[FoRK] Is Political Fragmentation really a problem?

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Mon May 28 16:07:05 PDT 2007

On May 28, 2007, at 5:13 PM, Albert S. wrote:

> 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.

And I insist that you not put words in my mouth.  I chose the term in  
question very deliberately.

I did not say "political fragmentation" or "polarization" etc. was  
the problem at hand, I said (cultural, memetic) "Balkanization" was  
(a part of) the problem at hand.  Those are, very clearly, completely  
different terms, concepts, etc.  It is not simple fragmentation that  
is troublesome, but the very intentional creation of insular,  
strained, and often hostile communities through such fragmentation  
--- with the ultimate result of undermining any likelihood of  
cooperative behavior between those resulting communities.

For further enlightenment, I refer you to dictionary.com on your way  
to the history books:


> It seems to me that you are ranting against
> polarization, but calling it balkanization.

It seems to me that you are being sloppy in your argument.  What,  
exactly, is your point again?  I think I made mine.


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