Sep 13, 2010

Individualism, Collectivism and the Spirit of Party: Democratic-Republican Party Politics is Practical Political Nihilism

From Poli-Tea:
Partisans of the Republican and Democratic parties flatter themselves that the two-party state and duopoly system of government is, in one way or another, a concrete embodiment of an eternal struggle between world historical principles. In one of its most common forms, this conceit is framed as nothing less than an opposition between good and evil, in which the aims and goals of the political other are conceived as an evil that must be avoided at all costs and confronted at every turn, with the implication that this purely negative activity on one's own part is the very form and content of "fighting the good fight."

In another common variant, the opposition between the Democratic and Republican parties is framed as a grand struggle between competing philosophical visions of the nature of politics and government, distinguished by their respective emphases on the individual citizen or the aggregate social body, and by their reflexive positions regarding the proper role of government, its ideal size and scope etc. This presumption is shared by liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans alike, and thus constitutes a primary element of the common ideology that sustains the reigning two-party state and duopoly system of government. But what if the spirit of party that characterizes Democratic-Republican politics and government is incompatible with both individualism and collectivism?
Read the whole thing.

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