Ask any chef: making a good hollandaise is about subtlety and attention. Consistent whisking of yolk and butter ensure that separation doesn’t occur; otherwise, the two key ingredients fail to blend and both are ruined, creating a golden mess instead of something of greater value (calorically speaking, of course).

Now pretend each of those ingredients is partisanship. Egg yolks represent a nationalist sentiment: a center built upon a desire to preserve and revere historical tradition whilst separating people into distinct categories based on shared traits. Butter represents advocates of a globalized technocracy; one where technical know-how, interconnected stakeholders and global equity are prioritized over individual well being. Each side, painted with a broad stroke brush, can be identified in regional politics in the majority of countries. But the key to those who succeed is now one side winning – any good recipe requires balance and management. Too much of a good thing, and the scales start to tip.

The act of managing a right and left wing spectral divide is no enviable task. But the argument gets further muddied when discussing each countries traditions. A far-left North American government differs from a far-left European or South American regime. Internal culture plays a strong role in each step as well, and can be used to forecast citizen reactions on a macro-scale. Bridging the gap must then come down to answering one question: how do we communicate what fundamentally matters to us and deal with the roots of our issues as a species so that we might evolve beyond this stage of political division?

Everyone has stories of family members who fall into an extremist category of the political spectrum and never fail to ruin a holiday by pushing an agenda. This day-to-day example demonstrates the role moralistic values play in policy-making. Here lies the great flaw of the political process: moral issues have enormous sway in our ideological preferences, which have had a massive influence on democratic politics in the last 30 years, but preferences are not relevant when discussing the progress of a nation. When determining whether a stakeholder will be in an improved position this compared to last, the individual preference is what success looks like is not relative.

We as a species have designed a system that works for the betterment of the planet. The side effect of this has been inequity in the distribution of wealth and development, a genuine problem. But if the process isn’t perfect, the solution cannot be to burn it to the ground and start again. Ideological preference has no place in rational decision-making because it clouds judgement, impedes rationality. It also creates a vulnerability that politicians too often exploit: making an emotional case for a cause, be it immigration, security or economic protectionism that is viewed as rational.

Fixing the holes in the system is no easy task. But once those ingredients have separated to the point where they no longer form a cohesive whole, no amount of whisking or management can fix the mess that gets created.

Oh, and the degree of righteous with which the system is destroyed does not lessen it’s fall out. You rarely get to have your eggs and eat them too.

 

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