Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Is the Alternative to Ideology?

What is the alternative to ideology? You know what I am getting at, right? I mean, you've heard this accusation thrown around that the other side is, "motivated by ideology," as if that were some kind of sin, right? But why is that any kind of surprise? What would you be motivated by if not an ideology?

I can only think of a few possibilities that might be offered as serious alternatives.

Pragmatism: This is not a motivation for anything. This is a way of getting stuff done. If someone says they are just being pragmatic it is because they have not admitted what is motivating them yet.

Relativism: This is an ideology

Objective Truth: This is also an ideology. In fact, searching for and adhering to the objective truth is the “ideology” that motivates me. I particularly like the objective truth and I like the fact that there is an objective truth and that it is both true and objective. Of course, objective truth is kind of hard to swallow for many people since it only allows for one interpretation of reality. Relativism is much, much safer. I particularly like the fact that nothing both is and is not at the same time and in the same respect. But many people can’t handle that. They want things to be open to multiple interpretations. They want you to have your truth while they keep theirs… as long as they can push you around. Of course, if your truth is not what they like, they will do their best to stomp you out. But we will save that discussion for another day.