[FoRK] Is Political Fragmentation really a problem?

Albert S. <albert.scherbinsky at rogers.com> on Mon May 28 15:13:26 PDT 2007

--- Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> On May 28, 2007, at 1:32 PM, Albert S. wrote:
> >
> > Polarization is a problem,
> Agreed.
> > balkanization is the
> > solution.
> Yeah, that worked really well for the *actual*
> Balkans, didn't it? ;-)

I don't think the particular problems of the Balkan
region are relevant to the current discussion. The
etymology of the word 'Balkanization' is semantically
irrelevant to it's use. It has come to mean
generically 'Political Fragmentation'. If you insist
on the word 'Balkanization' carrying all the baggage
of the Balkans then I insist we stop using the word
and use 'Political Fragmentation' instead.

> > The balkanizing
> > force of the Internet is an antidote to
> polarization.
> That prima facie doesn't make sense.  If it were
> true, we'd have seen  
> American society growing *less* polarized over the
> last 15 years or  
> so.  In fact what we see is the exact opposite. 
> That's simply  
> incontrovertible;  it's the reality on the ground,
> so to speak.

It seems to me that you are ranting against
polarization, but calling it balkanization.
I also have to disagree that political polarization in
the USA is a new thing. I would argue that the USA has
one of the most polarized democracies anywhere, with
it's two party system. And it's been that way for a
long time.


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