Can politics be avoided

Download Can politics be avoided

Post on 28-Mar-2015




6 download

Embed Size (px)



PoliticsDefinitions: It is a process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is observed in all human (and many non-human) group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. The art and science of governance; the means by which the will of the community is arrived at and implemented; the activities of a government, politician, or political party. In its broadest sense, it is about individuals living together in a certain kind of order and under its given authority. Education is an important aspect of politics, for one of its aims is to see that those educated contribute, rather than destroy, the order of the society.

Scope of Politics: 1. Domestic Politics 2. International Politics Can we avoid politics? Is politics all dirty? Political Solution a settlement arrived at through negotiations and compromise amongst conflicting individuals or groups processes which are reality of politics.

Alternative definitions of politics have been proposed that fulfill the needs of differing perspectives. They include:

Dictionary defines, "the art and science of government". Textbook definitions, notably, a "process of conflict resolution in which support is mobilized and maintained for collective projects". Theorists, such as Harold Lasswell, who defined politics as "who gets what, when, where, and how." and Practitioners like: o Mao Zedong, who said "Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed." o Otto Von Bismarck's cryptic remark, "Politics is the art of the possible." o Jovito Salonga defines as simply the capacity to say no to something dangerous and inimical to the public interest.

Are Statesmen and Politicians the same? A statesman is a person whose main preoccupation is the betterment of the state and its governed society. To accomplish this, he must be adept at the art of politics; that is to negotiate, persuade, and make compromise. He is a politician who puts affairs of the state above his other interest; he rule for the sake of the state. A politician is a person who uses their power to rule others solely to serve their own interests.

IMAGES OF POLITICS: 1. BOARD ROOM (BORO) business elites 2. BUREAUCRATIC cabinet secretaries 3. CONGRESS 4. CHIEF EXECUTIVE either local or national 5. COURT ROOM the judiciary 6. MULTI MEDIA 7. FAITH BASED 8. GAMES OF THE GENERALS 9. CIVIL SOCIETY 10.XMEN

Political science - is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power. - is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.

THE ISMS OF POLITICS POLITICAL IDEALISM is the kind of politics that tells us in detail what is right. - It is the law of our being by which we desire what is right. 10 Point prescriptions on effective political leadership Niccolo Machiavelli. 1. The good prince must avoid despicable and hated. 2. The best fortress for a state and its prince is the love of the people. 3. It is safer to be feared than loved, but it is best to be feared as well as to be loved. 4. The good prince should abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget more easily the death of their father, than the loss of their patrimony. 5. It is better to trust in your power than in the goodwill of others. 6. Legislate good laws and back them with good arms. 7. Laws are the ways of men and force is the way of the beasts, but you cannot rely on law only. 8. Imitate the fox and the lion. The fox is the shrewd and cunning, the lion is strong and brave. If you want to be one or the other, it is better to be a fox. 9. Do not put your trust on mercenaries, for they can easily be bought by your adversaries. 10. Be prudent. Prudence is the ability of knowing, the nature of difficulties and making that, which is least harmful as good.

POLITICAL REALISM if you want to survive, even be successful, start by studying how people behave, not how they ought to behave. POLITICAL RATIONALISM Reason uses next the idea of freedom. Reason teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions. POLITICAL EXTREMISM the reality of today is the reality forever. - Believes that the world is sub divided.

LANGUAGES OF POLITICS: What is power? comes from the Latin term potere meaning to be able. It is being able, physically, intellectually, or a combination of both to achieve what one wants. It permeates (present in all aspects) politics. It is concerned with the authoritative allocation of scarce resources in society, about who gets what, when, and how. Lord Acton once said, power tend to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Power according to political theorist, Hannah Arendt, is "the human ability not just to act but to act in concert." It is considered integral in politics and is the subject of a great deal of debate and definitions have evolved over time. *The ability to get somebody to do something they wouldnt otherwise do. *The ability to set agendas. *Access to decision makers. *The ability to participate in decision-making. Influence - is the ability to persuade or convince others to accept certain objectives or behave in a certain way. Coercion - opposite of influence, it involves control by force; compliance is achieved through punishments or threats. Theories of power: *Majoritarian: The majority decides. Elections are typically decided on a majoritarian basis. *Pluralist: Different groups coalesce around different issues at different times, each competing for desired outcomes in decisions made by government. *Elitist: Wealthy and powerful elites tend to dominate decision-making, with relatively little meaningful competition. What is authority?

Authority is the ability to enforce laws, to exact obedience, to command, to determine, or to judge.

What is government?

A government is the body that has the authority to make and enforce rules or laws. An agency of the state that expresses the will of the people. -


Agency of the state that expresses the will of the people. Comes from the Latin term gubernaculum which means a rudder gives direction.

What is legitimacy?

Legitimacy is an attribute of government gained through the acquisition and application of power in accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles. It is a moral or ethical concept which involves perception of what is right.

What is sovereignty? Sovereignty is the ability of a government to exert control over its territory free from outside influence. Max Weber identified three sources of legitimacy for authority, known as the tripartite classification of authority. He proposed three reasons why people follow the orders of those who give them: 1. Traditional Traditional authorities receive loyalty because they continue and support the preservation of existing values, the status quo. Traditional authority has the longest history. 2. Charismatic Charismatic authority grows out of the personal charm or the strength of an individual personality. Charismatic regimes are often short-lived, seldom outliving the charismatic figure that leads them. Examples of Charismatic regimes include: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hitler, Napoleon, Mao, and Fidel Castro. 3. Legal-rational Legal-rational authorities receive their ability to compel behavior by virtue of the office that they hold. It is the authority that demands obedience to the office rather than the office holder. Modern democracies are examples of legal-rational regimes. People also abide by legal-rational authority because it makes sense to do so for the greater good of society.

Ten Lessons from Presidents There are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders. That is very evident from three American presidents whose legacies loom large thirty years and more after they left office: Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and the one of the greatest president of this century, Franklin Roosevelt.

Timing is (almost) everything. Knowing when to introduce an initiative,

when to go before ones constituents and when to hold off is a crucial skill. As president, Johnson mastered one of the great skills of leadership knowing when to go forward with each of his goals. He had an instinctive sense of timing about when to introduce a bill, and a sense of which ones would create momentum rather than divisiveness for the next bill. For instance, Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act on the heels of the bloody march on Selma, Alabama, when police assaulted peaceful demonstrators and Congress faced overwhelming public pressure to act. On the wall of the oval office Johnson kept a map that showed him, which bills were in which committee at every moment. He would come to his office at 5:00 A.M. and start calling the congressmen and senators who he knew were going to have to vote on a provision of the bill that day. If they didnt answer the phone, he would talk to their wife, husband, son, daughter, or grandchild, and he would make each senator and his family feel that the senator was the key to success.(Cohen,1999).1 John F. Kennedy on the other hand, he did not possessed the instinctive sense of timing that allowed Johnson to capitalize on dramatic moments and build on each success. By contrast, Kennedy introduced a series of bills when he first came into office that by the time of his death were stymied.

Anything is possible if you share the glory. Giving others a chance to

claim credit is an easy and effective way to get results. Johnson for instance, was able to share credit to the Congress. He understood that he had to make the Congress feel that his landmark legislation was their triumph as well.

Trust, once broken, is seldom restored. It is the most fragile yet

essential attribute to leadership. No leader can afford to take his word lightly. A leader should not break trust. Its a disastrous decision in any institution, but particularly when lives are at risk. In Johnsons speeches he kept on promising that there was a light at the end of the tunnel a promised that proved fatal when he was unable to1

keep his word. This happened when he made a fatal decision with respect to the war in Vietnam. In contrast to Johnson, Roosevelt never promised that victory would be quick or easy. After giving people his sober estimates, however, he said he was certain eventually a democracy would beat out a dictatorship because a democracy releases the free energies of a free people while the most efficient dictatorship never can.

Leadership is about building connections. Effective leaders

make people feel they have a stake in common problems. Kennedys strength and weaknesses as a leader were the mirror image of Johnsons. Johnson was brilliant in small groups, making deals with individual congressmen, making Congress feel part of a team effort to create the Great Society; Kennedy was never really comfortable with the world of legislative politics. He didnt enjoy the backroom schmoozing and didnt believe in the process of political give-andtake. His ambitions were always a step beyond the House and Senate, and his colleagues there felt that he wasnt really one of them.

Leaders learn from their mistakes. To succeed, leaders must

acknowledge and understand and improve on their shortcomings. One of Kennedys best temperamental qualities is his ability to learn from mistakes. For example, after he made the disastrous mistake at the Bay of Pigs, authorizing an ill-advised, ill-prepared intervention in Cuba, he reshaped his foreign policy decision-making structure. Never again he depend on a narrow group of advisers who may have leaded their own agendas. Roosevelt on the other hand, understood the need for personal renewal, and he drew sustenance from a remarkable group of people around him.

Confidence not just in oneself counts. Most leaders are

self-confident, sometimes to a fault; the real gift is the ability to extend faith in oneself to others. That means actually believing in their gifts. Probably Roosevelts greatest gift as a leader was his absolute confidence in him and, more important, in the American people. It was a confidence shaped in part by his parents, by the possession of his talents, and by the transforming experience of triumphing his polio. It was a confidence so deep that it provided an inner well of security through the worst days of World War II. Contrast that with Johnson waking in the night, worrying about whether the bombing targets he had chosen had been right. Roosevelts confidence allowed him to be flexible, to try everything and meet defeat with serenity, knowing hed do better next time.


Effective partnerships require devotion to ones partners.

Attention to the needs of the remote plant or institution pays off with energetic In the case of Roosevelt, it was useful to consider his complicated and difficult relationship with Eleanor (his wife). It was a historic partnership that points up the importance for all leaders to have a counterpoint to themselves, someone who mirrors their strengths and weaknesses, as in many ways Eleanor did for Franklin Roosevelt. She was always concerned with what should be done; he was concerned with what could be done. She was the idealist, he was the practical force. (Cohen,1999).2

Renewal comes from many sources. Leaders must know

themselves and find their own sources of strength. For Johnson, his retirement was almost unbearable to him, because he knew he had failed at the moment that his triumph had almost been achieved. In the end, his greatest enemy was not his political or military adversaries, but his own arrogance. Roosevelt on the other hand, understood the need for personal renewal, and he drew sustenance from a remarkable group of people around him.

is itself a key talent.

Leaders must be talent brokers. The ability to identify, recruit,

and effectively manage the best and brightest people including people unlike oneself To be sure, every leader uses talent differently. Roosevelt deliberately appointed to his cabinet people of diverse points of view who werent afraid to challenge one another, or him. Indeed, their public squabbles often-deflected criticism away from him. Language is ones most powerful tool. Without the ability to communicate, leaders can possess all the other attributes and still fail to have an impact. Kennedy understood the power of language, the importance of symbolism, humor, and image to give the public a sense of connection to the presidency. He made millions of people feel that they were a part of the New Frontier. Thats the mystery and the art of leadership the ability to mobilize people to feel included and to...