A Political Theory Compare and Contrast Essay


AP Government


November 11, 2003


Through out history, various nations biggest struggle has been its search for a stable government that satisfies the people and is strong enough to defend itself. There are many different forms of government, which essentially originate from four core political theories. These ideals, under close examination are so controversial that even today nations are still struggling with the very issue of governmental tactics. These four core ideals are rule by force, divine right, revolutionary government and social contract. Each very complex and each very dependent on the people in which it affect’s reaction.


Rule by force is a theory that is not so foreign to the world’s criticism. This theory is basically the idea that control over the nation lies in the hands of the most politically powerful person or group. This can be summed up with a summary of the theory, ‘ruling by fear’. Many would compare this to Nazi Germany during WWII. Hitler and believers in the Nazi regime used fear of the unknown to convince people to follow his theories. After he had the majority of the population under his control, he intimidated the remainder of the society, and eventually won over total control over much of Europe. Now such dictators as Saddam Hussein have kept the Iraqi people with in his control by committing mass murders in public as a warning to what could happen if anyone disobeyed him. In my own opinion, this form of government is counter productive to an economy and often results in government officials benefiting from its citizens. I also believe that although causalities rates may not be directly related to the government, this form of government seems to produce an unnecessary amount of civilian causalities.


Divine right is another theory that is being practiced today. Especially common in China and Japan, rulers are not chosen; rather they are born into royalty or have been chosen by God to rule. It is said that only by God’s will can anyone become a ruler, and that God chooses who will born unto whom. China experiences dynasties, in which a family rules for decades with out any regard to the ruler’s popularity with the citizens. A historical example of this is the pharaohs of Egypt. Many royal advisors to the pharaohs studied extensively in Egyptian religion, possibly to defend one’s ascension to power. Personally I feel that one can not be expected to be a good ruler, just because their father or grandfather was. It seems illogically and once again provides lavish benefits to the ruling party.


Another recently criticized theory of government is the Revolutionary theory. The basis of this theory is that a government can evolve through various revolutions. It is proven fact that the very nature of government originated from Indians and nomads. Early on in the development of society, tribes were formed in which a chief was selected after the discovery of agriculture; a more complex structure was needed. Next, Feudalism became popular; this was an extensive delegation of power by class. Later when many countries began to establish their own identity, Nationalism spread, forming a monarch of kings and queens to rule. When the idea of mass production began to flourish society entered what is know as the Industrial Revolution. Then Capitalism took affect and democracy was born of that. Finally following Communism was Globalism, and the birth of the corporate world. It seems to me that if a government is dependant on revolts to create change, it could never be fully satisfying to all people. This in turn, would create a circle of reforms that could never be stopped and could never be expected to remain any one way for long. How can a society be secure in an ever changing government?


Democracy, which is the current government of the United States is a product of a social contract, a theory that is based on the consent of the governed. In this government, power is delegated to the people as well as the governing officials. A very detailed system of checks and balances ensure that no one part of the government is given too much power. I find that this is the most satisfying theory