The Politics reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 01-May-2004
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Politics is the practical resolution of serious moral and social conflicts with some potential for violence if they are not resolved. This is usually done by law and debates about law, and by choosing leaders to make and enforce order, to avoid anarchy. Thus a lawyer will often get involved in politics.

If the conflict is so serious that it may lead to war then the word diplomacy is used, but this is just politics between nations as opposed to politics within nations.

Politics is often compared to ethics which is a more abstract treatment of the same conflicts, and less serious conflicts with less potential for violence, and is usually more concerned with principle than law or politics or diplomacy. For this reason many people think ethics is not practical. However without some agreement on ethics there is probably no way to even have a public debate, a legal system or an election. There is always some agreement on ethics and personal conduct in a political system.

Although there are many bad statements of how principles should apply in politics, they do not all fit together, and so there is dispute about which statements matter most when. This can lead to the formation of a political party: People who agree that their conflict with each other is less important than conflicts with others, and agree to take the same position on issues, and agree to the same changes to law (usually called a political platform), and to support the same leaders.

Bernard Crick wrote an important list of the political virtues, which were about best practices of politics itself.

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote that politics was firstly about having and keeping power. Without that, a leader could do nothing.