Why does politics exist? The origins of politics

Politics is usually associated with the state. Plato in ancient Greece was the first philosopher who first started to treat politics as a science. For him, the most important concepts were justice and the state. Everything that leads to the improvement of the condition of a state is desired.

This point of view has later influenced other thinkers. The state has its roots in small communities in ancient times. Let us quote: When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of a man, a horse, or a family.

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. (Aristotle) We see that the state is a “natural” form, and people have a nature of a “political animal”. Therefore, there is no doubt that some people may become politicians, which should also be regarded as a “natural” thing. Moreover, people’s interest in politics should be “natural”, as well, because it creates a civil society and preserves democracy. Thus, all of us are part-time politicians: Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.

Through the legal system, the state institutions protect people against the improper conduct of certain individuals. Which is also a “natural” task for the state. From this point of view, politics is not something harmful, or wrong, as it is often seen by the public. Politics is—as Aristotle thought—a  kind of art. It is not always easy to conduct; it is not always carried out by the right people. However, in its very essence, people need the state and its institutions to eliminate their inherent weaknesses.

Therefore, there has to be a state. Thus, there is politics. One can wonder why we start from Aristotle since there are so many ideas that are more recent and so many powerful thinkers who live in our times. However, it is not only about knowledge. Our predecessors created core values of what we think today. Here we talk about evolution of institutions influenced by ideas (and their advocacies). They may be very powerful and despite of the fact that freedom may be suppressed during many years, it eventually wins.

He expressed his doubts whether slavery was justified. He, however, did not point out exactly that it was unfair. It took humankind about two thousand years to finally admit that slavery is a mistake. The evolution of sciences shows us also many examples of such disappearing knowledge, when after decades it had to be reinvented. We may think that we have made such a big progress since ancient times and our civilisation has advanced. However, when we speak about core values, about “right” and “wrong”, we can see that we have not changed much. Some people are still breaching the legal and moral norms; they have not disappeared, and there are still wars in the world. This is another argument supporting the view that the state with all its institutions, if we like them or not, is crucial.

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