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Party Variety Elimination Inevitable of Objectivism?

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Benpercent
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A thing that has been concerning me as of late is whether or not the practice of Objectivism automatically leads to the establishment of a single political party in government. Now mind you I don't mean whether or not Objectivism leads to a one-party dictatorship, but rather whether or not it leads to the elimination of political variety.

My reasoning is this: since all political parties are based on a worldview, they will attract people who share that worldview. Also, given a dominant enough philosophy cultural homogeneity results, meaning aside from minor quarrels the vast majority of a people share a single worldview. So if Objectivism won the battle for the culture and managed to establish itself within a philosophically homogeneous society wouldn't variety amongst political parties disappear since everyone would be generally united by one worldview?

Is this correct? Or might it possibly be the case that party-identification would disintegrate altogether? Or am I wrong altogether?

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I don't know Ben, look at the discussions in this forum and you will see Objectivists who interpret the questions of today differently, or offer up different solutions based on the very same premises.

Ooh... and with regard to more than one Objectivist based political party... I wish! :P

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Political parties are largely the result of excessive government regulation of the electoral process. (in other words, only a specific kind of organization is allowed to support a candidate's run for office, a political party which fulfills all sort of requirement, including a non profit status: GE is not allowed to have a special division, which specializes in offering the service of running a political campaign for clients, the way they have a media division for instance).

My guess is that political parties would be replaced by companies, some of them working for profit, others for free, to help various candidates with their campaigns. Even today, these professionals exist, and they do move from party to party (often from state to state and from country to country too, to help avoid conflicts of interest), and work for money, completely disinterested in any specific ideology, for various campaigns. Except they're not allowed to take it one step further, and organize properly, into companies which can provide a candidate full service, making political parties redundant.

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Political parties are electoral coalitions based on factional interests that exist largely because of government regulation of the economy and other matters. A separation of economy and state, and other proper constitutional limitations on government would deprive parties of their reason for existence.

It is not likely that a two-party system would still exist if Objectivism were the predominant philosophy. Minor disagreements among Objectivists would not sustain an energetic two-party system. There could be fringe statist parties but they would not be serious electoral contenders.

I think that people sense that strong party divisions are not healthy. That's one reason why we see the John McCain types making appeals to bipartisanship. He's right insofar as the best political philosophy has no need of partisanship (and wrong, of course, that this can happen so long as statism prevails).

Political parties were never fundamental to the United States constitution. They arose due to its contradictions. We could live happily without them.

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Well, in an Objectivist society, there will be a lack of political variety in that it won't be legal for elected officials to violate rights, but there will still be huge variety in how given politicians go about protecting/establishing rights in given situations. It's like saying that if everyone spontaneously decides to get fit and healthy, there will probably be as many different ways of accomplishing this goal as there are people.

Would you ask whether Objectivism will lead to a lack of career variety because everyone will want to be productive? I don't think so.

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I think political parties might vanish as public service will be minimal and looked down upon. That's not because the politicians are Objectivists, that's because the government won't be involved in economics.

But, there will still be political variety. How you define property isn't always completely clear and objective. For example, before the widespread drilling of oil, it may not have mattered if someone's nearby well sucked oil from underneath your plowed land. After widespread drilling, that action may infact lead to things like geologic instability. There might be reasons to make new rules to define rights to oil fields differently than the explicit ground above them.

If farmers don't exist, don't draw water from the ground for irrigation that can be contaminated, and there are just houses or park space above the oil field, the law may give no regard to the rights of 'above ground' property owners as it concerns the oil production activities underneath.

On the other hand, if the oil drilling contaminates groundwater used by the farmers for irrigation, they would advocate politically for some recognition of their rights.

So, at a minimum, in an Objectivist government, while the nature of rights might be indisputable, individuals must still come forward and claim them.

This could occur in court, but it would also need to occur to some extent in the legislative process. Ideally, the differing viewpoints would concur, rather than fight, even though they represent different interests, and focus on different issues.

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... the elimination of political variety.

As if that would be bad when variety means some people think human rights are dispensable?

The electoral scheme in place also encourages or discourages parties to form. The winner-take-all format in the U.S. is the biggest cause of the two party system, couple with the fact that in the U.S. voters vote for individuals, not parties or other ideological middlemen. (You can vote for a party line if you want, but that is just a convenience.) The narrative of an election story always ends up being about a leader, a challenger, and possibly a spoiler. There is an infinite amount of drama to mined from the who-is-the-better-man contest, so parties are here to stay.

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To be clear, Grames, I was not necessarily insinuating that absence of political variety is a bad thing; only that in my thinking I mistakenly thought that political variety would part of a healthy government and was concerned with the fact I could not reconcile this with the view of a rational culture.

Thank you all for your input; you have advanced my thinking significantly. I find Jennifer's theory to be the most persuasive: Political variety would cease, but there would still be plenty of methodologies to choose from.

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Political variety would cease, but there would still be plenty of methodologies to choose from.
There will almost certainly be different groupings, and a high probability that they will fracture into a few major groupings. I think history tells us it will be that way.

There are a whole lot of detailed political questions to fight about :D

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Well, in an Objectivist society, there will be a lack of political variety in that it won't be legal for elected officials to violate rights, but there will still be huge variety in how given politicians go about protecting/establishing rights in given situations.

Pretty much. Right now it's a battle between people who want to violate individual rights in various ways and to various extent. In O-land, it would be about efficiency at one, given, unchangeable task: upholding rights.

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In O-land, it would be about efficiency at one, given, unchangeable task: upholding rights.
I think it would be more than that. There are a whole lot of detailed questions in the category: "does a person have the right to XYZ?" or "can the government do ABC without it being a violation of rights?"

Separately, 100% of people agreeing with Objectivism seems unreal to me. I think there will always be people challenging even the basic premises, and calling for government to force people to be their brother's keeper. There are always some who will question what the vast majority considers to be settled science.

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Separately, 100% of people agreeing with Objectivism seems unreal to me. I think there will always be people challenging even the basic premises, and calling for government to force people to be their brother's keeper. There are always some who will question what the vast majority considers to be settled science.

Good thing it wouldn't have to be agreed to. It's written in stone in the Constitution.

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A thing that has been concerning me as of late is whether or not the practice of Objectivism automatically leads to the establishment of a single political party in government. Now mind you I don't mean whether or not Objectivism leads to a one-party dictatorship, but rather whether or not it leads to the elimination of political variety.

If the scope of government is limited sufficiently, political variety is not needed. The variety will be in the (free) market place, where variety belongs. The only place you will find major differences of opinion, with such limited scope government, will be in in matters of war. Do we deploy or not deploy, etc. etc..

In a better world with a proper government the only evidence you will see of government is the police force, the law courts and the army. Everything else will be private.

Bob Kolker

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