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To have knowledge of the political spectrum is essential to societal stability.


Political parties together constitute the so-called political spectrum. But it is just not that clear how that spectrum should be described. There are different models: the Eysenk model, the Nolan division, the Political Compass, the Pournelle chart, the Inglehart values and the Fries Institute e.g. Without elaborating further one could say that none of the models really provides for a directing and supporting contribution in creating societal consensus about our political reality. We simply speak of left, right, conservative, liberal, progressive, labour minded etc, without choosing further for an academic model of description.

What is a political identity?

People in accord with their societal position have different points of view in relation to the same political reality. These different points of view provide the person in question stability and a feeling of identity. Justly von der Dunk, a journalist in the dutch newspaper the Volkskrant of 11nov 2010, p22, remarks that conservative and progressive are relative terms. When we have gained in social-democratic coherence the progressives become conservative and the other way around. And thus that feeling of stability we hope to find in political parties is something of the realm of illusion.

A problem of consciousness

So what do the politician and the citizen want? They do not want the same just like that, even though the politician represents the citizen and the party keeps a watch on the constituency. The politician is also concerned with his career and health. De party may fuse with another one, head in another direction or have new leaders with another stamp. Because of that there is uncertainty of citizens dealing with politicians. The ladies and gentlemen of the government and the lower democratic bodies of decision-making are playing a game of musical chairs and the audience may applaud or denounce. At the office window the citizen already knows that he himself is the stable factor and not the dancing official of discussion. The political spectrum is a kaleidoscope through which time and again another pattern is perceived and other people come into view with each election result. That can be something very healthy and essential for democracy. But still we are looking for personal and societal stability and certainty, not to mention faith in God. And that seems to be in conflict with the necessity of democratic dynamics. People long for political elections as for a game of soccer and find themselves group wise in either fear or restlessness with the results. Torturing ourselves this way is not foreign to a certain psychology. For it is a problem of consciousness. How can one wish one's own anxieties? Why does one hold on to political illusions? Are we really aware of what we're doing? Being a political soccer fan is not what everybody wants of has the talent for. In a peace-loving mind one easily looses one's 'political engagement' and next does not vote or simply votes against the sitting government. 'Whether one is scratched by the cat or bitten by the dog, what is the difference?' The illusion of winning and loosing is what has to go then. That also is a healthy response.

A simple notion of political order

To fight aloofness, fear and the problem of identity one may think of the following. The political spectrum is essentially of a simple coherence. Without any further academic analysis one may quickly get a grip. The European Union speaks of unity in diversity for her dictum, one may also say quality in quantity. That is the common mantra of political meditation. We further know that unity, the quality of something can be something concrete in the sense of coherency and coordination, or else an ideal matter of a higher directional purpose, principle, idealistic state or utopia. Diversity to the contrary we know quantitatively in numbers as the singular opposing the plural, as the one opposing the many, as the individual as opposed to the communal interest. With these four positions of unity and diversity a one can describe the political spectrum: Liberal/business-minded there is mention of an individual and concrete interest. Confessional/conservative there is mention of a personal conscience and an ideal, non-commercial purpose. National/populistic after ones own identity one is concrete and socially oriented. And bent upon equality and solidarity, labor and a welfare state one is socially characterized on the basis of an ideal. And the democrat of 'the central interest' between all of this is then the joker in this old maid. And thus one sees neatly, when we want to be decent world citizens, that we shouldn't want to defeat each other at all for the sake of winning, even as one's limbs aren't supposed to defeat each other. The spectrum is a division of tasks! We do seek the integrity, balance and stability of a fully fledged notion of political coherence in which nobody has to live in fear anymore for the outcome of the elections. The citizen doesn't want to be dismembered in his own interest. The citizen doesn't want parliament to argue in his head all the time. The citizen wants a stable government in which everybody participates and nobody is left out. And that is possible only when we see the coherence of all members of the political spectrum. And yes, we love to move about.

Sanskrit reference:

purusharta and kshetra.

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Category: English | Definitions

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