Dialogue With the Ideologue

Published on Monday, March 8, 2010

            You may have encountered this feeling - why am I having this discussion with this person? The reason may be that the person is incapable of grasping the theme of the discussion or you are having a dialogue with an an ideologue. It's not easy to have a discussion with an ideologue because they believe in the absoluteness of their views, and their minds are closed; there is no room for accommodation. Some sort of psychological or mental deprogramming may be required to change their views.


               We have three major categories of ideologues - religious, social, and political. We face these people in our lives everyday. If you have encountered them, you will agree that - no matter how solid your argument is - it will not change their views. They may sometimes agree on some alternate views, but it's just a transient phase; they usually revert to their original position thereafter. But, it's always fun to kill some free time by talking to an ideologue. If your goal is to alter their views, forget it; it's going to be a total waste of time. Therefore, refrain from that attempt.


               Why some people feel so passionately about some issues while others don't? Some ideologues may even sacrifice their lives for their ideologies; nothing is more valuable to them than their ideologies. An ideologue often supports his/her cohorts even when it is wrong to do so. In other words, right and wrong are secondary to defending/supporting the ideology. Why is that? I do not have the answer; socio-psychologists may. What I know for sure is that - the sooner we can identify these ideologues, the better off we are in dealing with them.


               The religious ideologues are the most hardened ones to deal with. No matter how you reason with them, they will always revert to their own position. Rarely a religious ideologue can wiggle out of his/her ideology. It's the faith that guides them, not the logic. I do have occasional dialogues with these ideologues, and every time I asked myself - why did I waste my time discussing religious views with them? These people are absolutely reluctant to deviate from their ancestral paths. They often emulate the exact rituals their ancestors followed thousands of years ago; never ever they try to justify those acts. The question never comes to their mind that - our ancestors could be wrong in their views? We can go to the moon, send our probes to the distant planets, talk to anybody and travel to anywhere in the world without ever getting out of our homes, yet we are not competent enough to fathom the concept of our religion; for this we need to rely on our ancestors. Why is that?  Could it be due to our indifference to religion or reluctance to finding the truth about religion?


               The fact is – absolute truth is in the eye of the beholder.  Many views we espouse as absolute are actually relative, and most of our perceptions are transient in nature. Ideas that seem so pure today may not be so in the future. In our youth, equitable distribution of wealth seems so appealing, but the appeal fades away as we start to gain wealth in our adulthood. This is the normal progression of most people, but the ideologue; they remain firm in their views. When socialism started to fail all over the world, I wanted to know why; soon I realized that socialism is incompatible with our human nature. Every human being possesses different aptitude and aspiration, and we all strive for prosperity; based on our skills, some achieve more than the other. When someone possesses certain skills, he/she deserves more than others. If the system fails to reward skills, such properties remain dormant, and that's a terrible thing for any society. Who will tell this to the socialist ideologues?  


               Yes, no ideology can prescribe a complete solution to all the problems in the modern societies because all those ideologies are thousands of years old, and most of those views are incompatible today. The world is much more complex now. Ideologues won't admit that. In spite of failures in the past, socialists will keep on experimenting with their ideology at every opportunity they get. One such experiment is going on today in the United States of America. Today's social/political ideologues often camouflage their intents and work under cover to implement their ideological agenda. Now, they call themselves 'progressives' in stead of 'socialists.' When ideologues find themselves in quagmires, they usually resort to force or violence to accomplish their goals. We need to wait to see what American ideologues, in power today, do in the future. They are just entrapped in the quagmire right now. We have to wait and see the end of this episode.


               The theme of a Utopian world has been proven wrong decades ago, but this experiment is still going on in the minds of so many liberals. These are naive social ideologues. They are ill-equipped to churn through the minefields of today's complex world. If power is hand over to some of these ideologues, as Americans did in the 2008 general election, situations could turn for the worst anytime. Americans are now trying to cleanup the mess they created.  I am sure there will be a price to pay; I just don't know how much.  


               The fight between ideologues has been there from the time immemorial, and it will be there forever. Each ideologue will be pushing his/her ideology onto others turning this world into a swamp of competing ideologies. We are trapped in this swamp forever. Even though it's a pessimistic view, nevertheless, it's the fact of life. We need to recognize this fact. Otherwise, we will get hurt due to our naivety.  [end]

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