Free Essay

Political Power

In: Social Issues

Submitted By neokitti
Words 1602
Pages 7
Nikki Callanta
Dr. Gloria Guevara
Politics 101
28 February 2013
Political Power Power has been something mankind has endlessly fought for from our very beginning. And though we’ve come a long way from war-waging territorial disputes to form the great countries we have now, it’s something we still use greatly today whether it be something small such as being head of household or head of the company. In this paper I will be discussing possibly the greatest power there is: political power. To start, let’s define what power is. Power in relation to politics is the driving force of politics. Without power our governments could not function. In politics, power has many sources which include a large population, thriving economy, united society and wise leadership. Political power is usually seen as national wealth or even military spending and it is never equally distributed. (Magdstadt 3,4) So now, what is politics? Politics is puzzling and for the most part goes unrecognized, but most of us can see it when it is put to the test. We as a community select a certain few and empower them, (Magdstadt 3) so that they can convey what it is that we want, and who can provide us with what we need. People can participate in politics, by voicing their opinion on how things should be enforced. They can do this by participating in elections or partaking in a referendum when they believe something should be changed. (Magdstadt 274, 280) This affects public interest because politics is first and foremost about the people who are governed. My thesis is how those with political power can do so much to shape our world into an ideal environment, but often it is used in less than ideal, if not downright questionable or repulsive ways. It’s up to the people to make a difference To understand political power, I will first discuss the different types of power there are. We can identify two types of power found in politics, hard power and soft power. Politics also relies on derivative power which stems from a nation’s accomplishments. Leaders, states and corporations all display political power. Leaders demonstrate power most noticeably since they’re constantly viewed and judged in the public eye. They are our most direct representative of what we want and can deliver to us what we need. States show power in ways we normally don’t think of in our day to day lives. Though they work with the public, they also use globalization. Working with other states and also deterring other states as possible threats. Corporations present power that is often criticized. They influence products and service we use in our everyday lives and usually hold much sway with our governments since they can fund our governments and provide them with means to protect our countries with products such as weapons. Leaders, states and corporations influence politics greatly, not just by what they stand for or the things that they might do, but because they all have one thing in common that lets them wield such power, and that is money. The narrator in film Ethos posed that elections are more like an auction and whoever has the most money wins. Previously I talked about hard power and soft power. Hard power is power that is used usually through military force, threats to use such force and the use of coercive methods. (Magdstadt 476) Soft power is the ability of one to talk people into wanting what they want through charisma and respect based off ones successful ideas and accomplishments. (Magdstadt 477) I also touched on derivative power which is political power gained from areas like art, science and technological prowess and the prestige that follows from the prior. (Magdstadt 476) In regards to leaders and multinational corporations, it is safe to say they use both hard and soft power. On one hand a leader like a candidate for presidency in American politics during elections, will promise the people widely accepted changes if elected and have inspiring slogans, which is an example of soft power. And on the other hand that same leader can use military force to impose the new laws they pass for terms of their obedience which is an example of hard power. With corporations they appeal to the public promoting a product or service with catchy advertising and displaying how many years they have been doing business showing us reliability, which is soft power. But the ugly methods they use to get us these products, is a form of hard power. Other qualities that leaders have to yield power over the people are their networks of people and the use of the media. For example, we’ll talk about Vladimir Putin from the video The Putin System. In 1999 when Putin was nominated to Prime Minister no one really knew him show he displayed that he could make a firm political stand and became the ideal military leader. His previous career choices were extremely influential to his future career when he eventually became president. He appealed to all sorts of people in his country, blending in and promoting himself as an ideal leader and even took hold of the media in Russia. Eventually, with the oligarchs, he began to run Russia as if it were a corporation. The way Putin yielded power has been through outlets of corruption, manipulation, and propaganda. Corruption was used when a righteous prosecutor who was stirring trouble for the oligarchs, was framed with sex tape caught on security cameras. This was by Putin’s hand under the oligarchs pleas. Manipulation was used by how he blended with the society and won the hearts of all types of people. Propaganda was used on Russia’s youth, those who weren’t around during the era of the Soviet Union. Soon, the country’s songs were sung and military parades were celebrated again. Now I want to talk about multinational corporations and exactly how much political power they really hold. Thanks to globalization, mass trade and media link our nations together and also keep them in check. (Magdstadt 467) Think about it this way, where there is money, there is power, power is the currency of all politics, so therefore those with money have power in which they can influence politics. In democratic countries they have the capacity to influence policy areas that include taxation, energy, defense and foreign affairs. (Magdstadt 492) There are two sides to every coin; even though multinational corporations provide millions of people with jobs they are very dangerous. They can “operate outside the legal control of any one national government”. (Magdstadt 493) In The Corporation, the company Monsanto gave very little regard to the tested livestock that suffered at the handiwork of its product, Prosilac. Cows suffered from mastitis on their udders and caused pus that may sometimes have leaked into the milk that many American have been drinking. Monsanto also created a chemical named Agent Orange, which they tested airborne over Vietnam. One side effect of those in contact with Agent Orange was mutilations or deformities. Corporations impact the lives of average citizens on a daily basis. They mass produce items that we use every day, they own billboards that we pass on the freeway on the way to work, influence the media with advertisements that tell us we absolutely need what they’re selling, just to name a few ways the way they influence us. Corporations have the ability to infringe on individual rights. Take, for example from This is What Democracy Looks Like, at the Wellco factory in China that produced shoes for Nike, women who were pregnant or those over the age of 25 were fired on impulse. They were also subject to corporal punishment, humiliation and verbal abuse. Corporations can influence democracy, which in theory have a prominent voice in shaping our government policies, by influencing public opinion. In This is what Democracy Looks Like, they state that over fifty percent of the media is owned by corporations. For example, they can effectively back a candidate for presidency in American politics, especially if it is one who will pledge to help that particular corporation out or vice versa. The Federal Reserve Bank is a way government and corporations are working together to promote the interests of a few. What we can take from Ethos, is that the Federal Reserve is a central banking system that works with, not for, the American government to supply the nation with its money supply, but at the cost of doubled interest effectively rendering us unable to ever pay back the debt. This only benefits the few who run the Federal Reserve. The one effective way that corporations can be brought under control is if the general public can be unified and stop buying from them and alternatively turn to mom and pop shops. Also if people researched concerns on their own accord and not necessarily take what they can get from the media, which is greatly influenced by corporations. My thesis was, that those with political power can do so much to shape our world into an ideal environment, but often it is used in less than ideal, if not downright questionable or repulsive ways. And that it is up to the people to make a difference.

Works Cited
Magstadt, Thomas Understanding Politics: Ideas, Institutions & Issues Belmont: Cengage
Learning, 2012. Print.
Ethos. Dir. Pete McGrain. 2011. Film.
The Corporation. Dir. Mark Achbar. Zeitgeist Films, 2004. Film.
This is what Democracy Looks Like. Dir. Jill Friedberg, Rick Rowley. Koch Entertainment,
2000. Film.
The Putin System. Dir.Jean-Michel Carré. 2007. TV Movie.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Djibouti And Political Power

...In Djibouti, the politics take place in a framework of semi-presidential republic. Executive power is run by the government. The government and parliament both have say in the Legislative power. The party system and parliament are both controlled by a group called People’s Rally for Progress. When a president is elected they serve for a single five-year term. The president is the head of the state. The prime minister controls the government. The prime minister is chosen by the president and the Council of Ministers. The country has five regions and one city. Djibouti is part of the United Nations and Arab League. The main religion practiced in Djibouti is Islam. Ninety-four percent of the nation’s population is Islam and six percent of the...

Words: 275 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Uses Of Power In Political Parties

...Power: It is characterized by the capacity to influence somebody to think, accept, or carry on in a way they would not voluntarily. For instance, if any gathering has validated data in regard to that issue it can act as power. They simply need to get a victory to support them in any case by utilizing power. Individuals exploit to have that power that is the reason here and there it is difficult to get a choice. So, mediator tries to take parties on interest-based level rather than power. Power based choices are difficult to take in light of the fact that nobody wants to lose. Uses of power: There are different uses of power. In some circumstances parties simply needs to run with their own prosperity, not the other party. They simply decide...

Words: 342 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Dbq Exert Political Power

...Many different methods have been used in history to exert political power including giving the power to special figures from higher classes to rule over their subjects. These high political figures, typically men, then typically constructed harsh laws to keep order. The main documents that were grouped together that shared these same ideals were numbers 1, 6, and 7. In document one it argued that men were always superior, and that a father would be rewarded for having many sons and that most of the political power was shared towards high officials that leaded over each individual state. In article 6 the power leans more towards the high official sending out harsh punishments if the citizens do not obey the laws. The high officials maintain...

Words: 386 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

What Is John Locke's View On Political Power

...to gain knowledge and wrote books to show the empiricism in philosophy. John Locke wrote many books and essays to show his beliefs and views. John Locke’s A letter Concerning Toleration with the concerning the true extant and end of civil government was written in 1689 in Gouda, Holland. His beliefs and views shaped the world as it is today. John Locke start off his essay with writing about political power. He states, “Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws, with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties for the regulating and preserving of property,” John Locke defines political power as the right to make certain laws to protect and regulate property. These laws are put...

Words: 1180 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Political Power

...Brittnee Walker Mr. Goman AP World History 29 Aug 2010 Political Power of Han China and Imperial Rome Political differences are what make cultures unique. Depending on the methods of political control and diverse ways of living societies can be harmed, hindered or improved. The rough military dictatorship of Imperial Rome and the peaceful Confucius way of control by Han china show two different ways a civilization can grow, thrive, survive and eventually fall. Political, moral, personal, and religious values influence a nation’s way of life and people. The differences between the militaristic Imperial Rome and the Confucius ways of Han China ultimately made the empires culture flourish and become distinctive, changing their beliefs, moral code, faith, and overall individuality and led to their diversity in political control. The rulers of these empires played a big role in the ways of control and the variation in their culture. Octavian the military dictator had control of his armies; therefore they were loyal to him. Emperor Wu also ruled as a military campaigner. These two rulers had similar interests in which they ruled by. Wu worked on expanding his army and spreading china. Octavian being from the army himself ruled through the army and expanded militaristic ideas. They both made for successful ruling. While China was ruled under Confucianism Rome had suppressed religion. Religion was spread freely within china because they all shared the same beliefs and......

Words: 251 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Assess the Positive and the Negative Aspects of the United States Political Framework Based on the ‘Separation of Powers’.

...Assess the positive and the negative aspects of the United States political framework based on the ‘separation of powers’. The United States is a presidential democracy; its political framework is based on the separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches of government. This is in contrast to a parliamentary democracy where there is a fusion of powers between branches of government 1. It is often argued that a parliamentary system of government based on a fusion of powers is a more effective form of government, particularly when legislating. Although this may be the case, the US political system has overcome issues faced by most parliamentary democracies such as elective dictatorships and poor scrutiny of the executive. This has been due to the structure of the US political system based on the separation of powers. In this essay I will assess the positive and the negative aspects of the US political system. I will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages the separation of powers has brought to the US system of government. I will first assess the positive aspects of the US political system. I will then discuss the negative aspects of the US political system, finally drawing a conclusion. The ‘separation of powers is a central structural feature of the United States constitution’ 2. The US political system was designed first and foremost to prevent tyranny, something the founding fathers still feared even after America had......

Words: 2565 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Taking Political Power Back

...Taking Political Power Back For the People of America Context Described In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. It was a split decision (five to four). The argument in favor of the decision is that the government has no right regulating political speech. Those who oppose the decision believe that allowing corporations to endorse candidate elections would degrade democracy. Traditionally, we have been a nation based on a democracy of individual voices however; this ruling may change that creating a nation influenced by corporate spending. Some members of the nation support this change but others are fearful of it (New York Times, 2010). Message Described Whether in support of this change or fearful of it, the decision affects everyone. The video is from the website FreeSpeechForPeople.org. It is entitled “What Did the $upreme Court Do to Our Democracy?” It is in response to the Supreme Court ruling that private for profit corporations are citizens with political rights and takes a position that opposes the ruling. The audience of the message is the people of America who are competent in political issues. The video is composed of interviews of common people on Capital Mall, clips of Senators who oppose the decision, a comedian using sarcastic satire making fun of the decision, and a narrator with an informative style combining these elements. The main argument of this......

Words: 1616 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Political Power of Social Media

...The Political Power Of Social Media In most of the inhabited land, before the 12th Century A.D, political power resided with the King/Monarch. Power was exerted through local feudal, and collection of taxes each year. In 1215 A.D, the Magna Carta was signed by the King of England, giving away some of those powers to the aristocracy. This initiative was replicated in Europe till the 18th Century. The American Revolution of 1775 and the French Revolution of 1789 were products of this period of enlightenment (of Europe mostly) in modern history known as the ‘Renaissance’. As a result of these revolutions and the wars preceding them, political power was transferred to the representatives of the people, i.e. the system of parliamentary democracy. After the demise of imperialism (or at least the ‘older/traditional’ form of it) in the 20th Century, democracy has been the preferred political system in most countries around the world. There is a new kid on the block though. In 2007, the US Presidential campaign for Barack Obama utilized and benefitted tremendously from the massive number of people using social media outlets such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Obama’s presidential campaign raised a record-breaking $745 million. Apart from charisma and prowess in public speaking, Barack Obama and his campaign reaped the reward for engaging people on social media. The following graph demonstrates a clear contrast in the policies of the two contestants (McCain and Obama) during the......

Words: 1515 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Political Power of Social Media

... the world's networked population has grown from the low millions to the low billions. Over the same period, social media have become a fact of life for civil society worldwide, involving many actors -- regular citizens, activists, nongovernmental organizations, telecommunications firms, software providers, governments. This raises an obvious question for the U.S. government: How does the ubiquity of social media affect U.S. interests, and how should U.S. policy respond to it? As the communications landscape gets denser, more complex, and more participatory, the networked population is gaining greater access to information, more opportunities to engage in public speech, and an enhanced ability to undertake collective action. In the political arena, as the protests in Manila...

Words: 313 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Global Marketing Institutions

...• Global market activities take place within the political environment of governmental institutions, political parties, and organization through which a country’s people and rulers exercise power • Each nation has a unique culture that reflects its society • Each nation also has a political culture that reflects the relative importance of the government and legal system and provides a context within which individuals and corporations understand their relationship to the political system • Any company doing business outside its home country should carefully study the political culture in the target country and analyze salient issues arising from the political environment • These include the governing party’s attitude toward sovereignty, political risk, taxes, the threat of equity dilution and expropriation Nation-States and Sovereignty • Sovereignty can be defined as supreme and independent political authority • ”Culture” can provide us with many answers on how and why people behave differently around the globe. One explanation it surely provides is that people have very different views on "what is a good boss", or on ”how teams should be led”. • A major challenge in developing intercultural management competence is the fact that there is no "one way" to lead. This is especially relevant as all "new" and growing markets have something in common, they can be characterised as hierarchical cultures. Many companies need to face the fact that the leadership......

Words: 566 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Nothing

...The first statement that I like about this chapter and I find to be true regarding many aspects of life is “appearances can be deceiving.” Chapter 13 discusses power and its contrast to leadership. The reading further talks about the five bases of power and the dependence of power in relationships. The chapter also identifies the nine power and influence tactics along with their contingencies and the connection between sexual harassment and the abuse of power. Lastly the section emphasizes on the causes and consequences of political power and whether political action is ethical. The difference between power and leadership is power doesn’t require goal compatibility, merely dependence as where leadership does require some congruence between the goals of the leader and those being led. Despite how some may feel about power or leadership neither are bad. If you represent the bases of power that you will most likely fall into one of these categories: coercive, formal, legitimate, expert, or referent. The most important aspect of power is that it is a function of dependence. Chapter 14 topics are about conflict and the differences between traditional, interactionist, and managed-conflict views. The chapter also discussed the conflict process while defining negotiation and applying the five steps of the negotiation process. Conflict is defined as the process begins when one party perceives another party has or is about to negatively affect something the first party cares about....

Words: 424 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

External Aid of Iran and Increased Political Power of Hizbullah

...External Aid of Iran and Increased Political Power of Hizbullah (Research Proposal) by Lee, Joosong Middle East and African Studies Graduate School of International and Area Studies Hankuk University of Foreign Studies I. Research Background Hizbullah is the most powerful single political movement in Lebanon. Hizbullah, along with the Amal Movement, represents most of Lebanese Shi'a. The political 'victory' of Hizbullah in 2005 election was a refreshing jolt for both Lebanon and international community. The 2005 Lebanese General Elections were the first in Lebanese history to be won outright by a single electoral block and were also the first to be monitored by the United Nations. In the general elections, Hizbullah won fourteen seats in the Parliament out of 128; that is about 11% in total, and fifth most in number. And in the general elections of 2009, Hizbullah won twelve seats, which is about 10%. The results were quite a shock for the Western countries since Hizbullah’s status is quite controversial; it is in fact a legitimate political party in Lebanon, but still a resistance movement group. What is more contentious is that Hizbullah was a terrorist group before; and some states still consider Hizbullah as a terrorist group, partly or as a whole. As a matter of fact, currently Hizbullah is a legitimate political party in Lebanon which was elected by legitimate elections. The discussion now needs to move on to what was the critical......

Words: 3045 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Race: the Cultural and Political Power of an Illusion in Latin America

...Race: The Cultural and Political Power of an Illusion in Latin America Race has been the most arguable and controversial subject in Latin American history. Since 16th century it has created a great deal of prejudice among Latin American people, it has been referred, as biological characteristics later modified to a social statue such are education, wealth and language. It has been under a heavy influence of cultural and political power where people were classified from their biological characteristics to their wealth. Through the time race has become the main tool for state creation and regulation. Race has become a status, which has structured and organized the nation but the term “race” has never itself been stable. In today’s Latin America modern theory of “race” has meaning of a political power, status and regulation, it’s a states way of monitoring and controlling of the heterogeneous nation. Race gradually has become a political cultural and economic power for Latin American state. In this paper I will argue about the idea that race in Latin America gradually has became just an illusion, a tool by which people were controlled structured and manipulated. Various articles will be presented to support and illustrate the transformation of the word “race “ and its cultural and political influence on Latin America. I will talk about the colonial to republic period idea of “race “ In Latin America and how the meaning of the word was manipulated. I will discuss the......

Words: 1875 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Robert Bolt

...significance of the elements of political protest in this extract. Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed analysis of the ways Bolt has shaped meanings. In this extract from A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt carefully constructs language and visual effect for the audience to explore political themes, including the nature of power and its relationship to the individual, notions of justice, and guilt. The choice of a trial scene also allows an examination of the entrapment of the individual at the hands of a ruthless state. From the start of the extract the playwright's language and register seems to befit the setting of the scene in terms of its historical context and being in a court of law, with phrases such as "betokened" and "traitorously". This provides a convincing scene for the audience, in which Bolt can explore more universal political ideas. First, Bolt examines the nature of power through the language he chooses, particularly with regard to the power invested in the prosecutor. For example, Cromwell's charge against More includes three examples of tautology: "traitorously and maliciously", "deny and deprive" and "undoubted certain". The use of excessive emotive language and rhetorical devices demonstrates Cromwell's ability to launch an emphatic and powerful charge revealing his bullying and perhaps also his lust for power. The fact that Bolt gives the prosecutor in a court such a facility with language gives Cromwell power and authority in the......

Words: 1580 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Politicians and Religious Leaders

...Final Essay Nicholas Barnby COM/155 December 8th, 2012 Final Essay Politicians and religious leaders often use messages of fear to convince their supporters that their stances and beliefs are faultless. Throughout history there have been people within positions of power using a specific way to voice their ideals to the masses so that the public can believe in their cause. There are a number of different tools that these people have that can coerce the population in to following the individuals in these seats of power. Usually, the person in power can be a very charming person and has no issues with speaking in a public forum. Natural public speakers can very easily slide into these positions with ease. Over time, the two main seats of power are found within a political and religious setting. At times, the two different factions have combined, making the position of power much more controlling than ever before. With the use of manipulation through fear, political and religious leaders have been able to use this particular method. This way of control is nowhere near a new tactic. In the beginning of life, there is always the aggressor within a group of living organisms. The human race has evolved over time, but there are some, almost instinctual tick that keeps them breaking down into an alpha mentality. The control over the pack using violence or oppression is nothing more than control through fear. Bullying is an example of control through fear that is used......

Words: 1526 - Pages: 7