Vocabulary Lesson (Politics)

Today’s theme: Politics.

Now. Listen here: I was a political science minor in college, before switching to sociology. I have always been very interested in politics & have tried my best to stay as politically informed as I can. I am the first to admit current-day American politics are disturbing & depressing to hear or read about. Many representatives care more about their party than the people & even George Washington warned us about this:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

FAREWELL ADDRESS | SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1796

In modern terms: Political parties will always promise to answer the people’s needs, then becoming compelling representative engines, by which shrewd, determined, and immoral people will have the ability to sabotage the power of the people and to take over for themselves the control of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust power.

We’re not here to discuss political opinion, but rather the few facts we can.

Government

  • 1 treated as singular or plural The group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.

    1. 1.1 mass noun The system by which a state or community is governed.
    2. 1.2 mass noun The action or manner of controlling or regulating a state, organization, or people.
  • 2 Grammar
    The relation between a governed and a governing word.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French governement, from governer (see govern).

Democracy

NOUN

mass noun

  • 1A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

    1. 1.1 count noun A state governed under a system of democracy.
    2. 1.2 Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
    3. 1.3 The practice or principles of social equality.

Origin

Late 16th century: from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’.

Oligarchy

NOUN

  • 1A small group of people having control of a country or organization.
    ‘the ruling oligarchy of military men around the president’

    1. 1.1 A country governed by an oligarchy.
    2. 1.2mass noun Government by an oligarchy.

Origin

Late 15th century: from Greek oligarkhia, from oligoi ‘few’ and arkhein ‘to rule’.

Monarchy

NOUN

mass noun

  • 1 A form of government with a monarch at the head.

    1. 1.1 count noun A state that has a monarch.
    2. 1.2 the monarchy The monarch and royal family of a country.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French monarchie, via late Latin from Greek monarkhia ‘the rule of one’.

Anarchy

NOUN

mass noun

  • 1 A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.

  • 2 Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.

Origin

Mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos, from an- ‘without’ + arkhos ‘chief, ruler’.

Republic

NOUN

  • 1 A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

    1. 1.1 archaic A group with a certain equality between its members.

Origin

Late 16th century: from French république, from Latin respublica, from res ‘entity, concern’ + publicus ‘of the people, public’.

President

NOUN

  • 1 The elected head of a republican state.

    1. 1.1 The head of a society, council, or other organization.
    2. 1.2 The head of certain colleges.
    3. 1.3 North American The head of a university.
    4. 1.4 North American The head of a company.
  • 2 Christian Church The celebrant at a Eucharist.

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin praesident- ‘sitting before’ (see preside).

Prime Minister

NOUN

  • The head of an elected government; the principal minister of a sovereign or state.

In current use, the terms Premier and Prime Minister refer to the same office in Britain, but in Canada and Australia the government of a province or state is headed by a Premier, that of the federal government by a Prime Minister. In countries such as France, where the President has an executive function, the Prime Minister is in a subordinate position

Dictator

NOUN

  • 1 A ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.

    1. 1.1 A person who behaves in an autocratic way.
    2. 1.2 (in ancient Rome) a chief magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin, from dictat- ‘dictated’, from the verb dictare (see dictate).

Socialism

NOUN

mass noun

  • 1 A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    1. 1.1 Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    2. 1.2 (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market. The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended towards social democracy

Origin

Early 19th century: from French socialisme, from social (see social).

Communism

NOUN

mass noun

  • A theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

The most familiar form of communism is that established by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and it has generally been understood in terms of the system practised by the former Soviet Union and its allies in eastern Europe, in China since 1949, and in some developing countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. In this form of communism it was held that the state would wither away after the overthrow of the capitalist system. In practice, however, the state grew to control all aspects of communist society. Communism in eastern Europe collapsed in the late 1980s and early 1990s against a background of failure to meet people’s economic expectations, a shift to more democracy in political life, and increasing nationalism such as that which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French communisme, from commun (see common).

Capitalism

NOUN

mass noun

  • An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

To be continued….

Monopoly

Democrat

Republican

Liberal

Conservative

Independent

Libertarian

Authoritarian

Progressive


Politics can be very confusing. & Learning about politics can feel very “he said she said,” if you don’t know where to look for information. Navigating your political identity is no less important that navigating your gender or racial identity. Fact / Myth is a fact checking website that uses logic, science & education to explain basically everything. Checkout out their breakdown of the “Left-Right” political spectrum here.

This coming year (2020) is a presidential election year for the US & we all have to do much better this year. Campaigns needs to be about promises for the future, not faults from the past. To learn more about the coming election & to keep up with all thing election as it happens, click here. In order to be informed, you have to actively inform yourself.

Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you do… Your life is political. As a human of the world you have personal rights & societal regulations. There are single people representing you, your town, your county, your state & your country. You have the right to help decide who those people are. If you choose to forfeit that right, you forfeit your right to complain when your representatives don’t actually represent you.

You can choose to ignore politics, but that just makes you ignorant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s