Government run only by members of Abnegation?

Discuss the June 2014 book of the month Divergent by Veronica Roth. While only Divergent--the first book of the series--is the book of the month, feel free to use this subforum to discuss the rest of the series or to talk about the movies, but make sure not to post spoilers unless noted in the topic title.
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Scott
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Government run only by members of Abnegation?

Post by Scott »

The following discussion question was included in some copies of the June book of the month, Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Why is Tris’s government run only by members of Abnegation? Do you think this is a good idea? Do you agree with her father’s statement that “valuing knowledge above all else results in a lust for power, and that leads men into dark and empty places” (p. 35)? Why or why not?
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Post by Gfarrell »

I think it will be nice at first, since they are supposed to be selfless so they will do anything in their power for the goodness of the people, but since they are not always honest or brave or peaceful or even strive to have a lot of knowledge then that could lead to complications later on.

-- 03 Jun 2014, 14:36 --

I think it will be nice at first, since they are supposed to be selfless so they will do anything in their power for the goodness of the people, but since they are not always honest or brave or peaceful or even strive to have a lot of knowledge then that could lead to complications later on.

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Post by toriborip »

I think it works better than leaving it up to other factions.. Abnegation, because of their selflessness, would think of others before what they wanted to do in a leadership position. But the best leader would be a mixture of all the factions. Someone who is Brave, peaceful, smart, and selfless.

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Post by gali »

I don't think it is a good idea. I think that all factions should have taken part in the government to balance the picture. The Abnegation were selfless, but it isn't enough for a stabilized and smart government.
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Post by LittleWilma »

I can see what led to the decision to have Abnegation run the government. If one faction must be chosen, then it was best to put the selfless faction in charge. The problem is that it takes more than one quality to make a good leader.
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Post by CrescentMoon »

I do agree that a selfish leader would cause all sorts of problems. In order to be a good leader, you need to think about other people's needs and be caring and selfless. However, I do think there should be some system of checks and balances. I think all the factions should at least play a part in government. As for the quote, I think the lust for power is what can lead men to dark and empty places, but knowledge is needed in order to run things.
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Post by Esrever »

Here's something, or maybe I'm just being thick today: When you look up Abnegation, it clearly talks about surrender or denial.

"--Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.--"

Why would you place an entire group of people whose sole mentality of deniability as head of your city? Yes, I know the word itself also means to deny oneself (blank) but that could also mean "to deny responsibility" since you are renouncing all.
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Post by Bookworm_22 »

Abnegation with its outward focus rather than inward was a good idea if we could trust that peoples actions and thoughts would always be in absolute balance. Their initiation didn't seem to be very demanding and the "proof" given in the initial test didn't seem to show character development over time. Would a 16 year old and a 60 year old still function the same? I think not.

I am firmly of the belief that absolute power corrupts. I don't believe that spending all of their time catering to minorities will best govern a body of people (ex. faction-less). I believe that Abnegation's focus on selflessness could leave the average citizens wanting in a way. This book didn't go in depth about checks and balances in the system of government. Her father's belief that knowledge being put above love, trust, faith, and morals would result in a lust for power. Morals and natural barriers to corrupt actions weren't fostered under the "knowledge above all" system.

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Post by musiclover182013 »

I think that the fact that they are selfless is a good thing. On the other hand, the fact that they are not always honest, courageous, seeking knowledge, or peaceful could definitely cause problems. I believe that in order to have a successful rule, all characteristics should be present and making decisions as a whole.

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Post by Darling_Reads »

I can see why Abnegation would be chosen for government because they are putting others before themselves which in essence is what the government should do. I do not think that seeking knowledge will cause one to seek power. Knowledge seekers can also put others before themselves and help others with the knowledge that they have acquired. I think that if the government had some members from each faction that served as a governing body that they would have avoided many of the problems. It would be good to have people that are truthful, kind, and have military knowledge all in the government. They could also take advantage of each others serums for the benefit of truth telling and the best for the whole city.
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Post by kasi33 »

Scott wrote:The following discussion question was included in some copies of the June book of the month, Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Why is Tris’s government run only by members of Abnegation? Do you think this is a good idea? Do you agree with her father’s statement that “valuing knowledge above all else results in a lust for power, and that leads men into dark and empty places” (p. 35)? Why or why not?

Tris' government is run only by member's of Abnegation because of Abnegation's supposed "selflessness". I believe this could be a positive idea, because one of whom is not greedy or self absorbed, might put the needs of "The People" before their own. They might also think more clearly, while their minds are unclouded of selfishness, to come up with substantive solutions to problems shared by the factions alike.

I do not believe that Tris' father's statement correctly represents everyone who is on a lifelong quest for knowledge. Craving knowledge for the wrong reasons, such as knowledge about someone to slander or blackmail them, or to make gains for selfish reasons, could be examples of this quote coming to fruition. These circumstances are not always the case, and One might have a purely simple and innocent reason for having a drive to learn.
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Post by Heather »

I think that the selfless quality of Abnegation is a very good quality for leadership to have, but it's not the only one necessary for good leadership, so no, I don't think it's a good idea.
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Post by Bookandbits89 »

I believe that they think that by being selfless they will make decision based on the greater good, although it might not be the best idea. Thinking of others is a good quality to have in a government, but there are other factors to look at. They need all the factions to be part of the government. They need people who are smart, honest, brave, not just people who are selfless.
I do believe believe in part of what tris father said. I believe that if you value anything over another it will cause problems. There needs to be a balance in life.

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Post by JMTuckerman »

I think the governmental structure in Divergent is a lot like communism... you know... only good on paper. You can't be just one thing and expect it to work out well. It's great for a leader to be selfless but, personally, I need them to be knowledgeable, honest, and brave as well.

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Post by ColinWolcott23 »

it takes a lot to be a good leader. being selfless is a start, but you must also be brave enough to make hard decisions, Be smart enough to make the right choices, and honest enough to admit failure. perhaps this is one of the main themes of the book? that one must be these things in order to be good?

-- 05 Jul 2014, 23:37 --

as for knowledge being a corrupting influence, it can be. there is the saying "knowledge is power" and those who thirst for power will begin to desire to gain it through any means. knowledge without understanding is vain and empty.

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