Beware the enemies of partisanship.
“If in the interior of a state you do not hear the noise of any conflict, you can be sure that freedom is not there”
When President Obama
“reject the politics of division” because “it’s the 21st century, not the 19th century”, I can only hope he was speaking out of both sides
of his mouth in order to appease his ingratiating audience. There is no politics, no democracy, no freedom, without division.
That’s why we should treat with suspicion those who continually and pretentiously lament parties, partisans and partisanship (often pretending they
are superior because of it) because the contrary to the politics of division is the politics of consensus and uniformity found in totalitarian
organization. That our anti-partisan friends can continue to remain aloof from politics and the democratic process because they find disputation
repulsive is a stain on their own respectability, not ours, and is a sign of enjoying too much of the comfort and security provided by a free society,
where their rights to vote, to dissent, to apostatize, has been protected for them by parties and partisans engaged in common enterprise.
If we look out into the world and history of politics we find uniformity and abject agreeableness only in the shadows of the most repressive regimes.
The politics of unity looks exactly like the 2002 Iraqi elections
, where all 11,445,638 eligible
voters voted for Saddam Hussein. Doing away with division is especially easy for leaders who torture and murder their opponents. Coercion and fear
will impel voters to unity long before anything else. Or, like what happened
, a supposed representative democracy led by the world’s longest running prime minister, they can eschew democracy itself and dissolve
any opposition they so choose, parties, partisans and partisanship be damned.
The paradox of an open, democratic society is its apparent disunity, political chaos, and civil strife. These systems are necessarily uneasy given the
trial and error that continues there. Add on top of that the freedom of speech and a free press, any division and sign of negativity is notably
amplified, whereas in repressive societies the silence of muzzled and suppressed voices gives an odd appearance of social harmony.
That might be comforting to our friends, but as Plato noted, the penalty for refusing to participate in politics is that you often end up being
governed by your inferiors. So while the fence-sitters congratulate themselves on the sidelines, refusing to determine their own future, their fellow
citizens are left to pick up the slack where they refuse to put in the work. This is not a position of enlightened superiority, but of fear,
self-seeking and laziness.
Instead, we should protect and even promote the “politics of division” at all costs, hold it dear to our hearts as the only method which with our
societies can learn from their mistakes and overcome them. To suppress that leads to violence, repression, and the resultant mind-numbing conformity
of theocracy and totalitarianism. Beware the enemies of partisanship: their hatred for the political and democratic process, with all its chaos,
vitriol and disappointment, could break the slow advance towards freedom and enlightenment.
edit on 19-3-2018 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)