Portal:Politics

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Politics (from Greek: Πολιτικά, politiká, 'affairs of the cities') is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics and government is referred to as political science.

It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and non-violent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation. For example, abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared that "we do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us." The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.

A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level. In modern nation states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders. An election is usually a competition between different parties.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics in Western philosophy. Eastern philosophers such as Chanakya's Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti also study the affairs on how governments organize and power moves in a society (3rd century BCE). Chinese philosopher Confucius also wrote political manuscripts and contributed to the Eastern political zeitgeist. (Full article...)

Selected article

Oliver Stone, director of JFK

JFK is a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner). Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the president, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by two Government investigations: the Warren Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (which concluded that there was another assassin shooting with Oswald). The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a "counter-myth" to the "fictional myth" of the Warren Commission. The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFK's theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d'état to kill Kennedy. After a slow start at the box office, Stone's film gradually picked up momentum, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross. JFK went on to win two Academy Awards and was nominated for eight in total, including Best Picture. The film was one of three films Stone made about the American Presidency, followed later by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.

Featured picture

Parliament House, Canberra, Pano jjron 25.9.2008-edit1.jpg
Credit: John O'Neill

Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. At the time of the construction, it was the most expensive building in the world at more than A$1.1 billion.

Selected quote

Barack Obama
Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.
Barack Obama, Political fundraising dinner in New York, October 2008

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Selected biography

Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II (born 1926) is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations, and head of state of the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. Her father, George VI, acceded to the throne in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. She began public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. On George VI's death in 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Her coronation service in 1953 was the first to be televised. Since her accession, the number of her realms has varied as territories gained independence and some realms became republics. In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. Her reign of 69 years is the second-longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer. Elizabeth's Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002; her Diamond Jubilee is being celebrated during 2012.

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