Basic political concepts

Discussion in 'Political Science' started by Kranes56, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Kranes56

    Kranes56 Banned

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    It's close to the election, I know but let's talk about some basic political ideas. Nothing partisan, just some basic know hows to figuring how the US political system works. Why am I doing this? Because there is a serious problem with people not knowing the basics of how the US political system work. So please share this with people who don't know what they're talking about! Please feel free to point out ideas I have missed and if you think I got something wrong. Here we go!

    Political spectrum:
    Basically, where every political idea falls. It also shows that various political ideologues might share ideas in common. It's hard to graph these things but the basics of it go like this: How much influence the government should have in the economy (Command vs. Free enterprise) go on the x axis, while the power of the government goes on the y axis. The reason why it's so hard is because pollsters have to be very careful in how they ask questions in order to produce statistically reliable graphs. If you want to know where you fall on the spectrum, click this link:
    https://www.politicalcompass.org/

    Command economies:
    The government has a lot of control over the economy. Another way of thinking about it is that it is Community based.

    Free Enterprise:
    The government has little to no influence over the economy. Another way of thinking about it is that it is a free market.

    Authoritarian:
    Government has a lot of power. Totalitarian governments are a good example of this.

    Libertarian (In relationship to the political spectrum):
    The government has little power. Minarchism is a good example of this. (Side note political theorists are lazy and keep using the same words to mean different things.)

    Schools of Thought:
    Larger concepts that people with different political ideologies can group themselves in. The big three are Liberalism, Socialism and Conservatism.

    Political ideology:
    A complex set of belief, combining both philosophy and scientific concepts about a desire for how the distribution of power should be brought about. In other words, when people say they're "Liberal" or "Conservative" they're saying that they subscribe to a set of beliefs about how the government should function.

    Liberalism (As a School of thought):
    The government's role is to protect and promote individual rights. Individual rights can include freedom of speech, assembly, and practice of religion. The individual bands with other individuals to form a government that protects their collective rights. It promotes liberty and freedom for its citizens. This political ideology usually combines with democracy to form a Liberal democracy.
    Chances are most Americans are a form of Liberalism.

    Political Parties:
    people with similar political ideologies band together to get into positions of government to push for their ideology.

    The two major political ideologues within the US now are "Liberal" and "Conservative"

    Liberalism (As a Political ideology):
    Government should have an expanded role in protecting and promoting its citizens by promoting "Positive rights". Positive rights are things that the government should do for you. For example, the right to food. Liberals will generally include favoring social welfare programs, promoting minorities, and more government control over the economy. The Democrat party represents liberalism in US politics.

    Conservatism (As a Political ideology):
    Government should have a limited role in protecting and promoting its citizens. They push for "negative rights", what the government can not do. For example you have the right for the government to not censure your speech. Conservatives will generally favor cutting welfare programs, expanding state powers and less government control over the economy. The Republican (GOP) party represents Conservatism in US politics.

    Government;
    The legitimate institution responsible for the maintenance, expansion, and protection of power. In this sense an anarchy does not count because it is only real institutions that count, not informal. Another way of thinking about formal government power is, if you can point to a government building on a map, it's real. That's not to say that it doesn't have informal power as well, but it actually exists and can exercise power.

    Power:
    The ability to do something. In a political sense, it is the force from which people are able to influence their respective government.

    Federal vs. Central style governments.
    This is how power is distributed within governments. Federal style governments (Like the US) are like onions, they have layers to them. There are divisions of power, notably between the national (confusingly called "federal") govt, and the state govt. Explicit rights are reserved for the federal govt, while reserved rights are for the state. Concurrent or shared rights belong to both. So the US national can print money, but it can't control local traffic laws, but both can influence educational policy. Central governments (Like France) have most if not all the power rested in the national government. Decisions are made in the capital and then enforced in the providences with little to none of their input.

    These are how governments can organize the distribution of power.
    Democracy:
    People have a say in how their government is run. Voting, citizen councils are examples of democratic elements.

    Republic:
    People vote for representatives to vote on issues. This is what the US is.

    Oligarchy: A few rich people are in control of society. The Roman Republic, some Greek city states are good examples of this.

    Tyranny: One person or one political party controls the government.

    Inside the government there are usually three separate branches of government.
    1. Executive branch: The position in charge of the bureaucracy and enforces the laws, such as a President.
    2. Legislative branch: Responsible for passing laws and coming up with a budget. The US has Congress.
    3. Judicial branch; Responsible for interpreting the laws. The Supreme Court does this in the US.

    In terms of voting, states make the rules for how voting works, so check with your local election board for requirements to how you can go about voting and if you can cast absentee ballots. I hope this helps!
     
  2. emilynghiem

    emilynghiem Active Member Past Donor

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    The two major political ideologues within the US now are "Liberal" and "Conservative"

    Liberalism (As a Political ideology):
    Government should have an expanded role in protecting and promoting its citizens by promoting "Positive rights". Positive rights are things that the government should do for you. For example, the right to food. Liberals will generally include favoring social welfare programs, promoting minorities, and more government control over the economy. The Democrat party represents liberalism in US politics.

    Conservatism (As a Political ideology):
    Government should have a limited role in protecting and promoting its citizens. They push for "negative rights", what the government can not do. For example you have the right for the government to not censure your speech. Conservatives will generally favor cutting welfare programs, expanding state powers and less government control over the economy. The Republican (GOP) party represents Conservatism in US politics.
    ==============

    There is a huge difference here,
    because all the positive things people can do for themselves, thus only leave the things to govt that only govt can do and individuals cannot, such as national security.

    If you open the door for govt to do what people can do for themselves, this causes too much UNNECESSARY bureaucracy that gets in the
    way of what only govt can do, if govt is bogged down with all these other programs better managed locally instead of federally.

    As for applying Constitutional laws to limit what govt can do,
    once you give govt authority it's harder to take it back.

    It's easier that if you block govt from being involved or having authority,
    you can always reverse that and "have the choice" of agreeing how much to authorize govt to help with.

    That is why it's more important to maximize what people manage on their own independently,
    and limit govt to just what everyone AGREES to authorize on a public or national level.

    It's also better in general to teach train and mentor people to represent, manage and fend for themselves.
    People can also choose afterwards to relegate responsibilities to govt or reps to do this work for them.

    But if you don't know the work involved, and don't have the choice to do it yourself,
    you aren't equal in knowledge experience or empowerment as others who do have this.

    So to work for human equality and justice for all, we need to set up access for all people
    to have training education and mentorship/experience in areas of social development
    so people do have equal knowledge, choice and empowerment. And are not overly dependent on others to "exercise or establish their rights".
     
  3. waltky

    waltky Well-Known Member

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    Granny says the problem is...
    :grandma:
    ... too many politicians...

    ... think the basic political concept is...

    ... 'Screw unto others...

    ... before they screw unto you'.

    Compromise requires trust.:cool:
     
  4. Seleucus

    Seleucus New Member

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    I was with you until the last line, where you - without, I am sure, realizing it - refuted everything that went before.

    You concluded: "So to work for human equality and justice for all, we need to set up access for all people to have training education and mentorship/experience in areas of social development
    so people do have equal knowledge, choice and empowerment. And are not overly dependent on others to "exercise or establish their rights".

    Exactly! I strongly agree! But, who do you think provides equal access training, knowledge, choice and empowerment? Depending on when and where in history, it is your family, your village council (or feudal lord), your county or city officials who gather and re-distribute food and store it for times of famine, collect taxes to provide schools, and then roll forward to a modern state where taxes provide - well, all the basic services that let proud individuals live reasonable lives: roads, police, fire services, hospitals, safety regulations, licensing for this and that.

    I completely agree that, as you put it, society should be arranged to "maximize what people manage on their own independently, and limit govt to just what everyone AGREES to authorize on a public or national level." The fact is, that even in the independent-minded frontier-proud every-man-for-himself USA, the majority of core "empowerment" facilitation services that individuals need can and must come from governments, and when things go wrong, we reflexively blame local, state and federal government and expect them to fix it.

    I know that we all periodically tangle with and get annoyed by bureaucracy at some level, and resent the intrusion. But seriously, see how many current government activities you can name that governments should actually drop and let us ordinary citizens handle with common sense and duct tape. Offhand, none come to mind, but if you can think of some, please reply.
     
  5. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Well-Known Member

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    How does technology mix with political-economy?

    How many political ideas are from before 1900? In 1900 there were 8000 automobiles in the entire US and 150,000 horses in New York City. Has the history of the 20th century and the problems of the 21st been nothing but the failure of politics to adjust to technology?

    So now almost 50 years after the Moon landing the nitwit economists can't specify the yearly Depreciation of so called Durable Consumer Goods. We put CO2 into the atmosphere to manufacture more garbage to increase GDP.

    The Liberals and the Conservative don't talk about NET Domestic Product.

    http://www.toxicdrums.com/economic-wargames-by-dal-timgar.html

    So no one suggests making double-entry accounting mandatory in our schools even though it is 700 years old. Would Adam Smith object to that?

    psik
     
  6. Ole Ole

    Ole Ole Banned

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    For me those in agenda:

    Left wings ------

    Anarchy
    Communism
    Progressive
    Marxism

    Closer Middle ------

    Liberalism
    Independente
    Nazism

    The Middle ------

    Democrats
    Fascism

    Closer right ------

    Conservativm

    Right wings ------

    Racism

    Aren't more RW than Racism.

    Nazism is for me close to Left Wings.

    Killing feels an Nazi.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Left wings are killing time.
     
  7. Ole Ole

    Ole Ole Banned

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    Liberalism are the best ideology for me of that program I list over these.
     
  8. Ole Ole

    Ole Ole Banned

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    + beer and hard rock musics.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well. :flagus: :beer: :beer:
     
  9. Dialectical Kitten

    Dialectical Kitten Member

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    I personally find the political compass to be rather lackluster. It seems to be heavily biased by the current political sphere in the English speaking world. I personally think that the history of movements is what defines them more than their superficial characteristics. In the U.S. modern conservatism seems to be heavily rooted in the anti-communism of the McCarthy era and the neoliberalism of the Reagan era for example.

    Anarchism and right-wing libertarianism barely have anything in common from a theoretical and historical perspective so grouping both of these ideologies in the lower half just because they are "libertarian" seems a bit pointless to me.

    Then there's also the question how "authoritarianism" and "libertarianism" are even defined here. Do the mean "strong state" vs "no state"? Or maybe the amount of personal freedom?
     
    Woolley likes this.

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