What is ‘Politics’?

“After revolution has failed, all questions must center on how a new revolutionary consciousness can be mobilized around a new set of class antagonisms that have been created by the authoritarian reign of terror.” – George Jackson, “Blood In My Eye”

I was involved in two conversations today that caused me to realize that many of us are not using the dictionary. Both conversations surrounded the misuse and misunderstanding of the word ‘politics’. As I was trained to say during my days as an activist, ‘politics’ is the ‘who, what, where, when, and how of power.’

‘Politics’ is a study, a STUDY, of the activities of those who we allow to have influence over us. Politics is not Obama becoming president, but simply an element with which we study when studying the political science of the society of the United States of North America. Politics is simply a label we used when referring to power plays.

Many have said to me that politics is a scam. I have to rebuttal and say that the use of power in many situations is based on gaining the confidence of the many with less than honest dealings. But politics itself, is simply a study and reference to those behaviors. The use of the term as a specific activity is wrong, and we all should be ever mindful of how we use words.

I have even been involved in conversations were people have told me that I need not be concerned with politics and focus on Jesus. Jesus according to the bible was a political entity. According to the bible, Jesus was against the status quo who used religious and spiritual terminology and institutions to gain power and influences. To say that I shouldn’t focus on religion as opposed to a myopic focus on Jesus is to show one’s lack of understanding. Politics is a term that reflects something that is embedded into every social relationship known.

There is politics in the father reigning over his household. There is politics in my typing that last statement. There is politics in the woman who uses her body to persuade a man to pay her bills. There is politics in that last statement. The play of power is within every social activity and should be considered as such. The failings of the American Black are irrevocably tied to our inability to understand that particular nuance.

Politics is not just democrats and republicans. Politics is also schools being closed down in order to build entertainment facilities. Politics is not just Health Care Bills. It is also more churches and liquor stores in the American Black community than institutions of learning controlled by American Blacks.

The terms “democracy”, “socialism”, “fascism”, and “capitalisms” are only terms used to situate nuance when discussing politics. Politics is a higher framework that includes all forms of human behavior with regard to influence and power over other humans. It is simply a study of the manipulations and systems of leadership that humans have used over time, and are using now.