Chapter 6: IDEOLOGY, the Psychology of Politics - Let's Prehend
Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

Chapter 6: IDEOLOGY, the Psychology of Politics

"...between the idea and reality falls the shadow."

The term, ideology, has several meanings. The first use of ideology comes from its Greek roots: the study of ideas. Let's take an objective look at this subjective realm, and try to describe real systems, objectively, in the scientific tradition of psychology and anthropology.

Public & Private

Public ideology refers to the public system of political ideas that are consciously expressed by politicians and media. Public ideology can also refer to the unconsciously shared images and undercurrents of subconscious political life, as represented in Fig. 3-1, E Chart of Mind.

Private ideology refers to the citizen's personal political ideas. Let's also consider the subconscious content of the public. Both public and private ideology can be analyzed by their Ei of development and the Ai of health. Public and private ideology, both conscious and subconscious, may be more or less developed, Ei, and more or less dissociated, Ai.

Conscious & Subconscious

Just as the individual human mind is like the sea with waves of consciousness on the surface, so this `conscious mind of society', has a subconscious structure. Political consciousness is lead by the machinery of ideology - formerly the storytellers and priests but nowadays the `media', as discussed in JELLY AND JAM. Just as psychology looks under conscious life to analyze its subconscious sources, so we are obliged to look at the deeper levels of ideology.

Recent studies suggest explanations for that basic dissociation of the ego, as discussed in Chapter 3 PSYCHOLOGY. It seems that in the rear of the brain, the right occipital lobe, lies a `self' that is alleviate in its dominance by meditation in its broadest sense. In that parameter of the contraction of the ego, some are more stuck than others, an issue discussed further in Chapter 10, RELIGION. Some people are actually fearful or even terrified at such expansion of the ego, even though it is the path of creativity, deeper empathy and experience, and broader political and philosophical thinking.

Frames

As in psychology, human consciousness rests upon its model of reality, bearing the burden of FF and TT, as described in Chapter 1. Ideology is the mental model of political reality with all its dynamisms digested through the distortions of mind and media. As in psychology, ideology comes from a vast subconscious ecopolitical life, not only from ideas that are repressed and exploitations that are denied, but from the deeper fabric of cultural life.

These deeper subconscious processes include not just human minds, but also the rapidly evolving mass media with their economic, social and political networks. Imagine these media and other systems as part of the "mind of society", the citizens as the neurons with their complex dendritic inputs, the print and electronic media as their axons and neurotransmitters. Media systems have a life of there own, LOO. They evolve as do all complex systems.

Ideological Health

Ideology, as an idea system, is a `minor system', with structure and problems analogous to ego in the individual as described in Chapter 3. According to the dissociation of the minor system, DMS, the idea system like any other minor system, seems to have a life of its own, to run away with itself. Like consciousness, ideology is necessarily partial, an E measure, and pathological, an A measure.

On the generalized E Chart, the basic value measure is E times i, the arrow pointing up right, analogous to evolution in biology, wisdom in psychology, organic social life, and political development. The E chart can represent conscious `ideology' as the `ego of the polity', as on the Fig. 3-1 E Chart of Mind.

Public Ideology

The first approximation of the public ideology of the United States is often derived from the U. S. Constitution. From its source in eighteenth century reaction against British monarchist imperialism, it shifted power from the decisions of the nobility toward the increasingly organized economic oligarchy, as described in HAND OF GOD, HOG. Depersonalizing control - from personal monarchy to written law - protected the elite from the nobility, but also decreased perspective and responsibility, whatever such `noblesse oblige' still survived. Remnants of nobility, such as Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates still furnish crumbs of noblesse oblige.

Current ideology, as reflected in the platforms of political parties, continues this dispute over the responsibility of government vs. `private enterprise'.

Historically the formulation and fixation of government in a written constitution came early in the rationalist-idealist, RIDs, tradition. Politically it was a step away from authoritarian power of monarchy and church. Philosophically it escaped the confines of stagnant classicism of king and church. Constitutional government, its Lochian institutionalized rationalism, displaced the concentrated power of the monarchist court. Written governmental agreements by those in political and financial power displaced guidance of monarchy and clergy.

As the rights of property replaced the rights of nobility, responsibility contracted, taken over by the HOGs. Freedom meant not only lack of harassment by the nobility, but also the right to make a bundle and keep it. A few nouveau riche could buy a castle or even a noble and his or her title.

Democracy has lost is earlier meaning from the Classical and Reformation period. Now democracy has become a vague expression of loyalty and superiority, vaguely satisfied by the right to vote for someone and something. RIDly ideology expresses RIDs notions of freedom and democracy with little attention to post-constitutional developments such as the lobby system. Freedom from control by the Medieval monarchy has evolved to the image of freedom from government in general. As a topic for thought and lively discussion, consider: "Freedom is the opportunity to deny the meaning and responsibility in life."

As a result of The Great Depression of the 1930s, government expanded. Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal increased the Ei of government but failed to halt the Great Depression. World War II allowed modern organizational genius to save the `capitalist system' and conquer the world. The *LAST GOOD WAR allowed the government to increase its stimulation and direction of the economy with six times as much money as the New Deal was able to muster to alleviate the great depression. The common cliche that WWII cured the Great Depression expresses the deep ideological taboo inhibiting the application of human intelligence to solve human problems - intelligence permitted only in war not in peacetime, as discussed in ICE, the Internalization of the Corporate Ethic.

Such personal and organizational genius is still with us today and may well continue. Keep this image in mind as a model of culture design. War and reconstruction testifies to the ability of humans to control their culture. American personnel are more than equal to the task. SUSTAIN, PROGRESSIVE STAGNATION, etc.

The fast changing field of personnel management is also an aspect of ideology and politics. The shift from paternalistic authoritarian toward democratic organic styles is crucial for the new service and high tech firms. [Deming] Furthermore, their techniques for reconstructing organic personnel systems are excellent examples of culture design, as discussed in Chapter 7, ECONOMICS. Reality changes faster than ideas. Our thoughts are slowed by there-and-then, TT. The split between what was written and what was happening increases with time. Rationalist-idealist RIDs ideology, call it RIDly, remains as the dominant public ideology. Most media discourse is based on eighteenth century ideas, though the New Age creeps ahead.

Dissociation between the spoken ideology and what is objectively happening, between the idealist cliches of the RIDLYs and the objectivist descriptions of the OMNISTS, is a D chart measure:


Fig 6-1  D CHART OF PUBLIC IDEOLOGY

    i  ^
      9³  #D,           #A
       ³  RIDLY         OMNIST
      5³             x 
       ³  #C            #B
      1³  Common        Berkeley 
      0ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ> E
        0  1    3    5    7    9   
       `anomic' <---> `participative'

The horror of MacCarthyism in the 1950s is an example of RIDLY fragility of contraction, FOC (From Chapter 2: The tighter the system, the more fragile). `Homeland security' with its pathetic airport security and vast nefarious but mostly useless programs, is yet another example. As public ideology dissociates from what is happening, the demand for the integrity of the model, DIM, is frustrated. RIDly degrades the discourse into soporific cliches. But public ideology is a dynamic, it escalates its own contraction, DEC, becoming more blatant and demanding. For example, the neocons foment paranoid fear, `homeland security', and promote military expansions. (From Chapter 2: the Dynamic of Escalating Contraction: Contractive systems foment further contractions in related and sub systems.) Discourse degrades toward trivial issues such as flag burning and intern touching.

People become frightened by demands to conform to a such a faulty ideology. Driven by their need for loyalty, they are sorely conflicted. They may react by acting out, or more likely by withdrawing from any political ideas. Any system of ideas is taken as a threat by such sore and battered minds. Any theory seems tainted with the absolutism of idealism and becomes threatening as a tyranny of words, TOW.

The END OF HISTORY is the triumph of the warrior's denial of humane values, denial of democratic discourse, denial of plain objectivist talk, denial of responsibility for one's own acts, denial of participation in the total process. Furthermore, ideological dissociation contributes to personal dissociation and degradation of culture. Thus the population suffers an undercurrent of distress, making them more vulnerable to alienation and manipulation by the increasingly skilled manipulators such as Karl Rove.

Private Ideology

Consider how much attention citizens give to politics. When public statements do not match political reality, citizens withdraw, down the i scale on the chart below. If the citizen's personal ideology is in harmony with the public and media expressions, concern and participation increases. If public ideology doesn't make sense, individual citizens give up on politics. Their mental life dissociates from their political life as they withdraw from participation. [E. J. Dione's WHY AMERICANS HATE POLITICS.]

A revitalization of political attention occurs at each election, but the content is so carefully managed that campaigning becomes entertainment, and issues are often buried in a regressive search for "trust", "change", and subtle aspects of personality and image.


Fig 6-2  D CHART OF PRIVATE IDEOLOGY
    i, ^
      9³    #1 "crap!"    #2 "let's!"
      5³              x 
      1³    #4 "huh?"     #3 "OK"  
      0ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ>
       0   1   3   5   7   9 A, ACCORD

On the upper left the citizen is attentive but angry and alienated, the `lumpen bourgeoisie'. On the upper right the citizen is in accord with the polity and its public ideology, involved or agreeable. Accord doesn't necessarily mean agreement, it means involvement. At the bottom right, the citizen goes along, but is uninvolved. At the bottom left, the citizen doesn't know what's going on, and doesn't like whatever she thinks it is.

D Chart of Personal Ideologies

Personal ideology may or may not correspond to one's character structure or existential position. Compare the above chart with Fig 3-4 D CHART OF MIND. How can it happen that loving gentle people support hostile causes? How can it happen that seemingly religious people support violence? [Philip Zimbardo]

Such inconsistencies can be explained in many ways - a fertile topic for a seminar on social psychology or political anthropology: Perhaps the `common ideology' is so undeveloped that it expresses little more than brand loyalty, like one's status preference for a certain car or golf club. Perhaps there is too little personal political life or ideology to reach one's inner temperament, an (iD) vertical dissociation of ideas from inner life. The citizen can simply basks in loyalty or conformity, regardless of content.

The clever spin doctors contribute to this rift between the gentle citizens and their depraved ideology by their successful appeal to neurotic needs and psychotic distortions. Hapless citizens, especially those steeped in the rationalist tradition, believe they are being reasoned with, but the spin doctors mostly just tickle their fears and angers.

Another subtle contributor to the rift might be the citizen's own inner compensation: the gentle folk who secretly would like to be warriors, or the hard-hearted who know they're missing something. These quasi-anthropological images are elaborated in HUG, OOPs, WE, and ICE.

This psychoanalytical approach is important to help understand real people, but it goes beyond analysis on these simple charts. Let's leave these incongruities for a separate seminar and turn attention to more simplistic and direct correlations between character and politics.

Let's use the Fig 6-3, below to analyze typical responses to some common issue. For example, how do people react to the statement "The prosperity of the First World rests upon exploitation of the productivity and resources of the Third World"?


Fig 6-3  D CHART OF IDEOLOGICAL CLICHES
 
 i,  9^
  a  8³     m
  w  7³                                 g
  a  6³                            f             
  r  5³               k        e  
  e  4³           j       d
  n  3³      l   h   c
  e  2³         b
  s  1³    a
  s  0ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ> A
      0  1   2    3    4    5    6    7    8   9
   malice  <--Dissociation--Accord-->    empathy

Let the D-A scale represent the amount of split between one's ideas and what's really going on. Measure a person's self-centered authoritarianism on the left and empathy and egalitarianism on the right - contraction-expansion, rejection-acceptance, essentially hate-love.

The i scale can be very general, referring to the degree of awareness or consciousness of the issue or the intensity of one's position.

Typical responses include:

  1. "Huh?" - a resentful unawareness of what has been said, start 1,1.
  2. "Don't bother me with that stuff"- a bit more conscious but denying and rejecting, at 2,2.
  3. "Why think about it if you can't do anything about it" - a begrudging pained awareness protected by hopelessness, at 3,3.
  4. "It may be happening but it's a transitory stage" - guilty acknowledgement assuaged by hope, at 4,4.
  5. "They're called `developing countries' for that very reason. Free enterprise is the only way out of poverty." - a bit more dynamic and forward looking, conscious up to the level of lie, at 5,5.
  6. "The World Bank is helping them develop." - more knowledgeable and optimistic, at 6,6.
  7. "Yes, but a massive influx of our capital is building infrastructure." - more detailed, at 7,7, but abstracted from what's really happening.
  8. Continue, adjust these points, add more. For example:
  9. "The poor slobs don't deserve any better." - as aware as c, but rejecting, 3,2.
  10. "They're lazy and wasteful of their resources." -as acknowledging as d, but more blaming. at 3,4.
  11. "If they want to develop, they must cooperate" - implying more control on our part than e, at 3,5.
  12. "We're throwing our money away on them. Stop so much foreign aid." - innocent of the function of foreign aid and selfish. m. "Good for us." - the honest imperialist's position.

Ideology CED, Contraction Expansion Dynamic

Ideology, like the ego in psychology, moves up and down the i scale of intensity or public awareness. But it doesn't move just vertically, it tends to move diagonally up-left, up the isohealth line, H = Ai= constant. It would be nice if a greater awareness, i, always brought a greater accord, A or even held its own with a straight up move. But systems usually don't work that way. A gain in intensity usually means a loss of accord, A, up left on the isohealth line. Thus, the impulse to be more intense and more conscious, usually means a loss of Accord, empathy, inclusion - a loss of the ecological and humanistic world view. For example, the thrill of patriotic wars raises the intensity of the majority, but degrades the harmony of nations, peoples, individuals, and all systems. People crave a cortisol rush. This is another example of the contraction - expansion dynamic, CED.

Two illustrations of this ideological dynamism: Some ideologists, like Nietzsche, fall right into this pattern and contract as they intensify, up left. That's why we use his title "Triumph of the Will", TW, as a universal trait of ego as used in Chapter 3. Other ideologists, like Gandhi, keep a high E, include all people as part of the humanity no matter how British, eschew violence, yet organize an effective pacifist movement. Not so simple. It is argued that Nietzsche contributed to the Nazi holocaust. But is can also be argued that Gandhi contributed to the mass carnage of the India-Pakistan war by not taking more Nietzschean action to keep the nation united and inhibit the British fomented Hindu-Muslim conflict. Notice that inadequate force to resolve a crisis or inhibit bullying often enhances the downfall, as if permissiveness were a passive-aggressive mode for intensifying hostility.

Peace and freedom require culture design. For practice, compare the carnage of revolutions on the D chart, and beware of distorted data. [Crane Brinton in his book, THREE WHO MADE A REVOLUTION, explains that revolution originates from a rising class, not from the down-trodden. Perhaps the demise of the USSR was triggered when they imported eighty million panty hose from West Germany.]

A second example on the lower level: When someone comes face to face with a starving child, the greater Ei operates; but when one thinks of the problem of starvation, it is much easier to rationalize it away with the mind's great resources of denial.

Practice by putting ideologists on the E Chart of Ideology, simply by writing in their initials. Do it in pencil so they can be adjusted. Try FN, Frederick Nietzsche, at about 3,7; MG, Mohandas Gandhi, at 6,7 - well, perhaps 7,6; GK, Genghis Khan, at 1,9; AH, Adolph Hitler at 2,8 or ... . Pick a few on your own. How about the presidential candidates; how about Siddartha, Peron, Kenneth Galbraith, Adam Smith, Karl Marx..? To make matters more difficult, how would you compare Joseph Stalin and Abraham Lincoln? Both are responsible for marching through their respective Georgias, killing a comparable percentage of their populations.


Fig 6-4  D CHART OF PERSONAL IDEOLOGIES
        
i,  9^     GK                      
    8³          AH            ??
    7³                FN               
    6³                               MG
    5³                           MLK
    0ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ> A
     0  1    2    3    4    5    6    7   8   9

The basic ideological conflict today is between 4,7 and 6,7. To make that perfectly clear, consider the Ayn Rand's (4,7) hero in her exciting book and movie FOUNTAINHEAD. This creative individualist hero overpowers the mundane (4,3) bureaucrats and common drudges (3,2) to build a magnificent skyscraper, a triumph of his will that fucks the sky. He has sacrificed the broader values of the culture for the sake of his triumphant monument. Who cares that the skyscraper is an embarrassment to sensitive Freudians, that it interrupts the harmony of the horizon, that it bottles up the transportation system, that it enslaves the drudges who commute to this place, wastes fossil fuels in countless ways, degrades community into bedroom slurbs, and generally promotes an abstract, culture. Perhaps, as the original HOG Adam Smith wrote, the "invisible hand" is responsible for all that, not Ms. Rand. [HIGH RISE]

Pathology of Ideology, POI

Analyzing the pathologies of ideology can be a sticky business, but poli-analysis is no more hazardous than psychoanalysis.

A lack of ideology is not a pathology, Di. It is simply a lack of development, a primitive condition, low Ei. Encouraging people to vote without understanding does not increase ideological value, Ei. Mindless voting may be an expression of patriotism as explained in FUTURE, but it increases ideological dissociation by empowering the spin doctors. Denial of ideology, DI, is a pathology, D, as well as a loss of value, Ei.

POI is measured by the dissociation of ideology from reality. Following the model of psychology, let's use the term Ideological Neuroses, IN, to refer to those minor distortions of the world view. Examples include acceptance of comfortable lies such as. . .. Take your choice. (Hints: "Democracy means the right to vote." "Freedom is a personal experience." "Democracy needs capitalism." "People are poor because they don't work hard enough." ...) INs would be clustered around 3,7 on the D chart.

Ideological Neuroses, INs, also include such common phenomena as distraction with trivia. Whenever the discussion becomes painful, which is most of the time, the mind tends to relieve itself with trivial pursuits. For example, while local homelessness and world starvation increases, many Californians worry about a fancied water shortage, or water surplus. The fad of carrying and drinking expensive bottled water may be a displacement of subconscious water anxiety. (Water rights were extended for another forty years, obliging the lucky water rights holders to use, now perhaps to sell, all their subsidized water or risk forfeiting it.) "Whiskey is for drink'n, water is for fight'n over." In the 1990s, while the economy fluctuated and social problems grew, the Iraqi war displaced such concerns with an orgy of yellow-ribbon fascism, especially energized by the drive to escape more mundane problems. [See the popular movies, WAG THE DOG, and PRIMARY COLORS etc.]

In political advertising, for example, market researchers discover that negative slams at their opponents are effective at changing people's voting behavior. Negative ads really do work, up left on the A chart. However, they cause disillusionment, which turns people away from politics altogether, downwards on the A chart. Such pain adds to meaninglessness and alienation, decreasing the total vote. This effect is similar to psychoneurosis which results in a net loss of personal and political life, Ei. Leaders know this, yet negative ads continue, though they are not allowed in some countries. Negative ads lead to a Cult Of Meaninglessness, COM, as citizens distract themselves with superficial issues. The cult and culture of meaninglessness is enhanced in education, politics, and pastimes, all implementing the compulsion to the abstract life, CAL.

Pervasive Psychotic Myths, PPMs

Pathology of ideology in the extreme is called Ideological Psychosis, IP. IP embraces delusion and hallucination. Just as psychology has its schizophrenia, so ideological psychosis leaves the person split off from objective political process, and internally torn with conflicting norms.

One psychotic delusion involves the denial of the source of First World wealth. The topic is rarely mentioned in the media. When pressed, folks often rationalize that we are rich because we are hardworking. President Clinton's economist Robert Reich mentioned on TV that 70% or U. S. corporate profits come from overseas investment, but few citizens hear, understand or care. Even knowledgeable people are strangely unaware of where their wealth comes from. They even confuse the difference between overseas investment and overseas trade, as in discussion of the `Global Economy'. Often, when such ideas are presented, they are vigorously denied or disparaged. That vigor is a rough measure of the pathology, by the Fragility of Contraction, FOC. Try it out on your friends! Current popular ecopolitical images, because of the prevalence of such IPs, are called Pervasive Psychotic Myths, PPMs, and is well studied by Naom Chomsky and many others.

IP goes to extremes in military policy. Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD, the strategy of deterrence by keeping enough nuclear and other weapons to destroy the human and natural ecosystem, is surely insane. Yet it continues. Legislatures vote for it, citizens devote a large portion of their wealth to support it. And no leader, no matter how wise, dare discuss it publicly. MAD is the ultimate PPM. [PROLIFERATION OF DETERRENCE]

How does one make the distinction between a psychotic delusion and an objectivist theory? Mind you, this is a parameter, not a dichotomy. For practice, put an assortment of ideas and images on the D chart. If the readers do not confront this issue objectively, preferably with the help of friends, they risk remaining in the RIDs snake pit of belief and non-belief.

Many citizens succumb to paranoia, all of us more or less. [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY] As the ego is separate from the greater self and the ideology is separate from the political process, so the degree of paranoia is a rough measure of this dissociation, FOC. Do not deny that paranoids have enemies, but keep a distinction between the contractions of the psychology and the contractions of the polity. In either case, the therapy is to expand: expand the ego and expand the ideology to include `the other', a kind of ideological forgiveness, such as sometimes used in diplomacy. This expansion expresses the accepting attitude of free speech. Scholars of war such as Ken Dyer point out that the primary reason for starting a war is the idea that the enemy is about to start a war. We do it together. "The enemy is us." [Classic phrase from the children's book, WINNY THE POO, translated from the French, "We have seen the enemy and he is us!"]

As in psychology, so in ideology: the tighter the contraction, the greater the fragility. Sticks and bombs can break your bones, but words can get you shot. In a contracted ideology, `belief'- that disparagement of objectivism - is demanded by the system. The degree of this demand for verbal conformity is a rough measure of contracted loyalty, the sacrifice of humanity to the contracted system. Fragility Of Ideology, FOI is a form of Fragility of Contraction, FOC.

Human loyalty is soundly based on millions of years of tribal life - `patriotism' is its hallowed expression. Loyalty is a necessary and healthy evolutionary adaptation for the survival of the tribe. It is a human need, a human right, sometimes only a human luxury, to experience tribal loyalty, the quasi-tribal process. When such ideological participation is thwarted by corrupt polity, the human spirit is deeply burdened and challenged. The human spirit suffers lost loyalty when betrayed by a corrupt leader or brutish policy. The Vietnam War damaged the culture in this way. When loyalty is contracted, as with patriotic xenophobia in time of war, people eagerly support the pathology of the day. When loyalty is expanded, as suggested by most philosophers and religious leaders from Confucius to Martin Luther King, loyalty enhances life and culture.

It is understandable that the subject of ideology hurts so much. As Modern Abstract Culture, MAC, continues, public and private distress and decay proceeds. Ideologically there is little agreement, and little development, yet the subject opens one to the vastness of human suffering. No wonder such terms elicit more pain than understanding, terms like democracy, omnism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, fascism, socialism, communism, freedom, imperialism, terrorism, and on and on.

The usual RIDs approach, for those few who bother, is to define the term, then argue step by step to some conclusion or position. This method is called `rational'. It has no place in objectivism except as an object of interest, psychoanalytical attention, and ideological therapy. In contrast, the objectivist makes some agreement about the topic, then describes - not defines - what the terms refer to, then attempts to build a model that all concerned might accept toward higher Ei and Ai. Objectivist words refer to real human beings and real political processes. The DIM demand for certainty is sacrificed, the discomfort of complexity is endured, for the sake of more accurate and responsible concern. Discussion and description continues as the model approaches reality. Gradually the political model supports and assists the reconstruction of organic life.

In an organic culture, ideology is not so painful. In a healthy culture, ideology not only gains validity but also becomes exalted as myth and ritual, uplifting and enriching personal and cultural life. Organic ideology is part of the organic culture, an alleviation of conflicts inherent in life and society, a broadening and enrichment of things as they are. Organic ideology offers a framework for disagreement, a fertile field for political play. The ideology of the not-so-organic USSR had the advantage of giving the youngsters something to disagree with, a valuable contribution to their maturity and intellectuality so often lacking in the `open society'.

The general category of Contracted Ideology, CI, deserves more attention. CI hurts. It includes the basic Denial Ideology, DI, referring to the denial of what's going on for the sake of the ego's and the ideology's integrity. Keep in mind that ideology is a collective political ego.

Common contractive sayings illustrate DI: "If you can't prove it, it isn't so.", "Innocent until proven guilty", "If the ozone layer or the greenhouse effects cannot be proven, they are not happening.", "Gaia will take care of it.", "If I can't do something about it, why think about it.", "Social experimenting is always bad, so let's just deny what we're doing and let market forces continue control.", "This is the end of ideology; we can contract in comfort, after we kill those omnians.", "No one is wise enough to make such decisions." On and on to the ultimate idealist schizophrenia: "If it's not certain, it's not so." "If it cannot be proved, it is not happening." Since nothing is "certain", everything is denied and the person is left in a mental desert, an ideological vacuum, the ultimate RIDs position. `Faith' may offer a soporific option.

Yet the human thirst for ideas drives even the contracted ideology toward thought, even if it turns to nonsense ideologies such as astrology - dew drops in the desert. [See Carl Sagan's book DEMON HAUNTED WORLD, about antiscientific trends in the contemporary intellectual community, and THE DUMBING OF AMERICA.]

Whether the denial is conscious or not is a secondary consideration, from an objectivist point of view. This contrasts with common usage and common law, in which conscious intent is a crucial element in determining crime or guilt. One benefit of the reconstruction of organic social life, ROSL, is freeing the mind from nonsense and allowing attention to more humane and social concerns.

Reconstruction of Organic Ideology, ROI

The reconstruction of organic personal ideology means harmonizing i integrations from the great subconscious life into consciousness. Most religion and philosophy advocates such "understanding heart", forgiveness, reconciliation, and good works, etc. Appropriately, the author of THE POLITICS OF MEANING, is a cleric. It helps to have some information to integrate. A most common RIDly objection is "Why concern yourself if you can't do anything about it?" This indulges political deprivation. The objectivist response is to keep informed and open so that one is prepared for participation, transcending hope and hopelessness.

ROI is unlikely without a community of discourse. Any reconstruction of organic social life, ROSL, brings ROI with it. ROPL programs as describe in WARD PROGRAM, LETS PARTY, LIBERTYVILLE, and others all result in the growth of ideology. ORGANIC IDEOLOGY, OI (pronounced as in "oy vey") grows organically bottom up and top down - participation, organization, and leadership.

As for modern public ideology, the onslaught of JAMmed media and modern abstract culture battles with healthy reforms in personnel management, the green ecology movements, and some parts of new age thinking. Modern technology and media "enable but do not compel" the degradation of ideology. Media and web can impel, but do not guarantee, the reconstruction of organic ideology.

Organic ideology develops as organic politics reconstructs. OI feeds back - expressing and enhancing its growth. "From the people, to the people." OI needs to include the broader issues of the day, with an undercurrent of the human condition and a survey of current solutions. Strong vigorous wise leadership is always at the ready, waiting for a chance to become manifest, constrained only by the FOC and DEC of contracted hearts and stagnant systems.

Being human, the citizens need something to believe in, a rallying cry to stir the heart and satisfy the cravings for quasi-tribal process. As Kirkpatrick Sale puts it "... an ideology ... that is morally informed, carefully articulated and widely shared [communicated, not `believed']." The false focus of narrow secularism and fixated dogmatism haunts any ideology. Belief is inherent, even for objectivist omnists who don't believe in belief. Therefore, some anti-dogmatism mechanism is necessary. The healthy organic ideology and polity constantly enjoys self correcting concern.

In LETS PARTY, for example, traditions evolve to address this problem of incipient dogmatism. [See Mao Zedong on PARTY FORMALISM and ON HANDLING CONTRADICTIONS AMONG THE PEOPLE.] In any political gathering, when dogmatism raises its ugly head, the participants express corrective comments. When the speaker pontificates to excess, a murmur of "bow-wow" begins, spreads and reaches a crescendo if necessary. Should indulgence in tribal loyalty begin to contract and exclude them from us, the resonant "woof-woof" mocks this warrior's whine before it catches hold. If some garrulous and articulate spokesmen spin some devious line of covert greed or subtle elitism, the good natured objection of "arf-arf" arises from the audience.

There is some danger that the speaker, in all good humor, would respond in kind, leading to the familiar cacophony of the kennel. Such a pause in the discourse could be a welcome relief, not so different from current political conventions. Whatever traditions arise and develop, they need not and can not be predicted. "Let a hundred flowers bloom . . .."

Summary of Politics and Ideology

The burden of false focus, FF, is with us in politics as it is with any study of complex systems. In the real world much is going on all at once right now, yet the mind is sequential and can only think of one thing at a time. We can generalize, build a model of political reality in our minds, develop the discourse, etc., but this model is always behind the times, never in the here and now, always there and then, TT. (From Chapter I, REALITY AND PROCESS)

Most of political process runs by itself, without consciousness. Each person lives a life, each role is filled, each job is done. Consciousness is mostly distracted to what doesn't work. Political consciousness can never totally comprehend this reality, just as the ego can never understand the great subconscious life. Yet as objectivists we are obliged to persevere.

Like any sort of consciousness, political consciousness carries its pathologies. It false-focuses on whatever is brought to attention, `framed', and thereby tends to deny everything else, missing the forest for the trees - missing the political organism for the voter poles. Political attention is drawn to what doesn't work, like a political toothache, neglecting the less intense but more important broader long-range issues. Attention flips around superficially, according to the principle of something else, PSE. Like any complex system, politics tends to contract toward power instead of harmony, increasing intensity by augmenting adversity. It tends to deny such pathologies by distractions, evasions, and trickery.

Under the onslaught of modern abstract culture, political participation degrades. The decline of face-to-face political talk starves political life. A million years of conversation around the evening fire is gone. Now an increasing number of people spend an increasing amount of their time uncommunicating with TV. Cell phones and blogs alleviate this problem, but lack the richness and depth of face to face communication with its elaborate non verbal components. [LETS PARTY]

A common reaction to adversarial politics is avoidance, because it hurts so much. People have a right to the personal enrichment of organic political participation. Politics can be fun. If politics were less adversarial and more organic, political concern would become part of the culture: a participation organic political life, an awareness of the harmony of the greater tribe of mankind, an empathy for all humanity, a symbiosis with the ecosystem, a celebration of all life. Politics can be an inherent part of the block parties, church socials, the rituals and ceremonies of a reconstructed organic social life. Thus the task is to move from contracted abstract politics to expanded organic politics.

What people think is going on does not match what's really going on. The objective reality of political process is the realm of anthropology and political science. The subjective reality of what people think is going on is the realm of psychology and ideology. ".... between the idea and the reality falls the shadow".

Political dissociation is a burden to individual personal life, a threat to humankind and the supporting ecosystem. Let's apply a few E and D chart analyses, to help make some common sense out of the usual common nonsense. The objectivists task is to analyze this problem by human ecology and apply culture design to the task of reconstruction of organic political life, ROPL.

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