For anyone who has ever done political science, this is the first chapter they have stumbled across (What is politics?). Strangely enough, the books that I have read on the subject all have the same answer… “There is no answer”. Therefore, in order to make things a little bit clearer, at least from my point of view, I will try to get back a bit to the origins of politics.

A long time ago, in Ancient Greece, around 2300 years ago, a guy called Plato wrote one the greatest works of political philosophy called Politeia. The word politeia means “the business of the polis (the state)”, the things that concern all of us as a society. His student, Aristotle, wrote another great work, which shamefully was mostly lost, called Politika. I will not get in depth with the content of these books, but I would like to say that Politika (the word resembles pretty much today’s word “politics”) was again a work regarding how society is been ruled and how it should be ruled. For those of you who do not know much about these guys… Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great, the one who managed to create the greatest empire in ancient history. Anyway, even from the very beginning, the word “politics” was strongly linked with the business of the state and society, and I have little doubt that this has change much.

Knowing this, I would say that we could get a basic idea of politics. Politics are those actions and events made or influenced by our rulers which affect society in a noticeable way. We are that society, and whatever they do regardless if it is the president of USA or the prime minister of UK, will concern all of us to some degree. No one ever says that we should think of politics all day long, but once a week, when you have some spare time, read the international news and although much of it is quite unimportant, some is quite good, and slowly put surely we will have a better idea of what is going on. You will make better decisions when going to vote, giving money for charity, sending your son in the military or buying a car. Adam Smith (the first person to write a thoroughly analysis of economy) said, “by pursuing his own interest (the individual) he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.“, it is in our interest to be concerned about things that affect us. It might seem they do not affect us directly, but believe me, they affect us much more than you can imagine. Instead of complaining that the price of oil is soaring, read the news, know in advance to buy fuel before it happens, and… do not expect CNN to give you the latest news on important issues, because they will not. Better use a news agency, or set up news alerts, we live in the information era, so information is power, is the difference between failure and success.


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