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Thread: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

  1. #41
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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
    We need ideologies because we need to put labels on our ideas. Without the labels, we can't think or talk.

    However, people often seem unaware that ideological labels are simplified shorthand for massively complex cognitive systems.

    For example, now they are calling the Scandinavian countries socialist. Or they call China's current system communist.

    If you don't know the history of an ideology, you will mangle the concept. And since most people daydreamed through their history classes, and never read a history book as an adult, we have an epidemic of ideological confusion.
    I understand where you are coming from. Marketers know they have to make their products much simpler than they really are to sell them.

    Here's where the problem occurs. I like Canada's public health care system: government pays for most things. Delivery is reasonably good in most cases. Families don't go broke. The system channels people to the right place at the right time (most of the time). But because of this socialistic opinion, many simplifiers like to cast me in the same group as Stalin and Mao. To them, it is only a matter of time before I start a genocide of my own people. Even when I tell them that I espouse a lot of free market principles, I am still a rabid socialist.

    There are different kinds of socialists; there are different kinds of communists; there are different kinds of conservatives, and there are different kinds of libertarians. THere are different kinds of liberals and different kinds of progressives. Wikipedia articles is great to show all these differences. So 20 or 30 different ideologies are often reduced to just a handful--as far as the public and the media are concerned. And they aren't going to read all the Wikipedia articles to educate themselves. They just want a handful to explain how the political world works for them.

    So when we cast a vote based on ideology, we are not casting a wise vote.

    It's time to get rid of ideologies.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by JC Callender View Post
    Most people don't fit perfectly into an ideology, but it can be a convenient way of organizing groups of ideas. Of course, once one identifies with an ideology, they're often considered an embodiment of anything and everything in that ideology even though almost no one agrees with every aspect of most ideologies, for example, Liberalism or Conservatism. And ideologies often change over time causing confusion. So, what do you think...do they do more harm than good?
    Adherents to an ideology regarding political identity can be all over the board with individual views within a sociopolitical ideology. It is only when adherents become ideologues that they become dangerous. As long as they are just rank and file citizens trying in some way to feed their brains with intellectual stimulation they are harmless unless they become a Caesar Sayoc or James Hodgkinson. On the other hand if an ideologue is elected and rises to high public office they can cause problems in governing. Governing requires accepting advice and compromise. Ideologues are less likely to accept advice or compromise so they can be potentially dangerous.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDGonDP View Post
    I understand where you are coming from. Marketers know they have to make their products much simpler than they really are to sell them.

    Here's where the problem occurs. I like Canada's public health care system: government pays for most things. Delivery is reasonably good in most cases. Families don't go broke. The system channels people to the right place at the right time (most of the time). But because of this socialistic opinion, many simplifiers like to cast me in the same group as Stalin and Mao. To them, it is only a matter of time before I start a genocide of my own people. Even when I tell them that I espouse a lot of free market principles, I am still a rabid socialist.

    There are different kinds of socialists; there are different kinds of communists; there are different kinds of conservatives, and there are different kinds of libertarians. THere are different kinds of liberals and different kinds of progressives. Wikipedia articles is great to show all these differences. So 20 or 30 different ideologies are often reduced to just a handful--as far as the public and the media are concerned. And they aren't going to read all the Wikipedia articles to educate themselves. They just want a handful to explain how the political world works for them.

    So when we cast a vote based on ideology, we are not casting a wise vote.

    It's time to get rid of ideologies.
    I mostly agree with what you're saying. Over-simplification results in really bizarre thinking, as you described.

    But we can't get rid of ideologies, as I explained. We need to get rid of or update some of the old ones. But wouldn't it be nice if people would start thinking and reading a little more?

    I understand why they don't, if they're raising a family and working, etc. But it is frustrating seeing how badly the political communication is going now.

    There are people who think only in terms of red vs blue. I know someone who told me being a Democrat is like a religion for her, and she would never date a Republican. You can't have a thoughtful conversation with her about politics, because she soaks up whatever Rachel Maddow says and to her it's gospel.

    And of course the same thing happens from the red side. But the Democrats are more irrational now because they are so frantic.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Good4Nothin View Post
    I mostly agree with what you're saying. Over-simplification results in really bizarre thinking, as you described.

    But we can't get rid of ideologies, as I explained. We need to get rid of or update some of the old ones. But wouldn't it be nice if people would start thinking and reading a little more?

    I understand why they don't, if they're raising a family and working, etc. But it is frustrating seeing how badly the political communication is going now.

    There are people who think only in terms of red vs blue. I know someone who told me being a Democrat is like a religion for her, and she would never date a Republican. You can't have a thoughtful conversation with her about politics, because she soaks up whatever Rachel Maddow says and to her it's gospel.

    And of course the same thing happens from the red side. But the Democrats are more irrational now because they are so frantic.
    I grew up in Alberta in the 1970s. At that time, the governing political party changed from Social Credit to Progressive Conservative (PC). The PCs marketed themselves mostly as conservative (low taxes, little bureaucracy). But during their first 10 years in office, Alberta went from the province with lowest per-capita civil servants to the highest. A lot of new provincial bureaucracies were started in this time frame.

    The point I want to make is that the parties like to position themselves on a particular spot in the left-right paradigm. But their actions are often different from their platforms. And if we were to consider our paradigms to their extremes, the competing parties would be closer to each other (somewhere in the middle) than to either extreme. In other words, the left-right, the liberal-conservative, the socialist-capitalist paradigms are essentially meaningless in the political process. There is no point is trying to educate the public in hopes of them somehow casting a wiser vote.

    And yes, some people wear their politics like a religion. I used to be a political junkie. In my six years in party politics, I saw the flaws firsthand and came to the conclusion that western democracy is actually kind of silly. But I invented a new system of governance, one without political parties. I can't get into much detail because I would be violating DP, but if you are interested, you can private message me .

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