Social Political Terms
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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
- 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.
- (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
- A belief that the private
- ownership of land, factories, banks, etc. should be replaced by the public
- ownership of all
- (from the Greek= rule by the
- 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
- Democracy: Where every citizen
- ahs the opportunity to participate in the discussion public issues and the
- making of all public decisions
- Democracy: is where citizens
- elect who they wish to represent them and their wishes
- (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
- 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.
- a long sequence of rulers from
- the same family, e.g. Queen Elizabeth II, the House of Windsor, or the Chinese
- Ming dynasty
- 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!)
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.
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.
Nationalism (political, ethnic, civic)
- (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.
- (Ethnic) shares a common
- culture, history, ancestral descent.
- (civic) assumes that these
- people live together in a territory and are citizens of the country/state.
- 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.
Plutocracy: (Greek: “Ploutos” meaning wealth) a government
in which the wealthy class rules.
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.
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.
- 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,
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!
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