Political philosophy

Many people disagree about what the word politics can mean and how it is used in our country. It is often brought up in a negative manor that leads people to believe that politics itself is evil. The problem is, that the majority of our country can’t give a strong definition of what politics is to begin with. But it is something all American citizens should be able to understand, and by doing a little research it can happen. Politics is what decides our future and is the most important aspect of this democracy we have.

The following essay discusses what politics is and classical scholar’s definition of politics. Body: * Define politics and how it applies * Politics, definition. * Explain * classical scholars definition of politics * 1) David Easton; He defined politics as the authoritative allocation of values. * 2) Harold lasswell: He defined politics as who gets what, when and how. * 3) Han Morgenthau; He defined politics as power struggle. * which of the classical scholars definition of politics do we prefer. I prefer Harold lasswells definition of politics as to "who gets what, when, and how.

" "Politics," according to Lasswell, is concerned with determination, by official governmental decision making and action, of who in political society receives what benefits, rewards, and advantages and how much of them they receive, when they receive the benefits, rewards, and advantages, and the methods by which they receive them, Conclusion- Politics is the best thing discovered because without it America would not be what it is now, and we will not have had places to call our home. Politics can never be evil like Bob Dylan’s definition says.

To fully understand politics, one needs to know and understand the three classical definitions of politics. That is, “politics is the authoritative allocation of values” by David Easton, “politics is who gets what, how and when” by Harold Lasswell and finally, “politics is a power struggle” by Hans Morgenthau. Politics. Many people disagree about what the word politics can mean and how it is used in our country. It is often brought up in a negative manor that leads people to believe that politics itself is evil.

The problem is, that the majority of our country can’t give a strong definition of what politics is to begin with. But it is something all American citizens should be able to understand, and by doing a little research it can happen. Politics is what decides our future and is the most important aspect of this democracy we have. The following essay discusses what politics is and classical scholar’s definition of politics. Politics is the art or science of running a government, community, or institution.

It is also the people that work within that government, community, or institution and the way that they handle affairs to achieve their short term or long term goals to be successful and to make the people of communities happy and satisfied (Jasinski and Monahan) . Politics has a lot of aspects where people try to gain more authority or power over other people or groups so that they have more of a say in what happens. Politics is also where people are given authority to make decision that will affect mass amounts of people.

This relates to David Easton's classical definition of politics where he says that every society has to have authority, it could mean one person or a group of people to make decisions. (Jasinski and Monahan ). Hans Morgenthau's definition of politics being a power struggle is also very true because a lot of the time this is what people are most able to see. They are able to see how individuals involved in politics try to gain the power in order to be more successful.

I agree with David Easton’s definition of politics because if we did not have politics and authority in every society then there would be no rules to abide by and people would do whatever they wanted since there would be no one above them that they would have to adhere to (Pettegrew). Some scholars define politics in their own different ways, some of these scholars and their definitions are as follows. David Easton defined politics as the as the authoritative allocation by the political system of values for society.

Easton, in A Framework for Political Analysis, uses the term "political system" to designate the pattern or system of human inter- actions and relationships in any political society through which authoritative allocations are made and implemented allocations that are binding on all members of the society and are recognized as such by the great majority of the members (Pettegrew) . Easton defines a society's political system as "those patterns of interaction through which values are allocated for a society and these allocations are accepted as authoritative by most persons in the society most of the time.

" Allocating society's values and obtaining widespread acceptance within the society of the authoritative, or binding, nature of the allocations, according to Easton, constitute the basic functions of any political society. "It is through the presence of activities that fulfill these two basic functions that a society can commit the resources and energies of its members in the settlement of differences that cannot be autonomously [i. e. , individually or privately] resolved (Ten Barge) .

David Easton defines a policy as authoritative when "people feel they must or ought to obey it. " One difficulty with this specification is that feelings have little to do with some political events. In the strongest traditions of political life, social customs may govern behavior more effectively than any overt directive from political leaders. Preindustrial societies, indeed many small rural towns in America, are directed by the authority of "things have always been done this way.

" In such cases, policies may be carried out from habit, not from any feeling about what must or ought to be done. We must also allow for the unintended consequences of action Policy may be the outcome of a decision process, but these outcomes can authoritatively affect behavior in a way quite unforeseen by those who initially form the policy ( Pettegrew). A second shift with authoritative is its suggestion of obedience. Certainly many policies do elicit "obey" responses. But other policies are not imperative and do not require obedience for compliance.

Is policy always a form of allocation? When we allocate items, we distribute them. Distribution is a common enough theme in contemporary politics. It is even easy to see the political system as primarily concerned with distribution as its extracts resources (primarily through taxes) and spends moneys. But other policies are not so easily seen as allocations formulas (Pettegrew) . Such regulatory policies as civil rights laws, law enforcement, and electoral reform are only marginally allocations. Rather they seem directed at insuring conformity with certain rules.

By the word "value," David Easton means any sought after value in life. A value is any object, activity, idea, principle, goal, or other phenomenon upon which large numbers of people place appreciable value, something which is considered by many individuals and groups within the political community to be good, desirable, attractive, useful, rewarding, beneficial, or advantageous. One set of values may be tangible, or material, in form--i. e. , in the form of money, property, and/or other economic goods, services, and conditions.

Another set of values may be intangible; that is, the values may be symbolic, ideological, cultural, ethical, moral, or religious in character. Examples of intangible values in contemporary American politics include the expressed goals of political activists who assert that they are concerned primarily with "social" or "family" issues, that they seek mainly to promote and defend "social" or "family" value (Ten Barge) . Harold lasswell defined politics as the as involving questions as to "who gets what, when, and how.

" "Politics," according to Lasswell, is concerned with determination, by official governmental decision making and action, of who in political society receives what benefits, rewards, and advantages and how much of them they receive, when they receive the benefits, rewards, and advantages, and the methods by which they receive them. Conversely, "politics" is also concerned with determining, by governmental decision making and action, who in society is denied what benefits, rewards, and advantages, when and how long they are denied them, and the methods by which they are subjected to such deprivations (Ten Barge) .

While han Morgenthau defined politics as a power struggle, that is those people in politics struggling for power and authority, that’s what he meant by his definition (Ten Barge) . I relelate more with Harold lasswells definition of politics which is is defined as, “who gets what, how and when. ” When pilgrims came to New England, they came in search of freedom and a new way of life but when settling in this land there had to be a system of how they would get along. If everybody did what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted to do it, there would’ve been chaos ( Pettegrew). As a matter of fact, every established civilization has had this in mind.

Get a fair agreement on who gets what, how, and when, and everyone is happy. This system of politics can be applied to all forms of government. In the 1600’s a group of Protestants migrated from their homeland to find freedom. Freedom from religious oppression. England had a political system, just not a balanced one; they were still able to address the questions we are trying to address now, it just wasn’t equal for all citizens. America is a place of refuge, it’s a place where people from all around the world can flee from their personal oppressions and find peace.

Why has this nation become the “land of opportunity? ” Simple, because this nation has found a way to balance the three questions, “who gets what, when and how (ten barge). ” To conclude, I’ll go ahead to say the human race as a whole cannot do without “politics”. The reason is, if there is no form of political system is a country, state or town, there will not or cannot be “proper authoritative allocation of values” as stated in David Easton’s definition of politics. Meaning no particular person or group of people are responsible for the day to day administration of that country, state or town.

Hence there will not be any form of law and order (police, military etc. ) which will eventually lead to high crime rates. Also there will be not form of “checks and balance” because there will not be organizations to make sure power distributed to individuals or groups of people is used wisely for the benefit of the people in that country or community. That will end up sky rocketing bribery and corruption, and that will mean disregarding Harold Lasswell’s definition of politics which says “politics is who gets what, how and when”.

Meaning power will be centralized and controlled by an individual or group of persons hence disregarding the proper and fair distribution of social amenities. This will lead poverty, hunger, illness, deaths and eventually war. This will also mean that disregarding Hans Morgenthau’s definition of politics being a “power struggle”. Politics is the best thing discovered because without it America would not be what it is now, and we will not have had places to call our home. Politics can never be evil like Bob Dylan’s definition says.

To fully understand politics, one needs to know and understand the three classical definitions of politics. That is, “politics is the authoritative allocation of values” by David Easton, “politics is who gets what, how and when” by Harold Lasswell and finally, “politics is a power struggle” by Hans Morgenthau. This definition make “politics” what it is and also that’s how our country, states and cities are run. References Jasinski ,Laurie E. and Casey Monahan. " politics of America ,Historical Association . Web.

03 september 2012. Web. Mitchell, Nicole. "Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) Commentary by Nicole Mitchell, University of Alabama at Birmingham. " Milestone Documents. Schlager Group, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 03 Sept 2012. Web. Pettegrew, Loyd S. "The Seven Rules of politics. " Ludwig Von Mises Institute. N. p. , 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Sept 2012. Web. TenBarge, Joe. "American politics. " , 12 May 2008. Web. 03 September 2012. Web. "Water Politics. " Water Politics. N. p. , n. d. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://www. waterpolitics. com/>.