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Remember, these are like homework.

It's a way to make sure you're keeping up with the reading and other requirements.

Please take a paragraph or two to answer the following questions:

Part A: What is the difference between government and politics, and what are the purposes of government?

Part B: What is the difference between a unitary, confederal, and federal system of government? What type of system are we? What type of system were we under the Articles of Confederation?

Part C: What are some of the major differences between liberal and conservatives? What is a libertarian? What is an anarchist? As practiced (not theory) what is the major difference between democratic socialism and communism?

Part D: What is the difference between direct democracy and our own form of democracy here in the United States? Do you think we would be better off with more decisions being made by every citizen (direct democracy), or do think representative democracy is a better way of getting things done?

If you having a hard time with these questions make sure you have read through module one before trying to answer them.

Look forward to reading your replies. Remember, you need to answer these questions on the Discussion, and reply to one other posting by a fellow classmate.

Thomas Owen Your answers are due here by January 22nd, at 11 pm. Discussion Post
Part A response:

Government can be defined as the legitimate use of force to control human behavior or as the organization or agency authorized to exercise that force (Janda et al. 4). The force that characterizes government is expressed in many forms, including the implementation of rules and the creation of public institutions like police stations designed to uphold the peace. Government itself, however, includes more than Congressmen: government encompasses those who enforce public policy, such as social workers, policemen, and so on. On the other hand, the term politics refers to a group or individual whose aims are directed at influencing government (Dilemmas of Democracy 1). Thus, the term politics refers to not only an even larger group of people than government that carry out an agenda, but also to an agenda targeted specifically at influencing our government in some way, shape, or form. Many believe politics only refers to those individuals who create campaigns designed to seek election for positions in the senate or for the mayor of a town. Others believe politics only refers to individuals who seek to improve different aspects of life, such as asking for the creation of neighborhood watch committees. What many fail to understand is the true nature of politics: even one individual who states a different concept or idea is involved in the process. This leads us to discuss the three main purposes of government: to maintain order, provide public goods, and promote equality. Maintaining order is more than just ensuring that the established ways of social behavior are unchanged: it is designed to, as philosopher Thomas Hobbes believed, guarantee survival. Similarly, providing public goods to the people is essential, ensuring people are well-educated, well-fed, live in sanitary places, and are able to appreciate the outdoors and wildlife around them. Part B response: The unitary system of government is best described as a system of government in which the national government has the authority (Dilemmas of Democracy 4). Furthermore, in a unitary system, the national government is in charge of administering powers and liberties to the state and local governments. On the other hand, the confederal system of government is just the opposite: it is similar to a confederation. In it, all powers rest within the states; furthermore, the states give the national government powers. Finally, the federal system of government is a federation in which the national government has explicit powers, and the state government(s) have explicit powers (Janda et al. 9). The United States is a federation, meaning it possesses a federal system right now. The United States had a confederal system of government (confederation) under the Articles of Confederation. Part C response: What may one ask are some of the differences between liberals and conservatives? Generally, liberals are more willing to use government as a means of equality but not order. Liberals favor support for education, social programs, conservation of wildlife, and public transportation in the form of buses and other large vehicles. On the other end of the spectrum, conservatives favor smaller government budgets and fewer government programs. Conservatives support free enterprise and thus are against government job programs. In other words, conservatives use government as a means of order but not equality. A libertarian is an individual who opposes all government action excluding what's necessary to protect life and property, meaning that they favor freedom over order and equality and an economic policy referred to as laissez faire. Laissez faire is a French phrase that denotes the idea that we should let people do as they please. On the other hand, an anarchist is someone who opposes all government in any form, meaning that they value freedom above all else. Finally, as practiced (not theory) communism involves an extreme

overlap of economics and politics. This is mainly due to the fact that both economic wealth and power are distributed by the government. Despite this, democratic socialism stresses the idea that industries do not necessarily need to be owned by the government; instead, at the very minimum, they should be controlled by the government itself (Janda et al. 13). In essence, the major difference between communism and democratic socialism can best be described in terms of opening a ice cream shop. While one has no power in a totalitarian (communist) society, one may hold some stake in a democratic socialistic one. Furthermore, in a communist society, people have no power to determine who will become the next leader of the country; by the same token, in a democratic socialist society, people can decide who will govern and who will lead. Part D response: A direct democracy can be defined as a form of democracy in which people directly vote on all issues, in which the majority vote decides the outcome (Dilemmas of Democracy 8). Many people, however, fear it because people believe it makes up the majority of like-minded people or people with the same interests. In other words, people fear it because they feel that the majority will not represent what the minority felt (or what the actual majority of individuals felt); however, our own form of democracy here in the United States is a representative democracy. A representative (also known as a republic) democracy is one in which the people have the power to elect the leaders and Congressmen they want to elect. Individuals fear it because they feel that the majority will always hold a greater power over the minority. Thus, it is my belief that we would be better off with, as James Madison stated, a large republic/representative democracy. This is because power would be evenly distributed between all the different countries and states in the country, allowing all opinions to be coherently stressed and expressed; additionally, the representatives would be able to keep the factions of people in check as well, creating a more coherent society.

Response Post Hi Morgan! I also felt like I didn't really understand the difference between government and politics until I read the module and the textbook. Furthermore, I think the example you used describing a mayor of a town who was publicly drunk was an excellent example: I felt it described the difference between government and politics clearly. In my opinion, the term politics refers to an even larger group of individuals than government does (as it includes anyone who wishes to influence government in some way). Moreover, I also believe that politics should involve people who have varied opinions on different values and ideas about how to improve society. Whether these people have dissenting opinions or similar ones, I agree with your statement: the goal of politics should be to discuss the opinions of different individuals as to how we can improve our way of life and reconcile issues that would otherwise lead to conflict. You also mentioned credibility, which I feel should be present in order for any successful individual to express their ideas. If we don't have credible individuals who state their ideas clearly, it's difficult to imagine what would happen if these individuals always have their way. Ultimately, I feel that the goal of government should be to make decisions to better the people and the country in general; therefore, I feel that every individual is involved in the political process. However, what separates one individual from another is how actively they choose to participate in this process. This leads me to believe that, as a whole, if we want change in our political system, we must present our ideas and statements clearly

and effectively so that everyone can understand what each person believes is the best course of action society can take for whatever it needs to do.