Is Everything Political?: Access the dangers and advantages of the statement that "everything is political".

Essay by missskitzCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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The statement that 'everything is political' has some very strong arguments on either side. Politics does in some way affect everything that happens to us in everyday life, things such as tax, laws and employment opportunity are some examples of what the government has some control over. It is argued that if the concept of politics is stretched too far it loses its meaning, for everything to be political our society would cease to be a democratic nation. We would be under total control of the government, this would more likely be a despotic society rather than democratic.

The statement 'everything political' implies that we as a society have no right to individual choice, belief's or interest's. If this statement were true the government would control everything we think and feel. In the past politics was used to refer exclusively to actions by government officials. Minogue (1995) argues that for a number of reasons just about everything can now be described either directly or indirectly as political.

Minogue's reasoning for this was that government likes to claim praise for all the good things that occur and oppositions like to distribute blame for all the bad things. This doesn't prove that everything is political, just that everything appears to be caused by government policies.

Minogue stated that private life consisting of family, choice, beliefs and interests is separate to the public world. Private life should be considered as non-political, as this is what makes us individuals. For any government to try to control its citizens private lives would indicate that we are living in despotism. If everything controversial is called 'political', and if (as a popular slogan has it) the personal is political, then nothing is left outside the scope of control by government. (Minogue, K. 1999, pp. 7) If 'the...