Political Parties, How They are Defined and how They Function

Here is how The National Democratic Institute defines political party.

“Political parties are an essential component of democracy. By competing in elections and mobilizing citizens behind particular visions of society as well as through their performance in the legislature, parties offer citizens meaningful choices in governance, avenues for political participation, and opportunities to shape their country’s future.”

It sounds pretty good doesn’t it. It sounds absolutely wonderful doesn’t it? This is the euphemistic definition of political party. It is the definition society adopts and cherishes. But, this is not the true function political parities serve.

As human beings, unless we catch ourselves, we define ourselves and every institution that is part of our lives with the most flattering attributes a mind can come up with. Happiness may not be possible without these kinds of fantasies. But, if political parties were actually like The National Democratic Institutes’s description, there would be very few if any problems in government.

What are political party in terms of how they function. A political party is a deal making service that represents big money contributors in their efforts to gain advantages, usually in the market place, over competitors through the use of government. Political parties help pass laws that capture customers for favored citizens. Political parties help clients rig markets and force the rank and file to buy certain products and services. Political parties force contributions out of lesser interests much like the mob used to shake down businesses for protection money. The message is “if you don’t pay us, we might pass a law that will hurt you.”

Political parties educate their rank and file members in ways that cause them to unwittingly promote their own poverty. The Democratic Party is famous for seeking social justice and does a fine job of convincing their members, that social justice is a priority. Republicans promote themselves as as serious advocates of small government. It is amazing how many Republican faithful are convinced that corporate welfare is an ingredient in capitalism. As far as I know Calvin Coolidge, prior to the Great Depression, was the only Republican President who actually tried to reduce the size of government.

Why do people not wake up? The human species is driven by instinct with respect to their behavior in the aggregate. Miss this principle and there is no point in studying sociology, economics, anthropology, psychology or any thing else that encompasses group behavior. Men and women are instinctively driven to serve a master, preferably one that is kind and provides for them. The herd mode is adopted by default. Instinct feels natural. It is instinctive to trade freedom for comfort and that is exactly what people do. It is more natural to worship a politician than it is to rein one in. This is a hard lesson to teach because the natural response is to declare oneself an exception. A sheep probably doesn’t realize it is a herd animal either.

As Common Sense Economics has explained many times, just know human kind is driven by instinct more than reason. The world would not be the way it is if this were not so.

People don’t question the definitions they are given because they will not challenge an existing order they are instinctively driven to serve.

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