The Conversation

Rationalizing Factionalizing

In response to Divisiveness and redistribution:

I think you're right that the American system requires political parties and coalitions.  George Washington may have been speaking idealistically, or, perhaps, was a prisoner of his own experience:  He needed no party as the entire country was united that he should be our first President.

But certainly he offers a good caveat against faction, or, at least, over-factionalization.  What we see from Toure isn't even a pretense of being anything other than a Faction Discipline Exercise.  Step out of line, get the standard Uncle Tom derogation.  

There's no doubt that if Washington actually wished for there to be no parties, he was overly-idealistic about that wish, or didn't understand the consequences of the structure of American government.  (American government will always be a two-party system, except for brief periods of instability, because the singular office of the Presidency means there are only two political groups in the country: those who are content to keep the office of the Presidency with the current faction, and everyone else.  This structure will always naturally produce two coalitions, one voting for Confidence in the current government and the other voting for No Confidence and new leadership.)

Toure's statements, like so much political commentary today, doesn't use faction to produce any actual political outcome, but to simply reinforce the faction.  It's simply faction for the point of faction, techniques of faction reinforcement simply to reinforce faction loyalty, and of course to punish imagined disloyalty to the faction.

And the point I was trying to make is that at least party loyalty or ideological leanings are mutable. What Toure is attempting to do, like so many on the left, is to transform an immutable characteristic -- race, gender, sexual leaning -- into its own faction, in which one's allegiances and asperations are determined solely by one's birth.

That too is against the spirit of the Enlightenment.



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