What Is the Purpose of Politics?

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The purpose of politics is to enable the members of a society to collectively achieve important human goals they cannot otherwise achieve individually. Through negotiation, debate, legislation and other political structures, politics procures safety, order and general welfare within the state. The question of the precise ends of politics is one of the greatest, and most inconclusive, in philosophy, as manifested by the divisive, heated debates among political parties.

Government is the regulation of human activity, and politics consists of the processes by which a society decides the nature and extent of that regulation. There are many theories concerning the proper role of politics and what aspects of human life should be politicized. However, there are certain activities that are almost universally recognized as appropriately political. For instance, politics determines how people within a state defend themselves against hostile outside groups and the kind of system that is used to prevent and punish crime within the state.

Politics is often involved in prescribing the rules that govern interhuman relationships. It determines laws regarding marriage, parenting, businesses and contracts. It creates laws regulating educational institutions and civil associations. Money always plays a big role in politics. Much time goes into deciding where public money will come from and how resources will be spent.