Part III

There has to be something true in Left-Right ideology, but what is it?

The simplest account is that they’re categories that one needs to rule a political entity with millions of people. The essential Nationalism of the right or Internationalism of the Left demand that they be of vast, only-impersonally-known populations. An indication of this is that it’s harder to see what Left-Right means in purely local politics. An ideology working locally is not so much working for the locale as doing grass roots organizing, i.e. organizing with an eye to forming a consensus in the Megapolis. If this is true, the Left-Right ideologies are ways of dealing with the fact that political associations are viewed as primarily impersonal.

So is politics scalable? Is it like a corporation, or more like a family? A corporation of five persons or fifty-thousand could very well be the same thing (a collective person dedicated to the profit of shareholders) and whether the relations between persons are personal or not is inessential. But one couldn’t have a family characterized by impersonal relations. If a family got so big that a father could only relate to his kids in statistical categories he wouldn’t be fathering them.


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