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Political Power and Technology in the US and Abroad

The old ideals of ancient Greeks laid the foundation of information for democracy with modern principles of politics. In this essay I will define politics and describe political power, giving examples from the local, state, and national levels in the United States. I will describe how the Internet and other agents of sociali ation affected the economy in the United States and the world and give examples. I will identify the ma!or elements of "merican political processes and how these processes affect elections in the United States. #ow voters are affected will also be discussed. " discussion will follow on the differences between the three sociological perspectives on the $state.% &tymology defines $politics% as from Greek' politikos, meaning (of, for, or relating to citi ens( as a way to organi e our society trough the understanding of the $other% )*olitics, n.d.+. ,ultures and civili ations understand politics in different ways. The "ristotlean

definition of politics mentions as -uoted in .iller )/01/+ $the tasks of the politician or statesman )politikos+, in much the way that medical science concerns the work of the physician. *oliticians serve the people as representative entities. &ach politician develops himself within a political party. In the United States, two parties known as 2emocrats and 3epublicans posses a slice of power inside the territory. 4oth parties represent a vision about how we must be governed. In the case of the United States, we have fifty states and each state has counties, towns and municipalities. 5ocal power resides on the people living there. 6or example, if a crime is committed locally, the first authorities to take responsibility are the local police and7or Sheriff. The power of the politicians relies in the goodwill and agreement of the people. If someone wants to obtain political power, he or she must gain the approval of the ma!ority. " procedure called elections must take place to

count the votes of each citi en to assign a political representative in local and national positions. Some examples of local government are 8erry 4rown, who governs the state of ,alifornia. "s governor one of his powers is to pardon convicted criminals. Gary 5eit ell, mayor of the city of 2ayton inside the state of 9hio, with the power to make or propose changes to local law enforcement, education, and housing laws and other areas. 6or example .ayor .ichael 4loomberg of :ew ;ork banned smoking in public parks and restaurants. "s for national examples we have 4arrack 9bama, the *resident of the United States. #is position makes him the ,ommander in ,hief of the country and has the power to declare war on other countries as well as legally order the assassination of enemies of the nation. The territory is divided in <0 states and each of them are governed locally with their own group of representatives. The power in each state has different levels of commitment. 6or example, the state might approve some legislation concerning local issues but they cannot create their own currency of some other ma!or law that concerns the entire country. =e can also include the :ative :ations regulated by the Government of United States. These native entities have their sovereignty recogni ed by the entire country and such for example can operate casinos without seeking permission from State authorities. The Internet and other agents of sociali ation have affected the economy in the US and the world in several ways. " cultural and technological change affects the economic environment. This applies not only to "merica but to the entire world. "t the beginning of our century, we were witnesses of the internet explosion globally. These technologies changed things likes politics and the economy. In order to understand these changes, we must determine what kind of change took place within society involving the Internet. In the middle of >0s, the first giants of the web took their first step on the internet. &ach one modified a part of our daily life. &ach change evolved in a matter of a few years )4arnes,

/010+. Google, for example, con-uered the Internet searches in less than < years. To understand the changes in our economy let?s divide the virtual revolution in stages. In the first stage, we can observe a new paradigm of business models, transactions and retail orders. Three internet companies are great examples for these changes. Google creates a new trend in business when they convert people@s information to profit. The internet search company gets their revenue not from the free services offer to the people but from advertising and marketing revenue. This giant corporation was one of the many companies that surged in the last years of the millennium that created an economic bubble on the stock market. This dot com bubble burst in /000 when they hit the floor because many of them are not making any profits. 4ecause of the global economy, not only in the United States was affected by this. In the same decade, "ma on, a retailer company emerged as an online book store. "ma on turns into a giant in !ust a few years. The automation model creates a new way to deliver goods to people. In a decade, "mericans stop going to stores and begin to receive their bought products directly to their homes. The third company with a significant impact on the Global economy was *aypal. Transactions around the world were increased with this service that simplifies payments. Globali ation and global purchases improve economies and accelerate the uses of the Internet in many countries. In the middle of the first decade of /000, the global economies were more connected than ever before. The companies we mentioned before were growing very fast. .ore entrepreneurs were creating new enterprises that reshape the global economy. The second strike surges in with Social :etworks. 6acebook and Twitter connects you with everyone around the world. "s is mentioned on the documentary The Airtual 3evolution )4arnes, /010+, this social network was very important in political conflicts and social movements. =e can mention the "rab Spring and the "merican &lections in /00>. ,hanges in companies were also surging with the global connected society. Storing and managing information caused a high amount of expenses. *art of this second strike on the

economy was given by companies that work in the cloud. " few examples, :etflix, a company which offers movies and Tv series for a small amount of money per month via streaming online. Thomas 5. 6riedman wrote a book in /00< where he talks about the changes in office labor. 4ig industries located in one country cooperated from distance with other countries branches every day. These changes modified human labor making the world look smaller. #ewlett *ackard, 9ffice 2epot, .icrosoft and many other companies with offices around the world communicate on a daily basis creating local wealth and e-ual world within countries )6riedman, /00<+. In /00B we had a big financial crisis. "ll the economy hyper connection suffers the conse-uences of this evolution. 2ue to a bad real estate market in US", many financial firms such as 5ehman 4rothers, 6anny .ae, Goldman Sachs and many others created a bubble that spread all over the world. "ll the markets collapsed and the levels of unemployment rose almost everywhere )4erlinger, /01C+. :icholas ,hristakis, a sociologist speciali ed in social networks talks about how the money around the world is intrinsically connected in his book $,onnected' The Surprising *ower of 9ur Social :etworks and #ow They Shape 9ur 5ives% where he explains how the economy networks can turn into panic mode if one of their connections show signs of sickness ),hristakis, /010+. ,ountries around the world are very dependent of other countries. 6or example, three countries very connected are US", India, and ,hina. The first one has the wealth and creativity to create enterprises meanwhile ,hina supplies "merica with mass productions at low cost due his cheap labor workers. =hile India support United States companies with cheap services and high educated labor. Services such as customer support are outsourced to India to reduce expenses and increase margin profits )6riedman, /00<+. The ma!or elements of "merican political processes include primaries, conventions, and compaigning. =e almost consolidate our high levels of connection between citi ens

especially with internet grassroots activity. .ass media had a shock in the past political campaign where 4arack 9bama was elected as president of United States. .ostly because social media played a ma!or role in the political process. 9pinions and

agreements !ump from one side to the other. In the end, democrats won the election and the first "frican "merican became president of the United States. Intellectuals and political analysts deconstruct the process in which 4arack 9bama was preferred by a vast ma!ority. Their answers reflect which mayor elements are involved in the "merican *olitical *rocesses. 6rank :ewport, one the many analysts of the political campaign in /00B

describes the lower level of public approval of George 4ush around those years ):ewport, /00B+. These levels were conse-uences of a bad international image due to the war in Ira- in /00D. George 4ush was also accused of low levels of intelligence, poor diligence to manage internal affairs inside the =hite #ouse and many other accusations. 4ased on the results of previous elections, 2avid *louffe described some of the elements of victory in political campaigns in United States )*louffe, /00>+. These elements also describe the keys of the "merican *olitical processes. Social perceptions about public policies. "merican public issues like the *ublic #ealth ,are deficit demonstrate how the "merican people react to their governments in turn. Social consensus on economics sub!ects. The crisis of /00B and the reaction of George 4ush generates a firm opinion of the intelligence of the government, these include political parties and government bureaucracy. #igher levels of unemployment might generate general disapproval. These processes affect the public opinion if one of them happens close to the national election. 6or example, Eatrina in /00<, and the slow response of government in front of a catastrophe. =e can also consider the problem of public health as one of the factors that establish a better inclination to 9bama. .any intellectuals and directors )like .ichael .oore+ expose a series of defects of healthcare in the US". Aoters in all the states were very aware of

these problems in the year of election. .any families want their sons and daughters to come back from Ira- and "fghanistan. Sociology offers us a good range of perspectives to understand how the State must operate including the three sociological perspectives on the state. =e will -uote three of the most recogni ed sociologist in history. "t first, Earl .arx, defines the State the entity that guaranteed the capitalism relation between the dominant class and the worker people. The State has a different role depending on which stage of the history is a country. In .arx terms, the State must prevail until the last stage in which all the workers will be conscious of their power and the State will be dissolved. 9n the opposite side, we have 2urkheim and .ax =eber. The first one understands the State as part of the system in a society in which people rely on a part of the labor force. The State operates as part of an entity. =eber understands the State as one of the elements of rational capitalism. 4ureaucracy in government institutions creates an economy with higher levels of dependency in which none of us have control. 6rom these perspectives derive three paradigms or sociological perspectives' functionalist, symbolic interactionist, and conflict perspectives. 6unctionalists were based on paradigms related to positivism from 2urkheim to .erton. &ach sociologist understands the State as an entity who regulates a society. The symbolic interactionist comes from the school of .ax =eber and focuses on micro sociological relations, most of these schools do not define as the State because their analysis tries to understand the relation between individuals. "nd the conflict perspectives developed by the .arxism schools is where the economics defines social relationships and a labor class is in permanent conflict with the dominant class. This perspective can create conflict due to other differences among people such as wealth, race, background, etc. In conclusion, I have defined politics and described political power, giving examples from the local, state, and national levels in the United States. "n analysis of how the

Internet and other agents of sociali ation affected the economy in the United States and the world as well as examples have been written. The ma!or elements of "merican political processes and how these processes affect elections in the United States have been identified. #ow voters are affected has also been discussed. "nd lastly, the differences between the three sociological perspectives on the $state% have been identified and discussed.


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