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 Definition Activity that relates to the way in which society is governed, and the process by which human beings living in communities make decisions and establish obligatory values for its members. [d] [e]
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Is that it ?

Does anyone have plans to complete this article? My first reaction as a newcomer to this workgroup was that this article must be "under construction", but the history page seems to indicate that nothing of substance has been added since July, and not a great deal since November. Surely we can't leave it as it is - with the only reference to democracy being Aristotle's "rule by the poor" and no links to Locke, Mill etc, and nothing on ideologies or forms of government. Can we? Nick Gardner 05:12, 15 November 2007 (CST)

I dislike the whole article,and am inclined to say we should scrap it and start again. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 07:36, 15 November 2007 (CST)

Since nobody has dissented, I propose shortly to give effect to Martin Baldwin-Edwards' suggestion and make a fresh start. - Nick Gardner 02:35, 18 November 2007 (CST)

Especially as this is an imported article [from WP or where??] I doubt that there will be an objection. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 11:17, 20 November 2007 (CST)

Note: In five years there hasn't been a objection. Guess Martin and Nick were right! ;-) Roger A. Lohmann 20:55, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Please check

I am nearing the end of this article, and I should be grateful if, before I leave it, those of you that have it on your watchlists could spare the time for a quick check for errors and omissions. Nick Gardner 01:11, 27 November 2007 (CST)

To my mind, this is already a lot better than the original thing that was here. A few things stand out as missing, from a quick reading: these are the state as the central institution in advanced democracies; and forms of governance. As it stands, a novice reader would think that the state is the government: this is a common fallacy and needs an entire section on theory of the state. The forms of governance section I think needs to start off with a simple treatment, adding more sophistication with excpetions and additional layers of complexity. Some of the conventional terminology might be appropriate here -- but always as information about how the conventional literature describes it, not as a de facto "reality" !@
But don't feel compelled to do any of this, Nick: I might write something when I have spare time [e.g. Xmas]. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:22, 1 December 2007 (CST)

Thank you Martin. I do hope that you will be able to find time to put it all right. If you run out of time before you finish, please let me know what more is needed and I'll do my best to provide it. Nick Gardner 02:58, 2 December 2007 (CST)

The concept of the state

Following Martin's suggestion, I have added "The concept of the state" as a sub-paragraph under the heading of "Fundamentals", with the intention of inserting a draft based mainly on A definition of the State by Professor Chandran Kukathas[1]. I have also added a "glossary" heading to the related articles subpages, with the intention of placing some of Chandran Kukathas' definitions there - so as not to allow terminological definitions to hamper the readability of the main text. I will await objections before going further. Nick Gardner 11:00, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

While it's somewhat more related to international relations, you might find some useful state attributes in the articles on The End of History and the Last Man and The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:55, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Upgraded article status on Metadata template

After all the work that has been done on this article by Nick Gardner and others, surely it is no longer an "external" article. I upgraded the status on the Metadata template from a 4 to a 2 (developing article). I hope no one disagrees. Milton Beychok 22:33, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Towards approval

This definitely is close. I see some areas that might be enhanced; there are a few copy edits that I can do and still nominate it. I might do some work on Related Articles, which again I think is allowable, to suggest areas that should be linked.

It's a nice and needed top-level piece. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

It's still some way from meeting Approval criteria. Given the exact article title, my feeling is that it should start with historical definitions of politics as a subject (e.g. Plato, Aristotle and Machiavelli are missing) somehow needs to integrate the different sections into a coherent narrative. This is difficult, but... Really, a lot of these sections could link to more detailed stuff on theories of the state, of governance, etc. The primary requirement is to have some overview of what politics means -- historically, theoretically and in contemporary practice. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 15:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I do not intend to make any further contribution to this article. Nick Gardner 16:14, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Major articles like this should be collaborative anyway, so the rest of us should add to it. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
That is the response that I hoped for. Nick Gardner 20:25, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
As I see it, it is too narrowly Western. Confucius is missing,let alone any discussion of the Asian system where Zhong Guo, the Middle Kingdom, was surrounded by wai guo, the "outside lands" (often translated "barbarians"), in contrast to the European development of nation-states. Nor is their anything on Sharia Law and Islam as a political model. Sandy Harris 22:45, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
That's true; we need to be more inclusive. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 00:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree. Apart from brief allusions to some non-western developments in a (yet to be drafted) paragraph on the history of politics, I can't see any point in burdening the reader with matters that seem to me to contribute little or nothing to an understanding of the subject of politics. As I understand it, Sharia is not a political concept. I accept that the Quranic concept of Shura is a possible basis for a political model, but it would be hard to distinguish it from democracy, and it does not appear to have ever been adopted as an Islamic practice. As I see it, the Western political models and concepts (Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, Representative Government etc) - or models and concepts that are virtually indistinguishable from them - have been so widely adopted that a consideration of other models would amount to a digression. I should value a ruling from a history editor on this point. Nick Gardner 09:22, 7 May 2011 (CDT)
I've no specialised expertise, but I found this article very readable and interesting. On domestic groups, I wondered whether environmental pressure groups have in fact had so much influence -compared to say religious pressure groups in some countries, and at times trade unions. Having said that, it's not necessarily a reason to change anything, I'd rather an article with a clear voice than one where a voice is lost in the noise of detail. But perhaps a short something on the Greek origins (politics (and police) both derive from polis, the ancient Greek city-state) might be an addition that blends well with this article? Gareth Leng 10:37, 4 May 2011 (CDT)
I accept that point and I will try to cover it in a further paragraph. Nick Gardner 09:22, 7 May 2011 (CDT)

(undent) Do see the article on interest group Howard C. Berkowitz 08:47, 10 May 2011 (CDT)

International decision-making

Nick, thanks for adding the material on sovereignty, which I will clone to sovereign state and add more there, perhaps a reference to such things as the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the role of the United Nations.

Perhaps this afternoon, I can try some Venn diagrams or other graphic representation of schools of thought that we discussed. Another approach may be an X-Y plot of humanitarianism/ethics vs. national interest. I have a doctor's appointment at noon, and this is good drawing fodder for the waiting room. Howard C. Berkowitz 08:47, 10 May 2011 (CDT)

Thanks for your support. I think I have gone as far as I can without unbalancing the article - but I have set up an addendum subpage for additional material. Nick Gardner 16:58, 10 May 2011 (CDT)
Rather than an Addendum, I think we have to make sure that the Related Articles page is up to date, the relevant articles are Wikilinked, and that they reflect discussion here. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:02, 10 May 2011 (CDT)
I don't have any specific plans for the addendum - I only mentioned it as a possible home for your Venn diagram. I am about to make a start on tidying up the article, and I will attend to wikilinks as I go. I hope to finish the job after returning from a short break on the moors and cliff walks of North Devon. Nick Gardner 04:04, 11 May 2011 (CDT)
It seems that the related articles page has exceeded the limit at which definitions are provided. Is there a way of fixing this? Nick Gardner 05:53, 11 May 2011 (CDT)

UN and humanitarian action

Before decisions by the UNGA are mentioned, I tend to think that it should be made clear that it, as opposed to the UNSC, has no actual power, and there are a wide range of opinions on its moral authority versus its being a place for posturing. In the humanitarian context, it is fair to mention that the UNGA did adopt the recommendations of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, but the authority of doing so remains unclear with respect to war crimes. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:02, 10 May 2011 (CDT)

I accept that the reference to the UNGA was apt to mislead the reader, and I have removed it. I think that the question of the UN's humanitarian action will have to be dealt with elsewhwere: it is too complicated to be dealt with briefly.Nick Gardner 03:54, 11 May 2011 (CDT)

Ready for approval?

I have done what I can to prepare Politics for approval and I have created a new article on the History of political thought to meet the need for an historical context. Is there anything further that should be done? Nick Gardner 12:57, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Messages in support of this request for assistance to the three "active" politics editors have elicited no response. The editorial function for the politics workgroup appears to have been abolished. Nick Gardner 20:52, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Roger was active in April and May. The other two I've never even heard of. Hayford Peirce 21:33, 26 July 2011 (UTC)


I don't see the need to bring anthropology into an article on politics, and even if there is, I don't think that the lede is the place for it. There is an etymology paragraph where such pedantic issues could be explored if that is thought necessary. The same applies to sociology and any other discipline that borders on politics . - Nick Gardner 06:11, 1 May 2012 (UTC) Unless there is support for the inclusion in the lede of a comparison of anthropology and politics, I intend to remove it. - Nick Gardner 07:04, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I was, actually, going to mention sociology as well. Comparison and contrast is in fact a perfectly valid way to help define things. Reading the opening, the first sentence did not define politics or distinguish it from any other discipline; you might as well have been talking about social anthropology, which is what I wanted to point out. Having said all that, I'm not at all wedded to making a comparison, go ahead and strengthen/clarify/specify the opening in another manner. Aleta Curry 23:23, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
To meet your point I have replaced the text of the lede by the text of the former Overview paragraph. Nick Gardner 10:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Er...your rewrite was more accessible, Nick! Aleta Curry 00:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Approval Process: failed

Call for review: Nick Gardner 05:45, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Call for Approval: Anthony.Sebastian 15:16, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Approval Notice: Anthony.Sebastian 23:46, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Failure of Approval: Anthony.Sebastian 00:02, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Please discuss the article below, Politics/Approval is for brief official referee's only!


Not Ready Yet

I wish I could sign on to the Approval of this page, but it isn't ready yet.

While it represents a good start, this article and its subpages are not ready for Approval. The main page leans too heavily on a too-narrow range of perspectives (e.g., political philosophy over political science, history and the study of actual political institutions, rationalism over behavioral perspectives, etc.) and gives short shrift to a number of essential topics (e.g., power). The list of topics on the Related Articles page is generally good, but not entirely consistent with the discussion on the Main page where several of these topics should be mentioned. The first paragraph would be improved by reflecting a broader range of definitions/conceptions (e.g., the art of the possible, peaceful conflict resolution - "war by other means" - etc.). Politics isn't just about citizenship. The list of Theories on the Related Articles page is heavily weighted to economic theories; autocracy, dictatorship and totalitarianism are not mentioned. The recent focus on public deliberation and deliberative democracy and the revival of civic republicanism are not reflected. The rise of political polling, political consultants, and social media should probably also be worked in also.

It would also be good if we could at least mention more non-western concepts, theories and contributors. The whole suite of articles is rather inconsistent: Is it intending to reflect a purely contemporary perspective, or a more historical one? It does a bit (but not enough) of both. Confucius is mentioned but there is no mention of Confucian theory. There is a rich tradition of Arab political thought; e.g., Ibn Khaldun is probably worth a listing in the list of theorists. What about khanates? The Ottoman Empire? The Holy Roman Empire? Feudal systems? Associationism? Pluralism? Absolute monarchy? Anarchism?

None of this is intended as criticism as what is there. Politics has a 2,500 year heritage of thought and practice back to Plato and Confucius, so, unfortunately, taking a contemporary perspective won't work in this case, as the Related Articles page attests and we have no choice but to try to reflect as much of that as necessary.

I'm trying to finish a paper right now, but I'll try to participate in what remains to be done so that Approval is not delayed too long.Roger A. Lohmann 12:21, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Thank you, Roger. I readily defer to you as to what is required here, and I should be happy if you could spare the time, either to take over the article, or to guide me further about how to complete it. I have no relevant qualifications in the subject of politics, and I tackled this article only because of the shaming inadequacy of its predecessor. I had thought that I should try to give our target "typical intelligent layman" an understanding of those aspects of politics that he or she is likely to come across - and try to avoid taking up his/her time with those aspects of the subject that do not contribute to that understanding. I took the same approach to the article on the history of political thought that I was drafting in parallel. I was (vaguely) aware of the possibility that an appreciation of Confuscianism might be necessary for an understanding of the practice of politics at some times and in some places (and that the same could be said of very many other systems of belief), but I had not come across anything that suggested that it would help our target reader.
Thus the limitations of the article arise from my approach to the article as well as the limitations of my understanding of the subject.
I am willing to learn.Nick Gardner 14:07, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I have just discovered Daron Acemoglu's Why Nations Fail, and when I have absorbed it, I plan to add a further paragraph on institutions. Nick Gardner 10:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Redrafting the Beginning Paragraphs

I've taken a swing at redrafting the beginning of the Politics article, with an eye toward broadening the communitarian perspective with which it began to include other views as well. There may still be some basics missing. The (fifth) Marxian paragraph is only one sentence, but could be developed a bit further. I always have trouble with footnotes, so I put in the years of some key works but need to flesh out the footnotes yet. I need to go back and find the format for doing it properly. I also want to put something in the state section indicating that some U.S. authorities have long rejected the idea that the U.S. is a state, while Theda Skocpol and others have been "bringing the state back in" but that's going to take a bit more research. Also, there aren't any allusions in the beginning to the idea of politics as public activity. Roger A. Lohmann 13:35, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

The new lede appears to me to be aimed at the wrong readership. It would, I imagine, be a valuable addition to the reading of a history undergraduate, but much of it is beyond the reach of many of the "intelligent laymen" that I take to be the bulk of CZ’s readership. Some of them might, I fear, find it daunting enough to put them off reading the rest of the article. I suggest transferring most of it to a Tutorials subpage.Nick Gardner 07:24, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
It would appear, from your comments, that the opening paragraphs are pitched just about at the right level, although we do disagree on the appropriate reader level for CZ. My understanding was that the "average reader" we were aiming for was a collegiate undergraduate, such as your "history undergraduate". I don't agree that suggesting that there are many different ways of understanding what politics is raises the reader level, however, although there is certainly room to improve the opening, the basic idea that there are many ways to view politics is essential in my view. Roger A. Lohmann 14:00, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Nick, we still need a definition of political economy on the Politics/Related Articles page. You are uniquely qualified to supply that one. Roger A. Lohmann 15:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Political economy is a term that was used in the 19th century by John Stuart Mill and others to refer to what is nowadays known as economics. As such it could never be the subject of an article, so I have deleted it from the related articles subpage. Nick Gardner 18:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
CZ:Approval_Standards has something to say about level. Peter Jackson 10:50, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

A couple

In Politics#Political ideologies there's talk of "the people". No mention of the fact that this didn't mean what it does now. Before the 20th century there were no democracies in the sense we use now: independent states governed by parliaments elected by universal suffrage. Before that, "the people" didn't include women, slaves or others who didn't count.

In Politics#Current forms of government the reference to Cuban elections is unclear. All but 4 current recognized states claim to be democracies, but something like half these claims are more or less false. In at least 1 case this is clear on the face of things: in Iran, no one can stand for election without permission from the theocracy (apart from a few Parliamentary seats reserved for recognized religious minorities). In most cases we're talking about varying mixtures of fraud, thuggery, bureaucracy, censorship (...). Peter Jackson 09:53, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Re lede

A respected dictionary will give usage quotations to make clear the meaning of each view/sense of the word, and CZ should best the dictionary. My handy American Heritage 4th edition reads:

pol·i·tics (pŏlĭ-tĭks)

n. 1.a. The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.

b. Political science.

2.a. The activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politician, or political party:

  "All politics is local" (Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.)

  "Politics have appealed to me since I was at Oxford because they are exciting morning, noon, and night" (Jeffrey Archer).

b. The methods or tactics involved in managing a state or government:

  "The politics of the former regime were rejected by the new government leadership."

  "If the politics of the conservative government now borders on the repressive, what can be expected when the economy falters?"

3. Political life:

  "studied law with a view to going into politics; felt that politics was a worthwhile career."

4. Intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power:

  "Partisan politics is often an obstruction to good government."

  "Office politics are often debilitating and counterproductive."

5. Political attitudes and positions:

  "His politics on that issue is his own business."

  "Your politics are clearly more liberal than mine."

6. The often internally conflicting interrelationships among people in a society.

— The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright© 2006, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Whatever list of ways to view politics you decide upon, usage quotes might help the reader follow your descriptions of each. You can invent your own quotes from imaginary people, better ones than those above.

I feel the lede needs help. Anthony.Sebastian 23:01, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


Here, the New Oxford American, on 'politics'

the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, esp. the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power: the president's relationship with Congress is vital to American politics | thereafter he dropped out of active politics.

the activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries: in the conduct of global politics, economic status must be backed by military capacity.

the academic study of government and the state: [as modifier] : a politics lecturer.

activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone's status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive: yet another discussion of office politics and personalities.

a particular set of political beliefs or principles: people do not buy this newspaper purely for its politics.

(often the politics of) the assumptions or principles relating to or inherent in a sphere, theory, or thing, esp. when concerned with power and status in a society: the politics of gender.

Anthony.Sebastian 23:16, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Another view of politics

"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." —Ambrose Bierce

Read more at BrainyQuotes

Anthony.Sebastian 23:26, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

others I have heard include defining politics as "the art of the possible" or "the art of promising everything and guaranteeing nothing". Sandy Harris 04:01, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Nothing to add

I do not believe that there is anything that I can usefully add to this article. I hope someone will edit into a condition suitable for approval but I do not consider it fit for approval as it now stands, and I must therefore withdraw my application for its approval. Nick Gardner 22:10, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Ready for Approval

There is always more that could be said on the subject of politics, but this is an excellent general introduction to the subject and, since no one has had anything major to add for some time, it is now ready for approval. I've done some minor (mostly copy) editing, added a few bits and strongly recommend its approval.

I don't want to prolong matters unnecessarily, but I should like to express some degree of doubt. For one, I find the beginning somewhat confused, possibly the result of too many compromises made by too many people. For another, I have found what I consider oversimplification in at least one statement. The article would appear to make Etzioni an advocate of communitarianism, whereas, as I understand his position, it is that when a society swings overmuch towards either individualism or communitarianism, then pressure should be exerted in the opposite direction. But then, I am no expert in these matters. --Martin Wyatt 19:22, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, Martin. The introduction may, indeed, be the product of too many compromises by too many people. However, unless you have some specific editorial suggestions, I don't see that there is much to be done to improve it at this point. Both the primary author and I as editor have exhausted our imaginations on the point. It would be better to concentrate on any outright errors and work on rewriting the introduction on the Draft page. Once that is done, it is a relatively simple matter to do an updated revision.
With regard to your second point, I'm afraid your understanding of Etzioni's role in communitarianism is a bit off the mark. There are certainly others who have contributed to the topic (most of whom disavow the label communitarian, which makes the whole matter even more complicated). Etzioni was the founder of a U.S. based journal on the subject, and has several books with communitarian in the title. As a leader of a (largely defunct) American political movement, he is still the public face of communitarianism here and elsewhere. Given your comment, I'm wondering if you may be confusing communitarianism with collectivism, in general. That's an easy mistake, since collectivism is where the strongest contrast with individualism is usually drawn, and it is very easy to conflate community and society. (As you may be aware, there is close to 200 years of literature on that last point.)

Roger A. Lohmann 19:58, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't think my first point is that easily dismissed. We have to look at it from the point of view of the person coming to the topic in search of help.
Well, you'd better start writing then. ;-) Roger A. Lohmann 23:34, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
As for the second point, you may be right. I was misled by my memory of reading The New Golden Rule, in which (I now find from my notes) he says: "A good, communitarian society ... calls on those with who are socially aware and active, people of insight and conscience, to throw themselves to the side opposite that toward which history is tilting." --Martin Wyatt 20:35, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm not clear on what point the quote is intended to make, but there really isn't any "maybe" about it:
Etzioni, A. (1996). A moderate communitarian proposal. Political Theory, 24(2), 155-171.
Etzioni, A. (1996). The responsive community: A communitarian perspective - 1995 Presidential address. American Sociological Review, 61(1), 1-11.
Etzioni, A. (1995). Rights and The Common Good: The Communitarian Perspective. New York: St. Martin’s.
Etzioni, A. (1993). The spirit of community : rights, responsibilities, and the communitarian agenda (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers.
Etzioni, A. (1995). New communitarian thinking : persons, virtues, institutions, and communities. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
Etzioni, A. (1998). The essential communitarian reader. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Etzioni, A. (1999). Civic repentance. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Roger A. Lohmann 23:34, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

In the etymology section the transcription of the Greek disagrees with the actual Greek. I suspect both are right in different Greek dialects, but we could do with someone with a good knowledge of the language. Peter Jackson 08:43, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

It's all Greek to me! Seriously, I don't completely understand your point. Is it that the Greek characters/word(s) don't actually translate the way we say they do? And, do you have any suggestions for correcting the problem? Should we just remove the offending phrase? Roger A. Lohmann 23:06, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
It has ending α in the Greek, which is an a, just what it looks like, but the transcription ends with e instead, which would be η. Peter Jackson 10:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

"the side opposite that toward which history is tilting." Is that different from conservatism? Peter Jackson 08:46, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Okay. I'm on real soft ice here, and my role is as editor, not contending author or linguist. So I need some help here: I'm still not clear on what your point suggests. I take the word in parenthesis to be an English transliteration of the Greek term that precedes it. Is that correct? My understanding, confirmed by a quick Google search is that politike with the e ending is the conventional way to render the Greek term for politics (as from Aristotle and Plato), which it strikes me is the intent of this usage. When I search for politika, with the a, I find references to Czech, Esperanto, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak and Turkish, but no Greek. So, I'm not clear on what the basis for changing the e to a, as seems to be the implication of your comment, would be. Your comment that both may be right in different Greek dialects, together with the conventional usage of the e ending in English transliterations seems to me to be convincing. Would you agree? Roger A. Lohmann 12:44, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I've now looked it up in dictionaries, which agree that the etymology is from the -a form, which they say is neuter plural, not feminine singular as I supposed (with the noun τεχνη understood). So my remark about dialects wouldn't apply. Peter Jackson 16:50, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
It depends what you mean by conservatism. The first paragraph of the CZ article on this topic is not very satisfactory, as it tries to combine different concepts, instead of noting that the word is used in different ways. If one means by conservatism, the current ethos of the British Conservative party, which is strongly individualist ("there is no such thing as society" - M Thatcher), and if one thought that was the present dominant tendency, then, no, it would not mean that. It would mean taking a less individualist stance. On the other hand, if you thought it meant "I do not want an uncomfortable amount of change", then it might. The question is (I think) where along the axis between rampant individualism and rampant collectivism/state control one ought to position oneself. --Martin Wyatt 19:37, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I meant in the latter sense. As to the individual/collective balance, that's further complicated by separate spheres: you can have libertarian socialists who believe in state control of the economy but freedom in personal life, while economic liberals might be quite illiberal in the latter sphere. Peter Jackson 10:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)


I've rewritten the lead paragraph of this article based on a reorganization of what was there. In addition, I pulled the definitions off the talk page (above) and put them onto the Auxiliary page which was already part of this page suite, but blank. I'm wondering if this handles the two consistent comments above: 1) expressions of distaste for different versions of the lead paragraph without any sense of direction about what to do with it; and 2) the definitions are included in talk, but without any clear sense of what should be done with them. I can't see including the definitions themselves in the lead, because they are too long, too elementary and incomplete. Reactions? Roger A. Lohmann 12:51, 3 May 2013 (UTC)