Showing posts with label Sectarianism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sectarianism. Show all posts

COVID-19 Sectarianism and Prioritization of Issues



The second dimension of civility as public-mindedness, justificatory civility, is examined in this article. Although almost all liberal political theorists believe in moral civility, justificatory civility is most closely associated with the political liberalism strand of modern liberal philosophy. People in western democracy marked by fair pluralism and dissent, according to Rawls and other democratic liberals, have a "duty of civility" to justify to one another how the political rules "they defend and vote for may be accepted by the political ideals of popular purpose." Basic rights and liberties, as well as epistemic rules of investigation and scientific proof, are among the political ideals that are universally endorsed in western democracies. 

When defending policies and legislation, being civil in the justification sense means referring to these widely held principles. This is particularly true for politicians, who have a greater direct influence on decision-making than ordinary people. Appeals to contentious causes, such as those based on moral worldviews or faulty factual facts, on the other hand, are an example of justificatory incivility. This segment focuses on one way that certain political leaders abused justificatory civility during COVID-19: the promotion of sectarian goals and political ideologies. Sectarianism is diametrically opposed to open-mindedness and rationality. 



Rather than advancing the greater good, it means promoting the desires, beliefs, and aspirations of particular persons and communities within society. To be certain, not all liberals are concerned with the promotion of political ideologies based on divisive views and sectarian ambitions. For example, some opponents of political liberalism argue that imposing public purpose limits on political discourse and decision-making is antidemocratic. Others justify political perfectionism by saying that states should foster valuable concepts of the good life; they believe that public purpose obstructs this aim. For these opponents, the fact that a political party may promote a sectarian political ideology that only serves the needs of a certain social community, or that a politician may use theological reasoning to defend policies they support, does not constitute an issue for liberal democracy. 

We agree that sectarianism is a challenge for liberal democratic states and we believe in public reason liberalism. The remainder of this segment demonstrates how COVID-19 has placed new constraints on public-spirited conduct, allowing individuals and organizations to follow sectarian goals with greater ease. Horizontal and vertical sectarian political agendas The COVID-19 crisis has given some actors fresh chances to follow openly sectarian goals. Despite the fact that we are all facing the same public health issue, actors with different priorities and ambitions have tried to direct policy in ways that favor their own agendas over ones that will benefit the public good. It's important to differentiate between two types of sectarianism that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. 

The first, which we refer to as horizontal sectarianism, includes government leaders who have advanced legislative proposals based on their party's or voters' needs. In many cases, party politics has played a significant role in policy formulation and implementation. Many lawmakers have taken advantage of the current health crisis to further their own and their party's goals, as well as the interests of their supporters, rather than the greater welfare of the political nation. The US Senate, for example, failed to pass an emergency relief package because Democrats and Republicans couldn't compromise on those clauses, such as corporate stock buybacks and executive compensation, unemployment benefits, and job security. Furthermore, in the run-up to the November US presidential elections, political considerations tended to affect pandemic policies. 

The formulation and execution of successful and politically justified policy solutions to the pandemic have been hampered by sectarian interests and a lack of unity across partisan lines. The decision to have Trump's name on stimulus checks sent to millions of US people to help them cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic is another sign of horizontal sectarianism. Although the economic stimulus is a fair and socially supported reaction to COVID-19, aimed at fostering economic prosperity and saving employment, Trump's politicization of the stimulus seems to be difficult to explain based on good justification, and appears to be mostly motivated by his personal and ideological political interests. Photo. President Donald J. Trump's name was on a US economic stimulus check. Another example of lateral sectarianism is using contentious theological reasoning to explain opposition to mask-wearing laws. 

According to a new survey, in the United States, resistance to wearing a mask and other careful behaviors is often linked to a conservative Christian heritage. Consider the following quote from Ohio state senator Nino Vitale, who made the following remark in May: This is the largest nation on the face of the planet, built on Judeo-Christian values. All of these beliefs is that we are all made of God's likeness and portrait. Our eyes are drawn to the picture the most. I'm not going to wear a mask... That is God's picture in action, and I want to see that in my brothers and sisters as well. Vitale's comment includes a strong reference to a divisive theological argument that will be rejected by atheists and, potentially, other religious believers who do not share his interpretation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. It is simply an example of justifiable incivility founded on a sectarian and contentious religious ideology in this context. 

During the current pandemic, we have seen vertical sectarianism in addition to horizontal sectarianism. Vertical sectarianism entails a particular decision-making level within a multi-level political framework, rather than the use of controversial theories or the promotion of the interests of a specific faction or segment of society. For example, when Italy demanded medical assistance and supplies from other EU member states at the start of the pandemic, those countries did not respond. This "shameful lack of unity" demonstrated a blatant disregard for their own national interests, obstructing the achievement of a public-spirited target at the EU level. 

If the EU is considered the appropriate constituency of public reason in this case, it is difficult to see how such a response might be publicly justified. The same point may be made in other situations where national interests are prioritized above those of the international community, including where coordinated intervention and cooperation seem to be the public-spirited responses required to address a crisis like the current pandemic. Of necessity, we recognize that the question of whether public cause and public rationale can extend beyond the conventional nation-state is already being debated. However, we believe that, at least in the sense of a political and economic union like the EU, notions of justifying civility, sectarian claims, and public-mindedness are becoming more relevant. The vertical component of sectarianism, however, is perhaps most evident within the nation-state, which is the conventional place of popular purpose. 

The advancement of policy agendas based on the needs of particular provincial or state subunits in relation to the national or federal level is what this dimension entails. In the United States, for example, partisan interests seem to have motivated the distribution of economic relief services to various states, often favoring Republican states less threatened by the pandemic over Democratic states facing urgent difficulties. This example also shows how sectarianism's horizontal and vertical axes are often intertwined. Horizontal partisan preferences propelled conflict at the vertical level of government in this situation. In April, several US states developed alliances such as the West Coast Pact and the East Coast Consortium to address President Trump's downplayed COVID-19 vulnerability appraisal and insistence on reopening for industry, reigniting the country's perennial controversy about states' rights.


Regardless of the substance of the disagreement, this indicates a legislative approach that prioritizes the interests of individual states or groups of states over the overall national political culture, as justificatory civility and collective cause would require. However, in other situations, the interests of individual states or sub-units have been presented as being linked to (rather than competing with) the national interest. In July, the Australian Government's Acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, voiced his concern about a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the state of Victoria, saying, "This latest outbreak is not a Victorian problem." It's a national problem. It is an epidemic that affects everybody. The Commonwealth and several states and territories are assisting in monitoring, contact tracking, and public engagement. Several hundred health and other personnel are assisting with testing, contact tracing, and public engagement. This national response to combat the virus gives me much hope – yet, to be honest, it doesn't surprise me in the least. 

To summarize, we have seen in this section that when political leaders use controversial principles or partial (e.g., personal, partisan, or local) preferences to justify or criticize laws and policies relevant to COVID-19, they threaten democratic rationale and violate justificatory civility. It is important to note that the justifications for sectarian policies are not necessarily clear. However, it is frequently possible to conclude whether a policy may be justified by pointing to societal motives from the policy itself and/or the wider behavior of the related political actor. In certain cases, implementing a strategy that explicitly serves the interests of a certain political party or individual is unlikely to be deemed justifiable civility. Confronting sectarianism can take two ways, both during COVID-19 and in general. 

The first step entails developing and improving structural structures to avoid the erosion of justifiable civility. For example, judicial entities such as the United States Supreme Court, which Rawls regards as the "exemplar of public justification," will act as a check on laws that promote sectarian religious beliefs. Similarly, structural responses to resolve conflicts at various levels of government would necessitate opposing partisan players acknowledging the extent of their rights and responsibilities at each level. There should be consistent lines of contact between the parties engaged in a conflict and effective procedures for its settlement where there are uncertainties or conflicts at various levels of government. 

The second type of approach to sectarianism entails encouraging leaders and people to follow the religious obligation of justificatory civility. Remember, the responsibility requires people to protect the democratic principles they defend by referring to common political ideals of collective reason. Schools and other educational institutions may play an important role in instilling the virtue of justificatory civility in adolescents, for example, by familiarizing them with core constitutional concepts that embody common societal values. People should use such concepts as the shared language of collective argument when engaging in the process of democratic justification in the political arena. Another option is to create or improve platforms for people to participate in decision-making, such as dialogue systems or deliberative forums. 

In the spirit of justificatory civility, it will inspire politicians and people to develop reasoned and other-regarding views on political issues, motivated by the value of reciprocity.