Politics Notes

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Political Philosophy Revision Notes
Brief Definitions
Autonomy - A group or individual who has the ability to govern themselves, make decisions and act upon those decisions. Self-Government.
Democracy – A government ruled by the people, and consisting of ‘the people’.
Direct Democracy – Electors (the people) vote on every Government Issue.
Representative – Electors vote in a person to represent ‘the people’.
Ideology – A set of rules, morals and political views that governments base their ideals on. Usually includes a view of human nature.
Social Contract – The mutual agreement between the people and the government on issues that affect the country and the people within, such as rights and duties.
Theocracy – Government, which subscribes to the ideals of religion. Rule by god.
Tyranny – Government by one unelected individual who imposes his will upon the population.
Note: Some Tyrannies may be elected into power through deception. Eg, Hitler’s German Nazi Party
Capitalism – A society in which everybody works for their own gain, and/or financial development. Can lead to massive growth in middle classes.

Political Philosophy is aimed at analysing how a society works and how they are governed by a ruling power. It seeks to evaluate the different ethical and political standpoints in different political parties, and analyse how they affect the citizens of the country/state. Some key ideologies include;
Tradition and custom is more important than change, unless change is desperately needed.
Will tend to view human nature as innately selfish.
It is government’s job to create legislation in order to provide a secure and supportive social context in which people can realise their full potential. Concentrates on maximising Positive Freedom.
If Thomas Hobbes had lived in the modern era, he would probably have been conservative.

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