Introduction to Positive Politics

You may doubt that politics can be positive, or think that positive politics would be foolhardy in a world where we need to be vigilant, to fight for our rights. If so, you may lean toward the contentionist end of the political spectrum. If you hope that politics can and should be positive, ready to help people, you may stand on the harmonist side of politics. Believer, doubter, harmonist, contentionist or unsure, you can improve your effectiveness in the political sphere.

Most of us learn politics from personal interaction. We usually participate in politics without really thinking it through. But unthinking reactions leave us vulnerable and can feed divisiveness. Our goal with this site is to show that harmonists and contentionists together can contribute, pragmatically, to positive politics and bring healing to our political ecosystem.

Either outlook alone can fail. A special temptation of the harmonist is to think of those who use negative tactics as evil. On the other hand, contentionists may dismiss harmonists as fuzzy-headed fools. Contentionists may want to "lock up" enemies, while harmonists plead for everyone to be "nice." Either outlook, taken too far, can undercut political achievement and become a self-fulfilling prophecy or self-denying prophecy. For example, believing that all persons should be "nice" does not make them so. Being "nice" can fail to be effective. However, Positive Politics does not require always being "nice". On the other hand, expecting deadly sins to dominate may just precipitate such behavior in others. Positive politics require tolerance through honesty-to-self while honoring our common humanity.

 Through this site, we cover a complete introduction to politics. Clicking on the owl in the upper left corner will return you to the home page from wherever you are. From home you can navigate to anywhere you want to be. Start with the pages on Politics and Power. The page on Principles is an overview. The Principles are organized into three sections: Individuals, for Community, and Institutions. Studying Positive Politics can help you succeed in interactions with your family, your community, and your world. Politics is a skill that you can learn, and whether you lean toward contention or harmony, positive politics can turn you loose to make good on potentials for thinking, planning, and leading that you may not have known you have.