coined by Rudolf Kjellén but he was initially inspired by the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who published his book Politische Geographie (Political Geography) in 1897. Geopolitics traditionally was considered the practical application of a type of governments domestic policy (underpinned by a political philosophy) over the peoples within the totality of encompassing territory that was predetermined to be governed by such power.
The influence of geography upon politics in general has over time evolved the meaning of geopolitics to entail not merely domestic policy but foreign policy as well. Foreign policy or a domestic governments diplomacy with a foreign government has been overtaken, specifically within the late 20th and accelerated in the 21st Century, in the form of economic globalization.
- The conservative mind: from Burke to Eliot By Russell Kirk
- The Communist Manifesto
- Communism By Catholic Encyclopedia
- "republic." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 7 July 2010 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/republic>
- "capitalism." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 7 July 2010 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism>
- "totalitarianism." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 7 July 2010 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/totalitarianism>
- "geopolitics." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 6 July 2010 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/geopolitics>
- Geopolitics By Wikipedia
- Yes, the Founding Fathers Have Foreign Policy First Principles Posted By Theodore Bromund On August 26, 2010
- First Principles and Foreign Policy Posted By Theodore Bromund On August 23, 2010
- Lesson of the Pencil By Milton Friedman
- 2010 Failed States Index Interactive Map By Foreign Policy Magazine
- Political Sources on the Net
- Poject Vote Smart