Masood Ali Mir
” An idea is something you have; an ideology is something that has you”— Morris Berman
The 21st century world is a world of diversity. The diversities as you know are of different nature i.e. political, economic, social, cultural, moral, religious, ideological etc. Previously these diversities were less known because of the huge geographical barriers and the less information flow. But the revolution in telecommunication, transportation and the trade has led to the identification, recognition and popularity of these diversities all over the world.
With the passage of time, these diversities led to shape our views about different aspects of life in a diverse way. The different life styles, conditions of living, standards of life (social, economic, political, cultural and religious) led to the philosophers to conceptualise different (Better) world view which sometimes led to the rebellions and revolutions in the human history.
The different discoveries, inventions, thoughts, philosophies and theories of different philosophers, scholars, and scientists at different times influenced the people at large level and helped them to have their particular outlook and approach to the common living and it’s economy, polity, society, religion, gender etc hence led to the formation of an ideology. Whether consciously or sub- consciously everyone subscribes to a set of ideas and ideology.
The term ideology was coined by a French philosopher Destutt de Tracy in 1796.The word ideology is of Greek origin and is composed of two words” Idea and Ology” meaning the ‘Science of Ideas’. Ideology refers to “a framework of idea, beliefs and values that shape a person’s world view” (Sandrlyn). Adorno defines ideology as “Organise ideas, attitudes and values and the way of thinking about the man and society”
The world has been the centre of numerous ideologies propagated by countless writers, scholars and philosophers. The philosophers tried their best to make their philosophies turn in to common man’s way of life. Many of them succeeded in their mission to manufacture the consent among the common masses as desired. The influenced lot of followers of different ideologies tried to live in the world designed and architectured for them by their ideological gurus.
The propagation and popularity of these ideologies turned the entire world in to a colourful place and like a rainbow depicting different shades, sets and values of life living together. As long as these ideologies were peaceful and not used politically against each other, it hardly mattered for the people to which ideology one believes in. But when these ideologies turned hostile to each other and were propounded on the ground of good and evil, it started showing the negative character. It disturbed the entire peace of mind both of the individual and the system alike. It became the source of chaos, confusion, conflict, hatred, suspicion, mistrust, antagonism and sometimes the war. The mistrust and antagonism led to the division of the world, societies, cultures, economies and even the families.
People fall in love with their own heterodoxies ( unorthodoxy) and double down when their wrong ideas come under attack. Ideologies begin to replace the reality and their focus gets ever more distorted. Once that ideology is lodged deeply in mind, it takes the control of all the perception. The world can come crashing down around a person and still the true believer will stick to their story.
Nowadays the ideologies get too much importance that sometimes becomes more important than the social fabric of the society, human life and the religion. People do follow and propagate the ideology in such a way that nothing else matter for them beyond their ideology .
These type of ideologies provide a perspective or lens through which the world is understood and explained. People do not see the world as it is, but only as the expect it to be , in other words, by adopting an ideology people see the world through the prism or a veil of ingrained beliefs, opinions and assumptions ( Heywood).
This ideological blindness has shattered the world, particularly, our part of world that is South Asia. Here each and everything is viewed, presented and propagated even executed on the ideological grounds. Be it society, polity, economy or religion nothing matters more than the a particular ideology. It has penetrated into every aspect of life and is dominating the entire discourse. It has led to the paradigm shift and the shaping of dangerous narratives. The situation has moved beyond the imagination now the democratic institutions, mostly unbiased in nature, too has bowed down before the new narratives and are following the ideological trend hence declining in their standards and status.
Through this ideological extremism and fundamentalism, every person has the misfortune to fall within the trap of this extremely position of hatred, dogmas and dictations either by propagating it or becoming the victim to it by being lesser privileged in terms of power and position.
By this blindness the common man no longer sees the world, the people, the historical events, the religion , the society or the political system as they are, how they developed? for what they are meant for? Instead everything is seen through a distorted prism only and only to have the upper position and to get the power to rule.
These extreme ideologies have emerged a serious threat to the human security and are disturbing the peace and progress of the humankind. These are mere propaganda, a form of words or collection of slogans designed to win votes or attract popular support. These ideas and ideologies are therefore simply window dressing used to conceal the deeper realities of human life. The need of the hour is to shun the extreme positions and positioning of such ideologies whether political, economic, gender, religious or sectarian. A person is free to believe in his or her own world and the set of values through which he/ she may live in that but at the same time he/ she must have the understanding that others too may be allowed to live in their own system of choices that is what a true modern, educated and a democratic society deserves.
Live and let live.
- Masood Ali Mir is a freelancer and a social activist and can be mailed at email@example.com
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