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Politics (from Greek: Πολιτικά, politiká, 'affairs of the cities') is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The academic study of politics is referred to as political science.

It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and non-violent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation. For example, abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared that "we do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us." The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.

A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level. In modern nation states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders. An election is usually a competition between different parties.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Chanakya's Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti (3rd century BCE), as well as the works of Confucius.

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The Liberal Movement was a minor South Australian political party in the 1970s. Stemming from discontent within the ranks of the Liberal and Country League, it was organised in 1972 by former premier Steele Hall as an internal group in response to a perceived resistance to sought reform within its parent. A year later, when tensions heightened between the LCL's conservative wing and the LM, it was established in its own right as a progressive liberal party. When still part of the league, it had eleven parliamentarians; on its own, it was reduced to three. In the federal election of 1974, it succeeded in having Hall elected to the Australian Senate with a primary vote of 10 per cent in South Australia. It built upon this in the 1975 state election, gaining almost a fifth of the total vote and an additional member. However, the non-Labor parties narrowly failed to dislodge the incumbent Dunstan Labor government. That result, together with internal weaknesses, led in 1976 to the LM's being re-absorbed into the LCL, which by then had become the South Australian division of the Liberal Party of Australia. The LM and its successor parties gave voice to what is termed "small-l liberalism" in Australia.

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Capitol Building Full View.jpg
Credit: Noclip

The western (front) side of the United States Capitol. The U.S. Capitol serves as the location for Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings. It is an exemplar of the Neoclassical architecture style.

Selected quote

Chairman Mao
In the work of transforming the old armies, a suitable education should be given to all officers who are capable of being reeducated to help them to get rid of their obsolete outlook and acquire a correct outlook, so that they can remain and serve in the people's army.

It is the duty of the whole nation to struggle for the creation of the army of the Chinese people. Without a people's army the people have nothing. On this question there must be no empty theorizing whatsoever.

We Communists are ready to give our support to the task of transforming the Chinese army. All those military forces which are willing to unite with the people and to oppose the Japanese aggressors instead of opposing the armed forces of the Chinese Liberated Areas should be regarded as friendly troops and be given proper assistance by the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies.

Mao Zedong, On Coalition Government, 1945

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Yasser Arafat in 1999

Yasser Arafat (1929–2004) was a Palestinian militant and politician. As Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority, Arafat continuously fought against Israeli forces in the name of Palestinian self-determination. Arafat was constantly surrounded by controversy, as in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Fatah faced off with Jordan in a civil war. Forced out of Jordan and into Lebanon, Arafat and Fatah were the targets of Israel's 1978 and 1982 invasions of that country. Arafat was said to be a key planner of the Black September organization's murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The majority of the Palestinian people – regardless of political ideology or faction – viewed him as a heroic freedom fighter and martyr who symbolized the national aspirations of his people. However, many Israelis have described him as an unrepentant terrorist. In 1994, Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, for the negotiations in the Oslo Accords. In late 2004, after effectively being confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years by the Israeli Defense Forces, Arafat became ill and fell into a coma, and later died.

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ...that the public activist group Citizen Action shut down in 1997 due to the effects of a labor union election campaign funds scandal?




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