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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Re: Government run only by members of Abnegation?

Post by Morgan_Malone »

It makes sense to have a government with the abnegation faction since they are so selfless but it does pose some problems. When a government consists of only one section of a population it is an inevitability that the rest of the population is going to feel underrepresented and revolt against that government. That's why I think even though abnegation is the logical choice for the government it would not actually work in practice.
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Post by dhaller »

I think having the entire government run by abnegation is one of those ideas that sounds good in theory, but in reality works out something like what we saw in the book. I think it's something of a rule among humanity that the ambitious rise to power. Having only the selfless in power creates a vacuum of ambition in the positions of power, and nature abhors a vacuum.

In other words, having a government of selfless people is great while it lasts, but it's a fundamentally unstable form of rule.
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Post by ANCD »

I believe the reason for Abnegation running the government is because of their "selflessness." This is obviously not always a good thing.

In my opinion, governments need balance. Without balance, there is no "true" government. At least, not what a government should be.
Each faction should have 1 government leader along with at least 2 additional members.

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Post by karigirl84 »

I think it should be made up of officials from each faction, they all have their good and bad qualities.

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Post by Dyslexic-Superhero »

It's hard to think what any of the factions being completely in control of the government. I think that it would be a more balanced government if they had factions on the committee. I still think it would have devolved still because that is what the experiment warranted.

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Post by fari30 »

I don't really agree with the sentiment that only Abnegations should run the government. It's almost like saying only white people or males or people born in the country's soil can be allowed to run for President/Prime Minister. Also, as both an Erudite and Slytherin, I am constantly having to defend them by saying "While all/most evil people are from Erudite/Slytherin, not all Erudite/Slytherin are evil." “Valuing knowledge above all else results in a lust for power, and that leads men into dark and empty places” Perhaps, but in the same way, valuing selflessness above all else may result in one being careless of themselves and being honest above all else results in everyone hating each other and so on.
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Post by Krazk01 »

A government run entirely on Abnegation? Hmmmm. Well, in my opinion everything would be slightly biased (it probably is, there are no logistics or too in depth details to give us hints as to whether or not that's the case). Its like having a world government, in which the only leaders are made up of Chinese people. Not that the other countries have an issue with chinese people, but if it were only them running the place i'm sure they'd have more insight into what their country needs than the rest of the worlds. They would understand their language better than any other one, and they would only be able to see the world through a chinese persons eyes. Not only that but the rest of the people in the world would probably feel very estranged from the government, simply because the other 6 billion people on this planet would not be from China.

Having only one set of people run a government with no diversity where it matters most (in this case faction-wise) is only going to set up a disaster, as we saw well throughout the Divergent series. Jeanine Matthews had her own little scheme to take over the "world" but it may or may not have gone through so easily if some members of the government were Erudite. If that were the case she would have had quite a bit of trouble trying to invoke distrust within the other faction groups in the beginning of the first book.

In theory, the idea of having a government made up entirely of selfless people sounds like a dream come true. But if selflessness is the only virtue that they possess, then there is a problem that we could easily run into, like the problem of selflessness not equating to honesty, or competence(assuming that the only ((or primary)) qualification to become a government leader in Divergent had to have was selflessness), selflessness doesn't always mean that the peace will be kept, and it does not explicitly state that the government will have the b(guy parts) to get the job done where it needs to be done. This is what Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless would have brought to the table. Sure they wouldn't be 100% focused on everyone all the time. Thats what Abnegation is there for anyways. But Candor would be able to bring honest, cut-throat opinions where they're needed. Amity would be able to create a compromise like noones business, Erudite would be able to draw up statistics & facts concerning the needs, wants, and current issues that currently plague the people, and Dauntless would not hesitate to get sh** done when it needs to be done.

It's okay to make a fair amount of the government Abnegation, but mind you that carrots alone don't make up a vegetable soup.

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Post by MerryLove »

I understand where they were coming from in thinking that Abnegation would be good for government. This society solely believes that every person is the complete embodiment of their faction. In that case, the selfless people of abnegation would be the best suited to run the government fairly for everyone. However, any society or person or faction can become corrupt. Each faction also has their own individual strengths and talents. It would make more sense for there to be leaders from every faction in place in the government system, with perhaps an abnegation member as the head or final decision maker.

As for the quote, the thing about this society is that they focus a lot on the negatives as well as the strengths of each society. It is very wise to say that someone who has focused solely on honing one trait, such as the Erudite, will have developed flaws. They are not balanced people with all the traits, but rather eccentric with too much of one.
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Post by zero_macabre »

Well, I guess Abnegation is the best faction to rule out of all the factions, but the role of government should be split. Each faction should have a part to play in 'governing'.
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Post by Taylor Razzani »

I believe it started out as a good idea. Why not put people in power that are more focused on others? But without any sort of sounding board from the other factions, Abnegation could do whatever they wanted without feedback. So they can do something that they might think is in the best interest of the other factions, but might be seen as controlling or even idiotic to others. It's a good idea but unfortunately people see the world differently, so what one faction might see as a good idea might have negative consequences with another. Perhaps it would have been better if the head of the government was Abnegation but they had a council from the other factors so they could see the impact they were having?

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Post by Naval Aulakh »

I think it will be decent at to begin with, since they should be benevolent so they will do anything in their energy for the integrity of the general population, however since they are not generally legitimate or overcome or quiet or even endeavor to have a ton of learning then that could prompt confusions later on.
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Post by Mallory Whitaker »

I think power leads men to corrupt places. I don't think it's right for any one group to be in charge of everything that affects other groups. If there could only be one group, I understand why they were the choice, but their lifestyle makes it hard for them to understand the needs and lifestyles of others. The isolation of the groups and stark contrasts really doesn't fit well for a government of this type.

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Post by Helen_Combe »

I don’t think power can ever be wielded without changing the person who wields it. Tris’s father made derogatory remarks about Dauntless and sulked when both his children moved on. I think he was becoming proud and disdainful.
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Post by Sakilunamermaid »

It was a good feature to have the government led by abnegation. By definition they were the most humble, charitable, and most qualified due to the fact that they were looking out for all of the citizens. The other factions had great pride, ego, and thought that they were better than the current government leaders.

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Post by teacherjh »

I think it is interesting that a society would choose the most self-less faction to be in charge of the government. It seems to me that the other factions, even though they value something important, seem to have a dark side or tragic flaw. For instance, Erudite values knowledge which seems a noble pursuit. However, it leaves them cold to human needs and feelings. Their government would be based only on the bottom line and not the needs of the people. It would be interesting to see a society today run on selflessness and the good of the whole group.

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