"A means by which individuals and interest groups compete to shape government's impact on society's problems and goals." Politics is easily defined. It is the concept behind the words that is more difficult to understand. Though politics is the primary method of communicating with government, this is not the only time politics are used. Immediate, individual interests, wants, and needs must be satisfied, as well as societal problems. The pursuit of interest is the purpose and initiation of political behavior.
The moment an individual actively pursues an interest or works toward the completion of a goal, it is projected outside him. For example, a person is shopping for a car. The situation is no longer individual because he cannot achieve his goal of obtaining a new car alone; another person or dealership must make the car available to him. Because the person selling the car also has a goal, there is interplay of interests, and the implications of politics.
Negotiation over a car, or anything of interest involves a distribution of attention from one side to another. Just as a car has a seller and a buyer, the government has different political parties, and each issue has a group for and against it. Gaining cooperation from the other side requires strategy.
Tactics used range from peaceful, including persuasion and civil disobedience, to violent. But the expectation of reward and the actual probability of reward essentially dictate political action.
Rewards are both individual and societal. Power and the ability to control motivate our political leaders. Desire for wealth fuels citizens and the economy. Skilled citizens are represented in the technologically advanced Japanese population. Enlightenment comes from an educated society. Health is invaluable to everyone, and to society when average life spans increase. And finally, respect, morality, and affection are the values that make up a...