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Portal:Politics

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Introduction

Politics (from Greek: πολιτικά, translit. Politiká, meaning "affairs of the cities") is the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group.

It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

In modern nation states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas, they 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, some examples of political parties are the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Tories in Great Britain and the Indian National Congress.

Politics is a multifaceted word, it has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as "the art or science of government" and "political principles"), but often does carry a connotation of dishonest malpractice. The negative connotation of politics, as seen in the phrase "play politics", for example, has been in use since at least 1853, when abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared: "We do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us."

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.

It is very often said that politics is about power. A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. History of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and the works of Confucius.

Selected article

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman title page from the first American edition

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is a 1791 book of feminist philosophy by Mary Wollstonecraft. In it, Wollstonecraft responds to the educational and political theorists of the eighteenth century who wanted to deny women an education, she argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives. Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men. Wollstonecraft was prompted to write the Rights of Woman by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord's 1791 report to the French National Assembly which stated that women should only receive a domestic education; she used her commentary on this specific event to launch a broad attack against sexual double standards and to indict men for encouraging women to indulge in excessive emotion. Wollstonecraft wrote the Rights of Woman hurriedly in order to respond directly to ongoing events; she intended to write a more thoughtful second volume, but she died before completing it.

Featured picture

Andrew Curtin2.jpg
Credit: Photo: Mathew Brady/Levin Handy; Restoration: Michel Vuijlsteke

Andrew Gregg Curtin (1817–1894) was a U.S. lawyer and politician. He served as the 15th Governor of Pennsylvania during the American Civil War, during the Civil War, Curtin organized the Pennsylvania reserves into combat units, and oversaw the construction of the first Union military camp for training militia. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Governor Curtin was the principal force behind the establishment of the National Cemetery there, after serving two terms as governor, Curtin was appointed ambassador to Russia by Ulysses S. Grant, and he later served in the House of Representatives from 1881 until 1887.

Selected quote

Chairman Mao
In the work of transforming the old armies, a suitable education should be given to all officers who are capable of being reeducated to help them to get rid of their obsolete outlook and acquire a correct outlook, so that they can remain and serve in the people's army.

It is the duty of the whole nation to struggle for the creation of the army of the Chinese people. Without a people's army the people have nothing, on this question there must be no empty theorizing whatsoever.

We Communists are ready to give our support to the task of transforming the Chinese army. All those military forces which are willing to unite with the people and to oppose the Japanese aggressors instead of opposing the armed forces of the Chinese Liberated Areas should be regarded as friendly troops and be given proper assistance by the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies.

Mao Zedong, On Coalition Government, 1945

News and Current Events

Wikinews on Politics and conflicts
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Selected biography

Cosmo Gordon Lang (1864–1945) was an Anglican prelate who served as Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop of Canterbury during the abdication crisis of 1936 he took a strong moral stance, and comments he made in a subsequent broadcast were widely condemned as uncharitable towards the departed king; in his early ministry Lang served in slum parishes in Leeds and Portsmouth before his appointment in 1901 as suffragan Bishop of Stepney in London. In 1908 Lang was nominated Archbishop of York, despite his relatively junior status as a suffragan rather than a diocesan bishop. He entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual and caused consternation in traditionalist circles by speaking and voting against the Lords' proposal to reject David Lloyd George's 1909 "People's Budget". This apparent radicalism was not, however, maintained in later years, at the start of World War I, Lang was heavily criticised for a speech in which he spoke sympathetically of the Kaiser. After the war he supported controversial proposals for the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, but after acceding to Canterbury he took no practical steps to resolve this issue, as Archbishop of Canterbury he presided over the 1930 Lambeth Conference, which gave limited church approval to the use of contraception.

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