Leaders love to have people following them in unison. It is the nature of politics for politicians to garner support, then to leverage that support for power.
The result of this is that there is a great deal of rhetoric about unity.
I think it is common for people to catch onto this rhetoric and to start thinking that unity itself is a primary goal.
Some people might even start fearing disunity. I know both progressives and conservatives who are driven to distraction at the mere thought that someone might disagree with their beliefs.
The reason I wanted to bring up the issue is to emphasize that unity itself is not foundational. Unity and disunity are complementary. In most cases, political groups unite against a named enemy. The local unity is part of a greater disunity.
When a threat that unified a group disappears, the unified group is likely to break up. So, imagine that there is a major issue dividing the nation. We might achieve a compromise on the issue and the nation reunifies. The next political season finds new lines of division.
In a really healthy system, I think you would see groups getting together an dissolving on a regular basis.
It is in the free market that you see the most organic form of this creative destruction. It is not uncommon to find a companies working together on a project one year, and find them competing on a project the next year. Sometimes you will find companies cooperating in one market and bitterly competing in another.
This shifting about of markets is fun, exciting and dymanic. I a really healthy market, there is ample room for people to participate at different levels in the market.
It is in partisan and international politics that one finds the most brittle and dangerous forms of this natural process of forming and breaking unions. To extend their grasp, politicians work on unifying people over minor issues until they have a major rift. We often find politicians sincerely working to unify people on an issue that will progress society. When all is said and done, we find the leader marching at the head of a destructive creation.
Hmm, that would be a good one liner: In the sense that economics is the act of creative destruction, politics is the manufacture of destructive creations.
As the market is more dynamic and has more openings for participation, I prefer it to politics.
The one problem I see, though, is that we really don't have a free market anymore.
We have a highly politicized and regulated economy. The regulations seem to have the affect of raising the bar of entry for new partnerships, while subsidizing and stiltifying existing businesses. The result of an excessively regulated economy is that the big companies keep getting bigger and the gaps between the haves and have-nots grows.
This is where I think we are at the moment. Our regulated, litigous economy has created artificially large corporations. These large corporations create division in our society. The body politics uses this division to continue and even tighten the processes that created the division in the first place.
Since the division is being driven by fear of large corporations, I figure that the best antedote is to support small local firms whenever possible.