If everyone could have
everything they wanted
whenever they wanted, there
would be no such thing as politics.
Whatever the precise meaning of
the complex activity known as
politics might be—and, as this
book illustrates, it has been
understood in many different
ways—it is clear that human
experience never provides us with
everything we want. Instead, we
have to compete, struggle,
compromise, and sometimes fight
for things. In so doing, we develop a
language to explain and justify our
claims and to challenge, contradict,
or answer the claims of others. This
might be a language of interests,
whether of individuals or groups


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