The 3 axioms about governing established that all societies need governmental institutions to protect and strengthen both society as a whole and its members.
Now for the final 2 axioms:
Axiom #4: Governmental functions require power and wealth.
To perform its duties, a government requires:
Axiom #5: Individuals are the sole sources of social goods, via their will, thought and action.
Government does not exist apart from society, and society does not exist apart from its members.
Organized groups are the sources of social power. The nature and relations of organized groups define the power structure of society.
Almost all groups unleash self-serving drives for more power and wealth for their members. So any government finds itself forced to recognize and respect the various goals, values and influence of diverse groups.
Unless citizens, through their memberships, feel good to be part of society and feel they receive a fair share of social goods, they will be discontented and prone to protest.
The primary challenge of any government is to integrate groups of all sorts by ensuring their members support, or at least tolerate, a society’s political institutions and political modus operandi.
This is the essence of «».
Enterprising individuals and hard-working people generate the wealth of a society.
Even natural resources (e.g. oil, forests) do not become social goods without the intelligence and effort of individuals.
All governments should recognize and respect the wealth-creating abilities of individuals.
The primary challenge of any government is how to get hold of a portion of the wealth of hard-working productive individuals without meeting excessive resistance, removing incentives for self-reliance and generally impoverishing the society.
As Jean Baptiste Colbert, a 17th century French Finance minister, observed: "The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing".
From a taxonomic perspective, there is an easily recognized psychosocial phenomenon:
and there is a clear function/purpose:
Together this deserves the name «other definitions.». So is different to , while unavoidably entails . Compare this definition with
Everyone strives for a modicum of power and wealth. Those particular individuals who willingly strive to obtain access to the power and wealth of society as a whole—and who are expected to use power and wealth for the good of all—are commonly called « ».
The «» also include necessary bureaucrats, advisors and others closely involved with government.
Generalizing to Any Social Group: Every social group has its goods and needs some sort of governance, which may well be informal. All members seek to benefit from membership and have a responsibility for group choices. Some members will seek to become leaders and so access and use the group's power and wealth. Motivations will vary but some may well do this to dominate group choices so as to serve their own interests. So politics applies to all groups.
Then consider how politics and ethics are related.
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 25-Feb-2014