Philosophy is open for business. It’s time ideology was closed for the duration

Yesterday – following a period of roughly two months during which the Syrian War* has for some reason been top of mind for me – I finally put down some thoughts on the subject of ‘culturalism’.

The chore became the only post of the day – you can read it here – for two reasons: first and foremost, I was far too knackered to write anything else afterwards; and second, I really did want it to be everyone’s focus for at least 36 hours.

I’m glad I wrote the post, because it’s a point I’ve made several times before, and very few people (so I suppose that’s my fault – or skill – depending on how you look at life) ever spot it.

The huge challenge facing everyone trying to write creative fiction or insightful documentary analysis is equal, but  180° antithetical: that is – although there are probably only seven plots in fiction, there are at least seven interpretations of every history and every event.

A novelist, like a songwriter, takes very limited species possibilities, and then performs a new twist that radiates genius, make us think….and entertains. In the digital age, a good observer/columnist starts off with a potentially baffling range of evidence, and then distills it down to a reportage that achieves balance, generates debate…and informs.

Both types of writing, however, are 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.

As a man largely in the latter camp, this is the logic that the overwhelming proportion of Slog output tries to make:

I will always reject systemic, one size fits all ideology. I believe in philosophy grounded in humanity. I believe humanity is flawed raw material, and therefore Utopian ideology will always fail.

The reason why Ken Livingstone has been suspended from Labour is simply that a UK socio-cultural pc ideology cannot bear to cope with what it sees as heretical. And the reason why Ken said the stuff in the first place is because his fundamentally Hard Left ideology is equally incapable of seeing the difference between fact and conjecture.

Philosophy is the passion of open minds. Ideology is the dictatorship of closed ranks.

That’s it.  x

*The list of people to blame for the war in Syria is now so long, it stretches even beyond those bombing the poor sods into oblivion.

12 thoughts on “Philosophy is open for business. It’s time ideology was closed for the duration

  1. I always thought the three witches in Macbeth represent ideology and it takes a narrow-minded and ruthless dictator to destroy his/her own country because of it.

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  2. ‘Philosophy and its development is the passion of the open mind. Ideology is the dictatorship of the close ranks.’

    Is this statement original to you? Of all your little gems this one carries true resonance in regard to propagating Benthamism.

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  3. Tim
    It came to me this afternoon….but then I left the ‘d’ off the end in the eventual text, now corrected. J

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  4. Isn’t the truest inspiration when a characters do things you don’t want them to?

    As for closed ranks… they’re only happy when they’re looking inwards. Which means they can never be aware of the solutions to their problems – because, as Albert Einstein rightly said, “you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it”. Debt bubbles, overseas wars and printed money are all the result of closed-rank thinking that cannot allow any new thoughts to solve their problems.

    Closed ranks – of which the ultimate example is the multi-national corporation – will destroy itself through its own unwillingness to do anything but think the same thoughts.

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  5. the passion of philosophy and the dictatorship of ideology is a good point. All religions are ideologies are they not? As is a lot of what we create and practise religiously.. sort of forms of fake reality.. the unsettling thing about ideologies is their being upset by any criticism.. like.. ‘you are offending our opinions or beliefs so you must stop offending us because we have an opinion or belief.’ People seem to think that opinions and beliefs empower them whilst the opposite is the reality..

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  6. Haavara agreement is fact, conjecture is “Hitler supported Zionism”.

    Reality: Hitler cynically exploited Zionism (briefly) as a means to an end.

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  7. “Daz i bet you think that ,that is a philosophy?! were i believe its a ideology!”

    And that, to my mind at least, is a recurring paradox of all conceptual structures that we all seem to be tormented by. I’m still unsure if all our individual perceptions of the meanings of the two words are substantially alike. I’m even tempted to believe that these conceptualisums are very much the same intrinsic essence of thought. Then, I suppose, ideology is just the results of a philosophy of mind made manifest & applied into the material world. The foundation for a belief system, that if successful, will always be found wanting. It will become unknowingly fixed by it’s firmer adherents, those served best by it’s material benefits.

    But there would be room for reasoning why this might happen. Those who become the self styled implementers, were never privy to the connections, experiences & sensations of the mind that it coalesced within.

    We all seem to struggle with concepts, even the simplest of them, growth & life.

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