As I search the word “politics” in oxford dictionary numerous definitions occur: “Activities associated with the governance of a country or other area”, “a particular set of political beliefs or principles”, “the academic study of government and the state”, so on and so forth.
However none of these definitions really seem to fit with what I believe to be politics. To me, the word is far too complex to rely on just any of these short definitions. Ironically enough “politics” is considered to be one of the most ambiguous terms in political science. A Greek philosopher, for example, would possibly have argued that politics is “the exercise of control within society through making and forcing collective decisions.” Yet, a philosopher such as Karl Marx from the 19th century, described politics as “the organized power of one class for oppressing the other”. The British theorist and socialist Bernard Crick explained politics as “a matter based on conflict resolution.” Meanwhile, feminists throughout history have said that defining politics obfuscates and institutionalizes systemic oppression, arguing that “politics is personal”.
Evidently the word might mean something different to everyone. There are millions of variables that support these different definitions. My point being; there really are no right or wrong answers. Nevertheless, this makes sense. If everyone where to have the same interpretation of what politics is, and if no one where to argue on it – the totality of politics would not exist. Because having different views and opinions is one of the most profound principles of politics, right?
I find it hard to point out just one, short definition as to what politics is. Because, politics to me is a lot of things. It is power, control, structure, government, parliament, beliefs, debates, conflict, friends, enemies, nationalities and cultures. Politics is something local, national, global, nearby and far away. It is injustice, justice, freedom, peace, defending, silence and speech. Politics to me, is in many ways what makes society.
Throughout this year of English Social Studies I hope to learn more about just how different societies are, and all of their different principles, values, cultures, people as well as how all of their different interpretations of politics work. I genuinely hope I will broaden my horizons. This way, maybe I will be more prepared as I meet a world constantly becoming more and more universal and inclusive.