Political Development by C. H. Dodd (auth.)

By C. H. Dodd (auth.)

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But if there already exists a powerful political organisation in the countryside it will not be able to do so. Again, the mobilisation of the peasantry may be undertaken by a tutelary intellectual elite under a single-party system, or alternatively by a competitive party seeking peasant votes by offering material and even traditionalistic inducements. Mobilisation by a single party may lead to modernity more quickly, but at the expense of individual freedoms. Mobilisation through a competitive party system may lead to an excessive degree of social conflict between traditionalists and modernisers which may disrupt national unity and compel the military to intervene.

In addition, political parties are promising institutions in developing countries because they offer a means of mobilising new groups into politics, a machinery not at the disposal of single leaders. Political parties also have a good pedigree elsewhere. They have proved their worth in the experience of both the liberal-democratic and the communist worlds. among political parties for votes. In the latter the single Communist Party has been used to organise the populace behind the ideals of the communist elite.

They also sometimes argue quite the opposite- that their societies are so consensual that it is quite unnecessary to have more than one party ! The line of argument usually adopted against this type of criticism is that it applies to weak political parties and not to strong. Competitive parties, if long established and possessing organisational depth, will have developed links with many groups in society, will have absorbed the political activists in society, and will not therefore be divisive.

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