Politics Today

Topics: Democracy, Political philosophy, Direct democracy Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: April 22, 2002
Essay written by: Charisma
What is politics? Throughout history, people have participated in politics on many different levels. They may have participated through a direct democracy, in which they directly governed, or they may have participated through a representative democracy, in which they participated by electing representatives. As citizens', people have participated in politics to attain the things they needed or wanted, the valued things. Participation in politics has been the way that people have a voice and change the things that directly affect their lives. Throughout the course of history, politics has been the competition of ideas; they decide who gets what, when, where and how.

Politics is the means for attaining valued things. Although, valued things are different in every society, the means of securing those things has never changed. The competition for power, authority and influence will always be the backbone of politics. Applying power, authority and influence to the valued things that support the public good, will produce the quality of life a society desires. In the present day, citizens in the United States demand certain valued things such as welfare, education, safe streets and healthcare. Through politics, citizens can apply their power in many different ways to get the things they want. Power is the ability to get someone to do something they may or may not want to do. Through the use of or the application of coercion, persuasion, manipulation and negotiation, power is used to influence the system.

It would seem as if valued things, such as safe streets and healthcare, would already be established in a society such as ours. Using safe streets as an example, it is hard to believe a person would not support safe streets. But the discussion about safe streets is not exactly whether we want them or not. The disagreement on this topic, and most political topics, is how much should be spent fiscally on achieving and maintaining safe...
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