Government  

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"To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so [...]. --Pierre-Joseph Proudhon


"In his 1937 book A History of Political Theory, George Sabine collected the views of many political theorists on consent of the governed. He notes the idea mentioned in 1433 by Nicholas of Cusa in De Concordantia Catholica. In 1579 an influential Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos was published which Sabine paraphrases: "The people lay down the conditions which the king is bound to fulfill. Hence they are bound to obedience only conditionally, namely, upon receiving the protection of just and lawful government…the power of the ruler is delegated by the people and continues only with their consent."" --Sholem Stein

This page Government is part of the politics series.Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.
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This page Government is part of the politics series.
Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.
Niccolò Machiavelli (Detail of 1500 portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito)
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Niccolò Machiavelli (Detail of 1500 portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito)

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. It can also describe the leadership of a supranational organization, such as the United Nations or the EU, or a political region, or local units, such as a county, city, or township.

"Government" generally refers to the organizational structure that makes laws, sets policy, and runs the day-to-day affairs of some political unit, region, or community. As such, it generally is not used to refer to organizations that are considered to be privately owned or privately run, such as e.g. a business, a corporation or company, private organization, or any private entity.

In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a means by which organizational policies are enforced, as well as a mechanism for determining policy. Each government has a kind of constitution, a statement of its governing principles and philosophy. Typically the philosophy chosen is some balance between the principle of individual freedom and the idea of absolute state authority (tyranny).

While all types of organizations have governance, the term government is often used more specifically, to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments and subsidiary organizations globally.

Historically prevalent forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy and tyranny. The main aspect of any philosophy of government is how political power is obtained, with the two main forms being electoral contest and hereditary succession.


See also

Principles

Certain major characteristics are defining of certain types; others are historically associated with certain types of government.

Autonomy

This list focuses on differing approaches that political systems take to the distribution of sovereignty, and the autonomy of regions within the state.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Government" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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