The Division Of The Nation
Arguably, the most damaging aspect of democracy is its inevitability of segmenting the population against one another based on personal politics.
In the case of every other system, this does not happen. Polarization typically only arises when democratic choices are presented, and especially so when only two options are presented.
I wrote about this topic in my article Internal Division Is Unique To The Rule By Many, but wanted to further expand on it here.
A useful case study can be found with sports teams. The same division happens with any type of sportsball team frenzy, but the difference is that the totality of division in sports is much smaller. Take the insanity you see with sports division and multiply it by the thousands and you have the starting place for democratic division. It is easy to imagine that the division amongst sports teams would be even worse if there were only two sports teams in total.
Under democratic systems, the people become hyper-politicized and end up hating their fellow citizen more than the centralizers and minority classes destroying them. We see this in the United States daily.
Republicans hate democrats. Democrats hate republicans. Everyone hates libertarians, even other libertarians.
Campaign strategies are specifically designed to anger, shame, or make fun of their own national brothers and sisters. We even have leaders calling segments of the population phrases such as “maga extremists” and “basket of deplorables” (throwback).
We hate our own even more so than we hate the invading foreigners. This could only be done with democracy.
This is because it is an innate characteristic of democracy. It has to be, given its necessity of different intra-national parties or coalitions forming and competing for power. Those competing at the top of that power scheme must use division to rally and make less appealing their competition. You don’t run against someone by being friendly and loving, especially when seeking power. You must divide. “My opponent is evil, therefore his followers are evil”. Then comes the national hatred and anger. It is unavoidable; There is no alternative in this system.
But it is not just in the States. I recognized this effect while reading articles about Brazil to prepare for my Bolsonaro article last week.
See this report for an example on the condition of internal unity in democratic Brazil:
The cannibal vs. the Satanist: Toxic politics is poisoning Brazil
From the Amazon jungle to the megacities of the southeast, Brazil’s political division is upending churches, making targets of pollsters and igniting feuds between strangers, friends, family, even branches of government, all while pitting region against region and opening fresh rifts over sexuality, religion and race.
In an election seen by both sides as an existential struggle, the campaigns have abandoned any semblance of civility in favor of disinformation and demonization — literally. Bolsonaro and his camp have accused Lula of being a closet communist, and a Satanist who wants to shutter churches and create unisex bathrooms in public schools. One of Lula’s campaign ads, meanwhile, latched on to an old boast — and apparent joke — of Bolsonaro’s to suggest he practices cannibalism. The left here is portraying Bolsonaro as a fascist dictator in the making, and calling his defeat essential to the future of Brazilian democracy. (Each side denies the other’s claims as absurd.)
Cibele Amaral, a 51-year-old evangelical Christian in Brasília, said she left her church this month after its leader questioned her support for Lula. “She came to me with a speech about Lula bringing communism,” Amaral said. “I told her that was nonsense and … if she continued, I would never speak to her again.”
Not all the antagonism is from the right. In an incident widely reported this week by the Brazilian media, video shared on social media appeared to show a couple jeered out of a São Paulo restaurant by diners chanting that they were “minions of Bolsonaro.” São Paulo police say a Lula supporter stabbed a longtime friend to death this month after the victim called Lula voters “thieves.” In other attacks, Bolsonaro supporters have been accused of killing Lula supporters.
This should sound familiar to those of us in the States.
It’s important for us to recognize that this is not “toxic politics” as the author puts it. This is simply democracy in action. This type of extreme internal division and polarization does not exist under any other rule-by framework. But it does under ours. And it will only increase until collapse, for every democratic system.
The Brazilian result is, ironically, a perfectly functioning democracy. This is what we would expect.
This is why we shouldn’t favor a democracy. It is not a stable condition for any national people.
The author of that article is particularly duplicitous because embedded within the article, he justifies and pushes for his own form of “toxic politics” (partisan division):
In a time of crisis for modern democracy, the outcome here will serve as a gauge of global political winds ahead of the midterm elections in the United States after victories for the extreme right in Italy and Sweden. A Bolsonaro win could entrench an illiberal government in Brazil akin to those of Hungary and Poland. A Lula victory will be seen as an echo of the 2020 race in the United States, where an old lion of the left — Joe Biden — also felled an icon of a transformed right: Donald Trump. Should Lula win, Bolsonaro could follow the example of Trump, his political lodestar, and resist going gently from the presidential palace.
Fears of broader right-wing violence were heightened last week when a Bolsonaro-supporting former congressman fired a rifle and threw grenades at federal police, wounding two, as they sought to take him into custody for violating house arrest.
Division and misinformation were factors in Bolsonaro’s rise to power in 2018. But they have worsened, observers say, as politics have grown more tribal. Upping the passion now, Bolsonaro’s path to reelection runs through Lula, who stirs the same kind of antipathy among many on the Brazilian right that Hillary Clinton does among Republicans in the United States.
“My feeling is that, if he loses, Bolsonaro spreads the great lie, something similar to what Trump has done,” Muggah said. “One can imagine an insurrection-style event.”
What is fascinating is that people will write about division but then completely overlook how they are the instigators of it, just the same. Some writers get it and don’t mind being hypocrites, but many honestly believe division comes solely “from the other side”. But the division is from all sides. It’s designed into the system of democracy.
Because of the polarization, even dissidents often hate other dissidents. This occurs even though we agree on 99% of things. It becomes normalized to disdain your compatriots, because that is all the system allows.
The real struggle is breaking dissidents out of this mindset. Minor disagreements provoking hostility are not profitable. We need fellowship, not division. But that is much easier said than done.
This division in democracy also does not just create adversity between citizens, but creates an entire behemoth political climate that is impossible to escape.
You all feel and know this. It is authentically impossible to escape politics in any tangible fashion without completely unplugging from everything. Politics is constantly in your books, church, movies, public events, video games, neighbor’s yards, science, educational systems, music, work, public health directives, and everything else.
The system degrades until everything is political, so everything is divided. Everything must go through a political filter lens, from what you produce to what you consume. There is no escape from the constant barrage of politics. This is not a healthy condition for humans to live under. We should not be living, breathing, watching, and eating politics constantly. But everyone does under democracy. Whether or not they realize it isn’t relevant.
This is not sustainable. You can’t have a nation where half of the people hate the other half. You also can’t have a system that utterly consumes every person into politics 24/7.
Which is why no form of democracy can sustain itself as a viable system.
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