Politics > Determining Political Choice > The Struggle for Power (CL1)

The Struggle for Power (CL1)

The Challenge in Politics

Human nature means that social goods and benefits like status and special rights (i.e. powers, immunities, privileges) spontaneously come into existence with social life.

The challenge of government is how to use society’s wealth and power to benefit society as a whole. However, the challenge of politics for any member of society is about how to influence choices affecting society. That means how to influence choices affecting society so that you and your preferred group benefit.

Political power refers to «the power to influence choices made for society». These are the choices that will lead to differential benefits amongst the various groups.

Because the most important choices are made by government and its agencies, power-oriented groups either seek to enter and control government, or seek influence over individuals who have successfully entered government.

Maintaining Political Stability

The practicality and stability of the pluralist mode provides the basis for a more or less civilized political life.

Political stability exists when the differential flow of benefits to groups is broadly in accord with their power and preferences. Stability refers to a status quo where benefits are allocated, even as the stronger groups jockey and struggle more or less intensely to maintain or increase their share of social goods. 

The struggles in politics as groups seek benefits for themselves.

Stability based on sharing benefits is simultaneously the challenge, the goal and the problem of politics and government.

What is acceptable may not be equitable: but who is to judge?  Being human seems to mean Closednever feeling…

So sustaining and improving the level and share of benefits becomes the focus for political struggles amongst groups. These struggles and battles cause problems and pressures for governments, and shape political choices. This Framework clarifies how that happens.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 2 June 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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