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What is Politics

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Etymologically speaking, the term politics was derived from the Greek word polis, which means the state or the totality of community. In ancient times, polis was encapsulated to exemplify an ideal state, which is prominent in Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. In Plato’ s The Republic, he defines ideal state as a community where citizens work according to their innate soul and natural duty, which is considered as the connotative stance of politics. Aristotle, on the other hand, in his The Politics postulated that man in its primal condition is a political animal, which implies that even without any concept of government or democracy, politics is already existent in the life of every individual.

Plato and Aristotle converge on the credence that politics within the psyche of man is imperfect that is why an ideal state is necessary. From this conceptualization of politics, several philosophers posited that the word originated from the significance of self-preservation. Due to the catastrophic state of affairs, the man started to engage himself in an agreement to advance his personal interests. According to David Miller, “ politics presupposes a diversity of view, if not about ultimate aims,   at least the best ways of achieving them” 1, and since then, this premise became the foundation of politics.

Miller’ s basis of politics necessitates a conflict among men because it is logical to conclude that each of them will advance their own cause. Miller replied that conflict will be resolved because these men will not compete anymore, and instead, they will participate in an agreement to promote each of their interests. Therefore, politics serves as a mediator that provides solutions to the prominent conflicts. The third element of politics is power.

As mentioned earlier, the man in his primitive condition is down right selfish the main reason why they engage in certain agreement. But in every agreement there should be an initiator, and he/she must have a power over the members of his society so that he/she can start convention for all of them.

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