An Introduction to Politics by John J. Esslema


An Introduction to Politics by John J. Esslema

Politics is an ever-evolving system of social organization that has developed over time from the ancient world into our current society. Politics is the structured system of collective action that is related to the distribution of societal status, economic assets, or personal benefits among individuals, groups or even political organizations. The field of political science is known as political science, sociology, political economy or political behavior. The branch of science that studies government and politics is known as political science.

There is more than one definition for politics, but they all agree on one thing – it is a system of societal decision-making governed by the consent of citizens. Politics is a term that has come a long way from its origins as a reaction against the tyrannical rule of the ancient Greek city-states. Ancient Greek citizens wanted a stronger central government that would guarantee their rights. Ancient Greek politics developed into one of the most competitive arenas in the world. It is a part of history that has shaped many of our world’s social order and political systems.

Ancient Athens had a well-developed polity system, which began to disintegrate around the 5th century BCE. Alexander the great of ancient Persia took over the Persian throne and after achieving dominance over the surrounding people, he implemented a system of tyranny, putting down the opposition and creating an atmosphere of fear throughout the nation. After his consolidation of power, he transformed the polities into hereditary offices that were protected from the people by oaths of blood. The use of the Persian Royal Court as a mechanism for exercising political power was limited only by the king’s will. By the 3rd century BCE, Greek democracy had been replaced by Greek kingship as the dominant political system in the Mediterranean world.

Greek democracy was born out of the struggles of Athenian citizens, who were tired of being ruled by a handful of powerful aristocrats. With a small polity composed of a large number of neighborhoods, they were able to organize and elect a regular assembly to deliberate on matters of interest to the city. When this assembly decided, according to the preferences of the general population, what its priorities would be, it was normally obliged to adopt a policy. Greek politics developed as a public policy that was directed at providing services, providing relief, and protecting the city.

In the period of Alexander the Great, Greek politics was further developed into a constitutional system that had the support of the Roman public but was rejected by the Greek aristocrats. In the 3rd century BCE, Plato argued for a separation of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. He believed that all three branches of government should have their independence and that the one responsible for maintaining those freedoms should be chosen by the people themselves through popular election. He went on to argue for greater deliberation and input by the citizens in all matters concerning societal needs and aspirations. Plato’s view of politics was considered extreme by the Roman aristocratic Romans but was adopted by the Romanians as they moved away from classical ideals to a more aggressive form of Greek idealism.

Aristotle argued against any involvement by the demos in political affairs, arguing that only the persons directly associated with a body can have influence on its policies. He maintained that the demos cannot decide for itself how to act or opt for political institutions. Plato’s remarks on politics have had an influence on later generations of western philosophers including Jean Baptiste de La Rouchfoucauld, Henry Tielebroek, Immanuel Kant, Leo Tolstoy, and Max Weber. Several twentieth-century thinkers have argued that Plato’s arguments concerning democracy are not applicable to modern political systems.