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CrazyCatLord
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30 Apr 2012, 1:22 am

I believe that every socio-political ideology has its flaws, because none of them can predict all future social, economic or ecological changes. All political systems have to be able to adapt and evolve in order to survive. I also believe that almost every ideology has a few valuable ideas to offer. It is unwise to be ideologically dogmatic and reject valid solutions for socio-economic problems simply because they originate in an ideology that clashes with one's own political beliefs.

Capitalism is a powerful engine of progress, ingenuity and prosperity, but it cannot create an acceptable social system. Libertarianism has a lot to offer when it comes to individual freedom, but it can have disastrous social and ecological consequences when we apply it to a market economy. Socialism can teach us how to minimize the harmful effects of unbridled capitalism and empower the poorest and weakest sections of society, or at least prevent the poor from dying under a bridge. But socialism is not an economic system. It cannot drive progress or create wealth.

This is why most developed democratic countries mix and match various political and economic ideas and make adjustments as necessary, without following a single rigid ideology. They have realized that it's important to find a balance between necessary public sector expenses that create infrastructure and limited government spending that doesn't waste tax revenue, between social security and individual responsibility, and between sensible market regulation and a limited government that doesn't stifle economic freedom and progress. We can't just pick one or the other. A political ideology that proclaims itself anti-capitalist or anti-socialist is too rigid and short-sighted, and ultimately bound to fail.



Exclavius
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30 Apr 2012, 2:01 am

anti-ideology is an ideology of it's own :lol:

But, i agree generally with what you're saying, maybe i'd disagree on the details in your arguments, but it's ideological thinking that leads to the over-rigidity towards change that prevents a proper evolution towards a better world. People think, "It was therefore it is and always will be"

Your comments on capitalism are where i'd disagree, it isn't an engine of "progress, ingenuity and prosperity." Rather, it's an engine of "resource depletion" and it requires constant exponential growth, which is only sustainable in a world of unlimited resources. Sure it provides short-term "progress, ingenuity and prosperity," but only until those resources are depleted, and it accelerates you to that point of depletion.

Socialism does teach you how to be nice, but leads to the nanny state.

Capitalism mixed and tempered with socialism does indeed create a great little short-lived regime where as many people as possible from a select number of generations just before the climax, get to live in perceived harmony with each other, with (perceived) minimalized disparity between them.

But isn't taking a tenet from one ideology and mixing it with the tenets you like of other ideologies, just creating a new ideology? Because each of us here, and around the world will all have different opinions on which tenet to take from which ideology, and unless we all surrender our individuality to the society as a whole, and start to behave like the bees or ants in a colony or like the cells in our body, working for a central good, instead of an individual good (think the Borg from Star Trek) Then we are doomed to fail and collapse.

It's not ideology that is the problem, it's the inability to change and adapt that is the problem. It's the unwillingness to change our morality and ethics and laws to fit our environment that is our problem. It's our thinking that we are central and special and extra-important in the grand scheme of things, rather than being a part of the world around us.

Those issue are VERY present in ideological thinking, but they are not the ideology, just a common thread throughout ideologies (necessary but not sufficient conditions if you want to use mathematical terms) An ideology would never prosper and take root if it didn't have these traits.

And therein lies one of the big issues, because a system of government cannot be founded if it doesn't take root as an idea first, we cannot have a system which is not ideological in nature. It won't happen. Memetics, sociology, psychology, game-theory, common sense... all tell us this is impossible. Well, there is one exception... anarchy, which is one of the only two sustainable ways for humans to exist in the long-term, alongside dictatorship.



peebo
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30 Apr 2012, 2:21 am

ideology is the product of theory removed from practice and made concrete, resulting in dogma.


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Declension
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30 Apr 2012, 2:39 am

"Ideology" isn't a dirty word. And it is inescapable. Saying that you don't have an ideology is like saying that you don't have any philosophical commitments. It is self-defeating.

You don't have a choice between ideology and non-ideology. You only have a choice between mainstream ideology and subversive ideology. If you go though life thinking that you are a "pragmatist" who is just using "common sense", what you are actually doing is uncritically absorbing mainstream ideology.



Oodain
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30 Apr 2012, 2:48 am

a sensible thread in ppr?

does my eyes deceive me?


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peebo
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30 Apr 2012, 2:57 am

Declension wrote:
"Ideology" isn't a dirty word. And it is inescapable. Saying that you don't have an ideology is like saying that you don't have any philosophical commitments. It is self-defeating.

You don't have a choice between ideology and non-ideology. You only have a choice between mainstream ideology and subversive ideology. If you go though life thinking that you are a "pragmatist" who is just using "common sense", what you are actually doing is uncritically absorbing mainstream ideology.


not necessarily, look at my post above. ideology suggests totalistic, concrete and dogmatic thinking. i think what you are talking about is theory. theoretical beliefs can be held, but can also change in a fluid manner pragmatically and as reality dictates. this is resultant of the synthesis of theory and practice. ideology is the result of theory divorced from practice (i.e. reality). ideas develop over time and change in a fluid manner when considered in the context of the wider world.

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plagiarism is necessary. progress implies it. it holds tight an author’s phrase, uses his expressions, eliminates a false idea, and replaces it with just the right idea.


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Apple_in_my_Eye
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30 Apr 2012, 3:18 am

I agree. I never trust 'pure' ideologies; when put into practice they seem always to end in failure. (By 'pure' I mean ideologies that say, "if we do this, and only this, then everything will get better/be perfect.)

(That kind of thinking also reminds me of what cult leaders do. They 'sell' people on some crazy ideology that sounds good but works out to be about being a slave to the leader-guy.)

We've seen the downsides of communism in history, and in the present the downsides of capitalism are becoming apparent. I.e. money corrupting the political process, the banking industry in one country damaging the world's economy, trans-national corporations that have no allegiance to any home country, etc.

But maybe it's not surprising; the human mind is usually more about ego than reality. I think people try to reduce the world too much; "freedom is good. I will now extrapolate the rules for a perfect world from this premise." Maybe there's too much entropy in how the world works for any super-reductionist system like that to work.



CrazyCatLord
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30 Apr 2012, 4:07 am

Exclavius wrote:
Your comments on capitalism are where i'd disagree, it isn't an engine of "progress, ingenuity and prosperity." Rather, it's an engine of "resource depletion" and it requires constant exponential growth, which is only sustainable in a world of unlimited resources. Sure it provides short-term "progress, ingenuity and prosperity," but only until those resources are depleted, and it accelerates you to that point of depletion.


Yes, I can see that this is a problem. But I'm also glad that I don't have to use my very first computer anymore, a Commodore C64. It was still fully functional when I finally decided to throw it away a few years ago, after it had been gathering dust for decades. I know that the ever shorter development cycles of consumer electronics and other goods lead to an insane waste of natural resources, but if it wasn't for this rapid technological development driven by monetary incentives, we'd probably live in a much more primitive world.

I think that the environmental footprint of a capitalist market economy can be kept in check by government regulation. It should be possible to minimize the ecological impact and the waste of resources without stifling technological progress. For example, consumer electronics could be built to be upgradable to a much greater degree. There is no need to throw away a desktop PC case and buy a brand new system if you can exchange a few core components instead. But that's impossible to realize without market regulation that creates the right incentives, rewards companies that market "green" technology, and subsidizes research into easily reusable or biodegradable electronic components. In the long run, we will probably need to switch to organic biotechnology.

Quote:
But isn't taking a tenet from one ideology and mixing it with the tenets you like of other ideologies, just creating a new ideology? Because each of us here, and around the world will all have different opinions on which tenet to take from which ideology, and unless we all surrender our individuality to the society as a whole, and start to behave like the bees or ants in a colony or like the cells in our body, working for a central good, instead of an individual good (think the Borg from Star Trek) Then we are doomed to fail and collapse.

It's not ideology that is the problem, it's the inability to change and adapt that is the problem. It's the unwillingness to change our morality and ethics and laws to fit our environment that is our problem. It's our thinking that we are central and special and extra-important in the grand scheme of things, rather than being a part of the world around us.


That's pretty much what I was trying to say. I don't want to create a new ideology out of existing ones, I'm only arguing for more political flexibility. Instead of identifying ideas as socialist or whatever and rejecting them based on slippery slope reasoning, we should examine political solutions on their own merit, without letting ideologies get in the way.



CrazyCatLord
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30 Apr 2012, 4:24 am

Declension wrote:
"Ideology" isn't a dirty word. And it is inescapable. Saying that you don't have an ideology is like saying that you don't have any philosophical commitments. It is self-defeating.

You don't have a choice between ideology and non-ideology. You only have a choice between mainstream ideology and subversive ideology. If you go though life thinking that you are a "pragmatist" who is just using "common sense", what you are actually doing is uncritically absorbing mainstream ideology.


I agree that there is nothing wrong with subscribing to an ideology. I'm not really advocating anti-ideologism but rather more flexibility. While politicians should have their own ideological values, they should also be flexible enough to consider and implement the ideas of their "opponents" as well as environmentalists and other activist groups, instead of opposing valuable ideas based on political principles. And voters should judge politicians based on their platform, not by their party / ideology affiliation.



sage_gerard
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30 Apr 2012, 9:09 am

Quote:
I agree that there is nothing wrong with subscribing to an ideology. I'm not really advocating anti-ideologism but rather more flexibility. While politicians should have their own ideological values, they should also be flexible enough to consider and implement the ideas of their "opponents" as well as environmentalists and other activist groups, instead of opposing valuable ideas based on political principles. And voters should judge politicians based on their platform, not by their party / ideology affiliation.


I can only see that happening with increased transparency and a more assertive (as opposed to reactive) public that acts rationally. Oh man, I wish. :cry:

Voting for a platform would not bother me if the ideologies of the people on it were diverse enough to generate better ideas. If they are not diverse, they I would worry about giving more power to someone who shares the dominant ideology.


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30 Apr 2012, 11:22 am

Oodain wrote:
a sensible thread in ppr?

does my eyes deceive me?


Seconded. The original post really struck a chord with me.



TM
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30 Apr 2012, 3:35 pm

CrazyCatLord wrote:
Declension wrote:
"Ideology" isn't a dirty word. And it is inescapable. Saying that you don't have an ideology is like saying that you don't have any philosophical commitments. It is self-defeating.

You don't have a choice between ideology and non-ideology. You only have a choice between mainstream ideology and subversive ideology. If you go though life thinking that you are a "pragmatist" who is just using "common sense", what you are actually doing is uncritically absorbing mainstream ideology.


I agree that there is nothing wrong with subscribing to an ideology. I'm not really advocating anti-ideologism but rather more flexibility. While politicians should have their own ideological values, they should also be flexible enough to consider and implement the ideas of their "opponents" as well as environmentalists and other activist groups, instead of opposing valuable ideas based on political principles. And voters should judge politicians based on their platform, not by their party / ideology affiliation.


Of course they should provided those ideas are sound. Most environmental groups seem to have this view that if a few million people die that's fine so long as the blue speckled cuttlefish doesn't go extinct. (Hyperbole).

The problem is that people don't want to actually have to learn and know stuff, they want a premade package for them, so they only need to press 1 to vote republican moderate press 2 to vote democratic moderate. Yes, I'm saying that people at large are stupid and would be better off if they were ruled by a meritocracy.

Democracy is the only system of government which requires the voters to be educated and knowledgeable, not only on politics but on other relevant topics. If people constantly vote against their own best interest, then it follows that they are not educated and thus not "grown up" enough to be allowed to vote.

It's one of the silly things about modern democratic societies, that we require that people get a license to drive, a license to own a gun, a license to operate heavy machinery, to do with explosives and other harmful things, but we do not require the same from people helping to decide how to govern our mutual resources and lives.



Last edited by TM on 30 Apr 2012, 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joker
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30 Apr 2012, 3:40 pm

Their are quite of few ideologys that I find harmful that have nothing to do with Religion.



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30 Apr 2012, 4:02 pm

I'm kind of anti-ideology, and that is my ideology. The ideology that one ideology can't cover all your bases.


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01 May 2012, 8:23 pm

Pure ideologies are like pure metals, not as tough or strong in the real world as alloys.