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 "Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable - the art of the next best."
– Otto von Bismarck
 "Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Political Philosophy is a Classical Era civic in Civilization VI. It can be hurried by meeting 3 city-states.


Early states are usually built instinctively, by capable rulers with foresight, which know what is best for their people. They are governed mostly by popular consent. But when states start turning into empires, when classes start arising and it becomes increasingly difficult to govern an expanding population, it becomes essential to organize politics and establish some ideological concept on what should government look like.

Adopting political philosophy unlocks the first three types of early Governments: Autocracy, Oligarchy and Classical Republic. It also unlocks the first Diplomatic Policies in the game.

Civilopedia entry[]

At its most basic, political philosophy is focused on the concept of the creation of government; what form it should take; what is meant by the likes of liberty, justice, the law and other civilized fictions; and the rights and duties of the citizens. As might be imagined, political philosophers do not agree on much. In fact, the meaning of the term “political” is itself one of the most contentious topics.

Political philosophy had its beginning in ethical debates on questions as to what constitutes a “good life.” Since people are by nature sociable – there being few proper hermits about – the question follows as to how a person should behave in the company of others. Chinese political philosophy, for instance, goes back a long ways, to the writings of Confucius in the 6th Century BC. The first work of Western political philosophy is the Republic by Plato, who sought solutions for what he saw as injustice and inequity; to do so, he proposed the first of what would be many utopian (in that they are “moral”) political systems. Roman political philosophy was heavily influenced by the Stoics, and so tended to be a bit more pragmatic.

After some centuries taking a more theological approach, Renaissance political philosophy returned to the pragmatic – as embodied by the works of Niccolo Machiavelli. Then a bunch of intellectuals … Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and the like … began spouting off about the “social contract,” human rights, equality and such, leading to a number of revolutions, especially the French one that turned civilization on its head. To confuse things even further, with industrialism taking hold, Marxist political philosophers (Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc.) proposed yet another sort of political structure – radical socialism – as the only “correct” form of government … leading to yet another bloody revolution.

And political philosophers have yet to agree as to who is right …

Civilization VI Civics [edit]
Ancient Code of LawsCraftsmanshipEarly EmpireForeign TradeMilitary TraditionMysticismState Workforce
Classical Defensive TacticsDrama and PoetryGames and RecreationMilitary TrainingPolitical PhilosophyRecorded HistoryTheology
Medieval Civil ServiceDivine RightFeudalismGuildsMedieval FairesMercenariesNaval Tradition
Renaissance Diplomatic ServiceExplorationHumanismMercantilismReformed ChurchThe Enlightenment
Industrial Civil EngineeringColonialismNationalismNatural HistoryOpera and BalletScorched EarthUrbanization
Modern CapitalismClass StruggleConservationIdeologyMass MediaMobilizationNuclear ProgramSuffrageTotalitarianism
Atomic Cold WarCultural HeritageProfessional SportsRapid DeploymentSpace Race
Information Distributed Sovereignty GS-OnlyEnvironmentalism GS-OnlyGlobalizationNear Future Governance GS-OnlyOptimization Imperative GS-OnlySocial MediaVenture Politics GS-Only
Future GS-Only Cultural HegemonyExodus ImperativeFuture Civic*Global Warming MitigationInformation WarfareSmart Power Doctrine
* Future Civic is an Information Era civic until the Gathering Storm expansion.