Home > Politics > Poilitics is Not a Dirty Business

Poilitics is Not a Dirty Business

Fortunately nobody has all the power: To achieve your end you have to compromise.


But compromising you have to compromise your conviction. You have to convince people of things without being convinced yourself: because that’s your end of the deal and you are convinced of the deal.

I stepped out of the party because of one resolution I could not hold in public. My district’s party boss called and asked: “Why did you leave?” and I said: “Because of this resolution.

He was appalled: “You leave your party because of one resolution? In which world are you living? If I would like 70% of the party’s resolutions I’d be a happy man. That’s not the way things work. You have to back that 70% of shit in order to get those 30% that you really want. Welcome to reality!”

I  see the point but I still don’t get it.

Categories: Politics Tags: , ,
  1. Ian
    March 1, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I definitely see your point, Detlef, but if we refuse to compromise with others that may have different beliefs, we either don’t get much accomplished, or we achieve power in a totalitarian or hegemonic fashion. Compromise is tough and soul-wearying at times but necessary if we want to encourage and empower everyone, not just the people that agree with us.

  2. March 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Thank you Ian, that’s a very wise and balanced view. But how far can you compromise? I’ve had experiences with a political party and a labor union which were heavily at odds inside but had to stand united to the outside. So your worst enemy inside had to be your friend in public: after the ballot – and vice versa.

    I simply could not call what I perceived as “white” “black” – even if it was democratic procedure. I found myself unable to obey party discipline. So I don’t get much accomplished.

  3. Ian
    March 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I agree that you can only compromise so much. There’s also the danger of cognitive dissonance; the stress of feeling one way, and projecting outwardly the opposite. It can fast lead to major personal/developmental problems.

    I don’t know that I can quantify it; I guess the point is, “you can only compromise so far.” And only you can tell where that is before you’re drowning in dissonance. I also agree with you about democratic majority procedure; I tend toward the Quaker view that majority rule is an act of violence towards the minority.

  4. March 2, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Alas, I don’t know any better rule than the rule of the majority.

    Seems we have to get those deals out intio the open as much as we can.

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