Look at all the damage ambition has done. It is one of the most destructive forces man (and woman) wields. In its name, it has committed mass genocide, destroyed miles and miles of natural resources and given birth to ideological monsters. Between our need to feed our ego by striving to become socially immortal (and therefore not forgotten) and our commitment to a single ideology, we have carried on down a dark and difficult path that throughout the entirety of human history that has brought us into constant conflict. Although, an unlit path we continue down in the 21st century, I do not believe their is devil guiding us. The world has no evil men, Just people with ambition and people who stand idle while unethical deeds take place. Good and Evil are completely subjective. To a critical thinker this seems very obvious but, to your “everyday man” (although I hate this term as the “everyday man” is just as subjective) This can be an awkward concept to wrap ones head around. That in theory an ISIS militant is as righteous as an NHS nurse, they just lie on opposite ends of a spectrum. This is not to say that morality is subjective as theere is a right (moral) thing to do and therefore we should hold that separate to what ideology is. Oxford Dictionary defines Ideology as A system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. Within the following Text I will be analyzing the I have problem with ideology and how it still hinders us in this century.
I feel it is here I should point out that my criticism of Ambition is not an attack against competency but rather a rebuttal and argument against our “will to” i.e the will to do good. This is obviously purely subjective and could mean anything depending on whom you ask. Of course your standard leftist would state that “the will to” do good is to strive towards social equality however, this is not only an over simplistic look, but within the context of political science, means very little. As previously stated “God/evil” is subjective and is a matter of perspective. Outside of the militant, circle, you can stop your average person and ask them what they want politically and most commonly the answer will be “I just want everyone to get on” I.E most people pride their social ideology as that of social cohesion, however the inherit problem with this liberal way of thinking is that not only is it a far to simplistic outlook to have. It also, often in practice has reverse effect of the desired goal and instead breeds societal exclusion. A contemporary example of such societal exclusion is our current refugee crisis in Europe. This notion that EU countries only let in “qualified” I.E “good” refugees. Politicians have stated that they are looking for those who integrate in to the values of their countries. This implies that if a refugee did not fit into the ideological box of a country he/she was entering they’d be denied entry, ironically in the name of social inclusion and ‘good’, sentencing them to wait on the boarder or risk drowning in the Mediterranean sea in another attempt to find refuge. Although I am fully aware there are existing bodies to help those trapped on boarders and imagine there are certain logistics in place within the context of policy this ideology is border line (for lack of a better word) logically flawed.
This construct to do good breeds combativeness, what we as a society often do not accept is that Ideology is relative. It is hard to advise what we can do to prevent such adversary in our ideas and I am sure there are those out there who’d claim that this conflict of beliefs is just in our nature . Yet Other species seem to fight over resources and territory rather than over belief systems. Ideology seems to be a solely human dilemma and as a result of human conciousness. At the the risk of sounding pretentious we can not expect everyone within a already functional society to transcend into a philosophical sage.Your average laborer probably does not need critical thinking to pay his bills and/or support his family. I often find this wish for everyone to be a equal to be a liberal pipe dream, due to this fundamental and ideological conflict, driven by our human ego. This conflict is often exasperate by our social/political systems, especially within today’s modern capitalist system (this is not to say this problem would not happen in any other forms of political theory) Due to its consumerist nature that leads us to more frequently, rely on dwindling resources nature provides for us resulting on us to fall back on such primitive conflicts. Despite my problems with Capitalism this trait I speak of is universal. This criticism against our commitment to ideology would apply to any Political science or theory and would most likely happen no matter what, and should be seen as a critique, against the way we as a species think and react.
This devout ideological commitment we have, pretentiously assumes, that we have universal validity and that its either our way or the highway. This idea that if someone was not a good person (good being a subjective term remember) they’d not be allowed into “our society” is not only ludicrous but extremely dangerous when applied to real life societies and the political spectrum especially when adopted by an overly ambitious person, in which we’d need only look to our history to find examples of. Yet, instead of looking back into our past we should try to look for more modern examples to reinforce my argument that this is still a very real and relevant threat. If we look to America in its current presidential race, one man stands out from the rest of generic silver tongued, snakes, who run in the political game, is Republican and obvious target is presidential candidate Donald Trump. Business tycoon and millionaire, Trumps ambition has led him to run for presidency in America where he’s been center stage of pundit media for several months now. Although, I don’t believe Trump himself offers any real ideological insight I think his followers do. Recently calling a Ban to all Muslims (which breaks an essential right to freedom of religion) he has been allowed to appeal to a fringe group of ideological bigots, who boarder line on racist and fascist ideals. what I want to highlight from this example, is how Trumps ambition has not only led him to get a platform to spout his ideological tyranny but has allowed him to inject the the poison of fear of the other into the political spectrum something that can only be done when a society has an ideological commitment to clash against.
A less Obvious example of ideological tyranny and a more controversial topic than Donald trump (who lets be honest is an easy target) is religion. before I go on I’d like to point out in no way am I comparing religious beliefs to the ideological toxicity of Trump, rather that from a objective level (or as objective as my writings can be) they share the same goal of imposing a way of thinking onto us. despite being twelve classical world religions I want look particularly at Christianity due to its ideological dominance and the fact that its presence is still felt today all across the globe. In just 300 years, Christianity grew from a small Jewish sect in Galilee to become the dominant religion of the Roman Empire to Polls still stating that 31% of the planet today refer to themselves as Christians. Now there are so many factors that resulted in Christianities influence. From mass conversion (one must remember that populations were smaller and therefore we were not as expansive) to westerns colonial projects that can explain its reach. Never the less, its hold and presence (for better or worst) has had a firm grip on human thinking. There have been horrors and great moral deeds done in it’s name. However, that’s not the point, I am trying to argue. My point is that Christianities preponderance has influenced our philosophy, politics, art, culture etc and is evidence of what ideology can do when added to a platform that has ambition behind it, where it has been able to forcefully inject it’s ideology into societies.
This may seem obvious to academics, but to other people it is something that is often overlooked if not ignored. Political philosophy like every other social science is not only subjective but, often contradictory to. This is why I personally hold such issue with committing to one or the other, as I do not believe any one of us whether that be nation or individual hold “the answer” as there is arguably not one and for better/worst (depending on your perspective), there was never a question asked. We are often to quick in creating heteronormative dualistic terror choices for ourselves,that crop up all to often in ideological debates/conflicts we have. Whether it be: Capitalism V’s socialism, Christianity V’s Islam, Atheism V’s Religion, or Good V’s Evil we cramp our knowledge into either or scenarios, your textbook leftist will call this the red or blue pill conundrum ( as depicted in the 199 Blockbuster The Matrix) where one choice is ignorance and the other is absolutism. Not only s this way of thinking a logical fallacy but a dangerous route of thinking, not only does it narrow our peripherals but it hinders any real critical thinking one can take.
This maybe viewed as just Nihilism however I believe this sells the point I’m making short and that in fact this is not just simple nihilism as this would imply A) we should not care and B) that there is no resolution in which i don’t believe to be true. We should never see ideologies as facts but rather as tools of analysis for life and scaffolding for creating moral societies. Just like how the laws of physics are invisible and shape our universe the laws of morality shapes our society and help us build healthyones. My adversary stems from who decides what “healthy” is? Our monogamous attitude towards ideologies is a naive way of thinking and goes under the will assumption that our truth is universal that must be applied to all. Not only does this mean we are forced into opposition with those who think differently or those who have arrived at different conclusions, but it undermines our very goal of coming together and finding common goals. This has a tendency to censor us domestically to, what I oppose are domineering traits that ideology present, that if it lingers long enough it becomes status quo. This inevitably leadsto societal incompetency and dependency to which can make it difficult for parties to critique systems whether that be political (e.g the state) or Ideological. Whether we look at Stalinism during the soviet union or Capitalism in the 21’st century. Our fundamentalist belief in a system (whether social, ideological or political) becomes increasingly hard to break away from. The moment we decide to state that something is ‘good’ we begin to create laws for everyone else around us. We can not expect our beliefs to equal validity but rather allow the sciences to help shift through the epistemological mess Ideology has given birth too.
We must come to realize that we do not hold answers and that questioning ideology is not something to be left to philosophers, but to be broken down and implemented into societies. Now to an outsider may just look like a indecisive attitude that I’m merely flirting with ideology, like a floundering fish flailing on the surface , gasping for air. But I believe history has shown us what happens when Ambitious men and women find themselves adopting an ideology and reinforcing it as a universal truth, where they are able to either justify their own prejudices, violence and oppression. Our devotion to often archaic and outdated systems stifles our future and hinders generations behind us. We must look at ideology as a analysis tool rather than a fundamental belief.