The Driving Force of Politics By Carter Bassler

All over the world, there are different types of governmental systems in place. monarchies, democracies, communist countries, but they all have one important thing in common. All of these governmental systems have politics, or actions associated to that certain government. Politics have survived for many years, originating in ancient greece. The greeks developed politics, with their government idealizing the idea of conflict among politics. These politics thrived in ancient greece and were so successful that they have stayed with us to the present day. But a question could be asked, What has driven the conflict of politics throughout history?

Example of two different groups fighting about idealism

The roots of politics, good and bad, can be somewhat explained by Friedrich Nietzsche, a german philosopher. He states that, “Anything which is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power... 'Exploitation'... belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life” (Nietzsche). Nietzsche believes that people have a will to power. A will to power meaning the driving force in humans to reach the highest possible position in life. The want, the motivation humans have and their will and perseverance to achieve. This will to power can define the human race into two categories, the slaves and the masters. The masters are the humans with the will to power. The dominant people who will stop at nothing for power. The slaves are the ones without the will to power, the ones who want morals and peace for life. The Masters exploit the slaves again and again because of their differences. Throughout history, this mentality has been proven over and over with different civilizations during different eras. An example of this slave and master mentality is Imperialism. Imperialism was a key piece in advancing the world to its current state. Throughout history, there was a certain era of imperialism, from the 16th century to the 19th century, the more advanced countries imperialized the lesser advanced. The Imperialist countries exploited and took advantage of the countries they were imperializing, the slave master mentality shown again. For example, when Britain imperialized India, Britain (Imperialist) was the master, while India (Imperialized) was the slave. In present civilization, Nietzsche's ideas are somewhat expressed. Although in modern society there aren’t “slaves and masters”, there are many groups with different opinions and views on how the world should work, and the best way it would work. These conflicting ideals are what make up and work conflict into American Politics.

Friedrich Nietzsche

In present day, modern societies all over the world have civilized governments. There are many different forms of government, but they all govern over civilization with rules and law. Throughout history, many philosophers have pondered how civilized government came about. A philosopher named Thomas Hobbes believed in “the state of nature”, which is the idea of life without government or laws. Hobbes argued that such a, “dissolute condition of masterless men, without subjection to Lawes, and a coercive Power to tie their hands from rapine, and revenge” would make impossible all of the basic security upon which comfortable, sociable, civilized life depends (Hobbes). There would be “no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continual feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” If this is the state of nature, people have strong reasons to avoid it, which can be done only by submitting to some mutually recognized public authority, for “so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evil” (“Hobbes Moral and Political Theory”). Hobbes believes civilization was formed because of man’s need to avoid of the state of nature. Hobbes states that the state of nature is the state of war. Chaos and destruction would rule life. Human life would be short, and filled with pain and anguishment. This state of nature made man yearn for a way out of this savagery. Hobbes argues that this “need of man” is how civilization was born. Civilization provided a basic security among man, and provided a better life than known otherwise in the state of nature. Ever since civilization was born, there have been differences about how to go about governing it, because different people have different ideals on what their perspective of best.

Thomas Hobbes

Both Nietzsche's and Hobbes opinions and ideals have been argued and debated throughout history, but which one of their ideals is more relevant in society in history? Nietzsche's ideals were based on the personality and traits of man. Hobbes ideals were based on the advancement of man in society. I believe that Nietzsche’s ideas are more relevant in society. For example, the Nazi’s interpreted Nietzsche beliefs in twisted way so much so that even, “Adolf Hitler and the Nazis claimed Nietzsche as one of their great inspirations” (Hicks). Although this was not Nietzsche’s intent, Hitler was inspired by Nietzsche. Hitler claimed Nietzsche gave justification of the Jewish genocide because it to was eliminate “the weaker race”. The Nazi Regime also justified Nietzsche’s ideas to be the reason why they took over neighboring countries, and drew influence from their will to power. Still, Nietzsche’s ideas were not meant to be interpreted like the Germans did, and Hitler in some way distorted the idea of the will to power. Even if it is for better or for worse, Nietzsche’s ideas have been shown throughout the course of history and in society today.

Although Nietzsche’s ideals were more relevant in the 20th century, they are still very relevant today. There are still many different types of people with different personalities. Their personalities may not be just Master and Slave, not as black and white as Nietzsche described them as. His concept of the will to power is still alive today though. In politics there are many people that could be described as slaves who want peace and are trampled over because they let themselves. There are also the people who could be described as masters, doing whatever it takes to come out on top, trampling over other people. An example of a master persay, is Donald J. Trump. Trump is a very well known and successful businessman, who can even be classified as a billionaire. This year although, he lept into politics, in a bid to run for president. Many doubted his efforts of running and said he had no chance. Throughout his campaign, Trump did whatever it took to win the election. He insulted people, spread rumors, disregarded other candidates facts, and trampled over many people. Although his methods may be considered immoral, it helped him win the presidential election. Many such as Haaretz News believe, “Trump marks the return to the world stage of Nietzschean philosophy centered around the concept of the will to power. In our world, which deals only with imitation, he could be dubbed a 19th-century American president.” (Yehuda). Trump closely represents Nietzsche's philosophy of the “Will to Power”. There are also many people just like Trump who have a master mentality and a will to power.

Donald J. Trump

As I was beginning to investigate my topic of politics throughout history, I came upon two very compelling philosophers with two very different ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche with the idea of the Will to Power, and Thomas Hobbes with the idea of the State of Nature. I was very interested in both philosophers ideas and began to compare them to each other. As I began to venture deeper into my paper, I realized I had a new calling, a whole new question that needed to be asked, Whose ideals are more reflected in society, Nietzsche’s or Hobbes’s? I set out to research this new question, and now I can confidently say that Nietzsche’s ideals have been reflected in society in a huge way. Hobbes idea of the state of nature is less relevant because almost everywhere in the world there is established society and government. Nietzsche ideas of the will to power are relevant to human personality and traits, so it can be referenced to human life in society today. Many unique philosophies have driven politics throughout the course of history, and have make the idealism of politics thrive in countries all throughout the world.

The Two symbols of the Main American Politics Parties, The donkey (Democratic Party) and the elephant (Republican Party)

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