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How Political Philosophy Started

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The World of Political Philosophy

The business of world affairs as we know it today is based on political endeavors of peace, war, economics, and government. When most people think of politics, they envision electoral campaigns, military operations, democrats arguing with republicans, Liberalists brawling with the GOP and the citizens protesting all of them. Politics and the philosophy of politics is a great deal above politicians squabbling over potential laws and the governing of countries. The study of political philosophy involves the state, its justification, the proper organization of its ethics, and the best form for the politics to contemporarily to exist (Moore and Bruder). Political philosophy incorporates the study of liberalism, communism, fascism, and conservatism.

The earliest recorded political philosophy begins with Aristotle and Plato. These great thinkers reflected one another in their beliefs of politics and how the Greek city-states were to be governed. These men were not egalitarians, (egalitarians believe that all humans are equal in sociology, politics, economics.) Plato and Aristotle believed in five forms of political titles, Plato’s perspective of government was aristocracy, tyranny, timocracy, democracy, and plutocracy. Whereas, Aristotle believed in monarchy, tyranny, oligarchy, polity, and democracy (Moore and Bruder).

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Being and becoming, individuality and multiplicity, perpetual and short-lived existence was the belief of the early Greek philosophers. The undivided meaning of whole reality was argued about the relationships between these terms. This debate persists in the field of political philosophy and ongoing question of the articulation between nature and justice.

In contemporary times, there are four revised categories of political philosophy. The first is liberalism; Liberalism can be understood as a political tradition, a political philosophy, and a general philosophical theory, encompassing a theory of value with the conception of the person and a moral theory as well as a political philosophy (Stanford). In the layperson point of view, liberalism is the belief that individuals should have the same freedoms as others. After all, don’t the people govern the people?

Next is Fascism, we know that the term fascism originated from Italy in 1932 with the ascension of Benito Mussolini and continued with Adolf Hitler and remained as late as Saddam Hussein. The application of fascism is the total belief that dominance of a state, government, and its leadership by an individual who embodies the trust, intelligence and the will of the people are fundamental and necessary. The essence of fascism, therefore, is that government should be the master, not the servant, of the people. Men who believed in a liberal philosophy of individual rights wrote the U.S. Constitution. These same men sought to protect those rights from governmental infringement and fascism. The Internal Revenue Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation are good examples. Where is the irony? Fascism is still practiced today by totalitarian extremist groups and political regimes.

Similar to the fascist, is the communist. Although the political goal is dissimilar, the intent is the same; total control of state and citizens. Communism began with Ivan the Terrible and revised by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Communism is based on the common ownership of production. A communist society is one without money, without a state, does not own property and is without social classes. Every person and every asset are common. People come together to carry out a project or to respond to some need of the human community without the possibility of their collective activity taking the form of an enterprise that involves wages and the exchange of its goods (Gray). The United Socialist Soviets Republic was the spearhead of the communist movement. The radical ideas of the communist state proliferated its wealth and power from the country through murder, deceit and deprivation of its people. Some people still believe in communism and that it should exist in the United States; they are known as Marxists. In 1989, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall marked the end of Communism in the former Soviet Republic.

Conservatism, as it pertains to politics, supports traditional political views and moral values. Consequently, what might be conservative in one nation, may be quite radical in another society. Political conservatists are motivated to sustain religion, economics, family values, and the continuence of the “American Dream.” We are all conservative in our own ways of political thinking. The justification for many conservitists however are the sustainment of a states natural and economic resources for the betterment of its people. Contemporary conservatisms try to model former Presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt into their own conservative pantheon. It is more useful however to see what part presidents have played in furthering the conservative enterprise in government. Instead of trying to find the right man for the job, try to create a framework in which economics can work to pass laws that preserve liberty and encourage virtuous behavior, but maintain allegiance to defend the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

No matter what an individuals’ political stance or philosophy may be, we are all faced with political issues daily. The tax that is paid during a purchase or the scandals that occur in the White House affect all Americans equally. The fascist and communist ideology was developed and designed to deter political fallacies of wealth and power to common people, the liberal terminology is to live and let live without consequence. The conservative party does not want the responsibility of sorting through a political sea of inefficiency with their government. It is highly probable that political philosophy was induced for a reason for people to argue as well as to develop a society that all people are equal.

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