Diversity in politics

Most states must deal with political diversity as an unavoidable occurrence. It is stated to be displayed when a group of political bodies, neighborhoods, or student groups are made up of people who have distinct political and cultural origins or lifestyles. According to Madison, some of the problems caused by the nature of political differences include instability, injustice, and confusion; hence, in order to cope with the problems caused by these political differences, he advises the usage of political factions as the best solution. A political faction is a collection of people who share a shared political aim, such as political parties or labor unions.  Members of factions are bound together by the common agenda of achieving their political goals. In the tenth section of The Federalist Papers, James Madison defines a faction as a group of citizens comprising a minority or majority of the entire population, who are unified and motivated by some joint impulse of passion or interest that are contrary to the beliefs of other citizens or to the long-lasting and collective interests of the community (Leitch 790).


Factions are an efficient means of tackling diversity due to the fact that they are a part of human nature and thus understanding them offers deep insight into the functioning of the society. Considering that human beings are social creatures and are prone to seek company with like minds, factions are part of the society ad must be understood rather than fought. As a matter of fact, the arguments in this paper are designed to demonstrate how well to exploit factions in society and ensure that they function positively therein. At this point, it is clear that groupings in society can have both positive and negative effects and that methodologies must be put in place to mitigate the probability of monopiles due to agglomeration. Such methods for tackling the potential harm by factions include the removal of the causes of faction or controlling its effects.

However, it is not as simple as mitigating the effects, as the methods suggested by Madison are leading to destruction of liberty and creation of a homogeneous society. The former approach is impractical due to the importance and weight of liberty to factions. However, it would be virtually impossible to institute and implement this approach due to the fact that liberal freedom is essential to political life. The American Revolution guaranteed these freedoms and, therefore, they can not be taken lightly or stripped. This essentially leaves a situation where the society is stuck with the problem. The latter, which is pegged on the creation of a homogeneous society, is impractical because diversity plays an irreplaceable role in the success of a state, as it encompasses societal necessities such as division of labor, specialization, exploitation of multicultural strengths, and international trade. Additionally, in a capitalistic society, everyone is allowed to own as much as they can and, therefore, property rights must be protected and developed to include the advancements in the current models of society. Also, economic stratification plays a role in a diverse society by preventing everyone from sharing the same opinion. From this perspective, we see that factions are actually necessary for a society to prosper and they preserve the diversity in the society when applied properly and kept in check.

On the other hand, factions are sources of problems because the principle of popular authority has the effect of preventing access to power by the minority and this change has prompted the society or individuals therein to come up with various tested mechanisms of mitigating these effects. From this point of view, we see that factions are indeed an effective means of tackling diversity, as they help the state contemplate frameworks that can allow for the proper administration of justice and fairness amidst the wildly diverse society. The two ways of preventing majority factions are diversifying passions in a society within a given span of time and making the majority of the society unable to act or at the very least limiting their capacity to do so. This is essentially reducing their power significantly so that they are not able to manipulate the minority. This is the reason as to why small democracies tend to be more prone to the perils of major factions as compared to larger democracies. The former are faced with the challenge of quick agglomeration and potentially rampant spread of undesirable elements within society while the latter often offset the cases with their large population base and, therefore, implied diversity.

Another reason why factions are the most suited to deal with diversity is that they are a part and parcel of the human nature and, from this standpoint, the only means of effectively dealing with them would be mitigating their effects rather than attempting to eliminate them altogether.

This is feasible in a republic, but impractical in a pure democracy, where every citizen votes directly for laws. The system where citizens elect a representative small body that shall be responsible for making decisions on their behalf goes a long way in managing diversity within a republic or even a democracy, since it plays a critical role in mitigating the uncertainty and susceptible nature of the masses. This point had been mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, but is worth mentioning in its own right here.

For factions to be effective they require a large republic as opposed to a small republic due to the vast array of suitable candidates that can fit the job description and, therefore, eliminating the small cohorts that tend to control certain aspects such as power.

In a large republic where the number of candidates and voters is significantly larger, the probability of electing competent representatives is broader since the sample to select from is enormous. As a matter of fact, this makes the selections in the sample capable of representing the accurate picture on the ground. In this case, the voters have a wider array of options to choose from, which increases the possibility of selecting a correct individual as opposed to having a handful who would likely hold the same views. Additionally, in a republic, there is limited interest and an easily predictable scope of parties which means that finding a majority can be done with remarkable ease. On the other hand, in a large republic interests are wildly varied and thus settling on a majority can be a challenging task which boosts the confidence in such area. In the event that a majority is arrived at in these states, it is often much harder to achieve homogeneity within the same group, since it has its own microdynamics. That can make it hard to hold the groups together for long; as a matter of fact, it is often a heterogeneous majority and it keeps having shifts in alliances. This provides a helpful check on the majority and ensures that the minorities are protected from a united majority. This paragraph has demonstrated how well factions are tuned to addressing matters of diversity and their potential use by state and republics carefully.

Finally, there is a distinction between a republic and a democracy as per the reading and the delegated nature of a republic, which enables it to spread over a large area, and it is key for the functioning of factions.

The rationale behind the distinction lies in the fact that factions are likely to be more effective and organic in a larger area than a confined space. In fact, diversity is the essence of factions. This is because a republic would have a large number of potentially fit candidates for a position and, therefore, promote diversity and minimize the occurrence of collusion within the majority factions. Additionally, this ensures that electioneering tactics are impeded and their feasibility undercut due to the scale of operation that would be required to affect them.


It is important to note that the faction approach is the proper means of dealing with diversity. In my opinion, it is based on the rationale that factions give a dynamic and comprehensive framework that makes it easy to accommodate the various segments of the society. This approach has been selected for the paper due to its positive facets as well as the negative sides which combine to give a balanced outlook of how the society operates and are a reflection of the challenges and benefits of diversity within the society and the tricky task of striking a balance.

Works Cited

Leitch, David. Great Questions in Politics. Northridge: California State University, n.d. Book.


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