A Modern Democracy of Only Two Political Parties


Given all the recent discussion of the fiscal cliff, I thought it is a good time to revisit a discourse on modern politics. Most people don’t want to hear amateur bloggers (or actors for that matter) mouth off about their views on Washington. I thought I would share views from the author, journalist, and master of transgressional fiction – Chuck Palahniuk.

These views are taken from a foreward on One Few Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Palahniuk encapsulates in a few paragraphs what is wrong with our political system today.

“Instead of a battle between genders and races, consider that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is about the paradox of living in a modern democracy of only two political parties, a dominant theme of modern culture. Cuckoo’s Nest tells the same story as the most popular novels of the last century, a story we’ll be telling and retelling because that paradox is still our paradox, and we still struggle with Kesey’s central conflict: How can you live within a democracy that expects you to participate, to hold an opinion and vote and thereby control and be responsible for your society – but at the same time, you must surrender and follow the will of others if even the slimmest majority disagrees with you?

To live in a democracy, you must be willing to live as a savior or a slave. To have all or nothing. And you have very little control over that choice.

Either way, you’ll be lost. Destroyed. Either by yourself, out of self-hatred. Or by your society because you pose too big a threat.


Or, you can choose something different. You can learn from the destruction of others. You can create and live into a new system. You can rise above the either / or choice of being a parent versus a child. A savior versus a slave. And you can become an adult, not rebelling against or caving to your culture, but creating a vision of your own and working to make that option into something real.”