Ideology discussions have been demonized

Joe,

I have never read you describing your ideology. So this could mean that you don't find ideology important, or it could also mean that you never felt the need to talk about this topic. But for me ideology is important.

An example: a few months ago here in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull (opposition leader, head of the Liberal Party, which in Australia is the "conservative" party, go figure) criticized Kevin Rudd (prime minister, Labour Party) for what he considered an unjustified move against a justly deserved middle and upper class entitlement. The specifics of the case are unimportant. His words were something like: "Rudd is acting on ideology". Supposedly left-wing, or, God forbid, socialist.

I am not taking Rudd's side. Why should I?. The truth is, whatever he is, he's no socialist. What pisses me off is that Turnbull did not mention that his own defense of these entitlements is also based on ideology. Of course, he would never admit this, and, instead, would argue that his beliefs have a good, solid, scientific basis.

The point is that "ideology" has become a bad word. Something like "superstition". But if the noun "ideology" is seen as bad in itself, it's much worse if one adds the adjective "socialist" to it.

And, as the word "ideology" became suspicious, and the word "pragmatism" became accepted as a virtue, the ideology of the beautiful people, the rich and famous, masters of the universe, and somebody's pragmatism was marketed and sold as "scientific truth".

That's why "conservative" parties all over the world managed to maintain their ideology (now under the disguise of "scientific truth"), while "liberal" parties, unable or unwilling to call themselves "socialists", "pragmatically" moved towards the right, to the point where they are basically interchangeable.

And, so we went full circle to what I believe we both agree: these people (Conservative and Liberals) are no solution. Just my two cents.

Marco
Australia

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Marco,

What an absolutely astute analysis of the way ideology is being handled by liberals and conservatives! It seems that the thing is happening in Oz politics as has been happening over here for the past 30 years. And you can see the result in America.

I too believe ideology is important. Very important. But we have reached the point in America where the very language to discuss ideology in any genuine way has been removed or demonized. So I never attempt to discuss it overtly because the public is so conditioned that even those who agree with me have deeper reactions programmed into them which mess up their comprehension. Me too for that matter. So I try to write about irreducible human experience or observations (or just plain emotion, the value and importance of which has been vastly underestimated, completely discarded in fact, thanks to the worship of science and supposed rationality — much the same as the power of free will has been vastly overstated, so that the captive masses can entertain the illusion of freedom). To the degree that I do contrive toward persuasion, I do so by using disarmingly plain language. But I don't try to sway readers. I really don't. I am simply an irrepressible loudmouth. The power of persuasion is what has gotten us into this mess, and besides, there are just too many screaming voices in this workhouse nation already.

Mainly I do three things: I think, watch and babble. I'm kind of the village idiot on the American landscape. One of many. And if the idiot is babbling about the brainwashing and rape of the American people by powerful forces, maybe, just maybe, a couple of passersby will hear the idiot out somewhere in the backgropund noise and take notice that a terrible thing is happening. At the very least, people such as me serve as modest counterpoints to the deluge of controlled messages in this country, the multitude of persuasive powers at work on us here. And at best, I may even accidentally make a point. As they say, "Even a blind pig discovers an acorn in the woods once in a while."

I do not entertain any illusions about having much effect. Because the passersby are passing by in a speeding train now in midair over the brink, with that old devil himself, the hubris of the elite, as the engineer. However, there is solace in not being on the train. No safety mind you, because, as Nesrudin cautions us in the ancient Sufi story, "When true danger threatens, it threatens us all equally."

Thus I fully expect to find myself in the wreckage at the bottom of the cliff with everyone else, sucked along by the backdraft of history. Despite that I check the post daily in hope. It seems god offers no grant of immunity from a nation's folly and disaster.

In art and labor,

Joe

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