Comparative Political Theory


Politics has been a common feature throughout the history of human beings. There has been the tendency to seek support from other people so as to be recognized as the leader or attain the powers that control how people act in all units of the society starting from the family up to holding international positions of leadership. It is not universally agreed on what is the best system of leadership whether for religious leadership, political or for social organizations. There are benefits for leadership which have contributed so much to the deception of the uneducated and the weaker people in the different societies. Most of the political leaders have turned to unethical ways of attaining their positions due to the benefits offered to them such as financial gains and crooked means of attaining and protecting the ill-gotten wealth. However, this has been changing over time as humanity moves towards civilization. Comparing the political systems of different countries and also in relation to the changing time and level of civilization is proving helpful towards attaining a considerable level of normalcy in politics.

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Comparative theory is used to compare the political systems of different countries and also for comparison to the political systems as they were before and the way they are now. There exists a major difference in the political systems of the countries located on the various parts of the world. Although there is not one perfect political system, there are those that have been viewed as relatively better and so many other countries or organizations are working towards getting their systems to that level of the pacesetters. Most of these relatively good systems are in Europe and North America where the countries have had their political systems revised over time with methods of getting rid of the undesirable characteristics being drafted into their constitutions so as avoid faults in the systems (Parel & Keith, 2003).

The countries in the Europe and North America are viewed as the Joneses as they are referred to by the third world countries which are mostly from Africa. They have admirable political systems as regarded by the third world countries and they also have relatively stable economic and social structures. However, there is no such a scenario as having a perfect political or socio-economic structure. Most of the developing countries have just been trapped into thinking that everything from the developed countries is the ideal standard for all other parts of the world. Although there is a lot to be admired of the elites' political and socio-economic systems, there is a great deal of inapplicability if the same were to be applied in the systems of the developing countries. The Joneses have convinced the leaders and the other citizens from the third world countries that their systems are the best and therefore they should drop their long held traditions and adopt the "civilized" methods of governance and socio-economic systems (Parel and Keith, 2003). The people from the third world countries are so blinded that they never question anything brought by the Joneses even though most of them are virtually inapplicable in the third world countries.

The common reason as to why most of the socio-economic characteristics of the developed countries are viewed as being the most appropriate is simply because they have been applied just there (Holmes, 2003). There exists a great variation in what is socially acceptable and so what is right in one place is not necessarily applicable to other people in a different place. It is therefore not appropriate to adopt what the Joneses have brought forth as ideal without a proper analysis of the applicability of the same in the different contexts experienced in third world countries. Without a proper evaluation of the appropriateness of the ideas, they may backfire when introduced to a different community and especially if they are expected to bring the same positive result.

The philosophy of the Joneses may have adverse effects on the people from developing world because it has a deep emphasis on comparing the living standards. The elites divide the society into classes based on what they have already established as measures for being socially advanced. This fails to consider that even before the new parameters were introduced the other people used to survive comfortably. The major problem is therefore the change in mentality that whatever used to be good is now not considered to be good. As a natural characteristic of human beings where they want to belong to the best social class, people develop a spending culture which is aimed at letting them fit in the assumed better class (Parel and Keith, 2003). Therefore the philosophy brings a high spending behavior which is unfavorable to the poor in the various societies and especially in the developing world.

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The habit of consumerism creeps in and it ends up ruining the people who incautiously adopt it without understanding their capacity to meet the cost of their new adopted lifestyle (Matt, 2002). The philosophy is very much materialistic as the material world is the one used to place people to the specific social classes. This habit has led to an imbalance in level of consumption as compared to the income. Due to the strong urge developed from inside to keep up with the Joneses, people rarely realize that they are spending more than they can actually afford to and so they may end up in lower classes than they were initially (Matts, 2002). However, the philosophy is ideal as it encourages competition which in a way is helpful towards enabling development in living standards. It should be realized that it is not all the adherence to following the Joneses that is wrong but following them blindly is extremely dangerous and especially for the lowly ranked people in the society.

The materialistic world has led to subjugation of women in both the developed world and the developing world but on different courses. In developing world, women have been oppressed through acts such as being sold literally whereby the family of the woman gets dowry as a price for the woman (Morales, 2003). For this reason, the men find it easier to justify beating women and using them to do the kind of jobs that they themselves can never engage in. The women are forced to do the house work and the farm work while the men who feel like they bought the women like machines just sit back and wait for the women to do all the work.

In the developed world, some women are viewed by the society as being sexual objects and they never manage to get people from thinking otherwise. This habit is slowly but steadily creeping into the third world and commercial sex is becoming a real problem affecting the social and the economic well being in the countries. Commercial sex workers are not accepted in the society and this makes it difficult for any attempt made to help them restrain from their activities (Horales, 2005). It would be easier to counsel them and help them change if they had a proper relationship with the community but the poor relationship only makes matters worse. It is universally agreeable that both women and men have their specific weaknesses but the societies have failed to support the women in facing their weaknesses and help them develop their strengths to help them develop in the society (Ingham, 2008).

The capitalistic society has much emphasis on making profits even without much care on the type of investment they are making. The philosophy of "survival for the fittest" is much applied with minimal consideration on the need to have a balanced development for humanity in totality. Although women are thought to be weak in the society, they are capable of doing some things in as to much perfection as men can do, they are usually denied the chance to show their potential in as many occasions. Capitalism is only favorable to men and the situation is worsened by societal norms and religious views which give men more power as compared to women. It is therefore difficult for women to develop themselves and most men keep on rising in the society while many women end up suffering and lead a life of begging for them to survive (Morales, 2005). However, this trend is slowly changing and in the developed world there is a considerable representation of women in almost all sectors of life. Subjugation of women and the capitalistic nature of the society as it was even in the long gone days has been an offensive act and still carry some significant negative impacts. Although the trend is changing slowly, there is still much to be done to help bring gender balance in the society.

The much focus put on gaining wealth without the consideration on the impacts of some of the activities on the society whether in present time or some time in future is much insensitive to the women in the society. The potential in women is usually left untapped and so the womenfolk continue suffering as the society acts to make them remain a notch lower than men. Men continue dominating and they sometimes seem insensitive to the women especially when they focus on gaining wealth and engage in some activities that are offensive to women (Morales, 2005).

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There is no one time when it will be viewed as not an appropriate time to bring positive change. One of the positive changes is enabling for development of humanity in a manner which is sensitive to all classes of people. Without proper representation of women in all areas of development it will be difficult to have a society where everyone enjoys the development. Women should be let exploit their potential by means such as capacity building. A capitalistic world is only meant to serve the strong people in the society and subjugation of women only makes things difficult for them. It is therefore important that women be protected and especially in developing world. This will prove much helpful even to the strong in the society as it will enable there to be a balanced development.

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