The Trouble with Ideology

by Right Wing Fighter

The problem with ideology is that it is always too narrow. I’ll talk about two to illustrate my point: individualism and authoritarianism.

Individualism is chiefly a selfish creed, one that ignores the greater needs of the surrounding public and seeks to justify this ignorance by saying it is the only thing keeping us from top-down dictatorship.  If you look at most individualists, you will find at bottom a selfish person seeking to avoid his responsibilities to his fellow man, both those commanded by the laws of God, and those prompted by simple decency. This particularly took shape late in the last century, as people groped around for something to oppose the crushing creed of communism. But jumping from one pole to the other is never a sound idea, any more than it is prudent to keep from freezing to death by jumping into a campfire. Individualism is just polished up selfishness, dressed up to look respectable when in fact it has nothing to offer mankind, and nothing, by extension, to offer to a nation as any kind of pathway forwards.

Authoritarianism is the opposite pole, one in which the individual is crushed by the whim of the bureaucrat, and we have seen only how whimsical they can be, what with the recent IRS scandals at the federal level, and with the egregious abuses that have taken place in Wisconsin under the John Doe law. Authoritarianism is actually quite like individualism but in reverse: it is a creed which seeks to justify again selfish action, but unlike individualism which wishes to avoid all responsibilities to other people, authoritarianism seeks to gain total power over people and to then selfishly abuse this power. Both, as I said at the outset, are too narrow. Instead of broadly embracing the interests of all people in a given country, instead either of these two ideologies seeks to benefit one group of people and to either ignore everyone else in the case of the one,  or abuse them in the case of the other. It puts all the weight on one side of the scale, and leaves the rest to fend for themselves. Both are utterly unfair; both are completely unacceptable; both have as their origin the desire of one group of people to selfishly abandon or abuse everyone else. As such neither can be practiced by a nation, and neither should be treated with anything but contempt.