In my previous article, I attempted to explain the meaning of certain words, and how they affect the way that we communicate. Now, I ask that people think in a reasonable or logical manner, and build the discussion around politics. Did you ever have someone tell you that something was too political, or that they hate to discuss politics? If you mention the word politics, you will probably offend at least one person in any group. To shut off a conversation, just say “sorry, but I don’t talk about politics.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines politics as “the art and science of government, the practice or professions of conducting political affairs.” Political means, “Exercising or seeking power in the governmental or public affairs of a state, municipality, etc.” A polity is “a state or other organized community or body, or the condition of being constituted as a state.” Going further, the word government means “a system of ruling or controlling.” So we can conclude that politics is the art and science of ruling or controlling a state or other organized body
There are many forms of government: democracy, socialism, communism, republic, monarchy, and dictatorship to mention a few. In each case, there is always one or more elites (the few) using power and control to dominate the many. Although there is always some stated grand purpose, the temptation is just too great; too much power generally results in abuse.
Examining the great empires of Greece, Rome, the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, Russia, and Germany, abuse of power resulted in the deaths of more than one hundred million and untold suffering of many times that number. Wars have been waged from the beginning of civilization to overcome the tyranny exercised by governments. The source of these wars is the fundamental truth that man has a hunger for freedom from control built into his very nature. So why do we have government in the first place? Government serves a necessary function to bring order, but when it gets “out of control” the people suffer!
The American colonists refused to live under tyranny, so they signed a Declaration of Independence in the fundamental belief that “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among those are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that governments are established among men to protect these rights.” Never before in history had such an idea been presented! The idea that free men in a republic could establish their own government, that a government of the people, by the people and for the people could solve the dilemma of people’s freedom vs. government’s rule was revolutionary.
Unfortunately, men are not angels, and they always seek increased power. The very idea of limited government is entirely dependent upon all the citizens, insuring that the citizen maintained the control necessary to maintain freedom. By the early 1900’s, government began to grow at an accelerated rate, taking more and more power from the citizen. The republican form of government has given way to democracy, then to socialism. And the citizens watched it happen and grew increasingly hostile to the whole political process.
So in the end, a country founded upon active involvement of citizens in government surrendered its political role and gave up the very freedoms that they had fought so hard to win. And so you have the rest of the story, that politics should be an important subject for every citizen!
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