In most societies of the past, simple economy was the main motivation for class division and political systems. Those in power controlled the money, those with a means of providing for the economy or gaining money soon were in a position of greater power than those who did not. This general form can be traced from ancient Greece to our present society. The methods by which the status quo or parameters of the system were maintained differs from case to case, however. Some were more open to change, giving opportunities to those able to rise in class. Some societies, most notably "democratic" political systems, were maintained by giving the individual the feeling that he or she is contributing personally to the society. Capitalism as an economic method gives the individual the motivation to succeed, which in turn keeps the economy moving. This is true for any social system: the members must have some motivation to continue the institution in its presented form, or either change or collapse would ensue.
An unusual system which came about in Europe during the Dark Ages was one in which the Catholic church was the unified authority. Some would contest that the church was subordinate to the local ruler, but the fact remains that virtually every region in Western Europe had a church in common, while their differing rulers were not necessarily so uniform. What was interesting about this system was the methods by which it maintained itself; the tactics by which it encouraged individual involvement in and acceptance of the larger affair. The methods the church used then to preserve its political power can also be analyzed on a present-day level, determining any gi...
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Works Cited and Consulted:
Brown, and Oldsey. ed. Critical Essays on George Orwell. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1986.
Crick, Bernard. George Orwell, A Life. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1980.
Fox, Alistair. Thomas More, History and Providence. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
Jones, Judith P. Evolution of Western Religion. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1979.
Marius, Richard. "Religion as Mirror for a Life and Times." 1999. http://www.humanities.ualberta.ca/emls/iemls/conf/texts/marius.html (14 Oct. 2001).
Meyers, Jeffrey. ed. George Orwell, The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. London: Secker & Warburg, 1965.
Singh, Paras Mani. George Orwell as a Political Novelist. Delhi: Amar Prakashan, 1987.
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