Politik der Blutsbande

LONDON – Normalerweise ist das Rennen um den Parteivorsitz der britischen Labor Party kein weltbewegendes Ereignis. Aber der jüngste Wettstreit zwischen zwei Brüdern -  David und Ed Miliband – bot nicht nur Material für ein fesselndes Familiendrama, sondern veranschaulichte auch einige, oftmals unbeachtete Besonderheiten demokratischer Kulturen - sowie die seltsame, dem demokratischem Prozedere innewohnende Beziehung zwischen Persönlichem und Politischem.  

Politik, oder zumindest die Machtausübung, war traditionell eine Familienangelegenheit. Könige trachteten typischerweise nach männlichen Erben, denn die Macht wurde auf die direkten Nachkommen übertragen und über Stammeszugehörigkeit verbreitet.

Erbliche Macht sorgte allerdings nicht unbedingt für herzliche und offene Familienbeziehungen. Um einen Sohn zu bekommen war König Heinrich VIII. bereit, zwei Ehefrauen hinzurichten und die Verhältnisse innerhalb des Christentums umzustoßen. In polygamen Gesellschaften gibt es Beispiele königlicher Konkubinen, die jeweils die Kinder der anderen ermordeten, um die Vorherrschaft ihrer genetischen Linie zu sichern. Die Osmanen führten die Praxis des „gesetzlichen königlichen Brudermordes“ ein, vorgeblich um Bürgerkriege zu vermeiden.

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