World View

The State Of The World

A daily Commentary by Wayne Blank

"The State of The World" Number 33
Complete Index Of All Issues

The Origin Of Politics and Republics

The English-language word "politics" originated from an ancient Greek word, pronounced politeia, that referred to the civilized rights of the citizens of a city ("polis" was the Greek word for city; see also What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?).

The word polite is an abbreviated form of "politics." The original meaning and behavior of the word was obviously far different than the vicious slander of typical "politics" in many places today.

The Latin rendition of the Greek word for politics was res publica, or "the public." The English-language word "republic" originated from that Latin root.

A "republic" is generally defined as a political system in which the country is publicly owned - a definition that actually provides as much for the capitalist systems of government as the communist systems of government i.e. the United States of America is a republic, but its mortal enemy during the Cold War was the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics. Both sought to rule the world with their version of "people power."


The definition of "republic" is therefore now primarily a matter of local interpretation (see also Why Are Politicians Called Left Or Right? and When Do Liberals Become Conservatives?). That is to say, the "politics" of a nation is now defined by the "politics" of that particular nation.

Wayne Blank