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Politics is the Means

What Politics is About

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.

Before proceeding, answer these two questions:

Suddenly it all becomes very clear…

From a taxonomic perspective, there is an easily recognized psychosocial phenomenon:

and there is a clear function/purpose:

Together this deserves the name «politics». So politics is different to government, while government unavoidably entails politics. Compare this definition with other definitions.

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 «politicians».

The «political classes» also include necessary bureaucrats, advisors and others closely involved with government.

Generalizing to Any Social Group: Closed 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.

Next Steps

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 25-Feb-2014

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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