Awakening Africa Magazine


How Politics and Wrong Policies are Harming the World

2 Mins read

Political machinations and maneuverings have existed since the dawn of humanity. It is hard to imagine a world without politics since it deals with the organization and management of affairs of a population, without which the world would be in a state of anarchy. Political systems are necessary for the development and enforcement of laws, management of resources, and establishment of stability, among other things.

A Politics of Division 

Politics in itself is not a problematic concept. The use of wrong policies, stemming from a distorted viewpoint, harms the world. Among such views, the most hazardous one by far is the concept of ‘Us’ vs. “Them.’ While dividing the world into an in-group and an out-group helps to form a social identity, it also gives rise to conflict and division among people. 

The internalization of division, based on religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, or any other social characteristic, sows the seeds for a struggle for power and dominance. Politics, then, becomes a vehicle for actualizing these divisions.

The Bloody Trail of History 

Throughout history, social identity formation has been linked to a clear distinction of defining in-groups and out-groups. The mindset deeply seeps into politics since policies have been shaped by division. The conquests by ancient rulers such as Alexander the Great or Cyrus the Great, in an attempt to increase the size of their kingdoms, were spurred on by the belief that anyone not under their rule needed to be conquered. Further down the line, while political policies underwent modification, their ideology remained the same. The colonization of African and Asian countries and the New World by the European powers is another example of misguided political policies that ultimately caused much damage to the economy and culture of the colonized countries. 

Examples of Wrongful Policies

The most horrendous example of the use of political power and wrongful policies to craft a social identity, by far, has to be that of Nazi Germany. The establishment of the Third Reich was steeped in the narrowly-defined hierarchical social order, where divisions were based on race and ethnicity. The outcome of which was a genocide that shocked humanity to its core.

A Way Forward 

It would be wrong to profess that the world has learned nothing from the atrocities and bloodsheds of the past that resulted from harmful political policies. Politics has evolved, and while conflict amongst countries persists and is unlikely to ever disappear for good, there are signs that we have moved forward to some extent. 

The creation of the United Nations (UN) to settle conflicts through diplomacy is a step in the right direction. While far from being perfect, the UN has prevented major political conflicts. The struggle for greater power and control among major global players remains, and a shadow of an impending conflict is ever-present. Such conflict-driven political policies have been harmful to human life, the economy, and the environment in the past. They will continue to prove harmful if not reigned in and controlled.

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