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Using One Ideology to Judge Another. Is it a Farce?

March 29, 2011

Using One Ideology to Judge Another. Is it a Farce?


No two people think alike on every subject. Even within the confines of an ideology there will be people of differing opinions, interpretations and application. Even the most sophisticated ideologies cannot dictate to every nuance of the mind, despite many claiming to able to. By their nature two ideologies cannot be the same. This may sound obvious but when people are advocate one ideology sometimes they characterize everything else as part of the same antithesis. The good versus evil scenario can play out in many secular ideologies as much as it does in many religious ideologies. Enemies, villains and heroes also play their part along with stories and mythologies. In the end an ideology is an all word view that must be correct to the ideologues that support it.

We can chase our self delusional tails around by trying to claim that we do not have an ideology (or philosophy) but it merely means that you are choosing another ideology that rejects all others. By default you believe in something as being the ‘noble’ motives for what you do.

Ideologies conflict all too often and it does not require a diametrically opposed viewpoint to create friction. China and the USSR were continuously chiding each other for their lack of adhering to the proper principles of a Socialist State. Trotskyites argued with Stalinists and Maoists on Universities not so many years ago over what outsiders might see as minute differences. Even within religions we have battles over modernism, orthodoxy, fundamentalism, authority, interpretation and adaptation. Similar issues play out in politics as the conservatives fight with liberals and even they fight within their own factions for the domination of their ideological driven policies.

So essentially we are living in a world where a lot of people are disagreeing with each other. We have ideological power struggles where the loser fails to get their policies implemented. But in the soup of ideas which one is correct? Confused? If you are devoted an ideology then there will be no confusion as the answer will always be your ideology. Now try to convince others that you are correct.

Advocacy and Condemnation are the common methods employed to convince others that one ideology is better than another. Often the more complicated ideologies can rely heavily upon advocacy and sell the positives of what they promote. The less sophisticated seem to rely upon condemnation to blacken their enemies and make their own seem like something less tarnished. Advocacy has pit falls if it fails to adequately explain proper reasons for why it is so good and missing pieces of the puzzle can lead to scepticism. Why should we believe something that fails to give proper reason to do so? Condemnation despite being less sophisticated is a much easy to use because it requires less explanation of your own failings and instead relies upon the accused having to defend their record first. This method can also be used as a diversionary tactic employed because somebody has no convincing basis of their ideology. The other problem occurs when an unscrupulous ideologue cherry picks, distorts or fabricates evidence to heap scorn upon a competing viewpoint.

Judging the value of any idea or proposal can be made even more complicated when the noise of competing ideologies is added. If the proposal is purely ideology driven then people have a right to ask if it is an ideology that they subscribe to. If not then why complicate the matter with ideological battles?

The finality of promoting and ideology is never certain because others will have their own ideas about the matters involved. Condemnation may seem like a great tactic but it does little to explain why what you are promoting is any better. What is it that you are trying to promote? What is the all world view that you claim to be the correct one? How will your ideology be implemented? Who will run you new world order? Why will it be free of the same evils that you claim that other ideologies are infected with? Why should we believe it to be so? Every time that you claim that the other way is wrong what is you basis for it? You can try to claim that something is ‘self evident’ but that is a circular statement that proves nothing. What are the essential principles upon which you have built your ideology and why are they superior to other principles? Can each of those principles be defended on their own? Or are we to assume that they are correct. Everything starts with a premise, so why is your premise better that someone else’s?

Sure it is easy to sit aloft and heap scorn on a list of enemies but it is not so easy to defend a better way. To judge a long list of enemies based upon what you have decided as being right is little more than saying that it is wrong because you say so and that is that. It may be enough to convince some people but others do require valid reasons.

And Devotion

First published May 11th 2008

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