Política de la sangre

LONDRES – La campaña por la dirección del Partido Laborista Británico no suele ser un acontecimiento transcendental, pero la reciente contienda entre dos hermanos –David y Ed Miliband– no sólo ha brindado material para un fascinante drama familiar; también ha ilustrado algunas peculiaridades de las culturas democráticas que con frecuencia pasan inadvertidas y la extraña relación entre lo personal y lo político que forma parte de la jerarquía del protocolo democrático.

La política –o al menos el ejercicio del poder– era tradicionalmente un asunto familiar. Por lo general, los reyes anhelaban herederos masculinos, porque la investidura del poder se hacía por linaje filial y se distribuía mediante conexiones tribales.

El poder hereditario no necesariamente contribuía a unas relaciones familiares cálidas y abiertas. Enrique VIII estuvo dispuesto a ejecutar a dos esposas y a escindir a la Cristiandad por conseguir un hijo varón. En sociedades polígamas, hay ejemplos de concubinas reales que matan, respectivamente, a sus hijos para asegurar el predominio de su línea genética. Los otomanos introdujeron el uso del “fratricidio real judicial”, supuestamente para prevenir una guerra civil.

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