A political system diagram

In interpreting the diagram, we begin with the fact that it shows a political system surrounded by the two classes of environments that together form its total environment. The communications of the many events that occur here are represented by the solid lines connecting the environments with the political system. The arrowheads on the lines show the direction of flow into the system. But rather than attempting to discuss each disturbance in the environment uniquely or even in selected groups or classes of types, I use as an indicator of the impact that they have on the system, the way in which they shape two special kinds of inputs into the system, demands and support. This is why the effects from the environment are shown to flow into the box labelled „inputs“. We must remember, however, that even though the desire for simplicity in presentation does not permit us to show it on the diagram, events occurring within a system may also have some share in influencing the nature of the inputs. As is apparent, the inputs provide what we may call the raw materials on which the system acts so as to produce something we are calling outputs. The way in which this is done will be described as a massive conversion process cavalierly represented on the diagram by the serpentine line within the political system. The conversion processes move toward the authorities since it is toward them that the demands are initially directed. As we shall see, demands spark the basic activities of a political system. By virtue of their status in all systems, authorities have special responsibilities for converting demands into outputs.