I’m reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The political Genius of Abraham Lincoln right now and can’t help but see amazing parallels between Lincoln’s insistence on framing the Civil War – beyond the “mere” slavery question – as a debate (“by other means”) on whether a people can govern themselves. That is, whether factions that disagree with over-arching policy decisions shall concede to the broader group’s decisions or whether they will revolt from the group whenever pressed, preventing any long-term government. On any one issue, the narrow view is simply that this or that group is right or wrong, but the broader view is if factions are free to ultimately separate whenever they don’t get their way, then unions of any size are subject to ultimatum-politics and hostage-compromises that we all know are an absurdity in any group.
The Tea Party/Ted Cruz/Republicans have more or less shutdown the US government – not just f0r a few weeks – but for essentially 4 years, and now the Germans are doing it in the Euro-Zone. See also Simon Wren-Lewis’s The View From Germany, and the latest in Krugman’s series on Germany.
Can a PEOPLE (ie, plural) govern themselves? Or must we always kowtow to the factions and individuals?
Anti-collectivism is especially discouraging in the modern world with public education and now the Information Age, where it seems the majority opinion all too often embodies a greater portion of reality-accuracy than those of minority groups willing to use secessionist tactics – yet as a species we are still plagued by inaction due to (mostly) distant memories of tyranny by close-minded, powerful minority factions… I wonder when we’ll get over our past?