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Political Ideologies. Major Systems of Government and Economic Beliefs. Questions to ask…. Who owns what in society? How is the government organized? Where does power derive itself? . Terms to Know.

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Political Ideologies

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political ideologies

Political Ideologies

Major Systems of Government and Economic Beliefs

questions to ask
Questions to ask…
  • Who owns what in society?
  • How is the government organized?
  • Where does power derive itself?
terms to know
Terms to Know
  • Government - the exercise of political authority over the actions and affairs of a political unit and people. Also, the performance of certain functions for this unit or body.
  • Economy - the complex range of human activities concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
  • Bureaucracy – The excessive multiplication of and concentration of power in, administrative “bureaus” or administrators.
  • Federalism – A government clearly divided between national and local levels. Both levels have powers reserved for them and them alone.
  • Unitary Government – One national government that has all the power. Local governments may exist, but they exist at the pleasure and will of the national government.
two cows
Two Cows…
  • To help explain the systems of government, and so that you can compare them, we’re going to use the “two cows” system. Basically, you will always start off with two cows. Sometimes, it will be noted that your neighbor doesn’t have a cow for himself. What each government does in response should help you understand how the government interacts with the people.
  • Absence of any form of political authority.

Examples: Occupy Wall Street

two cows anarchy
Two Cows - Anarchy
  • You have two cows, your neighbor has none.

He takes one from you because he wants one. You would go to the police for help, but there aren’t any.

feudalism 9 th 15 th century
Feudalism (9th-15th Century)

A political an economic system of Europe, based on the holding of all land in a “fief” or “fee” and the resulting relation of lord to “vassal” and characterized by homage, legal and military service of “serfs,” or peasants.

two cows feudalism
Two Cows - Feudalism

You have two cows. 

Your lord takes some of the milk in exchange for protection.

Your neighbor has no cows.

Your neighbor is in big trouble.

  • A government ruled by or subject to religious authority.
  • Examples:
  • Vatican City (ruled by the Pope, head of the Catholic Church)
  • Tibet (ruled by the Dalai Lama, head of Tibetan Buddhism)
two cows theocracy
Two Cows - Theocracy

You have two cows.

They have both reached Nirvana.


A government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them.

Examples: Ancient Greece, some small towns or villages


A government by the people; power is vested in the people and exercised by their elected agents in a free electoral system. A defining characteristic is the absence of a monarch; power comes only from the people.

Examples: Ancient Rome, the United States?

representative democracy
Representative Democracy
  • A type of democracy in which the citizens delegate authority to elected officials.
two cows representative democracy
Two Cows – Representative Democracy
  • You have two cows. Your neighbors don’t have any.

You and your neighbors pick someone to determine exactly what you’ll be allowed to do with the milk.

  • An economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.
  • Capitalism tends to oppose cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
  • Adam Smith: “When an individual pursues his self-interest, he indirectly promotes the good of society.”
two cows capitalism
Two Cows - Capitalism
  • You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You sell one cow and buy a bull. You breed them, and sell your neighbor a new cow for a profit.
welfare capitalism
Welfare Capitalism
  • Welfare capitalism refers either to the combination of a capitalist economic system with a welfare state or, in the American context, to the practice of businesses providing welfare-like services to employees.
  • A welfare state is a concept of government where the state plays the primary role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable obtain the minimal definition of “the good life” for themselves.
  • A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution in the community as a whole.
  • Social Democracy – Advocating the things important to socialism within free elections. Also supportive of reforms and regulations within Capitalism, but still supportive of the concept of a Free Market in general.
what s mine is yours
What’s Mine is Yours…

And What’s Yours is Mine!

two cows socialism
Two Cows - Socialism
  • You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.
bureaucratic socialism
Bureaucratic Socialism
  • A systems of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state. This government is dominated by a single political party.
  • A theory or system of social organization based on holding all property in common. Actual ownership is given to the community as a whole, or to the state of behalf of the community.

Russian Communism

  • A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy. A single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared.
two cows communism
Two Cows - Communism
  • You have two cows. Your neighbor has none.You have to take care of them, but the single-party government takes all the milk to redistribute “fairly.” By the way, they define “fair.”
  • A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, controlling al industry, commerce, and trade. There is an emphasis on nationalism, and often racism.
two cows fascism
Two Cows - Fascism
  • You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

Your neighbor with no cows gets accused of being a religious minority, and is taken away.