Identifying or quantifying either harm or benefit requires a method to distinguish one from the other. English has some words that don’t identify either. Language is made by common usage. Some people assume the best, others assume the worst. Political power can be measured for its positive effects on humanity, or it can be measured for the intensity its vice-like grip on one particular group at the expense of another. Some people assume a politician has integrity. Others believe politicians are just crooks. Politicians may try to do what they see as important, but generally speaking they are ineffective. Poverty rampantly spreads while a few people increase their immeasurable wealth. War, injustice, and poverty still exist. So does increasing toxicity in soil, air, food and water supplies. Who thinks politics is doing an adequate job of eliminating these things that reduce the quality of human life, and threaten its existence?
Truth can not be protected with imprecise speech. Using positive words as if they have no sign may be how language is formed, but care must be applied to preserve the communicative value of speech. Both chaos and lies are enemies of truth. Politics and Economics are designed to improve the habitability of the world. Allowing apathy, stupidity, or corruption to hide behind them is devastating. It guarantees that they will be used to promulgate disinformation and corruption.
Distinguishing harm from benefit is important. It has to happen before math applied to it has meaning. What is measured, harm or benefit? The sign matters. Do you want your paycheck to be added or subtracted from your bank account? Does the word politics associate with progress or not. Good or bad have been historically considered a moral distinction. How has that worked out? Bad often masquerades as good when the language that describes either is vague. Politics can reduce harm and increase benefit, but only after the English clearly identifies the difference.
Economics is another place that math is applied in a manner that is undefined. Its health is measured by GDP (gross domestic product) which fails to identify the cost of harm especially the cost of failing to identify it before it becomes unmanageable. GDP also fails to rectify harm done to underserved populations, and how that harm is generationally inflicted on all of humanity.
Using positive words in unkind ways is harmful. Both Politics and Economics are positive terms. They are meant to produce benefit and avoid harm. Will we share one world, or will we continue to fight over it? Politic means wisdom. How many people are distrustful of politics? That distrust exists largely because the word is poorly defined. Corruption in politics actually can’t exist because politics has a positive value, Corruption has a negative one that consumes both wisdom, and humanity. The square peg doesn’t fit in the round hole. Driving north in the south bound lane causes a collision, a stupid avoidable costly, and perhaps deadly crash.
Laws are not written until after crimes are committed. They are written too late. Crime is purposely hidden behind the ineffectiveness of the law. Accurately defining politics exposes bad behavior before there is protective law, or even the need for it. Stupid or mean behavior has no political justification.
The word politics is derived from a greek word meaning wisdom. The squabbling that can be seen between and within political parties isn’t wisdom. Families, cities, states, nations, and the world need to keep a record that identifies and quantifies the cost of each harm. It needs to notice and calculate the value of progress. Politics needs to increase benefit while it reduces harm. Corruption, by definition, cannot be political. Failure to improve is not politic.
Using positive words as if they have no sign may be how language is formed, but care must be applied to actually make words communicative, not just a common place to hide truth. Some language is problematic. Politics and Economics are designed to improve the habitability of the world. Allowing stupidity or corruption to hide behind them is devastating. It guarantees that they will be used to promulgate the historic pattern of disinformation and corruption, the definition of stupid political failure.