Belaboring the Obvious

Friday, April 14, 2006

A cross-discipline musing...

... on monoculture.

In agricultural science, monoculture is the exclusive growing of one crop to the exclusion of all others, and has, in the last decade or two, meant, as well, the production of genetically modified crops to the exclusion of all others.

Some writers, such as Paul Dean, have sought to make connections between agricultural monoculture and cultural thought, but, to my knowledge, none have chosen to see monoculture in terms of political science, particularly as relates to the current political climate.

We are living in an age of political monoculture, where one party and one ideological genetic strain dominates the political discourse to the exclusion of all others. When this sort of monoculture dominated agriculturally, in Ireland in the 1850s, more than a million died of starvation in a matter of a few years when a potato blight ruined the agricultural landscape.

Politically, the current attempt of Republicans to dominate the landscape presents a similar problem. Republicans have sought to seed the political process with a single ideological message--support for a President, regardless of Constitutional constraint--and many on the right have decided to sow such a single strain of seed, with the expectation of increased yield--a greater number of votes in each election cycle. In the last few years, that strategy has worked.

In agricultural monoculture, the greatest danger is in the evolution of a pestilent organism attacking that single crop. Politically, this pest could be described, generally, as corruption.

Are Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay the political equivalent of corn blight in the Republican corn field?


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