Publication Date

2010

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Comments

Published in Geopolitica, Anul VIII, Nr. 33-34. For more information, visit the website at www.geopolitic.ro . This piece is a revision of "Assassination and the Death of Politics."

Abstract

A society that wishes to remain free and self-governing must learn to recognize that endemic political violence, including the symbolic violence of character assassination, is an invitation to either tyranny from without or conquest from without. As Edmund Burke put it: ‘Men of intemperate minds cannot be free; their passions forge their fetters.” As a general rule, we might conclude that a fixation on the purity of political outcomes at the expense of the integrity of the political process leads people away from politics to the realm of ideology, from civility to fanaticism. This is the way nations and civilizations perish.