Politics is one of the building blocks of any society in the world and no one can dispute its contributions to the health and competitive development of a society. In an ordinary context, politics can be defined a process by which people organize themselves through social relations with an aim to gain authority and is characterized by ideologies leading to collective decision-making. Politics are swayed around through philosophical influence usually controlled by a politician or politicians if they more than one. Like, politician is defined as an individual who actively participates in politics and administration and is usually engaged in bringing influence on the collective decision-making by the followers. Politicians and the followers often must read from the same script to make their decisions and corporation viable. To facilitate this, people usually organize themselves into units recognized by the law. They are referred to as political parties defined further as an organization which is formed with an aim to attain the political power. Political parties are also foundations through which the members are governed (Remer 1074).
Most people nowadays have either mistaken or ignore the role played by politics in shaping their lives as a society, country, and state. Many philosophers who lived even more than two millennia ago are the one to be acknowledged for shaping the politics through the philosophical idea. The viability of political organizations depends on the type of role it plays in the society. As a basic unit of the society, politics is a source of unity and collectiveness. As people organize themselves as political parties, they speak with one voice with their leaders as symbols of unity. Good politics also lead to national growth in the three basic dimensions: socially, economically, and politically. It directs the actions at both the individual and national levels. In addition, good politics enables one nation to interact with other nations globally hence leading cohesion. Politics also has led to formation global organizations like United Nations (U.N), The Great 8 (G8), and European Union among an endless list.
Philosophy occupies a central place in politics and without which no political ideologies can exist. Interestingly, politics itself is a matter of using philosophy or is philosophy in itself. One feature about politics is that it is one of the volatile phenomenons which are subject to change within a very short time. In addition, politicians are described as being inconsistent widening the gap between the appearance and the reality of some facts. They can negate some things, affirm what he/she might have been denying or disputing at one time. Politicians also find it difficult to find a way one can lead to ensure satisfaction of all members of the nation. Some might read mischief whereas others might be satisfied with the decisions which are made on the daily life with politics. To solve most of the problems surrounding politics, both those in political powers and the rest of the followers must put in considerations philosophical concepts which one can acquire and apply in daily life. Among these but not limited to: sacrifice and service, moral limits of market, solidarity, and civic virtue among others (Rosmini 113).
Today’s new politics has offered great challenges to both politicians and the rest of the citizens. As result philosophy has found itself place as a third party to resolve these challenges. Philosophy can be as simple as a wise saying but failure to adhere to it can result to chaos which may put political leadership in anarchy. Consider the simple principle of Limits of Market which in simple terms tries to explain about the restricted exchanges (Remer 1076).
The philosophical concept mimics the market principle which can restrict distribution of certain commodity. The moral behind this principle also states that particular areas of life are restricted from the market owing to their nature which makes their distribution inappropriate. The principle tries to reduce the effects which can cause to the third party if such exchanges are made (Rosmini 113).
The principle is justifiable in the current political scenario. We are aware of the about ‘information war’ in the political scenario which can hinder genuine representation of some facts about a particular individual or a nation. Acquisition of confidential information regarding some political issues can be a very strong weapon directed against someone. This is due possibility of use of the same information for propaganda and sloganeering which have become common in the current politics. Secondly, Freedom of Press and Expression which at some instances collide with Privacy Protection require the application of this principle. The question then arises as what marks the boundary between the two Acts on Freedom and Privacy? I think the best answer can be provided by this principle of Limits of Market which will guide politics of particular person, party, or even nation from infringing the others’. America might also be criticized by some countries for some engagement like the Iraq battles. This is because it is seen to be exchanging the military services with intentions of maximizing oil befit. Does this violate limits of market principle? I think the answer is yes but this is all about political “games”.
As mentioned before, every political organization has its members which are termed in philosophy of politics as citizens. A citizen is therefore a member in such organization who apart from enjoying the rights of being a member must fulfill some duties (Remer 1080).The concept of citizenship has raised a lot of debate regarding the appropriate use of the term politically but the term still maintains the right of an individual by simply having this identity to act in one’s way so long as he/she is within the law and also seek law protection in the case of violation of rights. The current politics tries to make the nation recover from looting of public resources in 1970s and 80s. Had the citizenship obligations applied then, the nation could not have lost such resources. Therefore, the concept of citizen should apply in the current politics.
The issue of citizenship opened debate to the skeptics and voluntarisms who disputed the scope of citizenship and democracy of a citizen. However, the issue of serving the people and sacrificing to ensure that people do not fall anything short of satisfaction is now taking the centre stage. A political leader has to forego all it requires to serve the citizen to their satisfaction. Likewise, as a member every citizen must fulfill his/her duties through some sacrifice in some cases. Also the current economic downturn and international peacekeeping in the countries perceived as economically potential might require the nation to sacrifice the international reputation and establish links to help recover from the recession. In 2009 campaigns, Obama’s proposal for the students to study as well serving the nation is also a prove our intellectuals to develop America indirectly without showing the intentions of harnessing cheap labor; one of the new politics tricks on labor (Shana 1054)
Inequality is also one of the deep-rooted phenomenons among the U.S citizens. Social and economic gaps keep on widening day after day when the rich are seen to isolate themselves from the poor. Interestingly, their number is such a small figure but the effect on civil development is very great to an extent that the amenities they cease to use are deteriorating for example the public schools and transport. As a politician, one need to lay strategies of sealing this gap in his/her campaign manifesto. The last general election drew a lot of attention as Obama was quoted saying he would return the income tax rates made his after which he was attacked by republicans that he wanted to be a Socialist. In summary, politicians in the current situation need to suggest ways of coping with the gap systematically for them to achieve solidarity and civil satisfaction (Remer 1087)
I think everyone remembers about the U.S 2008 general elections when the identity politics played a major role in voter decisions so we can then see how solidarity is applicable in the current politics. Identity here means one’s racial backgrounds i.e. either black or white, gender and cultural backgrounds. When the electorate decision is swayed by candidate’s identity, chances are that the favored or disfavored candidate wins. This results in solidarity vote where the electorate support a candidate basing partly on the candidate’s not necessarily because the candidate share some traits but also because you don’t share. It was a hectic time for the Democrats when their choices only involved a Black and a woman. How did the chauvinists or racists voted? This lead to two types solidarity votes at the final poll; voting for Obama because he was a black despite the racist comments which were dominant in the media and votes from his black fellows. This shows a situation where identity motivated solidarity vote, a common phenomenon in the current politics. The only danger which can affect the virtue of solidarity is the discussed inequality where the rich align themselves away from the poor (Shana 1054)
It is also noted that the upcoming new politics requires full scrutiny and attack on some facts about politicians, countries, states or even the politically initiated economic unions. By so doing it will be possible to learn the logic behind than the politics of avoidance which encourages the scapegoat benefit by others at the cost citizens’ welfare. In any society, more so a politically viable one, public disagreements on some issues surrounding the religious and moral practices will make us understand more about the political relationships rather than just make assumptions on historical justifications which might have the source the current problems. Therefore, the public moral engagement applies in the new politics in order to reveal and bring an end to past ideologies behind such assumptions and practices.
Remer Jennie "Philosophy of Politics". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd ed. 7th vol.
London: Stanford University Press, 1981. 1002-1093
Rosmini Antonio. The philosophy of politics. Durham: Rosmini House, 1994 (2) 105-119
Shana Kushner Gadarian.” Foreign Policy at the Ballot Box: How Citizens Use Foreign Policy to
Judge and Choose Candidates”. The Journal of Politics Volume 72, Issue 04 (2010),