Social Political Terms

  1. Anarchy
  2. Anarchy: (from the Greek= no rule) is a society
    • without government and/or law. Without institutions such as an organized
    • church, school, courts, police etc. It is a belief that all government is bad
    • because it exploits. Anarchists can be either individualists or collectivists.
    • Individualists believe that societies can emerge spontaneously and be maintained
    • via voluntary exchange between consenting individuals. Collectivists believe
    • that collectively owning and managing enterprises could be coordinated in a voluntary
    • manner. The political naivety of anarchists has often taken the form of
    • terrorist (to incite or instill terror in others) action against state
    • authority.
  3. Aristocracy
    • Aristocracy:
    • is a government ruled by a
    • privileged (often noble class) group of people determined by wealth or birth,
    • usually called nobles and power is inherited or hereditary.
  4. Autocracy
  5. Autocracy:
    • (literally “rule by oneself”)
    • a system of government in which unlimited power is formally vested in one
    • person; a monarch ruling without restriction is often referred to as an
    • absolute monarch, eg. Czar Nicholas ii
  6. Communism
  7. Communism:
    • A belief that the private
    • ownership of land, factories, banks, etc. should be replaced by the public
    • ownership of all
  8. Democracy
    • Democracy:
    • (from the Greek= rule by the
    • people)

    • o a government with supreme power vested in the
    • people and exercised by them or their elected agents/representatives.
    • Government “of the people, by the people for the people”- Abraham Lincoln.

    • o A form of government where the majority rules
    • while respecting minority rights. This protects against majority tyranny, a
    • form of dictatorship. Minimally requires universal suffrage and competitive
    • political parties
  9. Direct Democracy
  10. Direct
    • Democracy: Where every citizen
    • ahs the opportunity to participate in the discussion public issues and the
    • making of all public decisions
  11. Representative Democracy
  12. Representative
    • Democracy: is where citizens
    • elect who they wish to represent them and their wishes
  13. Despotism/Tyranny
  14. Despotism/tyranny
    • (from the Greek meaning “head
    • of the family” and “master of slaves”) is government by a ruler who uses
    • unlimited absolute authority to achieve his goals. Often used cruel, unjust and
    • illegal methods such as secret police, torture and arbitrary arrest. Despotism
    • is largely and archaic concept that has been supplanted by totalitarianism and
    • authoritarianism.
  15. Divine Right of Kings
  16. Divine
    • Right of Kings: concept in
    • which monarchs were chosen by God and as such one could not speak out against
    • the authority or right of the king (or Queen) to rule. Such defiance would be
    • tantamount to speaking out against God- a blasphemous act that ensures an
    • eternity in purgatory for those who spoke out.
  17. Dynasty
  18. Dynasty:
    • a long sequence of rulers from
    • the same family, e.g. Queen Elizabeth II, the House of Windsor, or the Chinese
    • Ming dynasty
  19. Fascism
    • Fascism:
    • a totalitarian political system with the goals of the nation
    • more important than individual goals. It is right wing authoritarian regime. It
    • is a system of government in which the executive power (the dictator) has
    • control over the legislative power (the parliament). It is nationalism gone
    • crazy (ultra-nationalism!)
  20. Monarchy
    • Monarchy: (From the Greek- rule of one alone) is a
    • government in which power is vested in a king or emperor who can pass power on
    • to his heirs, e.g. Monaco, Saudi Arabia.
  21. Nationalism
  22. Nationalism: a belief or doctrine in which people feel a
    • sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. This belonging may be
    • based upon one or several of the following characteristics: political,
    • religious, ethnic, cultural, linguistic or social.
  23. Nationalism (political, ethnic, civic)
    • Nationalism
    • (political) a feeling of
    • devotion to national interests, national unity; independence, sovereignty. With
    • respect to self-determination, people of a common heritage (language, religion,
    • culture, history) wish to form their own country. It is enthusiasm for the
    • “right and might” of a nation. The love for or pride one takes in one’s own
    • country is known as patriotism.

    • ·
    • Nationalism
    • (Ethnic) shares a common
    • culture, history, ancestral descent.

    • ·
    • Nationalism
    • (civic) assumes that these
    • people live together in a territory and are citizens of the country/state.
  24. Oligarchy
  25. Oligarchy:
    • a government in which a few
    • people such as a dominant clan, group or clique have power. Powerful minority
    • controls majority, e.g. South Africa Apartheid; Military Junta Myanmar.
  26. Plutocracy
    • Plutocracy: (Greek: “Ploutos” meaning wealth) a government
    • in which the wealthy class rules.
  27. Republic
  28. Republic: a state without a monarchy. The people are
    • represented by elected individuals. Political sovereignty rests with the
    • citizens of the state, e.g. USA and France.
  29. Theocracy
  30. Theocracy: a system of government by people who claim a
    • divine right to rule, religious principals form the basis of law and rule. Governments
    • are run by priests or religious leaders in the name of their God, e.g. Vatican,
    • Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan.
  31. Totalitarianism
    • Totalitarianism:
    • centralized government with
    • absolute control by one political party over the population. “Total powers”
    • attempt to deal with a “total range” or every day life, e.g. communist,
    • fascist.
  32. Ultranationalism
  33. Ultranationalism: The feeling or belief that countries posses
    • when they attempt to extend their influence beyond their own sovereign borders.
    • This is often disguised as an aggressive attempt to “defend” their own borders.
    • Ultranationalism is often referred to as an extreme form or patriotism. It is
    • in essence nationalism gone crazy!
Card Set
Social Political Terms
political definitions