26 December 2010

The instruments of honor and shame

"The slogan 'above the parties,' the appeal to 'men of all parties,' and the boast that they would 'stand far removed from the strife of parties and represent only a national purpose' was equally characteristic of all imperialist groups, where it appeared as a natural consequence of their exclusive interest in foreign policy in which the nation was supposed to act as a whole in any event, independent of classes and parties." (The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, 1994; page 250). 
Such movements that claim a supra-ideological, privileged position need at the same time to temper their purchases on the levers of power. That is the true meaning of the separation of Church and State. 
The question is how might a supra-ideological movement come to a position of influence without resorting to the use of the levers of power? Perhaps here is where the instruments of honor and shame come into play. 

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