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What is real politik? What are some examples?

Real politik is the political approach of self-sufficiency. Decisions on public policy, when approached from a position of real politik, are not afforded time for sympathy or compassion. Rather, real politik is an approach of shrewd pragmatism solely on the basis of political expedience. 

The United States provides some of the best examples of real politik. In order to remain a hegemonic power, the U.S. must-according to much of its political inteligentsia- engage in actions that don't necessarily comport with its ideals or laws so that its political and societal structure remain. For example, on the domestic policy front, President Obama campaigned in 2008 on a health care plan with a public option as opposed to a privately run system. With a Conservative senate, and understanding he had another election to run in four years, President Obama didn't simply compromise: he sacrificed ideology in order to maintain political influence on other issues. 

Thus, real politik can be seen from two sides. One view is Faustian- that real politik is a soul sacrificing maeuver in order to keep power. The second is that, unlike naive, unflinchingly principled policies, real politik ensures success and progress in a society. 

Kiefer K. IB Government and Politics tutor, A Level Government and Po...

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