Politics is the group of societal activities which are related to making political decisions in accordance with social groups, such as community, gender, race, class, nation or the distribution of wealth or status as a result of legal decisions. The branch of sociology that studies government and politics is known as social science. One branch that often studies politics is political science, in particular American government at national, state and local levels. Other areas that fall under the field of politics include constitutional law, the makeup of jury, and the functioning of the executive and legislative branches of government.
In general, all political organizations, groups or parties strive to some degree to promote social order and stability through governmental rules, policies and regulations. They also use physical means to accomplish these ends. Politics, then, can be understood to be the art of government; the endeavor to achieve power by influencing other bodies of government. This being said, any understanding of politics requires a fundamental examination of the body Politicus, which can be described as the personification of the polity or state.
In my popular primer “The Anatomy of Politics”, I traced the evolution of the body Politicus through three phases of progressive institutionalization. The first two phases, symbolization and institutionalism, both involve the use of customary laws and symbols to regulate political behavior and institutions. The last phase, monetization, represents the ultimate achievement of institutionalism, as citizens acquire and accumulate private wealth to support both the needs of the state and its political institutions. The metaphor of a human being in the political body, thus, represents the process through which members of the political body accumulate wealth for the common good.
The metaphor of a body can be examined closely within American government. A government by the majority rule, which rules through taxation, constitutes itself as the polity or state in its most basic form. The second form of government is one in which the government actively controls or owns the means of production, including money. Money therefore forms the basis not only of circulation but also of distribution.
The third stage of Politikaship is monetization, the acquisition of private wealth for political purposes. Thus, politics becomes a system of value judgment, where the state distributes money in terms of what it thinks will be its own merits. Private interests can trump political considerations in the case of money. And the acquisition of political power facilitates and makes possible the acquisition of more money for the same reasons.
So, while the political body may not be a physical entity, it is a metaphor that emphasizes the human subject as an object of desire, the body being the site and venue for desires that transcend the body. Politics thus becomes the system through which humans pursue and achieve wealth and status through the accumulation of objects and claims of value. This is politics by its most basic terms, the ideal of politics, the pursuit of political liberty, and the accumulation of political wealth as a reward for social actions. Politics thus is not a physical body, but rather a philosophical construction that delves into and expresses the essence of being human. In this way, politics is a bodily metaphor that describes the politics of modernity.