This literature review is concerned with defining politics as a discipline. Its main purpose is to try to depict views of various authors presented in texts such as “Politics as a Vocation” by Max Weber (1919, Munich, Duncker & Humblodt), “In Defence of Politics” by Bernard Crick (London, Penguin, 1982) and “What is Politics: the activity and its study by Adrien Leftwich (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1984) and to compare different perspectives of perceiving the power and the role of the state, the compromise and the resources the nation depends on. Politics is considered as one of the very few things which effect our day- to-day lives regardless of the rejection, which might stem from “common identifying of politics with generally unpleasant squabbles and struggles for office and which may be violent in some circumstances; this is conventionally associated with the activities of political parties, pressure groups, revolutionary movements, elections, parliaments, congresses, military regimes etc.” (A. Leftwich, 1984)
However, politics is probably the only means of governing the nation reasonably and practically, though the politics should not be considered as “purely practical and immediate activity” (B. Crick, 1982), it is also about “planning for future” (B. Crick, 1982) as visionary art. The first question arising form what is politics is what is power, where does it come from and its importance. It is indisputable fact that power is inevitable to “maintain obedience within the nation” (M. Weber, 1919). We, human beings are born with a sort of predisposition consisting in the innermost want or need to control others, to adjust others and it obviously means the world around us to ourselves. Somebody, like G. B. Shaw would say it is reasonable saying that “reasonable men persists in trying to adopt the environment to himself”, but if every citizen of any particular country would listen only to himself, “there would emerge country of anarchy” (B. Crick, 1982). Everybody would want to govern others and naturally, everybody would be governed by its basic primitive instincts. It necessarily implies the fact that people are in a great need to be governed by one common body, by the principles applicable to everybody with a threat of punishment if disobedience occurs.
Now, we can understand the reason why something like “struggling for power” exists. It may be argued that power is inevitable principle state lies on, though there might be virtually two different, seemingly contradictory things. Power and freedom. If only power was to be applied, as Aristotle favours tyranny, there would be an autocratic state without any reason to listen to the needs of others. If freedom was to be applied solely in its idealistic way of understanding, there would be a state of “anarchy”. Paraphrasing Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan “state is as an institution people give up a freedom for “for a common good”, eats their freedom. According to that, in a state cannot exist anything like “power for power” or “freedom for freedom”, there has to be a compromise, where people would be willing to pass on a part of their freedom, where power would not be misused in any way, where power would not be an aim, where power would be a way of serving the nation. (power for freedom) It is to be secured by tolerance, pluralism, by the possibility for everyone to participate in a change, which would be about to take place, by listening.
B. Crick continues “the political method of rule is to listen to these other groups so as to conciliate them as far as possible and to give them a legal position, a sense of security, some clear and reasonably safe means of articulation, by which these other groups can and would speak freely… …so they can positively contribute to maintaining of order.” (B. Crick, 1982) and this is the role of the state – to maintain an order. Due to necessity and nature of human being, we are born to live in a society, in a social groups, in a collective way of producing and sharing the resources and money distribution thereafter, it means “that wherever we live and work in groups, and whatever we do in our collective productive and social lives, we are always engaged in activities of cooperation and conflict over the use, production and distribution of resources. (A. Leftwich, 1984).
Whatever we might have ever been thinking about, we all create nature of politics, we are part of it, and the politics as a discipline has been created to serve the nation, to serve the civilized society, to serve us. In this kind of society, we have to think rationally. And politics has got to be rational either. This is the point all the authors have in common. Whatever aspect of politics we consider, there is a higher principle, which stems from us and which is above us.
1. Weber, M. (1919) Politics as a Vocation, Munich, Duncker&Humblodt 2. Crick, B. (2nd ed.,1982) In Defence of Politics, London, Penguine, Ch1 3. Leftwich, A. (1984) What is Politics: activity and its study, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, Ch4 Student No.: 040565699