The Nature of Ideologies ("Hermitericum's" First Article)
Updated: Apr 27
Disclaimer No. 1: This is an article from my first book, translated to English using my computer and edited. As said before, a long time has passed since then, and I might have changed as a philosopher in terms of the positions I hold. Regardless, I believe such content can still contribute to the world.
Disclaimer No. 2: As I wrote previously, if you don't understand something, let me know and I'll try to explain. Reading is something that exhausts me due to chronic fatigue. I'll try to answer your questions regardless. It doesn't mean I'll succeed immediately. But don't be ashamed if I run out of energy for the time being.
Note: As part of the 2023 Renovation Operation, this specific article has been edited significantly.
It was not humans, weapons, the forces of nature, or luck that shaped the face of the world, built civilizations, and destroyed empires. It were the words written in the books of thought. All our own lives and those of our forefathers were laid not by dictators, prime ministers, and emperors, but by the lines of mindset they implanted in us.
Man is the only animal whose sober moments,are guided by the fate of reason and its components: ideologies. We are all guided by one ideology or another, whether we are aware of it or not. It isn't an autonomous entity, like an animal in the forest. It is something we choose to be led by. Something that's imaginary by itself.
Whether it has been given to us by the environment or is the fruit of our creation. In metaphorical religious language, faith can be a candle to our feet and redeem us from our torments, or it can place us in darkness and enslave us to the possibility of suffering.
There is no such thing as just one ideology being right. Any strong ideology guides its fanbase. If it is influential, its preachers boast of it as the objective and right of all beliefs.
In order to arrive at the same "truth" that ancient religions and modern ideologies believe in good faith that they are, one must get rid of the ideology that controls his spirit and the spirit of the environment and examine it in depth. An examination also requires one to doubt it.
Only in this way will he or she find his or her logic. A logic that is only theirs, and yet it will not be the universal truth any more than any other line of thought. A personal ideology. But those who are interested in the truth, must take another step, which I will explain here.
Ideologies, too, have many effects on mental health. Those who sanctify it as a value will tend to choose ideologies that they believe fulfill it. Those who seek meaning will choose ideologies that give them a high sense of mission and reason to live. And so on.
Therefore, not all ideologies are harmful or toxic. Even if they're not true, they can still be of help. The truth isn't always interesting, and thus, it isn't always desired. Either way, the truth might as well be. They do not care if you pay attention to them, or escape in terror. For this matter, its importance is irrelevant. Only because there isn't truth that both share the property of being autonomous of our experiences; as individuals and as nations.
The belief that there is only one objective ideology, and that it is an unquestionable reality, is called "mental imperialism". If that belief is the property of society, then its name is "socio-mental imperialism". Such is the nature of ideologies: their whole purpose is to fulfill one or more values, and these can be socially conscious values or invented values.
These are the characteristics of believers: their purpose is to undergo a process of objectification. The beliefs that are presented to you, unfold not as opinions but as "reality" itself.
Every person believes in something. This is natural for the human being - that the owner of one's nature will dedicate oneself to one ideology or another. Through education and preaching, one might get the impression that the ideology learned is a worldly truth. In this way, human beings complement themselves, sacrifice their lives, and become dependent on the values of ideology, sometimes in a pitiful way. Morality may also be a feature of any ideology that does not reject it.
On the other hand, in the eyes of the people who follow the ruling, local ideology, a person who does not follow it and takes it for granted is immersed in escapism. The escape from what is commonly seen as "reality", when in fact no ideology exists as reality.
Instead, they're presented in the form of education, authorities, government , propaganda, society, and culture. This is a major part of "socio-mental imperialism", so much so that even the preachers themselves might not exercise discernment and doubt. Nonetheless, this unawareness is an important element in assuring oneself of one's allegiance to said ideology.
There is no such thing as "escapism" when it comes to ideologies that claim to present themselves as the true reality. There is no prayer for a more realistic, correct, or superior force than spending time together, enabling (or disabling) human rights, or declaring a holy war.
A united people cannot stop a master manipulator, for example. They cannot, when said master outperforms your sense of judgment. When he/she is playing sides, and thus, gaining social and political power. Pretending to be an ally, and raising oneself into power, is when one becomes a pupeeter.
The concept of "reality" is no more than what the controlling force deems fit to claim as reality. Even the individual can not determine what is reality and what is illusion. He can only claim and believe. If reality were that clear to our minds, philosophy wouldn't be necessary. The point of philosophy is to research the truth.
The problem arises when said force, and their agenda, are ignored in the name of being naive. We can call that process "objectification". That's because, in this sense, we "objectify" a perspective. We turn that perspective into a thing, per se. We merely do it in our minds, and thus, delude ourselves. That delusion might not necessarily be revealed. The term here can and will be used sarcastically.
The process of objectification, the claim that faith is truth - is not a process that changes the face of reality. Only the face of human thinking. Only then, when the consciousness believes innocently in something, does the practice begin. The practice of certain lifestyles, justified by said ideology.
In this sense, freedom does not exist in human thought. By its nature, it's drawn to ideologies even if it's unaware of them. Unaware of limiting one's own mental freedom.
Any ideology or religion that wants to gain influence and sympathy, will see it appropriate to put into its components some way to salvation. It will lecture an audience of believers that only if they do so and so will they truly be free from the injustices and corruptions of the world.
(2023 note: the function of an ideology is to answer an issue or issues people may have. Whether or not the answer matters, depends on its ability to be dishonest. If the answer is not false, then it can fail its own supporters)
(Another 23' note: Philosophy might be irrelevant to many because it can disrupt ideologies. The stories we tell ourselves about reality.)
Believers, for their part, are "best" when they are full of innocence. It is a central component of a believer's life. An innocent person is not necessarily a naive person. They are often victims of the preachers of the dominant ideology in society. These preachers might do everything in their power to take advantage of the good faith of humanity to recruit their members into their ranks.
Thus, the Abrahamic religions sanctified the value of innocence in order to entice many victims to believe in their idols. Thus, it made any promising ideology thirsty for power and influence. It also caused many ideologies to be highly challenged. Challenged by people who are not naive. People such as critics, revolutionaries, and philosophers.
Any influential ideology must be empiricist, for its power is not drawn from a higher power, reason, or reality itself. It's through sensory experience that we not only feel, but relate to and submit to inspiring rhetoric (a more rational person, will not be moved by so many things).
Its power stems from the simple consciousness of the undoubting believer. Sharing stories and experiences is a possible path to an easier understanding of a doctrine. Far more, arguably, than using logic (for logic is to be taught).
So do the democratic religion, the loving religion, and the collective religion. These three religions are the dominant religions in much of the world, which arrogantly claims to be more developed, innovative, and enlightened than any other "world" in history. The first claims that her religious regime is the most ideal, the second that the purpose of life is to love, and the third that the only reality is based on social consciousness.
These religions, which control contemporary reality, are also not "reality". Much of "reality" is a human invention that, on the one hand, strengthens mental imperialism and, on the other hand, bends the average human consciousness to an abstract order, which controls them at a high level. The problem begins when we do not distinguish between collective delusion, and a reality that is independent of a community/ies.
There are two main intentions for creating an ideology. Providing a solution to certain existential problems, and accumulating power. There is no such thing as an ideology that does not address human distress and fragility. And, when shared with others and receives social recognition - gains power.
Every ideology, then, is a theory, like glasses of different colors. glass, through which the subject it speaks of can be seen, and never purely objective. It does not matter anyway whether the ideology in question is pure scientific truth.
The only thing that differentiates one ideology from another is how many people believe it, and deem it to be the pure truth. Ideology is an approach, a way in which the believer becomes drugged as he delves deeper into it. In a way, the more "lore" an ideology contains, the more likely a believer is to become a fanatical zealot.
And the problem with zealotry comes with the blinding of reality's portion. Blinding that's caused by bias.
Moreover, there is no such thing as a radical ideology, since what determines radicalism is not how far it is from reality. It's also how much society sees it that way. There are no fixed or correct criteria for determining the extremity of an ideology.
(In some cultures, Western cultures might be seen as radical. For some, women who are not covered "properly" may be seen as radical).
Since the only criterion is the power of its influence, and what is now considered radical was considered centuries ago as an axiom. The esoteric and the alternative are radical, merely because they are abnorma. Anything that isn't normal, and therefore eccentric/radical/whatever you name it.
And the more radical belief you gain, the less esoteric and alternative it will be until it is perceived in a particular social consciousness as "the truth". Then it will lose its radical status, and be converted to a norm. Until then, it will remain under the label of "weird". The weirder you are, the less likely it is for you to survive in a society. Therefore, pretending has its own functionaly -- the ability to pay the bills.
The only reality that exists in the world is material reality, unless proven otherwise. Material exists independently of our thoughts. Therefore, they're likelier to be proven true than, let's say, an idea that's "true" because "millions believe in it". A rock does not need a test of popularity like an idea does. Hence, what's more obvious, can be truer than a theory that might be debunked eventually. A rock isn't prone to the indefinite potential of being debunked.
And even with regard to ideologies like communism, socialism, and capitalism that separately believe that their "religions" are the inevitable reality. When it comes to theories about determining reality, it does not matter here whether one is closer to the "truth" than another, but the benefit and influence on material reality are what determine whether an ideology is effective or not, and whether it brings its believers satisfaction.
(2023 note: The point of many ideologies might as well be political, as philosophical. A philosophical one attempts to research the truth. The political one gives power and benefits. An ideology can be both).
I will not say my own ideology, Rubinshteinic Individualism (formerly known as Solitary Individualism), is true as an ideology, since the argument here is that there is no ideology that is right or more false than another.
This belief, which is simpler to call the "Solitary Doctrine", is also an example of what can be seen in the world, no more clearly than another. This "religion" looks at the world and human existence in an abnormal way.
Therefore, it may be considered radical, bizarre, eccentric, and the like. Only those who have learned to know that ideologies are not reality will be able to draw the best from them, enrich their spirits, improve their decision-making abilities, and become smarter without being sucked into their content and being blinded as a result.
Although ideologies can contribute to this world, one should not fall for a specific ideology/religion and abandon the rest. That would confine you to relative ignorance. ignorance that can be reduced. A salad is more nutritious when it has a larger variety of vegetables in it.
(2023 note: The philosopher will seek to learn from anyone and anything. It's only fair to do so if one wishes to explore the truth. This also means that they will resist the political/social nature of ideologies).