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In Defence of Partisanship

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posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 06:50 PM
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“Heraclitus rebukes the poet who wrote, 'Would strife might perish out of heaven and earth,' for, he says, there would be no harmony without high and low notes, and no animals without male and female, which are opposites.”

- Aristotle


I claim we should ignore those who continue to bellyache about partisanship, division, and polarization in politics—and even mock them—because the opposite leads to the mind-numbing torpor of uniformity, consensus, and mediocrity. In fact, it is that very fear and the reactionary indolence towards the more disagreeable and uncomfortable aspects of democracy that leaves society wanting in the first place.

First, it is the duty of the freeborn citizen to engage in the democratic process, or at any rate, in politics, lest he finds himself governed by his inferiors as Plato suggested. Not to mention that a regulated rivalry and non-violent disagreement is a necessary component of political commitment in a pluralistic democracy, and for best results, the more opinions the better. Partisanship structures a system in which leaders can be held to account for their actions, and political disputes can be settled according reason and debate. Without disagreement, disputation, division, and (oh lord) “divisiveness” between parties and other blocs, democracy, liberal science, and the open society are nothing but farts in the wind.

Heraclitus rebukes Homer because to wish for the disappearance of strife between gods and men is to wish for the end of the universe. Without strife there is no becoming, no movement, only endless stagnation. In the same vein, the disappearance of strife in politics renders politics useless. Progress, innovation, creativity and learning depend upon free thought and the necessary struggle of ideas, personalities, and opinions. The so-called market place of ideas and free speech is where we place our societies to the grindstone. Despite this, vast sums of undeserved praise is heaped upon “unity”, “cooperation”, “healing”, and other puerile notions of homogeneity, while “division”, “polarization”, and “disunity” are often held at arm’s length. Why?

Suppose you could do away with the so-called “politics of division”, partisanship, or even politics in general, what then? The opposite is the zero-party politics of Saudi Arabia, North Korea, or Qatar, where unity is enforced by those who hold total power. And those who hold total power will never lose it because there is no way to organize and vote them out. In states of diabolical conformity such as these, you need not concern yourself with party bickering, pettiness and insult, because political parties are banned and their members routinely arrested.

And one day, when the balance is tipped too far in one direction, you may very well have to pick the other side, or the center will be defined without you having any say. Liberal principles are now considered right-wing by those who have attempted to do just that.

But according to the soft and solipsistic pundits (and some here on ATS?), “polarization”, “divisive rhetoric”, “partisan attacks”, and other victimless oppression is enough for them to turn their backs on politics altogether. But if they step away from the whole conversation, often with a self-righteous pose, it is only to subtract their moderate voices from the equation, while at the same time leaving politics to the crass and childish ones. This, in the end, further exasperates the very problem they sought to cower from in the first place.

People pay good money for drugs and other escapes from the anxieties of life in order to dull the pain of thought. So to do people avoid disagreement and division and strife in politics, and for the exact same reasons. But along with their thoughts they dull and corrode our liberal democracies.

LesMis




posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 06:54 PM
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I don't care about partisanship or lack thereof. Whatever works good for the people is what should be pursued. Partisanship has prevented important bills from being passed in the US, so clearly it is detrimental to the American people and should be done away with.



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:07 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

There is nothing wrong with healthy debate and disagreement and you are right that without it we become weaker as a whole.

The problem that I and I believe many others have with today's partisanship is that it lacks intelligence and has simply become a team allegiance. It is no longer about debating policies and more about trying to make some foolish act or misspoken words stick to the 'enemy'. The most vocal in today's political world completely lack detailed knowledge of the policies and programs that they are either supporting or trying to destroy.

Then there are those whose partisanship is so bad that they now refuse to even hear what the other side has to say. If its not what their team is saying then you can't say it at all without the threat of violence.

So there is good reason for people to throw blame at "partisanship" in today's political climate. But your point is well taken. There has to be even just a little mutual respect for a healthy debate to take place and there is little respect these days.



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:17 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope


But according to the soft and solipsistic pundits (and some here on ATS?), “polarization”, “divisive rhetoric”, “partisan attacks”, and other victimless oppression is enough for them to turn their backs on politics altogether.
LesMis


Nothing to do with that, it's about lies, deceit, and the ability to make shedloads of money out of divisiveness, but I'm sure you know that already. Divide and conquer, just like Milos wanted, and got in his own er, unique celebrity way, and Bannon...and the rest is getting.
pseudo intellect we don't need...danke!



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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originally posted by: allsee4eye
I don't care about partisanship or lack thereof. Whatever works good for the people is what should be pursued. Partisanship has prevented important bills from being passed in the US, so clearly it is detrimental to the American people and should be done away with.


Lies!

2nd line!



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Well said, LesMis.
Political rhetoric aside, I am glad most of us in the US and abroad have the ability to argue, or defend, our own principles. For without those, we are no longer strong. It could be much worse.

Without challenges, man stagnates.





posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: bluesjr

Precisely, but you won't get much approval from partisans for saying it... I am sorry, but the brainwashed do not like TRUTH..



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: bluesjr

I agree. Healthy debate and respect are missing in today's political environment.

When factions try and shut out debate of other factions there is trouble. Another is back room dealings that are not in the light of public view.

Personally I am jaded and think it has tipped over too far for healthy debate.



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

As has already been mentioned. There is a fine line between reasoned debate and blind allegiance to an ideology. Partisanship brings us supermajorities in Govt. which leads to totalitarian control, rampant corruption and exploitation of the non-wealthy elites.

I believe a balanced Govt which only ever is in consensus when the topic is of grave importance. The system of Govt in the US was fine before political majorities began swaying our laws from one direction to the other. Bringing us ridiculous laws that only damage our country and serve to further divide us.

Checks and balances were put in place for a reason, this hyper-partisanship we are seeing subverts the foundations of our Republic. And will eventually lead to our downfall.

I can not agree with you on this position.
edit on 10-7-2017 by watchitburn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:36 PM
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originally posted by: Terminal1
a reply to: bluesjr

I agree. Healthy debate and respect are missing in today's political environment.

When factions try and shut out debate of other factions there is trouble. Another is back room dealings that are not in the light of public view.

Personally I am jaded and think it has tipped over too far for healthy debate.


I agree!

But how long will it take those who are willing to be civil to realize that those who have taken their ideologies to the level of Brown shirts to stand up and say enough is enough?

We have already seen several examples of Progressive governments who allow harm come to those who have an opposing view of Globalism. We have already seen the example of how the globalist view Nationalism, so is one side supposed to lie down with their legs up in the air while the other takes over?

We are at war folks! Buckle up. The fun is just beginning!



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I'm one of those guilty of screaming partisan, but it's usually with the intent of encouraging individualism and partisan-free thinking, and not to force conformity. We should all be partisan to our own individual beliefs.

Great thread as always Les.




posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: watchitburn

While I understand the OPS premise, I think it's important to realize the political atmosphere in this country. REASONABLE debate is fine, but let's just be honest, that's not what is occurring in this country.

What IS occurring, is an insistence by the two major factions is that 100% of EVERYTHING be 100% their way. Well, frankly, 100% of either of the two sides way is an utter disaster. The only hope for this country is the Independent Centrist; yeah, you know the people the OP says "should be mocked"? Yeah, those folks.
edit on 10-7-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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When you start a thread with a quote like that, I have to up my tennis game. For the sake of this thread, you can start after the paragraph quoted below, if you'd like. Please tell me you’re a fan?


Like the story of Job the scene of the Faust myth has its beginning in heaven at a convocation of the Sons of Seth, Lucifer among them. The ending is also in heaven as presented by Goethe. As it is very different from that which is commonly presented upon the stage, we stand face to face with a gigantic problem. In fact, the Faust myth depicts the evolution of mankind during the present epoch. It also shows us how the Sons of Seth and the Sons of Cain each play their part in the work of the world.

The Divine Discord isn’t so divine now, is it? More like nails on a chalkboard, music to heathens.

Enjoy the link, especially if you've never heard Max's interpretation. I would also like to add that the same principle extends well beyond political theater, where in my opinion, it can stimulate the ego just enough to invent a fool.


Goethe meant every word he said. The stars have each their own keynote, and they travel about the Sun at such varying rates of speed, that their position now cannot be duplicated until twenty-seven thousand years have passed. Thus the harmony of the heavens changes at every moment of life, and as it changes, so does the world alter its ideas and ideals. The circle dance of the marching orbs to the tune of the celestial symphony created by them marks man's progress along the path we call evolution.

But it is a mistaken idea to think that constant harmony is pleasing. Music thus expressed would become monotonous; we should weary of the continued harmony. In fact, music would lose its charm were not dissonance interspersed at frequent intervals. The closer a composer can come to discord without actually entering it in the score, the more pleasing will be his composition when given life through musical instruments. Similarly in the song of the spheres, we could never reach individuality and the selfhood towards which all evolution trends, without the divine discord.

Therefore, the Book of Job designates Satan as being one of the Sons of God. And the Faust myth speaks of Lucifer as also present in the convocation, which takes place during the opening chapter of the story. From him comes the saving note of dissonance which forms a contrast tot he celestial harmony; and as the brightest light throws the deepest shadow, Lucifer's voice enhances the beauty of the celestial song.

At least you didn't quote Socrates, the bastard.

edit on 10-7-2017 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:48 PM
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originally posted by: SpeakerofTruth
a reply to: watchitburn

While I understand the OPS premise, I think it's important to realize the political atmosphere in this country. REASONABLE debate is fine, but let's just be honest, that's not what is occurring in this country.

What IS occurring, is an insistence by the two major factions is that 100% of EVERYTHING be 100% their way. Well, frankly, 100% of either two sides way is an utter disaster. The only hope for this country is the Independent Centrist; yeah, you know the people the OP says "should be mocked"? Yeah, those folks.


I disagree.

There has been a certain segment of society who have been educated/brainwash by our institutions of higher learning for years who have had that "wakeupcalltoactivate" and they won't back down till they have their way.

Little do they know, all hell is about to break loose upon their narcissistic tantrums!

Let the chips fall where they may! Ya'll snowflakes were too damned stupid to realize that you were used and life as you know it will be over!



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 07:50 PM
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a reply to: bluesjr

One of the consequences of partisanship is the resulting noise of tribalism. But the sort of tribalism in free societies is on the whole regulated and non-violent. But the anxiety arising in those who have trouble dealing with another's freedoms—his right to say what he pleases for instance—must be born if we are to enjoy the freedoms, progress, and enhanced knowledge of free societies. It's just something we have to put up with, and I would argue that any anxiety of that kind is a first-world problem par excellence.



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

First of all, if I didn't make it abundantly clear, I did, that I am not a "snowflake, i.e Democrat, well, I am not. Yeah, all hell is about to break loose, but I doubt if it's going to have as much to do with what the right and left think it will. Has more to do with the disenfranchisement of over 40% of the eligible voting bloc than anything the right or left is talking about.
edit on 10-7-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 08:16 PM
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originally posted by: SpeakerofTruth
a reply to: seeker1963

First of all, if I didn't make it abundantly clear, I did, that I am not a "snowflake, i.e Democrat, well, I am not. Yeah, all hell is about to break loose, but I doubt if it's going to have as much to do with what the right and left think it will. Has more to do with the disenfranchisement of over 40% of the eligible voting bloc than anything the right or left is talking about.


Disenfranchisement? How are they unable to vote?



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I am talking about the segment that no longer identifies as Republican or Democrat in this country... There's no representation there.. Forty-two percent of the voter Bloc no longer identifies as Republican or Democrat
edit on 10-7-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

"If two people agree 100%, then one of them isn't doing any thinking."
-internet.



posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: watchitburn




Checks and balances were put in place for a reason, this hyper-partisanship we are seeing subverts the foundations of our Republic. And will eventually lead to our downfall.


Look to the ironically-named Era of Good Feelings after the War of 1812, where there was a short lived sense of nationalistic unity after the dissolving of the Federalist Party, leaving America a one Party state. It was short lived because it caused worse division, and led to the very same factionalism and sectionalism that would lead to the civil war some decades later.



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