Importance of Politics is every where.Politics surrounds everyone. A modern citizen is unlikely to play, either by choice or by fate. the isolated role of Robinson Crusoe, People are, by necessity, either actors or subjects in the web of politics. Their roles will be of a given type in the societal authority structure; tor example, one might be a leader, an active participant, a passive subject, or play a role somewhere in between. What importance does a certain role or position have? Politics, if used wisely, can enhance human freedom and well-being. While we cannot achieve all our desires, we can, through political pursuit, exercise more choice and achieve some of our aspirations, to render our lives more secure and master a greater degree of our own fates.
The political role that an individual can play in a society depends upon the authority structure of a given society. A person living in a strongly regimented (totalitarian) society enjoys less freedom than a person in an authoritarian society, who in turn has less leeway than the person in a Western-type democracy. Freedom of action, in the above context, involves such matters as freedom of speech, assembly, press, religion, travel (both within and beyond one’s country), and social and economic advancement and opportunity. All these freedoms are relative in the sense that there is no country where there prevails complete freedom and none where there exists no degree of freedom at all. A society’s authority structure, however, has a considerable bearing on the degree of freedom that prevails.
The Importance of Politics; 5 Facts You Must Know
Politics affects people’s lives in many ways, One important example would be the allocation of scarce resources by government. This presumes that the resources people regard as important are never sufficient, whether we are talking about clean air, clean water, or money. This does not mean that government determines or influences all aspects of our lives. If it did, we would be living in a completely totalitarian state, as depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. But where government is involved, it usually is making a decision (a choice between alternatives) about how a resource shall be allocated One situation that occurs regularly concerns appropriations for education. We may have to raise taxes or spend less on defense. highways, welfare measures, and so forth. if we are going to allocate more for schools.
The age we live in is much more politicized than those of previous generations be- cause many more conflicts involve government and therefore are political. There are several reasons for this: 1. Today there are more than 160 sovereign countries in the world. When the United States declared its independence in 1 776, there were approximately 40 sovereign countries there were 70 sovereign countries in 1945.
Thus, the number of independent countries has more than doubled during the last 30 years. The main reason for this increase in sovereign nation-states is the dissolution of the colonial empires. Most of the people who have achieved independence from colonial rule since 1945 live in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. These people are no longer the generally docile colonial subjects of an imperial foreign power. With independence they have progressively come to acquire a sense of common political identity and recognize they are now governed by individuals from their own country, although not necessarily from the same tribe or region. The effort to achieve independence. sometimes involving armed struggle. made the majority of the world’s population more politically aware. The world is more politicized because more people are self- consciously organized into sovereign countries.
Related to the first point is the fact that on occasion more people are participating in the political system. Now. after several years of independence. many of the developing world’s peoples have become involved in influencing government policy or political leaders. Over the last several years one can point to such countries as Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, and Syria, where substantial elements of the population have been active in the political process since independence.
In much of the developing world and even in most Communist countries, there are more or less regularly scheduled elections: however. in a majority of these political systems few if any opposition candidates are permitted. One purpose of single-party elections in these countries is to manipulate political awareness and create support for the government. In contrast. the United States serves as an ex. ample where enfranchising segments of the population has led to a meaningful in- crease in political participation due to the passage of the Nineteenth. Twenty-Third, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
We also have become more politicized in the last 100 years as citizens have turned increasingly to government to solve problems previously considered outside the jurisdiction of government. Formerly, most governments throughout the world were responsible principally for defense. Internal security, and maintaining some form of transportatiorul)communication network Today governments often are held responsible not only tor inflation and deflation, but also for the price ot gasoline and sugar, for encouraging industrialization to provide jobs, for establishing minimum wages and working conditions, and for implementing retirement systems such as social security. The list could go on for several pages.
Another reason for increased politicization is that we have experienced a communications revolution in this century. Radio increased political participation and awareness in the United States and abroad. Television has brought a new dimension to observing events and has replaced radio as the prime source of political information in the more advanced countries, though participation did not itself increase.
Television is the principal source Of news for approximately 70 percent of the population in the United States. Greater in-depth understanding does not necessarily occur, but awareness of the politically newsworthy and dramatic events of the moment is increased. Riots, wars. and the impeachment proceedings are filmed live or shown within hours of the event. This often takes the form of a dramatization of politics and may actually draw attention away from a reasoned and studied understanding of major political problems. This superficial politicization is a phenomenon that occurs in many countries that have developed mass communications systems (newspapers, radio, television).