Why are we politically divided?

Famous political philosophers often admit in their speeches that they have one wish – that one day their ideology will rule the world, everyone will follow it. However, it never happens and we cannot see any signs that this will change. What is the reason for this situation?

The answer is quite simple – we all are different. Since our birth, we are raised in a specific background (it does not matter if it is a mix of different backgrounds, it still is specific) and so we learn different values.

It is very hard to make someone completely leave behind the values that they were taught in their childhood.

Different backgrounds

Let us look at some examples. Nestor Ivanovych Makhno, a famous Ukrainian anarchist, was born in a very poor peasant family. When he was just 7 years old he began to work for the wealthy landowners and experienced injustice. He got arrested and was charged a few times; he spent 6 years in prison before being released in 1917. No wonder why he was opposed to the tsarist regime and the feudal system.

On the other hand, we have Felix Yusupov, a Russian aristocrat. His family was the wealthiest in Russia, with bigger assets than Romanovs. He always had servants ready to fulfil his wishes, he lived in a beautiful palace in Saint Petersburg, studied in Oxford (in England he enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle, as well). He never had to work hard. So no one should be surprised why he tried to save the Russian monarchy and escaped his country after the October Revolution in 1917.

If today these two men met, they would surely try to convince each other to join their respective ideologies. But it would not be possible.

Strong divisions?

Nevertheless, this division does not have to be that strong; we can see it even in those ideologies which in theory could be universal, such as communism.

The victory of the People’s Liberation Army in China in the year 1949 was seen as a great threat to the capitalist states. But just 11 years later the famous Sino-Soviet Split happened. Chairman Mao decided that „Soviet communism doesn’t fit the situation present in China”. But that’s not the end of the story – French communist Boris Sauvarine was opposed to Stalin, as well. In his opinion, the differences between the totalitarian Soviet policy and original concepts created by Marx and Engels were too strong.

All three of these people: Stalin, Mao, and Sauvarine were born and raised in completely different backgrounds. Moreover, their countries had completely different histories. Workers in their countries had different demands, so surely the political programs were not all the same in France, Russia, and China.

An excellent way to represent the division of a country is a parliament which consists of representatives from different parts of it. Usually, we can observe that in certain regions specific parties dominate. This makes sense because particular ideologies appeal to particular social groups. Even if the politicians claim to represent the entire country, in fact, they are the spokesmen of just a part of it, the part which votes for them.

How can we unite society?

It is nearly impossible to reach this point; however, this does not mean nothing should be done. Everyone has their own problems and we follow those who promise to end them. When we look at the number of potential troubles to solve in the world and the possible solutions, we may simply come to the conclusion that from the mathematical point of view the probability for more than 7 billion people choosing exactly the same path is tremendously small.

On the other hand, globalisation is still going forward and people start to talk and cooperate rather than dispute. We need to give it the right direction so that the contrast between political views of two people would not cause polarisation of the society. This whole division does not have to be a problem. Thanks to diversification every opinion is unique.

Bartłomiej Dmowski, DP1