Political Action: The Key to Understanding Politics

Political Action: The Key to Understanding Politics

Political Action: The Key to Understanding Politics

Political Action: The Key to Understanding Politics

Synopsis

Without a new focus on action, political science will remain sterile; and without a more human politics, citizens will remain misinformed, apathetic, helpless. "Political Action" is controversial because it challenges the profession of political science. It suggests a paradigm shift which is important for allied social science disciplines as well. For political strategists it provides the methodological tool of political action propositions, which allow a careful calculation of the effects of alternative strategies.

Excerpt

In the years that we have worked on this book societal crises have grown even more serious and the need for an adequate political science ever more critical. International crises which we discuss in the first chapter have manifested in more severe forms, and have been brought home to America in the form of poverty, hunger, unemployment, acid rain, toxic waste, and increased crime, fear and feelings of hopelessness. We are involved in wars both in the Middle East and in Central America. As these become resolved somehow there will be similar conflicts in other parts of the globe. And throughout the world there is the sense that nuclear war is almost inevitable, either between the superpowers or between lesser nations who already possess, or will soon possess, nuclear capability. We seem to be facing the necessity of a profound and radical transformation of our global society if we are not to see the total collapse of civilization as we have known it.

In such a time we hope for political leaders and institutions to lead us through societal death and rebirth. We look for a Thomas Jefferson to crystallize our situation in a new Declaration of Independence or an Abraham Lincoln to speak of a rebirth of freedom. Instead, the 1984 campaigns and elections clearly demonstrate that such leadership is lacking and that no political movement has emerged with sufficient vision and dedication to guide us through our crises.

Among the circumstances behind our worsening situation is a lack of political understanding. We are unclear about the conditions in our rapidly changing world. We have lost confidence in our original political goals but we do not know how to replace them. And, most of all, we do not know what is to be done. Political science which has developed in academia . . .

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