The terms come from the names of chariot racing teams, that differed in nothing but the team colors, but rivalry of whose fans sometimes reached the level of gang wars. By definition, politics also deals with matters that people physically fight over in the real world -- or at least, matters that are to be enforced by the government's monopoly on violence.
Politics commonly involves an adversarial process, where factions usually identify with political positions, and use arguments as soldiers to defend their side. When tempered by appropriate standards of evidence, rules of order and other safeguards, such a process may be the only way of introducing a modicum of deliberative truth seeking and other virtues of rationality into an inherently violent domain. However, the dichotomies presented by the opposing sides are often false dilemmas, which can be shown by presenting third options.
For a variety of reasons, Less Wrong tries to avoid political disputes: see Mind-killer.
- The Robbers Cave Experiment
- The Two-Party Swindle
- A Fable of Science and Politics
- Blue or Green on Regulation? - Burch's law isn't a soldier-argument for regulation; estimating the appropriate level of regulation in each particular case is a superior third option.