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The Politics Book


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Table of Contents

  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: Ancient political thought 800BCE – 30CE
    • 1: If your desire is for good, the people will be good, Confucius
    • 2: The art of war is of vital importance to the state, Sun Tzu
    • 3: Plans for the country are only to be shared with the learned, Mozi
    • 4: Until philosophers are kings, cities will never have rest from their evils, Plato
    • 5: Man is by nature a political animal, Aristotle
    • 6: A single wheel does not move, Chanakya
    • 7: If evil ministers enjoy safety and profit, this is the beginning of downfall, Han Fei Tzu
    • 8: The government is bandied about like a ball, Cicero
  • 3: Medieval politics 30CE – 1515CE
    • 1: If justice be taken away, what are governments but great bands of robbers? Augustine of Hippo
    • 2: Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you, Muhammed
    • 3: The people refuse the rule of virtuous men, Al-Farabi
    • 4: No free man shall be imprisoned, except by the law of the land, Barons of King John
    • 5: For war to be just, there is required a just cause, Thomas Aquinas
    • 6: To live politically means living in accordance with good laws, Giles of Rome
    • 7: The Church should devote itself to imitating Christ and give up its secular power, Marsilius of Padua
    • 8: Government prevents injustice, other than such as it commits itself, Ibn Khaldun
    • 9: A prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word, Niccolo Machiavelli
  • 4: Rationality and enlightenment 1515 - 1770
    • 1: In the beginning, everything was common to all, Francisco de Vitoria
    • 2: Sovereignty is the absolute and perpetual power of a commonwealth, Jean Bodin
    • 3: The natural law is the foundation of human law, Francisco Suarez
    • 4: Politics is the art of associating men, Johannes Althusius
    • 5: Liberty is the power that we have over ourselves, Hugo Grotius
    • 6: The condition of man is a condition of war, Thomas Hobbes
    • 7: The end of law is to preserve and enlarge freedom, John Locke
    • 8: When legislative and executive powers are united in the same body, there can be no liberty, Montesquieu
    • 9: Independent entrepreneurs make good citizens, Benjamin Franklin
  • 5: Revolutionary thoughts 1770 - 1848
    • 1: To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • 2: No generally valid principle of legislation can be based on happiness, Immanuel Kant
    • 3: The passions of individuals should be subjected, Edmund Burke
    • 4: Rights dependent on property are the most precarious, Thomas Paine
    • 5: All men are created equal, Thomas Jefferson
    • 6: Each nationality contains its centre of happiness within itself, Johann Gottfried Herder
    • 7: Government has but a choice of evils, Jeremy Bentham
    • 8: The people have a right to keep and bear arms, James Madison
    • 9: The most respectable women are the most oppressed, Mary Wollstonecraft
    • 10: The slave feels self-existence to be something external, Georg Hegel
    • 11: War is the continuation of Politik by other means, Carl von Clausewitz
    • 12: An educated and wise government recognizes the developmental needs of its society, Jose Maria Luis Mora
    • 13: A state too extensive in itself ultimately falls into decay, Simon Bolivar
    • 14: Abolition and the Union cannot co-exist, John C. Calhoun
    • 15: The tendency to attack “the family” is a symptom of social chaos, Auguste Comte
  • 6: The rise of the masses 1848 – 1910
    • 1: Socialism is a new system of serfdom, Alexis de Tocqueville
    • 2: Say not I, but we, Giuseppe Mazzini
    • 3: That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time, John Stuart Mill
    • 4: No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent, Abraham Lincoln
    • 5: Property is theft, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
    • 6: The privileged man is a man depraved in intellect and heart, Mikhail Bakunin
    • 7: That government is best which governs not at all, Henry David Thoreau
    • 8: Communism is the riddle of history solved, Karl Marx
    • 9: The men who proclaimed the republic became the assassins of freedom, Alexander Herzen
    • 10: We must look for a central axis for our nation, Ito Hirobumi
    • 11: The will to power, Friedrich Nietzsche
    • 12: It is the myth that is alone important, Georges Sorel
    • 13: We have to take working men as they are, Eduard Bernstein
    • 14: The disdain of our formidable neighbour is the greatest danger for Latin America, Jose Marti
    • 15: It is necessary to dare in order to succeed, Peter Kropotkin
    • 16: Either women are to be killed, or women are to have the vote, Emmeline Pankhurst
    • 17: It is ridiculous to deny the existence of a Jewish nation, Theodor Herzl
    • 18: Nothing will avail to save a nation whose workers have decayed, Beatrice Webb
    • 19: Protective legislation in America is shamefully inadequate, Jane Addams
    • 20: Land to the tillers! Sun Yat-Sen
    • 21: The individual is a single cog in an ever-moving mechanism, Max Weber
  • 7: The clash of ideologies 1910 – 1945
    • 1: Non-violence is the first article of my faith, Mahatma Gandhi
    • 2: Politics begin where the masses are, Vladimir Lenin
    • 3: The mass strike results from social conditions with historical inevitability, Rosa Luxemburg
    • 4: An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last, Winston Churchill
    • 5: The Fascist conception of the state is all-embracing, Giovanni Gentile
    • 6: The wealthy farmers must be deprived of the sources of their existence, Joseph Stalin
    • 7: If the end justifies the means, what justifies the end? Leon Trotsky
    • 8: We will unite Mexicans by giving guarantees to the peasant and the businessman, Emiliano Zapata
    • 8: War is a racket, Smedley D. Butler
    • 9: Sovereignty is not given, it is taken, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    • 10: Europe has been left without a moral code, Jose Ortega y Gasset
    • 11: We are 400 million people asking for liberty, Marcus Garvey
    • 12: India cannot really be free unless separated from the British empire, Manabendra Nath Roy
    • 13: Sovereign is he who decides on the exception, Carl Schmitt
    • 14: Communism is as bad as imperialism, Jomo Kenyatta
    • 15: The state must be conceived of as an “educator”, Antonio Gramsci
    • 16: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, Mao Zedong
  • 8: Post-war politics 1945 – present
    • 1: The chief evil is unlimited government, Friedrich Hayek
    • 2: Parliamentary government and rationalist politics do not belong to the same system, Michael Oakeshott
    • 3: The objective of the Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system, Abul Ala Maududi
    • 4: There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other men, Ayn Rand
    • 5: Every known and established fact can be denied, Hannah Arendt
    • 6: What is a woman? Simone de Beauvoir
    • 7: No natural object is solely a resource, Arne Naess
    • 8: We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy, Nelson Mandela
    • 9: Only the weak-minded believe that politics is a place of collaboration, Gianfranco Miglio
    • 10: During the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed tend to become oppressors, Paulo Freire
    • 11: Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, John Rawls
    • 12: Colonialism is violence in its natural state, Frantz Fanon
    • 13: The ballot or the bullet, Malcolm X
    • 14: We need to “cut off the king’s head”, Michel Foucault
    • 15: Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves, Che Guevara
    • 16: Everybody has to make sure that the rich folk are happy, Noam Chomsky
    • 17: Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance, Martin Luther King
    • 18: Perestroika unites socialism with democracy, Mikhail Gorbachev
    • 19: The intellectuals erroneously fought Islam, Ali Shariati
    • 20: The hellishness of war drives us to break with every restraint, Michael Walzer
    • 21: No state more extensive than the minimal state can be justified, Robert Nozick
    • 22: No Islamic law says violate women’s rights, Shirin Ebadi
    • 23: Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation, Robert Pape
  • 9: Directory
  • 10: Glossary
  • 11: Index
  • 12: Acknowledgements

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An innovative and accessible guide to government, law, and power


Fascinating material, well presented
*The Psychologist (Review of The Psychology Book)*

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