Part A: Definitions
The term liberty is derived from two words, liberty or liberties. Liber refers to being free. Liberty is linked to two fundamental concepts: liberation and toleration. Toleration relates to permitting humans to continue their activities despite creating some disadvantage to other, which they should tolerate. Liberty is the atmosphere that provides humans an environment where they can freely be their best selves (Open Educational Resources, 2018).
The absence of social privilege can refer to equality. Equality refers to the idea that adequate opportunities are openly laid to all. Equality in the political sense refers to the notion that all men are equal politically and are permitted to exercise a franchise, take part in politics or hold or run for office. Equality insists that before the law, all individuals be equal in how the law imposes duties or confers rights upon them, that should extend to all (Standford, n.d.).
Democracy refers to the political system or type of government where the members of society or citizens are part of the rule. The citizens are permitted to hold authority and some level of power and be able to participate in the decision making or poetical process of the government (Zimmermann, 2012).
For me, liberty is the idea that I can exercise my own will by how I view life or desire to live it. Liberty means that I can seek personal pleasure and happiness as long as its pursuit does not hurt the other. I see equality in being accepted as an Individual for my own merits, and for what I am or who I am, instead of being judged based on my background, looks, gender or ethnicity.
Part B: Defining Political Thought
The definition of political science is that it is a part of science which deals with the principles of government and the foundations of the state. In political science, the central theme is the ‘state,’ therefore it revolves around the structure, origin, nature, and functions of the state. This definition seems more convincing to me as it is broad in scope and involves not only the government and state but also power struggles that can take place at all levels of life, private to public (UW, n.d.).
The political thought of Plato was inspired by his teacher, Socrates. For him, politics is the authority of government and command to be able to secure the interests of all subjects of the state. He considers it as a science because knowledge governs it and rhetoric, jurisprudence and art of war are part of its secondary sciences. He was visibly a critic of Athenian democracy and had reservations about allowing people to make decisions about rationally running the Athenian state. Plato thought that with time democracy would evolve into tyranny because political equality and liberty could lead towards indulgence in whims and desires, which in turn would lead towards a disregard for moral and political authority. He did not view ordinary people to have the capacity to comprehend what is the common good, which in his view could lead to democracy’s failure, and because of that democracy would lead towards the rule of the vicious, the brutal and the foolish. He also did not view public opinion to be an embodiment of wisdom but thought that it would lead leaders and society down towards a negative path in fulfillment of whims and desires, instead of towards what could be objectively wrong or right (Korab-Karpowicz, n.d.).
Korab-Karpowicz, W. J. (n.d.). Plato: Political Philosophy. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/platopol/
Open Educational Resources. (2018, April 4). The Nature of Liberty. Retrieved from Virtual Learning Environment: http://vle.du.ac.in/mod/book/view.php?id=13016&chapterid=28111
Standford. (n.d.). Equality of Opportunity and Education. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from Stanford University: McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society: https://edeq.stanford.edu/sections/concept-equality-opportunity
UW. (n.d.). What is Political Science? Retrieved April 4, 2018, from University of Washington: Department of Political Science: https://www.polisci.washington.edu/what-political-science
Zimmermann, K. a. (2012, June 12). What Is Democracy? Definition, Types & History. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/20919-democracy.html