Leaders use it to prove to the world that they are doing the right thing for their citizenry or nations. Do today’s governments embody the dictums that define democracy? This piece of work is written to explain the meaning of politics and democracy, as well as the roles they play in the present day society. The author has examined how the two, politics and democracy, present themselves in the U.S, and how they have shaped the country from as far as 200 years ago.
The word politics comes from two Greek words; ‘polis,’ and ‘politikos.’ Polis means a self-governing city or state, while politikos means relating to people. Cities of ancient Greece are believed to be the origin of present day politics. They are the first points where noticeable governance structures can be established. For these reason, ideologies of most governments today borrow heavily from the cultural practices of the old Greek people. The Greek civilization dates back to over 4000 years (Marshall, 2011). According to one English philosopher; Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), in one of his works, the Leviathan (1651), life before civilization is believed to have been harsh, brutal and selfish. This is attributed to lack of laws to govern the code of conduct of people. As a result, people were only driven by their own selfish desires.
Various individuals have strived to come up with definitions for politics. Due to its broad nature and ambiguity, it is hard to capture all that it entails in just one definition. Some of the most visible philosophers who endeavoured into defining politics include; Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, and Harold Lasswell.
Politics is the ‘philosophy of human affairs.’ This is the view held by Aristotle (384-322 BCE) in his Nicomachean Ethics (350 BCE). Aristotle claims that man is naturally a political animal, because politics is what brings happiness to man and to the community. In his definition, he draws the