The Victorious Faction

That the two-party system no longer primarily serves to promote the interests of the citizens of the United States but rather those of global political and business elites is today hardly a matter of dispute, and may even be considered a commonplace of contemporary political criticism. Mano Singham's series of posts on American oligarchy, and PJ Mulvey's take on the rise of global oligopolies since 1989 are worthy examples of the virtual genre, and make for such persuasive reading precisely because there is so little room for dispute. The truth of the matter is admitted even by the supporters of the duopoly parties themselves. Many among the latter have simply resigned themselves to this state of affairs and seek consolation in pitiable Pyrrhic victories in debates on the finer details of policy while the factions which constitute the elite class effectively determine the parameters of possibility and permissible outcomes in advance. This is a classic perversion of republican government.

In the Federalist No. 39, Madison discusses the form of the republic, writing:
It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.
Consider this passage in the context of Madison's famous definition of 'faction' in Federalist No. 10:
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
The leaders of the duopoly parties, conjoined with the financial oligarchy, have become nothing more than a handful of tyrannical nobles who have captured a republican government and perverted it for their own ends in opposition to the interests of the larger citizenry. They are the "victorious faction," as Hegel put it, and the two party state, the bipoligarchy, if you will, is the form of their misrule.

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