Politics and Defining Power
To understand Politics, we need to understand three other terms,
society, government and authority, as all three are what politics
Politics is society; Society is a community and everything the
community involves, culture, religion and things such as social class.
Society is organised by politics. Politics in a society deal with
disagreements or conflicts. Within a society, there will always be
different groups with different opinions, something is needed to make
sure these groups, are able to co-exist, this is politics. Politics is
needed to decide who in a society should hold authority over the other
people in a society, the allocation of authority.
Authority itself however is complicated as it has more than one area
of meaning. Authority can actually be three different things within
society; Max Weber a German sociologist defines these 3 meanings.
Weber divided authority into traditional authority, charismatic
authority and rational-legal authority. An example of traditional
authority would be the English Monarchy. This is self explanatory, as
it is traditional that the Monarchy holds some sort of authority. An
example of charismatic authority would be a character such as Jesus
Christ; he was not given any authority via politics nor was he born
with any, such as a monarch. He gained his Authority through his
charismatic abilities. An example of legal rational authority would be
a member of the judiciary such as a judge, the authority is not in the
person it is in the title they hold or the job they do.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary has more than one definition for
politics. Each different definition however mentions authority or
government. For example, "the art and science of government". To
understand politics we will need to understand government's role.
Government is the authority in society. It is the system by which a
society is governed. This suggests that without government, society
would be chaos?
A society can be ran in many different ways, for example, democracy,
theocracy or autocracy. These are types of "government". Each one of
these ways is each quite different, but still in each one politics is
involved. In every type of "government", the person or people who hold
authority were somehow "given" this authority. Politics decides who
gets authority and how they get it. When the authority is allocated,
politics decides how the governments should be conducted and what the
government does with its authority. To conclude on what politics is, I
think it could be put in a few sentences.
"What government does to hold society together."
"Who gets what, when and how." - Harold Laski.
"The resolution of conflict."
Politics is sometimes described as "The Analysis of power", but what
is power? To...