Political science

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Political science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, nation, government, and politics and policies of government. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state.


  • Majorities are of two sorts: (1)Communal majority and (ii) political majority. A political majority is changeable in its class composition. A political majority grows. A communal majority is born.The admission to a political majority is open. The door in a communal majority is closed. The politics of political majority are free to all to make and unmake. The politics of community majority are made by its own members born in it.
  • A young man is not an appropriate hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life.
  • It is difficult to see why the most advantageous political system, for the present, would not be a democratic state with an artistocratic government, provided only the artistocracy be that of real merit, and not of artificial qualities. If this be not the real principle of the republican form of government then I must confess that I do not know what its principle is.
    • John Burgess (1933). The Foundations of Political Science. (reprinted 1994) As cited in Ido Oren, "The Subjectivity of the 'Democratic' Peace," International Security, Vol. 20, No. 2.
  • The revelation that systems organize on their own sat poorly with the apostles of social sciences—especially political scientists who base their theories on imposing external controls to achieve selected political goals. They are accustomed to thinking about government-produced certainties, not ambiguous probabilities. In their linear calculations, humanity must be physically forced to follow the guiding light of political leaders or flavor-of-the-month ideologies. The economy and human actions must march in step with legislative or dictated law, no matter what the outcome. Yet natural systems do not operate this way.
    • Quote in In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action by L.K. Samuels, Cobden Press, (2013) pp. 10-11.
  • After the first International Days of Protest in October, 1965, Senator Mansfield criticized the "sense of utter irresponsibility" shown by the demonstrators. He had nothing to say then, nor has he since, about the "sense of utter irresponsibility" shown by Senator Mansfield and others who stand by quietly and vote appropriations as the cities and villages of North Vietnam are demolished, as millions of refugees in the South are driven from their homes by American bombardment. He has nothing to say about the moral standards or the respect for international law of those who have permitted this tragedy. I speak of Senator Mansfield precisely because he is not a breast-beating superpatriot who wants America to rule the world, but is rather an American intellectual in the best sense, a scholarly and reasonable man -- the kind of man who is the terror of our age. Perhaps this is merely a personal reaction, but when I look at what is happening to our country, what I find most terrifying is not Curtis LeMay, with his cheerful suggestion that we bomb everybody back into the stone age, but rather the calm disquisitions of the political scientists on just how much force will be necessary to achieve our ends, or just what form of government will be acceptable to us in Vietnam. What I find terrifying is the detachment and equanimity with which we view and discuss an unbearable tragedy. We all know that if Russia or China were guilty of what we have done in Vietnam, we would be exploding with moral indignation at these monstrous crimes.
    • "On Resistance", The New York Review of Books, December 7, 1967.

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