Friday, October 24, 2008

Ideology: Is it bad or you already have one?

Alan Greenspan in a congressional testimony on October 23, 2008 said:

"Remember what an ideology is. It is a conceptual framework with the way people deal with reality. Everyone has one. To exist, you need an ideology. The question is whether it is accurate or not. What I am saying to you is .. Yes I found a flaw which I do not know how significant or permanent it is .. but I am very distressed by it."

I was listening to Greenspan's testimony and this caught my attention. On many discussions with my friends, I have realized that people hate ideologies and more so when someone talks about it. I agree to the fact that ideologies are generalizations of reality and in many cases are over-generalizations. And so we need to fill in the details to understand which ideology is more accurate in what situation.

While the criticism of an ideology of lacking details is just, the complete rejection of ideologies is quite dangerous. The problem is really the fact that everyone has an ideology. Some people know what ideology they have themselves and think about it while for others it seeps into the mind without any sign. As a result people do not realize that they have an ideology and an opinion on most things. Whether such opinions are fed by a liberal ideology or a conservative ideology may be just a matter of your surrounding. The point is that everyone has an ideology and to argue that one does not have one is quite difficult. The argument that one should not have an ideology is also an ideology.

I personally do not agree that being ideological is itself wrong. They are nice in times because they will help us plan for longer duration.

To conclude, people need to be careful about their own inherent ideologies while arguing for de-ideology.