“Politics is a many sided concept only to be understood if viewed from various angles”. Discuss.
Every day we will experience the activities and ideas of politics around us, despite not knowing its definition. When the majority consider politics they instantly think of government, laws, debates and scandal. However, the real question of what politics is has been pondered for thousands of years by many profound names, one of the many reasons why Aristotle referred to politics as being the ‘master science’ (Aristotle (unknown) Heywood 2013: 1). Some would say politics dates back to its original meaning of being the art of government. Others believe it to be more focused on public life, or even a way of creating peace between nations or compromise and consensus. Lastly, some would find politics to be seen as a way to gain power, in both a negative and positive aspect. Although despite contrasting views on what politics is, we may only be able to view collectively from each and every concept or angle.
The ‘traditional view’ of politics or as some would refer as ‘authority’ or ‘authoritive rule’, dates back as far back as ancient Greece. The word ‘politics’ stems from the Greek word polis, meaning ‘city -state’. In ancient Greece, society had been divided into individual city-states, one of these states was Athens. Therefore politics can be recognized as the affairs of the polis, thus ‘what concerns the state’. This idea of politics was praised by Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato. It involves only focusing on the personnel and the machinery of government. Therefore focusing on who makes up the government and what laws are put in place. Politics as an art of government also allows for control to be exercised in society through the making and enforcement of collective decisions. David Easton is the most common representative of this idea of politics claiming politics is “the authoritive allocation of values” (Easton (1979,
Bibliography: Kingdom, John (2003) Government and Politics in Britain, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Polity) Heywood, Andrew (2013) Politics, 4th edition ( Crick, Bernard (2013) In Defence of Politics, 5th edition (