Do you want to enhance your political knowledge? Global Young Voices chose five popular books that focus on political issues to get you started.
1. “The Prince” - Niccolò Machiavelli
“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”
“The Prince” is an analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. Machiavelli discusses the conduct of great men and the principles of royal government.
2. “1984” – George Orwell
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
Orwell imagines the world after a nuclear war in his novel “1984.” He sees the world divided into three states. London is a city in Oceania, ruled by a party who has total control over all its citizens. Winston Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the government’s departments. One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but nobody can really escape, evolving into a story of how Mr. Smith lives under a dictatorship.
3. “The Republic” - Plato
“Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals seems only to pass into excess of slavery.”
“The Republic,” shows the reasoning of Plato and how he tries to determine what constitutes justice in a given state, whether or not the concept of justice should be determined by citizens and how justice may actually be accomplished.
4. “The Social Contract” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
“...In respect of riches, no citizen shall ever be wealthy enough to buy another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself.”
Rousseau asserts in this book that modern states repress the physical freedom that is people’s birthright, while doing nothing to secure civil freedom. Legitimate political authority, he suggests, comes only from a social contract agreed upon by all citizens for their mutual preservation.
5. “The Communist Manifesto” – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
“The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”
The “Communist Manifesto” reflects an attempt to explain the goals of Communism, as well as the theory underlying the movement. It argues that class struggles, or the exploitation of one class by another, are the motivating force behind all historical developments. A revolution occurs then, and a new class emerges as the ruling one.
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